I have been reading a LOT of awesome books from the likes of Brené Brown, Michelle Obama, Peta Kelly…and I’m gobbling it all up! It is like these women literally looked into my soul, put up a mirror and showed me my reflection.
I’m ALL about authenticity! I feel at my best when I can be myself, and express myself without giving two F’s about what people say. BUT, I also find this incredibly difficult being a recovering people pleaser.
Can you be both? I guess so! Because I flip flop on the daily as I continue to work on it!
But there is one incongruency that my dear husband gently brought up that once he made me realize, I wanted to vomit.
I immediately went into defense mode (my go to when I’m feeling vulnerable). I wanted him to be wrong. Because this incongruency friggin STUNG! It left me feeling like such a fraud!
BUT! Because of all of the work I”ve been doing, I didn’t lash out. I quietly yelled in my brain “dammit!”, took a bunch of breaths, and paused before I reacted.
“Dammit Jay, you are right”, feeling so ashamed. I really just wanted to cross my arms, stomp my feet and yell “you’re a meany!”
Then Brene’s voice kicked in.
“You are experiencing a shame shit storm. Are you going to participate in it? Or are you going to be brave and deal with it?”
Thank you Brene! I’m gonna deal with it!
So what the heck am I talking about?
A few years ago, I defined my purpose in life was to bring out people’s inner child. This is where I felt the most authentic and the most ME. Not only that, I know that play will stifle the stress storm most of us live in.
I’m blessed that I can do this not just through the physical adjustments and them having an incredible calming effect on the nervous system, but creating the space and environment that cultivates fun, and play.
I have always had a playful spirit. Positivity naturally came out as my top strength when we did Strength Finders. (https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com )
This all comes so easily to me, normally.
I know I have a fun energy, adding fun details at the office and in every day life is something I crave doing! I want the experience at the office to be one of fun not just for the people that walk through the doors, but for everyone on our team. I wanted to make even the most arm crossed, stone faced, serious crank pots to loosen up a little. 😉
It brings me SO MUCH JOY when I see these people you would never expect, hop down the hopscotch, or crack a joke, or even break out a little smile. I see their true selves seep out through in those moments – I’m blessed to be able to see this not only in kids, but in adults too!
I know my strength has been to be silly, be light, and not take life too seriously. I love that I can create that within the walls of my office, and at home too!
But then motherhood came with a whomping BOOM.
I LOVE being a mother! But over time, it has worn me down. It has taken me very slowly, from a place of living like I used to. Upon reflection, I have lost my sense of play, not so much at work but at home! With the people that I love the most! The people who I want to set a great example for. The people I desperately don’t want to see go down the path of heavy stress and misery if I can help it!
I see myself as being serious, get things done, have order, keep routine. You know, that serious crankpot I mentioned above.
My natural tendency to be spontaneous and light had diminished. Not entirely. But I haven’t allowed that same sense of carefree fun as it has in the past.
I used to play music and dance with the kids almost nightly! I didn’t care so much about the mess. I was more spontaneous and said YES more to of the little things.
Wow. Where is that person? This has only really been since going through what I can only explain as PPD after Myles. I went into extreme GSD mode and resented almost anything and anyone who got in my way. Ugh. Not a proud period of my life, but one where I learned great lessons.
When I think back to Myles as a baby, I hardly have any memories of HIM. I cry as I write this. Does Etta look like Myles? or Lennon? I have a hard time answering that because I was literally so full of resentment for his baby days, Iand in stressed GSD mode, I only have memories of Lennon. Ugh. Hard truths!
So wipe my tears away and do better. Hard lessons realizing this incongruency, but I chose not to live in that guilt.
What Peta Kelly has taught me, I’m just #humanasfuck
After reflecting for a month or so, I’ve been more mindful of my thoughts, choices and decisions. Asking myself “Is this the most relevant thing?” “Can this wait?”, “What is your true authentic self wanting to do?”.
I want to lay my head down at night and feel like my true authentic self was present that day. I want to feel like I offered my kids a sense of my playful spirit. I desperately do not want them to lose theirs. I find so much JOY when I stop, watch, and listen.
Ok, so maybe I”ll burn supper, or feed them straight out of a box, or let them stay up late only to be less adaptable and kind of an emotional rollercoaster. Maybe I won’t finish the thing for work exactly when I wanted to. I’ll read them one more story. I’ll blow the bubbles. I’ll eat the ice cream. We will dance.
Why? Because it’s good for my soul. It’s good for their souls. And it makes me who I truly am.
I’ll leave you with this…
What fuels you? Are you in touch with it? Want to join me through this perfectly imperfect journey? We will all F up and that’s ok. When we can be authentic, transparent, and REAL, we will realize that we are more alike than different. We will experience one of our deepest needs….#connection.
In the end, we are all human. #humanAF
xoxo Dr. Kelly
PS. The fun photo is a perfect example of the person I am bringing back home. Photo credit: Heather Banks Photography
PPS: EDIT: if you don’t have a spouse or person who can call you out on your shit, or you put up a wall and go straight to defense mode – work on that! Practicing these principles I’ve been learning about are hard. Being called out is HARD. But OH so worth it. I am grateful for Jay and his willingness to be brave with me. Sometimes I don’t handle things like that so gracefully. Again, #humanAF