Hosted An Event – Number 15

   I not only did the keynote address at the Women in Podcasting festival, I also acted as host. I normally hide in the shadows at our events and let Rob handle things, but I knew this was a huge opportunity to add to my list. I was the person who introduced each podcast and it was challenging. Getting up in front of everyone and speaking did not get easier the more I did it. It actually got harder for me, but I hung in there and kept trying even though I was awkward and uncomfortable.

   There were many aspects of emceeing that were difficult for me. One is obviously that I struggle to be on display in front of an audience. Another is my attention span or lack thereof. It’s really hard for me to focus and remember cues so remembering to get up to announce the next show or remembering my script caused me great anxiety. The repetition was especially challenging because I couldn’t just power through and then be finished for the day. I had to keep going back up.

   Every time felt like the first time and so I really tried to use my tools to keep myself somewhat grounded and present. At any point I could have quit and there were people there who would have taken over for me. I didn’t. I stayed and I persevered and I didn’t get better or more comfortable and I survived.  Sometimes bravery is persevering when it’s easier to quit.


If you enjoyed this chapter and want to dig deeper into each story, my husband Rob and I do an exclusive companion podcast on my Patreon page.  We give further background into the story and include the spouse’s perspective.  Each one of these episodes averages 45 minutes to an hour.  I also share different content across my social media channels and at my blog on the website.   Podcast: Broken to Brave on LibsynWebsite: BrokenToBrave.comFacebook: @BrokentoBravePodcastTwitter: @broken2brave

Gave a Keynote Address – Number 14

   I have a friend who has a camper that she keeps permanently in a really nice campground in Wisconsin. She has been letting us use it whenever we want. It has become my little sanctuary and my place of healing. I journal, pray, meditate, read, walk, and just get quiet when I am there. One night I went for a walk and I got the message that I was to be the keynote speaker at our upcoming Women in Podcasting festival. I don’t do public speaking. When I’ve tried, I’ve cried. I just knew that this was something that I was going to have to push through. I needed to do this. I called Rob and asked him to come meet me. When I told him he just looked at me in amazement and said, “I’ve been praying you’d realize.” I told him not to talk to me about it. I was so afraid that I would change my mind. I wrote the talk, asked friends for advice on how to push through the fear the day of the event, and listened to two songs on repeat that gave me courage. Brave by Sara Bareilles and Brave by Nicole Nordeman.  

   I was beyond terrified to tell the parts of my story that I was planning on sharing. I had never used my voice in such a public way. This was personal. This wasn’t me talking about a TV show on a podcast. This was real and intimate and raw. I got up there and told the truth and stumbled and struggled, but I got up there and I did it and it was terrifying and didn’t get easier as I went along. I never got comfortable. I never felt like I was in flow or in the zone. I simply endured it.

   I’m not cut out to be a public speaker in that way. I love to be interviewed and I can do public speaking like this on a podcast where there’s a buffer between me and the faces watching me, but I don’t ever want to do a keynote address ever again. Do I regret it? No way. It’s important to try things and figure out if it’s fear that’s blocking you or maybe it’s just how you’re wired. Rob can get up in front of any size audience and talk about most topics without any prep or warning. He is absolutely wired to be a teacher and a public speaker and game show host. I’m absolutely not. I can write. I can talk. I cannot eloquently express myself on stage in front of an audience. I can’t memorize even one line of anything. It’s ok to try things and learn that you aren’t wired that way. It’s ok to say, “I appreciate you inviting me to speak at —-, but I prefer interview style. Would someone be willing to interview me, instead?” It’s ok to know what your skillset is and to ask for the ways that would help you be the most successful at getting your message out. Regardless of my stumbling, I got the words out and I survived. 

Sometimes bravery is using your voice for the first time.




If you enjoyed this chapter and want to dig deeper into each story, my husband Rob and I do an exclusive companion podcast on my Patreon page.  We give further background into the story and include the spouse’s perspective.  Each one of these episodes averages 45 minutes to an hour.  I also share different content across my social media channels and at my blog on the website.   Podcast: Broken to Brave on LibsynWebsite: BrokenToBrave.comFacebook: @BrokentoBravePodcastTwitter: @broken2brave

Attempted to Host a Game Show – Number 13

   Rob and I have done live podcasts for several years. Most of those were done at a Doctor Who café where we performed every Saturday for three hours. We treated it like experimental theater and created three hours of original content every week. One of those shows was a trivia game show called Trivia Mayhem. I have played it as a contestant, but I never dared to try to host it myself. One night, I felt that Rob was doing a particularly horrible job at hosting and I was heckling him. He asked me if I wanted to get up and try to host.    Normally, I would never have gone up there, but because I am now becoming this ridiculous person who acts before they think I jumped up there and tried. And failed. Miserably. It is so much harder than it looks. I didn’t know what to say to keep the show momentum going. I stumbled over my words. I made a total fool of myself, but I didn’t care. I failed publically. I put myself out there and tried in front of a room full of people. I won’t say that I would do it again, but I’m not sorry I did. Sometimes bravery is trying and failing without regret.  


