What To Do When Daring to Suck… really F*cking SUCKS.

What To Do When Daring to Suck… really F*cking SUCKS.

First, let me explain my absence in writing and say #sorryNOTsorry for the length of this post

(but much like this process)… it’s a doozy and totally worth it!

In June, I returned from my own Daring to Suck adventure from an exclusive (aka highly priced) make-me-or-break-me writing retreat I attended … and since then, I’ve been in hiding.

Or should I say… in healing.

Me not sharing publicly about what happened caused a level of inner conflict and paralysis I haven’t felt since I first got pushed off the ledge of my “practical” life 7 years ago. I told myself I conveniently needed time to “process” it all but days turned into weeks and now MONTHS. I’m finally calling bullshit and speaking my truth.

Why has it taken me so long? I guess like many of us, I believed my “truth” would hurt or harm people I truly care about. It wasn’t their intention for me to experience what I did so I thought it was good enough to express privately with my inner circle. But how am I serving the world if I leave the SUCK out from Daring to Suck?

My mojo is rooted in shining light through the dark and not running away from it – so here is what happened.

I went into the retreat wanting to be ALL IN and in true Daring To Suck style, I put my heart, soul and money on the table in the hopes it (“I”) would be received, seen, and celebrated towards my goal.  A part of me wanted to be lifted up like Simba from the Lion King for all to behold! And I don’t hold this against me or think it’s wrong to want to be embraced. I think we all deserve to experience this level of acknowledgement for the incredible and unique beings we are.

Let’s just say, the first part totally happened.

I was bold, emotional, passionate and enthusiastic about my hearts cause. I spoke about starting a Daring to Suck Revolution of Empathetic Badasses – encouraging open hearts to move forward with a greater understanding of their emotions, empowered with the wisdom our hearts bring to lead the change the world needs. How to live openly and daringly, without armour. To trust the strength and leadership in vulnerable authenticity. To be bold and BE who they are, DO what they were born to do and FEEL their way through life with the intellect playing a much needed support role.

I shared the most intimate and emotional writing I’ve ever written and laid it all out on the line. It came out BIG and EMOTIONAL. As it should have (I’m channeling some serious shit) and it felt so good to share it without holding back anymore.

Ooohhh I went for it. Bigtime.

So… was I held up and Simba’d?

No.

At least it didn’t feel (or look) like it. What immediately followed my emotional unload was a logical discussion to make sense of what I shared. With tears still wet on my cheeks, my heart became a project to be figured out and left feeling like the awkward “fart” in the room that nobody wanted to address. And in this, I was left isolated, confused, disconnected, alone, rejected and worst of all… feeling misunderstood. I was asked to come back to the table with more stories, something different, more sellable or marketable. I was asked to “dance” and deliver. Sweet jesus, just remembering this makes me prickly…

 

Because it SUCKED. Like really really SUCKED.

 

For the five days that followed, I watched myself twist and contort my ideals and dreams which brought me through a new layer of conformity that snuck in the back door. Everyday I woke up knowing what I WANTED to create and was met with other ideas and options that just didn’t feel like me. I got dazzled by celebrity and led off path. I was intimidated by the system and got lost. The internal battle I endured daily to show up as myself, still feeling the same message want to come out was like an unsavoury affliction I couldn’t shake.  This, combined with the inability to reach “my people” back home (the internet was crap) I was essentially in solitary confinement and it got pretty dark in there.

There was nobody in there with me, but ME and my BIG stupid movement… that didn’t seem to fit. Great.

In the darkness of it all, I was aware of my resistance to make what “I” felt, matter.

Oh her? (my cynical insides mocked) She’s always here raving about this daring to suck, emotional liberation crap. So what. Big deal. Of course SHE’S going to think it’s good. It’s HER idea. Pfft. We want the WORLD to love it before we move forward.

I was smack dab in the face of needing the approval of others or for them to tell me if it was good or not. Without the tangible “YES” factor in my face, I swirled in self doubt. I lost my footing and hated not making my own passion worthy of my attention.

IMG_9221Crap.

