“By the time I was 14, the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.” – Stephen King, bestselling author
During the big breakdown - or awakening as I like to think of it now - I had many revelations and greater clarity on my life’s purpose. This was the upside of spending so much time lying down being with my thoughts. I had a strong sense of the direction I wanted to go in once my body allowed me to move forward. I have worked steadily at it, to ensure I can do this sustainably for me and my family, honing my vision and training myself to be better equipped to make it a reality. The longest day of the year seemed the perfect moment to stand fully in my vision and share it with the world, my new business Wildness and Wellness was born. It is the dovetailing of my great passions: my love of nature, the power of mindfulness and connection with others. I will share with you, that now that I listen to myself and what my body is telling me far more, I have realised this week that I am feeling vulnerable.
This vulnerability manifests itself as an aching discomfort in the pit of my stomach, a harsh lump in my throat, a clenching around my heart. I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I know when I look more closely, rather than running away from it as I could do, that it is a fear of failure, of ridicule and shame that is at the root of it all. The sticking of my head above the parapet, standing in the spotlight feeling exposed, and expecting the criticism to start being aimed in my direction. As Brene Brown says shame is the "fear of disconnection" and the belief that "I am not worthy of belonging". Throughout my journey on this blog, I have taken Brene’s advice to the depths of my being and tried to tell the story of who I am with my whole heart, to be imperfect and embrace my vulnerability. I still have a moment every time before I press publish, can I bear to share my intimate thoughts and feelings and open myself to possible hurt from others? I press publish, because I know that in the bigger picture it is good for me and helps me to grow. I also do it because I think life and society would be better if we were all a bit more honest about how things are for us and hope that it will encourage greater support for one another.
So I am leaning into the discomfort. I am holding my own hand and looking after myself in ways I would never have done before. I used to be my own worst critic, thinking if I said it first, it wouldn’t be so bad if someone else did, I suppose. Now I am kind and try to be a good friend to myself. I know that this could sound a little daft on the surface, but really life is much better now through practising this, and actually it was pretty bananas the other way round now I look at it! Life isn’t about ease, isn’t that the most difficult thing to swallow? There will always be difficulty, there will also be discomfort. Again in the words of Brene as humans “we are hardwired for struggle”, so we’d best get comfortable with discomfort. I do not want to be controlled by my fear and difficult feelings, to let them stop me from doing what I know to be right, or that I will regret if I do not do them. It is said that the things that we haven’t done haunt us for far longer than the things we do.
I have this high ideal that I want to, to reiterate Gandhi's oft used words, be the change I wish to see in the world. It is lofty and it is an intention, I know that I will fail, and do, but I also know that I am constantly trying to do and be my best. I am letting myself be seen in my imperfection and telling myself, to quote Brene again (who you might have spotted I’m a little bit in love with!) “I am enough. To be this vulnerable means I am alive.” To really focus the mind, I want to finish with something that 85 year old Nadine Stair said, “If I had my life to live over, I’d make more mistakes next time.” What if we knew we couldn't fail, what more things would we try today? Afterall, if you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.
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