Hello, and welcome to the autism in real life podcast. In each episode, you'll get practical strategies by taking your journey into the joys and challenges of life with autism. I'm your host, Ilia Walsh, and I'm an educator and the parent of two young adults, one of which is on the autism spectrum. Join me as I share my experience and the experiences of others. So that we may see the unique gifts and talents of individuals on the autism spectrum, fully recognized.
Hello, everyone, and welcome. This is Ilia with the spectrum Strategy Group, and I welcome you today.
And I just wanted to share a thought that I had had, and actually, it's, I guess, maybe it's been a combination of thoughts, I would say, you know, thinking about everything that's going on in the world, and just, um, you know, kind of seeing the amount of information that we all consume, and share.
Um, I just kind of been collecting these thoughts. And occasionally, sometimes I'll see something, or I'll think of something, and I just, I kind of write the notes down. And there was a note that I had written back in July. And it was just, it was an observation, and I kind of stuck with me, and, and it was sort of was calling me to kind of chat about it today. And,
you know, I think
part of it is because I feel like I was called out today. And
there was a post by someone that I follow. So of course, this is where, you know, consuming information is great, right, but sometimes we have too much information, we have to kind of discern it. But on the on the onset of this post,
the person is talking about how,
you know, many of us are still making excuses for letting fear when and keeping us, you know, hiding from who our true selves are. And that we are dimming our light, and playing small and keeping our gifts from others and helping people.
And that we feel that we live this way, because we're have fear of being judged. And that people will think we're like crazy for doing the work that we do, or that people will see us in just some judgmental light, depending on whatever the filter is.
But that yet, the work that we could do, can be helping so many people. And, you know, it was it was an interesting perspective.
And, you know, in addition, they go on to say that, you know, people are suffering and families are falling apart, and people are depressed and stressed.
And you know, that there are those people who can share their gifts and be able to help some of these people. Now, of course, I feel that I the work that I do has sort of that kind of goal, that sort of the goal here is for me to be able to offer a wide array of information and lots of different perspectives, so that people can learn more,
and explore and be curious and take that information and use it in a way that works for them.
And, you know, I feel that I've done that, but yet I feel like there's still a piece that is is holding back. And of course, in this exact post. The next question is, well, what's up with that, right, and the post continues to go on and say, of course, that they offer a course or they offer a program that can help with sort of
shedding those layers of fear and so on. And so in that moment, I feel called out and I feel like oh, I could be doing more I should do more.
And then on the flip side, I see the post as a way of just sort of, you know, wanting to make money and gain my business which is not a bad thing because I think that there's definitely a place for that and I
I have worked with many people, and I value
their ideas and their input and their insight. So I think it's a great way to do that. But it made me think about this, you know, duality of people that we are looking at for information. And, you know, I think
when, you know, I think about some of the people that I have worked with where I feel like, wow, yeah, this is someone that, dare I say, in quotes look up to,
I feel that, Oh, great, they are living their authentic selves, and they are being who they are.
And they're, they're working at integration, and combining all of their different, you know, selves, or the different worlds. And then only to find out that that might not be true. And it's sort of,
you know, feel like we have this persona that that we're seeing on the outside on the public side, or professional side. And then there is another self, which is sort of chaotic, and not grounded. And again, I recognize we're all different. And we have different personas and different aspects that we share with different people depending on our comfort levels, and, and our safety levels. And also just what's appropriate, given a situation totally makes sense.
But when the two different selves are seem to be competing,
it kind of makes me call into question, a lot of the information that I'm seeing.
So you know, it really I know, many people have taken social media fasts, I know, I've taken news fasts myself,
and actually stopped watching the news when I was in my 20s.
And only get high level information. At this point, with the advent of phones, I was able to at least filter the kind of news that I get so so I can kind of see what's happening in the larger world. And if I want to delve in deeper, it's has to be a very
directed effort for me to do that. Like I have to really want to do that, instead of it sort of just coming at me through regular news programming, or newspapers or what have you.
