This is the third article in the "Inspired by Pets" series featuring pictures of pets submitted by readers of my newsletter.Tapping Your Inner Super

This is the third article in the "Inspired by Pets" series featuring pictures of pets submitted by readers of my newsletter.

Tapping Your Inner Super Terrier


Tessa ... the Lakeland Terrier with Attitude!!

I know you're out there. I've even had conversations with some of you. Strong, beautiful, courageous women. Doing amazing things in the world. Travelling to places I wouldn't attempt to go. Maybe even climbing mountains and sky diving and...

Yet for some, the idea of showing up at WDT to dance freestyle in a group ranks right up there with being naked in the middle of a baseball diamond at a packed stadium.

I get it. Vulnerability is not fun. Doesn't feel good. Messy.

Bad things happen to good people all the time. Also not fun. Doesn't feel good. Messy.

So why would you ever invite or go so far as to embrace vulnerability when you can avoid it? Not go there at all.

Here's what I think. Brene Brown is right. There is strength in vulnerability.

Mountains. I climbed Gros Morne in Newfoundland about 30 years ago. The long hike in to the base of mountain was farther than it looked from the road. (By the time I got to the bottom of the mountain to begin the long climb up and back, I had already eaten my lunch.) Just as I started up the mountain, a young man literally runs past me, straight up the face of the mountain, like he was sprinting along a beach. Disheartened? Yes. Did I make it up the mountain and back before dark? Take a guess.

Travelling. I won a trip to New York City once. Free. Had never been there. The image of being there on my own seemed daunting. The one person I asked to go with me wasn't available. Did I go? Take a guess.

Skydiving. Nope. No interest. Don't care about it. Happy for those who love doing it, but not for me. Will I ever voluntarily jump out of a plane with just a pack on my back? Take a guess.

Getting naked. When I was at Esalen in Big Sur, CA for two months (over ten years ago) there were several huge hot tubs overlooking the ocean. Fed by springs of hot water from the mountains. Everyone was nude in the tubs. All shapes and sizes. Day and night. Sun and rain. The healing springs worked their magic on my body image issues. (On so many levels, that was the healthiest time I have ever lived.) Will I swim in my birthday suit whenever I get the chance? Take a guess.

So what's my point? And what does this have to do with Tessa and tapping into your Super Terrier?

Vulnerability of the Self-Imposed Variety: Practice with the Small Stuff
For me, every workshop, session or event I offer comes from a place of vulnerability. Putting myself out there. Subjecting what I believe to be good ideas to potential judgment by others who might not agree. It's an old story.

The most recent example was on the drive to the first WDT in Dartmouth a few weeks ago.

I had not asked for registration in advance, so I had no idea how many women, if any, would show up. I could walk into an empty room, or there could be dozens of women there, or anywhere in between. About halfway between home and Dartmouth, I could feel the wave of vulnerability gaining momentum.

I should have asked women to pre-register. I'm driving to Dartmouth for what, exactly? I've had other ideas that I thought were great and no one else did...yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. You might know the feeling, eh?

Not this time. I can do things differently. I don't need to create my own drama.

It starts with me. Which includes taking responsibility for my own balance of suffering and joy in this specific situation. After all, how I experience the small things impacts how I experience the big things in my life.

It was up to me how I chose to think about my situation. And I could even choose how I want to feel going into the room.

Nope. This time I self-coached my way to a much happier place.

It went something like this:
First, I started by reviewing the facts. I had promoted the workshop. A $15 investment for the room, some gas and my time. I had my list for Costco. I would have supper out in the city after the workshop. Not a wasted trip, no matter what happened.

Then, I pondered these questions: What was I making that mean, if no one came? If dozens came? Why, exactly, was I setting myself up and for what? What would failure look like? Success? And who was the judge of that?

The Wonderland I landed in next was one of pure gratitude.

I was confident that WDT is a worthy offering. The format is solid and it works. I had done it many times with my small tribe in Mahone Bay.

I truly believed that I was the one to be offering this unique event. Good for me that I was acting on my commitment to help others find their own way to even better. I may not be able to do much about all the suffering in the world, but I can try to do something to shift the balance of suffering and joy in my own small way. For me. For others. What really matters? That I am willing to try.

I thought back to why I put the offering out there in the first place, and got in touch with my true motive for doing it.

I also remembered great moments shared in other workshops. The faces of strong, beautiful, courageous women who took the big step into the center of a circle when it would have been much safer for them to remain on the outskirts. So vulnerable. So brave. Such rewarding and life-giving moments for them.

So, in just a few kilometers down the highway, I had totally shifted my perspective.

Woof. Woof. And woof.
There's my Super Terrier.

Bring it on. I don't really care how many show up. I'm doing this.

And I did.

Got there. Paid for the room. Went in to set up.

One woman arrived. Then another. Then more. A few women I hadn't met before. Most were women I hadn't seen in a long time. So good to see them. I mean really good. A bonus I hadn't considered. Loyal women who believe in what I do, even if they don't always know what to expect.

So I took a risk and it turned out well. It might have turned out differently. Either way, I was coming from a good place on the inside, and it made a difference.

On the outside, to others, I was just a woman showing up to facilitate a workshop doing something I love.

Others loved it, too.

We're doing it again.

Spread the Joy ... I mean ... the Woof
I say all this in the hope of inspiring you to not block the woof of your own Super Terrier. Go ahead. Tap into the Tessa within.

Imagine how free and light you will feel when you come from a place of loving kindness toward yourself, especially when it would be easier to be anything but a soft place to fall.

After all, happiness is an inside job.

That radiates outward into the hearts of others.

You may not enjoy swimming in your birthday suit. Or dancing like no one is watching.

But we all have many opportunities to unleash the Super Terrier within. Dare greatly.

Perhaps you're already well aware of what often waits on the other side of vulnerability. At the very least, strength.

For you, I hope it's pure ecstasy!

With thanks to Tessa, and her people persons.

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I welcome the opportunity to bring valuable personal wellness tools and inspiration to women who are experiencing big shifts in their lives.

Whether these shifts are imposed by the hand life deals us, or freely chosen as a natural part of growing and evolving, it is a great pleasure to be of service to strong, beautiful, smart, courageous women.

To find out more about how life coaching can help you find your own way to even better,

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