Rachel Hollis spearheaded the vulnerability movement in the public eye when she shared a picture celebrating her stretch marks. It went viral back in 2015. Since then, we have witnessed moments of vulnerable truth and self-expression from women who, through liberating themselves, have liberated others.
Recently, I sat down with 3 powerful women, bestselling Authors and experts in their own right, who through the power of embracing their edges have come to experience more of the magic that life has to offer.
Let’s explore their practical advice to support you in getting more out of life:
BE MORE HUMAN
Moving through life, void of the true vibrancy of all that it has to offer, is the reality that many women face daily. It was no different for Danish-born Else Johnson, until her breakthrough began with her thinking, “It doesn’t have to be this way!”
From growing up as - what she refers to herself as - a ‘tomboy’ and feeling like she didn’t fit in, to fully embracing her authenticity and seeking a path beyond the rigidity of finance to explore entrepreneurialism. Else’s story is a testament to the power of deep self-love, and learning to view the hurt in her life as gifts and ultimately, opportunities for greater authenticity.
Put down the masks and stop pretending!
A Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner, Cognitive Behaviorist Therapy (CBT) Practitioner, Certified Life Coach, and Positive Intelligence (PQ) Coach, Else also earned a degree in finance from the Merkonom Economic School in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her extensive training in behavioral science and dynamic career in finance and entrepreneurship provided a solid foundation to help women unravel their self-sabotage and insecurities to be themselves!
Her best advice: Practice acceptance for what is true for you, and be willing to unlearn the thoughts and behaviors that have you moving through life with your masks on.
She says: “When we try to be someone else, we are people-pleasing. Check in with yourself. Often, people-pleasing carries an undertone of resentment - do you feel angry or resentful? If so, it's likely you’re trying to be someone you aren’t, to make others happy. It is ok for you to show your raw edges, the soft edges, the scared edges of your humanity. This is what people relate to so much more, and the connection you have to life and the people in it will amplify!”
LEAN ON FIERCE INTENTION
Faith is one of the most magical pathways to support us in our pursuit of being all of us, especially when challenges arise in life.
With hairy legs and armpits and sometimes with boobs flapping in the wind
For Mardalena Dawn, who at 25 was terrified of creating a life of her own, decided to marry a man for security instead of love. Then at 34, when her Mother died, Mardelena abruptly found her life empty of deep connection, personal fulfillment, and growth.
“I was terribly isolated and alone.’’ This realization catapulted her to “believe in herself, believe in her connection to a source higher or greater than herself” more than ever before, transforming her entire life.
As a Master Intuitive Massage Therapist, Podcast Host and award winning International Best-selling Author, she knows the potential we all have to live a life free of pain, and one of pleasure. She believes it is never too late to change your story and reconnect to the divinity inside you.
Her best advice: Have the courage to face off with yourself and what is not working in your life. Learn how to forgive yourself, release the blame you are holding over others and embrace the grieving process awakened through letting go of all that is not yours to carry.
She says: “My deep belief now is that I am all parts of myself. This has taken away the feeling of vulnerability when I do show up as myself … with hairy legs and armpits and sometimes with boobs flapping in the wind! Knowing that this beautiful complex world is filled with humans who choose to live differently than I do, no longer makes me feel vulnerable, it has ignited my liberation! I am making my choices, and my life looks the way I intended it to be instead of how I accidentally allowed it to be!”
Shame. Our greatest obstacle to getting more out of life. Described as: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. Yet, when met head on, dissipates.
I grew up with a mother with legs that can stop traffic (literally—once she was crossing the street in shorts and caused a car accident) Her thighs don’t touch, so when I look at mine by comparison, all I see are fat thigh drumsticks.
Meet Terrie Silverman, who is a powerful advocate for un-shaming through creative expression. She says “it is necessary to tell your embarrassing stories. Telling mine helped me to understand the importance of illuminating the things that make us want to hide. I discovered that by sharing them – in my case writing and performing stories, IT TOOK THE SHAME AWAY, because people were connecting and identifying with what I struggle with.”
As a Creative Writing, Story and Solo Performance Coach, her work is rooted in bringing people together through the power of story and the golden thread that weaves it all together is, yes, you guessed it - vulnerability!
“When I look back, all my stories are vulnerable. They are all about something I feel insecure or embarrassed about, be it: body shame, depression, inadequacies of my womanhood, the battle for self esteem, love, loss, being paralyzed”
Her best advice: Be willing to meet the creative within and to learn the art of storytelling. This process will unlock the fears and blocks of the inner-critic and have you access the most beautiful parts of yourself- your voice, wisdom, experiences, challenges, angst, shame and triumphs - you discover how unique and extraordinary you are by telling your story!
She says: “It was scary to write, but as I was developing, workshopping and performing it, people would come up to me and whisper "thanks for writing about that …” highlighting to me how that fear, shame, guilt, self-doubt are universal traits and that when we share them, we heal the world”
Having the courage to forge an alliance with your vulnerability has the ability to completely transform your life. Through the power of sharing your ‘sacred edges of your humanity’ to no longer allow life to accidentally just happen to you, you become the writer of a brand new story, one that is full to the brim of meaning, fulfillment and the promise of unforgettable memories etched in time for forever more.