Cannonballing into my (dis)Comfort Zone: A Lesson in Leadership

I’ll be honest: lately, I’ve been struggling.  I came back from Jamaica with a fire in my belly but it was extinguished by the snow and grayness at home. I could feel my creativity and inspiration faltering and I didn’t like it one bit.  I knew I was feeling lackadaisical and complacent and it was showing everywhere.  I was tired and grumpy at home with my kids and husband, I was unmotivated and lackluster with my business team, and I was feeling bored and restless with pretty much everything.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, when my friend approached me about doing a training for a leadership retreat for our businesses. (For those of you who don’t “know” me, I’m part of a fantastic health and wellness company which has been a total blessing in my life.) Now, training to me is not a problem, but I knew that I had to change my attitude and FAST.  I have a team of friends and colleagues looking for inspiration and I sure as hell wanted to be the one to get them pumped up and ready to change the world.  But here’s the real kicker, Stacy also wanted me to teach a yoga class to the group.  Gulp!

Sure, I’m a trained Yoga Teacher, confident trainer and have no problem speaking in front of big groups, but for some reason, this request had me shaking in my boots.  As soon as I had completed my YTT, I took my certificate and figuratively ran for the hills. While my fellow graduates were out finding jobs and setting up their own studios, I was avoiding the teaching part of yoga at all costs.  Telling myself: teaching’s not for me, I have other things going on, and whatever other excuse I could come up with that would keep me safe in a comfort zone.  I responded with a “sure, maybe, let me think about it” type response, fully intending to fluff her off and get out of the yoga class.  But of course, the more I sat with it, the more I realized I wasn’t been fair to anyone with that shitty-lame, never try anything new or scary or uncomfortable attitude. How could I sit here and call myself a leader and coach people on how to step out of their comfort zones, be vulnerable, feel the fear and do it anyways- when I wasn’t prepared to take those steps?  So I agreed.

I put on my big girl panties and with my heart racing, I stepped onto the mat at the front of the group and taught my very first yoga class.  And you know what? It was awesome, incredible, empowering, exhilarating and EXACTLY what I needed!  I was so jazzed up about the success of the class that I could’t wait to do my training presentation. I had to take a serious leap of faith (out of my comfort zone) and trust in myself, but it was so worth it.  I was left feeling of accomplished, proud and pumped up.

Am I ready to step out and become a full blown teacher of this ancient, moving, freeing practice? Maybe not quite yet, but I’m taking baby steps to get there. There being along the path of discovery, awakening, leveling up, challenge, vulnerability and growth.  Sounds like a good path to be on- so I think I’ll keep blazing the trail and be mindful to stop and smell the flowers.

Now I’m off to change the world! Namaste fellow trail blazers and leaders. 🙂

Here’s a some pics from the beautiful leadership
retreat I was blessed to be a part of! 

The V word: Talking about Vulnerability

Vulnerable. Just saying the word leaves me feeling exposed. What does it mean and why does it have such a bad rep?  Online, vulnerable is defined as “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.” Yet Brené Brown, trailblazer and pioneer of the vulnerability movement, says “It is the birthplace of everything we’re hungry for: innovation, creativity and change.” She claims it’s the one thing that can lead to living a wholehearted life of compassion and connection. Yet, in our culture of consuming, photo-editing and ‘busy’ as a status symbol, it seems we’ve forgotten why vulnerability is such an important emotion.

Vulnerability is what makes us human. It’s the core essence of life, the nitty-gritty, the chewy parts, the part of humanity that can bring tears to your eyes because of it’s rawness and truth. Vulnerability is letting the real and authentic you be seen and not giving a damn what other people think (or perhaps giving a damn and still doing it anyway.) It’s the courage to apologize, the chance to right a wrong, the bravery to change your path, to make a craft, to sing a song, the grace to tell the truth, to open your heart, the humility to put yourself out there. Maybe, it’s even starting a new blog like I did.

I’ll be honest, I thought blogging would be a cinch because I’ve always kept a journal . But here’s what I didn’t consider: journaling is something I’ve always kept private, my musings have never been on display before and now they will be.  So I’m faced with a dilemma. How do I release my fear of vulnerability and this perceived need to please everyone, to not piss anyone off or even that old familiar rat, having to be the best: the best blogger, the best writer, the best person?

But then I still my breath and listen to my yogi voice reminding me to take care, to let it be, to be honest with myself and others, and I know that none of those feelings of competition and over-achievement are necessary. I breathe in another glorious, delicious breath (oxygen is the best addiction!) and I let it all go.  I don’t need to have my shit figured out, nor do I need to become an all mighty healer or channel my inner psychiatrist. All I need to be is me. To be vulnerable in my writing, imperfect in my wandering and open to learning and growing everyday, knowing I’m never going to know everything, nor am I expected to.

So with that, I’m putting this blog out to the universe. It’s time.

Together we can sigh, cringe, laugh and cry at this beautiful ride we call life.

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and
powerful selves to be deeply seen and known.”

— Brené Brown

If you want to read more about how you can embrace your vulnerability, I highly suggest you check out some of Brené’s work: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

And of course, her Ted Talk:

 

 

 

Namaste mes amis!