A friend of mine doesn’t do New Year’s resolutions; she does words. She finds a word, or sometimes a phrase, that encompases how she wants to live her year. It’s like the Ally McBeal theme song tactic only much shorter. I like this idea since there seems to be a lot of evidence that resolutions rarely pan out. Over time I’ve tried to adopt this habit but it hasn’t stuck. I can’t remember what the word I chose for 2015 was. It was probably something silly and slightly new-agey like joyful or radiance. In an effort to make this one stick I have decided to share this year’s word and write about it.
Are you ready? Here goes.
My word is COURAGE.
Brene Brown, the shame researcher/ storyteller you might know from her a kick-ass TED talk, the power of vulnerability, had this to say about courage:
“The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and, today, courage is more synonymous with being heroic. Heroics are important and we certainly need heroes, but I think we’ve lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad) is the definition of courage. Heroics are often about putting our life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. In today’s world, that’s pretty extraordinary.” – Brene Brown
Here’s the thing, I know many of you that follow me online or attend my events are likely to see me as I’ve tried to present myself; as a strong and fairly open-hearted woman. You’re likely thinking, ‘Courage? But you’re the one that can get up on stage and publicly embarrass herself by reading her awful teenage poetry in front of a large crowd. You dressed up in a sailor suit and tap danced at Novelty Act to a bizarre song you beep-boop sang.‘ You’re right, that’s what I do. That type of courage and vulnerability comes easily to me.
For the last few years I’ve held back my creativity and voice because I became fearful. I was afraid of failure, afraid of rejection, afraid of embarrassing and disappointing myself. To be honest, I still am, but it’s time to work though that shit. Silencing my creative voice, particularly my writing, made me feel small and repressed and then I got depressed. Like really truly, hard to get out of bed depressed.
I spent the better part of 2015 recovering from depression, which was exacerbated by horrible, negative self-talk. I went to a psychologist who specialized in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and I did THE WORK.(I’ve got a blog post about this and my recovery drafted – stay tuned!) For many months now I’ve felt more secure and happy in my life and I’m ready to move forward, work on projects/goals/ myself in a heartfelt, vulnerable, and courageous way.
So you’ve been warned; my blog is going to change its tone.
Of course, I’ll still be posting about my shows. If you want to unsubscribe to my overshares, go ahead.
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Here’s to new beginnings. Or at the very least a reset.