Category Archives: vulnerability

Standing in our own personal power

It was a simple meeting…

How was it that afterwards, when I came home and had lunch with my husband, I cried?  As I tried to express myself between tears I kept saying Why do I feel this way?  What exactly happened?  My husband was also asking, how could you get so upset over a casual meeting with someone?  I don’t know why I feel this way, I blubbered into my salad while spilling dressing all over myself.  And I really didn’t.  I needed a minute (it took a week or so).  I was so done, sniffle, sniffle.

Embracing our differences

 

This experience was not really about a disconnection with someone or an awkward meeting I’d had the best of intentions for.  This was an opportunity for me to learn something about myself.

We’d met the previous week at her event and from what we both shared there, it seemed we were on the same wavelength.  While she didn’t intend for this, I felt deflated by her first question…so tell me, I know there’s more to your story.  There isn’t really much more I thought and all of a sudden I felt ordinary around someone who clearly was exuding ‘special’ and ‘expert’ as she shared all her highly unusual metaphysical experiences.  I felt like a duck out of water and no longer stood in my personal power.

Not a fun meeting and I take complete responsibility for feeling smaller.  I compared myself to someone else and fell into an old pattern of coming up short.  Watching an old belief pop up over a simple interaction, allowing old assumptions about myself to resurface, the more constricted I felt.

If this experience taught me anything it’s that I have my own lane, to embrace it, and to confidently stand in it.

Advertisements

More On Aligning With Our Purpose

Lately I feel like I’ve been shot out of a cannon.  Even as I type this post my keyboard can’t keep up with me and I have to keep pausing for the cursor to catch up.  I’m conflicted between wanting faster Internet, but not wanting to give Verizon more of my money.

Along with things feeling like they’re moving at the speed of light, are the inevitable growing pains associated with me being ok with being different.  Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 6.19.55 PMI’m coloring outside the lines and some days I own that, and some days I feel awkward and weird and weird (I know I typed that twice).  There are gazillions of people out there talking and writing about the very thing I’m talking and writing about.  We’re all doing our thing, each of us resonating with different people, as it should be.   But it’s clear that this line of work is not attracting approval from friends, family, or most strangers.  It isn’t mainstream.  Mark my words, once my book is published and I’ve given a TEDTalk, then I’ll get the approving sentiments, the clap on the back, but by then I won’t need their encouragement.

When aligning with our purpose we’re stretching ourselves.  You’re probably equally excited and terrified.  It’s understandable that you’re in need of a kind word, occasional words of encouragement.  Funny, we get impressed about where people work, what their titles are, how monetarily successful they are, if they’re published, what they drive, where they live, how they dress.  Meanwhile, we’re missing the magnificent that we pass on the sidewalk every single day, the great musician guy working at Trader Joe’s, or the folks we meet networking or at social events, that seem so ordinary, just like us…but, just like us, they’re amazing and they’re standing right in front of us.  Me.  You.  Not because we worked at stupid AOL years ago but because of who we are.  Maybe we should all wave while jumping up and down shouting “I’m right here!  I’m a magnificent human being…do you see it too?!”

You see yesterday, I had a gigantic moment.  I joined a group of ladies for a friend’s birthday and was asked what I do or if I was retired.  Answering her I said I’m a speaker and talk about spirituality, about looking to ourselves for the change we want for ourselves and the world.  Simple right?  And then, it felt so good to say that, I kept going.  Yupper, because I was sharing something that meant a lot to me I kept talking out of sheer nervousness as several faces politely listened to my monologue.  It’s like I gave myself a get out of jail card purging many decades of holding back and it came out in a torrent of words.  Then I told them my other idea I’m working on, cause evidently I wasn’t done talking yet.

We all have these moments that are big for us but others couldn’t possibly know because the moment is ours, not theirs.  It always feels good not trying to fit in, being my old self who used to hold back, worried I might “rock the boat” or stick out, afraid of being seen and heard.  Yesterday I talked too much about myself, stuck out, rocked the mainstream boat a little, as I talked about something many people don’t understand and probably think is strange for me to do.  Bite me.  I color outside the lines and happy that I do.  All I have to say is, if you’re reading this and you color outside the lines too, good!  Don’t stop.  Don’t hold back.  Be yourself, and show other people what it looks like to think differently, and to see how that pays off in unimaginable ways. Not everyone colors outside the lines and that’s ok too.  We should all be ourselves unapologetically.

