Many years ago, Bob and I attended a conference in Greensboro, NC about how to help the families who have a loved one facing a terminal illness. One of my close friends had just been diagnosed with liver cancer and I wanted to learn more about how to comfort and connect to her during her illness. The conference covered the topic of grief and pointed out that grief isn’t reserved for death and dying, but for anyone who experiences any kind of loss.
As the seminar began, the presenter said something that resonated with me, and I have used it when coaching and facilitating retreats. He said, “If we could see our emotional wounds as physical wounds that were actually on the body, it would appear we had just come out of an atomic warfare.” He said we would be astounded and repulsed by how devastating and debilitating those emotional wounds might be. I never really thought about it before. As I scanned the room, I noticed how put together everyone was. I noticed how normal they all looked and wondered what they looked like on the inside. Then, the presenter taught us how beautiful we are when we share our story and reveal our emotional wounds.
We broke into small groups. I noticed all the opinions I had of the others in my group. Most of them didn’t seem to be paying attention. Some were shut down and not in touch with their emotions at all. Some were just there to get CE credits and not at all interested in what this man had to say. I saw nine men and women in my group who were shut down, distracted, intolerant, rude, ego-tripping, closed-off, judgmental, cynical participants and I initially thought about changing groups. I wanted to learn and connect and explore issues of grief and loss in my own life, and none of the people in my small group appeared to have ever lost anything!
So, the first thing we had to do was share the most vulnerable moment we had ever experienced and be willing to tell the others in our group the story around that experience and what we ‘lost’ as a result. I shared the story of my brother’s death and how that affected my life. One by one, others began to share their vulnerable moments and told stories about what they had lost. Within 40 minutes, each person in my group looked totally different to me. They were real and authentic and their vulnerability made them beautiful.
Since then, I’ve become a fan of Brene Brown who also teaches us all about being vulnerable and finding our power there. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this month, let’s take a real and honest look at what is going on inside our own hearts! Are we living our truth? Is our heart speaking to us louder than our fears or ego? Are we wiling to let our hearts break open and stitch them back together again? Are we busy judging others and forgetting to allow our hearts to have compassion? Are we our own worst critic? Are we living our lives WHOLEHEARTEDLY?
That is the focus of my work… and the focus at the Simply Be Unstoppable Women’s Retreats. My clients learn to listen to, and follow, the messages they get in their hearts. We just spent the weekend together letting our hearts learn to sing again. We practice nurturing and honoring the message that dwells inside of our hearts. Yep… we even discovered if we had been disconnected from our hearts for far too long! There are many unexpected treasures born from a weekend centered on heart goals, heart whispers, and even heartbreaks that have collectively left us broken, but stronger, wiser, and just a bit braver.
Thank you for being a reflection of the beauty and light that is residing in all of us. Remember, when you see your authentic beauty and live from the center of your heart, I will see mine too.
Have a beautiful week!