I write a whole lot about fear. This is because I spent much of my life mired in it – anxious, afraid, feeling like I didn’t have what it takes to survive in this world. A hefty part of my fear has always been tangled up in anxiety, depression, and perfectionism.
There is no shame in experiencing fear or anger or any other emotion – we are simply human in a messy world. For wholeness we need to identify and acknowledge our emotions and then move on through them to learn we have what it takes. Learning to tell the truth about what we feel is a critical step toward wholeness and freedom.
Perhaps, like me, you don’t identify with the folks that write about living “fearless” – instead, what I learned, what I still practice daily, is to show up through fear (or sorrow or discomfort…) to build the life I want. I don’t have to wait until life feels fear-less, stress-free, or smooth sailing to show up fully to this imperfect and beautiful life of mine.
We can feel afraid and unsure, we can experience self-doubt or comparison, and still show up. We can put down strong, hardy roots of self-awareness and self-compassion that remind us we aren’t required to have it all together in order to shine our light or do the work in the world to which we feel called. And we can build a healthy stress mindset, befriend ourselves completely, learn how to work with our nervous system to build agency and live with joy.
We can learn to take imperfect action through discomfort. This, like all growth and becoming, requires both vision, heaps of self-compassion, and ongoing practice. We’re all always practicing.
We “heal, grow, and become at the speed of safety” which means that in order to change what isn’t working in our lives we must feel safe. We learn to feel safe by practicing self-compassion and curiosity and/or finding brave and empathetic community in which we can learn and grow with others.
The only way to get from here to freedom and joy is through the messy, soul-stretching, hard work. And when we say YES to this journey we come face to face with our strength, our wisdom, our capacity to face our deepest fears and show up fully and in integrity, not easily rocked, to our messy and beautiful life.
Showing up through fear – like all growth and becoming – requires both vision and practice. We build this muscle like any other. One stubborn step and then another. We’re all simply practicing.
10 POSTS that will help you embrace your inner work and expand your capacity for the fullness of life
REMEMBER: We heal/grow/become at the speed of safety: process stress and grief, learn to regulate your nervous system and expand your window of capacity in order to show up fully and in integrity to your messy and beautiful life.
What You Need to Know About Stress to Feel More Empowered
Pandemic fatigue, war, income insecurity, dealing with loss, relationship conflict from political differences, etc. all take their toll. Both “big T trauma” and “little t trauma” need to be acknowledged and processed or else they lead to nervous system dysregulation and find ways to manifest in our bodies in order to be heard. Read the full post.
WHAT HAPPENS IN YOUR BODY WHEN YOU’RE STRESSED OUT
When you’re feeling stressed out remember your stress reactions are biologically the same whether it’s to literally save your life or if your stress is due to a triggering, annoying, or frustrating situation. That’s not your fault. That’s biology. Read this post.
RECLAIM YOUR AGENCY: 7 EMPOWERING WAYS TO NAVIGATE STRESS
Learning empowering ways of navigating stress puts us back into the driver’s seat when our life feels unmoored or shaken. We can continue building our resilience toolbox so we can show up brave, whole, and on purpose in every season (even the hardest of them). Read the post.
JOY IS THE MOST VULNERABLE EMOTION! HOW TO EXPAND YOUR CAPACITY FOR JOY
Learning to expand our capacity for joy – to hold space for joy and allow it to live in our lives alongside whatever else we’re experiencing – is also about expanding our ability to experience and not run from all emotional experiences. It’s about living resilient, present, empowered, showing up fully to life in every season (within our capacity), navigating grief or trauma or other stressful life transitions with better outcomes, and ultimately reconnecting with and befriending ourselves. Read the post.
SEASONS OF TRANSITION ARE IMPORTANT AND REQUIRE AMPLE REST
Seasons of transition are important (and often feel challenging) and how we navigate them impacts how we show up to what’s next. Take your time, gift yourself ample rest, trust yourself and listen to what you most need so that you show up whole, brave, and joyful to the next season of your messy and beautiful life. Read the full post.
30 Things to Declutter for More Midlife Joy
Although midlife brings with it new challenges, it’s also true that at least for many, happiness rises in midlife. I’m doubtful that happiness drops into our laps without work, though. To really embrace midlife joy we must consciously choose to do the hard (and brave) work to strip away all the noise and clutter and then step into greater freedom, wholeness, and joy. Read the post.
Liminal Space and Truth telling About The Grief Of Shedding Our Old Identity
This post is in progress and coming in June 2022. In the meantime I’ll share this: As funny as it sounds, it can take decades for us to become who we really are. We’re called to sift through external and internal pressures and ideas about how we ought to be, push back against outdated messages about gender roles or familial patterns, accept the invitation to peel away layers of self-protection or identity built up since childhood which no longer serve us. Read the full post.
SUSTAINABLE GROWTH TAKES TIME: DON’T RUSH WHO YOU’RE BECOMING
Sustainable growth or becoming takes time. Not only time of course, but deliberate, conscious, values-aligned choice after choice within the time that we have. One step, one breath, one practice at a time. Slow and steady. This is how we heal, how we grieve, how we become. Read the full post.
19 GIFTS OF THIS YEAR AS I WALKED MY SON HOME
Walking each other home is a privilege (and can be heart-breaking). Here are 19 gifts I’ve picked up as I walked alongside my son through the final year of his life. Read the full post.
Live Whole and Brave: Trust the Magic of New Beginnings
When we stand at the threshold of a new story, it’s normal to feel excitement, anticipation, and also some fear or discomfort. We don’t know for sure what lies ahead, but the truth is we’ve never known what tomorrow will hold. It’s also normal to experience some grief as we release what was, both the beautiful parts and also the really hard parts. It’s healthy and wise to give our fear and grief a voice. They need to be heard. They matter. Read more.
NOW WHAT? resources TO HELP YOU expand your capacity for joy and pain
Take your next step.
holistic embodiment coaching + education
The journey of “becoming” more fully ourselves can feel messy and vulnerable. Life is complex and there are no magic pills – but we can take responsibility for what we can control and dive in fully to the life in front of us. We can bring compassion and deeper understanding to our current behavioural and emotional patterns and narratives while expanding our capacity for new ways of being and engaging in the world.
I will come alongside to guide, question, encourage, hold space, and sometimes challenge you as you do the work to unearth the truth of who you are and what you want and walk out your Voice + Vision for this season of life. Many clients express that as they work with me they experience “a homecoming.” Learn more here.
the joy workshop
If you want to get curious about what JOY looks, sounds, and feels like in your body and your life and learn how to feel more comfortable with a wider range of low intensity and high intensity positive and “negative” emotions, you want to learn how to practice self-compassion to create a sense of safety in your body and your life and ; learn a bit about your nervous system and what happens when you experience different core emotions and what you can do to thrive; and you want to feel empowered to expand your capacity for joy (or all emotional experience), learn more or purchase the joy workshop here.