I bought my dream car last week. The kind of car you give yourself permission to buy when you no longer tell yourself you have to be practical or realistic or whatever other stories I used to tell myself. Continue reading “The Story of My Dream Car Almost Crushing My Dreams”
It’s Saturday, two days after the show, and I’m still not totally with it. I’ve slept umteen hours and am still finding my footing, but I wanted to get this whole experience down before I forget it.
The overarching vibe of the entire experience: amazeballs.
I realized long before the show that this wasn’t about being on TV, or connecting with the beautiful Ricki (whose work I admire anyway).
This was about me.
It was about making a declaration to myself of self-approval and nonjudgment. About surrendering my desire to control and perfect, and instead forgiving myself my perceived shortcomings and “not enough-ness” by allowing myself to just own Who I Am.
It felt like years of Digging Deep all culminating in front of a live studio audience.
And it was magical.
I knew going into this that my shit – some really old shit, too – would surface. I knew I’d have the opportunity to be nervous, scared, and self-deprecating. I knew I’d hear some old stories in my mind, way too much criticism, and a lot of negativity from my mouth.
Because I knew this as a very real possibility, I made up my mind to go into it full of intention and awareness. I spent an hour or more every day with those stories and voices. I embraced this as the opportunity it was to step into my Self. I turned off the habit of keeping myself outside of things, keeping my focus on the outer, or keeping myself busy in the superficial, and I allowed myself to turn inward completely, to own what surfaced, and to spend the time necessary to make peace with it.
And I’m damn proud of myself for it.
Sometime last week the words came to me: “I am not doing this for anyone else. I am up there for an audience of two – my Spirit and the Spirit. This is for us to celebrate my own ability to love and live. This is a milestone in the agreement we made for this life.”
I know it probably makes little sense, but this whole thing was not really about sharing green living or what we do. Those were just the bonuses, the icing on the cake.
This was about me celebrating Life and embracing self-approval.
I had voices rise up, and I chose to answer each one with love and affirmation.
I had fear surface, and I chose to respond with a reminder of my Truth.
I had doubts pop in, and I surrendered each thought that didn’t come from Spirit.
Surrender surrender surrender.
If it hadn’t been the work I’ve been doing with that Guiding Word this year I may not have gotten up there and rocked it so thoroughly and completely.
Surrender didn’t mean giving up, or saying no, or taking the easy way out. I wasn’t surrendering my desire to feel confident and calm and excited on the show. I wasn’t surrendering this wonderful opportunity.
I was surrendering every negative thought or expectation.
I surrendered every idea that I was going to sound like an idiot, every worry that I’d mess something up, every thought that I had to be some conventional idea of perfect (as well as every after-thought that because I can’t possibly be perfect I might as well not even try). I surrendered every idea that I knew what needed to happen, I surrendered every expectation to perform or force it to come together, and I surrendered every temptation to be something or someone I wasn’t.
I showed up fully. Fully in my body, fully in my heart, fully in my spirit. I did so without apology for what I need and without trying to fit a box. I owned Who I Am and what I do without backpedaling or making excuse. I felt confident and comfortable just Being.
And it felt amazing. Which meant I was free to experience some amazing things.
It meant jumping on the bed in excitement.
It meant wearing clothes that felt good on me and doing my own makeup, so I could get up there in my own skin.
It meant laughing and being silly with friends backstage.
It meant dancing behind the stage to get myself ready and doing a little strut-dance as I walked out to greet the audience.
It meant smiling big, and cracking stupid jokes, and not really remembering 90% of what I wanted to emphasize, and still rocking my socks off.
It meant hearing my name from across the restaurant later that evening and looking up to see it was Ricki waving to me, and getting another opportunity to hug her tight and thank her for everything she’s done (and is doing) in this world.
It meant CELEBRATING and JOYFULNESS and FUN.
It meant being damn proud of myself.
I had nerves and I surrendered them. I had fears and I released them.
I had self-judgments and I freed myself from them.
I walked-strutted-danced onto that stage in total confidence and self-approval, without any fear or butterflies. I instantly forgave myself for my mistakes and imperfections and I just loved all over myself for having the courage to say Yes to this opportunity and the openness to work through all that Life gave me the opportunity to DIG IN to.
I didn’t share much about green living, really. It was all over too fast.
But I shared the whole of my heart. I allowed my light to shine, and I shared myself.
And that’s what makes this thing a wild success in my book.
That’s why I know I rocked it.
What She is Made Of – my first real attempt at mixed media
I had only just turned 17. It was February, give or take, and I was several months pregnant, which may account for my slightly crazy act of heroism (protective instinct and all).
My mom and I were driving home after dark, and as she turned the corner of our street I saw the violence taking place. I remember shooting upright in the passengers seat, twisting to watch as we drove to our home about 7 houses away.
There was a fire in me that I couldn’t stop, that I’m not even sure my mom could stop (or maybe I just couldn’t hear her try).
As soon as our car stopped in the drive, my door was open and I was running toward them.
Two young men, scary looking men – the kind you’d imagine in a gang or in a dark alley somewhere – were smashing another man’s head into a rock on the lawn of the corner lot.
And none of that registered as something to avoid. I wasn’t scared of those men. I wasn’t scared of the blood. I wasn’t scared of being hurt, even newly pregnant.
I was just running at them, shouting at them, with no thought in my mind of what I’d do when I got to them, but no way my feet would carry me any other way. I remember looking back at my mom, standing and watching me (did she call my name? is that why I had turned back?). I remember knowing this was my role that night, and maybe even thinking she knew that too.
