The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up.
We are born makers. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands.
When we make the choice to date greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.
Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.
1. If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability. Daring is saying, “I know I will eventually fail and I’m still all in.”
2. Once we fall in the service of being brave, we can never go back.
3. This journey belongs to no one but you; however, no one successfully goes it alone.
4. We’re wired for story.
-Hearing a story-causes our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin. These chemicals trigger the uniquely human abilities to connect, empathize, and make meaning. Story is literally in our DNA.
5. Creativity embeds knowledge so that it can become practice. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands.
6. Rising strong is the same process whether you’re navigating personal or professional struggles.
Humans are not either thinking machines or feeling machines, but rather feeling machines that think.
They have the ability and willingness to lean in to discomfort and vulnerability.
7. Comparative suffering is a function of fear and scarcity.
Fear and scarcity trigger comparison.
The opposite of scarcity is simply enough, not abundance.
8. You can’t engineer an emotional, vulnerable, and courageous process into an easy, one-size-fits-all formula.
9. Courage is contagious.
Your experience can profoundly affect the people around you whether you’re aware of it or not.
10. Rising strong is a spiritual practice.
The middle is messy, but it’s also where the magic happens.
You can’t skip day two. It’s a nonnegotiable part of the process. Experience and success don’t give you easy passage through the middle space of struggle.
The Rising Strong Process
The goal of the process is to rise from our falls, overcome our mistakes, and face hurt in a way that brings more wisdom and wholeheartedness into our lives.
Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do. We own our stories do we don’t spend our lives being defined by them or denying them.
You either walk into your story and own your truth, or you live outside of your story, hustling for your worthiness.
Our bodies respond to emotion first, and they often direct us to shut down or disengage.
When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead, they own us, they define us. Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending–to rise strong, recognize our story and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends.
“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” William Plomer
Hurt doesn’t go away simply because we don’t acknowledge it. In fact, left unchecked, it festers, grows, and leads to behaviors that are completely out of line with whom we want to be, and thinking that can sabotage our relationships and careers.
Even if we have the insight to know that our boss, friend, colleague, or partner blew up at us because something tender was triggered and it’s not actually about us, it still shatters trust and respect.
The idea that “we’re only as sick as or secrets” is more than an adage; there’s growing empirical evidence that not owning and integrating our stories affects not just our emotional health but also our physical well-being.
The most dangerous stories we make up are the narratives that diminish our inherent worthiness. We must reclaim the truth about our lovability, divinity, and creativity.
Lovability: Just because someone isn’t willing or able to love us, it doesn’t mean that we are unlovable.
Divinity: no person is ordained to judge our divinity or to write the story of our spiritual worthiness.
Creativity and ability: Just because someone failed to see the value in what we can create or achieve doesn’t change its worth or ours.
We can’t get to our brave new ending if we start from an inauthentic place.
Shame is a liar and a story-stealer. I have to trust myself and the people I care about more than the gremlins, even if that means risking being hurt.
Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.
When we know better, we do better
We don’t judge people when we feel good about ourselves.
We don’t compare when we’re feeling good about ourselves; we look for what’s good in others. When we practice self-compassion, we are compassionate toward others. Self-righteousness is just the armor of self-loathing.
If we think that people really are doing the best they can with the tools they have:
We don’t stop expecting people to grow and change. It means that we stop respecting and evaluating people based on what we think they should accomplish, and start respecting them for who they are and holding them accountable for what they’re actually doing. It means that we stop loving people for who they COULD BE and start loving them for who they ARE.
It means that sometimes when we’re beating ourselves up, we need to stop and say to that harassing voice inside, “Man, I’m doing the very best I can right now.”
People learn how to treat us based on how they see us treating ourselves.
We can’t rise strong when we’re on the run.
We can’t heal if we can’t grieve; we can’t forgive if we can’t grieve. We run from grief because loss scares us, yet our hearts reach toward grief because the broken parts want to mend.
Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. –Anne Lamott
The more difficult it is for us to articulate our experiences of loss, longing, and feeling lost to the people around us, the more disconnected and alone we feel.
Forgiveness is not forgetting or walking away from accountability or condoning a hurtful act; it’s the process of taking back and healing our lives so we can truly live.
We can’t be vulnerable and open with people who are hurting us.
Connection doesn’t exist without giving and receiving. We need to give and we need to need.
When you judge yourself for needing help, you judge those you are helping. When you attach value to giving help, you attach value to needing help.
The danger of tying your self-worth to being a helper is feeling shame when you have to ask for help.
Offering help is courageous and compassionate, but so is asking for help.
Stay in your own lane. Comparison kills creativity and joy.
“No regrets” doesn’t mean living with courage, it means living without reflection. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with your life.
Many of us will spend our entire lives…to get to a place where we can give ourselves permission to both be imperfect and to believe we are enough.
We can’t be brave in the big world without at least one small safe space to work through our fears and falls.
Of all the things trauma takes away from us, the worst is our willingness, or even our ability, to be vulnerable. There’s a reclaiming that has to happen.
Not caring what people think is a hustle, and it’s not winnable.
When we stop caring what people think, we lose our capacity for connection. But when we are defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable.
We can’t be “all in” if only parts of us show up. If we’re not living, loving, parenting, or leading with our whole, integrated hearts, we’re doing it halfheartedly.
There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise.
We are the authors of our lives. We write our own daring endings. (Not sure how I feel on this one……we make the choices, yes but our lives are already written.)
Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted
There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers
Than those of us who are willing to fall
Because we have learned to rise
With skinned knees and bruised hearts;
We choose owning our stories of struggle,
Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.
When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we run from struggle, we are never free.
So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye.
We will not be characters in our stories.
Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.
We are the authors of our lives.
We write our own daring endings.
We craft love from heartbreak,
Compassion from shame,
Grace from disappointment,
Courage from failure.
Showing up is our power.
Story is our way home.
Truth is our song.
We are the brave and brokenhearted.
We are rising strong.