Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She was full of spark, curiosity, enthusiasm, wonder and joy. She loved nature, animals, painting, drawing, singing and playing imaginary games. She lived in a family with adults who had forgotten how to be curious, to wonder and to play. Instead they had learned how to be right, to be responsible, to be polite, to follow the rules and above all else to be good. They knew this was how to feel safe and how to fit in, so they taught their little girl all the rules too, because they wanted her to fit in and be good too. They taught her how to do as she was told, to stop day dreaming and pay attention, to stop talking and listen, to tone down her loudness and be quiet, to not argue and to squash down her feelings and act like there was nothing wrong. She learned quickly and well because she wanted nothing more than to feel safe, to fit in and feel loved. She learned to stop listening to herself and doing what felt good in her body and to start looking outside of herself for instructions on how to be good and what to think and feel. Very soon she had forgotten how to listen to herself and how to do what felt good. She learned to do what other’s approved of and what was expected of her.

She carried on doing this all through her childhood, teenage years and into her adult life. Slowly after many years of doing this, she started to notice she didn’t know what was true for her any more, what gave her joy, what sparked wonder and curiosity in her, because it’d been so long since she’d asked herself.

She started to notice fitting in required her to do things that made her feel resentful and miserable. She started to question what she was doing and why she was doing it. She noticed she felt angry and deeply sad and she didn’t know how to feel better.

Then one day she remembered something from a deep down place in her. It was something that she used to do as a little girl that made her feel joyful, curious and alive. She let her imagination remind her of this feeling. When the memory finished, she decided she desperately wanted to feel this way again in her life. She wanted to feel a sense of purpose and aliveness so she started to pay attention to what caught her eye, what happened inside her body when she let herself go towards things and experiences she felt curious about. She started to open up her mind and her heart to new possibilities and started to wonder what it would be like to give herself permission to do what lit her up. She decided to try it.

She picked something from her childhood she remembered really enjoying and she allowed herself to experience it again. She loved singing as a little girl, so she allowed herself to go to a harmony singing workshop. She was in heaven. Her body relaxed, every cell opened up and resonated with the vibration and sensation of the music and connection she felt with everyone in the room. ‘Ahh, this is what it feels like to do what I love,’ she remembered.

She vowed to keep exploring and following her curiosity to try new things. She vowed to question if what she was doing was true for her or if she was doing it out of the old need to fit in and stay small?

She craved the wildness, freedom and spontaneity she’d felt at times as a child before this was squashed down and replaced by good girl behaviour. She felt a pressure building inside her. It was all her too muchness – her too noisy, too lazy, too opinionated, too dreamy, too big, too rough, too messy, too sensitiveness. She’d forgotten these parts of her truth. She’d learned they didn’t fit in with being a good girl, so she’d created a place deep within her to put them. It was a box with a big heavy lid. The box was covered in dust and cobwebs. She wondered what might happen if she lifted the lid and let these parts of herself out again. She imagined the delicious feeling of unfolding, stretching and taking up space that might happen if she dared.

She wondered what might happen if she took this risk. ‘People might not like me’, she thought, ‘people might tell me to stop or tell me they don’t like those parts of me’. ‘So what?’ she thought. ‘I’ve learned I’m safe inside myself now. As long as I continue to listen to myself and do what feels good in my body, I know I’ll be ok’. She decided she was willing to risk it, because living a life without joy, curiosity, wonder and full self expression didn’t suit her any more. It was slowly killing her spirit and that was too much of a tragedy to allow to happen.

She decided to choose herself today and everyday going forward because she was worthy of feeling good and living a life that made her feel alive.

What would it look like for you to choose yourself and to let go of your Good Girl identity?

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