“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

~ Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

“If we share our shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm.”

~ Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

I’ve been too busy lately. Way too busy.

I’ve forgotten to slow down and go into the woods. This is the place I heal, relax, reset most easily. Here in Georgia spring is making an appearance and I’ve spent several hours over the last week in the woods and along the shore of the lake in solitude.

It’s been restorative…mostly. I notice as I walk with my dog through the woods, that my senses are alert for potential danger, even when part of me is relaxing, processing, creating, listening, my internal national guard is still on alert.

I sit all alone on the bank, tilt my face to the sun, close my eyes and breathe. I sit in meditation for a long time and the most relaxing thought comes to me.

Allow. Just allow.

So wonderful. So radical in the face of my too busy life.

Nothing to do. Nothing to accomplish. No problem to solve. Just be and breathe and allow.

There was a sense of safety because I had my dog with me and because I have a sense of safety about the places I wander. It’s part of why I chose them as my wandering spaces. But as I am still and quiet I realize that underneath it all is this very low level of existential angst, born of the knowledge that nothing is without risk, life is not certain and cannot be controlled and that eventually, in one moment of my life, the whole thing will be over. And then I had the next relaxing thought.

Trust and allow.

Trust and allow.

Breathe.

Later that day I ran across these two quotes from Brené Brown.

If you don’t know Brené Brown, I highly recommend her. She’s written several books and has a wonderful TED talk which you can find on YouTube on The Power of Vulnerability.

In order to allow, you must be able to trust. We must find pockets of trust, places we can breathe and be.

In our drumming group in March, I made an off-handed, ego-based silly comment, but the group immediately called me on it in very funny and loving ways. I felt immediately grateful for being surrounded by a community who lovingly and light-handedly hold my feet to the fire and expect me to be my best self.

It’s important to find places where you can allow; wild spaces, relationships, social experiences, quiet spaces.

Trust and allow.