Opening up the vulnerability vortex 

Wow!! I’ve just had a moment and I’m damn sure I can link it to my quest to become more open and vulnerable. 

I have just been to the doctors and gave the nurse a date ’28th February’. Nothing unusual here – I was just throwing a date out there. I’m pretty sure it was the wrong one! 

I then head to Superdrug to pick up some toilet roll – 9 pack for £2 – good quality. It’s a no brainer! The song that is playing when I enter is ‘I’ll Be Missing You’ – Puff Daddy, Faith Evans and 112!

A strange feeling drifts over me and I instantly well up. It was the song that came out just after my mum died – so I instantly attached it to her. 

I try to hold back my sad thoughts  but that doesn’t align me with me today. 

So I open up, let the memories flood in and as I walk around the aisles in Superdrug, I sing along with Puff Daddy/P Diddy/Sean Combes or whatever he’s called now. Tears proudly resting in my eyes, 9 pack of boggers under my arm, singing out of tune and I remember my mum!

After I leave the shop I immediately text my Sister and ask what date mum died. I’d heard that song countless times in the years following but never had I come over like this. 

Text back read: 28th February, 1997. 

20years ago!! That was definitely a sign and I’m so pleased that I decided to let the emotions in! 

I was 15yrs old when she passed away and I never really grieved. Hence not even setting the date in stone in my mind. So I’m sat here now – sharing this story with you and I’m crying. I’m grieving. I’m allowing!! 

This year of vulnerability thing is well powerful! 

I’ll Be Missing You

R.I.P – Barbara Jean Thompson – 28.02.97

X

The Curse Of The Flying F#ck!

I am massively resisting when it comes to writing my next blog and have been putting it off – waiting for something epic to come to me. 

The more I get into this cycle of putting it off, the easier it will become to sack it off all together. I’m sure you’ve been there before! I certainly have. 

Letting it slowly slip into the pile of ‘what could have been’. Nestled together with ‘barely started’ and ‘broken dreams’ – turning into a haze of mind clutter that produces waves of guilt and toxic personal judgement.

So I’m writing. I’m here. I’m showing up! I’m going to continue what I started and I’m going to see it through to the end. I’m making myself accountable to………myself. 

Fuck adding this to the list of things that makes me feel bad – I love writing and I want to be more vulnerable, so the show will go on.

I have been thinking a lot recently about the sudden wave of ‘No Fucks Given’ memes that are in constant flow on social media sites. At first I was like ‘hell yeah’ that’s the place that I want to be. To actually give no fucks would make my anxiety disappear and I would get much further with my goals. 

This thought didn’t last long as I love to analyse everything and I mean everything! See things from another perspective and ensure what is being said is actually true before I share it with others. It’s a trait I actually admire in myself, although it also brings me to despair that I can’t just let things go – researching at 2am in the morning when I should have been asleep 3hrs ago does get tiring!

Every personality test I’ve done always comes up with the same traits:
✅I’m a people pleaser
✅I seek approval
✅I crave acknowledgement

Add this to my fear of rejection and receiving criticism and it has often meant that I haven’t done something because of fearing what others may think or say about me. 

For years this has bugged me where I whimsically think……what could have been? I never stopped to think about the other side of the not giving a fuck coin. There’s a chance without me caring too much about what other people thought, I would have gone off the rails and my situation would have been so very different and maybe not for the better. 

For example……I didn’t date a really dodgy guy when I was younger because I cared too much what people would think. Phew……..saved by the Fuck!

Being able to be thankful that I cared what people thought has given me a switch in mindset. I have come to the agreement that I’m going to learn to fly the flag for ‘Giving a Fuck’ alongside the flag that says – ‘Doing it Anyway’. 

I am going to do the things that I really want to do, whilst still having the fear in my belly about what other people are going to think. 

  • I’m going to embrace it when I feel sad when someone is rude to me. 
  • I’m going to take it on the chin when I get rejected. 
  • I’m going to sit with my sorrow when I get criticised. 

Why wouldn’t I want to experience all the feelings I have? This lets me know I’m alive and that I’m still me! 

Part of my ‘year of vulnerability’ is to love who I am – warts, traits and all! Plus, I’ve noticed, the quicker I confront my feelings, the quicker they pass and I can move on.
So I am not going to pretend by posting a meme that I don’t give a fuck! That doesn’t resonate with who I am. Also, I actually think that meme is a bit of a contradiction as if you didn’t give a fuck why would you shout from the rooftops about not giving a fuck……… with a meme? It’s a bit on the passive aggressive side.

