It's Okay To Be Messy

I woke up with a cold this morning. It’s ok, I’ll survive and I’ll find a bit of extra rest and hibernating. The wind must have worked its way through my bones. Speaking of hibernating, I have been doing some reading…
 
I am reading a book with some of our team mates at the shop (Dare to Lead by Brene Brown) and it has me deep in thought and deep in mess too.  Firstly, she’s a brilliant researcher and researches things that you wouldn’t expect…Shame. Fear. Vulnerability.  Embracing uncertainty.  How to stay curious. Empathy. Emotional Literacy. Understanding and embracing our feelings and what is fueling them. All these things in our lives and in our workplace. To be honest, I know I am growing in many of these things in my own personal life. I can see the mess and I can make my way through the mud of things. I can see how it’s easier for me to be mad about something, rather than identify hurts that I have. Also, I’m realizing it’s ok for me to be mad. I feel like I can hear my father say, “settle down” and realize that it’s ok for me to be unsettled. It’s healthy for me to figure out why I feel unsettled and move through my feelings to a place of health and clarity. It’s important for me to practice self-compassion. To talk to myself the way I would talk to someone I love. (sigh.) The thing is… sometimes our anger is actually hurt that we feel.  It’s not nice feeling hurt but it’s right for us to pilgrim though those feelings. There’re so many layers of things in the thoughts I just shared with you. I sincerely want to live right, do right and influence others to be in a right way too. 
 
In my discoveries (as stated above) I realize I can’t embrace empathy properly if I don’t live and with my heart awake. Brene Brown states that “Empathy is not connecting to an experience, it’s connecting to the emotions that underpin an experience”. I realize that I have habitually embraced a want to make someone’s experience / feelings better, rather than embracing them and what they’re going through. I want to fix the pain someone feels. I need to practice making space for those in my world that need space to feel what they’re going through (double sigh).  
 
Also, in the mix of some of my new discovery is a renewed sense to embrace circling back in conversations and owning it when I mess things up. I want to create safety in relationships for all of us to grow more. I need to also be willing to say, “you shared something hard with me and I wish I has shown up in a different way, I’m sorry I really care about you and what you shared. Can I try again?  Can you tell me more of how you feel?” It’s about seeing the value of sharing experiences with others and leaving space for you or me to do things wrong. I need to grow more in such ways.  
 
Truth is, I need to grow in these ways personally but also make room for these discoveries in the workplace. I have a lot of growing to do. You can find me drinking a coffee, eating a Cabin Cookie (they’re so good... and like a healthy granola bar) and living with my heart. 
 
Cheering for you and sending you a smile of compassion.  Maybe you find yourself in a messy place and need to be reminded that there’s room for you and your mess.    
 
Much kindness, 
Esther Hoogendoorn
Operations Lead, Decades Coffee

Decades Coffee Club