This month I am showcasing Phoenix’s beautiful story of her journey through Chicktime. I hope you are just as moved by her experiences and thoughts as I am!
Phoenix’s Story: The Arena
Chicktime’s 2013 annual retreat was held on a humid summer weekend at the Purple Sage Ranch in San Antonio Texas. It was my first retreat and the same year Chicktime San Diego was established. As a new founding leader, nervousness was trickling through me, but I knew on this weekend my life was never going to be the same.
Our god fearing, gracious, beautiful, amazing founder Lori Rhodes has a presence that calms you when she walks into the room. Warmth and love radiate to those around her, which is why we had 50 leaders from across the Unites States sitting in the conference room to learn to lead the way she leads. What we were about to hear would transcend us to parts of ourselves that we keep hidden. It’s where shame, rejection, and fear reside. The topic up front was “vulnerability”. For the entire weekend we learned through Brene Brown’s painful deep dive into her own imperfections, how to embrace them, and live authentically. Boy was I in trouble!
Through all the sharing of stories, fears and imperfections I sat in a corner of pride, unable to move in the search of my worthiness. In the past I would dilute the pain by escaping through numbing agents to sooth the blistering self-doubt emanating from shame of not being enough. The funny thing about numbing the negative emotions, is that you also sedate the positive ones. Right then and there, the areas where I needed to step up and become a better person, the ones I rather not face, were alive, activated and present. At the end of our last workshop we had an opportunity to dance. As I sat there with my hands in my lap, fixated gaze on the openness around me, I stuck to my chair, glued by my stubbornness of not allowing myself to be authentically imperfect.
A couple years passed and our 2015 August Event was about sharing the passion of music, dancing and singing. It was an amazing event with DJ GraiiKJ spinning and karaoke wailing out by the girls and volunteers. Little did I know that same feeling of fear, shame, insecurity and rejection would visit me at this event. I had a decision to make- I could continue to be trapped inside a shell of fear, or I could finally be brave and vulnerable and step up to be seen in a purpose of showing these girls the beauty of self-expression. That day I chose courage.
We all have imperfections. Hiding them may be our first inclination, but I encourage you to share them with others. This is what the Chicktime experience provides; a chance for you to serve a next generation of girls and women who desperately need to know the truth about embracing their imperfections and letting go of shame to live an authentic life filled of love, worthiness and value.
Be that compassionate woman to show them their value through knowing yours.
Join The Chicktime Movement. Find belonging, purpose and vulnerability through a chapter near you, or start your own. You never know what will happen if you step up in the arena.
(The biggest thing I have taken away from this is that God shows us our arenas of where we need to step up through experiences, people and wisdom. No matter what those hindering imperfections are that stops us from feeling worthy of growing, he gives us grace to help us see our identities through him, so we can be renewed with a different perception of love and compassion for ourselves and others. The human condition is to be flawed. In the end what matters is just being honest with who you are.)