We are always faced with 2 options, fear or courage. It's that simple. The difficulty is in what we choose. Both have their advantages and equally their disadvantages but only one will lead to growth.
If you've followed my writing you'll recognise this statement: On the other side of discomfort is growth. I truly believe this but I wouldn't be much of a teacher or guide unless I walked my talk.
I had the opportunity to sit in circle with Brooke Medicine-Eagle, an Elder, Earth Keeper and Wisdom Teacher from Montana and The Crow People. Only I almost didn't go. I almost stayed at home safely cocooned in my bed lost in fear, trauma, and spiralling dangerously out of control.
You may or may not know that 2018 was a particularly trying year for me, I found myself on the receiving end of some damaging actions, partly of my own doing (ownership is important) and partly due to the actions of another.
The actions of another were extremely heart breaking and soul destroying. It took a lot to put myself back together (and yet here I am!)
I happened to share the Medicine-Eagle event in a message to my sister and I received a social media screen shot back with the advice "skip it". This sent me into an unanticipated tail spin - neither of us thought it would rock me that much.
My initial response was traumatic; shaking, crying, literally hiding in bed, refusing to go. No, I can't go. They will be there and I can't face it. It's too raw. If I never see them again. I can't. I won't be able to focus. What if they see me? What will happen?
I messaged my husband with "I'm not going, --- is going. I can be in the same room."
I can assure you that people listen far more than you believe, as my husband, whom I assume takes in very little of what I do and say, repeated back to me, "block --- out but don't let --- be your focus. You are there for your benefit, potential to learn etc.”
The wisdom of his words cut through the Forget Everything And Run I was experiencing. I remembered my own integrity and truth: How can I expect others to face their challenges if I don't do it myself? Lead by example. Do the work.
And so, I chose to rise. It was a very quick dash to get ready. My son and husband, plus my crew had my back. I could do this.
I was going to do this.
I pulled up my boots and I went. I sat in circle. I was terrified. We both knew each other was present. Was it comfortable? No. Absolutely not.
I had made the decision that if I was approached my response would be "please don't. I know you are here, you know I am here. I choose not to interact with you." This was the energy I put out. A carefully constructed boundary that held no animosity but set the tone of separateness.
The initial moments were uncomfortable, during the break we both went in opposite directions. At the end I did not look to discover their whereabouts, I went about my business and then left.
I may have walked faster than normal but it was not panicked.
Did it stop me from taking what I needed from the workshop? No, I don't believe so because I did not allow it to be my focus.
Yesterday I was faced with two options, forget everything and run or face everything and rise.
With the help of loving boundaries, an energetic crew that takes my safely extremely seriously, a family that know how to support me, and sisters that always have my back, I rallied. I chose courage.
I did the work. And will continue to show up time and again.
So please realise that when I say to anyone "do the work" and "on the other side of discomfort is growth" know that I'm walking the talk and I never expect anyone to do what I don't do myself.