Since I have been blatantly disregarding any sort of before/after self-care when I am facilitating spaces, this is an attempt to center myself and bring more love and peace into my heart before and after.
What am I feeling?
I feel anxious. I feel restless. I feel vulnerable and raw and exposed. I feel alone. I feel pressure to be “perfect” in my information and delivery. I am expecting myself to be an “expert,” as if I can protect myself from criticism or mistake-making or outright failure by creating a “fool proof” curriculum and teaching. I am afraid of making a “mistake” so horrific that I am no longer respected or admired or welcomed or allowed to be part of the community I have come to feel I need (and am afraid to need). I am afraid of isolation and loneliness, not trusting that I can be ok on my own, even if others reject me. I fear I am not “enough,” that I do not know how to function alone. I fear I am an imposter, unqualified by some intangible board of experts to teach this material. I do not trust that others can accept me as I am, in my imperfect process. I do not trust that I can accept myself. I do not trust that I can accept others. I am afraid of the anger and frustration that rises to the surface immediately when others “challenge” or dissent from my views. I can feel my chest and throat tighten, can feel the inner critic accusing me of making a mistake (which is, I tell myself, unforgivable, and certainly could have been prevented with better knowing and foresight on my part). I have a difficult time maintaining curiosity. I feel myself close into a ball of self protection. I forget to breathe. I forget my self worth. I feel I may crumble, which would be the most horrific outcome of all, destroying the “put together, in-the-know” persona I have built.
I can feel the ways uncovering these things about myself is important, but I am realizing as I type that I am feeling a shift in my body. I feel raw and tight and afraid. I feel this is not a helpful prep process, and/or is not the time to explore these themes. Let me try another way…
I am capable.
I am present.
I am willing.
I am a person.
I am a person in the presence of other people.
Our humanity spills out of us, into the room. Though we each try to protect ourselves from it, we are vulnerable and nervous and afraid. We fear we will say the wrong thing, or be rejected.
How can we create a different space? Can this space be bold?
Can this space hold differing opinions? Is there room for all of us at the table? Is there enough to eat, enough to share?
Can it be enough, whatever it is, with whoever it is, tonight?
Can we hold one another with the hope of our best selves, our best intentions?
Can we each reserve the right to make mistakes? Change our minds? Hold space for all that shows up, for all that comes out of us?
Can I accept myself, for exactly where I am in the process, in my journey, today? Tonight?
Can I forgive myself?
Can I love myself?
Can I hold myself in the highest regard, with the gentlest of care?
Can I care for myself as though I am my child? As though I am my dearest friend?
Can I make space for others to be as they are, exactly as they are, loving themselves as their children, as their friends?
Can I release my own vision?
Can I release control?
Can I breathe?
Can I feel?
Can I be fully engaged and present for each moment, each unknown moment, trusting the process and trusting the space?
Can I know that we are all planting seeds? Can I believe that? Hold to that? Not need to see the blooms to know there is growth in each one of us?
I can. I am able. I am doing it. I am here. I am here. I am here. I am willing. I am willing. I am willing. I am worthy. I am worthy. I am worthy. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough.
We are so very, very human, each and every one of us.
We are each exactly who we are, where we are.
And where we are tonight is here. Together. May all unfold as it will.