Why We Hide

Emelie Pickett

To stand up and shine is a tall order.

This is not only due to our personal fears… we are bound by ages-old scar tissue in the collective unconscious, bruised from centuries of stooping for survival; from being forced to choose bodily safety and facaded community over wild soul life.

For generations, we have all suppressed our magic. We have become accustomed to breathing less oxygen, taking up less space, being reduced to outward appearances and bank accounts.

As bravely naked as I may seem, I struggle with owning my gifts because there is a fine line between humility and shame; a hazy line that’s smudged like morning-after eyes.

Today it occurred to me that humility and shame are two sides of the same coin.

To be humble is defined as “having a low or modest opinion of one’s own importance.” A low opinion of one’s own importance?

Yes, of course! Why would we ever want to fully value ourselves? Who are YOU to say that you are someone that matters?

We are told over and over again that being humble is one of the most well-regarded traits a person can model. It is a huge compliment to be labeled as modest.

Humble and modest? Aaaaahhhhhhhhh. My inner good girl basks in the warm firelight of these approachable

Arrogance on the other hand, makes me queasy. Arrogance is having an inflated sense of self worth (inflated according to whom, I wonder)…

It is arrogant to toot your own horn, to declare that you have something important to say… to stake a claim in your worth.

But, ultimately self worth is a value judgement. Worth is subjective.

I think the reason we have such a strong distaste for arrogance is because we believe that there is a scarcity of greatness in this world.

If one person thinks they are magnificent, then there is that much less awesome available to me. We are ashamed of ourselves, and so we shame those who are braver than us. We label, we separate, we gossip, and we poison ourselves.

Yes, egoic & greedy behavior can sometimes accompany what we perceive as arrogance. But arrogance and greed only go hand in hand when self-respect gets determined by external things; when “successes” like money, looks, or fame become the evidence that we matter.

When I think about shame and arrogance, it makes my blood boil.

I am outraged, for myself and for everyone who has shrunk themselves in order to stay “humble”.

I remember how my husband’s naked enthusiasm disrobes my shame body sometimes.

At a recent party, I felt my pulse quicken as his voice rose, passionate words streaming from his mouth like streaks of green lightning.

My eyes darted around the room, watching for signs of disconnection, judgement, or dismissal. I waited for others to deem him “too much” and slowly disengage from his intensity. My stomach dropped, my shoulders slouched, and I felt myself shrinking in his light.

At six foot six, he stands tall whether he intends to or not. Just the fact of his existence is imposing! And though he rarely comprehends the power of his presence, he is usually unapologetically impassioned.

He is a Tiger, through and through.

Emelie and Rick Pickett

He’ll also readily turn the spotlight on me, glowing as he talks proudly about who I am, about my work, about our son. He encourages me to join him in his exposed enthusiasm, to unveil my greatness and add my own lightning to the storm.

In the past, I have hidden behind a velvety black cloak of humility. Shame will whisper that we can’t both be brilliantly blazing, or we’ll blow the neurocircuits of everyone in the room.

Shame tells me to stand aside.

“Don’t be arrogant.”

I compensate for his expansion with my contraction. I drink her drug of small silence and

Later, I wonder why I allow this to happen.

Yes, I am magnificent at creating space for other people’s enthusiasm. But my own wonderful being deserves a place at the table too… And I almost never give myself a seat.

Standing in my power unashamedly means letting go of being humble and risking being called arrogant.

It means pushing through scars of punishment and retribution. It means forming newly resilient skin; skin that is proudly wrinkled by experience, flushed with passion. It means chin high, heart out.

It means daring to claim the oxygen our lungs crave.

We can be greatFULL and grateful, no matter what anyone else thinks about our motives and our worth. Greatness is not awarded to us by our witnesses.

Just like you, I am gifted in certain ways. And just like you, it’s time for my gifts to shine.

I am a woman who loves wildness. I am beautiful, ferocious, tenacious, compassionate, empathetic, and intuitive.

I am someone to whom the animals speak. They talk to me through the people I encounter, in whom I can clearly see wooly, feathered, taloned, ferocious, seductive, meek, musky wilderness. I see inner creatures who are hungry to be unleashed. I unclip the collar, open the cages, and set free people’s inner animal self.

In less than 5 months and with almost no promotion, I have been honored to serve a wild totemic unfolding in almost 500 people. I am still almost embarrassed to share this; it feels prideful.

Yet, I AM proud to have crafted a business that is insanely fun, creative, and keeps me connected to inner and outer nature. My totemic arts apprentices make me weep with love on a weekly basis. I watch them becoming so brave, so ALIVE; making huge shifts in their psychic and physical landscapes. They fill me with awe, they inspire me… Through animal eyes, they are finally seeing themselves.

So, it’s time to stop apologizing with my posture, with my silence. It’s time for me to stand as tall as my Tiger.

Emelie Pickett

It’s time for ALL of us to own our gifts.

