Girl Warrior: Make it awkward, especially in sticky difficult situations. Or during those times when your first inclination would be to cut your losses and walk away. Sometimes your first thought is the right thought. But there are times when you need to think again.
Stop, take a deep expansive breath and ask yourself this. How often have you let someone off the hook because you were too afraid?
Too afraid of confrontation. Too afraid of offending. Too afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. Too afraid of speaking the truth. Too afraid of making a scene. Too afraid of embarrassing yourself. Too afraid of making someone angry. Too afraid of your own anger. Too afraid of what others might think. And ultimately, too afraid of losing someone’s love or affection. Inevitably it all comes down to that.
Now stop again, take another deep expansive breath and ask yourself this. Is the answer yes?
If the answer is yes to even one of these questions, then it’s time to take a risk. Time to take a stand. Time to gamble and put all your cards on the table. Time to do what you’ve always wanted to do in previous compromising circumstances. And if you’re truly gutting the truth Girl Warrior, you’ve been here far too many times. Far too many times.
This is your triumphant do-over. This is your opportunity to speak up and speak your truth. Once and for all. Succinctly. Emphatically. Definitively. You will need to summon all the courage you possess because making it awkward isn’t easy. Walking away without making a peep is easy. Being a good girl who doesn’t make waves is easy. Playing nice is easy.
But don’t be a good girl in this situation. Instead go for the squirm. Make it downright uncomfortable and bloody inconvenient. Remind yourself that you are a bold and brave Girl Warrior. And remember, you aren’t taking this stand on your own. You have an entire Tribe of Girl Warriors behind you. Supporting and cheering you on.
So this time Girl Warrior, make it awkward.
Girl Warrior. Pain is inevitable. So feel it. Fully. Thoroughly. Exhaustively. Allow yourself to experience every little detail of the hurt you are experiencing. Physically, mentally and spiritually. Wring your emotions dry.
Purge. Cleanse. Release. Repeat.
There is no escaping pain. You can run but you cannot hide. It affects us all sooner or later. Like death, it happens to everyone and everything. Guaranteed. But unlike death, it doesn’t just happen once. And then boom. Lights out. Pain recurs. Also guaranteed.
But what isn’t guaranteed is your perspective. The way you think, feel, react, respond and behave when you’re suffering and in your darkest hour. You may not be able to control when something hurtful is going to come your way or cross your path. But you can control what you do when it does.
This isn’t easy. Your first impulse may be avoidance. Or denial. Or retreat. You may want to run like hell away from the source of your torment, if you can. Or pull the covers over your head. Bury it in the sand. Lock yourself away. Hold a pity party. Lash out. Make accusations. Lay blame. Threaten to harm yourself. Crush your psyche. Curse at your body or mind. Condemn their betrayal. Give up.
Do these things if you must. And there will be times when you need to do all or some of these things. Recovery, getting rid of the bad shit that happens, is a process. And it takes time to heal wounds. Whether it’s a broken arm or a broken heart. A sore knee or a sore spirit. An injured back or an injured mind.
But know Girl Warrior that eventually you have to face it all. Have a showdown with the pain. Feel it all. Surrender to it all. Accept that it is happening. Because the pain won’t leave you until you deal with it. One way or the other. Head-on works. So does a slow and gentle approach. Trust yourself. You actually already know what to do. The wisdom to guide you through this already abides within. Listen to your small quiet voice of truth. Know that all pain is temporary.
Girl Warrior, let this pain be one of your quintessential teachers. Learn. Grow. Forgive. Accept. Emerge. Move on.
Girl Warrior. Know when to take off the kid gloves. This comes with a warning, as it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Especially when it comes to our beloved tribe. And ourselves.
Our natural instinct is to be kind, loving, supportive and magnanimous of spirit. Our innate tendency is towards being nice, polite, agreeable and well behaved. We want to be liked. We don’t want to offend. Hurt someone’s feelings. Make another angry. Or worse yet, abandon us.
