Remember permission slips?
Those signed (or forged) whichever the case may be; pieces of paper that granted us access to off the grid childhood activities?
Weekend trips with Girl Scouts, grade school field trips to museums or the Observatory, Wednesday McDonald’s hamburger lunches in sixth grade?
Proudly, I had my dad’s signature down pat, the giant R of Roy with the straight tail of the Y, ending downward, no curling back up, no frills at all, very masculine, completely unlike my own girly sixth grade cursive; so occasionally, even though I had brought my delicious Spam with mustard on Wonder Bread sandwich in my Partridge Family lunch box for lunch that Wednesday, I’d permission slip myself a burger.
Forging (not to be confused with foraging) for food……hmmmmmm I’m sure there’s some deep hidden meaning in there.
Brene Brown talks about writing HERSELF permission slips.
I LOVE that idea.
When she was on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, she had one tucked inside the pocket of her jean jacket.
It read: I give you permission to be excited, goofy and uncool.
Just show up and be seen.
From what I observed she didn’t get too giggly or over stare, she had her occasional “Holy Shit, I’m sitting with Oprah” moments and they felt completely authentic and actually a bit brave.
She didn’t pretend “Oh hey, no big deal, I’m fine, I’m cool.”
As the story goes, after the show she heard that Maya Angelou was in another part of the building recording some audio poems. So instead of nonchalantly replying: “Oh, that’s nice” she abandoned cool once again and told Oprah how much she admired Dr Angelou.
After all, she still had the permission slip in her pocket; and as is often the case, the Universe rewards genuineness.
Oprah asked if she’d like to meet Dr. Angelou.
Hell yeah! (My words – just guessing)
Here are her feelings about the encounter in her own words:
“So grateful that I got to meet Dr. Angelou, look her in the eye, and tell her what her work means to me. When I told her that I love playing her reading of “I shall not be moved” for my students and children, she grabbed my hand and sang, “Like a tree planted by the river, I shall not be moved.” It was a sacred moment.”
Just imagine if she’d brushed off the mention of Maya Angelou with a Too Cool For School attitude, she would have missed that once in a lifetime moment.
How many wonderful, sacred, ridiculously epic moments do we circumvent due to our habit of playing it cool?
How many beautiful creations do we talk ourselves out of?
How many people do we meet and feel a connection with……and do nothing?
How many books are unwritten, paintings un painted, businesses un started and plans unhatched because we lack the courage?
Maybe all we need is PERMISSION.
I for one, have started her practice of the permission slip.
Here are some I’ve written lately:
I give myself permission to not always know what I’m doing.
I give myself permission to play more.
I give myself permission to suck while writing the book.
I give myself permission to be happy even though I don’t have a “job”
I give myself permission to not like everyone
If you Google BRENE BROWN PERMISSION SLIPS and look at images, there are hundreds of ideas if you have trouble getting started.
I’d LOVE it if you’d write at least one thing in the comments. Tell me, share, you’ll give other people the courage to do it and maybe give them a few ideas too.
Go ahead –
I give myself permission to__________________.