Leanne’s Story: Giving it All Up to Be Herself
Giving It All Up
To Be Herself
Once Leanne had what society would call the “perfect life.” She was married. She had an important job in the corporate world. She had the six-figure salary.
One day, she gave it all up to be herself. In doing so, Leanne fell in love with who she is. It’s a story that still brings Leanne to tears.
Watch the video to find out why it’s the best thing that Leanne ever did.
My name is Leanne. I'm 42.
It feels more peaceful. I mean, I've always been pretty easy going, but it feels just like I'm flowing down a river, like I'm no longer fighting everything. I'm just like, "Okay. I know where I'm at. I know what I wanna do. I know who I am. And I'm just kinda letting the stream take me."
You just don't care as much, and not in a bad way. You're not trying to be someone else, or fit in, or like, "I'm gonna need to be that. And I need to wear this. And I need to have that job. And I need to look that good or..." You, kinda just let all that go.
And for me, I just started to love who I was inside and outside. And I just no longer cared so much.
I guess I stopped judging myself, which means I no longer allowed anyone else to judge me. I didn't care what anyone else thought. You just don't care as much, and not in a bad way. You're not trying to be someone else, or fit in, or like, "I'm gonna need to be that. And I need to wear this. And I need to have that job.
And I need to look that good or..." You, kinda just let all that go. And for me, I just started to love who I was inside and outside. And I just no longer cared so much. I guess I stopped judging myself, which means I no longer allowed anyone else to judge me. I didn't care what anyone else thought.
I'm from Australia originally. I was married to a very nice man 14 years, had a corporate job in human resources with a six-figure salary, we traveled and had two dogs. So on paper, I guess, I had what my parents taught me and what society taught me is the perfect life. Then it got to a point where it was just like, ‘I'm not satisfied. I'm not fulfilled.’
I'm a dancer, and dancing since I was four years old, I’ve always been very active. All I ever wanted to do was dance. I had a moment where I was at work and I was at the desk. I was banging out emails. I was 36 at the time. And I remember that my mom… she passed away when she was 46.
I just thought, ”If I had 10 years left of my life, do I just wanna sit here and keep doing this, or do I just wanna get up and do what I love? Like, get out of my way and do what I love.” So I did. I got up. I quit. I just went, "Okay. I'm prepared to look... I know the alternative. I've lived that life. It's great, but it's not for me. So I'm prepared to let it all go to make space for what I wanna do."
And It was just the best thing I ever did. It was rocky and it was emotional and it was an upheaval for a lot of people close to me. But it was the best decision because now I live in New York. I dance. I act. I'm a martial artist. I love action roles, so that's kind of where I'm heading now. I dance every day. I don't earn a six-figure salary, not yet, but that’s coming. I know it is.
But I feel more rich and abundant and yeah, I feel more wealthy. I'm just having the best time. Like, I'm grateful every day to wake up and go, "I live here. I'm doing what I love. And all I have to do is go for it."
Just never have any association with a number. Every time I turned a different age… I’m 42. It doesn't mean anything to me. Society makes it mean a whole bunch of things. In Australia, I should be married with kids and not even out on the dance floor, whereas in New York, I have people dancing that are in their 80s.
It's just about loving who you are at every point in your life and not hiding it or feeling ashamed or feeling that you shouldn't be out there enjoying life anymore, like you're just starting really. When I think of what I knew at 20 to what I know now—I knew nothing.
There's an abundance in all of us. And we're all beautiful. If we can just accept our own beauty, it doesn't matter what anyone else portrays. It's all very subjective.
The models I saw were always six-foot something with very skinny, skinny legs. I always wanted long, skinny legs. I never liked my legs. I was like, "They're not long and skinny." Then I realized that I was seeing a sort of distorted view of my body shape because I was like looking at something else. Then eventually, I just went, "No, I need to love all of me. This is my house. This is coming with me everywhere, every day. If I don't love it, who will?"
So I just shifted my thinking. I would stand in front of the mirror every day and be like, "Okay. I love you, legs and knees and feet and elbows and everything.” Then eventually, I just saw my perfect shape, and I just fell in love with myself at that point.
Look, this is who I am. I love all of it, whether it's a flaw or a perfection, whatever it is. It's just like, "This is me. I love it. I love my quirks," and own that and be comforted. Because that inner light, that is what people feel. Then their interpretation of that is the physical. But if that light inside of you is constantly radiating beauty and I love who I am and I'm at peace with who I am, this physical form will always be beautiful no matter how old it becomes.
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