Yesterday, I did something way out of my comfort zone. I was made aware that there was a need for a DJ and announcer for the Rally for Your Rights making a stand for reproductive rights at our State House. I was in bed, just waking up, and checking my phone, when I saw it. I had planned on going. My daughter went to a similar event in Minnesota. I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to be a part of it holding a sign in the crowd, blending in. I was suddenly motivated about just doing an act of service for my daughter. So in a moment, I messaged the organizer that I would do it, if no one else would. Apparently, no one else would.
It was about a week out. I managed to find a couple of friends to go with me. It was also a fairly new experience for them. I tried to get a better sound system than the small one the organizer purchased but was unsuccessful. I made a song list, collaborating with some music loving activist friends. I made a sign that copied my daughter’s sign that she had in Minnesota. It said “Mind Your Own Uterus”.
We left early yesterday morning and showed up on time, parked, and helped set up. I got some final information from people that would be speaking. I would be introducing a Representative, a couple of women who had abortions. One had been raped and one had an unwanted pregnancy when she was a young woman. One woman would have lost her child were it not for the life saving medical care of Planned Parenthood. There was an OBGYN who shared how being a doctor is not all happiness. There are times when the doctor has to share bad news. These conversations are emotional and difficult. One man pulled up a chair, held up a cross and just watched me as I prepared. As a I opened up, a larger mob of anti-abortionist with giant gross signs with fetuses arrived. They were quiet but their signs were ….well it was a message.
I thanked everyone for coming and also the folks back there that disagreed before hearing anyone. I could feel myself physically shaking. Addressing the dissenters, I told them I had once been an evangelical Christian and that I had once shared their view. I explained how I felt that empathy was a Christian value and I hoped they would at least listen why we believed women should be able to get reproductive care freely and safely.
I announced Tiffany as our first speaker. She had a story of being date raped. It was heart wrenching. This is when we were blasted by a loud evangelical man. He was bloviating his heretical hate vomit drowning out Tiffany as she spoke since he was prepared with a louder speaker system. He did that throughout the event. I felt helpless to protect these women. They were so brave to share their stories in the midst of hate and shame speech. I was doing all I could with others at the rally. We were standing in solidarity and peacefully resisting. “Control is not Love!” This was the most poignant chant of the day, in my opinion.
I introduced each speaker, I played music, I danced. I danced in my discomfort with others who were also there, outside of there comfort zone. Some had a close personal experience and others just did not want our daughters, and students, and future women of the world to lose ground in the rights, the dignity, the safety, and respect for their own bodies that was won by women before us. I am sure the women who fought for these rights before felt like I did. Uncomfortable.
I do not hate you if you disagree with my position on this issue. We are not all going to agree. I hope that if you are on the other side, you learned something that might inform your level of empathy. Writing this blog today is another step in being real, vulnerable, and authentic. Sharing about myself is something I do to help others and it is not comfortable in the least. Some people are mean when you are authentic.
My job as a life coach is to help people take brave steps. Taking brave steps requires getting uncomfortable for what you believe in. Growth is uncomfortable. It is easier to do things you are already competent at and where you know exactly what to expect. The unknown is stressful. Possible failure is stressful. What are you willing to get uncomfortable for? Your health? Better relationships? Your career? Do you need to speak your truth about something? Do you need to learn a new skill? Do you need to try something new and adventurous? Do you need to ask for help? Do you need to try make new friends? I was uncomfortable yesterday, but I came home feeling I lived my life with intention. I expressed love to humanity. I was living my core values. I believe that the stuff we will find worth talking about in this life will happen outside of our comfort zone.
Through the end of August only, I will be doing private $125 Discovery Sessions for men, women, or couples that I have previously charged $250 when I was coaching in Minnesota. Would you like to schedule some time with me to privately discuss your stories and create a plan for you to take some brave steps into a more empowered life? I would love to be your coach. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will return your message in order to schedule an appointment.
Take care and do something brave today!