(2 minute read, plus 5 minute video, plus reflection)
In this rehearsal clip of “This is Me” Keala Settle is initially reluctant to “step out” and take her moment. While there is no doubt that this song is about the bearded woman (the character that Keala plays) accepting who she is, with this song Kaela courageously embraces and owns who she is, making no apologies for who she is … as Keala Settle.
As I listen to the lyrics and watch this clip, I am energised and uplifted. The passion with which Keala takes ownership of her strength which is her voice, is exhilarating. The energy that is created within Keala which leads her to greater heights in being herself is thrilling. This energy also impacts those around her; there is a contagion of emotion as everyone around her also embraces her strength; my emotions are amplified and positively overwhelmed.
I know I have found, in this song, another enabler of courage for me. I have listened to it multiple times now, most recently just prior to a difficult conversation I needed to have. While authenticity is a strength of mine, at times the environment in which we find ourselves does not value this strength. In this conversation, I needed to be my authentic self. The lyrics reinforced that “this is who I’m meant to be” and no, I was not going to apologise for being my assertive, authentic self. And, just as Keala mentions the “deafening applause” at the end of her performance, I knew that I had my own support crew cheering me on.
So, as you watch and listen, ask yourself:
- When do you courageously “step out” and take “your moment?”
- Who do you energise by being you? What impact does this have on you?
- Who and/or what enables you to be you? Who is in your support crew?
- The lyrics include “I am brave, I am proof.” As you consider your responses to the above questions, file these away. Each moment in the past when you have “stepped out” is proof that you are brave, that you are courageous. Tap into these past moments in future if needed and remember, “this is me.”
Michael Gracey, the Director, mentioned “fortunately we filmed it” – for this I am grateful too. I am also grateful to Mia Brown for sharing this clip with me and to everyone who embraces me for being me.