And I knew I needed to do that for my own well being because the news could be very upsetting. And so I'm glad I kind of stuck to that, it gets harder and harder with the amount of information that's out there. But I know if I can do it with that, I wonder how else I can manage,
you know, the amount of information that gets gets sent to me, you know, so I can kind of see, decipher through that. And however, I really like to see information that is inspiring and helpful. And like, like really inspiring, truly
giving me food for thought sort of like that post, even though it was trying to sell a course it gave me something to think about and gave me a reason to go. I wonder if I should think a little bit more about my authentic self. And one of the things that I had written down back in July, as I was saying earlier, was I noticed while I was camping, that there was this little girl around 10 or 11 years old.
And she was in the playground section of the campground that we were staying at. And I noticed that she was alone, but sort of kind of rallying some of the other kids that were from other campsites but coming to kind of bring them together and play with them. But what struck me was that she was wearing
a grey onesy Now mind you, this was July but but it is in New England. So it was it could be cool in the evening.
And a bright red hat and unicorn rainbow colored boots. And she was carrying a book like a thick book, like some look like a really good reading book.
And all I could think of when I looked at her was I want to be her when I grow up.
Right and so nature has a way of being able to bring out
one's true nature and one's true self and of course,
her being younger 10 or 11.
Clearly, she just looked so confident and secure.
And you know how she was presenting herself to the world. And she's very friendly and trying to bring people together, but yet had her book. And I noticed later on as I walked back around by the playground, she was just sitting there watching the other kids play, but also reading, so I was curious as to,
you know who this little girl was. And I was like, Yeah, I feel like, I want to be able to have that confidence to wear, you know, the Red Hat and the unicorn boots and the one z, and be able to feel comfortable with that, and safe with that, and safe in the environment that I'm presenting myself in.
But I know that, you know, there are, there are many barriers to presenting that authentic self, right? We have family expectations, societal expectations, which is a huge list, right? We have friends in school, and work and community and, and it can affect, you know, how we do everything, including how do we go to the grocery store, what do we wear, when we go to the grocery store, what if we see someone there that we know, or
maybe that's just me,
or choosing, you know, going to a restaurant, or where to buy your clothes, it can be so many different things. And it sort of clouds,
how we present ourselves. And you know, what I wish is to have
a safe place where people can feel like, they can just be those authentic selves, and be who they are, and present themselves however they want.
And everyone to just be okay with that. But I know to get to that place, personally, for us to feel safe in doing that, and I'll speak for myself, it's a lot of work, right? There's a lot of,
you know, internal work that needs to get done. And it's not an easy journey.
And then that internal work then needs to get pushed and manifested on the outside, and then being able to know how to present that to other people who might not, you know, might not have seen you do the work? Or have you go through that work with them. And so they're not sure where you're coming from, you may surprise some people. So what does that approach look like? And so those are some things that I'm kind of curious about and thinking about.
And I know, you know, I've had guests on, who talk about building your own life, or
creating the type of life that you want, and, you know, being able to do deeper work so that you can connect with other people. And all of those things make a whole bunch of sense.
But the actual practice of doing that is multi layer, and multifaceted. And I think we all need
support in doing that. So, you know, I guess my, my call to action here is to do some thinking about where in our day to day lives, we can be a little bit more of that authentic self, and actually feed and nurture that authentic self.
yeah, I'm going to be thinking about how I do that myself. And I'd love to hear from you. And in what kind of work you're doing. I know I do a bit of work with a therapist and I have some other teachers that I work with and family members that I can kind of debrief some of that work with.
And I I'm curious what other people may do and how it may work for them as well. So please feel free to reach out and connect with me. I'd love to hear what what, what helps and what little steps we can take to be able to feel a little more at home and a little bit
safer in the world that we're in. So thank you so much for hearing me out today. And I'll talk to y'all soon. Okay, take care.
Thanks for listening to autism in real life. This is Ilia Walsh. And if you like the show, please hit subscribe so you can get notified each time a new episode is released. I also offer training, consultations and parent coaching and would love to help you in any way that I can. You can check out my offerings at the spectrum strategy COMM And when you join my email list, you can get a code to receive a discount off of an online class or a coaching session. Looking forward to hearing from you Take care and see you next time.
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