What a summer it’s been! I’ve learned SO much this season about what it means to be an empowered woman, and the many places I still have within my heart to grow.
Here’s an exciting thing, I GOT ENGAGED! What a ride it’s been. Getting engaged has been a rite of passage to say the least. This ring has amplified the GOOD in our relationship, as well as the parts that still need fine tuning and transformation. As a seeker, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll save those learnings for a future blog post…
Today I want to share a story about what I learned writing and producing a toast for my best friend’s wedding.
As I began writing last weekend, I remember looking at my blank page with so much misery, mistrust, and fear. How could I possibly convey a 26 year friendship in a 5 minute toast?
I’ve always enjoyed the art of public speaking, as I do it in my workshops and retreats all the time. But writing a toast for 150 people, and creating that from nothing activated many old stories from my past:
“I don’t know how to do this.”
“They will hate me.”
“I’m doing this wrong.”
“This needs to be the best speech ever or I’m a total failure.”
OH THE PRESSURE I put on myself!
I finally let go and trusted my intuition on what to share, and soon (after 5 days of editing) I finally felt good about the flow of the toast. This past Saturday evening, after much practice, I spoke from my heart and honored this couple fully. Funny thing is, my toast followed the most handsome, charming, eloquent (and to top it off FUNNY) Australian man, which had me squirming in my seat the entire time because no one could ever top that! But when it was time for me to go, I dropped in and let ‘er rip.
Truth is, up until that moment, I had been holding back in life.
I’ve been putting a cap on my expression as a leader and slowly but surely became silent online and in social media. A few things happened a year and a half ago that rocked my confidence, and I let those experiences diminish my light. Sure I was still showing up in my workshops and in my private coaching practice, but in the realm of using my voice out in the world and in public, I brought nothing to the table. Radio silence.
This toast brought me and my light back to life. I realized that I do have something to offer. I realized my voice makes a difference. I realized that those old stories aren’t true, and that with effort, patience, and trust, I can create a speech that stops time and moves an audience with laughter and tears. Most importantly, the group was inspired by the newly married couple’s love, and that was my only intention. I wanted to paint a picture of their relationship with words and stories, and it worked.
It might sound like I’m bragging. And the truth is, I am. Here’s what I mean…
I believe it’s so important for women to celebrate ourselves and our victories, and of course, to celebrate the victories of our brothers and sisters as well. I got many acknowledgements that night about my speaking ability and presence, and for the first time ever, I let those affirmations in. You see, there has always been a voice in my head that believes in my “wrongness” first. It’s a place of deficiency, lack, and insecurity. This time, I believed in my goodness and greatness first.
Receiving those compliments and believing them is a testament to the work I’ve done this past year and a half.
What I faced in the struggle, as depressing as it was at times, was what I needed to shine. Diamonds, after all, go through a rigorous process before they are worn.
My time in that dark cave of hibernation was necessary to get to my next level of leadership. I needed that time of rest to reset.
I’m clear that I have something to teach from my year and a half absence. Those emails are in the queue… Just you wait!
So, dear one. If you’re going through a challenging time… Trust it. This process is too important to ignore. And when you get an opportunity to come out of your hibernation, trust that process too and please- KEEP GOING! It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
You’ll know when it’s time to beam your light. Truth is, every woman’s shining has a different light and essence. Your only job is to become so fully and completely YOU without abandon, that you could be rejected by most of the world and still feel awesome about yourself. When your light is that bright, no darkness can touch it. Nothing can take it away.
Here’s what I know to be true. Our light never, ever, goes out completely. There’s always a flicker. So surround yourself with friends and family who *get* you and believe in you. Develop a team of love warriors who will have your back no matter what. These defenders will stoke your fire. That’s what helped me during my time, and those teammates were there waiting on the other side with so much celebration.
Remember, dear one. You matter. And turns out, I do, too.
Thank you for reading my (vulnerable) story.
P.S. I’ve re-opened my private coaching practice for women ready to shine. Feeling debilitated by a challenge? Forget who you are? Let’s dive in. After my own dark night of the soul, I know how to meet your pain with compassion, and definitely know the steps for you to come back to life. Book your 45 minute discovery call with me now by clicking this link.