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really vulnerable work

{photo taken at the Dean Hotel}

When you use the template of your own life and beliefs to anchor the work of change and becoming out in the world, the vulnerability of it is always a significant factor at play. I'm always edging around the perimeters of my own heart so that I can lean in close enough to pull out meaningful things to share. The soul of my work is Me, not some product line created in a boardroom using focus groups and metrics.

So as a wild-heart inspirer, my studio life is messy and unpredictable. Staying grounded and knowing how to deal with a vulnerability hangover is critical to my work.

I'm sure you've been there too, after having acted on something you deeply believe in or baring your soul in a scary but necessary way. The buzz of excitement and adrenalin starts to mellow and the reality begins to settle... did I really just say/do that?... like authenticity PTSD. Don't be alarmed, this doesn't mean you've made the wrong choice to use your voice. It just means you've touched on something very deep and very meaningful, and probably something really important and elemental to who you are.

After this week's personal truthfest, and for all of you who are standing up against all that is happening in the world, I though this would be a really helpful reminder to all of us.

// How to Manage a Vulnerability Hangover //

Give yourself permission to have the conversation slowly, in layers, and over time. Don't feel like you have to drop the mother load on everyone, all in one moment. In fact, it's probably easier and safer to roll out hard and vulnerable conversations in smaller digestible increments. Tell those closest to you and/or those who you know will be your unconditional cheerleaders, and let the rest follow as you are ready.

Embrace the vulnerability. Be prepared that when the momentum starts to wear off you will feel moments of doubt and fear and sadness. You are saying goodbye to an older version of You, after all, and this probably means you are leaving behind people who knew and loved that person you are no longer. The discomfort of stepping into a new place is inevitable, so breathe through it and be gentle on your heart in the days following.

Tend to the physical symptoms. You will probably feel exhaustion and even a little run down physically. You've just energetically offloaded a huge weight and your body will feel this sudden change of energy too. Make room for some extra rest, some nourishing food, and for a few little immune boosters like extra sleep, zinc drops, and essential oils etc. until your equilibrium re-calibrates. This takes time. Be patient with the process. Moving your body, sweat, wringing out the emotions will really help as well.

Allow others time to let it all sink in. Just because the people you tell don't immediately rush to your side, don't discount them. Everyone has different ways of processing things and different ways of expressing (or not expressing) their feelings, and it may take time for others to really get comfortable with what you are saying. Their discomfort is not about you, it is all about them, and you have also had time to move through a lot of your fears before making the big announcement. They have not. Time will absolutely help.

Let go of expectations. I know this is so so hard, but do your best to let go of any expected outcomes. You have no control over how others might react. That is part of their story, not yours. The important thing is that you have shared your true heart. Onward you must go.

Have at least one person you can talk to.  It's so important to have someone on your side who you can trust and have real and honest conversations with, in the moment, to help you process the waves of emotions that will come up. Nothing fights fear more than those people in your life who truly SEE you, and LOVE and HONOR you! Lean on those people if you can.

Engage in the conversation. Though the temptation might be great, don't let the conversation just fade away. Keep people who have an interest in what you are saying, engaged. You know that saying, fake it til you make it? Yes! If your conviction is wavering, it's okay. You'll find yourself in a more solid place soon. The more often you speak your truth, the deeper that will truth root within you. Keep on keeping on... we need you!

Trust. Celebrate. Gratitude. Congratulations! One of the hardest parts is over. All you need to do now is to keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust in who you are. Keep your cheerleaders close by, and don't forget to turn on the disco ball and throw some confetti. You deserve to celebrate! And for those who show up to hold your light, for the freedom that starts to illuminate your way, for the ease of spirit that will start to wash over you... gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.

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