My husband Rob and I do an exclusive companion podcast on my Patreon page.  We give further background into the story and include the spouse’s perspective.  Each one of these episodes averages 45 minutes to an hour. Find the link below.

Patreon @brokentobrave

I also share different content across my social media channels and at my blog on the website.

Podcast Broken to Brave on Libsyn

WebsiteBrokenToBrave.com

Facebook @BrokentoBravePodcast

Twitter @broken2brave

Peace

I received this in an email today…

Dear Friend,Left Quote MarksRealigning Your Point of Attraction: The Art of BecomingHere’s one of my favorite quotes from my teacher in India, Nisargadatta Maharaj:
There is nothing to do. Just be.
Do nothing. Be.
No climbing mountains and sitting in caves.
I do not even say “be yourself” since you do not know yourself.
Just be.
This idea may contradict everything you’ve been taught and how you’ve lived so far, but let it sink in anyway. If your lifetime inventory of ideas and rules has contributed to your being one of those 112 million who use medication to handle non-existent stress, you can certainly afford to entertain this thought. As you begin practicing the principles to realign with a vibration that matches your desire for a tranquil, peaceful life, you’ll become more conscious of your thoughts. These thoughts of yours literally determine who you are. And the fact that you’re reading these words suggests that you’re interested in becoming more conscious of your thoughts.

Being and becoming are used synonymously here. In order to restore a sense of balance between your desire for tranquility and your desire to meet the requirements of your life, you must practice becoming, and being the vibration that you desire. 

— Being peace: Peace isn’t something that you ultimately receive when you slow down the pace of your life. Peace is what you’re capable of being and bringing to every encounter and event in the waking moments of your life. Most of us are waging a nonstop internal mental skirmish with everyone we encounter. Being peaceful is an inner attitude that you can enjoy when you’ve learned to silence your incessant inner dialogue. Being peaceful isn’t dependent on what your surroundings look like. It seldom has anything to do with what the people around you think, say, or do. A noiseless environment isn’t a requirement.

St. Francis’s famous prayer states it better than I can: “Make me an instrument of thy peace.” In other words, St. Francis wasn’t asking God to provide him with peace. He was asking for guidance to be more like the peace he trusted was his Source. Being peace is different from looking for peace. 

This principle isn’t about merely choosing tranquil thoughts when you’re feeling frayed and anxious. I suggest picturing a container deep within yourself out of which all your thoughts flow. Inside of this container, at its very center, imagine a candle flame. You need to make a commitment that this flame in the center of the container holding all of your thoughts will never, ever even flicker, although the very worst may go before you. This is your container of peace, and only peaceful thoughts can fuel the burning candle. You don’t need to change your thoughts as much as you need to learn to be an energy of fuel the burning candle. You don’t need to change your thoughts as much as you need to learn to be an energy of peace lighting the way and attracting serene, harmonious thoughts and beings. In this way, you’ll become a being of peace.Right Quote MarksExcerpt taken from…
Being in Balance: 9 Principles for Creating Habits to Match Your Desires

Found Beauty In All Things – Number 12

   I was doing more and more work, doing the exercises and focusing on feeling my feelings and being grateful. I started to search for beauty everywhere I looked. Ugly sidewalks might have a tiny flower growing through the cracks. Trees. The sky. Architecture. Moments. Whatever. Wherever. I posted them on my facebook page. It forced me to engage with my facebook friends on a more intimate level. This was the inside of my head. This was personal. I wasn’t hiding behind Molly or Rob or their events. I was saying that something moved me. This may not sound like a big deal to many of you and to be honest it sounds a little crazy to me too, now. 

   

When I see how far I’ve come since then I can barely remember what I was like before. I’m telling you this was a big deal in finding my voice. In putting myself on display. On fighting like crazy for my health and well-being. I couldn’t see beauty when I started my list. I was sad and done and afraid and feeling very much like there was not much point to existing. 

   Finding beauty in my day to day was a brave act. It was that very small part of me that was hidden away that was saying, “I want to stay. There’s more to see here. There’s still something good. And if that flower can grow in a cracked, ugly sidewalk what are am I capable of? Maybe there’s still hope.” Sometimes allowing yourself to hope in the midst of grief and despair is the bravest thing you could ever do. 