To paraphrase Steve Jobs, those who are crazy enough to believe that they can change the world are the only ones that can.

I have a PLAYwork assignment for you (yes… YOU that is reading these words).

You are to fully admit something amazing about yourself.

You can admit it to me here, you can share it with a friend, you can write it in a letter that no one will read. You can look at yourself in the mirror and say it aloud. You can post it on social media and tag it #forbiddengifts… No matter what form it takes, I want your light to join mine.

I think about all the ways I have hidden in plain sight, and they are many.

But, the scarcity of self-celebration ends now, starting with us.


9 confessions
  1. Siobhan Kavanagh

    Firstly I would like to say reading this is just what I needed today. It is beautiful and refreshing to see somebody so wonderful reaching out to the world. Thankyou ♥ I would like to admit that I am an amazing singer. I have put myself down for so long and tell myself often that I just don’t have the drive. That the world has to wait. That I am not good enough. The truth is: I am very gifted. I want to share this with you and we all aim to be humble and that is beautiful too. For now I would like to swim in the pool of greatness and share what makes me beautiful too. Love and peace to you. And thanks.x

  2. Mikael

    first off, congrats on your business being so successful and fulfilling for you! Super inspiring! Just found you from Alaya Gold and have been positively devouring page by page of entrancing words. You have a gift, Foxy. Keep working it. :)

    As for what’s amazing about me, I’ve finally finished a book that I feel proud to share with people. My entire life has been a series of partially written stories, so to have this one complete and ready feels amazing. My stories are worth telling and I just need to remind myself of that a bit more to get the rest written and finished. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!

    • Foxy

      Thank you so much Mikael!! It’s lovely to connect with you by way of Alaya <3 <3 <3

      "My entire life has been a series of partially written stories..." Wow, that sentence (and the energy behind it) is SO POTENT. No wonder you feel incredible having written a book. So happy for you. I look forward to getting to know you!


  3. Laura Bell

    I have always been told it is important to be humble and it is also part of our religion. It was too arrogant of me to be proud of my attributes and share them with others. I realize the difference between celebrating my greatness and being arrogant about it. I am wildly creative, inspirational, in tune and generally love life. I love to be bold and expressive and create a positive atmosphere wherever I go. In the past few years however this part of me has dwindled and it effects everything about me. After finding your site and reading this it has inspired me to be bold again and release my past fears. Thank you! Keep up the good work.

  4. Sarah L'

    I’ve been working a lot around this recently, having Saturn in Leo.
    I feel like naturally i allow myself to shine, but as soon as I catch myself i retrieve in a “who am I to…” mentality.
    This has a lot to do with my art, and allowing myself to show ALL of me. Im scared shitless people will be disappointed and think im not all that after all.
    With every creative project of mine, i get to that fear which is PARALiSING.
    What if they dont like it, what if it’s too much, not enough.
    This is my new work focus, around my saturn placement: be the leo. take the applause, dont need it. Love myself enough to shine my brightest without expecting outside praise.
    theres no courage without fear, right.

  5. Karen

    I have to confess that I am finally claiming my inner warrior and merging it into my outside persona. After years of answering to others first, I am going to answer to myself and spirit. I have joy and love that needs to be shared to those who have also put themselves inside the cage or box. it is time to reclaim life with both hands and a whole heart.

    • Foxy

      HELL YES Karen!! I see that warrior in you so clearly. <3 <3 So much love and gratitude for your presence and fierce dedication to living YOUR life, as you desire and define it.

  6. Shari

    I related to this post, as I have remained humble and modest because society deems you as arrogant and overly confident. I am a beautiful woman inside and out who is willing to explore both her feminine and masculine realms. I feel like I have quieted and shamed my sexuality, but am no longer going to hide in the darkness out of fear of what people think. I love sex/sexuality, relationships and finances. I am also a romantic, and am waiting patiently for God’s will to put a compatible life partner in my path who is open to receiving the gifts I have to share. I want the best of the best in life, and am looking to discover this so I can help others feel safe to do the same, instead of bowing their heads down to the status quo. I want people to connect with the warrior within. I am learning to let my light shine and feel comfortable with expressing how it is, or how I feel it is. I am learning to stop caring less about the perception of others. I want to live the life of my dreams, become debt free, financially wealthy and share my gifts with the world. I have also been working on healing sexual abuse, which I am slowly but surely learning to release. I have kept this element very quiet, but am feeling empowered the more and more I share my truth. I no longer want to feel isolated, or like this is some secret that needs to be left in the dark. I am talented in creative endeavors such as poetry and drumming. It feels really good to share this with you! Thank you so much.

  7. Tim Veness

    I am happy to confess that since about age 15, I have never had negative self talk. That young dude that was me recognised the power of the mind in creating what we attract. I had adults say, “you can do anything you set your mind to” and got to thinking that this was true of good, bad, small, large. I am 31 now and still have never once put myself down. I’ve never articulated this as something formalised before and this feels rad to do so. :)

Care to confess?