Second Steps with Grace & Grit

Two weeks ago, I was invited to have a conversation with women's health and happiness advocate, Courtney Townley, for her podcast: Grace & Grit. It turns out, she and I have many shared core-life-experiences — including professional dance backgrounds and bouts with anorexia — and we definitely are in the same tribe when it comes to wanting to help empower and support people in leading healthy, fulfilling and inspiring lives. She asked me a little about my journey to my life's work, and then we discussed how we each uniquely get in our own way and how I see we can get out of it, by getting over our own self disrespect. Give a listen and let us know what resonates with you, what you take away and if you have any questions or suggestions!  

For me, this podcast interview was a big second step — the second opportunity I've been given to open up and share my personal journey and work in a format other than face-to-face. Previously, I hadn't really thought about the specific challenges of second steps. Then it hit me that Courtney's business and podcast name describes the experience beautifully. 

First steps are inherently shaky and tend to reveal all of our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. If these vulnerabilities bring up any of our own self disrespect, it's easy to become narrow-minded about the experience, focusing on the details of what we did and forgetting why we did it in the first place. If we lose the point in this way, there's a chance we'll write off that first step as a failure and deny ourselves a second step. 

The first time I listened to my first podcast interview (written about in First Steps and Vulnerable Self Respect), I felt proud. Quickly, self-criticism and "constructive" criticism from others kicked in, and my heart sank. When I listened to myself repeatedly say "um," "ya know" and "wow," and laugh a little nervously, I felt embarrassed and even a little ashamed.  

Then I remembered that these imperfections are not the point. The possibility I share with the world can help us get out of our own way, so we can enjoy being who we are and making a difference in the world. The point of doing anything isn't to be perfect; it's to show up and share the possibility we bring ... and learn how we can get even better at it. From this more self-respectful, open-minded state of being, we more naturally embody the grace to learn what we can learn from that first step, and the grit to get back up, brush ourselves off and take a stronger second step ... and third step ... 

As Courtney so passionately models through her own life and work, when we let ourselves move through our vulnerability with a little grace and grit, we discover just how strong and empowered we are capable of being. Thanks Courtney!