It All Started With The Underoos
Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Female Super Heroes have fascinated me ever since I was a little girl. You better believe I had my own set of Wonder Woman Underoos.
Every time Linda Carter did her Wonder Woman transformation, I was mirroring her in my living room. Wild-eyed, heart-thumping, grinning from ear to ear and feeling confidently bad-ass.
Back then I didn’t doubt I was a Super Hero. I wrote poems with reckless abandon, I body-surfed big waves like a dolphin, I ran like a cheetah on the soccer field, I gave nightly dance recitals to my cat with next-level confidence, I set up elaborate storylines with my stuffed animals, and acted out scenes as if I was an Academy Award winning actress. I wore whatever was the most comfortable, hair in messy braids, zero awareness about my body and what it looked like, and found constant utter delight in the simple things around me. Purity, trust, creativity, and self-belief at its best.
In my Ann Universe, I was the Super Hero of my own story.
It must have been about junior high when I started looking outward for validation and in one fell swoop, I turned over my greatness, my truths, my confidence, my voice and a lot of my choices to the opinion of others (or perceived opinions). I unknowingly allowed myself to be groomed by society to doubt my greatness and second guess my intuition.
I turned down my high beams and took my superhero-ness down a few notches.
Please like me! See me. Love me. Validate me.
And with a click, the key turned and my heroine was locked away.
I shrank. I gave away my power. I molded, contorted, and transformed myself into what I thought others wanted or liked. I accentuated the areas where I got a lot of attention and positive feedback and let the rest atrophy. I drank a lot to not only sabotage my greatness but also to dull the call from within.
My truest Super Powers got lost in the ether.
My inner heroine still had an impact though and when she shouted loud enough or I was quiet enough– I could hear her.
But usually, the Inner Critic was louder. My villain. My Gremlinly dark side.
Ya know that voice, right?
It talked mad shit in my mind.
It blocked me from my potential.
It blocked me from Love.
It blocked me from peace of mind.
It blocked me from my Zone of Genius.
Sometimes it’s loud. Sometimes quiet and sneaky, but ever-present.
It manifests as the voices and opinions of others. The doubts I had about myself. The wounds inflicted by bad relationships that had infected me and built a strong barrier between me and my Super Hero.
But she never gave up on me.
In my 20’s and 30’s, I had learned to play the game so well that I had a superhero-esce exterior that was a pretty solid façade.
On a volleyball court or writing stories, I felt unstoppable, but there were a million and one other situations that I completely gave my power away. This started to feel like a huge disconnect within myself. A separation from my locked away Super Hero and the Villain who had taken the reins and was orchestrating the Ann show. At one point my Super Hero whipped her truth lasso through the bars of her prison and squeezed me so tightly that I had to get brutally honest with myself. I needed to get sober.
So I did.
But I still had a lot of work to do to get honest enough with myself– and dig through the layers of old negative beliefs to set her free.
It has been over 15 years sober now and I can't deny that with a consistent meditation practice I’ve gotten quiet enough to hear my Super Hero regularly. I have felt very aligned with her and knew she was often guiding me.
On occasion, I even dressed like her when I needed to do bad-ass things like win a race or take care of my sick family.
It was as if she had created an intercom system within that got louder and louder even though she was caged.
In sobriety, I was able to identify and separate myself from my Inner Villian. That was the first piece in reconnecting to my Super Hero. I have worked with many clients in my coaching to help them identify their critic. By helping others clear a pathway to their Super Hero constantly holds me accountable for expelling my own negative voices and seeking the higher calling.
It has taken nearly a lifetime to realize that even though I’ve taken back the reins from my Inner Villian…there was still something more powerful in the works.
It’s not just about removing negative thinking ...it's replacing it with some serious bad-assery.
I could sense her. She was done sitting on the sidelines.
It was as if all this time she had been doing pushups and mental squats and sharpening her tools to gear up for her grand return. She has been metamorphizing into the greatest and truest form of who I am becoming.
At first, it was a whisper, and then to a bold and clear voice I recognized,
“Ann. The time has come!”
And then like a lightning bolt she blasted out of her cage, unfurled her wings, and took flight within my consciousness.
She and I became ONE.
It was visceral. This was clearly the fast track to the purest form of myself and how to use my passions and skills to serve the greatest good.
She embodied all that makes me great. She countered all my weaknesses and every one of my assets was accentuated and charged up to an optimum power level. I saw my personal and professional pathway lit up before me like a scene from Back to the Future. Hot fire tracks left no doubt in my mind the direction I am headed.
And then she materialized clearly and I knew deeply what her purpose was.
She was the Ann Wonder Woman version of my deepest calling. She wears my favorite colors purple and green. She has wrist bands to deflect low-energy B.S. Her wings take her easily where she wants to go and also allows her to escape any unsafe situation. Her compass is her North Star for herself and to guide others. She knows where she is headed. She is confident, fearless, takes no B.S, is unapologetic for her choices, she is kind, clever, compassionate, brave, and Bad Ass to the core.
She Is Me.
My mission became clear.
I am here to help women find direction. I live transparently and share honestly how I navigate my most authentic path. I motivate others to find the courage to unlock their Super Powers, spread their wings, and trust their journey. I help women shine brighter than their darkness.
I was so certain about her that I hired a talented artist to create what I saw. @paulwestover