Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but a couple of years ago I had this thing happen where I felt like I was going through life on auto pilot.  I felt like I was living life a little bit flat lined.  I’ve seen Dr. Brene’ Brown talk about how often times we use food or alcohol or drugs to numb our shame and our pain… and how you can’t numb those things without also numbing joy.  

That was me.  I’d settled into a good job, a good marriage, empty nest… but after a certain number of years of those things, life was pretty routine.  I lacked joy.    I longed for something more.  I longed for a deeper connection with myself and with others.  Seeking some spark of inspiration in my life, I stumbled on Brave Girls Club

For me, from the outside looking in, Brave Girls Club (and Camp in particular) was all about belonging.  And oh how I wanted to belong.  A little research revealed so many women giving testimony about how Brave Girls Camp is life changing.  I became a little obsessed with it.  My expectations were pretty high because I’d poured over every blog that mentioned Camp, every picture and video.  So, off to camp I went, not sure how 'life changing' it would be for me because I’d already done all my big healing.  Intent on fitting in, I packed my cutest clothes and shoved my anxiety aside. 

All those anxieties that I've struggled with for years, those persistent thoughts about being a fraud, of waiting for the other shoe to drop came flooding back while I was at Camp.  When I look back through my Soul Restoration journal, it’s clear that I still had much ‘big’ work to do.   Because I lived so much of my life faking normal, my ability to feel like I belong and to make genuine connections was wobbly at best.  And there were many destructive old messages still to unpack:

“You never stick with anything.”

“You’re not like them.”

“What makes you think you can do that?”

And unpack them I did.  I didn't know when I signed up for Brave Girls Camp that I was really signing up for Soul Restoration.  It's an amazing course taught at Camp that is yes, life changing.  You don't do it alone, you have a whole Restoration Team at the ready and a circle of women to support your journey.

In Soul Restoration, I met my truth teller who dug up some great things for me to remember.  Every great adventure I have had in my life- from working in the movie business, to traveling the world, to falling in love… all happened because I chose to choose.  Somehow despite all the odds, when push came to shove, I have always summoned the courage to go after what I wanted in life and not to let life just happen to me.  That's why being on 'auto pilot' felt so awful to me.  I learned to interact with my 8 and 80 year old selves.  My wise old self gently showed me that the person responsible for making me feel like a fraud, like I don’t belong is in fact… me.  She urged me to get out of my own way and to LET MYSELF BELONG. 

In the years since I attended Soul Restoration, I’ve continued to work on these themes.  Work might not be the right word… I have focused on allowing myself to be in the flow of belonging.  I try to heed the words of my 80 year old self and go into every situation assuming I will find my tribe, to look around and wonder which of these women will be my first friend here.  Soul Restoration has reminded me to choose to choose, to do it anyway, despite any doubts that pop up as doubts tend to do.

So yes, Brave Girls Club is about belonging, but what I’ve learned, is that you have to let yourself belong.  Melody and Kathy have lovingly created and held the space, waiting for each woman until the time was right for her to step into her own… for each to realize they are worthy of love an belonging right now.   Brave Girls Club is not about standing next to them in the glow- hoping that their shininess will rub off on you.  It’s about standing in your own glow.

Isn’t it about time for you to do that?  To stand in your own glow?  It’s time for you to choose to choose.  To let yourself belong.  Melody and Kathy have created so many opportunities for Soul Restoration to be available to you.  You can do the course online.  You can do it in weekly formats.  You can really be sweet to yourself with the gift of a retreat experience.  There are 50 certified facilitators allover North America facilitating the Soul Restoration course for women just like you throughout the year. 

I’ve got a spot saved for you around the Red Carpet at my retreat in September in Arizona.  Why not check it out?  Come stand in your glow.  That’s my wish for you.