Why are we so frightened of being really seen for who we are by others? It is easy for me to answer that question today as I prepare to dive deeply into a new business, website and on line presence that scares the beJezuz out of me!
Why? Being vulnerable and opening myself to criticism, judgment and feedback from today’s universe of media is daunting. I, like most people, do not want to put myself out there to face the onslaught of ridicule and judgment sure to come my way from some not-so-fans out there. Those few can do some real damage to my psyche if I let them. Feeling this way and having self doubt is human but at this stage of life I’d like it not to rule.
From the time I was a little girl I was expected to be polite and not to engage in conflict or even negotiate for what I wanted. I know my siblings had different experiences but I was trained to squeeze into a pretty tight box of perfection so I never really learned how to take a stand for myself, negotiate for what I wanted, or speak my truth. I felt like I had to be in silent perfection most of the time. So, facing criticism and judgment has been terrifying for me. I have been working on setting boundaries and speaking up for myself (still working on kindly and calmly) my whole adult life.
As I approach what I would call the twilight years I want to make them count. I want to be doing the work that I was born to do and it has taken my entire life up to now to know it, step into it, and to feel it in every cell of my body. As I launch this new phase of my life, I open myself to judgment and criticism but I also now know that I open myself to support and the loving presence of those that recognize the power of my soul’s expression.
To complicate matters, my work and soul expression is not exactly mainstream. I am a shamanic practitioner. Huh? “Is that like being a witch?” someone asked me recently! Shamanism has been practiced by indigenous cultures for millenniums; the art and tradition of working with spirit to discern information and provide healing on the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. In this time of our lives and the state of our planet we need connection to spirit and the Earth Mother more than ever. It is our only hope…
Brene Brown is my heroine. She writes about vulnerability, courage, living a whole hearted life. That is what I am striving for. Her messages bring me comfort, hope and strength as I dive headlong into the deep.
I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time…If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.Brene Brown