I've been reflecting a lot lately on leadership, softness, & the power of emotion.
I've been training myself to profoundly experience all my emotions as they arise. Last week was tumultuous emotionally; I just couldn't stop crying at times. But I'm learning to soften into the waves of emotion that pour through...learning to surrender. I'm learning to integrate the full experience of emotion into my daily life, instead of suppressing, hiding, negating or denying my emotions. It's actually quite juicy. Ripe. Erotic. Energizing. And simple.
I gave an important presentation last week, right from that space--not fighting back my fears, holding in tears, or resisting anything anymore--not even the feeling of weakness, powerlessness, or helplessness. And you know what? Something extraordinary happened. I became extremely present. Soft. Vulnerable. Surrendered. And people were magnetized.
Afterwards, I received an outpouring of feedback about how touched, inspired, and moved people were by what I shared. And someone came straight away and offered money for the project I spoke about. In the past, I would've stuffed my emotions down and put them away because they weren't "appropriate" to have around while speaking to a group. Now I realize what those exceptional seminar leaders and motivational speakers are talking about when they emphasize vulnerability.
Vulnerability and strength are a winning pair. When you allow people to see both your vulnerability and strength, you can't lose. It's truthful and human through and through, and it's inspiring.
My dear friend and colleague, Megwyn White (Embody Voice founder), says, "We forget...our bodies are built to experience every emotion fully without falling apart." Our physiology is designed to feel and process everything fully. Intense emotion only lasts about 2 and a half minutes. Just like a thundercloud, it comes, dumps rain, and moves on. Allowing this continual natural process is what gives a woman (and man) magnetism and personal charisma; it's what makes us truly, all-the-way ALIVE.
But we've been taught the opposite. Many of us were conditioned to suppress emotion, taught that feelings don't matter, feelings don't count, that they're "only feelings." I'm here to tell you that they DO matter, and they are key to your truest expression of power as a woman and a human being. Emotions are lightning rods for truth. Martha Graham's famous saying "The body doesn't lie" can be applied to emotions as well...for emotions are simply an extension of the body's natural cycles, rhythms, and wisdom.
How does this impact your leadership?
It has everything to do with leadership. Being able to fully experience and be with your emotions gives you authentic power. It distinguishes you from the vast majority, who lack connection to their somatic wisdom. Mostly out of fear. Being totally in touch with raw emotion is vulnerable. It can be scary to be vulnerable, terrifying even. But this is the very wisdom the world needs at this time. It's the power of self-compassion, radical self-love, showing up fully for yourself (which looks like, in part, being present with powerful emotion).