Today I'm grateful for the woman I've grown into.
Today is one of those days that affirms how much I love what I do.
Today is a day filled with presence, joy, gratitude & big love.
Today is the kind of day when you don't think about being somewhere else or with someone else.
You don't wish the day was over already or that you could crawl into your bed.
Today is the kind of day when you are in the moment, fully in your body, fully with your heart.
Today I celebrate the knowledge I have to offer. Today I celebrate the ways I serve others and the many ways others serve me. Today I celebrate the preciousness of human connection. Today I celebrate everything that made today sweet - eye contact, spontaneous laughter, genuine curiosity, hard questions, fears, trying new things, interaction, exploration.
Today I am sore and tired. But more importantly, I am so happy. I am grateful for the woman I've grown into. The kind of woman who knows that she has a unique and special gift to offer this world, and if she doesn't share it, she's doing a disservice. I am a woman who knows she is worthy of human connection and love. I am a woman who has done her work and still has so much more to do.
I am a woman who still has fears but is beginning to show up, who is less afraid to be seen, who is willing to share her story. I am a woman who has dipped her toes into the waters of vulnerability and feels more alive because of it. I am a woman who can tell you more clearly what I want, what I need, where I want to go.
I am a woman who still experiences doubt and those shitty thoughts that have the possibility to keep you small. But I am a woman who has the tools to know when those come up and how to move past them more quickly than I would have a year ago.
I am a woman who has put up stronger boundaries and is standing up stronger to speak her truth.
I am a woman who initiates the harder conversations when I feel those foreign blocks in my body. I am a woman who has countless conversations with her body and makes it a priority to tune into the wisdom of her body over her mind.
I am a woman who holds space for others but is not afraid to ask for that space from others when she needs it.
I am a woman who is finding her way. I am a woman who has amazing days like today and days that feel deflating. I am a woman who knows that not every day looks the same. One day can feel entirely different from the next. But I am a woman who knows that that is exactly why it is SO important to celebrate the sweet days and not be afraid to yell from the rooftops "TODAY WAS A GREAT DAY!"
We need more of that. We need people who aren't afraid to share their story. We need more spaces where people can feel safe to be vulnerable, to be seen & heard. We need more spaces where people can express their fears, their doubts, their expectations. We need a space where we can sift through our experience - whether through writing or talking - so that we can better decipher what is true and what are the stories we are making up in our heads. We need space to find clarity.
And we need more of those celebrations. We need to recognize those really sweet days and savor them so that we may carry them with us and spread the joy to others.
I'll share something with you. I wrote an Instagram post today about how amazing my day was. I wrote about all of the gratitude and joy that I experienced that particular day. As I was writing it, I actually thought about deleting it and just posting a cute, short blurb. Why? Because I had a fear creep up inside of me. The fear was that if I wrote it, other people would scoff at me, especially if they weren't having as good of a day. I was afraid that people would think I was bragging or that I was being selfish. Just sharing that fear with you feels vulnerable for me.
I recognized the fear and I counteracted it by thinking, "As long as I'm being authentic with my words, that's all that matters." I said to the fear, you won't keep me from sharing my story right now. You won't keep me from celebrating my happiness.
I wrote the post. And you know what? I felt incredible. I shared my story. I documented what, for me, was one of the best days I've had in a while. Friends commented that they agreed, that they had a similar day but they wouldn't have been able to express is as poignantly. People said "I love you" and "yay!!" in the comments. Others shared in my experience and said, "You are so right, I love what I do."
Don't be afraid to share your story, whether that is one of joy or pain. If you feel authentic in sharing your story, that is all that matters. Sharing our stories is a potent point of connection. Sharing our stories validates that we are not alone in this experience. It reminds us that we have spaces to release, celebrate and honor our experiences. Once we can begin to honor the full spectrum of our experience - from grief to joy - we can then recognize the beautiful humanness in ourselves and in others. We can have more compassion for others. Once we recognize that we have on days and we have off days, we remember that this is how it is for everybody. And then, we can have more compassion for others when they are having their off days.
As Brene Brown writes in Rising Strong, "Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity...By getting to know our own darkness, we learn how to feel compassion for the darkness of others."