There is something that I have really NOT wanted to talk about lately.
You see, about three years ago a dream was born. Let me explain.
I’ve ALWAYS dreamed of teaching people how to tell the truth and deal with hard stuff. I am passionate about peace in their lives, and I see this as part of the possibility of world peace. Three years ago, I was very busy speaking to small groups of eager students about how to design their lives, in gyms and yoga studios. My coach pointed out that if I really wanted to change the world, I was not exactly on pace. Sure, I was doing my dream job and walking my talk, but I wasn’t talking to very many people. I’d say I was impacting a few hundred people a year, and it dawned on us that that would never be enough to get to critical mass. Television was her big idea. After the nausea and panic attacks subsided, I agreed to go for it. Thus began my three year journey of finding the right producer, channel and story to tell, and then actually making the show.
It was an unbelievable challenge. I have never been so forced to grow up. I practiced so much. I stayed up so many late nights. I squeezed in so much planning, producing and filming in and around my day job and my family. I had so many ups and downs. I did so many things I had never done before. I faced so many fears. Everyone went on the ride with me. Everyone rooted for me. It took so long, but I thought I was really getting somewhere. The whole thing was a pretty peak experience I have to say.
The show finally aired on April 15th, and MTV had three months to choose whether or not to “pick it up” and do more shows. Negotiations would have to have started almost immediately, but it didn’t look good from the start given how few people watched. We got a little hope in May about a possibility and then it fizzled. By the end of June, something died in me. I went numb. I knew. By July 15th, it was official.
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It’s my belief and part of my teaching that we all need to TALK MORE. That the more we hold in, the more we get numb, confused and angry. Very quickly, we find distractions and other things to get sad or angry about, which are seemingly unrelated to the first thing that upset us. I am an expert at this. I dove right back into my work and became pretty obsessed with fixing small problems. My coach once again noticed I was not on track for my big dream (and I wasn’t having fun). As she reminded me how much I wanted this and how hard I worked and how much I thought by now that I’d have really impacted people on a big scale, I finally teared up a little. She said it was good to have feelings about something this big a deal.
Since then, my numbness has subsided and I’ve had a lot of feelings:
- Embarrassment- to admit having failed.
- Regret- over things I might have done differently.
- Sadness- that it all wasn’t enough to make the difference I wanted to make.
- Anger- at the potential audience, the channel, the world for not “being ready” or willing to hear my message.
- Anger- at God for not letting me do what I feel is my job.
- Relief- at getting to start over and do it better and smarter next time.
- Excitement- that out of my anger comes my gumption, and I am a lot happier when my gumption is functioning.
- Peace- knowing it’s all the right journey and headed in the right direction.
- Gratitude- for all the lessons I learned.
People don’t want to talk because they are scared to feel all these feelings. Our coaches spend all day cajoling and inspiring people to have tough conversations because of how incredibly freeing it is. I only want you to TELL THE TRUTH, because I want you to be free. Telling this truth of my process, my hurt, disappointment and anger is not easy. It’s embarrassing and vulnerable, but it’s worth it in order to have access to my heart. I tell it to you because I want you to apply it to your life.
I want you to make a list of the things you aren’t saying to the most important people in your life. You aren’t speaking your truth because you think you know how it will be received, or you just don’t want to feel and deal. Both of these justifications will retard your life and your happiness. Please believe me that you will get through the discomfort of feeling emotions and you will be stronger for it. Emotions can be very instructive, but they are also very temporary, especially if you don’t try to push them down and numb them out.
If you haven’t learned to speak in a way that you feel heard, or listen in a way that makes others want to speak their truth to you, you are missing out on the greatest adventures in intimacy. Please get in on it. It’s all you will care about having had in your life when you’re lying on your deathbed. Right?