Wild HeartFelt Honesty
Today is March 31, 2018.
It is a chilly Saturday morning and I am sitting at my favorite cozy, little breakfast joint in the small town I call home. Here the people are warm and friendly, the farm-to-table style food is fresh and prepared with love, and most importantly the coffee is hot, delicious and never ending.
I had every intention of getting this post up and online yesterday, but well life happened. My day became more hectic than I wished, with work, family, dogs and preparing/packaging products for my partners business to be hand delivered to eager customers today...
And...well...to be totally honest, there was a bit of fear keeping me from being motivated to write it. So I pushed it to the back burner and put everything else first.
It feels so scary to put my thoughts (my very being) out into the world in this way...even if it feels like a long time coming. And it has been...a long time coming that is.
For nearly two years I have been urged and encouraged by students, friends, mentors, my family and my business coach to make this a reality. This site. And the projects it is tied to. But I have not. Someday I said. When life is not so hectic, when I feel more sure of exactly WHAT I want to say and share, when I finish that current training...well, as many of you I am sure know, life never slows down, I still don't know EXACTLY what I want to share...and my learning and training will likely never end. So, here we are...and I am taking a deep breath and jumping headfirst into this, in the spirit of wild heartfelt honesty.
Because honesty cannot come without the willingness to be vulnerable, and vulnerability is essential to living an authentic, love filled life. My hope is that you, my readers, my friends, my tribe will be patient with me...as I explore, share, learn and embrace my wild and vulnerable heart...and that by me doing this, you will find the space to do the same. Now onto the subject at hand....
WILD HEARTFELT HONESTY
We are told from the time that we are small children how important it is to be honest, to always tell the truth, or to hold our tongue and filter what we might really want to say in order to save someones feelings.
However, as we grow we begin to learn that there are different degrees of honesty. It is "ok" to tell a white lie, because it may save someones feelings, preventing unnecessary hurt, or save you from an argument. We learn through the modeling of those around us that being slightly dishonest sometimes helps us "fit in" better to our peer group or society as a whole. In this way we are making some lies ok and even normal.
As we continue to grow we learn that sometimes we lie, or inflate the truth (generally to make ourselves look better or buy more time), and get away with it. This sends a rush of endorphins to our brain. We are exhilarated and learn that lying feels good...at least at first. After the initial high wears off we might be left with feelings of guilt and that pesky little inner voice—better known as our conscience—playing on repeat, that what we did was wrong. But the initial high can become addicting...and so we may begin to take bigger and bigger risks, and/or make it a part of our everyday life.
The point is…we as a whole…lie. We lie often. We lie for a variety of reasons. To save someones feelings, to fit in, to bump up our social status, to cover up something we are not proud of, or a deed that we are guilty of. But what if…well…what if we stopped normalizing lying and half truths? What if instead we begin to tactfully practice WILD HEARTFELT HONESTY? What if we worked to instill this idea in the generations behind us? How would our lives, our hearts, our communities shift?
What is WILD HEARTFELT HONESTY? It is the idea that we can be kindly and absolutely outwardly honest with the people in our lives. It means showing integrity in everything we do, being genuine in our words and actions, thinking before we speak, not withholding, and checking in with ourselves often. It means being willing to be wrong, to be vulnerable, to set boundaries, to authentically call other people out with love and sincerity and ask for them to do the same for us.
In our home we are working towards this everyday. I am a very sensitive person, as is the little man I have the privilege of being a part of raising. So we work to practice this idea not only in our words, but in our actions. It is an active practice and we have guidelines around it. It can be difficult when we are speaking about something emotional, or when dealing with a wild-hearted child, or partner. And somedays are more difficult than others. It is always ok to voice when feelings are hurt...no matter the cause...but it must be done from a place of truth.
The very first thing we do is take a deep breath. Or five.
Afterwards we check in with ourselves.
What are we feeling and why are we feeling like this?
Is there a place in our bodies that we feel this?
Does this feeling have a color? A taste? A sound?
Am I ready to have this conversation and am I am able to make my feelings and thoughts heard without yelling, screaming, name calling, or anger?
Before speaking, we ask ourselves:
Is what I am about to say helpful?
Is what I am about to say kind?
Is what I am about to say my truth?
After we have answered these questions for ourselves we speak slowly, in a clear, steady and kind voice. We use "I feel" statements as much as we can. We do our very best on any given day to make sure that the words we use are truthful, but also full of love, kindness, and compassion. We look each other in the eyes and try to make space to listen to how the other person is feeling as well. Because conversations are never one sided.
We have tried our best to instill in our little guy that everyone makes mistakes, but living with integrity means we have to be willing to admit to our mistakes, and to make amends. We have the rule that consequences will always be less if you tell the truth the first time around. It is a hard lesson and we do our very best to help him understand, sometimes with success and sometimes with less success.
But we stay steady with it. We stay present. We work hard. And maybe, just maybe by doing this…by modeling this practice we can help this child grow up with the ability to do the same. To be brave in his actions and words. To approach his life from his great big wild heart. Maybe he will be on the front lines of approaching life from a different perspective and will play a role in actively changing what we expect from ourselves, our family, our friends, our community, our leaders, our world. I feel like this is the very best gift we could ever possibly give him.
From our Wild Hearts to yours,