How Much Do You Value Fun?

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Years ago I intuitively began to understand that for my extraverted personality type it was necessary to proactively plan and schedule fun in my calendar. Being the type of person that can easily focus on work, spending a great deal of time alone, (focus is one of my top five strengths) and finally looking up for from my easel, computer, or a client coaching session, to realize I’d gone long periods of time without social interaction and was feeling blue.

 

Instead of merely revering hard work, I recognized that in truly caring for my wellbeing, I was in fact responsible for planning fun and connection with others instead of hoping it would just roll in. I was responsible for fostering joy in my life.  

 

I began to value this necessary nutrient, as if it were my vitamins. I began to understand that because of a need and value for connection, the way I conducted business needed to be relational too, or I was betraying my core values. It was then that I actually began to make changes in the way I thought about and conducted business. Thus, a long history of the groups I’ve started, facilitated, hosted or participated in!

 

Brown tells us, “The absence of love, belonging, and connection always leads to suffering.” The absence of these basic needs are prevalent in our society, manifesting through a kind of scarcity mentality that keeps one isolated, disengaged, shut down due to shame, and comparison. All of which lead to sadness and suffering. Awareness is the first step in making necessary changes for ones wellbeing.

 

Sometimes I’ve been more intentional than others about my need for fun and connection, but two years ago when I began training in Brenè Brown’s work I was delighted to discover Brown’s definition of Wholehearted Living, “Whole hearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.”

 

Where Can I Find Some Worthiness?

The interesting thing is that worthiness doesn’t just happen. Brown tells us that it must be cultivated. Hence, based on her research the ten Guidepost for Wholehearted Living defines what she calls a practice. Putting in place practice helps us, remember and reawaken to the innate worth and value already bestowed on every human life. Most of us could use that sort of awakening, which can't help but release joy into our being and joy is said to be the signature of a grounded life.

 

The two Guideposts that are very meaningful to me as an extravert and an artist and where I see many clients needing self-permission are: Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting go of exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth and Cultivating Creativity: Letting go of Comparison.

 

Our society esteems productivity as a banner of worth, yet worth is intrinsic and can’t be won by performance or production. Creativity is also intrinsic and yet as soon as one compares oneself to another the creative flow is thwarted.

 

In her latest bestseller, Rising Strong, Brown tells us that those who are able to rise strong amidst their struggles are the ones who have “developed practices that enable them to hold onto the belief that they are worthy of love, belonging, and even joy.” Practicing wholehearted living means, honoring ones needs, establishing boundaries to maintain them, and caring for ones wellbeing.

 

If you think that your productivity is a sign of your worth, your ability to push yourself to the limit, ignore your deep need for connection and belonging, you might be living from a place of scarcity, rather than wholehearted living. Take a moment to consider the ten Guideposts below.

 

What practices (not perfection) might you need to put in place for wholehearted living?

 

Guidepost for Wholehearted Living

  1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
  2. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
  3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
  4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
  5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
  6. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Comparison
  7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
  8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
  9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
  10. Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”

Do You Ever Suffer From A Vulnerability Hangover?

DW_HeavyQuoteImages5Do you ever find yourself hiding out? You share or express a part of yourself and feel over exposed and want to duck out of sight.

In my line of work I experience this all the time. A client or a friend shares intimate parts of their life and then suddenly pulls back and hides.

Some people live in this perpetual state of incongruence and self-betrayal, flip flopping from one attempt to protect and project an image to another. Never settling into the comfort of their beautiful true-blue selves.

Why does this get triggered?

The reason is: Shame Triggers.

Shame is a powerful emotion and when it gets triggered we want to hide, rewind and protect.

We all experience this whether we recognize it or not. Shame is universal and we all have learned behaviors that attempt to protect us when we experience shame's messages of, "I'm not enough" or "I'm not lovable." It's these triggers that keep us from being real, authentic, and vulnerable.

Shame is what has taught us to adapt "good girl" or overly responsible behavior even when we're betraying ourselves at the core. It's taught us to strive for perfection, bully, alienate, perform and hide, just to name a few shame induced shields.

I never knew I had shame, but researcher Brenè Brown tells us in her body of work and best selling book, Daring Greatly, that we’ve all got it. It doesn’t have to come from a traumatic experience, although shame is experienced as trauma.

Shame robs us of what we really want

We were made for love and belonging and the only way we can experience the kind of connection we crave is through vulnerability, showing up, being seen and living bravely. Sometimes this is downright hard, because we're afraid if we show up we wont be accepted. But we must continue showing up, being seen, learning to ask for what we need, being authentic, vulnerable, courageous and circling back around when we blow it, if we want community, connection, and true relationship.

We won't ever do this perfectly. In fact, the desire to be perfect is shame driven in itself! Chew on that a while! The thing is we can always come back around and say, “You know what? That wasn’t what I wanted to say” or “That wasn’t really me.” “This is how I truly feel” or “I wasn’t really there for you, because I was afraid you’d judge me. Can we start again?”

