Holy crap. I'm so scared to write this post. Like, I've come up with every single excuse not to write this, publish this, speak this. Holy crap.
But, to ease myself in, I'll start with a metaphor. Because that's what I do.
I'd like you to imagine me in a grocery store, say Whole Paycheck, armed with a list of to-gets and to-dos. And even though on paper it would be obvious that a grocery cart would not only be useful, but essential, I bypass that department. I say to myself, "I got this. Screw you wheely helpful thing, I got my own arms."
Then, after aisle 5, I realize that I'm royally screwed. I've got a can of tomatoes, a sweet potato (or 5), some coconut oil, a bar (or 50) of dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds, way too expensive paper towels, a bag of lettuce, some kettle chips, salsa, and a can of green tea in my arms while I gaze at my still incompletely ascertained list of items. Dang it. I bumble and fumble, look around to see if no one is looking, and definitely answer with "no, I'm good," when concerned onlookers ask if I need help.
Really. This happens every time I go to the grocery store. I swear to god they probably have a camera set up somewhere in the back office and they all sit there on their breaks isolating and guffawing over all the stereotypes that walk into the store. "There's dreadlock guy who doesn't buy but sniffs all the patouchli cologne." "There's super skinny lady who buys cottage cheese and psyllium powder." "There's crazy mom lady who lets her kids eat all this shit before they get to the register." "There's yoga pants couple who are too cool for school and love them some kombuchas and pizza." "There's super rich dude with that lady who is definitely NOT his wife." "Oh, look, there's crazy ass chick who carries a fucking cart load of groceries in her rather tiny but buff little arms." (the latter being me, says Captain Obvious)
Yes, I have trouble not only asking for help, but receiving help, perhaps even on a pathological level. And thanks to good friends and brilliant minds in my life, I have of late realized that my inability to ask for help stems from a deep-rooted assumption that I am huge massive screw-up and I need to fix everything in the dark of the night before anyone notices. I better fix any seeming difficulty or obstacle or failure fast. And, beyond that, I better be able to perform on a superhuman level so no one will notice how much of a screw-up I am.
The problem with all of this?
Well, A) that grocery list gets way too heavy and results in broken salsa all over the floor; B) I carry with me the assumption that I have to do everything by myself and never for a moment tell the truth or ask for help; and C) missions fail before they have a chance to succeed.
Here's the truth.
I'm sitting here in Truro, a tiny town in the northern tip of Cape Cod,
listening to coyotes howling just outside. The sound creeps into my
skin, a combination of the thrill of the wild and the pang of the
primal. As I look over at my daughter sleeping in the bed next to me, I
start crying. It occurs to me that in this Momma Strong world, this
amazing tribe I have helped create, probably looks different on the
outside. People probably don't know that my mom bought me the tickets
to get to the Cape. They probably don't know that I've been wearing the
same sneakers for the last year and a half. They probably really don't
know that when my camera fails, it's a huge disaster not only because
I've got workouts to film, but because my resources are slim and buying a
new one feels like a choice that and the electric bill.
Before I go any further, this is a not a declaration of Momma Strong's sinking status. Oh, hell no. Momma Strong is set to be on a rocket ship very soon. It's just that right now, we're in the phase of getting the astronauts all geared up and ready. That takes time and resources. (another far-reaching metaphor - yay! I rock)
But, people don't know that even while standing in front of this rocket ship, I recently contemplated quitting. I'm past the point of rational and "girl on a mission." I've got kids to feed. I don't have a back-up, a second income, a savings, a reserve, an anything. I started to feel like maybe I had lost my mind. That everything I had been doing had been silly and trivial. Go get a "real" job, I told myself. And, then, well. Let's talk about tears.
I won't quit. I won't. And not because I'm stubborn and not because I'm passionate to a fault about women's empowerment, but because I can still feel on a visceral level what it was like to not show up in my life. And, I know that for whatever whacked out crazy reason, Momma Strong and the programs I created in my living room two years ago helped me choose visibility in the space of vulnerability. It's not at all about the workouts and the programs. It isn't about me. It's about us. It's about what happens when we as women choose to participate in our strength and to nurture our energy. And something within this space pulled me out of my own hiding, lending a hand to the place of living brightly. I can't walk away from that. I fucking need my 15-minute workouts every day not because I'm some crazed compulsive worker-outer (hell to the no) but because those 15-minutes and the way I have been led to organize and create them have relieved me of physical pain, softened the blows of postpartum depression, and given my entire being a sense of resolve that I never could have imagined. Those workouts are a tether to why it's ok that I exist in a substantial and strong way in the world. Dramatic, I know. But it's true to the bones of me.
And, so, instead of giving up, I realized that the issue here is that I refuse to ask for help. But, more than that, I refuse to expose people to the truth of my current growth period. I am hell bent on keeping up a front so that no one will see me as victim or as a charity case or as a screw up. The problem with that is that I end up showing up exactly that way: In need, out of sorts, overwhelmed, under-resourced, and kinda screwed.
So, I'm here today to tell you that while Momma Strong is kicking ass in some serious ways, it's at that tender stage of growing from 1.0 to 2.0. It's the point where the project goes from craft to art, doodle to masterpiece, sand to glass. I can't tell you how amazed I am at some of things happening with the brand in the very near future. The problem is not the potential, the problem is that I need help holding that potential on a better foundation. And to do that, I have to tell the truth and get real. I need help.
I need to not juggle every single ball in the Momma Strong-verse. I need to delegate the things that I may be able to get done, but not with the acuity and genius that someone else could. I need to hire the brilliant scientist/storyteller of social media, Lauren Ramsey. I need some tech help. I need admin help. I need a new camera. Pretty simple.
And as I write these things and continue to hear those coyotes howling, I'm telling you that from the depths of my soul, I want to erase everything I just wrote. It feels terrible to be in need. But it feels worse to be hiding. And, so, I'm choosing to show up. Wild and primal. And, heck, aren't those coyotes howling so they know they're not alone?
I'm strategizing right now about ways to garner the support Momma Strong needs. One of those is a groovy Indie GoGo campaign which will be launched soon, complete with some hilarious video of me trying to juggle a thousand balls. I'm also really focusing on how not to sell but instead get people to buy into what is a different voice in the realm of modern motherhood. I seek in all strategies to be the real deal, to reflect what real deal women need in a movement like Momma Strong. We got this.
But, there's something you can do today if you are interested in answering the Momma Strong coyote call (holy crap, that was cheesy). And this is available even if you have already signed up to be a member, etc. Click on Momma Strong's Tribe add to cart button and sponsor this movement for $150. In return, you will become a life-long member of Momma Strong. Not just a year. Life long for you, a life line for Momma Strong. AND, if you already are a life-timer, well, I'll give you a freebie life-long membership for you to give to someone whom you love. So, it doesn't matter if you already have a Tribe yearly or lifelong membership or not, if you sponsor right now by clicking that $150 add to cart button, your name will forever by attached to everything we do here. Like, free access. Whether it's a live class, online bonuses, conferences, adventures, etc. You are in.
Ok. I'm going to sign off now before I erase everything. Ack.