For those of you who do not know me...I used to write...frequently...on my personal struggles and living a life of creativity, wholeness, and authenticity. I used to share these writings on our Creative Underground yahoo group. However, I have not written in a personal manner in a long time (so if you are opposed to reading personal expressions-here is your opportunity to sign off and delete this post!)...but this morning a challenge was set out in front of me. Having a rare day off from the store, I called up one of my mentors and asked if I could come down and meet with her.
Upon arriving at her door, she took one look at me, wrapped her arms around my shoulders and quickly ushered me inside. Before I could even utter a greeting of hello, she said; "WOW! You have been having a rough couple of weeks! Let's take our chairs outside and sit beneath the weeping branches of the willow tree I know you love so much."
It's amazing how that's all it took for me...one true and honest acknowledgement of the emotions I had been toying with...and my wall came tumbling down, and with it the tears I had locked inside my secret heart space. To have someone who knows me...actually SEE me...and be FULLY present to the state of my being was POWERFUL...and yet humbling. I work so hard to be tuned in to the emotions and beingness of others, that it always catches me off guard when someone is fully tuned in and present to me!
We sat there for awhile, underneath that willow tree, shaded by its weeping branches before my tears had ceased falling and I was able to speak...I told my mentor of my angst and my sadness...my struggle with not being enough or doing enough...my daily prayer to please show me the way and open my heart so that I might better guide those who are struggling to find their paths towards wholeness and living their best possible life...
I spoke of my growing Anam Cara practice, my Red Tent groups, the ARTreat participants, and all the other women whom have and continue to cross my path...I spoke of my struggle with the level of dis-connection, dis-ease, and anxiety that is running rampant in their lives and the world at large...
I told her how I was struggling to feel like I was being helpful in helping others to move forward on their paths, that I keep feeling like I need to do something else, give them something more...why are so many struggling and why am I failing to help them overcome their struggles? Where was I falling short? I thought I was sharing my "gifts" with the world (my gift being helping women to discover and share their authentic sleves with the world)so why wasn't the universe rising up to support me?????
When I had finished pouring out my angst, and had stopped speaking...my mentor said nothing...not a word...we sat in silence for a long, long time...a silence that tortured me...and it wasn't long before my crazy mind went off thinking...maybe I don't have a gift...maybe this is not my path...maybe I have allowed my ego to get the best of me...maybe I am wrong...Shit...now what am I going to do?????
She must of read the anxiety on my face, because at last she spoke..."Maybe you're playing it too safe, and its time for you to start playing bigger"...Playing bigger??? WTF does that mean?? Could I not be any weirder, out-there, in your face, outspoken, and different from most women than I already am??? What does playing bigger mean? That I tell everyone I know, that I celebrate the cycles of the moon? That I start letting everyone I cross paths with, know that I practice Ho-ohPonoPono on a daily basis? How about I start by letting everyone know, that I don't especially like any form of organized religion, however...if I had to choose a religion to practice in an organized fashion it would be Taoism??? How about I yell from the roof tops, that I believe passionately in the power of women, and it is up to us women to change the world??? Or how about I just shoot myself in the foot and tell everyone I meet, that it is long past time for us to stop asking what the world can do for us, and instead start offering up the gifts we have to share with the world???
And her response..."YES"..."I truly believe its time for you to start sharing your voice with the world again. You used to do it. You used to put yourself out there. You used to share your heart with the women on your group. So why did you stop?"
...I stopped because I got hurt...
"How did you get hurt?"
...somebody close to me told me I was arrogant, conceited, and full of myself. They told me I was dishonest and that I trusted the wrong people. They talked behind my back and told others that I didn't like them or want them around...
"So what did you do?"
...I pulled myself back...I set up protective barriers. I stopped sharing my writing because it left me vulnerable and exposed. I didn't want to be hurt that way again...on both a personal and a professional level...
"And so, as you sit here today, I have to ask, 'How's that workin for ya?"
...truthfully...not so well...I feel myself sliding backward...while the voice inside my heart is screaming out, "write...use your voice...share your gifts...you have much to say...just say it"...
"Scared of what?"
...scared that people will turn away from me and all that I have worked so hard to build. That they will call me crazy, self righteous, witchy, preachy...that they will stop coming into the store, un-subscribe from the group, publicly denounce and humiliate me in some or many ways...
"So what if they do? Do you wish to align yourself with those that are close-minded, or those that don't get that you are sharing a part of your journey, on your own personal path towards wholeness, healing, and authenticity?!?!?"
"Then start today. I challenge you to stop playing it safe. I challenge you to step ouside your comfort zone and lead by example. I challenge you to start playing BIG! I challenge you to go home and begin again-today! Use your voice and your innate creativity and find a way to share your story. Frankly my dear, I think your honesty and your willingness to embrace honesty and truth on all levels IS your gift. Now get out of here and go share your gift with the world. I DARE YOU!"
...and so...here I sit pinning this post to all of you...embracing my challenge...and beginning the task of playing bigger...
This is my standing ovation of one (yes I am on my feet clapping madly)!
Bravo! Yeah! Go Christi! You Go Girl!
I absolutely can’t wait to see where this will lead you. And I am along for the ride.
Christi, I LOVE You! I'm soooo glad you're back. There are very few people in my life I respect & look up to & you are one of those very special people. It's rare for me to have someone like you who cares enough about me, about us, about WOMEN to challenge us to be everything we can be, to look inside ourselves & feel our woundedness, to acknowledge it & grow from it. I've never had anyone care enough to do that. You have an amazing gift & so much to give. You encourage us to stick our necks out there & experience life, the good & the not so good. I feel very blest to have you in my life. As for those others out there who don't appreciate you, they must be hurting so much to not be able to see what a gift you are to all of us. Love you! Mary Michelle
My dear Christi,
You have no idea how much you helped me. When I wrote you to ask if I could come up to a class the end of June. I had no clue how much I missed you.... I guess neither did you. Then I decided to do the year long journaling.. and when I watch you videos I feel like you are here with me. In 2008 I went home to clean out my life and prepare to die.... then after that June class it hit me why I was so sad and lost and I realized that i needed to start living. I have been happier andf look forward to that next video where you are talking to just me.
Love you my Miss Christi.You do have a gift of great patience to spend your time making a video just for me to get my dose of you.
Hugs My dear. Love you so much.
I am pretty sure my existence and success I have had in my almost 25 years on this earth is testament to your ability to love, inspire, and help me find my own flame within to do greater things than myself. Even look at our little Randy Ray. The way you and Dad have raised us is all the proof you need to know that at the very least, you have impacted and altered two lives in a very major way. When the world turns its back, you always have us. As you always tell me, treat everyone with kindness and respect, and acknowledge that people are put in our lives for a reason. So what if they judge you, its jealousy or their own demons they are dealing with. And the only people's opinions that really matter already love you unconditionally. I am always here for you, and will forever be your Cassie Sue :)
Love you! - Cass
Hi Christi. You are awesome. You are unique. You are special. You are ENOUGH. You facilitate others to grow and learn and become authentic. You are human. You can't fix everything or everyone. Be kind to yourself. Love yourself. You are the best! Sending you hugs and love, Kathy
Thank you Christi!!!
For your beautiful heart <3 and journey you are on!!!
I'm sooo thankful for the times our paths cross and the wisdom you share!!!
*** Blessings*** ~Jill~