Stand up and honour who you are

Honour who you are

I went to see Matilda the Musical in Sydney on Boxing Day and I was so disappointed. Not with the musical itself; it was the most brilliant, entertaining, engaging and creative musical I have ever seen (you must see it, if you ever get the chance). The disappointment lied squarely with me. Why? Because I believe you should always honour who you are and I didn’t have the courage to do this at Matilda.

As with every live show, the cast came out on stage at varying times throughout the last song to take a bow and accept the applause from the audience. This culminated with all cast members on stage at the very end.

The cast, without a doubt in my mind, deserved a standing ovation.

So there I was poised on the edge of my seat just waiting to stand up. I waited and I waited and I waited, glued to my seat, willing with all of my heart for the people in the row next to me, behind me, in front of me to stand up so I could give myself permission to follow the crowd and do the same. I looked around and no one was moving. I craned my neck and looked at the audience behind me and somewhere to the right of me in the far back rows a lone group of about eight people were on their feet clapping madly, grinning from ear to ear and showing their appreciation.

A little voice deep within said to me “Come on Claire you can do it, get out of your seat and express what you are really feeling.”

I still didn’t move, they were too far away for me to feel a part of that group. I felt my husband inch toward the front of his seat and I thought to myself “Yay, Paul’s going to stand up and then I can too”, but he didn’t. So I sat there and clapped as hard as I could, hands in the air, hoping that the cast could see how awe inspired I had been by their performance. Hoping with all my heart that I hadn’t disappointed them by not standing up.

Afterwards as I walked out of the theatre, my emotions spiraling between the high of a fantastic experience and the low of not having the courage to stand up, I realized that it was not them I had disappointed but me!

Why didn’t I have the courage to stand up and honour who I was?

I knew my soul (the real authentic me) had been urging me to stand up, to show how much I loved the performance, to demonstrate my appreciation and to go that extra mile, without worrying what others thought of me. My ego however, had the louder voice on that day and so I stayed small, for fear of standing out, for blocking someone else’s view and for looking silly.

What did I get in return? Not joy, not happiness but a huge sense of disappointment.

Honour who you are

My mantra for 2016 is this “Claire, stand up and honour who you are.”

I want to be true to me, I want to live an authentic life and I want to have the courage to act on my intuition.

This will most likely mean times of great discomfort, standing out in a crowd and wait for it; SHOCK HORROR, someone not liking me!

So am I up for it? You bet!

Will I get it right every time? No way!

Am I going to give it a good hot go anyway? Absolutely!

Happiness to me is not all about cultivating pleasant feelings but living a life congruent with my potential and my actions.

Be happy, colour the world.



  1. Suzanne Ennis says

    Re the Standing Ovation or lack of it. Well said Claire. I have done the same thing myself and its good to think about the emotions and ego etc and why we dont follow through on what seems right.

    Recently I attened the Woodford Folk Festival which is awesome and a place where performers are greatly appreciated by the audience. I saw a solo performer called Irish Mythen, a gutsy woman from Canada who sang mightily and was a great entertainer. She did several concerts and by the last one, most people there were repeats from previous concerts and were singing back to her before she taught us. She was in tears several times as she realised we were all ‘back again’, remembered the words, and adored her. Encores are not allowed at Woodford but the audience demanded it at two of her concerts. I have never seen such a show of appreciation and I was so proud to be able to embrace that awesome woman as a collective of like minded people.

    That experience, mixed with what you wrote, is food for thought for me and will fire me to my feet next time I am on the edge like you were.

    • I loved reading your comment Suzanne. Even though I have never been to Woodford Folk Festival I know many people who have and they rave about it.There is something so wonderful about seeing someone appreciated and watching their joy as they soak it up. As you were describing the scene, my heart was expanding and I could feel myself a part of the crowd. I know without a doubt that when you cause another person to be happy, the happiness comes back to you twofold. It sounds like that’s exactly what happened at Woodford. Thanks heaps for sharing.

      • Suzanne Ennis says

        I went to see The Rabbits at QPAC Playhouse which was an inspiring musical by Kate Miller-Heidke based on a children’s book. Essentially it was about the colonisation of Australia and the treatment of the indigenous people so pretty powerful message and an awesome production. It was their last show and I could not believe that the audience did not leap to their feet at the end. I thought of you and got up and others followed. By the end they had a full audience standing ovation. So you influenced that! Thanks again.

        • Suzanne thanks so much for sharing that with me, I had the biggest smile on my face. I bet you felt great about having the courage to stand up and see everyone take your lead. Your comment however had an even greater impact on me. A few hours before I saw your comment pop into my inbox I had been having a discussion with my husband Paul about a book he had just read called Stan Grant – Talking to my Country. A powerful book on race, identity and history and one that every Australian should read. Paul was so moved after reading it, that we talked for ages and I am now reading it as well. The fact that your comment came in at that time, from a blog I had written a couple of months ago and was tied to the same topic as the book was a sure sign that I needed to read it. I love it when the universe sends you such overt messages.

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