Diary of a Brave Girl

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If this were a book title, I would read it in a heartbeat. I wouldn't want to know how to be brave, I would want to know how to halt the fear that accompanies it.

Two weeks ago I, along with many others, watched the US women's national soccer team take their fourth world cup title in a brazen way. It wasn't just a game — it felt like a movement pouring attention onto the plea for equal pay, women's rights, gay rights, and so much more.

While Megan Rapinoe's purple hair may have gotten my attention, it was her unapologetic-ness that kept it. Something about it cracked open a need in me to say more, show more, and share more. I took to Instagram and wrote this:

"Did watching the @uswnt make anyone else feel particularly badass this morning? I am a pretty proud woman. So proud I married a woman. But I don’t talk about many of my beliefs or stances on equal pay, gay rights, #metoo, women-owned businesses, or the laundry list of other points that feel particularly picked on these past 3 years. I don’t because I deeply (deeply) fear ridicule. Being seen. Being heard. I have chosen the path less taken and in MANY ways there was no choice about it. I love who I love. I am who I am. I do work that pleases me. But most days I tuck behind pleasantries and the desire to “stay positive.” And then #fifa19 happens and I watch women like @mrapinoe unapologetically BE themselves. I watch her girlfriend stand beside her with brazen pride. I woke up today and wondered, “what am I really afraid of?” This is just the tip of it but I am so grateful to the women in my life who I think are VERY brave and probably don’t know I think of them when I worry about how I’m being seen. #togetherwerise #ittakesavillage #wearethevillage"

To many, this might be a rainbow-laced statement compared to what some share on social media. But to me, this was a reminder of someone I used to be.

Being born to two people who lived in San Francisco in the late '60s and whose first family car was a 1971 Volkswagen Bus we lovingly called "Bluebus," it felt inevitable that their only daughter would likely be a feminist.

And so I was and am.

But it didn't stop there. I have always been a proud woman and was raised by two proud people. People who taught me how to form an opinion, read books, care, advocate for others, and follow my bliss.

While they didn't anticipate me having my own business, marrying a woman, not being a mother, moving to a big city away from them, traveling abroad, standing in front of big audiences sharing my truth or writing personal essays such as this one, I am sure their pride was part of my path being shaped this way.

But there was a time when I was more brazen and less afraid. I used to march, speak out on behalf of the voiceless, advocate for women, be involved in local policy.

I don't know if it's owning a business or taking on poor advice about being a woman with any sort of public persona, but along the way, I tucked away my pride and attempted to play big without really being seen.

Turns out, it's nearly impossible to do. And yet, I can't ignore that this era feels made for women like me and perhaps like you. As Dr. Brené Brown says, "If you're going to be in the arena and brave with your life you will absolutely get your butt kicked."

I've listened to this segment about a thousand times and I believe her; being marred with dust and dirt as you're facedown on the arena floor is inevitable. And the fear of being down there has kept my mouth shut.

But when I look at some moments and experiences in my life that deserve a voice, a few come to mind...

> When my wife and I got married in 2012 it wasn't actually legal for us to wed. It wouldn't be legal until 2014 in Oregon.

> When we travel we can't get out of our car between towns or large cities. It isn't just fear of the harassment, it's the FACT that we've BEEN harassed more times than not. Our solution is to not drink so much water and drive on through. While I love learning about places in the US we should visit, our first question will always be, "Is it safe?"

> This year was the first year in my business I was told my prices were too high and was actively passed up for a less qualified male coach who charged more than me.

> Less than 1% of coaches earning more than $100,000 per year in their business are women. And yet the majority of business advice for coaches is led by men.

Some of this feels like "just the way it is." But why? And should it? Can I change it? I don't know, but being silent is certainly not helping. And so...

> I am fiercely proud of my marriage and being a gay woman. I think women are incredible — we are strong, kind, wise, proud, and capable. I chose to marry a woman because being loved BY a woman is a gift to my whole life.

> While I desire to see cute small towns across the US, I desire more for people to move from hatred to tolerance to acceptance. Until they do, I will be in #PDX where I can hold my wife's hand.

> It may take me 10 times the energy to prove my ability as a woman coach, but so be it. I will not demonstrate the same predatory and dominant style of marketing perpetuated by most coaches to gain notoriety and leadership. If that means I don't "rake in the millions" that's fine by me because my integrity is always intact.

> I am in the top 1% of income earners in my industry, and as a woman who actively hires other women, I want you to be the same. Women with resources can do powerful things.

I didn't choose the profession I did to be quiet. I chose it to have a voice I could use freely. So I guess if ridicule must be a travel companion, then hop in. Criticism, comments, unsubscribes, lost revenue all feel like a small price for the high return of being the woman I was raised to be.

What makes you proud of who you are? When you do connect with your vision, stoke your conviction, worship your belief in what's possible, and keep going...well I guess we'll find out, won't we?

Ready to step into the WHO your life and purpose are ready for?


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  • Why seek a coach now? What was/is the tipping point that brought you to this place?

  • What do you need to come out of this conversation either knowing or remembering about yourself?

  • What is the cost of not doing this work now?

  • Who will be affected by you doing this work? Think of the ripple effect beyond what you can see.

  • What holds you back? What compels you to move forward?

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To being brave,

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