My husband Rob and I do an exclusive companion podcast on my Patreon page.  We give further background into the story and include the spouse’s perspective.  Each one of these episodes averages 45 minutes to an hour. Find the link below.

Patreon @brokentobrave

I also share different content across my social media channels and at my blog on the website.

Podcast Broken to Brave on Libsyn

WebsiteBrokenToBrave.com

Facebook @BrokentoBravePodcast

Twitter @broken2brave

I Dueled – Number 11

Even crazier than putting on a costume and acting was the night they had duels and I went up to the biggest badass warrior and I tapped him on the shoulder and indicated to him that I was challenging him to a duel. I’m dressed in a long skirt, etc. and so not exactly dressed for success. Have I mentioned that I’ve never actually ever dueled before? I took fencing in high school, but high school was a hell of a long time ago and I just stood there waiting for gym class to be over. I have mentioned that I’m not a participator. But I actually dueled. With a sword. In a ridiculous outfit. And I scored points. Against a freaking warrior.

He accidentally hit me and my husband swooped in and threatened him (in character…his character loves me, too). I finished out the duel and was so proud of myself for putting myself out there and trying something scary and choosing the scariest competitor and putting myself in the middle of a circle of players who were chanting my character’s name. I was not invisible anymore and I survived it and it took me to the next level on my quest to become brave.

Sometimes bravery is being in on the action.



My husband Rob and I do an exclusive companion podcast on my Patreon page.  We give further background into the story and include the spouse’s perspective.  Each one of these episodes averages 45 minutes to an hour. Find the link below.

Patreon @brokentobrave

I also share different content across my social media channels and at my blog on the website.

Podcast Broken to Brave on Libsyn

WebsiteBrokenToBrave.com

Facebook @BrokentoBravePodcast

Twitter @broken2brave

Put on a costume and allowed myself to be part of the story – Number 10

   My daughter is a professional actress in Chicago and was given the opportunity to participate in a long term immersive theater experience called Chronicles of the Realm. It would take place over about a year and a half at 4 different events. Because she is a minor, one of us had to be there to watch out for her. Each event was out of town for several days. My husband used to be a professional actor so he was the obvious choice to participate. I, not being a participator or joiner, would be a terrible choice. All good, right? Wrong. He went to the first rehearsal and they decided they needed to cast him instead. He would be in a different area from her therefore he couldn’t be her guardian. Guess who was left to choose from? Yep, me. 

   I had to wear a costume because I couldn’t be the only one there in regular clothes…it would take the players out of the game. I had to have a character. I thought that if I was her handmaid that would explain my hovering and if I was mute, I wouldn’t have to participate. I brought knitting that I do quite badly and kept myself out of the way in corners trying to hide. I was in a god-awful outfit that was extremely uncomfortable and because the universe hates me, I got my period the first night there. I had on layers people. Lots of layers. And a long skirt that was so much fabric. Trying to gather that up and deal with a toilet and not get blood everywhere was not pleasant. 

   The first weekend something happened that I didn’t imagine even in my wildest dreams. I had fun. A lot of fun. A ridiculous amount of fun and I grieved when it ended. The next time was pretty much the same for me. Dressed up, no period, thank god, and had a great time, but I still hid most of the time. The third time is why it is on the list. Molly and I were to pretend to be pirates at this event and we were to sneak into the camp on day two in the morning. I had quite a bit of experience now doing really scary brave things so I wasn’t too surprised by my desire to participate at first. I dressed up, joined the game, and interacted with the players despite my muteness. One of the pirates had brought a fabric sign. I used that to communicate by pointing to the letters on the fabric as the pirates tried to decipher the words I was spelling. Most of the time is was some horrible swear word that I was calling someone. My character is an angry handmaid. The rest of the time they would get through this whole long line of letters only to yell at me in frustration as they realized it spelled, “That’s what she said.” Yet again. 

   This was the first time I played the game. This was the first time I really fully engaged. I hate costumes. I was terrible at Halloween. The girl I used to nanny for can attest to that. I’m so bad at Halloween that when she was two years old her family had a party and I came dressed in all black with antennae on my head. She looked at me and said, “What’s this?” I said, “I’m a bug.” She replied back, “Do you have a bug costume?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “Maybe next time you could wear it.” Ouch. But this time I did it. I dressed up, I played and I had fun. Sometimes bravery is allowing yourself to look foolish. 


If you enjoyed this episode and want to dig deeper into each story, my husband Rob and I do an exclusive companion podcast on my Patreon page.  We give further background into the story and include the spouse’s perspective.  Each one of these episodes averages 45 minutes to an hour. Find the link below.

Patreon @brokentobrave

I also share different content across my social media channels and at my blog on the website.  