For me, I know I’m experiencing a growth spurt.  No one else will recognize it.  But it’s here and I’m good with it and with all the vulnerable feelings that come along with it.  Stretching myself is always a challenge, but it gets easier, until…I reach my next challenge.  No question, I’d rather be in a space of growth than be stuck where I was.

Following my murmuration

Today I went somewhere, physically and spiritually.  I went for two reasons and I stayed for only one.   What I’m experiencing in my life is beautiful, joyful, and at times…not overwhelming…but more…mind boggling.   And I have no one to share all this with.  I can write about it, mention it in my talks, but that’s not the same as what I experienced this morning.  Not usually, but sometimes I’m SO LONELY because there are no people in my life just to sit with in it or casually speak with about it all.  But today I followed my murmuration and sat with people who share in all this…whatever all this is for them.  They have a place where they can physically go to be with each other.  And, I didn’t realize how much I crave this.

And by the way, I’m not really ever alone.  I always have the support of something that’s always with me, supports me, guides me, and loves me unconditionally. But being with people who might understand what I’m feeling is important too.

Interesting to me, the other reason I went there I’m no longer interested in pursuing.  This was a gift today and I don’t desire anything else.  And today was a good day to show up.  I’ve had a rare bee in my bonnet yesterday and the day before, still buzzing around even this morning as I started my day.  It’s about wanting to spend more time writing, to noodle with a talk I’ll be giving, to research leads and look into some legal things I need to look into as I create this new idea I have to bring people together to share their inspiration.  But, instead, I spent the past two days doing what I felt I should do… favors, errands, cooking (but not cleaning) and I was full out annoyed.  It’s becoming more and more important that whatever I’m doing I’m doing with as much joy as I can.  And I desire to allow for more time each day to play and work on my dreams and ideas, even longer meditations if I feel like it.

I exhaled when I entered that room today and it felt like that bee buzzed off somewhere else.  I allowed myself to show up today as just me, just someone who wanted to feel all that love, and it was a very nice thing indeed.  I’ve always run from churches.  I don’t like repeating someone else’s thoughts, someone else’s words, believing a belief just because someone wrote it down a gazillion years ago.  This part of my life I’m finally love-2111827_1280learning to speak my own words, uncover my own beliefs, to follow my heart, and to allow myself to be seen rather than hide.  That hasn’t changed.  But after following my murmurations today I see that I can have community without losing who I am, without compromising my own unique beliefs.  I can have all that, feel a community of tremendous love…stay afterwards, get (and give) more hugs, and eat chocolate chip cookies.  Murmurations are a good thing to follow, and I probably follow them more than I realize.

TMI

When I share with people that I give talks, I also share that I’m nervous about public speaking.  Totally TMI right?  However, even Adele tells people she’s scared when she sings to crowds, sometimes she tells the crowds just before she begins another song.  “I love you but you really really scare me”, is what I remember she said.

But I’m not Adele.  Publicly saying I’m nervous, especially while delivering my 30-second elevator speech, isn’t a winning strategy for attracting people to hire me.  You’d never know, at one time, I used to work in advertising.  Note to self:  must self-promote better.

I have other fears…like Copperhead snakes.  Yikes, they are a bad ass snake.  They don’t slither away from us, they hunker down, appearing to be a confident and secure snake…a good role model for the rest of their peeps.   Because we have a lot of them on our property, I wear my gardening boots to prevent a nasty problem.  Eazy peazy right?   But…being seen by ooodles of people?   Not so eazy peazy.  Sometimes I’m not as bad ass as I’d like to be.  microphoneEveryone knows that many people are nervous about public speaking.  That doesn’t help me!  And that very unhelpful factoid doesn’t mean that particular fear isn’t something for me to look at.  For me, it’s about how I feel about myself.   That I am not enough and I’m afraid you’ll see that too Way more challenging than dealing with Copperheads. 

