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Sunday, February 26, 2017

How to Lead With Authenticity

Once upon a time (okay, last week), I cried on a podcast.

We were talking about the big moments in our lives; and when I began to share about the moment my husband and I discovered we were pregnant, my voice cracked.

"Our world turned upside-down," I said. And I couldn't keep my emotions at bay.

Upon listening to the raw audio file, I almost asked my co-host to cut it. To strip it from the record. After all, who wants a high-pitched bird-voice chiming into their earbuds?

Not me. Cue all the eye rolls. Lock it up. Chin up. Stay strong.

And if you can't in a moment of weakness?

The solution is simple: cut the audio. Erase it. Pretend it never happened.

After all, you can't hold yourself to something that was never spoken out loud.

But in that moment, those emotions were real. I couldn't keep them together; I didn't even have the energy to try.

As I listened in later, I fell into panic mode. I forgot to clean up my act. I forgot to cover my tracks and breeze over a real-life moment.

Even it was the most truthful thing I had confessed that day – or in a long time.

There's a lot of buzz about vulnerability these days.

There are extremely smart women who give great Ted Talks about it. And who write magnificent books, and manifest great podcasts about the matter.

They encourage us to live with arms and thoughts open. To make ourselves available to empathy and to relinquish control for how others perceive us.

For many of us, yours truly included, this can be a difficult mountain to climb. Especially when your own standard of vulnerability isn't matched heart-for-heart.

Further, how vulnerable is too vulnerable? Do you open your heart up to a man you just started dating? Do you share with a friend you've only just met the month before about the demons of your past? Before trust is truly established?

Can you guard your heart while being truthful with your words, actions and your thoughts behind them?

This is a pretty gruesome and exhaustive place to start. 

Like anything, we can't reach expert-level without some practice. Without some hours clocked-in. Without stepping into the shallow end of vulnerability – authenticity – with the people around you.

Like most everything, someone has to start. Someone has to make the first move. Someone has to be the one in relationships (or podcast episodes) to start.

And it might as well be you. It might as well be me.

I don't anticipate crying in every podcast episode. Or laying out my deepest, darkest secrets in the form of blogs or other blips-by-night on the internet.

But I think, for now, I'm going to start practicing being content with leaving in the bits of my life and story that aren't curated in hopes to lead, in all things, with authenticity.

Perhaps, then a community of vulnerability will follow.




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Monday, February 6, 2017

Fabulous Finds: An Out-of-Date Update

There is freedom in letting go.

That's what it's all about, it seems. To find peace, to find spiritual health, to find courage and strength. It's a game of taking up thankfulness in all things and blocking out the voices that demand you need more, more, more.

As my baby bump continues to grow and I feel my little man kicking and squirming around, I'm realizing this more than ever.

I'm also realizing that the world/Target will tell you that you need $200 gadgets and plastic light-up junk and kitschy t-shirts in your child's first year of being in the world.

I'm not playing those games. Not this time.

In my 28 years, I've had way more regrets adding on than I have paring down. I've regretted too-full schedules and indulgences in my bank account, food choices and, let's face it, margaritas. Because I like to party.

But I can't recall a single regret from letting go. From weeding out the unnecessary. And from taking up what truly matters in life: love, friendship, community, encouragement, patience, kindness.

That's what I'm keeping close. That's what I'm hoarding these days. I want to stock them away for the seasons that change or don't come as easily.

What We Chatted About

Sarah and I are about to become 20 episodes deep in our podcasting adventure. It's been a lot of fun to have another outlet and medium to chat about topics that are near and dear to our hearts.

This month we tackled:

New Year Resolutions

Patience

And we kept it super casual (thanks to the suggestion of one of our lovely listeners) in the first installment of our Casual Wednesday segments.

What I Read

My reading habits lately have been a little scattered, but I've been sinking into Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. I'll be honest: wrestled with the opening chapter, which basically breaks down every problem a woman could ever have back to how she was either accepted or rejected by a male figure in her life.

Is this really true, or is this a stereotype that Christian circles perpetuate? Are the statistics that back up this argument skewed, or based on broad assumptions? I'm not sure. But it was difficult to get through.

It did start to pick up for me eventually, though.

What I Watched

My husband and I are in an ill-fated showhole. But we did get in a few great movies this month:

Hidden Figures. Inspiring. Eye-opening. Funny, at times. And spectacular acting across the board.

The Founder. A movie so good that it will make you feel sick to your stomach. Michael Keaton portrays the man responsible for franchising McDonald's and simultaneously takes on the role of one of the most unethical and terrible businessmen/humans to ever walk the planet.

Fair warning: you will want a hefty burger and fries after. So plan accordingly.

What I Tried


Seeping into this strange world of crafting (who am I?) by getting our nursery ready (follow the #nestfest story on my Instagram page).

I'm not sure my friends who actually craft would agree that painting furniture and walls, and meticulously placing little blue anchors in the room would count as crafting per se. But I think it totally counts!

That about wraps us up for this month!
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