Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mimosas and soul chats

If you follow my blog, you know that all summer I hosted a book club with friends themed around female-empowerment non-fiction. It concluded yesterday with a discussion around my book, "Healing Through Movement: Getting Back up after a Broken Heart." Of course, it's always an awesome time because I'm blessed to know some incredible souls. But, it was so much more than just mimosas and great conversation. It was a powerful afternoon of heart-to-heart connecting, showing up and being seen, and sharing our stories.

It started with me since my book was the topic of discussion. Let me just say that it is incredibly vulnerable to open up about who you are- not just the polished image that's socially acceptable, but the honest, gritty, not-so-pretty elements of who you are and what you've been through. But even though it's the muck and mire that really shape a person, we are still reluctant to share much beyond the perfectly coiffed public persona. But, you know what happens when you do? Magic. You give others permission to share their true self.

Two friends in the group are especially reserved. Yet, as we discussed the challenges in relationships, they opened up about their pain. It was such an honor to have people who do not typically share, not only make a contribution, but also make themselves incredibly vulnerable. It felt like holy ground. It's truly a sacred exchange when people who had learned not to trust take a risk and trust again.

Let me be clear though. This wasn't a sappy gathering of victims. We didn't commiserate over all the ways we had been 'buked and scorned in love. It was quite the opposite. It was an honest reflection about what we allowed in our lives because of our lack of identity. We talked about the ways we turned a blind eye and didn't want to face the truth in front of us because of our perceived need for someone else. Then a shift happened. Just like I talk about in the book, we all had some sort of encounter moment and we finally awakened to who we are and what we deserve. It was a game changer. But as powerful and beautiful as personal transformation is, it is so much better when you find shared experience with someone else.

If you aren't currently a part of an authentic, open-hearted community like this, I encourage you to pray for it. Ask God to bring you meaningful connections with like-minded souls. Also, be willing to create spaces like this as well. You might have to take the first step of sharing who you are. I can almost guarantee though that when you do, then others will take the courageous leap to do the same. A few mimosas don't hurt either.

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