But over the years, I worked on I’m not enough.  I learned to be more aware of what I was thinking about myself and the words I chose.  Over the years, I released many negative beliefs about myself, replacing them with way healthier ones.  But never skipping the valuable, but sometimes highly uncomfortable step, of looking inside of me to understand where all that came from, how it started, and why I kept believing it.  The more I understood, the more I let go of one limiting belief at a time.  If I do say so, the result was totally worth it.

If this fear is showing up again at this time, it’s because I’m stepping up to bigger opportunities and allowing more of me to be seen.  However, the art of looking and releasing is way easier and faster now, because I know to always look inside of me and to learn from that place.  Throughout the remainder of my life, I plan on acting on many of my dreams.  And if I’m not good enough shows up again?…  I keep looking until those beliefs completely disappear.

Ah Networking…Parlay This…

For whatever reason I woke up in the middle of the night and entertained myself by watching the stars outside our bedroom window, reviewing my day by reliving the networking lunch I attended.  I somehow composed in my head a much funnier blog post about networking than what I’m typing here.  But how nice that I was cracking myself up last night.  Funny or not, I had an epiphany about networking, or better yet…let’s call it…reaching out and connecting with others.

Creating my own vision and ideas requires that I also create the follow-up to those ideas.  That means it’s time to leave my awesome sunny house, pull myself away from watching the bird feeder activity, shake some hands and parlay connections to speaking opportunities.  Opportunities won’t drop into my life and bite me on my cute…well, you get the idea.  I have to take some action in order for the results to meet me where I am.

Therefore, yesterday I attended the second networking event in two weeks and I haven’t done that since the days I worked in the Corporate world.  Thankfully, I’m no longer mingling and talking about how I grow a company’s ROI through my strategic marketing plans.  Now I’m talking about our humanity, something 30 years ago I never would have guessed I’d be talking about.  Something that’s not the least bit mainstream and boy did I ever feel like I stuck out at this luncheon.  After my initial Sesame Street song moment…which of these things don’t belong?, when I took a breath and chilled, I realized I’m actually really great with sticking out because I can’t make much of a contribution if I water down the thought provoking ideas I’m sharing.

As I listened to the realtors, the beauty product and healthy food supplement sellers, those in fashion, IT, photography, floral arranging, marketing, travel, fitness, various support services, I realized we’re not so different after all.  pexels-photo-70292Just like me, it seemed like every person that attended that luncheon desires a meaningful life.  They either genuinely already feel good about what their work is or want to.  Purposeful work is a heartfelt desire but often isn’t pursued for a gazillion reasons.  When I was ready to move into what I’m doing now I had to let go of don’t attract attention to you.  And here I am, an introvert networking to find public speaking opportunities where I’ll be seen and heard.  Introverted or extroverted, as we create connections we all show our vulnerabilities as we allow each other to see where we are in our personal process.  I’m sure I wasn’t the only person feeling awkward.

Ok, so in the past, networking has been nowhere near as fun as a walk in the woods, music, painting, taking photographs, or going to the dentist. But my new intention is to have fun with it because it’s about connecting with others and isn’t that what my work is all about?  And I can use networking to practice telling what I do in a New York minute (fat chance), assist someone with one of my contacts, parlay it into a newfound acquaintance, or let it lead to a sweet speaking opportunity.  I’m good now at allowing for and enjoying what’s within to assist me.  Now it’s time to get out of my own way and gratefully let it also assist, through people.

Against the Odds – Me & The Bosun’s Chair

For this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge

img_2670Our halyard…the line at the top of our sailboat mast was stuck.  One of us needed to be hoisted up, alongside the mast, in the bosun’s chair to determine the problem and fix it.  “Boaty” was I and very comfortable on the water.  Grew up on boats, power boats from antique to speed and we also had a little Sunfish sailboat.  However, I was just learning how to sail on larger sailboats.  And this is a subject for another blog post that I’ve been putting off…sailors…jeeesh.

