Some of you may have seen me post about my friend Kerry of Simply Kerry (www.simplykerry.com). Kerry is a certified life coach who has an incredible story of happiness, love, struggle, pain, grief and success that is so relatable you sometimes wonder if she’s real. Her ability to turn our every-day struggles into this incredible perspective feels relieving to read. I dare anyone to have a conversation with her and walk away not feeling more alive. She’s incredible.
Kerry approached me this past May/June about taking her course “Transformation 101 – Simply Becoming Who You Are” When I looked at the “list” that described who should take this course … I was immediately a little resistant. The bullet points read:
- You are struggling individually and in relationships
- You are depressed and anxious
- You feel stuck, alone, lost, and confused
- You feel unfulfilled and don’t know what is missing
- You want to be happy and healthy but don’t know where to start
- You have things going for you but want to have more joy
- You want to love yourself, have more fun, and more joy
- You lack motivation
- You frequently have to CONVINCE yourself that this is the life you want
- You feel like you are living a life of SHOULDS
- You aren’t sure about your gifts and talents
- You want to BE you and live YOUR life
So yeah… a couple of those pertained to me. But not all of them. I thought… “I really consider myself a genuinely happy person. I have a lot to be grateful for in my life. An amazing husband. Beautiful kids. A career I love. Family that’s second to none. Friends that I adore. I am going to look really silly in this class full of people who are probably struggling with much deeper issues or worse circumstances. They’re going to look at me and say ‘yeah, Brea. Real rough life. Let me show you rough…”
I said that to Kerry. Pretty much in that way. Her simple response, “Take the initial assessment. Then lets talk.”
So I did. It took me about 30-45 minutes to complete it. And by the end of the assessment, I was in tears. More so because I realized that I had just given myself 30-45 minutes of quiet to focus on myself. It was 30-45 minutes of really diving deep into “me.” What makes me tick. What makes me explode. What the relationships in my life are all about…. With my family. With my friends. With MYSELF. It was a crazy-eye opening experience.
And I came out on the other end realizing that there was a lot more of me to discover. That there was a lot under the surface that I kept under the surface for a reason. That while I am “happy” – there were parts of me that could be happier. That while I felt like my business was going in the right direction… there was a direction that I really wanted to take it, but I was letting excuses or guilt hold me back from doing it. There were small struggles and daily anxieties that I was shoving under a rug because I told myself that I didn’t have the right to “feel” them because there were so many other people with deeper struggles than mine. But when the assessment forced me to look at that stuff – I realized that I wanted to learn more.
By the end of it, I emailed Kerry and said, “Sign me up.”
After the six-week course … I could write a novel about all of the tools I took away from this class. Tools to help me get where I want to go with my business (and tools that helped me even realize where it was that I wanted to go). Tools to help me stop being so hard on myself as a Mom… and to silence that voice in my head that judges myself on every interaction with them. Tools to help me recognize that it is not only OK to put my own needs first sometimes, but that it’s necessary for a peaceful mental state. Tools to heal relationships in my life that needed healing. Tools to help me recognize the people in my life that bring light to it, and to weed out the ones that don’t. Tools to chill-the-heck out in those daily moments that stress me out… and the recognition to understand why those things are triggers for me. Tools that helped me reflect back on who I was as a child before societal influences took over … and to be that girl more often. Tools that helped me realize that while I tend to “give” great advice, that I really don’t listen to it when it comes to my own life.
It was an incredible journey. An at-times difficult one. One that I resisted a little bit along the way. But one that I am forever grateful I went on… because I can now look at my “little” struggles differently and approach my “big” struggles with a new perspective that will eventually make them “little” — or to not exist at all.
Let me give you an example of something specific that I took away. One of the biggest lessons I learned in talking with Kerry: Pain is all relative.
Let me explain.
I remember when I had my miscarriage – I would see friends that were Moms posting stuff like, “Gosh I wish my child would sleep through the night” or “my house is a disaster of toys. I can’t keep up.” And I remember thinking, “Do these people know what I would GIVE to have a sleepless night just to have a child to keep me awake?” or “I WISH I had toys all over the floor because it would mean that I have a child to make that mess.” I was pushing all my negativity on to someone else.
Looking back now… what an UNFAIR thing it was to make those judgements on those people or to feel angry at them for not realizing what they have. How unfair it is of me to diminish their “pain” just because my “pain” was different. Because that Mom who wasn’t sleeping through the night may have also been dealing with post-partum depression. Or that Mom with toys all over her floor could also be struggling in her marriage. And who are ANY OF US to make the decision about whether or not someone deserves to feel pain. Especially when we are deciding that based on what our own lives look like? And similarly, why are we not allowing ourselves to recognize our own pains/struggles because of fear that someone else will call it out for not being “real?”
