Story by 2014 Fellow Georgia Dawkins
“Emote! It’s good to cry, but don’t stay there.” That was the message from Wendy Wallbridge as she comforted a tearful woman sharing the conflict between her true self and her false self with a room full of strangers. In that moment, we were not strangers, we were kindred spirits. It was the moment where we recognized that we all shared the same fears.
The woman’s testimony was part of an exercise at a CAMP session, “Elevating Your Voice: A New Roadmap for Self-Defined Success.” Wallbridge said that to be successful, we had to develop a different relationship with the negative voices in our head. So, as part of the session, we made a T-chart. On one side we listed all the negative things our false self told us about pursuing our dreams, and on the other, we listed the truth. She encouraged us to combat those negative voices with words from our true self. “Are you thinking about what you want, or the lack of it?” said Wallbridge.
Wallbridge inspired us with Pema Chodrun’s words, “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”
The principle of connectedness is our feminine energy. “As women we’re really good at getting up underneath someone else and making them shine,” she said. Wallbridge challenged us to start doing the same for our own lives. Naturally, this was scary for many in the audience. Who knew self-exploration and reinvention would require so much work?
This wasn’t the session any of us expected. I thought we’d sit down, listen to a great speech and walk away with a few words to meditate on while we daydreamed at work. Wallbridge suggested that we dig a little deeper. The notes we took didn’t just come from her PowerPoint; they came from within.
“The next level of you that wants to emerge will do so in community,” said Wallbridge. The thing that was more difficult than writing down my fears and goals was turning to my partner and sharing those intimate details. So instead of just thinking about a step I might take take towards my dreams (and then forgetting it as soon as the workshop was over) we established accountability partners.
Here are Wallbridge’s four tools for spiraling upward:
- Connect with your true self.
- Connect with your tribe.
- Be deliberate and receptive.
- Make an offer that forwards your stand and the gift of you to the world.
Wallbridge is the author of the forthcoming book “Spiraling Upward: The 5 Co-Creative Powers for Women on the Rise” that will be published in March 2015. Follow her on Twitter @WendyWallbridge.