I’m a Swinger

If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful  spiritual lives, vulnerability is the pathI’m a swinger. I’ve swung between terror and trust a lot in the last years as a self employed single mom with a medical condition.

Thankfully it’s been downgraded to swinging between fear (a small mercy) and trust in the past two years. So much of that has to do with the impact that the Daring Way and the work of Brene Brown has had on my life. If you have not heard of her watch her TED talk here.

I’ve been learning to show up more authentically, lean into what lights me up, be more vulnerable (gulp) live a life that lines up with my values and brings me joy.

I have a genetic condition that I share with some of my family members, including my son and it causes tumours to grown in my brain, spine, pancreas and other organs. I lost my mom to this condition when she was 49, the average life expectancy for a woman with this condition. I’m 46 – that scares me. It makes me feel very vulnerable and at the same time eager to squeeze all the juice out of this precious life.

With the help of my Daring Way – a curriculm based on Brene’s research, working through the curriculum at the DW training, and leading the Daring Way workshops; my life has been transformed.

I was playing small in so many ways and trying to fit in instead of stand out. I still laugh when I think back to how I wanted to be perceived by others – I answered “a hybrid of a lawyer and an accountant”. When I went to do corporate coaching gigs I was so serious and so straight laced, hiding a great sense of humour and a playful side – dang that was hard work!

My coach said, ‘I see you more as Patch Adams’ and told me to re watch the movie – I cried through most of it. I do serious work helping people create thriving lives and businesses and now I have permission to bring my goofy side along with me. What freedom!

Do you have a side that you’re hiding or not letting out as much as you’d like for fear of what people might think?

The outcome is the more genuinely I show up, the more energy I have to pour into helping my clients discover their truth and thrive. My clients then show up more authentically, experience more joy and that gives them the courage to really show up and be seen – the goodness of this just keeps going and going.

I am committed, unabashedly to spreading that kind of Joy. Joy to me is birthed in people knowing their truth, by being authentic and by living courageous lives-all of this is reinforced by the Daring Way work. I believe when we perform a courageous act that Joy is waiting on the other side to give us a gigantic smooch. It’s not easy, but it’s always worth it.

I’ve always had a thing for fun socks which I call Joy Socks as most people know and without the work of Brene Brown, I wouldn’t have had the courage to have launched the Joy Sock Movement.

I started, years ago, sending them out as a challenge from my coach to honour my values of connection and fun, to people who could use a smile and they would send back pics of their feet and say I love my ‘Joy socks”.

The idea of giving people gift wrapped socks to spark joy after my son’s brain surgery was all I wanted to do, but I had so many gremlins that told me to hold back…

Give people socks? Really?! They didn’t heal anyone, feed anyone, or educate anyone. The messages, “who do you think you are?” haunted me and bulldozed me over. They made people smile – that’s it. I was scared that people would see me as weird, trite and odd. I was terrified to give in, to show up and really be seen.

The idea of spreading joy in this goofy way would not leave me. It’s all I wanted to do and so I stepped up. People would know that I was fun, goofy and an all out Joy Freak. I felt terrified when I contacted the Ronald McDonald House to see if they wanted some Joy Socks and they were thrilled at the idea and so it started and within an hour of the donation I got this email:

“I volunteer at Ronald McDonald House in Calgary 
and was having a less than stellar day when I 
went in for my shift today when out of the blue
 I was handed a wee box filled with socks (socks 
covered in spots which I have a thing for) that
 completely changed the outlook of my day. So
 from a deep place of gratitude please accept my 
heartfelt thanks for the kindness and joy you
 extended because it really made a difference today.”

I burst into tears…I’d found my Joy Spot. Starting the Joy Socks Movement, what has now become a Non-profit, has changed how I live my life. To see someone receive an unexpected gift box filled with a pair of socks and for a second see their worries melt away has been so rewarding.

People have burst into tears, refused to have their feet cover up their ‘happy feet’ in the hospitals and nurses say they love being able to give a cheerful gift to a patient.

I’ve come out of the closet as the “Joy girl” and the “sock girl” and it’s given me greater courage to show up authentically in my life and my other businesses.

This venture makes me no money, but I feel beyond wealthy, and graciously I always seem to have the time I need to get everything done without strain.

This is just getting started – we are rolling out a youth leadership program for kids to collect Joy Socks in their own school and will be incorporating the Daring Way work into that program so these Jr. Joy Sock Ambassadors can show up, live brave, embrace who they are and courageously make the difference that only they can.

I’m committed to choosing courage over comfort, showing up and to keep moving forward one Joy Sock footed step at a time. Will you join me?

If you’re interested in attending a Daring Way Workshop series, based on the research of Brene Brown, please join us in Calgary on Sept 8, from 9:30-11:30, every other Thursday mornings for 8 sessions over 16 weeks

This workshop will give you the tools to let go of the ‘shoulds’ in your life, let go of what will people think and live a life filled with courage and deeper connections. Please come or pass on the info to someone who might like to join us. Or if you’re a Brene fan…this will change your life, I promise – money back guarantee. ☺

More info http://accendoconsulting.ca/the-daring-way/. Registration closes Sept 2, 2016

Leona deVinne