The men heard me, saw me running toward them and placed one finally blow to the man on the lawn (which pissed me off and shot me forward faster) before finally taking off.
I don’t remember much of what came after, although I know I yelled for a woman in a window to call the police, angry that she hadn’t come outside with a bat long before this moment. I know I stayed by his side, surveying his wounds, touching his arm, afraid to move him and talking to him until the paramedics arrived.
But mostly I remember the look in his bloodshot, slightly unfocused eyes. I remember seeing something in them, like recognition or surprise – perhaps at exactly who had chased off his assailants, a tiny young girl without fear. I think he said something to me, but I can’t remember what it was. I can’t remember my words to him either.
I think back on that night from time to time and wonder at my fearless self.
How a young pregnant girl could set about to save a man she didn’t know without hesitation or alarm, as if it were the most expected thing for her to do.
I’ve never found myself in a situation quite so big, but yet I’ve found myself overtaken by fear again and again. Freezing in the terror of some near disaster, overcome by the thoughts of rejection or looking stupid at some choice.
And I have to wonder what happened to that girl, the one willing to chase off the villain with nothing but the fire in her belly.
Was it only the hormones moving me, or was it bigger than that?
What makes a woman bold and certain in one moment, and timid and shrinking away the next?
I suppose the same thing that makes the hoodlum run from you in the dark of the night, instead of turn and fight you too: your own wild fight within you. The light you carry with you when you move from your Truth.
That’s some scary shit to those who shirk in the shadows.
There have been times since that night when I need of remind myself of that young girl. Times when I lose myself and question my place in this world. Times like we all experience with the natural ebb and flow, in and out of our own Self.
I remind myself of her matter-of-factness.
The way her feet pounded against the pavement.
The way her voice boomed through the night.
The way her fire propelled her.
When I question my path, I remember her and the knowing she had of exactly what she was meant to do without the voice of doubt nipping at her heels. When I question my ability, I remember her and how she found exactly what she needed the moment she allowed herself to shut out the fear and listen to only what was being asked of her.
When I question the power of a single choice…well, I remember him. The way his eyes came into focus on my eyes, the way his body felt against my own.
Sometimes the impact we have on another is palpable, obvious, immediate…
And that makes our choices simpler (although maybe not always as unflinching).
And sometimes we don’t get to hold the hands of the people whose lives we just changed, don’t get to look into the eyes of those whose lives we may have just saved.
Sometimes there isn’t a fire that blazes up within us, compelling us to run with fury and instinct, to protect or roar, or fight if it comes down to it.
But that doesn’t mean that wild woman isn’t within us all the same.
And that’s what I remind myself the most: what I can do when I give no thought to anything but what I can do.
That this is Who I Am when I allow myself to blaze: burning and growling and damn scary to the night.
This is one of those posts where I do a little *happydance* and celebrate how I totally rocked my first speaking gig.
I was pretty over the moon just to have an Events page. (I have an Events page!) But to actually BE AT the event! Well, that actually made me a little nauseous.
The event was the Mindful Spirit Expo in Jackson, MS this past weekend and I had not one but TWO talks AND a booth!
Justin was also there, as one half of Oddball Juggling, teaching adults (and a few kids) the benefits of juggling (like using it as a meditation, a healthy outlet for emotions, a preventative tool for neurological disorders) and how to juggle.
We shared a booth, which meant he drew a lot of people to us, what with his balls flying through the air.
I had so many nerves beforehand that I literally wanted to run away.
Yes, you may see me as happy and confident but that’s only after a fair deal of internal work to release the old stories that run through my head.
(They tend to say things like “WTF!” and “This was a bad idea” and “You’re going to the Bible belt to talk at a mind-body-spirit expo?! You’re going to be lynched!” That last one was calmed when I realized I was one of the least “woo-woo” there – still woo-woo mind you, but the least. 😉 )
The last time I was on stage was hula hooping almost two years ago and even that was nerve-wracking for me. Leading up to this event, all I could think about was how nervous I get in front of crowds. Hula hooping in front of a group of awesome families sounds so easy and it still tore me up.
This was freaking me out.
But there is a big difference between almost two years ago and now. Now I have tools to qualm those old stories and move me back into that confidence and excitement. So I used them:
- Plenty of Digging Deep on those stories, of course
- EFT to help release the nerves
- Connecting with my own coach for a reminder session (As in a reminder of what is true)
- Stillness, meditation (mine and Jenn’s new one*), surrender, Trust, prayer
- Music – Oddly enough this Gotye song was the only one my head wanted to hear, so I popped in my earphones and danced through the lobby until it was time to speak. Yes, I did.
And then I stood up, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and let myself speak on the topics that have changed my life, the tools I’ve found and created to heal my spirit and my family, the realness and the rawness of Life and all we get to do in it.
And I freaking rocked it.
And it felt amazing.
There is something magnificently edifying about speaking your Truth, despite the slight knock in your knees. To tell yourself more than anyone else that you’re ready to just spill it, no holding back, no worries of how it will be received.
Something simple and wonderful about knowing that you don’t need to reach the world, don’t need to convince anyone, don’t need to speak to anyone except those you’re here to speak to, those you’re here to connect with, those who are here to connect with you.
Experiences like this rewrite things in your heart, rewrite them with messages that have no words, with understanding that is beyond what I could summarize.
But it’s something about the courage of a lion, the power of vulnerability, the audacity of self-approval, the celebration of Life.
And it is good.
What about you: How have you confronted your fear of putting yourself “out there”?
*Heck yeah it’s an affiliate link!