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What Jewel Taught Me About Authenticity

I was so uncomfortable in this picture! Can you tell? Yes! The worst. Why? I doubted myself.
As I awaited my personal photo opportunity with Jewel, I found myself wanting to check my tie, my hair and in general became self conscious about my appearance. While standing with a friend and “Image Consultant” I met in Chicago, I could not resist asking, “How’s my tie?” Big mistake. She proceeded to tell me to button my shirt and my jacket and snug up the tie. So, I hurriedly did so before I met Jewel. I realized how uncomfortable and awkward I felt, but I took someone’s advice and did it anyway, ..and this is the picture that resulted. My yuk shows in the photo. Too bad. The experience reinforced something I already knew, but clearly needed a reminder of.

“Allow yourself to be, just as you are. In doing so, you let your inner beauty shine through. People love the authentic you!”

As I stood waiting to meet Jewel – shirt buttoned and circulation cut off to my head – in between passing out and recovering, I reflected on the inner beauty I had not noticed earlier in this woman. Everyone saw it as we watched her speak and perform on stage and realized how incredible, strong and authentic this lady was.

Something happens when you meet someone face to face and have the chance to hear them, watch them, and interact with them personally. All previous ideas about who they are and how they have become who they are change.

Raised in Alaska and singing with her Dad at a very young age, she spent a few years in a dirt floor cabin without running water and playing for people on street corners to pay for college. This lady was the real deal. She owned her talent and her story in a way that stunned me. Watching her sing in person, I realized how amazing her voice is and the genuine talent that came from within. She was jibed and joked with by the host “JT Foxx” (which is just his nature) but responded brilliantly and it was clear this lady had been around the block a few times. Not in a bad way, but in a way that showed her authentic beauty, courage and resilience.

I was blown away by Jewel. By her ability to be real and shine. I realized this is what gave her that strength and brilliance. I realize I had made some assumptions about Jewel and her music. I realize now these assumptions were not correct.

Do you make assumptions about others? It’s an Ego thing. To compare yourself to and make assumptions of others. And… I’m reminded that its something we can avoid.

How authentic and genuine are you on a daily basis? Do you really know yourself and shine or do you show up with a mask, in fear, hiding who you really are? How many times do you ask others for advice and/or doubt your own magnificence in an attempt to fit in? To show up “perfectly.” I invite you to become aware. The higher truth is the doubts you hold and the assumptions you make about others are pointing to a truth about yourself. Now, who is being authentic?

Thank You Jewel!

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Michael Vukelic