You ARE.

Hello beautiful friends!!

Ok, so THAT was a thing! The retreat in California was… well, a really big thing and I have spent the past week trying to find the words to describe both the experience and how it has transformed me. I am always in awe of how our limbic brain is in charge of processing emotion, yet lacks direct access to language. I find this design odd… what was the universe thinking? And yet, I absolutely love language and how well it can give voice to all that we experience, so I struggle with my relationship with words. We are a work in progress.

I have a LOT to share and that sharing will unfold with time. I think you will find that the most delicious experiences happen this way, and we will sink in to enjoying it all together.

As for what to share about the retreat now… well, I spent much of the first days trying to find my way. I wasn’t trying to “fit in” so much as I was trying to figure out who I had brought with me to this gorgeous retreat space nestled in the California hills. I had vowed to show up “authentically” and be courageous, but when I stepped forward I realized, with unexpected anxiety, that I didn’t really know who that was. I felt lost in a way I hadn’t before and that felt really uncomfortable. I did take some solace in that discomfort… being in that space assured me I was doing something right.

Crap. I really hate that particular realization. So, I did what I know how to do in discomfort. Just breathe.

The sequence of time has been lost for me and I piece my five days together like a quilt that lays bold and colorful prints alongside the soft texture of velour swatches and rugged leather squares. It connects together, stitch by stitch, intentionally, almost methodically, to create a blanket that I now wrap around me for comfort and strength. It was a thing.

On the third day I was struggling to find my words. I so desperately wanted to share my authentic self and was deeply longing to be understood (and not just by others… I wanted to understand myself). I had lost sleep trying to figure out how to share the deep well of my soul so that I made sense. I wanted to make sense. As it happens, on that morning, I was paired with just the person I needed and we were instructed to spend ten minutes together sharing our full selves…without talking.

Wait, WHAT?? No words? At all?

We sat, facing each other. Legs crossed. I looked into her eyes and there was an awkwardness as we settled into this space without the comfort of language. We sat. I looked at the lines on her face, the color specs in her eyes and the weariness I could see there. I could feel the weight she carried and the tears came. I allowed them. And she did too. I saw a lifetime on her face as I was soaking up just this moment and I could feel that she saw the same in me. In a minute, we were laughing… full gulping giggles that gave way to deep sobs. For ten minutes I was completely connected and fully seen. It was unlike anything I had ever felt before and I had not uttered a single word. All that fear and angst over figuring out how to explain myself was lost and I allowed the welcoming of my authentic self. She was so grateful.

So, at long last, your Mindful Mini invitation this week is to lean into creating spaces where language is not the primary driver for connection. Lean into feeling comfortable with the idea that YOU do not need explanation, that you do not need to defend, or bullet point your existence to be completely and totally understood. Stop trying to make sense of things with justifications and supporting data. You simply ARE. You are gorgeous, messy, wounded, healing, bold, courageous, small, afraid, tender, strong and badass as hell! You ARE! Sit with it. Be uncomfortable. Just be.

Mindful Minis were conceptualized to be, well, mini. Bite size helpings of something delicious… sometimes sweet, and others savory. And yet, lately I have been feeling a bit like I swapped the spoon for a ladle and I am scooping from a pot of exquisite soup and asking that you open wider! While it feels like I am just offering more of something yummy… it can be a lot to digest in such large helpings. I am not sure how to feed you slowly when I want is to nourish you with the entire pot all at once. Let’s see if we can sip the soup together slowly.

You ARE. You simply are and that is an incredibly glorious and beautiful thing. Show up and allow yourself to be seen without the need to provide context and meaning. You ARE. Just be and know that it is ok to not know how to “explain” who you are, why, or even when you became. It is ok to know with all your heart that you ARE and let that be enough. You are so worth it.

Yours in heart,

Kelly Lynn Driscoll

About Kelly Lynn

Kelly Lynn Coaching & Consulting

I empower districts to transform culture and educators to transform their lives so they are connected, fulfilled and aligned with purpose. With over thirty years experience in education and education administration, I specialize in supporting Social Emotional Learning (SEL), balance and a culture of wellness. It is my MISSION to bring joy back to education!

Contact Kelly Lynn

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