Anyway, back to my thighs, I mean the bosun’s chair.  This is the against the odds part…you see I was nominated as the person most likely to be easily hoisted up the mast to snap a few photos and bring them back to my not yet husband so he could figure out what the problem was.  Or, better yet, while I’m up there, fix the problem.  Yeah right.  So we were still dating then, not yet married, and he was so concerned for my safety and a bit nervous (this I didn’t pick up on) that when I was ready to come on back down, he forgot to release the clutch that holds the line in place…meaning unable to bring me down and he didn’t know why.   Now he thinks the bosun’s chair is stuck.  So he sends up another line, on another winch (I sure hope someone out there knows what I’m talking about) for me to clip into on the chair so he can bring me down on that line.  Oi. We politely and calmly shout our conversation to each other since we’re not near to each other and need to hear these important instructions and responses.  This means I have to first clip into the new line and un-clip from the other one…never mind just know it was dangerous if you’re me.  Totally unncessary of course but we don’t know this yet.  I clip, un-clip, and whatever.

A nice person swims over from the sailboat near to us.  “Is everything ok?“he asked.  My husband a bad ass sailor, used to race, can fix an engine or any mechanical problem like nobody’s business of course says, “Thanks, everything’s fine” as the bosun’s chair is now digging into the underside of my thighs.  I wave happily to the nice person.  Yup the @#!&* chair experience is wearing on me now but I’m in love and life is good.  Wave, smile, no worries here.  Against all odds I return to lower altitudes and my not yet husband tells me he realized he forgot to release the clutch…oops I guess I was a bit nervous having you up there, he says.  He gets big points for telling me he was so nervous and forgot to do something kinda basic.  You see why I married this man?  The circulation returns to my legs and we settle down to cook and watch the stars before heading back the next day.

As I’m writing this he comes into my office to show me a bluebird box he just made.  God I love this man.

 

Trying to Resist Vulnerability

This week’s WordPress word prompt is resist.   Something I know about because I do it every day, several times a day.  Recently I’m trying to approach my passion more like a job.  I’m organizing my time to reach out to various organizations to see if I can share with them what I’ve learned.  To share about living with more awareness and working with a higher energy and how it assists me so beautifully.  To show just how dramatically one’s life can shift as a result to beginning looking at oneself and practicing new habits, behaviors, and thoughts. And how I feel this directly impacts the world.  I’m good with all of that…just not the reaching out part.  I feel vulnerable.

There are many incredible organizations out there and all it takes is contacting them.  But I resist.  I know I’ll be rejected sometimes and I know some will say ‘yes’.  And, still I resist.  Even though I’ve been personally encouraged to step boldly forward and assured that I’m in alignment with my purpose, I still hold back.  Mostly I resist because I’m stuck on how to reach out.  What do I say?  How do I frame myself?  What are my first words of introduction?  Ugh, please don’t tell me to create an elevator speech.  I will not come up with an elevator speech.  No way.  That’s ok for my previous career but not this new direction I’m so excited about. Nope, uh-uh, no.  My words can be spontaneous.  However at this point, spontaneous means tripping over my words.  More vulnerability.

I hold back by running an errand, writing this blog post, taking measurements for a chair, looking for tile, looking in iPhoto for our best photos and ordering them so we can frame and hang them in our hallway.  All fun things to lose myself in but none come close to the passion I feel about my work.  I have abundant freedom where I can take the occasional break to go outside and enjoy the weather, even paint a little, or make a call, but then I really do need to go back to stepping boldly forward or I’m not creating what I’m excited about.  I literally feel myself being assisted and encouraged.  My guidance is so patient but, gratefully, it’s also persistent.  Get out there.  Be bold.  As Nike would say…Just Do It.  Have you noticed that many great brand taglines are also great inspirational sayings?  I can’t get away from marketing for a minute.  The Army beat me to Be All You Can Be.  The Army…jeesh!  But I digress.

Every time I phone someone, drop by their business to drop off my information, or send a proposal via email, I place myself in a vulnerable position and feel both excited and uncomfortable.  I don’t know about you but being vulnerable is not something I learned to be good at in my last career.  I didn’t get to practice that much.  Can you imagine my quarterly review at AOL where one of the guys suggests…Sara, I’d like to see just a little more vulnerability from you in our weekly team meetings.  Ha!  LOL as we used to say.  But strangely enough my vulnerability complements me if I let it.  It’s me.  It’s in my story, it shows up as I allow myself to be seen…it’s the parts of me that are kind, caring, thoughtful, compassionate, also awkward, unsure and afraid.  How ’bout I resist less, Think Different (thank you Apple), and pursue my dream, vulnerability and all.

Dave's Maine photos copy