I walked towards the water; eager to collect beach glass to send to loved ones who are far away. My inner voice tried to tell me I was too busy to sit on the beach for 30 minutes, that it was a luxury I could not afford. Mother nature is a luxury, she is a healer, and we all deserve to make time for that.
I fought with my inner voice momentarily and declared that I deserved what Brene Brown called a “permission slip”. I pulled up the notes app on my phone and typed my “permission slip," which is essentially setting an intention. I typed, “Right now, I need the time to be by the sea, collect gifts for those I love and quiet my mind.” Hit “done." Resume walking.
What belief am I really fighting with right now? What is my inner critic telling me? The message was one that has come up often and been extraordinarily loud since becoming a mother, “What the hell are you doing spending time alone and doing things for yourself; you are supposed to be a mom.” As if my role as a mother was somehow birthed right along with my son and came out so ravished that it consumed all of my other roles in life. Poof, I’m a mom, and that is supposed to be my only life purpose.
The reality is, I am trying to be brave. I am yearning for a deeper connection with people, exhilarated by the idea of helping them to reach their goals and find their own courage. I have resumed the role of a student and jumped in to an intensive Master Coaching program, while also teaching full time, and of course having a family and friends. Correction: I am being brave. Bravery cannot exist in our lives without holding hands with vulnerability; they walk side by side. Contrary to popular belief vulnerability is not a bad word, a dirty word, or something that we should run away from. In fact, Brene Brown says that vulnerability feeds connection. It is not weakness; it is the courage to show up. I am brave + vulnerable.
The definition of courage comes from the Latin meaning, “to tell the story of who we are from our heart.” Brene Brown breaks down courage in a series of steps that make it feel less scary, and reminds me that in order to live in my role as a mom, I must have the courage to let people see ALL of who I am.
1.) asking for what you need
2.) speaking your truth
3.) owning your story
4.) setting boundaries
5.) reaching out for support
I saw what looked like a translucent rainbow as I approached the stairs down to the water and knew I was exactly where I should BE. I felt abundant and grateful, things that I have been trying to feel and manifest in my daily life. The light seemed to pull me toward it, I could hear the faint whisper of self-compassion saying, “Hey, you deserve to be here, it’s been a rough couple days. Sit down, play in the sand and remember to take some deep breaths. Feed your spirit.”
I am in the arena, which Brene describes as any area in your life to show up and be braver, any place in our lives where we would like to try on a new way of being that’s a bit bolder and a little bit more honest and a little bit more authentic. I am choosing to define my roles on my own terms.
As I sat and ran my hands through the millions of tiny beach pebbles and sea treasures; the glass pieces jumped out to me. Their glimmer of hope and smooth edges begged for me to pick them out of the damp sand and fill them with loving intentions for my friends and family. The sun was like a magical spotlight, shining on each piece of glass as if it had its own unique purpose.
I said “thank you” out loud into the gentle waves that were washing ashore. The permission slip I gave myself today helped me to understand that courage has components that weave together to support us. Courage is liberating.
What will you give yourself a permission slip to do|be|feel|say? Where and when do you need permission to try a new behavior?