Like a distraught child missing her family at summer camp, I wanted to go home. I felt like giving up (which makes me laugh, because as if that was an option) but it turns out when you get to the core of who you are and what you are here to do, that shit doesn’t just shut off. It can’t. And I cursed it (me) for days while I sat there in the depths of it all, wishing for something better to surface.

In the process, I came undone. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t think straight or stand still so I paced the driveway trying to make something new come out of me.

Know that the people around me weren’t cruel or hurtful. What made this harder was that they were actually smart, funny, brilliant, talented, beautiful, spiritual, caring and thoughtful women. And I f*cking loathed them for it. It would have made it easier for me to point fingers and blame anyone and everyone around me. The moment I was triggered to feel the shitstorm, I knew that train left the station and I was being taken on a very intentional inner journey if I was willing to stay open to all that was being shown to me.

How do I know it was intentional? Because it was SO f*cking surreal. That’s why! I kept looking for the hidden cameras thinking I was being PUNKED or on a twisted version of The Truman Show.

Me? Not connect?! If you know me, connection is my JAM!

Put me in a room full of women when I share my open heart and connections go off like fireworks. I am humbled to have experienced this many times over my life, continuously, so for me to feel isolated, alone and confused had me look deeper to what the experience was trying to show me. This is what modern woo-woo’ers would call me moving through my Karma. And it’s gross. Truly.

So when people ask me – why the hell didn’t you leave? I tell them I couldn’t leave because I KNEW intuitively there was something I was being led to in the SUCK of it all. I’m not a “no pain, no gain” kind of person but my past experience told me this was all on purpose – and not out of cruelty. That somehow this was FOR me. What I didn’t intellectually realize was that layers and layers of my need to please or be accepted by the masses were being torn off me. I was being baptized by fire to REALLY not give a shit about what others thought.

My inspired words came back to haunt me… bless the mess and trust the process. F*ck. Sh*t. A$$. Balls.  FINE!!

This groundhog day cycle sent me falling down a sharp and painful spiral staircase hitting every jagged step on the way down. Experiencing doubt, insecurity, the need for validation and rejecting my own passion as not good enough. So what did I do?

3 POWERFUL STEPS  WHEN YOU DARE… AND IT SUCKS. 

In the hopes of supporting other Daring Hearts on this journey of badass vulnerability, here is what I practice and preach:

  1. Slow down, TUNE IN and pay attention to the experience YOU are having and less about the details of what he/she said or how wrong or fucked up they are. As much as it will piss off your logical mind, they are not the focus – YOU and your feelings are. Stay focussed inward and be curious about what this stirs up for you. Ever heard the saying “you are never really upset about what you THINK you are upset about” – something much older and deeper is being triggered here.
  2. SPEAK UP and express how you feel and what you are experiencing. Write, journal and giving words to whatever comes up. Call a friend or a coach that knows how to hold open space for you unload and get clear on what is actually  happening for you. Giving it words, unburdens you from all the SUCKY unknown crap as it arises. Speaking and writing about it can give you clarity through simple expression of it. By doing so you are saying that your experience MATTERS and give you space to see it from a distance with it outside of you. The message sent is that you are worth speaking up for. From the clarity you can ACT on it consciously to possibly address (and speak up to) those involved so they know what happened for you (if that even feels necessary) and by doing so you are giving yourself a voice to set some boundaries moving forward; and finally
  3. FEEL all of your FEELINGS. Especially the “dark ones”- don’t avoid them. Make room and listen to what they have to say. Your anger, shame and insecurity. Embrace the full range – from the spiritual “this is happening for a reason” part of you to the irrational pissed of rage-machine that wants to flip tables and crack skulls. They are each tender in their own right and want to be held and seen by you. They are not here to cause trouble – just to be expressed and released from within you. You can’t think them away. You must feel them to release them. If you continue to select the prettier, better behaving emotions, the dark ones only stay stuck and get darker… to show up again down the road. You and they are worth your loving attention so approach them compassionately and with curiosity. Turns out the darker feelings have some pretty decent reasons for begin there. Get curious, not judgemental. You might just be surprised.

So what happened?

Fortunately, like all good ass-kicking setbacks, I did all three (finally reached a friend to UNLOAD) and had a much needed comeback moment (briefly) where I felt inspired to make a video on Day 3 which gives you a sense of what I was sitting with.

