Saturday, May 20, 2017

Throw Away the Mask- Being Authentic

"Authenticity demands WHOLEHEARTED living and loving even when its hard, even when we are wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we are afraid to feel it." 
Brene Brown

For the past two days I have been bathed in amazing energy, and am so proud to be associated with Life Time Fitness.  These group fitness rock stars teach, inspire and make a difference everyday.  From kickboxing to yin yoga- these gurus know their stuff, and they are damn good at what they do. You can't help but to leave their workshops knowing that you are forever changed. 

As I look back on the day, I realize that the reoccurring theme in each master class was the need for authenticity from a coach, leader or teacher.  My first thought was that being authentic just means not to be fake or false right?  But I heard it so many times today that I decided to research it a bit, and I found out that authenticity means so much more.

Brene Brown says that "authenticity is cultivating the courage to be emotionally honest, to set boundaries and allow ourselves to be vulnerable exercising that compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle, and that we are connected to each other through a loving and resilient human spirit.  Nurturing that since of connection and belonging we can let go of what we think we are supposed to be, and embrace who you are." 

Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to truly be authentic?  Are you willing to feel enough?  Can you trust that it's ok to let go of who you think you "should" be and embrace yourself quirks and all? 

Brown goes on to say that " Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul searching struggles is how we invite GRACE, JOY and GRATITUDE into our lives." 
Authenticity to me means embracing the fact that we are damn good at some things, and maybe not so good at others.  It means going for it- even if you're afraid you might fail.  It means being such a bright shiny light that others are drawn to your energy.  It means falling down, and getting the hell back up.  It means loving again, and starting fresh every freaking day. 

Authenticity is a choice.  Forget the false stories of your past, show up and be real; or as Karen Collacutt said "Throw away all of the masks and put on your soul."
What makes you vulnerable, makes you believable.  And THAT is truly inspiring.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Lean in a Little and Let Gravity Carry You

"If you want to get faster on the down hills, let go of your death grip, uncurl your toes and relax."
Paul Howard

With 2577 feet of elevation gain, St. George 70.3 was the hardest bike I've ever done.
From the first slow, hard grind out of Sand Lake Reservoir I realized: "Toto- you are not in Texas anymore."  What I didn't know at that time was that the mental challenge would be far more difficult than the physical challenge.

You see, I struggle like a beast!  Hard, hilly, rocky....bring it!  I will put my head down and power through.  I'm "Ram Tough" baby, and on the uphill- this flatlander would pass people. 
A lot of people actually.
But...you already know where this is going don't you?  Of course they would Ferrari by me on the downhill, leaving me in their dust like a 1971 Ford Pinto. 

Downhill has contradictory meanings. 
On one hand, it could describe that the hard part is over, and that things are smooth sailing from here on out.  On the other hand however, it could mean that things have gotten a lot worse over time- like "Its been all downhill since Trump has been elected president." 

During my race I found myself dreading the downhill.  They were scary and made me anxious. The lingering thought in the back of my mind was always that there was a serious possibility that I could crash.
I find myself doing this in life as well.  I have had a pretty tough climb over the past couple of years, but the hard part is over.  If I would let myself I really could chill, let go of fear, and enjoy the ride. 
It's time to lean in a little and let gravity carry me. By putting on the brakes- people are passing me by.