But at what cost Girl Warrior?
What do we lose by handling each other like Delicate Flowers? Does walking on eggshells really resolve issues? Is our skin really that thin? Are we so fragile that hearing the truth, and nothing but the truth, will break us? Is the fear that our authentic and genuine-selves is so unlovable that we’ll scare everyone away even those nearest and dearest?
No. None of this is true. We are not Delicate Flowers. We are not fragile, frail or feeble. Fear not. Have faith in yourself to speak from the wise and higher place within. And trust that the one hearing your words is there with you. Know that you are both strong enough to give and take a little tough talk.
Girl Warrior sometimes the most sensitive, kind and caring messages are the ones delivered when the kid gloves are off.
Girl Warrior. Ask and you shall receive. On the surface this is such a simple concept. Easy peasy pudding and pie. You know this. But do you really? Do you get it right down deep in your gut and marrow? The place where your truth lives, where the things that matter most take flight, where your greatness is born.
Understanding the brilliance and pixie dust of asking is a big game changer.
Take a moment Girl Warrior and imagine the life you want to manifest. Picture all the things you want to have or do or see – all the magnificent people you want to draw into your world, all the places your soul beckons, and all the personal and professional boundaries you want to bust through. Think about all those fantastical things you wish and hope for and go to sleep dreaming about.
Is the astonishing life you want achievable on your own? Probably not. We’re all on the Good Ship Lollipop together and we need each other. Big time. The help you seek may only be one question away.
What’s stopping you? Is it fear?
Are you fearful of your requests? Fearful of your desires, your needs and your intense yearnings. Fearful of your hunger and all the things in life that you crave, covet, lust and thirst for. Are you fearful that your requests will fall on mocking ears, scornful ears, or worse yet, deaf ears? That your impassioned appeals will go unanswered. Do you fear that your gorgeous tender heart will break from the silence, rage and fury that beats within?
Do you ask who is listening? Who will answer? You will never know Girl Warrior unless you have the courage to ask. And if you don’t ask, you won’t ever get.
All photographs courtesy of Melissa Adams.
Girl Warrior. Don’t take offense. This may be one of your greatest challenges. One you’ll not only need to work on every day but possibly every minute of every day. For being offended, insulted or indignant by another’s words or deeds happens so easily. Sticks and stones may break the bones. But words can hurt. Sting. Smart. Sadden.
Thoughtless, unkind, reckless, or flippant words are often the most harmful to our psyche, to our spirit, to our soul; but only if we allow or give them permission to do so. Therein lies our power. Therein lies our potency. Therein lies our potential. We are at the controls here. This is our command central. How we feel. How we think. How we react. And most importantly, how we act after receiving such a blow is everything. This is the “big tell.” This is the pivotal moment when more is revealed about our character than that of the offender.
Our egos are bruised. Our hearts are broken. Our feelings are hurt. Our spirits deflated.
But they needn’t be. Know this Girl Warrior, you have the power to A) neutralize your emotions and B) control your response. Both are critical and integral here. You don’t have to be upset, insulted, angry or wounded. You are not a victim. In fact you are just the opposite. What others say to you, or about you, is actually none of your business. Not your concern. It has no bearing on who you are. It’s their stuff. Not yours. Others will say or do what they will, often without even realizing the impact or the consequences. And so will you. So will you. That’s the hard pill to swallow. We are all guilty.
But you can fix this Girl Warrior. It is your job, your mission, to get at the truth and own it. Examine the intention of the offense. Malicious or not, forgive everyone including yourself, so healing can begin. For that is how you get over being offended.
Girl Warrior. Respect yourself. Yes you. Hold yourself in high regard. The highest, in fact. For you are a prized and precious and perfect person. Exactly as you are now. Exactly as you always have been. And exactly as you always will be.
