THE PEOPLE IN THE CHEAP SEATS – I watched Brene Brown’s special on Netflix last night.  I am a huge Brene fan primarily because of her authentic way of speaking and writing, her enchanting storytelling plus she’s intelligent and super funny. Brene has you laughing, crying and embracing many ah-ha moments around what it’s really like to be living a full life.  And she talks about individuals in the cheap seats, people who offer criticism to those of us in the arena but remain on the sidelines of life playing it safe. 

Brene talks a lot about vulnerability and courage and referenced “The Man in the Arena” written by Teddy Roosevelt and the basis of her book “Daring Greatly.”   “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena ……….   Where are you?  Sitting in the cheap seats throwing out criticism or are you the man in the arena, trying, failing, trying again and again? One question I typically ask a potential or new clients, “Is this where you want to be or is this how you want to feel five years from now?”   I never get a big YES answer. 

If you do not have 70+minutes to watch Brene’s special here are a couple of key takeaways:  

  • Don’t grab or hold onto the criticism from the people in the cheap seats – Let’s face it there are millions of people sitting in the cheap seats who will never get out and live a full, vulnerable, joyful and happy life.  If they are throwing criticism your way as you are taking the risks, stumbling, falling and getting back up again to try again please do not hold onto or grab hold of any negativity they offer. Because while it may feel like you are alone you are not. Just keep being the one in a million and you will attract many more wonderful like-minded individuals. And God/Source will always have your back.
  • It takes courage to be vulnerable –  And when you are vulnerable you are courageous, the two go together.  There is no courage without vulnerability.  And in a world where we have lost so much connection with each other, vulnerability is the path back to each other and that requires putting yourself out there.
  • JOY is the most vulnerable of ALL human emotions – Because the majority of us are just waiting for the next shoe to drop.  The next school shooting, the next bombing or cancer diagnosis, the next heart attack or???  Leaning fully into JOY takes courage and vulnerability.  And when you really lean into and embrace JOY, LIFE GETS GOLDEN.
  • Data shows, only people who truly lean into JOY are also grateful – Being grateful even for the challenging times (they end up being the biggest lessons) is essential to be in JOY.  And you don’t have to wait for big events to show gratitude.  Be grateful for the ordinary moments. I was watching my oldest daughter cooking dinner the other night and in-between preparing her meal she would reach down and pull my 9-month old grandson to his feet and help him walk a little.  What a beautiful sight, it brought tears to my eyes.  Sweet, innocent love.
  • Age is 100% in your head – This one is mine.  I turned 60 a couple of weeks ago.  I will not lie, after my birthday I had some rough moments because I started focusing on the outside even though I am consistently told that I look 10-15 years younger, and I forget about the inside, my spirit, my soul, what makes me well ME.   How you feel will reflect on how you look and how healthy your body is overall.  The data is there proving that we become what we think.  Think that you are old, tired, sick, miserable, that’s exactly what you will be.  Think young, vivacious, healthy, strong thoughts about yourself and your body and you got it, that is exactly what you will become and remain.

So again, I will ask the question.  Is this where you want to be or how you want to feel in five years?  Even three months from now?  Time is our most valuable asset.  Start using it wisely by having fun, leaning into vulnerability, JOY, and gratitude and watch the magic happen in your life.