Podcast Broken to Brave on Libsyn

WebsiteBrokenToBrave.com

Facebook @BrokentoBravePodcast

Twitter @broken2brave

Please rate and review Broken to Brave wherever you listen to this podcast. It truly helps others find the show and hopefully can help others, like myself, to become braver in their own lives and to heal.

Volunteered To Be In A Documentary – Number 9

While I was standing in line for David Duchovny, a group of people came over to the area with film cameras and asked if anyone would be willing to answer a few questions about The X-Files. I didn’t hesitate and asked my husband to hold my stuff (the equivalent of “Hold my beer.”) while I went over and participated.

My husband and daughter couldn’t believe what they were seeing. I am not a participator or a joiner and I don’t ever allow myself to be filmed especially by total strangers and especially while outing my obsession. I did that without even thinking about it. I answered questions and went back to my family and looked at them and smiled and said, “Do you like this new me? I do stuff now.” They do. They like me very much. Sometimes bravery is saying yes.



If you enjoyed this episode and want to dig deeper into each story, my husband Rob and I do an exclusive companion podcast on my Patreon page.  We give further background into the story and include the spouse’s perspective.  Each one of these episodes averages 45 minutes to an hour. Find the link below.

Patreon @brokentobrave

I also share different content across my social media channels and at my blog on the website.  

Podcast Broken to Brave on Libsyn

WebsiteBrokenToBrave.com

Facebook @BrokentoBravePodcast

Twitter @broken2brave

Please rate and review Broken to Brave wherever you listen to this podcast. It truly helps others find the show and hopefully can help others, like myself, to become braver in their own lives and to heal.

Publicly Fangirled – Number 8

   I love the X-Files. I mean I really love the X-Files. Unlike anything before or after, I love the X-Files. I have loved it since the very first episodes originally aired and have been relatively closeted most of my life. If anyone would mention it, I would light up and be desperate to talk about it, but I would never engage in the community. I would read the fan fiction, but never comment. I would scour websites and blogs, but never engage. In 2016, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny were at Wizard World Chicago about 20 minutes away from my house. More importantly, I had a press pass for the event. I stood in the next room doing everything I could not to run into them or catch a glimpse of them. I was afraid that the glow coming off of me would alert everyone that there was a rabid fan on site. I hid the whole time. 

   Fast forward to August of 2019 and both actors were coming back to the same comicon. I had a press pass, but this time I was realizing how short life is and that the show was truly over and I may never have this chance again. My husband bought me a VIP pass. I got to meet both actors, take a picture with both actors, and get signatures from both actors. The level of bravery for this public outing of my very private obsession was epic. Not only was the public going to know, but the actors were going to know.

   I have no chill. I prepared myself that I would cry, possibly throw up or pee myself. The glow… the glow was going to happen. The high-pitched voice? Gonna happen. But I went and I waited in line with all the other fans just like me. I had my daughter dressed like Belle from Beauty and the Beast as my buffer and my husband was there to hold me up. We met Gillian first and she was so gracious. She had just turned 50 a couple of weeks before so I told her how I had a breakdown and her book got me out of bed. I thanked her for giving me back to my husband and daughter. We commiserated over being 50. She was signing my book and said, “I forgot how to write.” I joked back that it was ok because I forgot how to read. She then told us how she once forgot how to drive. She had been driving for ten years at the time and got in the car and just forgot everything. We shared some more stories like the time I forgot how to throw when Rob and I were playing catch and then I fell over sideways on the grass and how Molly once forgot how to sit down. It was a great first meeting and we made friends in line who we spent the rest of the day with. 

   We then went to the photo op and had a picture taken with both Gillian and David. Later we met David and then went to their panel. We went back the next day so my daughter could invite Gillian to her play at Christmas. I survived. I was so glad that I went. I didn’t throw up or pee myself. I would have absolutely regretted not going for the rest of my life. I don’t want any more regrets. I don’t want to live a small life anymore. I don’t care what anyone thinks. If you love something, share your passion. The world needs more love and positivity. Don’t hide what lights you up. Sometimes bravery is sharing your passion.


If you enjoyed this episode and want to dig deeper into each story, my husband Rob and I do an exclusive companion podcast on my Patreon page.  We give further background into the story and include the spouse’s perspective.  Each one of these episodes averages 45 minutes to an hour. Find the link below.

Patreon @brokentobrave

I also share different content across my social media channels and at my blog on the website.  

Podcast Broken to Brave on Libsyn

WebsiteBrokenToBrave.com

Facebook @BrokentoBravePodcast

Twitter @broken2brave

Please rate and review Broken to Brave wherever you listen to this podcast. It truly helps others find the show and hopefully can help others, like myself, to become braver in their own lives and to heal.