A few years ago, I was faced with a most perplexing quandary:
“What do I wear to go with Martha to the annual “O You!” event where Oprah’s O Magazine comes to life?”
I wasn’t asking what do I wear to go see my mentor, Martha Beck. No, no. That would have been easy. I wanted to know what to wear to go accompany and support her behind the scenes as she presents at the Oprah shindig. I’d be in the Green Room with the O Magazine experts! I might meet Oprah!
I don’t generally get star struck… but I knew I needed to be strong and confident enough to stand my ground and protect Martha from big egos, icky fan-frenzy, and the throng of attendees.
I am not one to fuss over my wardrobe or try on everything in my closet. However, I did stand in the middle of my closet far longer than usual pondering if I could get away with my now-normal uniform of jeans and boots, or if a shopping spree was in order.
I finally pulled out the only black “power suit” that I’d kept from my old corporate days. The one I kept for funerals. I paired it with a leopard print self-confidence-building blouse and the most comfortable 3-inch heels that I owned. Perfect.
Then I walked around for a day…
As Martha delivered her message, comfortably sporting her signature scarf, jeans, and boots, she nailed me, my aching feet, and my what-to-wear insecurities with these extracted bits from her speech:
“Why don’t you lay your armor down?”
“Just wear what you would wear to have coffee with dear friends.”
“Armor limits my consciousness.”
“… I’d be a different person standing here in high heels, thinking that high heels made me more special than I am when I just show up as little me. You know… without much to offer except myself.”
“Why take off that armor? … When you take your armor off, you realize that the only piece of you that will endure is Love. And that that’s enough, because that is, in fact, what you are.“ *
My armor and I were sitting right in front of her.
Earlier that day, we’d sat right next to her as she drafted and practiced her speech (did she know? Damn, she’s good!).
She didn’t need my power suit.
She definitely didn’t need me hobbling behind her with painful feet in heels.
She just wanted Love to be there to support her in a place where there would be uncomfortable frenetic energy to navigate.
Love, it appears, is the only power suit we really need.
That, and some comfortable shoes.**
What armor, my friends, can you lay down?
In Truth & With Love,
* If you want to watch Martha’s whole “O You!” talk, you can find it here! The part that hit me square between the eyes runs between the 12:45 and 19:30 minute marks.
** You haven’t been truly humbled until you’ve walked around barefoot through the LA streets with Martha Beck and Susan Casey, the Editor in Chief of O Magazine. Next time I’m wearing these —>
*** Originally published July 5, 2013