“What’s Your Lie?” — Dina Kaplan at TEDxAthens
I met a woman named Dina back in July 2014 in NYC. My ex-boyfriend and I both — independently and together — loved bringing friends together over two things: 1. making friends of friends become friends and 2. food. Dina was at our first dinner party as a couple, and she was a friend of a friend that I really connected with.
He and I were happy but later on it was clear that we were caught in a lie — the optimizer’s dilemma. I wanted love and opening, to build trust. He wanted gain, recognition, relevance. And when my life started shifting, and I became unrecognizable, I wasn’t chasing parties, and my title and job were no longer relevant to gallivanting around town or to how I interacted with NYC, I was toast internally to him. And I made it my move to declare that we were done a few months after that first dinner party. It was wild, I was totally addicted to manipulation and deception. Something that my boss had also done. I was a masochist to coupling horrific partners in growth.
But at that first meal, Dina struck me, she was my size — petit, she had travelled to far off places and chased Massachusetts beaches- just like I did, Dina was courageous, an executive, and was just beginning her journey toward herself. You could feel her anxiety, jitteriness, and feel her love but knew that her focus was all over the room of our homemade taco night. And deeply embedded in me, a me that was having so much fun in New York and working like a dog — and just celebrating my 1st year anniversary in the city, was just beginning to transition back toward myself too. I really identified energetically and emotionally with the untold -unspoken-uncovered souls’ story that I could feel emanating from Dina and talking to the little me inside. And when we first became friends it was because of this deep soul feeling of understanding origin story and where we so wildly wanted to be heard outwardly but didn’t have the words yet. I wanted to learn one-on-one from Dina back then.
Nearly a year later, in late Spring 2015, Dina and I brought our own friends of friends together for a meal. And the year since we had met up until the point of that brunch, our journeys to growth and self were stepping in parallel, but as Dina was going inward to go outward and as The Path Meditation was just kicking off, I continued to go inwardly, hiding, chasing a really long tunnel to self definition and freedom. Tremendous outward voice but severe struggle and hiding was rooted in my everything. Growth takes time, and it is so totally personal to the individual. Dina was showing me her strides and stripes of work. It was momentous.
She showed an inverted form of the ways that she used to seek out connection. She actually flipped it on it’s head. It started within her and radiated outward.
And over these last 3 years the blossoming of Dina — and holy moly me too — into honest truist lighter hearts of ourselves has been so substantial to watch. No matter where when how, your commitment to self discovery and shift is something that I honor admire and love. Going inside to go back outward is not easy, not always pretty(for ourselves and those around), and is so hard.
Please do see Dina’s TEDxAthens talk that she gave a couple weeks ago. It is so Woman, so Human, so part of a We.