 

I also had an epiphany after making the above, as the “path” metaphor got a bit messy for me – which is…

I AM MY PATH.

And YOU are YOUR path.

So keep doing you and keep walking you and keep dreaming what comes out of you.

If it feels good and true for you, you will NEVER lead you astray.

 

You’ll never believe what happened next..

On the last day, with five friggen minutes left on the clock and one last opportunity to share my latest thoughts – I blurted about a vision I woke up with that morning about THREE books that I needed to write – Daring to Suck (about taking conscious heart-led action being unattached to the outcome), Daring to Feel (on Emotional Expression & Authentic Empowerment) and Daring to Love (How to GIVE love to ourselves for us to fully RECEIVE love from others).  

In sharing it, I had no conscious awareness in the moment that I had actually LIVED these bad-boys in the span of five days either.  I had given up – but not on me – just on the belief that I needed their feedback or input to move forward.

I also noticed I gave ZERO F*CKS about what they had to say in response. I was liberated.

…And they f*cking Simba’d me.

I’m pretty sure I heard “The Circle of Life” playing in the background too.

But this time around I wasn’t happy or mad. I was bewildered and baffled to the point I laughed shaking my head thinking Well played Universe… well played (you f*cker).

I was also emotionally, spiritually, physically exhausted and so ready to go home to my people.

It must be noted, that before this, there was NO after-school special moment where I had a hug-it-out-love-fest within me that made me feel better. One thing was true. I knew I stuck by my miserable ass through the whole hellish experience with my eyes and heart wide open. I experienced and felt it all and loved me by way of staying true to what I believed in. I was covered in dirt, scratches on my knees and my wounds still open. I watched myself feel knocked down only to get up daily to stand up and go again. I was proud of my determination to stick with me and felt compassion for the place it brought me too. This is the Grace of being undone.

I came away with an internal fortitude and connection from the “holy shit, we’ve been through hell” feeling of solidarity only  gained by going through war together and surviving to tell the tale. This connection feels stronger and more REAL than any soap-opera ending could ever offer me and I’m so grateful.

As you move forward with your desires and dreams wanting to come through, trust that by practicing my Daring Trilogy, you will make you and your dreams worthwhile. It’s not glamorous or smooth – but it’s worth it. Our Divine clarity and wisdom lies underneath all the energetic baggage that crosses our path. We aren’t suppose to step over it, we must take the time to face it and bring all that is learned along with – to keep our path clear for our uniqueness to move freely into the world.

Hell, I never expected the following POEM to flow out of me afterwards, but it did. And I love it. So in the name of living free and more daringly – from my heart to yours…

 

CALLING ALL OPEN HEARTS

You are STRENGTH
NOT a weakness.

You are UNIQUE
NOT to be labelled.

You are ART
NOT a project.

You are to be APPRECIATED
NOT figured out.

You are a MOVEMENT
NOT a problem.

You are LOVE personified
and NEVER “too much”.

You UNLOCK HEARTS
Whether they see you coming or not.

You FEEL FOR THE COLLECTIVE
Your noble gift.

You were young and simply HEARD THEM WRONG
Your worth was never in question.

Innocent MISINTERPRETATIONS
That lacked the loving interpreter in your ear.

They were HURT when they spoke
And hurt was what they did.

They didn’t know.

And YOU didn’t know.

Know the TRUTH.

You are GOLD
You always were.

No more HIDING
Rise up, be bold and feel safe in yourself again.

Be SEEN AND FELT
For all that you are…AN EMPATHETIC BADASS.

Feel the STRENGTH IN YOUR STANCE
and the ground SHAKE beneath your feet.

Feel the LEVEE BREAK
Withhold no more.

LET YOUR GIFTS FLOOD THE WORLD

Shine for all to FEEL
You will never run dry again.

Open you arms
Embrace your BADASSERY.

UNAPOLOGETICALLY.

You are an EMOTIONAL RENEGADE of service.

And an EXPERIENCE to behold.

SO, BEHOLD YOU.

BY YOU.

And ask, what is possible from here?

***

Comment below or email me and tell me what about this stirs up in YOU?

