My wish for you
Well, as the replies began to pour in I was overwhelmed by two things — gratitude and relief.
Gratitude for the generosity in the words about my work or how I've made a difference. Relief because we can hope, show up, be clear, kind, present, vulnerable, scared, uncertain... all if it and never know if the work is working.
This was one of the best things I've done for myself. Not just for the praise — although I love me some affirmations — but because these are the moments I am reminded that this work, while deeply meaningful to me, is not about me.
If you were someone who participated, THANK YOU. You rejuvenated me and gave me a far bigger gift than words can explain. It also gave me pause to appreciate my work is not for everyone. This is something I've had to grow to really listen to over time.
The tagline on my homepage reads, "Wherever your wild and magical life takes you, you are worthy of being brave with your life." This is a simpleidea and yet it's taken me almost 8 years to chisel and chisel away at what I do and don't do to find this simple nugget.
Even though this is the process I had to go through...
Even though this is the process my clients go through...
Even though we know what a gift being brave can have in the world...
In other words, this was hiding in plain sight as most great insight does. I don't think it does so to trick us or test us, but because often the simplest, wisest gifts in our life and work aren't necessarily the easiest.
As odd as it might seem, being yourself and trusting that your WORTH is not only welcome but NEEDED in service-work has a lot of people spooked.
What if I'm too exposed?
What if people walk away?
What if people use my most vulnerable experiences against me?
What if I am judged?
If we could put the words "normal" and "fear" in the same sentence then I would call these normal fears. But fears aren't rational. They are patterned ways of thinking based on old conditioning.
Now don't get me wrong, I know there are some reading this who have tried being brave and had their worst fears come true. This has also happened to me.
But when I am really honest with myself and reflect back on these times, something was off. Either I wasn't being totally myself, or I was being myself in a way that was brash to keep people at a distance. You can use your stories to create a connection, but it's also possible to use your stories as a shield.
How do we know which one we're doing? It's simple — do the people you want to share with lean in or do they lean away?
We can't help but lean into Truth.
Here's the phrase I use to help me discern in sharing my own stories to help more people: I don't share my wounds but I do share the wisdom of my wounds.
My very first experience of this was in 2014 after what I would later title my spiritual awakening. This was an experience that scared the bejesus out of me. Mostly because I was not only coming to terms with this vital reshaping of my own reality, I LIKED it.
I remember believing in my bones that if I shared my story I would lose everything. I feared losing family, friends, clients, even my own sanity. I lived a secret life for almost two years. But there came a point when not leaning fully into my OWN story was stagnating my work and I knew I needed to talk about something I'd spent two years purposefully keeping out of the light of day.
During those years I tried to be anyone else's version of success but my own. And you can guess what happened — it didn't work.
Finally my breaking point came. After a few months build up of anxiety, crying, and panicked visits to my therapist I said out loud, "I can't pretend to be something I'm not anymore. I have to share this."
And I did.
I drove to the coffee shop near my house, ordered a very large latte, sat by the window, and told myself I couldn't get up until I wrote the real "about me" page for my website. The one that shared my awakening and how deeply it had changed my life. How scared I was to put it out there. And why I couldn't hold it in any longer. In other words, I had to be brave.
That page is still live.
And then the craziest thing happened — nothing. As in, no one left, no one scorned me, and no one called me crazy. I can't even say that many people noticed! Except for the one person who mattered the most: me.
What did happen was a profound sense of freedom and liberation to be who I was, through and through.
While my story wasn't a life changer for anyone but myself, it opened a door for me to show up as myself and let that be the way I helped others.
I would go on to create content that was authentic to me, programs that were authentic to me, and when I went through a life-altering 7 months where I lost both of my parents I wasn't afraid to share my newfound wisdom from deep wounds. It sparked some of my best work to date.
Work that has helped people in ways I can't measure.
So yeah, I think being yourself is imperative to change the world. Do your heart a favor and let yourself SEE the power of your story.
I want you to TRUST yourself and your choices.
I want you to create your life and un-create anything no longer serving you. I want you to travel, play, explore, and create your own grand adventure.
I want you to feel creatively and financially free and worthy of that freedom.
I want you to nourish your mind and body so that you exude love of life from the inside out.
I want you to demonstrate with your life your values and deepest held beliefs about what you're capable of.
I want you to overflow with gratitude for the community you surround yourself with.
I want you to know you are worth fully knowing and choosing every day.
I want you to know that your one wild and magical life matters, and in choosing to matter you teach others to do the same.
I want you to know you are valuable and your calling is a beautiful gift to you and all living things.
I want you to know you're enough and allowed to be magnificently BRAVE with your life.