Be Seen. YoGoGirls 2018

BY DEBBY SIEGEL, MSA, RYT

PHOTOS BY KEATON HANSON AND DEBBY SIEGEL

Being seen. It’s what we all want. To be seen and heard and understood. The recent #metoo hashtag with its 12 million posts overnight around the globe clearly exhibited our willingness to vulnerably share the truth of our experiences to have them acknowledged.

Being seen is somewhat different for everyone.

We each base our acknowledgement needs on our life’s path and how we synthesize and attach to our experiences. I personally feel seen when risking and sharing the truth of my experience, and it is relevant for someone in the moment they need it most. I also feel most seen when engaging one-on-one and in person.

As an online entrepreneur, how “seen” I am matters, and social proof is the barometer of my work’s success. As a yoga teacher, this is confusing at times. Teaching puts you in front of people. You have the responsibility of holding space for others, acknowledging all of them, yet in front of everyone, sharing truths, some of you is also being seen. Like yoga, it’s a balance. I’ve discovered for me, connecting deeply with and influencing the people in my immediate world far more satisfying than how many followers I have in a virtual one. At the same time, my ability to connect depends on my ability to measure up digitally sometimes. It is the dichotomy of the modern age for yoga teachers. (I imagine my yoga teacher friends wanting to click at least the heart emoticon to that!)

I want to share some new commitments I am making to me and you. Here goes… In my life, being truly seen felt risky and vulnerable. So I would allow, and even ask, to be Photoshopped, filtered and edited. Not just on social media images and profiles, but I sometimes altered my personal presentation – the words I’d say, gestures, inclinations, and even my feelings. Edited me would get more likes and even in person, it was about being more accepted. Validation from a double tap or click. I know from my digital marketing job, social media post engagement is a metric that validates its budget. It doesn’t however, validate me. I will try to keep this in mind. I am enough. You are too. I am vowing to be present with you and bring the best version of me to all situations. To refrain from the distractions of my ego, and lead from my soul.

The future of YoGoGirls is shifting to reflect this new commitment. For over four years, Michelle and I have created art with her masterful lens, connected through our blog and held many events.  We are both proud of the work we’ve collaborated on. Going forward Michelle will bring many creative videos, images and ideas to her followers (@michelle_yogogirls on Instagram and Facebook), and I will continue the brand of YoGoGirls through this blog, social media and emails. We will still collaborate on some work.

YoGoGirls has been a great time. As two moms of teenagers in our late 40s I sort of knew this time would come. That we would shift. I have mourned this, and moved through all five stages of mourning. With this shift comes a new vision for YoGoGirls and it is simple. Being seen. YoGoGirls will acknowledge all women – all shapes, sizes, colors, abilities and ages – all women are YoGoGirls. If you are interested in being featured or know of someone who should be on YoGoGirls’ blog and social media please reach out to me: Debby@YoGoGirls.com or 314-369-7399.

I am well aware that this new vision will bring about a shift in our social following. It’s ok.

My relationship with a man who’s not on social media nor the owner of a smart phone, has gifted me with a sweet vantage point. That it’s ok. Witnessing his unique way of touching the world with his cooking or music secured my value of sincerely connecting to people in the moment. I’ve watched him (even with his social anxiety) form true relationships with people as he connects to others, showing interest in learning more about them. He actually remembers people’s names when meeting them. I noticed this too. It has fueled my desire to invest more of myself in genuine connections.

My mind has been waffling on this article for a while. I have had it in the hopper, while my path kept presenting its message to me again and again. It is time to share. My intention behind publishing it is for you to find the freedom of allowing yourself to be seen by someone who makes the effort to really see you. And I want for you to understand how seeing others causes you to flourish in new ways. Please spend more time being present with others, without an agenda… just acknowledging them. You will liberate their gifts, and in turn find more acceptance of you.

YoGoGirls’ 2018 tagline:  Be Seen. For you. You are a soul. You have a body.

May you know that you are worthy, your experiences have made you unique, and that you are valued. I know that I am worthy regardless of the lumps, wrinkles and sun spots that 49 years brings about. I also know that I am more than this vessel. You are too. You have so much to offer the world with your special gifts. Be seen. Find your niche and believe in your goals. Take time away from thumb scrolling thru social media, liking things. It will still be there. Listen to people and visit places you value. Liberate someone by truly holding space for him or her to be seen.

Thank you for taking time to read my words. You have seen some of me now. These words are from my heart, my raw heart.

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