And if you are longing to break free and explore YOUR hearts ripple effect, reach out and let’s see how we can help you make waves my friend!

With much Love and Empathetic Bad-Assery,

Keri-Anne x

 

After an epic journey of “unsolicited” change just three short years ago – Keri-Anne Livingstone transformed her disconnected and robotic life from existing to living, in every way by pursuing one unconventional concept – Daring to Suck. By daring to tune in and speak up for her desires, she reconnected to her heart, put both hands back on the wheel of her life and now demonstrates the aliveness and impact living a more authentic, open-hearted life brings. She serves the world as an Authentic Empowerment Coach, Impassioned Speaker and “Edu-tainer” facilitating and inspiring reconnection, deep healing, self acceptance and liberation for those seeking freedom and full expression in their life and business. The ripple effect is real and Keri-Anne is here to help you make waves!

14 Comments

  1. Sing it sister! I love that you stuck it out and came home to work it out! I love your ideas and your bad ass daring to suck movement!!!

    Reply
    • Thanks you Crystal! I feel you with me sister xo

      Reply
  2. You are amazing KA. I’m so glad you wrote this and I read it.

    Reply
    • Me too Jane and thank you for telling me and always “getting” what I have to say 🙂 xo K

      Reply
  3. Thank you for letting that explosion of emotion come forward! I feel honoured to have read it. You should posterize your poem for your office wall! xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Kate and I might just do that. So much love to you lady and your fierce open-heart xoxo K

      Reply
  4. Kerianne,
    Thank you for sharing your journey here with all of us!
    I ‘ve been through a high priced personal adventure early 2 summers ago, now. Life’s chaotic frenzy got me there with a big timid and slightly over eager heart. A heart so full of life, ache and suffering that it was ready to explode. I spewed my guts all over to a very supportive crowd and came away envigorated. Revived and refreshed. I have grown so much since then and you hit on one topic that truly helped me grow. When emotions and triggers arrive I now allow myself to dive straight in. Feel it completely. All of it. Roll around there. Exploring it but most importantly looking it square in the face and FEELING it! In doing so I quickly became lighter. More aware, focused and present. I freed myself of allot of wasted, dramatic energy!
    Thank you for reminding me to feel! To evaluate, to feel and release trapped negativity and emotion. Even at times when it’s not all making sense.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
    • OMG, you are welcome and thank YOU for sharing your experience too. The more we talk about it the more we make it easier for others to dive in with us! LOL xo K

      Reply
  5. Wow, this is EXACTLY what I needed right now. When I read “You are ART, not a PROJECT” I got teary- I don’t think I realized how much I was looking at myself like a project that needed to get better and better- rather than living art that could be more and more expressed. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Here’s to be the fullest, truest expression of ourselves! I have been wanting to expand on this very part of the poem and with your comment, feel as if I should share and dedicate it to you! That our hearts are to be experienced, not figured out. Much like abstract art when it first came out. It challenged the “traditional” and logical / technical masters but people LOVED it and I think they loved it because it was easy to receive, simple and touched them in a way the detailed masters just couldn’t. Thank you for your comments and please feel free to reach out as I’d love to learn from you as well. Keep being ART for all to experience! xo K

      Reply
  6. Hahaha!! THIS IS AWESOME KA!! I just went through the EXACT same situation a few weeks ago… and what kept me from falling apart was re-living this story when you shared it with me a while back I stayed with my feelings (even the sticky funky ones), I didn’t run, I didn’t leave myself in the middle of the “persecution”; and I celebrated my Daring To Suck with a lot of beach time, some champagne and I treated myself to extra naps to help process things.
    I was so happy to see your email pop up in my Inbox… keep sharing with us!
    All my Love and BIG HUGS
    XO Kat

    Reply
    • Thank you Katrine and WOW, what a great analogy you bring up – because if you leave too soon you get stuck in believing that you ARE being persecuted – which isnt the case at all – we are being liberated if we stick around to see it through to the end. Awesome! Much love xo K

      Reply
  7. I love love love Your Calling Open Hearts. Did you write this?

    Reply
    • Thank you Anne-Louise and yes I did. My first poem. Ever.

      Reply

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