We do this as Moms (and really, as people) a lot. We compare whose pain is worse. We get annoyed with people who complain about things that we would give anything to have. And in doing that… we don’t realize that we’re just feeding negativity in ourselves. We’re letting negativity take over our minds, our hearts, our TIME … when we COULD be recognizing, processing, and getting through our own situations and making more time and more room to let positivity come in.
So is that lesson going to change my life? Nope. But it’s a tool that I use 1.) in my relationships with other people to be more passionate and understanding and 2.) I use it to give myself permission to feel my own struggles, even if I know that someone else’s might be “worse.”
At the end of the day – I could write a 1000 page blog about the lessons I learned… I’m telling you… there has probably not been a day since June that I haven’t had a “Kerry-ism” pop into my head and change the course of my day in the right direction. If even a small part of you thinks this class might be beneficial for you – feel free to message me with questions and I’ll let you know about my experience. But – here’s how I’d sum it up:
WHO SHOULD TAKE IT? Everyone with a pulse.
— Seriously. I mean that. It’s hard to imagine anyone going through the process and not coming out on the other end with a new perspective on whatever you want to have a new perspective on. In my class? Everyone came out having different “a ha” moments. But it was the “a ha” moment that THEY needed/wanted/worked for. Some were life changing. Some were day-changing. Some it just helped unearth certain paths that we didn’t know were in front of us. But bottom line – there is something for everyone to learn in this – and while you will go through it together with other people, it goes without question that everyone’s journey is allowed to be different.
WHAT THIS CLASS IS NOT: Therapy
— That’s what made me anxious about taking it before. This is a class that’s simply about taking some time to spend on you… and coming out with some tools to help you in the areas that you want to push forward. Don’t we all have space in our lives, our hearts, our careers, etc… that we want to make better?
WHAT THIS CLASS IS ALSO NOT: And end result
— You will not come out on the other end “fixed.” But you WILL come out on the other end with some awesome tools to help cut back the negativity and the struggles – and also help you move forward in the areas of your life that you were maybe holding back on before.
WHAT THIS CLASS IS KIND OF LIKE: A yoga class.
— You will be going through the class with other people. And it feels really weird and “out-of-your-comfort-zone” the first couple of times you take time on it. And you will be exposed to other people’s stories. And you will find yourself letting your own walls down and sharing your own story in a safe/protected setting. And you all will be there for VERY different reasons, but for one common goal…to better yourselves. And that’s kind of like a yoga class. They say that “Yoga is very much an individual practice” but you kind of feed off the energy of the room. Everyone in the yoga class is there for a different reason. Some people are there for the workout. Some people are there to quiet their mind. And the reality is … it shouldn’t matter to the person next to you why you are there or how you are holding your poses. YOU are there to get out what YOU want. But you will certainly feed off the energy of the people around you in a really inspirational way.
WHAT YOU MIGHT BE THINKING: 6 weeks is a long time, and this is an investment.
— Well, you’re right. 6 weeks is a long time… so if your life. And the class IS an investment… it’s an investment into YOU.
Remember those bullet points?
You are struggling individually and in relationshipsI have the tools I need to strengthen my relationships with others and with myself. You are depressed and anxious. I am aware and determined. You feel stuck, alone, lost, and confusedI feel empowered You feel unfulfilled and don’t know what is missing I have identified what I want and have the tools I need to help me get there You want to be happy and healthy but don’t know where to startI am happier and healthier. You have things going for you but want to have more joyI have found more joy. And on the days I don’t have joy, I have the tools to find the path back to joy. You want to love yourself, have more fun, and more joyI am more compassionate with myself and know how to turn off the devil on my shoulder, and crank up that angel. You lack motivationI am more motivated than ever to find the lights in my life. You frequently have to CONVINCE yourself that this is the life you wantI am more aware of the life I want. I am working to get there. You feel like you are living a life of SHOULDSI make time for my WANTS You aren’t sure about your gifts and talentsI became more aware of my gifts and talents, and am not afraid to be proud of them. You want to BE you and live YOUR lifeI am Me. I live My life.
I really encourage you to check out Transformation 101 page now. The next class is currently enrolling… I hope that if this makes sense for you and your life right now… that you find the courage to take the leap and find your joy.