Showing up and being seen doesn’t mean we just blab our deepest, darkest secrets with the stranger in the grocery store. It means we share ourselves with trusted sources. Trust is a two way street. It’s hard to build it from one side. It takes two people willing to show up, be authentic, empathetic, non-judgmental, and present. Where there is a lack of trust there is some sort of empathic failure and we all fail at empathetically walking in another's shoes. A willingness to show up, be seen authentically and truthfully is a great start on our part, but we can't make someone show up who doesn't want to.

I sure am tired of putting myself in places that are void of transparency, vulnerability and authenticity, but instead are filled with empty niceties that further facilitate confused messages and incongruence, aren’t you? That is why we need to understand shame, stop running from it and claim our true identity. Isn't it time to break the shame barrier in your life? Isn’t it time to dare greatly, show up, be seen and live bravely?

If you share the vision of being a woman who is known for authenticity, courage, transparency and love (beginning with the woman in the mirror) and you'd like to dare greatly and live whole heartedly, I invite you to participate in the upcoming Daring Way™ retreat. Make wholehearted living your priority. Hurry to register! Space is limited. Join us this September! Find information here!

The Naked Truth

DW_HeavyQuoteImages5I am convinced the reason we so often get stuck in life is because of shame. Shame is not often identified, or recognized, hidden underneath the recesses of our well-armored and perfected shields that work hard to deflect our fear of not being enough. Shame is a dirty word we’d rather skip over. We’d rather numb shame’s association, so we can avoid further threat of exposure even though it causes us to live at half-mast.

Shame has repeatedly taken me down, kept me in hiding, appeasing or defending even though I didn’t recognize that I danced with shame. The fact is we all do! I had almost convinced myself that I was as strong as my shields of protection expressed. I had it down until it bit me in the butt and my inauthenticity erupted in an unsettled incongruence, a deep soul thirst that no cloak of “spirituality” do-gooding, or meeting attendance could fix.

 

Raised by a mom with mental illness and an absent father, I’ve acquired some strong survival techniques. Losing my dear younger brother who took his own life at twenty-five serves as a constant reminder that though things might look tidy on the outside, they rarely are.

The thing is, my well-established armor that helped me survive my childhood, stopped serving me any longer. The hustle of striving to be a “good girl” and showing up perfect was a heavy weight to bear. So I’ve been learning to lay down this twenty-ton shield and learn a better way, a new language that is core to healing and allowing me to move beyond survival into whole-hearted living. This language of authenticity includes speaking about my experiences, and speaking about shame.

 

As long as we think we have to achieve some measure of acceptance, love, success or worthiness through our own efforts, we will always be hustling and toting a twenty-ton shield and we’ll never know rest. We will forever be churning out our best attempts at making ourselves acceptable.

 

Striving is an exhausting attempt at working to be enough. None of the self-help, church attending, “do gooding,” mojo will keep us off the treadmill of lack unless we get a true identity makeover.

 

It’s only when we acknowledge our inability apart from God to experience completeness that we come back into experiencing the acceptance that already exists. Our attempt to make ourselves worthy thwarts our ability to receive the acceptance that is readily available and that says we are already enough.

 

No perception of being an insider or outsider could ever separate us from the fact that we are already defined as fully loved by God. No higher degree, having raised picture perfect children, obtaining the perfect waistline, a hefty bank account, or popularity. No resounding rhetoric, no amount of church attendance, martyrdom, grandstanding, entrepreneurial success, or high acclaim among the masses can add to our intrinsic worth, nothing!

 So how do we retrain our tendency to measure ourselves from the outside in, while shame and “not enough” track at our heels?

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We keep ourselves in love, in the “I am loved” reality, because we are love branded! No posturing, or shadow dancing will ever suffice to earn what’s already ours.

 

By letting this perfect love soak into every fiber of our being, and saturate us to the core, we can slough off and counter every strong-armed shame lie, every “not enough” chorus with the knowledge that we are love marked. We can grow shame resilience with awareness that God’s love makes us enough.

 

The fact that we are imperfect mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends and the likes is a reality simply stirring in its beauty. We were loved before and after we ever failed at anything, or before we even existed. We are enough because God loves us and thought enough to create us. We can reframe our shame of “I’m not enough” to “I am fully loved and enough as I am.”

 

Do you ever feel out of sync and don’t know why? Do you ever feel things aren’t working and you can’t get a grasp on how to make the shift?

 

If you want to love yourself beyond shame shields, broken down fences and your personal boarder patrols, disappointment, outsider/insider mentality, feeling unloveable, not hip enough, not young enough, not sexy enough, not Christian/spiritual enough, not funny enough, not favored enough, or high-profile enough and if you want to get filled and anchored in love and whole-hearted living, join us for the Women’s Daring Way™ Retreat this Oct. I am a Professional Life Coach and Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator-Candidate (CDWF-Candidate.) Join a small, intimate group of imperfect women, in a cozy, safe environment, as I lead you through a transformative, creative, laughter provoking, love filling, liberty-getting weekend. :)

Get rid of that twenty-ton shield and live in the overflow of being fully loved! www.daringinlife.com  Reserve your spot now. Space is limited.

For further info. email me at: info@daringinlife.com or kimber@moxieme.com