Nicole Markardt – “The Tao of Freedom”


“Pretend to be the person you want to be until you finally become her.”

When I read this amazing blog by Nicole Markardt, I immediately thought of Ugly Ducklings and everything we try to promote and embrace in life. I just had to share it with you!

“We kick and scream, hold our breath. We resist. We hold onto our shadows.”

We’re all becoming the person we want to be. But how often do we resist that? How often do we hide away our stories, our journeys, and continue on as if they won’t shape who we are or who we’ll become?

“Be a mess. Screw it up.”

As Ugly Ducklings, we all know that life happens. When life happens, we need to remember we are all on our journey to becoming beautiful swans. The journeys can be so painful, and we can really mess it up sometimes. We can make bad choices. But Nicole has some good advice about that:

“Be where you are and know that you will be somewhere else shortly.”

This is great advice. This is the attitude that runs through the veins of Ugly Ducklings Inc. You’re on a journey. I’m on a journey. We’re becoming. We’re not going to remain where we are forever. Everyday is a new day and we can try again tomorrow.

I love this idea. The idea of second chances. Of each day being a new day. I’ve utilized many second chances in my life; and I try to go to sleep each day with the notion in my mind that when I wake up, it is a new day and I can try again at anything I’ve failed at the day before.

When I was a nanny, I used this tool a lot too. I’m pretty hardcore when it comes to unacceptable behaviour; but I never diminish the idea of a second chance. When one of my charges was acting up, there’s an immediate second chance to behave (I use “when/then”: “When you throw your toys, then I take them away. Do you want to continue throwing your toys?”). Sometimes, the stubborn toddler chooses not to take this second chance (don’t we all do this sometimes?). Then there’s usually a consequence: I once had to walk with a hysterical two-year-old, begging for a third or fourth or fifth chance, through a community centre when the consequence for his disobedience was leaving the play area.

I calmly knelt down to his level, wiped away his tears and explained to him that his behaviour wasn’t acceptable, that he’d had a few chances to correct it, and that we would try again tomorrow.

There’s always tomorrow. We’re always moving. We’re always becoming. Be free to do these things. Be free to become you.

Check out Nicole’s full blog here: It is really incredible!

swan out


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