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November 01, 2023 2 min read 1 Comment

Guest blog by Karen Shaw
I am everything


'I am everything.'

What an odd phrase! I mean I can’t be  everything,  can I? In fact, I’m not supposed to be anything. Because anything I am is too much anything, so why be everything too much?

I think this is a toxic belief all too many of us carry. We’re told we are  too much, so we try desperately to hide parts of ourselves to fit into “a norm.” In fact, most of us are told the only thing we are supposed to be is “quiet.”

Like everyone else, I did my best to not offend anyone with my presence. Getting bullied at school? Just put up with it. Feeling angry or down? Just smile anyway, no one else needs to feel bad just because you do. Have something to say? We don’t want to hear you.

After losing a parent, something in me came to a culmination and I realized how toxic it all was. The loud side of myself became too loud and I found a voice that needed to be heard. Ultimately, this led me leaving a job that wasn’t good for me and leaving a situation that was not in my best interest behind and I ended up in Montana, as someone once told me that “mountains heal souls.” 

Because, even though it’s not an Oula song, the lyrics that were resonating were Sonata Arctica’s, I Have a Right:  I have the right to be heard, to be seen, to be loved, to be free, to be everything. 

I have the right to be seen and heard. I have the right to be everything. 

Coming to Oula more on a whim than anything else, I met wonderful people. It took a few classes to settle in and find my place in the group, but once I found that place, it was my space to be me. There was no “hide that part of you, because that part is too much.” In Oula, I was surrounded by other lovely people always giving each other the right to be as they are: Are you happy, sad? Did you have a good day, a bad one? All of the above? Something in the middle? Come dance with us!  Come laugh and sing and cry and howl all that you feel… (Believe me, if we’ve been in a class together, you’ve heard all of the above, including my singing.) And through it all, we connect. We see each other. We hear each other. We give our everything to each other.

I have the right to be everything. Through the happy, the sad, the pretty, the ugly, the loud, and yes, the quiet too, I am everything. And you are, too. You have the right to be heard, to be seen, to be loved, to be free, to be everything. And through it all, you and your everything are never too much. 






1 Response


November 22, 2023

Karen! So beautifully said! Thank you for sharing and for the permission to be absolutely everything! 😍

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