Blessings. Gifts. Honors. Acknowledgment. It’s easy to be thankful for those things, right? When things are ‘good’ it’s so easy to feel grateful. What about challenges, disease, anger, bigotry, loss? Can you be thankful for the things in your life, or in the universe, that aren’t so pleasant?
Shame. Brene Brown is an expert researcher on the subject, but we are all experts in feeling it. Shame in how we’ve failed at something, shame at how we’ve treated others at one point or another in our life, shame for our desires, shame about how someone else has treated us. What happens when we actually talk about that thing we feel so much shame around? Magic.
When was the last time you looked at your naked body in the mirror and felt absolute, overwhelming self-love? For me, it was this morning right after I got out of the shower. I even did a little dance, swaying my hips side to side and giving myself a ‘you rock!’ attitude. It might sound cheesy, but why? Would you love to love your body that way?
The worst way to think about conflict in personal relationships is a power struggle. A relationship fosters an energy exchange between people, so if you have to be right and the other person has to be wrong, it’s an uneven exchange and that’s what leads to endings. However, if you hold both people and their feelings as true, you’re creating a dynamic where you can come together and experience more power, growth, love, and connection between you both. Conflict is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be mean, messy, or destructive. Healthy conflict can lead to expansion, new engagement, and overall deeper connection.
When I meet someone who blows me away by their beautiful, powerful, connected Self I am in awe (regardless of that person being a man or woman). I am inspired to be more of myself, to push past my comfort zones and bring my self-expression to a new level. I would never dream to ask someone to dim their light, quiet down and constrict their spirit. I want to live in a world where it is ok for EVERYONE to thrive. Where everyone feels the right to be here in whatever form that takes. To live without a need to use your power to overtake someone, but use your power to encourage and love more deeply. I’ve seen communities where that exists - experienced where that is possible. Because we are human, here on earth, we have the power to choose how we show up. I choose loving authority, I choose letting other people be right in their own way, I choose showing up as my wild, earthy, fully present being and ALL that comes with that.
Being seen, really BEING SEEN, is the most powerful, scariest experience I can think of. For example, public speaking, is so scary that it has been shown to be the number one fear, even over death! So, how do people do it - showing up to be seen and heard? Why is it so enticing to share your message? Meeting new people - that's another thing that can be very intimidating. How can you let more people in your life REALLY see you? Even those things you think you'll be judged for?
Total self-acceptance. Is that even possible? What does that feel like?
Yes, it's possible and it feels like freedom and laughter and warmth. It creates the ability to do something from a place of curiosity, wonder, and understanding. Understanding that how others react to what you do has nothing to do with you being deserving of love. Trust me, this is an amazing experience that you, too, can feel. The trick is to keep in mind that it's a process, not an end goal.
The long answer is that we're all born with an affinity to do things that light us up - to be passionate and find joy in life. It's actually that we're taught not to be passionate, so it's about relearning how to tap into our deep desires.