image cred: Meggie Taylor Photography
Natalie Tuman is confident and kind. She’s open and bubbly and just exudes feminine strength. You’d never know part of her history includes stories of girls being incredibly mean to her. You’d never know that she’s worked tirelessly to heal that part of herself and that’s why she’s devoted to helping other women find wholeness through her work as a health and fitness coach. You might never know, unless you joined us last Thursday night at our GNO, where she so courageously shared her story with all of us.
Her courage is such a beautiful reminder.
Because I’ve been immersed in HeartStories for nearly five years now, it’s easy for me to forget how unusual the whole thing is. Sometimes I go about assuming that all women feel safe with each other. Or that just because I say our community is kind, supporting and loving, everyone believes me.
I’ve learned that’s not true.
We all have different stories. We have long histories with women that bubble up to the surface when we decide to engage in closer friendships. Some of those stories are positive and encourage us to jump right in to make new girlfriends. But often, there are at least a few memories that sting.
Way too often, those are the memories that “win”.
They ping our brains with stinging reminders of how this felt that one time we tried something similar. Our brains instantly create a new story about how terribly this could end. Then our bodies almost automatically respond with fight or flight to try to protect and insulate us from pain. It might be something as small as looking or moving in another direction. It could be more, like nervous laughter, crossed arms, an eye roll, or even sarcasm.
They’re all signs that we’re getting uncomfortable and we’re afraid of what’s next.
Just yesterday, I was chatting with one of our upcoming speakers, who is SO brave and confident. She said, “Are the women scary?” and added a laughing emoji. I made a joke about how mean and terrifying our little tribe is and we both laughed it off. But it was another vivid reminder for me that those stories are there for all of us.
No matter how brave we are.
Margie Warrel is one of my favorite authors on courage. Here’s what she wrote, just yesterday:
“Your desire for comfort will always pull against your desire for growth.” ~ Margie Warrel
Always. Not sometimes. ALWAYS.
You want to grow?
Your brain is going to try to scare you out of it. Every. Single. Time.
So lean in today sister. When you feel that nervous twinge, alerting your body this might not be “safe”. . . pay attention. Notice it’s there and do it anyway. Remind your brain that you’re not running from a tiger, you’re just saying hello to a new friend. You’re not going to die, right here, right now.
You’re actually going to feel more alive.
Connection is worth the price of momentary discomfort.
You’ve got this.
to more love,
P.S. We’re going to dive into these stories we tell ourselves next month at our GNO with my hubbs, Scott Gornto. So if you’re ready to learn more, grab a girlfriend and a ticket to join us!