Day 126/365 FOFU or FOLA

Back in 2011 I was asked to be one of the very first participants in something called The Revelation Project.  It was the brainchild of two friends of mine, Monica and Robyn*. The initial idea behind it was to empower women through photography.  It has since morphed into a full journey of self-discovery through life coaching and journaling.  When they asked me to participate, I was reluctant. I was scared that people would view me as a narcissist. I was afraid my husband-at-the-time wouldn’t like it (but somehow deep down I think that actually made me want to do it more. Maybe I was challenging him to ask me not to do it…or to just care).

At the time I was the stay-at-home mother of a five year old and a two year old, and I was just beginning to realize my marriage was in big trouble. During the day I felt like I never had a moment alone. Yet at night, with my husband, I felt incredibly lonely.

I could not remember the last time someone took a photo of just me…as an autonomous human.  In fact, who the hell was I without my children attached to me like barnacles, anyway?

It was scary for me to think about being seen. Would I even recognize myself?

I did it, though (and I have the above photos to prove it) and that snowballed into other “brave” acts…like starting a business, moving out of my house, advocating for myself…

…and then….

Last year on this very day I embarked on a four day backpacking trek into Yosemite National Park. We hiked about sixteen miles total, at high altitudes, wearing 40 pound packs.  It was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done, physically. I am not exactly what you would call an “athlete”.

We were on a guided tour with a group called Balanced Rock.  I was with my cousin, Lynette, plus two guides and six total strangers. I was scared to death that I was going to at best embarrass my very fit cousin, or at worst – DIE.  I especially thought the latter while we were zigzagging up a narrow path on the side of a granite cliff in blazing heat.

“Goodbye cruel world…”

Of course, once I made it to the top – and I caught my breath, which admittedly took some time – I felt like the queen of the damn universe.

IMG_yosemite

Obviously there are many definitions of bravery – and even how I define it as it pertains to myself has evolved as I have grown more confident, discovered more about who I am, what I truly enjoy, and what I may have to offer the world.

It is up to each of us to discover what we consider to be a personal act of bravery.  I’ll give you a hint, though, it probably will make you feel one of two things…

FOFU – Fear Of Fucking Up

or

FOLA – Fear Of Looking Assinine 

If you experience FOFU or FOLA whilst debating whether or not to do something, you are probably on the right track.  

Keep going.

This summer my personal act of bravery is a “camping” trip with my kids.  Me, two kids and a dog, being dropped off to a one-room cabin, on an island in the center of a lake in Maine. No other people, no electricity, no running water (there’s a water pump, but we have to boil the water before drinking it or cooking with it), and a composting toilet (which from what I can gather is essentially an indoor outhouse).

I’m super excited. I’ve also got a dab of FOFU and a splash of FOLA.

I think that makes for a perfect summer cocktail, and I can’t wait to taste it.

rev 6

{*If you are interested in seeing what Robyn is doing now, check out her website here or take a look at the amazing work she is doing with non-profits Making DIPG History  and Project 3.8.}

 

 

 

Day 2/365 – Monica

Almost eight years ago, I found myself in a scary place.

I was a stay at home mom with two beautiful children (Beau was two and a half, and Ruby was two months old) and I was experiencing postpartum depression. I would wake up in the morning, and the thought of a new day brought me to tears.

At the time the only person I knew (and I did not know her well, by any means) whom I had ever heard speak openly of having experienced PPD was Monica. I got her number from a mutual friend, and I called her in tears.

She recommended that I see an acupuncturist/healer…but here’s where it gets amazing. Monica made the appointment for me, met me at the appointment, and held my baby in the waiting room while I was seen. We literally had never even hung out before. I found this astonishing.

Throughout the past eight years (the craziest years of my life by any measure) Monica has been there for me, without fail, every single time I’ve needed her. She is the kind of friend who really listens, and then asks the right questions to help me to get to the heart of a problem. No platitudes (oh how we laugh at platitudes!). Not only have I had some of my deepest talks with her, but I have also shared with her some of my deepest belly laughs.

For someone who has been through so much, her eyes shine from within, and she laughs from her very core.

Monica, you are a beautiful soul and I am so grateful to be your friend.

monica trp

Postscript: You will notice if you read through this blog that Monica is mentioned many times, often relating to some bit of wisdom or revelation. She is not only my closest friend, but also a co-active life coach. You can learn more about this here. She does most of her coaching over the phone, so you do not need to be local to her/us to benefit from her amazing ability to help people pull back the veils. What I love about her coaching is that she helps me to get there – to the place I need to go – myself. She guides but never pushes. She holds up the mirror but never tells me what I am supposed to see there.

 New to this blog?  Read what it’s all about here.