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Thoughts from the Loft: Mongers, Shame, and Vulnerability

If you have been following me you know I have recently opened a new space called the Live Happier Loft.  This new space is one of the reasons it has been so quiet here on the blog. Over the past month, I have received a lot of questions and curiosity about the Loft and wanted to write some blog posts addressing those questions.  I will be talking about the Loft and what it means to me and what you can expect from this space.


This week marked the 3rd week of the June 1/2 off extravaganza.  When I decided to open the Loft my nearest and dearest had this brilliant idea of taking one week and hosting a program every night and then decided to expand on that and do a program a night for an entire month. Thus the idea of June 1/2 off Programming began.

When I told friends and family (even strangers) that I was planning on doing a program a night in June they all said, “Wow, that is A LOT” or “That sounds totally exhausting”.  And I would shrug and think, “But it is going to be awesome!”.  And for the most part it has been.  Meeting new people, trying new programs, talking about the topics I love and value. It has been an amazing month!!

And then this week hit.  Now to be fair in addition to the nightly programming we have had family visiting, kitchen remodels looming and general life stresses playing a role in day to day life.  So by Tuesday night (after no one showed up for the Hour of Happy Minds event) I had hit a new low. My Mongers were out in full force and I was a full blown mess.  I met a friend for dinner and was finally able to say out loud, “I am struggling, this is a lot harder than I thought it would be.” Fortunately, I have amazing friends and she listened, empathized and basically normalized all I was feeling.

As I drove home from dinner, the tears started flowing and they didn’t stop for the next couple of hours.  I was in the midst of a full blown vulnerability break down.  My Mongers were hammering me with, “Who do you think you are? No one is going to come to these events. You are a complete idiot. This is going to fail” and on and on an on. After crying on the couch to my nearest and dearest I crawled into bed feeling defeated and exhausted. When I woke up 10 hours later I just wanted to stay in bed–pack it in and give it up.

But somewhere from deep inside, my wise voice quietly whispered, “You got this…it is just hard now…it will get easier. Don’t give up.” I knew she was right. This was a temporary glitch–an understandable temporary glitch. I woke up and eased into the day.  I checked in with my friend, had a long heartfelt conversation with my husband and spent the day filling up my proverbial glass as much as possible.

That night was the Daring Greatly Wednesday event and lo and behold–6 people showed up! 4 of whom had never met me or been to the Loft.  All of them were interested in learning more about my work and the teachings of Brené Brown. It was an amazing night!  I shared my breakdown story and other people nodded and smiled knowingly. We have all been there.  As we said that night, had I not had the breakdown, had I not admitted my vulnerability and exhaustion had I continued to pretend and put on a brave face–the Daring Greatly Wednesday night would not have gone as well.  The conversation would not have been as open and honest.  The energy would have felt stilted and unnatural.  However, that night was quite the opposite we all shared, laughed, and opened up to each other. We all showed our human side and we grew closer because of it.

Vulnerability isn’t easy. Change is hard. The lessons keep coming.  The growth keeps happening.  Is it easy? Hell No.  But the experience and the results are so worth it.  I wouldn’t change this journey for anything in the world.  And I am so grateful to everyone who is on it with me.

I would love to hear from you in the comments:  Have you ever had a similar experience?  Who are the safe people in your world to share your vulnerability with? What do you do when you are experiencing a shame breakdown?

I will be leading a 4 week Daring Greatly class staring July 9th. We will be discussing Living a Wholehearted Life and healthy ways to deal with shame and vulnerability.  If you are interested check it out here.  Space is limited.

2 Responses to Thoughts from the Loft: Mongers, Shame, and Vulnerability

  1. Vicki Fach says:

    When my husband and I worked in WorldWide Marriage Encounter, every team couple shared stories of conflicts, disagreements and fights and how we worked through them, as well as our own individual struggles and breakdowns. And you are right, when we share our vulnerability, we are more able to be in touch with others who need encouragement and hope. We saw hundreds of couples with good or even “just fine” marriages revitalized and recharged, reminded of the power in their coupleness to become extraordinary.

  2. Nancy Jane Smith says:

    Love it–thanks for sharing Vicki! That is an awesome example of even when we think we are ‘good’ there is always room for growth through shared community and compassion. Thanks for commenting.