Living bravely in your own skin.

Does the universe send you messages?

I’m a psychologist of a scientific bent but despite a love of data and a strong need for empirical evidence and I have a soft spot for synchronicity – Carl Jung’s notion of ‘meaningful coincidences.’  

It’s the sense that someone, somewhere is thrusting people and patterns and events and incidents before us that are linked and intentional. That these are not random occurrences. That they are sent to us by design.

That the universe is trying to tell us something*.

On departing the ProBlogger event earlier this month, thoroughly inspired to do more, be more, create more, I flicked through the inflight entertainment, landing on an HBO documentary, ‘Suited’. Produced by a team led by Lena Dunham, it introduces Bindle & Keep, a Brooklyn-based microbusiness carefully tailoring handmade suits for gender-nonconforming and transgender clients.

It’s a beautiful documentary “about custom suits, accepting difference and living bravely in one’s own skin.”

Hours earlier I listened to Emilie Wapnick of Puttylike speak about how she has embraced multipotentiality; discarding societal expectation that she specialise in her career, her interests, her life, she espouses an existence filled with many passions and creative pursuits. Don’t be pummelled into one thing; enjoy everything, she says.

Buck the system. Live bravely in your own skin.

I am no multipotentialite in the psychological sense (educational psychologists refer to multipotentiality as ‘a state of having many exceptional talents’) but I am a firm believer in the importance of self awareness and self acceptance. Of understanding, knowing and believing in who we are as individuals.

We each mark a place on a thousand spectra of human difference; our looks, our interests, our abilities, our interests, our values, our biases, our likes, our tastes, our gender, our sexuality. No two of us are alike and that’s a wonderful, fascinating thing.

In Suited, Rae Tutera and Daniel Friedman from Bindle & Keep understand and celebrate that diversity; listening carefully to the stories of their clients and handcrafting suits that compel self belief, self acceptance, power and potential. Emilie Wapnick and Puttylike encourage that diversity; reminding us that we have unique and diverse interests, that difference is okay and that we can each find and believe in our individual path to creative fulfillment.

As the ProBlogger event wound up we were reminded by Darren Rowse that by taking one small action we could make a big difference to someone else.

Listening to Emilie Wapnick and Lena Dunham I was open to the universe’s message for me:

To write like no one is reading. To write what is true to my heart and my interests. To tell stories through words and through pictures. To be inspired by the world around me. To be eclectic and to be okay with that.  To share the message of individualism, self awareness and potential.

To take simple action that could make a big difference to someone else; that could help one other person to live bravely in their own skin.

So from today you might notice greater diversity in my blog posts. I will write about psychology and fulfilling your potential – because that is my passion – but I will also write about sustainability and community and beauty and gardens and ideas, because they are important to me too. They make up part of who I am.

I will not be constrained by expectation, even my own. I will just be me.

And you? Where do your many and varied interests lie? Who are you as a unique individual?

Here’s your homework task:

Take a pen and paper and write down everything that interests you; every passion, every hobby, every topic, every belief. Write about who you are as unique individual.

Don’t take action on your  list. There’s no need right now. Just look at it every once in a while and think to yourself, ‘This is who I am, in all my eclectic glory. And I’m okay with that. I will live bravely in my own skin.'


*It feels magical but it’s not. Our minds are primed to see patterns; to look for themes. Once we’re alert to an object or idea we’ll keep noticing it ahead of other objects and ideas that pass us every day.  

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