The power of vulnerability

This Thursday evening I’m giving a talk at Hawkwood College in Stroud entitled “Loving What is Whilst Reaching for More – The Law of Attraction explained”. I’m looking forward to it and at the same time it feels quite a vulnerable things to do. What if I’ve pitched it wrong? What if it doesn’t make sense? What if I freeze?!

Many thanks then, to fellow blogger Beyourdreamself for putting me on to this great talk by Brene Brown who talks about the power of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. She discovered in her research that successful people are not only willing to be vulnerable but also they strongly believe that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful. Great stuff.

This is just a 5 minute clip but it’s well worth watching the longer versions of this talk too.

The ghost of the mad professor

This day has brought a bit of this:

and a bit of this:

I can’t remember the last time I had a chocolate bar. (A chocolate bar – not chocolate – that’s different!). I found myself buying one when I filled the car with petrol this morning. I knew it was comfort eating but I’d just got back from playing tennis so, what the hey! One thing I promised myself though – if I ate it, I wouldn’t feel guilty. I didn’t. Result!

So clearly I still had the comfort urge but at the same time I was ready for something more active. The only problem was I didn’t know what. Cue two great ladies – Kelly, my amazing coach and friend and Nicky – my PR coach. (I just love that I have a PR coach now!)

Both Kelly and Nicky at different times of the day had me tune into myself to really get to the bottom of what’s getting in my way right now with the prep for the talk on Tuesday. Kelly used something called ‘Focusing‘ which is an amazing way of connecting with all the different sides of ourselves that may be in conflict with each other. You do this by tuning into clues from your body – in my case, this morning, a tightness in my upper chest, a soreness in my throat and a queasiness in my solar plexus. Each part has a story to tell and it’s just fascinating to listen to what they need. Through this work it became clear that there was one side of me that needed me to relax, another that wanted to get on with it and get it sorted, and another that was afraid I would humiliate myself if I wasn’t properly prepared.

When I was in my early teens I got a couple of solo roles in school plays. Each time I forgot my lines and made a real hash of things. You know the expression “to fall flat on your face”? Well I literally did. In a play simply entitled, ‘The Ant Play’, I was given the role of a mad professor. I forgot my lines midway through and so just ran around the stage shouting the same line over and over again and promptly fell off the stage! Suffice to say, I never acted again. I suppose it’s little wonder then that these ghosts have come back to haunt me.

Sometimes just to name something is enough to start to heal it. Funnily enough, realising that some of what’s been stopping me has come from this buried place has really helped.

The other visualisation I did was this afternoon with Nicky my PR coach. She had me project myself into Tuesday and through her skillful guidance I really could see that I had enormous fun with it all – interacting with the audience, using great visuals and most of all keeping it really simple. In fact I realised that the way I got over my performance anxiety was by splitting the evening into 4 sections each of which could be treated as stories. It’s funny, I have a problem with learning lines but recounting stories is no problem at all. Hey presto, problem solved!

I have yet to work out what my ‘stories’ are but weeks ago I arranged for an actor friend, Marc, to come and help me prepare tomorrow night, so what could be more perfect? Don’t you just love it how these things work out?

As I said yesterday, I am truly blessed with some amazing people in my life.

When I told Marc earlier today that I was tying myself in knots about how to structure the talk, he wrote back to me and said, “Knots are good!” I love that … and I love it all the more now I feel them starting to unravel!

The power of comfort

Today the children went back to school. Ahhh – time to myself!

I so value having moments absolutely alone in the house. This morning I had to let myself read my book a little, lie in a bath after the gym and just breathe out a bit. It did me the power of good.

After a stressful half-term and the worry about the preparation for my talk, I realise I am in the ‘Comfort’ stage of the Comfort-Nurture-Action scale. This is such a vital stage along the road to meaningful and productive action, I find. If I don’t feel I’ve taken care of myself, really listened to what I need, then I get burnt out, tired and often run around in circles feeling busy but achieving very little.

Never underestimate the power of a bath and a good book!

Nervous Anticipation

I’m getting nervous. My talk is a week on Tuesday and I don’t feel ready. I’m sure it’ll all come together in time but right now its just feeling messy and incomplete. Yikes!

We had a lovely family walk near Kingscote today – admiring the autumn colours – so I’ll put some of the photos here by means of distraction. (That’s got to be a good ploy in the face of nervousness!)

I love autumn!

Another good tactic in the face of this nervousness might be to ask myself:

“What would my Future Self do now?”

  • She would be kind to herself
  • She would take one day at a time
  • She would remind herself to have fun with it
  • She would remind herself that every step forward has required a ‘push’ – the taking of a risk

I can also feel her saying to me:

  • Remember that this is one of many to come and they’ll all been fantastic learning
  • I’m holding your hand  – I’ll be with you throughout this whole process

That feels nice.

On another note, many thanks to all of you who sent such loving messages after my last two posts from Cornwall. I’m afraid the situation didn’t get any better but I’m proud of how we dealt with it. Let’s hope some real healing can take place over the next little while. I suspect we might need to give it some time.