“When you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance.”
-Lee Ann Womack
Last week I celebrated my 34th year on this planet. I reflected on the learning. The growth. The knock-me-to-my-knees moments. I recalled the times I sobbed for hours on my couch and wanted to give up. The times I danced to Ed Sheeran’s“Shape of You,” expansive and flowing and free.
This past year, I played at my edges in a whole new way, and the lyrics from Lee Ann Womack’s “I hope you dance” song I have shared above pretty much sums it up. I stepped off the cliff into territory that was unfamiliar…territory that felt sticky, scary, and to be perfectly honest, that downright made me want to run away. But I didn’t run.
Throughout it all, I danced (metaphorically and literally). Each moment and each lesson has brought me closer to the core of what it feels like to be me; and has given me more intimate knowledge of myself. And I know, I am still learning.
In my experience there is no end point to our learning, and so, I am celebrating where I’m at. I am immensely grateful for every tear, bump, bruise, celebration, expansion, and contraction, for it’s these experiences that bring me home to myself again and again.
Today I’m sharing with you some of this past year’s biggest take-aways in the hope that these lessons will serve you as they’ve served me…
For if you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance!
- I learned to ungrip. Coming into my 33rd year, I became aware that there were old family dynamics I was energetically bringing into my close relationships, including in my business. I found myself in a default role–taking over-responsibility, gripping, and trying to control in spaces that weren’t mine to manage. I realized I was trying to pull people along and hero, though no one had asked me to. And so, I made the very scary decision to ungrip. In letting go of over-responsibility, I made a choice to see others, including myself, as whole. To let go of any “fixing” energy and deepen into true presence with what is. While this release did bring some endings–it also brought deep gratitude, space, and freedom. Learning: There are cycles and rhythms to everything, including relationships. To grip onto something that is genuinely out of your control or ready to be fully released only creates deeper suffering for everyone involved. Holding on too tightly doesn’t support you or anyone’s evolution.
- I learned to lean into my own truth, despite my fear. This year, I took a scary leap of faith, bringing a message I’d been sharing behind-the-scenes with clients into the spotlight and re-branding my messaging and website to reflect the fullness of what I’ve been feeling called to share. This has meant using my voice more directly than ever before, and Holy Shit! I feel so scared to lean into that sometimes. I often found myself in shadow, questioning if I was saying too much, feeling myself blushing and getting red each time I began to stand in my truth, even with my clients at times, and yet, through it all, I stayed true to my voice. Learning: YOUR Voice matters. Your voice is meant to be shared…your truth meant to be spoken. And, sharing your voice, even when it’s fucking scary, opens up and liberates your own vital energy and all kinds of other juiciness inside.
- I learned that there will always be opportunities to master what we feel called to teach (Start leaning into your vision NOW). This year, I decided to complete a 3-year run of Occupy Beauty, an event that was very successful, and to follow my heart in birthing a brand new event, The Expressed Woman. Along the way, I definitely got schooled on self-expression! There were so many moments leading up to the event when I was invited to stretch my own expression, to voice truths so scary for me to speak aloud that they had me wanting to turn and run. And yet, each time I felt the impulse to clamp down my own expression, I stayed present and showed up instead by saying: “Hey, I feel scared,” “Hey, I don’t know what to say here, but this isn’t working,” or “Hey, I’m human, and I feel really messy right now.” In each small instance of expression, I could feel myself reclaiming a massive return on energy that I had locked into withholding. And after all those expression hurdles, seeing my vision come to life with 65+ women in the room in June this year was the biggest gift of all. Witnessing those women showing up for themselves, claiming their voice, willing to stand in their own power? I felt so in awe and fulfilled in that moment. Lesson: Even when it scares the shit out of you, be willing to end something that’s ready to be completed so that you can move towards the things that make your heart sing. Create that offering. Lead that workshop. Tell that person you love them. Trust in your passions and know that there are people ready and willing to receive you.
- I learned that no matter how much work we do, judgment can still show up, and it’s always a gift. I LOVE my body, and over the years, I’ve come to experience my body in a whole new way: listening to and honoring it, seeing it as an ally, and trusting it in every moment to guide me. Regardless, I had an experience this year with someone incredibly close to me who made a comment about my butt and it’s largeness. Sucker punch! Despite all the work I’ve done to heal my relationship with my body, I was powerfully affected. That comment started me down a path where I was called to confront a lot of shadow energy: judgement, fear, criticism, shame. And yet, even in dealing with those shadows, I showed up so differently around this conversation than I would have in the past. I got to face into and love all those voices inside me, rather than running from them. I got to let myself feel uncomfortable and be present to that old patterning of wanting to withdraw. I became present to the places where I still judge myself and deepen into the healing that’s left to be done. Lesson here: The journey of loving our bodies and remembering at the end of the day that our worth and value is not dependent on our body shape or size, is just that…a journey. It doesn’t end. And that doesn’t mean we are doing something wrong or that we’re not good enough to teach how to heal, it simply means that we get to go through our own journey and continue to learn, even while we show up as teachers in this world.
There’s SO much more and I’m feeling called to leave you with this for now :). I hope you’ve enjoyed!
p.s. After you read these lessons I’d love to hear what resonates for you and really speaks to you?