When I tell people I still think of myself as shy and introverted, they often laugh as if I've said something funny. But the truth is that most of my life I've had to push myself to talk in front of a large room, and sometimes even to talk to a single stranger. I always felt afraid I wouldn't have the right words, that I didn't know the right things to talk about, and like I wouldn't fit in.
So I spent a lot of time "fakennecting" -- you know, pretending to connect when I was really just counting down the time until the event was over, when I didn't have to be "on" anymore.
Then something began to change.
It started many years ago when my then husband had what I believe to be a schizophrenic breakdown, and very publicly admitted to numerous affairs. Suddenly the fakennecting didn't work as well and the mask I'd been wearing no longer fit.
When people asked how I was doing, instead of saying "fine," I said things like "not bad for a woman who just learned her whole marriage was a sham." Too much? Yeah, in hindsight it probably was, but I was just learning how to keep it real.
Here's the funny part. Folks didn't run away like they had in my dreams. They didn't call me crazy (at least not to my face). And, they didn't seem to pass judgment. Instead, they saw my transparency as a chance to connect on a real level. And so after I shared my story, they shared theirs.
And . . . we . . . connected.
My point? Connection is a choice. Each and every day we decide whether to let someone see the real us, and whether to create opportunities to be fully and authentically accepted. So it's with that in mind that I invite you to check out 4 ways to connect with your yanasisters in 2018. (Check out the retreats page for details.)
And, even more than that, I invite you to choose to connect in life.
It's all about connection.
Founder of YANASISTERS
P.S. Click here to check out the article about YANASISTERS on Essence.com. Yes, I'm still excited to share our story!!!