Finding My Path – Part 8: Sunflowers & Superpowers

Have I mentioned my Cultivating Courage class? I can’t remember, which isn’t anything new (let’s be real, I can’t remember yesterday!). Anyway, Cultivating Courage is an online course that is all about bravery. I know, it sounds bananas. If I was on the listening end of this post, I’d think I was crazy too. But hear me out. Because this is good stuff.

I think as women/mothers/wives/daughters we tend to work so very hard to make sure everyone around us is doing okay. We want our children, our parents, our husbands/wives/partners, our families, and our friends to all be happy and healthy. We will drop plans on a moments notice if someone needs help or comfort. But do we give this to ourselves? Do we treat ourselves with the same kindness we reserve for others? I know I don’t. I am my worst critic, by far. The little voice inside my head that says, “You can’t do that. You’re not good enough. You aren’t creative enough. You’re a fake! A phony!”? Yeah, that voice is me.

I few months ago I set out on a journey to “Find My Path.” It started with another online course (that ironically, I was embarrassed to tell people about), the Path Finder, which changed the game for me. But after a few months, I started to feel stuck again. Not that I wasn’t moving forward, I was! But I could feel the gremlins creeping in to my psyche, whispering in my ear. They tell me I can’t do it. And I was starting to believe them. I brushed off everything that’s happened in the last six months (being published at BlogHer, getting my first check for freelance writing, creating and selling out my Mini Shoots, getting a blogging gig with Sweet Lemon Magazine) as luck, and not that big of a deal.

And then, via the cosmos or God or whatever you believe in, I found this Cultivating Courage class. And, oh friends, it’s another game changer. Every day, for 30 days, each participant vows to do something brave. Sometimes it’s something really simple (sending that email to a negative co-worker) and sometimes it’s something very complex (making an appointment with a therapist), but every day we do something. And then we share with each other. And these people, these 50 people that are on this journey with me, have changed my life.

There is so much support in this class, so much love, so much compassion…it can be quite overwhelming. There are days when I have no idea what to write here, in my silly, frivolous space where we talk about Doctor Who and Britney Spears, because I’ve spent most of the last 14 days lost in the deep thoughts this class has sparked.

Yesterday, our task was to send an email to five to ten people that love us. The email told them about the course, and then asked them to answer three questions:

1. What are my strengths? Gifts?
2. If there was one word you’d use to describe me, what would it be?
3. What is my superpower?

This seems like a fairly simple task, but it was so HARD for me! I didn’t want to do it. I figured people would think I was nuts or self-indulgent. Sending that email was one of the most difficult things I’ve done in a long time.

But then the responses started rolling in…from friends, from family, from people who love me. And they said the opposite of what my gremlins had been whispering in my ear. Creative, loyal, driven, not afraid of being unique, funny, logical, a writer, able to connect with people, compassionate, a good listener…and those are just a few of them.

I really can’t recommend this practice enough. Yes, it was scary and yes, I felt like a doofus, but the end result was worth it. Hearing what your loved ones love about YOU? Out loud? It’s a pretty fantastic thing? I think I’m getting my mojo back…

So….what is your superpower?

(Photo via my Cinemagram)

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