I’d been having stress dreams all night, so I wasn’t surprised when the tone of the current dream went south. I don’t even remember what exactly was happening, only that I was walking down a street anxiously, when a stranger ran up to me, grabbed me by my shoulders and yelled,
It woke me straight up to a seated position in bed, and seemed to echo in my ears, as if it were real and someone needed to yell it at me from somewhere in dream land (which makes me think that dream land isn’t as far away as I had imagined it was). I grabbed my phone, because I knew I’d need a timer, and went into the bathroom.
It was 6 o’clock in the morning on a cold day in late February.
I turned on the light. I never turn on the light to pee at night, but this wasn’t my normal pee. This was to see if the stranger in my dream and the last three weeks of boob swelling and constipation were what I thought they were. I peeled back the second of the three pregnancy tests I owned (I bought them in a three pack), peed on it, and set the timer for three minutes. Unlike last week, which told me I was delusional for thinking I could know three weeks out, this time I watched it as I washed my hands.
Sure as shit, that second line turned pink. Ten seconds before my timer went off, my husband knocked on the door. I wasn’t known for taking long bathroom breaks in the wee hours of the morning.
“Just a minute,” I said. I turned my phone timer off and opened the door.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“Yep,” I said. “Just pregnant.”
* * *
I actually wasn’t okay. I made it back to my bed in the dark after a long, shaky hug from my husband, who closed the door to the bathroom on his way in. I sat on my side of the bed in the dark, put my head into my hands, and cried.
I cried a very equal mixture of joy, relief and fear. Joy, because I wanted to have a child. I haven’t ever been one of those people who grew up always wanting to be a mom, but as I got older, the idea grew on me and I knew it was something I hoped to do if my body cooperated. Relief, because all the physical symptoms I’d been experiencing had a known cause – I’d been afraid my hormones were off and I was having a recurrence of SIBO, although that didn’t feel quite right, either. And fear, because – FUCK, I’m having a baby (apparently, it’s really that easy)! At that moment, I couldn’t imagine anything more terrifying. And fear because we had wanted to wait a few more months, but I was convinced it would take me at least a few months (or seriously, at least a few tries) before getting pregnant. I was afraid my husband would be angry with me, because it was my idea to “see what would happen” when forgoing a condom for the first time.
Well kids, you get pregnant. That’s what happens.
When he came back into the room and heard me sobbing, he immediately started soothing me with his voice. Then we had a pretty funny / awkward moment where it was too dark for him to find me and we had to agree to meet in the middle of the bed. There, we laid together and talked through what we each were feeling. Turns out, we were both feeling a lot of the same things. He was so excited – he always wanted to be a dad – and he was scared, too. And he was not at all angry with me.
That was a really precious time, because we were able to talk about our feelings openly, within the context of this new and vulnerable life-changing event. I’ll never forget how warm and cozy that felt. (Psst – if you want to follow along with the ins and outs of my pregnancy, do that over here. There will be cussing, but no whiskey).
* * *
Each year, I spend several weeks planning out the year ahead – I put programs on the calendar, add launch dates to my marketing plan, look at last year’s numbers and see if there’s a need to adjust pricing. Then I decide what I want to do for the year, too, and make sure that’s a priority.
Twenty sixteen was slated as a transitional year. This was the year I planned keep teaching Sensitive Self Defense while at the same time transitioning it to Cape-Ability and putting it under the new Sensitive Superhero Academy, all hosted under my new website, Sensitivity Uncensored. I planned to roll out an on-demand version of Cape-Ability in the late spring, and to offer it as an evergreen course while still teaching live events, which would become more of a retreat than a school-like course. My hope was to create more time and space to work on my writing (I have one book started and the outline of another), and by 2017 be taking slightly fewer clients, teaching only the fun things, and creating community for the on-demand programs.
I hired a web designer last December and started rebranding myself. This year is already the year of the rebrand – it’s coming, soon (as soon as my web guy gets over the flu). That, already, is the scariest thing I’ve done yet in my business.
Why? Because letting the world see who you really are – your REAL self, not the dressed up, hyper-spiritual and politically correct version of yourself – is scary as hell.
I made a commitment to start to write more like I talk, and I don’t always speak in a pretty, calm, healer voice. I swear. A lot. I’m snarky and sarcastic and I like to make myself laugh. My work is too serious not to stay amused. I eat bacon like it’s going out of style, and until about three months ago, my mornings were about good coffee. I meditate, but I also drink whiskey. I do yoga, but lately I’ve preferred hitting things at kickboxing. I’m a paradox. One of the things my husband said when he met me was that he couldn’t put me into a box. Welcome to the club, buddy.
I’m highly sensitive and introverted but I like making people laugh and I really like hitting things. Yes, I’m spiritual and I’m a psychic. But I’m skeptical, too. I was a scientist first. I have this scientist part of me that likes to break things down and understand the parts, but then the psychic in me likes to see the broader picture and not worry so much about the details, because sometimes we just can’t know. And both of these parts are snarky and cuss and drink coffee out of mugs that say “No fucks given” because it makes me smile to carry that mug (and its companions) around in the morning. This is who I am.
