Vulnerability – Part Deux

I have been playing small with everything in my life for months now. I thought a contributing factor was the accident, but it was going on before that. It certainly didn’t help matters. Maybe I started then to doubt my purpose. Is that why the accident happened? To challenge how much I value the life I worked so hard to achieve? Who knows.

What I can tell you is that even months before the accident, I was coasting. I was “playing” life instead of achieving it. I was inconsistent with almost everything in my life except for a few aspects. Pilates and paddling were consistent. I just read the last section of Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and if you haven’t heard of her check her out. Her books not only changed my business, but also changed my life.

As I was reading the last ten pages of a book I all but finished almost three years ago, several epiphanies occurred. The one constant in my life is my family. It is not necessarily my blood kin, as mentioned before I do not really distinguish between them anymore. One person in particular I think has been waiting for me to snap. I don’t mean snap as in implode into a ball of goo. I mean snap back into my true self. Snap back into vulnerability and action. Snap back into being seen again.

don't grow easy

I wrote two essays recently, one about stepping back into my true self via paddling. The other explaining how hard and simultaneously awesome my life is. I used to pretend it was roses, sunshine, and butterflies. At times it was certainly like that, and I realized it was true when I was being vulnerable and being willing to fail. I was out of integrity by continuing to tell the story of how my life was everything I wanted. Integrity is one of my core values. It’s one of the reasons why I broke my co-dependency and moved. I felt like a fraud. By telling the real story, the good, bad, and the painful I was taking another step towards being my true self again. It was hard to hit the publish button, and to let people see the struggles of my real life. It was brave and courageous. It was real. And the response was amazing.

Actions in proportion to fear is what determines progress.

One of the epiphanies I had after reading that section helped me clarify something I haven’t been able to identify for months. I stopped being seen. I went back to almost being invisible, but not quite. Because despite not accomplishing much in many months, people still look to me at times. It’s not as much, and it shouldn’t be. I have not become an asterisk. Even after I haven’t accomplished much with any of my passions in a long time.

One might ask why that is. It is the value I bring to the communities I am involved with.

This may be selfish, but I don’t want to become an asterisk. I want to be seen and be the example for people. I just realized that I want to strive to be “this is what happened to her, and this is how she rebounded to be even better”. So people realize that you can crash and burn, and come out a bigger badass then before.

I look back on when I was really rocking it with all aspects of my life. and what was different. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time trying to pinpoint what was different. I was different. I was bold and daring. Ready and willing to fail forward as often as necessary. And I did, repeatedly. I swam paddling when trying maneuvers; failed in writing, and failed repeatedly and often with my business. Until I got better and achieved the momentum necessary to explode to be seen for the badass I am. It was an incredible feeling of accomplishment and joy. It was something I did it. I showed up. It might not have been pretty and I might have been wet, but I showed up.

What happened? A combination of things, and all of them referenced in the Gauntlet if you’d like a more in depth understanding of it. The underlying cause? FEAR. And Self-worth.

that is pain

It was like a 2×4 to the face. As Brene Brown says (I’m paraphrasing), “there is nothing as uncomfortable or heartbreaking than standing outside of your (my) life looking in and wondering how I got to this point?” What happened to the courageous woman who broke through the reinforced concrete barrier of being seen?

Life did. I didn’t realize how much I had shrunk back until we were talking about it with one of my best friends today. I still don’t know why the accident caused me to shrink back into self-conscious and low self-worth again, and it’s something I will puzzle out. It’s another piece of the deeper reason behind all of this.

The realization took my breath away with all the implications yet to be uncovered. But it is also an epic relief. I can fix this. This is something I can now tackle. I will be vulnerable again with failure and imperfection.

magic in water

Paddling is my outlet for this. THAT is what I was missing all those months. The challenge, the fear, the action, and then the reward. Of doing something that provided me with such passion, clarity, and sense of fulfillment. A phrase I heard used today is perfect. Listen through the fear, and I’m going to go one step further and then act on the fear. This is why paddling is so important to my psyche. It’s the physical manifestation of working through listening through the fear. It’s about setting that challenging and rising to meet it, and therefore increasing my self-confidence in the process. By doing so, you are raising your own bar of expectations to the level of excellence in your life.

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Fear of Success and Codependence

 Codependence

I have steadily been moving towards independence, and took a big step towards it by finally moving into my own place. It is exhilarating, scary, and necessary. My whole life I have been enabled and codependent, mostly without me knowing it.   This has lead to some unhealthy and self-destructive habits that I have been slowly working my through to be the best version of myself. I have written about the personal growth aspect of the journey repeatedly.

The Battle

I have never shied away from it. The necessary pain of personal growth until recently. I didn’t know why until yesterday. The last vestiges of codependence are attempting to adhere a strangle hold on my road to greatness, and they are powerful, deeply entrenched, and are not going away without a fight. It is possibly my hardest personal growth battle to date. My will, grit, and determination are even greater.

decisions regret

I don’t think I have ever been more scared to continue on my path to greatness, to success. I will beat this. I will conquer the doubt, frustration, and little nagging voice that says “no you can’t”. I have to. It is past that, I deserve to.

It is bigger than me. It always has been. It is just more real now that it ever has been. The fear of success, and the lingering doubt has been crippling as of late. What if I am not good enough, what if I am not the leader everyone expects me to be, what if blah blah.

