My good friend Beth Lewis introduced me to Brene Brown’s work 10 years ago. Then, the stars lined up, and I was a session speaker at a conference nine years ago where Brene was the keynote speaker — when this photo was taken. Why this moment always catches my attention when it pops up in my memories is because it reminds me of the feelings I had about myself when I heard Brene talk about vulnerability.
It was on this day that I realized just how scared I’d been feeling. Later, when I was driving home from the conference, I recall traveling in silence, thinking through the landscape of my life. In the miles between the conference and home, I had an aha moment of personal admission. I realized I had been straddling between what no longer fit for me in my life but I wasn’t fully letting go of yet, and what my inner being was desperately yearning to bring forth that was completely new for me — something I was still afraid to even voice for myself.
I was scared. The straddling was my stall to remain in the gray area between my fear of releasing what was and the fear of reinvention into what could be.
This self-awareness led me to realize I had three choices. I could retreat to what was. I could remain in the gray area. I could risk the unknown.
I was scared. But what I came to know was that what scared me most was never knowing what could be if I didn’t answer the call of my soul’s yearning.
Risk was my decision.
As time would reveal, risking reinvention requires resilience. And thankfully, resilience is something I’ve always had in spades.
I have no regrets. I’m glad I allowed myself time to shed layers, excavate treasures of my truth and carry forward only what’s sacred to me.
What I’ve come to know in the past decade is that I would rather fall flat on my face braving manifestation and revealing my heart, than remain in a web of my own what-ifs of never trying.
So much soul-shining truth has been excavated and goodness manifested since I allowed myself to fully explore what’s awaiting me in the great wide open.
Brene didn’t do any of this for me. I did it for myself. It was up to me to take action. But her presence — her truth of being brave and being willing to share through storytelling — triggered something in me that activated my decision to create real change in my life, and I’m so thankful for that.
Maybe you’re straddling right now.
Maybe you’re in gray area, uncertain of what your next best decision is.
Maybe clarity will be revealed to you on a drive or a walk, or through the lyrics of a song or the pages of a book.
It will be clear when you’re ready.