There is something that happens when you begin to share your journey on a large scale with an audience whether it be through a blog, social media, Youtube, or any other online platforms. When we open up and become vulnerable with our past hardships and struggles and how we overcame them, we have a chance to sugar coat the story with hindsight, distance and almost a narrator’s perspective. Even when we share the pain, it tends to sound beautiful and meaningful. Part of being a powerful voice and sharing your life to inspire others is the fine line of how to be open with present struggles and difficult times in your life without encroaching on your own clarity, experience or privacy.
Social media, for even the most vulnerable and open people, is meant to be a highlight reel. We get to choose what we share and what we don’t. “But you’re always happy.” False. I show you my optimistic positive self because that is who I aim to be but that does not mean I’m happy 24/7. It is extremely unattractive for people to complain and vent negatively on their social media. It is sad to see people’s private lives and matters thrown all over media outlets or Facebook and Instagram. Luckily, with the gift of creativity and inspiration, we slowly learn what pulls on our heart to share and what we know is too fragile or too personal.
I try to be an open book. It’s how I am in person and basically the only way I know how to be. I can’t lie- I feel as if I have been cheating on my writing. Ever since I have started using Facebook Live consistently to speak about topics weighing on my mind and answering questions from clients, friends or my social media circle- I’ve found it hard to write my weekly headspace. No matter who you are, how inspired you feel, how many podcasts and self-help books you are reading- we all run out of material. I read a great blog post from a friend of mine reminding me of this right when I needed to hear it. So, I feel compelled to write this.
I had lunch with this same very inspiring woman who wrote this blog last week . We have similar careers and have supported each other’s journey on social media since we were digitally introduced by a mutual friend. I finally met her in person and we shared a delicious lunch at the cutest little restaurant right on the waterfront at a beach in North Sydney. It was a random Thursday afternoon we both were able to fit in because we make our own schedules. We chatted as if we have known each other for years and I think we both left feeling inspired and uplifted. Everything happens for a reason and the conversation we had has been playing out and helping me this week following along with her blogpost I received by email. So thanks for the inspiration, Hollie.
At lunch we talked a lot about being afraid and doing scary things anyway. We both have drastically changed our lives in the past year and still easily admitted to having many fears and doubts about ourselves and our future. Our awesome lunch and conversation was followed by me coming home to a broken MacBook. This felt like the end of the world and then the week to follow proved me wrong. The punches have kept coming and my happy little universe that has felt like it’s been on a constant incline for months came crashing down. One huge issue regarding my boyfriend and I’s visa and ability to stay working and living in Australia is not turning out the way we hoped. We are still in complete limbo and uncertainty about how this will play out and quite frankly what country we are going to be living in. Mid-week I felt really low and unfortunately (or fortunately) at a time when I have just started this new 30 day fitness program and am supposed to be sharing my experience. I didn’t want to even look at my phone. But I am one stubborn lady, and I couldn’t let my clients or fellow teammates down, so plugged along through my normal grind even though I felt like curling into a ball on the couch with 17 glasses of wine.
A series of revelations have happened this week in the midst of this and I am truly taking this mess and turning it into a message. Regardless of what uncontrollables are happening in your life, even things that affect almost everything about your future, you still have a responsibility to yourself to find peace, control what you can control, and just keep swimming. I am currently re-listening to a podcast with Brene Brown on vulnerability and shame. I have filled my week with giving my all in my workouts, tons of podcasts, connecting to new likeminded women, helping people reach their goals, reading and focusing on my day to day life and trying to relax with my boyfriend. I also headed down to the beach on Friday for my usual sunrise yoga & good vibes session with my One Wave crew. Every single Friday, it doesn’t matter if I am having and awful week or a fantastic one, I get to experience a genuine community that thrives on vulnerability. It’s all about opening up and helping each other heal or simply just being there to listen. It’s amazing how little time is spent in our daily lives actually listening to each other.
Brene Brown said, “Feeling vulnerable, imperfect and afraid is human-it’s when we lose our capacity to hold space for these struggles that we become dangerous.” Being vulnerable is one of the most powerful tools we have which seems like an oxymoron. But people continually connect to struggle, pain, admitting you don’t know it all or have it all and that no matter what it looks like from the outside- every single person is fighting battles we know nothing about. I do not wish to live in a world free of pain and suffering, I wish to live in a world where everyone is comfortable enough to admit their pain and suffering so they can free themselves from the weight it holds on their life.
It is my job and what I consider a pillar of my personal brand to be positive, optimistic and spread joy but this is never to insinuate my life is perfect. I have felt extremely discouraged, afraid, vulnerable, and angry this week but what I am happy about is that I have learned the coping mechanisms to deal with those feelings. I have found an incredible outlet in physical exercise that I wish every single person in pain would give a shot. Yes, I’m telling you to move your body because it is good for you, it helps you “reach your goals” but I’m telling you to move your body because it SAVES people. It saves me from a spiral of negativity and complacency. It saves me from feelings of inadequacy or lack of control. Having control of your body and your mind gives you such a satisfying comfort when things unexpectedly go wrong. Not only has this gift changed my body and my mind- it has given me a platform to share my journey and the realization that people don’t just follow me because of my workouts, recipes, and cool travel photos. Or maybe you do or you did at first… but I hope that what keeps you is my willingness to be vulnerable. My genuine and sincere commitment to feeling fear and doing it anyway. I do it for myself and I do it for you.
I hope you stick around because I am not here to blow smoke up your ass or make you believe you are the most talented individual in the Universe. I am here to be real. I am here because I realized that one of my greatest gifts from my travels and life experiences has been the loss of inhibition and a deeper understanding of how alike we really are. Instead of contemplating what you are going to think about this blog post, I write it for me- if you like it, I’m honored, humbled and grateful but if you don’t I doubt you read this far anyway. Is it fun to admit you are struggling? No, but it’s life and it’s necessary.
If someone doesn’t like what you do or what you say it’s probably because it is exposing a reflection of the fear they have in themselves or they envy your ability to cast that fear aside. At the end of the day, I will never pretend my life is perfect but I will never allow other’s view of the world, my life or certain circumstances to diminish my own vision. Being vulnerable is a beautiful representation of being human and an incredible sign of strength. Right now, I feel vulnerable in pretty much every area of my life, but I refuse to lose my capacity to feel that. I refuse to wait until the storm has passed to find the rainbow. I truly believe that the ability to take risks is a double edged sword. When you risk it all, you also risk things not turning out the way you expected. It’s scary. It’s painful. But, fortunately, when you focus on all the abundance still overflowing in your life, the tides will turn and you wash ashore.
Sure, it might be a different beach than you expected, you might be naked, wearing tattered clothes and angry. But life keeps moving anyway. If you’re too afraid to be vulnerable, you’ll stay stuck staring at the same view forever. You don’t need to have the perfect life or diminish your struggles to be happy- you need to embrace that feeling of vulnerability, learn from it, and just keep swimming until you reach a beautiful new shore. And if you don’t like this one- just keep swimming.