I woke up this morning with that feeling.
You know the one.
That feeling of the morning after the night before? The ‘oh what have I done’ feeling. The ‘did I really’ feeling. The ‘OMG I’ve overshared again’ feeling! The ‘feckin’ eejit’ feeling.
Posting my first story of the #30DaysOfStories was a big step for me. It has been a one step forward 2 steps back kind of cha-cha-cha. Committing in public like that and posting blog number 1, with a lot of help from my friends, feels incredibly vulnerable, exposing my inners to the world.
I received lots of encouraging messages which spurs me onto day 2 (only 28 days to go but I’m not counting!). One comment touched me deeply. I share with permission.
“For me the hardest part of writing is the vulnerable feeling I get when I post my stories or my fears or hopes. The contents of my brain on display for all to see.”
I totally get that. That feeling. That exposure. That sinking feeling of how will this be received; of what will people think; of what comments will ping back; of who do I think I am; or who will they think I am….they, the big, bold public world. Strangers.
Not strangers though, but friends who haven’t yet met. Quick reframe. This growing tribe of like-minded people striving to live a life of interest; of passion; of creativity and purpose.
This desire to share; to write; to create is greater than this sinking feeling that I too get. When I left Corporate 7 months ago to start my Freelance Coaching and Training business, I wanted to step out of my comfortable corporate comfort zone. I wanted to follow what lights me up. I wanted to seek out new environments and challenge myself. To see what I’m really capable of again and again and again. To tap into my innate superpowers, to use my gifts in my unique way. And to inspire and help others do the same.
That sinking feeling for me is fear. I feel fear in the pit of my stomach with each new step I take. And I also feel excitement. A bubbling up from my soul kind of excitement. These two combined and all shook up into a powerful cocktail, send the message to my brain that I’m stepping out, stretching, exploring a new arena. And I say yes to fear. Yes to excitement and, breathing deeply, take that step anyway, into the arena.
"Vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding undercurrent of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to become something we are not..." - David Whyte
Today was such a step towards my natural state, my very essence. I facilitated a session for a primary school class at a school in another town. This session was about what it’s like for each child when they are at their most resilient. I arrived and was brought straight into the classroom, meeting the class teacher for the first time. Let’s get straight to it then. Experiential learning is best.
And I felt my fear melt away as I started and connected with the children. I guided them through a visualisation of what they are like at their resilient best. I looked to the side and the teacher also had her eyes closed, concentrating. This feels good.
And when fear crept back in mid-way through the session, as my doubts as to how this was being received bubbled up, I was able to welcome this fear in, knowing that this is all part of the equation of new experiences and of life. It felt like shedding another layer of bark from my metaphoric oak tree.
The children were wonderful by the way. They created some lovely drawings of their resilient metaphors and shared such touching stories of their life’s experiences so far. From a best friend leaving the school to being ill for weeks on end; from a cut hand at scout camp to being 3:0 down in an important football match. Their looks of pride as they described how they moved forward. How they (we) can do this anytime. How they (we) have the power.
They noticed how all their drawings were different and how uniquely resilient they all are. How stuff happens in life and it’s how they (we) deal with it that matters. They learnt that they (we) can all support each other throughout all of this. Children carry so much wisdom, that we can still tap into when we become adults.
Perhaps this blog should be titled Resilience or Wisdom, however, for me my experience with the primary children reminded me again of our humanness and vulnerability. Even at their tender age, how much life has already formed them. How many emotional experiences they’ve already had. How wonderful that this school is focusing on resilience as an outlet for self-expression. For me vulnerability is a sibling of resilience and wisdom.
Being vulnerable is being resilient. Being vulnerable allows your wisdom to speak. Being vulnerable is a leadership skill. Being vulnerable builds trust and inspires others.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” - Brene Brown, The Vulnerability Goddess.
If any of this touches you, please message me to explore how you can open up to vulnerability and tap into your resilience, your wisdom, your natural essence. Soul Based Coaching is a very powerful way to draw this up and out. With a little help from my coaching self.