I never skated again.
Thinking back, I'm not sure whether it was the shock or the indignity that made me walk away. It was certainly a blow to my confidence to recognize the distance between what I dreamed of for myself and what was true in the moment.
I'm still a sensitive soul profoundly attached to my dignity. I can be shutdown by criticism. Fear of embarrassment or getting it wrong or not being good enough can hold me back. But my spirit is always aching to grow, to try new things, to go on the next adventure, to risk, to try, to believe something amazing is possible if only I show up. And so I do. And here are some of the things that I have learned and that help me. Maybe they'll help you too.
- Respect your creative cycles. There are times in your process when your precious idea or your creative self is simply too tender for criticism and judgment. And there are other times when feedback and sharing can help shape your creation and guide you in taking the next step.
- Create/find a safe rehearsal space. If you're going to grow, there will be times when you have to stretch and do things you have never done before. It may not be graceful. You may fall on your butt. Give yourself some time and space to do that - free of judgment, including your own.
- Have support. It helps to have some loving friends, a supportive accountability group, an encouraging coach, an empowering blogging community, a trusted journal.
- Be gentle with you. When I fall on my bum, it's time for a hot chocolate, a deep breath and a reminder that it's all okay.
- Celebrate your strengths. In fact, not only is it okay, but it's a time to remember that in a lot of things I rock. Maybe I couldn't skate back then but I could dance, ride a bike and find my way around the neighbourhood!
- Accept yourself and all of your sensitivities. This is not about changing who you are. It is about knowing how to best work with your own unique set of characteristics. One of my gifts is that I'm sensitive. It makes me good at what I do. But I need to know how it serves me and also how to be with it when it gets in my way.
- Choose your adventures. There are some things that may not be worth the discomfort and hassle. To be honest, I don't really care that I don't know how to skate. It's way too cold out there for me! But then there are things that I really want to do that involve risking and potentially failing - running my own business, launching a new idea, putting on a show - and for that, I'm willing to fall on my bum.
- The world won't end. As I've gone through life, sometimes I've fallen on my bum but sometimes I've shone. Often I've had fun and memorable experiences. Each time I've grown. Not one time has it been the end of the world. So, I'm going to keep showing up and seeing what happens. I'll just bring my sense of adventure with me.