I woke up this morning in a cold sweat. Heart racing. Pit in my belly. Cement in my veins. Feeling frantic and irritated.
What did I do? Take it down? Leave it up? What will they think? How will they feel? Take it down.
Breathe... What's is going on here? Why am I having such a STRONG reaction?
I got out of bed - without looking at my phone (a new and LIBERATING habit) - stretched for bit - and started sharing, digging into what was under this tidal wave of emotion.
Vulnerability Hangover. Cue Perfection. And where there is Perfection, Shame rides shotgun.
I choose courage over comfort every single day. Vulnerability is not something that comes natural to me - it's a part of me that was shut down for a very long time. And. I know that the only way to feel deep, lasting joy - is to choose authenticity. To show up whole. To stop hiding behind the representative of myself.
Here's what happened. I posted this on social media. Publicly. On FB and Insta. No filters. Just me being silly in the middle of a ridiculously challenging workout I was doing on a 100 degree day.
Silly? Bare stomach?
I no longer feel shame around my body. I finally feel FREE - really FREE - to be fully ME. No more obsessing. No more standing in front of the mirror cutting myself up. I am fiercely PROUD of my body - and how hard it's worked for me over the years - and all it's given me.
I have learned how to let go of the stranglehold of perfection - and the imagined judgement from others.
I am truly happy and comfortable in my skin.
I am free to be SILLY.
This morning I felt a shift. A complete shame shit storm.
You're alienating your people. You aren't supposed to show your stomach on social media. Who do you think you are?
I am ME. Fully ME. In my silly, sweaty, stomach-baring, coffee-sipping form.
This morning, I was able to draw on my skill set. I recognized the feelings of shame in my body and knew inner chatter would follow. I chose courage + compassion + grace - and the chatter passed as quickly as it came roaring in.
Before I learned how to let go of perfection, this tidal wave would have been a tsunami - affecting my entire day - knocking out anyone in my path - chipping away at relationships.
Perfection is rooted in the fear of what others will think of you.
Choosing to live our life with perfection driving is choosing to live a life where we will never - ever - be enough. A life void of deep, lasting joy. A life void of true love.
To be fully loved, we must allow ourselves to be fully seen.
Perfection also creates the illusion of an all-or-nothing world. Right and wrong. In or out. Good or bad. No gray - no color.
Before I started out on my coaching journey - I swore up and down that I would never post sweaty selfies and pictures of me half-naked. Underneath all of that? The deep fear of what people would think - almost as though if they truly saw me, I'd be found out. That I was a fraud of some sort - there's a name for that - it's called the Imposter Syndrome, again tied to perfection.
I've been on this journey for 3.5 years now - and over the last 2.5 years, I've found such inner peace and joy with my body. I celebrate it. I dance naked. I have more confidence. I don't engage in the toxic talk - and in fact, it rarely rears its head anymore.
AND. I have purposefully posted pictures where I don't show too much. The story I told myself: all pictures that show a woman's body in that way are shame-inducing.
It's true. There are too many fitspiration-type posts out there that lack balance, compassion, and grace - that seem to use shame as a motivator.
Shame never motivates. Shame causes us to retreat. It's toxic and defeating.
I know there is a world in full color in between. A world where a woman's body is honored and celebrated. Nourished and loved. Where compassion and grace are at the forefront. Where comparison is replaced by inspiration.
We can walk there together.
Letting go of perfection is a daily choice.
This morning, I chose to ride out the shame shit storm - to release perfection - to be fully ME.
You can too. And I can help you get there.
You know what's funny? When I finally hopped on my phone this morning - there was a note from one of my teammates, thanking me for so bravely sharing.
Courage over comfort. Every damn day.
We can do hard things.
If you struggle with the inner critic - that constant chatter - the shame shit storms - I feel you.
And I am with you.
I wanted to share this podcast clip with you - Kelly is a true soul sister. We connected via the powers of the Universe, no doubt. She had me on her podcast - In Her Voice. I think you will fall in LOVE with her. We do such similar work in this world, and it was such an honor to be on her show.
I'd love to hear your takeaways.
As always, be in touch. I really love hearing from you.