This does not mean you won’t change and grow. Refine, reshape and rework your life. You’ll edit, emend and evolve as you go. There will be times when you press repeat, rewind or even pause. And that’s okay. You’ll learn new things. Astonishing things that will blow your mind. You are free to try on different roles and responsibilities along the highway or dirt road of your one-of-a-kind odyssey. Abandon what doesn’t feel right in your skin. Keep all that speaks to your truth and honors the brilliant Girl Warrior that you are. For this is the essence of self-respect.
Respecting yourself is part and parcel of loving yourself. It all starts here. You unwrap them together. They are hand in glove and should not be separated. They will act as your guide, your touchstone and spiritual litmus test for everything you think, say and do. But they do ask that you think well of yourself at all times. That you hold yourself in such high regard and esteem that you wouldn’t think of causing harm to yourself. Not physically. Not emotionally. Not intellectually. Not spiritually. Not ever.
There are no exceptions Girl Warrior. Your standard is set high. It is golden. And so are you.
Girl Warrior. Listen up. Listen attentively and actively when someone is speaking to you. Listen empathically. Sympathetically. Conscientiously. Listen with your ears. Listen with your eyes. Listen with your heart. Engage all your senses. And your extra senses also.
Give all your attention to the one doing the talking. Whether they have come to pour their heart out and confide in you. Or pour you a cup of tea and all that is required is some comfortable conversation with a cookie.
Focus on the one across from you. Do not allow yourself to become distracted, diverted or drawn away. Don’t let anything trump or eclipse this moment between you. Turn off your cell phone. Close your tablet. Shut down your laptop. Turn off the TV. And tune in.
Then lean in. Look hard into their eyes. Let them know they matter. What they have to say matters. Their thoughts and feelings and fears and hopes and dreams count for something. This is important stuff Girl Warrior. Respect, regard and reverence are composed and crafted here in these everyday exchanges. These ordinary little tête-à-têtes that happen so often we take them for granted. These soulful heart-to-hearts that we assume will always be. But the truth is, they won’t. So don’t squander even one single solitary conversation by not being fully present.
Girl Warrior let the one across from you know that you have not only shown up, but you are fully engaged. And listening.
The act of authentic writing is like performing open-heart surgery on yourself. Without anesthetic.
You slice open your chest, rip apart your flesh, hack into your bones and pull it all out. You have to be willing to be vulnerable. Fragile. Breakable. Frightened at times. Scared out of your wits.
Where did this come from? Where is it going?
But to write this way you also have to be courageous. Fierce. Raw. Genuine. Willing to take big emotional risks. Go to the dark and scary places of your soul. Tell the truth.
I not only write from the heart. I give you my heart.
Girl Warrior. Watch what you say, especially to yourself. Pay attention to your inner dialogue. The relentless non-stop conversation you have inside your head. The bitter discourses, fiery discussions and heated debates that turn and churn like a broken record in your mind. All the random thoughts that come and go but have such a powerful impact on the person you are. And more importantly, on the person you will become.
You are what you think Girl Warrior. And what you think you are is in essence who you are. Every second, of every minute, of every day, your self-talk shapes your reality. For better or for worse. It’s critical that you understand that your exterior world is actually your interior world manifested. Everything around you begins as an inside job. Think about that. Ponder the potency of that idea and just how empowering it truly is.
So first and foremost, don’t tell lies to yourself. Like I’m not good enough. Not smart enough. Not talented enough. Not pretty enough. Not enough of anything. Stop the self-condemnation and self-flagellation. Stop all the crazy-making put-downs and criticism. Stop saying all the hurtful things you would never say to anyone else. Stop the little inside bully. Right here and now.
And instead, tell yourself the honest truth. The brave and fearless bloodletting truth. You are more than good enough. You are smart. You are beautiful. You are a brilliant. You are talented. You are tough. You are courageous. You are loving. You are kind. You are gentle. You are strong. You are large-hearted. You are a force to be reckoned with. You are spectacular in every way. You are a Pink Stone Diamond. The rarest of rare.
Tell yourself all that Girl Warrior. And only that.