You all know that I’m a huge fan of Brené Brown. I first heard of her sometime after my divorce. Life was actually incredible during that time (which shocked even me) as I had been putting into practice all the stuff I talk about on the blog for a few years. And I was eating up anything that could take me further down this path. My friend sent me the Ted Talk by Brené and my friend said…ohhhh…you’ll LOVE this! Sure enough, I sat in my car after getting a killer parking spot in Brooklyn and listened to the whole thing in awe. I had been living many of the things she was talking about and had been trying to explain it to people. So it was amazing to hear Brené articulate it in her own very brilliant and relatable way.
So – “In The Arena” – Brené’s phrase for being vulnerable; for showing up and being seen.
When have YOU been in the arena in your life??
I’ll tell you mine…
- I was in the arena as a single, divorced, infertile woman, one who could have been broken to pieces over my life. But instead I decided to show up and thrive. And I held my head high on every date I went on, I held my head high in a very family centric church culture.
- I was in the arena as I tried to live a spiritual life that was a little different than those around me at church. I went to church for years during that time of spiritual development. And I shared my truths. And I encouraged women and men to share theirs. And I disrupted some of the traditional thought patterns and ways. Remember the Women of Faith Lecture Series? (for example). That actually caused quite a ruckus and I was in the arena during many sit-downs with male leaders who felt uncomfortable. I never imagined that would happen, but it did.
- I was in the arena when I met Danny and wrote this dream man of mine from a far, putting my whole heart and love out there, not knowing if it would be fully received in person, not knowing if I would be enough. But I shared my heart anyway. Because that’s who I wanted to be. I wanted a relationship where we both could share fully.
- I later came into the arena again when I started this blog and gave up other pursuits and income to do it. I mean, who am I? A PhD like Brené Brown? Some world famous person that people will want to read about? A pinterest worthy photographer with an instagram worthy life? A graphic designer who could whip this blog into a brand? I was just a woman with a message to share. I couldn’t not share it. So I shared it. And it’s just been me and this keyboard. And I’ve been in the arena with every grammar mistake, every bad or grainy or filtered photo, every less than functional way to share this message on this site, 0 instagram posts, and 5 years of my life where I’ve made nearly no income. Ha. At times, that’s been a lot to swallow.
- I felt the arena very wide around me again when we moved to Ecuador. When we decided to work on this project in bigger ways. That’s a big public stake in the ground. And that’s a heck of a lot of living outside of the box. We were doing the opposite of everybody we knew. And I mean everybody. We sacrificed a lot to do this; to do this thing that we believe in. And we could have failed hard. And we did, in fact, fail for one year and two months to be exact. I mentioned here I was ready to pack up and head back and give in to the traditional path. That would have been it’s own arena. It was the last thing I wanted to do.
- Though, the arena here in Ecuador continued when we finally got in sync with the project and said, “We’re staying longer. Yes, we’re crazy enough to still see if we can do this.” And the arena gates opened again.
- And of course, we are in the arena NOW, AT THIS MINUTE as we mentor people each week and are also on the brink of launching more events for 2016. Will we be enough? We’re going to show up regardless.
I think if we’re not in an arena or if we’re holding back, we might want to think about how we can get in there. Can we more fully declare our dreams and act on them, can we be more fully seen by others, can we love more fully without fear…