Do You Know Who You Are?

In the Disney movie Moana, my favourite, the storyline in case you didn’t know is based on Moana, the young daughter of a Polynesian village chief, confined to island life and the duties to her people.

Moana is constantly called by external voices to move beyond the small island world in which she lives, journey across the oceans like her wayfinding ancestors and explore the possibilities that lie beyond the island reef.

Throughout her journey of discovery, Moana comes up against every conceivable challenge and setback all of which continually thwart her efforts until she end ups lost and defeated on her boat out at sea.

That is until the spirit of her grandmother returns and Moana tells her I tried Grandma but I couldn’t do it.  Her Grandmother tells Moana if you’re re ready to go home I will be with you. When Moana hesitates, Grandma asks her, why do you hesitate? Moana replies I don’t know then Grandma sings to her:

I know a girl from an island, she stands apart from the crowd.

She loves the sea and her people, she makes her whole family proud.

Sometimes the world seems against you, the journey may leave a scar.

But scars can heal and reveal just where you are.

The people you love will change you. The things you have learned will guide you and nothing on earth can silence, the quiet voice still inside you.

And when that voice starts to whisper Moana, you’ve come so far, Moana, listen, Do you know who you are?

Who am I? Replies Moana and then she responds with,

I am a girl who loves my island,

I’m the girl who loves the sea,

It calls me.

I am the daughter of the village chief,

We are descended from voyagers

Who found their way across the world, they call me.

I’ve delivered us to where we are,

I have journeyed farther.

I am everything I’ve learned and more

Still, it calls me.

But in the next line of the song Moana has an epiphany when she realises and sings the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me…… of course by now I’m fist-pumping the air, I’ve got goosebumps and the tears are tripping me up. I mean I knew from a few minutes into the film, this is where the story was going but to see it unfold and to travel with Moana on her journey reminds me that as women we’ve been doing this our whole lives, as will our daughters and granddaughters and while our journeys don’t include Polynesian chiefs and mythical Demigods voiced by Dwayne The Rock Johnson, we all have an inner Moana.

So in the end, when in answer to her Grandmothers question, do you know who you are? and having now made the leap from not knowing, to knowing, she triumphantly belts out I AM MOANA…. This is, of course, the exact same moment my Granddaughter and me stand up tall, turn to face each other and at the top of our voices, with arms outstretched and heads raised in fearless defiance also belt out I AM MOANA.

Incidentally, this is also the moment when my granddaughter hugs me with all of her might then cups my face in her hands and says  Grandma when you have to leave me….. promise you’ll come back like Moanas grandma and guide me (Oh my heart)……

That moment when Moana discovers, it’s inside me, is something we all carry. It’s true, it already exists in your heart and in your mind. It’s what you’re known for. It’s what lights you up. It’s what others can see in you. It’s what they admire about you, in fact, the author of The Big Leap Gay Hendricks, calls it your zone of genius and writes:

that when you dare to make that leap from your comfortable zone of excellence into the unknown realm of genius, the universe conspires to help you. That’s because what the world most wants and needs from you is that which is uniquely yours to give. Something that literally no one else on the planet can deliver.


Dee Coxon
Dee Coxon
DEE Coxon is a bestselling author of Polish The Diamond In Your Heart and Business Start-up Coach who inspires women to go beyond their known capabilities and get their business online in less time. A former hairdresser and beauty therapist she learned everything she knows about women within the four walls of her own salon where she admits to getting more satisfaction helping clients with their personal struggles, than she did doing their hair and makeup! Self-employed since she was 18, she eventually left her vocational path, swapped her scissors for a lap top and entered the world of academia. In the year she turned 50 Dee gained a Master’s degree, a teaching certificate, became a grandmother and lost her mother to cancer after a 2 year battle, during which she nursed her. A quote by Rufus wainwright: You’re born twice, once at your birth and again when your mother dies” had a profound effect and changed the way she sees and does things now. As the creator of The Fast Class: A bespoke, 1 to 1, accelerated learning experience, designed for beginners and delivered in one day. Dee blends expertise with life experience to make sure her clients get past those self-imposed barriers that keep them from launching a business they love. Dovetailing these two elements is fundamental to the Fast Class and reflected in Dee’s coaching style. Why? Because she believes, no matter where you are in your business journey something is happening within the context of your life, the two are inextricably linked.

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  1. Dear Dee, Your article is both profound and timely. Lately I have not participated in this wonderful group because I was creating a book proposal for a new ghostwriting client. There is so much I want to tell you about how appropriate this article is for my author client, but there is not room here to do it. Suffice it to say my author client is a diamond who, in her 60’s broke the bonds of what was expected of her. She is now working on her book with me and the publisher. She needs you. Although she has a Master’s Degree and is very intelligent, she has absolutely no idea how to create a business around her book. Helping people recognize the methods for creating a platform for author success is what I do. It is not what I was hired to do for this client. I hope to hand her off to you for business planning within the next 30 days. Please reach out to me [email protected]. We can develop a plan to team up for my client’s success.

  2. Wow wonderful share Dee.
    There are a few movies I can think of (scenes) that have made me cry, but when your granddaughter expressed such sweetness-for me, this was the best part of this share. almost made me cry because I miss my grandkids…

  3. Dee, this is really lovely. I can just imagine the scene playing out in your living room with your granddaughter. What power we hold when we know ourselves and become comfortable in our skin! Thank you for sharing this journey in such a visual, approachable way.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Sarah. As a youngster I was very buttoned up and am determined that I encourage my granddaughter to express herself in a way that helps her to become a fearless girl.X

  4. Love this description of joy at self discovery Dee! I haven’t seen the movie but you describe it so well I felt like I was watching it. That inner voice was always there. Finding it is a wonderful thing. Everything we need is on the inside of us.
    Inspirational read Dee. Thank you🙏Paula

    • Paula thank you so much for your lovely comment. It took me a long time to find the courage to be me ( the real me ). As an English woman and tail end boomer we are not great at bigging ourselves up…… in fact we were encouraged not to be boastful and to keep our gifts on the down low.

      My mission is to inspire my granddaughter to be whatever and who ever she wants to be and not worry about what others think. X

  5. Oh, the tears are rolling down my cheeks, Dee. I love this essay so much and the permission, the reminder that our gifts are inside and meant to pour out of us in love and service to other people. We are meant to thrive, to step into a deeper place and expand from that inner platform of compassion, grace, wisdom, and love. Thank you so much for this burst of inspiration! Thank you!! I promise to unleash my inner Laura/Moana for as many moments as I’m fortunate to be alive on this big, blue planet swirling through space.