The Waterdance

Image used with permission from The Waterdance by Paul Bond Fine Art

Elevate Your Narrative, and Birth Reverence for Your Sweet Self

The NBC television series This Is Us is very close to my heart as I am one of three siblings who lost our father in my teenage years. I’ve cried at every episode as the brilliant writers and actors of this multigenerational family drama expose real, raw, honest issues that touch us all.

I have been referencing one episode recently with my clients as an invitation to a renewed relationship with themselves.

My clients are high achievers. They are mostly women, incredibly accomplished, driven, focused, independent and really, really, brutally hard on themselves. In our sacred, intimate, real and honest sessions some of the ways in which these women relate to themselves,  is what I can only name as brutality.

I know it well because I too did it. The perceived pressure for perfection is the biggest culprit. Perfect isn’t even something that is definable, let alone achievable. In our own minds we are measuring ourselves against something totally intangible and reacting with patterns of massive control, so we brutalize ourselves trying to meet the imaginary expectations we’ve stacked up for ourselves and everyone else.

As if that isn’t enough, the underpinning theme that drives of all this is in fact, “Not- Enough Ness” itself. Not good enough, smart enough, resourced enough, well enough, balanced enough, rich enough, loving enough, kind enough, skinny enough and on and on it goes. Then we attach roles to it and the self-condemnation booms inside of us like a high school marching band. Not a loving enough parent, not a kind enough neighbor, not a good enough author.

I feel a pang of pain in my heart as I witness my clients angry and judging themselves with such harshness because they overlooked a deadline, didn’t start early enough, missed the game, didn’t meditate or forgot a birthday. Or couldn’t read a book a week while they were attending grad school, managing a career and caring for a family.


As I’ve been on my own path of spiritual awakening and personal transformation for the last decade I’ve gotten a LOT more understanding, compassionate and loving with my sweet self. I still catch my inner critic with her sassy contempt about the way things “should” be, but now I see her through loving eyes and have the skills to ease her out of it. I had a profound self-awareness when I saw the “This Is Us” episode with Beth and the fallen dancer. Whether you’ve seen it or not, the link to watch is below. To set the stage, Beth is warned by the dance company elders that the dancer she wants for the lead is “not good enough” but Beth believes in her and places her as the lead regardless.

As you view this unfolding drama, I want you to imagine that you are BOTH Beth and the dancer.

Imagine that Beth is your Higher Self. The patient, loving, compassionate, understanding, strong force of nature that says, “it doesn’t matter what happens, I am with you. I am not leaving you.” And, the dancer, your Human Self. Brimming with excellence and potential yet fearful, fallible, and easily faced with the option of giving up. Now, as you watch, imagine that the exchange between Beth and the dancer is a way that you can relate to yourself. Beth demonstrates a way of being that can redefine the relationship between you and you.

In that inevitable life moment of “not enoughness”, disappointment, humiliation, despair whatever HUMAN experience is turning up short, you have a choice. You can walk off stage with your tail between your legs and beat on yourself brutally for the next 25 years until you find a great coach, or you can elevate your inner narrative and honor your sweet self. You can transform the way you relate to yourself, and the way life unfolds.

One of my clients said, “oh I can totally relate to Beth because I am like that with everyone in my life.” I invited her to demonstrate that same level of compassion and understanding with her own self talk. Another one of my clients said, “Oh if she falls again, that will really be a disaster.”

We explored that.

We visioned what would happen if the dancer fell again. The audience was now invested because they witnessed Beth’s valor. They were in. They were holding for the dancer. We knew the truth was, if she fell again, the audience stunned by her courage in standing up, would be with her rising to their feet with reverent applause humbled at the dancer’s perseverance and strength.

The dancer walks away with new gifts of courage and inner esteem that birthed through her from the inside out.

I invite you into reverence for and with your sweet self. Take a deep bow that, the truth is, you are doing your best. Have deep reverence for the epic human journey you make and every little fall down along the way, gifting you character, strength and a real sense of authentic empowerment beaming through you from your higher self.

This Is Us

Donna Bond, M.A. is a spiritual life and business coach, author, and thought leader. After a 28-year long run as a corporate marketing executive who “had it all”, she decided to change course and get a master’s in Spiritual Psychology. Donna helps people to live with reverence and live into their entelechy – the fullest realized expression of who they came here to be, from the inside out. She and her husband, award-winning oil painter Paul Bond, live part time in Southern California and Costa Rica. You can learn more about her transformative 1:1 coaching, group classes, and workshops at