But it has felt SO much easier to present myself as the watered-down, perfectly spiritual, clean-eating, on-a-linear-mission healer.
That version of me is so much easier to explain. She’s pretty, and she comes all packaged up in a bow. She has tons of fucks to give, and she gives them to anyone who stumbles onto her website. This version of me is easier to explain, but much, much harder to maintain.
If you’ve worked with me, you know how I am. And you know it’s not exactly like I’ve been making it seem on this website. I’m not better or worse than it, I’m just different. So when 2016 resolutions came around and I created The Freedom Equation, I told myself it was time to stop holding back. So I started writing differently, more like I talk and think directly, rather than watered down.
Every time I published a new blog post, or sent out a newsletter, I had a small panic attack.
Then I’d sit there, in my fear, afraid that at any moment a mob of angry readers would knock on my inbox and fling insults at me and tell me what a terrible person I was to be using such strong language, and how wrong I was, and who are you anyway to be making up a “math-like equation?”
But . . . that didn’t happen. Sure, I got a few people who unsubscribed. Quietly. And so I’d take a deep breath and write the next piece, and wait for the attacks that never came. It’s April now, so you’d think my nervous system would be over it, but it’s not. So rest assured that I’ll be having a mini panic attack while you’re reading this.
Why is this important? Because doing stuff you’ve never done before, especially when you’re putting YOU out there, is scary, scary, scary.
It just is. There’s no getting around it. And people who promise they can make you fearless? They’re liars. All you can do is get used to being afraid and work with your fear. I say hi to mine, then tell it to shut up and sit down. Or go for a walk, or have some whiskey (because I very well can’t drink whiskey right now, can I? So at least some part of my psyche is indulging. Oh, that makes no sense? Exactly. Sometimes I’m like that, too).
The point of this is that every time you make steps forward that you haven’t made before, your fear is going to pitch a fit. And that’s normal. The key isn’t to get rid of your fear. The key is to do it anyway. And you might find, like so many of us do, and like I did, that it’s just too much work to stay the small, bottled-up version of yourself. I have to let me out – even when my mom’s voice is screaming in my ear how wrong it all is. Hush now, voice, we’re going to try something new before we implode.
* * *
So, now I also have the pregnancy and impending child to be afraid of. Wait, that makes me sound like a bad mother already. Truth is, I’m really, really excited about having a baby. But I’m also aware of how it might probably affect my work, my marriage, and my friendships with people who don’t have kids. Good thing I labeled this “The year of transition,” right? Because seriously, this pregnancy thing really just fits right in.
But here’s the thing – some changes will have to be made, and I’ve been thinking about them. For starters, I’ve been creating Cape-Ability On-Demand over the last couple of months and it will be ready to go by early summer. Huzzah!
I had hoped to have my new website up and running with all the of the details before I announced this, but life is change and sometimes you can’t predict when the flu will take your web guy out of commission for two weeks. So I’m going to do this now, because, as my students like to quote me, “This is a thing that should happen.”
For the last year, I’ve been beta-testing a subscription program that allows you to work with me for six months at a reduced fee, paid monthly – no big bills up front. It worked beautifully for all involved, so now I’m offering it to you.
Now, here’s the catch – you have to sign up before April 20th. This is not me trying to create some false scarcity. This is me having a baby boy in October, which I hear take up quite a bit of time. The truth is, I’m not making any promises after I have the baby. I hope to be back and working with clients come January 2017, but I honestly don’t know if that will happen, how that will happen or what it will look like. So – I am taking on a limited number of clients (just six!) who want to work with me one-on-one for the next six months. (If you’re already working with me, you don’t have to change anything. But if you’re working off a package and want to work more long term, then this is for you, too).
I call this package The Untamed Heroine
(Don’t let the name fool you – it’s for boys, too. I’ve just been called “guys” so much over the years, I figure a guy can handle being called a heroine every now and then).
Details: Two 60-minute sessions at $300 per month ($150 each), paid monthly for six months.
This is for you if you’re ready to make some major changes and go from being the underdog to the heroine in the story of your life (and yes, introverts can be heroines!). Becoming a heroine takes guts and conviction, but don’t worry – finding those is part of the journey. For six months, I’ll help you shed that too-tight skin you’ve been wearing to find you, with room to breath. You’ll strengthen your sensitivity (that’s a positive thing, I swear), discover your unique gifts and find the tools you need to live everyday as the heroine of your own life. I’m an expert at hand-holding, and I’ll be there for you every step of the way – but by the time we’re through, you won’t need me.
And, because my new fancy booking system isn’t yet up and running, we have to do this the old fashioned way. If you’re interested in becoming the central figure in your life by working with me for the next six months, send me an email to get started. Once you’ve done that, I’ll shoot back a note with a quick contract and a subscription plan, and we’ll get you booked up until the day I’m about ready to pop (disclaimer – I may have to take extra pee breaks).
You are ready to be at the center of your own life, and I would love to help you along that journey. I only have room for six of you, so send me an email today!