Belief

It’s all bullshit, of course. Some of the biggest leaders in Arbonne believe in me, and it’s been a long time since I have felt this uncertain about myself. This is how I know I am close to a breakthrough. The closer one gets to the breakthrough, the more the universe challenges you to see how much you want it. I deserve to get out of my own head not for the last time, but certainly one of the most important to date. I am at the critical junction where my fear of being noticed and success have come to a head. This is my pinnacle moment where I can aspire and reach greatness, or I can shirk into the background. The latter is not really an option. It would be so much easier, but I am never one to take the easy way out. Bring on the pain, I’ve got this. Finally. Yes, I realize I have said this numerous times. And every time it has been true in different aspects of my life’s journey.

Clarity

Living without
seeing
is
Punctuated

Often
by
a
Painful,
Life
Changing
moment.

A
Breaking
Point
in
our
Reality,

In
Ourselves.

Only
then
do
we

Get
It.

We
become
Ferociously
focused

Develop
a
Case
of
the
Fuck
Its.

It’s
a
Pinnacle
moment
of

Clarity.

Use
it.

Get
Clear

Get
Visceral

I’m
Getting

This

Done.

Home

I
thought
I knew
what
Home
was.

I
didn’t.

Home
is the
Place
you
can be
You.

Without
judgement,
dismissal,
pettiness

of their
hope
lost.

the
Pedestal
has
been
Demolished
with the
Realization
of this
Heartbreak.

I am
Better
than
that.

I have
Found
my
Home.

In the
most
Unexpected
Place.

It’s
Time
to
break
the
habit,
the
twisted
seal of
Approval

always
Just
out of
Reach.

It’s time
to
come
Home.

Self-Esteem and Hope

I have struggled with self-esteem for most of my life, and didn’t really realize it was an issue until about three years ago.  There are people in your life that will make you feel small.  It is often a reflection of themselves, and it has very little to do with you. They can be relentless with it at times, and hopefully, they don’t realize the damage they are doing throughout the years. The damage is there regardless of the intent, but you have to let go of it and realize they were doing the best they could with what they had.  The remedy?  Surround yourself with positive, like-minded, people who repel negativity and bring out the best in you.  Surround yourself with success.  You are the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with, and that is a fact.

Part of my paddling family down taken in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Part of my paddling family down taken in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Their struggle will become your struggle, if you let it.  Their need to make you feel less will resurface at times of struggle, stress, and/ or bad mood. When that happens, it is important to separate yourself from the situation, preferably physically, but if not at least mentally.  It is best to keep their energy separate from theirs, and don’t let them “infect” you with their negativity.  I ask the universe to separate my energy from theirs, and wish them the best, but their energy can no longer harm me.  I know how this reads, but it works. I’ve done it, at first skeptically, and then with conviction. This is where the science portion is revealed because when you actually feel their energy leaving your body and your soul, you will literally feel lighter and your mood will improve.

Surprisingly often, the culprit to make yourself feel small is YOU.  This is especially true if you’ve dealt with self-esteem and confidence issues for a long period of time.  This is where my friend says, “the devil is trying to keep you small.”  Don’t Let that Happen.  You deserve better than to be small.  Everyone in this world was born to achieve greatness, and often times that greatness gets beaten down to the size of a fingernail by the time we reach 18.  It’s just the way human beings seem to roll.  We get told enough times that we can’t do something, or it’s unrealistic, and we start to believe it.

anything you want copy 2

It’s a mindset, a belief, and a way of life to believe in yourself.  It takes practice and discipline to keep those demons banished.  If the devil wins, which may happen on occasion, PROVE IT WRONG.  Get your ass up, do what you intended to do, and don’t let yourself stay small again.  Pardon the cliché, it may have won the battle, but make sure you Win the war.  The war is on your own mind, and on the relationships around you that are toxic.  Be bigger than the devil, be bigger than your demons, and be the evidence for yourself. Once you believe that you CAN be all those things you thought you couldn’t be or do, magic starts to happen in every aspect of your life.

Once you realize you deserve greatness, to be your own person, to be happy, and to succeed in life, you will have beaten the devil.  It may come knocking, but once equipped, your job is to beat its ass down and say, “sorry, you have been evicted.”

Amazingly Inspired

I have a friend who at a young age has gone through two bouts of cancer, and some other very personal life changes that should not happen to a person so young.  A lot of people would bow down to that, and have a pity party for themselves.

Instead she started her own personal movement to inspire people to start and end happy.  She made a video that via index cards told her story, and at times tragic story.  She is one of the strongest people I know.  You can google it if you would like, you’ll see her video come up.

Full disclosure, I do not know her very well; I would like to point that out.  However, there are lots of things that inspire me in writing, and watching this woman’s reaction to her life, and the events in her life before and after tragedy is miraculous, awesome sauce.  It is a display of nothing short of pure will, courage, and blind, stupid stubborn (meant in the best possible way).  I do not think she knows how many people she will inspire.  I honestly think her story, her courage, her fortitude will  teach thousands, if not millions of people, to take on their challenges in their own way.  I am not a bullshitter, it’s not in my nature.  I say what I mean, and I do what I say.