Two months ago, I gave this speech at the Conscious Diva’s Living Extraordinary Event and several people have asked me if it was recorded. My husband did, but on his phone – hence the delay in sharing as my initial reaction was that it wasn’t good enough quality to post.
I hate that I didn’t want to share it for this reason, because the truth is, I’ve based my life and now, my life’s work on being something I’ve been called my whole life – authentic. When I use to hear people say this it was usually after I’d done something silly or “outgoing”, so I always thought it meant that people liked that I didn’t care putting myself ‘out there’.
Today, for me, authentic means to be real and show up as you are, warts and all. Because this is when people see the real you and the people who are meant to love you, do and the ones that aren’t… don’t.
This “quality” rule I set in place just didn’t jive, so I’m calling myself out and standing for the power of authenticity today and daring to share, even with it’s sound issues and fuzzy areas. Because life is all about these less than polished “blips” and it doesn’t make it any less valuable – in fact, I really believe that it’s IN these moments where the real value is.
So with that, I’ve included the longer written version below, because in my nerves, I actually skipped quite a bit in my actual speech that night. So read, or watch and I hope there is something in there that inspires or lights you up in some way. It was a magical night and one I will never forget.
Here it is as I embrace the blips and walk my talk!! (text below)
“I want to tell you about about a profound experience I had on my honeymoon 7 years ago in Australia (and being corrected by my husband, the SECOND most profound experience…ahem) when we treated ourselves to a horseback ridings tour one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in the world – Cape Tribulation. It was the ONE experience I had been looking forward to more than anything. I have always dreamed of galloping on a beach and I was giddy to the point of annoying that this might actually happen.
My horse was stunning. Her name was Stella and as we walked through the mile or so of bush before the beach, the anticipation was building in build in me like a volcano – I was also thinking if I had to tolerate this mind numbing pace for much longer I was going to burst. When we finally stepped out on to the beach, what I saw took my breath away. t was better than I’d ever imagined – MILES and MILES of nothing but sand, sea and sky and not a person in sight. Every fibre of my body and soul was screaming YES Lets do this!
So when we kept walking and our pace hadn’t changed I wondered when the tour guide was going to let us run. And nothing – the group just kept walking and they all seemed FINE with this – I began to panic and then wondering if this moment was going to pass me by.
Are you kidding me? I thought – I’ve been given the keys to a Ferrari and I’m being asked to drive it though a school zone?
This energy rose up in me and clearly said…
“Oh Hell no – this is not happening”
So in an attempt to play it cool I casually asked if could take Stella for a run, you know – telling our guide how experienced I was riding (failing mentioning it was like 20 years ago …) After a few painful hums and ha’s, she told me that out of all the horses I could have picked, Stella loved to run the most and was dying to get out… so she reluctantly said YES…. followed up by some rules like ‘don’t go to far, turn around here blah blah – I’m not really sure what else she said, as I went conveniently deaf at this point ….
Because Stella and I were off.
Words can never properly convey SOUL experiences like this – but I’ll give it a go. To me, galloping down the beach, hearing Stella’s hooves thundering beneath us and feeling us glide through the wind – I know in reality I was holding onto the reigns but in my minds eye my arms were outstretched and we were flying.
I always get emotional when I think of this moment and for good reason. In that moment, I saw that Stella and I were the truest and fullest expressions of our selves. Expansive, free, joyful and completely unapologetic for our awesomeness. I remember thinking – if this were it and I were to die right here I wouldn’t have a regret in the world. It was a spiritual high like no other I’ve ever experienced.
Afterwards I realized what a gift I would have missed out on if I had stayed quiet and just gone with the crowd. And then I wondered… did anyone else want to do what I had done and wish they had spoken up too? All I know is that I was so grateful I asked and remembered “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” Powerful words that I live by constantly now.
So fast forward to just two years ago – I was in my own version of a mid-life crisis with two small kids at home, zero connection to who I was anymore, or what I wanted, feeling lost and stuck with a career in limbo and carrying an extra 50 lbs? Wondering how the hell did I get here?
On the suggestion of a dear friend ( and a very much “pay attention” moment) , I began looking into coaching and taking courses. It was an instructor that called us out for trying so hard to make the coaching “look good” – she said “I dare you to suck!” and told us to swing wide, get messy because our messy might be exactly what my client needs to have a breakthrough.
Hmm, I thought. Imagine?
What would it be like to dare myself to do things and not care if I sucked at them??
Much like with Stella, I took this concept back into my life and ran with it as a theme for the year. What I learned is that what my life needed was more life in it. Less existing. I committed myself to TRY anything new that caught my interest. To say yes to new people and experiences and instead of worrying about how things went, to collect a shit-load of learning in the process.
I first need to tell the stories I had up here (head) to not hold me back anymore from being my full, unapologetic self in everything I did. What I know now …. is that you and me? We are just like Stella and that Ferrari in a school zone – we were built to run and explore and be powerful beyond anything our limited minds are able to comprehend.
I’d love nothing more than to hand you the keys to YOUR Ferrari but you’ve had them the whole time. So let me stop and have an Oprah moment because
“YOU GET A CAR …. AND YOU GET A CAR! …..WE ALL GET A CAR!!!”
What I want is for us all to stop putting the brakes on our life by buying into what we think we ‘should’ do and pay attention to what it is inside of us that is dying to be said or done. Take a hard right and get out of the school zone – explore undiscovered roads we’ve been curious about for years, seek out things that fire us up and dare to see what happens and who we meet along the way.
Let’s turn the key and see what this puppy can do!
Here’s what I love most about “Daring to Suck” …. it obliterates failure. Because I see how success can be in SIMPLY acting on what your gut is telling you to do and NOT in the specific outcome where we either win or lose. This is authenticity in action. You do it because it’s WORTH IT, because it feels right and true for you. Doing so, has the power to turn fear into excitement and life into a simple series of trial and learning (instead of ‘error’) and seeing what we are capable of. There really is no losing here.
I also had no idea that putting ‘true self’ myself out there and simply trying things in an effort to be a happier version of me, would inspire others to do the same! This shocked me. I saw that the ripple effect is real and changes people and the world as a result.
With that being said, these powerful and slightly edited words of Howard Thurman capture it beautifully in
“Don’t ask what the world NEEDS. Instead, ask what makes you come ALIVE and go DO it and experience the hell out of it. Because what the world needs is people who have come ALIVE.”
So go on… I dare you.”
Much love in Daring to Suck-ness,