I have just finished reading a book called ‘The Antidote’ which was really heavy going, had a lot of theory but it was such a worthwhile read. There I was introduced to ‘Stoicism’ and how they live their lives, enduring and accepting pain and not running from their feelings. They often ask “What’s the worst that could happen?” 

So, as I keep on raising my ‘Doing it Anyway’ flag – which actually churns my stomach just writing about it – gulp!!! I’m going to play that on loop in my head. “What’s the worst that could happen? What’s the worst that could happen?”

As I’m nearing the end of my post, which has taken a couple of hours to write as I procrastinate and dither and wonder what are people going to think. I ask myself what am I doing all this for?

I then look back over at the pile of ‘what could have been’ and look forward to ‘what still could be’ – there’s my answer!

      What I know for sure is – today I’m not going to let other opinions of me stop me from doing what I love – tomorrow I may do, who knows! This is going to be a slow but progressive change.

          What I also know for sure is – I’m going to post this on my blog and my hands are going to be clammy and I’m going to feel a bit sick. I’m going to give a fuck about what other people think!

              And what I’ll finally know for sure is that both my flags are flying high and I’m going to be proud of that!

              I’m Emma Halliday and I give a fuck! x

              Emma…………….Come Out To Play!

              Yes, the title of this blog post is a reference to the cult film ‘Warriors’! As what I feel like I need right now is a gang chanting this at me! 

              Emma…………come out to play!”

              Reminding me that I need to play! I need to bring back the fun in more aspects of my life. 

              To those that know me this may come as a shock that I’m saying that I need to have more fun in my life. Gees – it bloody came as a shock to me when I became aware of it. 

              It has only been the past few weeks that I’ve realised that I’m taking life far too seriously. Even my subconscious believed that I was having so much fun – I marked it the highest section when I was sat doing my wheel of life to help me with my ‘year of vulnerability’. 


              I clearly was just thinking about the activities that I choose to do:

              • Dinner with friends
              • Pop up events
              • Girlie weekends away
              • Improvisation course
              • Etc…..etc…

              Hence the reason I scored it an 8/10 – an absolutely valid and healthy score if looking at it face on. 

              After having an anxiety attack a few weeks back it made me step back and observe how tightly strung I had got and how I was compartmentalising fun, play, life, work – instead of realising how important it is for them to intertwine. As soon as I realised this, there were of course signs EVERYWHERE! As is always the case. 

              Last week I had a very powerful intuition reading by 3 people who all said that when I’m operating from my ego: I take life too seriously, I’m a perfectionist, I’m hard on myself and so much more. The reading was for 10minutes and they did not hold back. 

              Then came the intuition reading for when I’m operating from my genius: I am playful, I am joyful, I am fun, things flow so well for me when I just let the fun out! That night, these 3 strangers were my Warriors.

              “Emma…………come out to play!”                                                                                          

              Last Sunday I joined hundreds of other people singing my heart out at Sunday Assembly. The theme this time was ‘Connection and Playfulness’. Adam Taffler was the guest speaker and I hung on every single one of his words as he talked about how important playfulness is and how it can unite us, build community and bring joy into our lives. 

              He shared some practical tips on how we can be more playful, one so simple and silly that I have being trying it out. When using your Oyster card make your own ‘beeping’ sound. It was amazing how good it made me feel each time I did this. “We seem to have lost the ability to play when we’re adults” Adam said – another Warrior – calling me!

              “Emma…………come out to play!”                                                                                             

              Yesterday I watched a talk by thought leader ‘Don Jose Ruiz’ and I stood to attention when he said “Once you wake up, you can never go back to sleep“. 

              It hit me hard! 

              I had woken up and now I was carrying the weight of all the books, audios, courses, workshops, seminars, quotes on my shoulders! 

              My quest to be happier, for freedom and pure love had also brought with it a lorry load of new beliefs, doubts, worries and questions – which has ironically  turned into this serious Emma, that tries to control play! 

              I told my amazing friend and confidante my thoughts and she totally resonated with what I was saying. So much so we chatted for 90mins mostly on this subject. 

              Opening the door to self development had made us lock ‘play’ away in a box and let ‘guilt’ take over. Feeling guilty if we aren’t hustling, if we don’t meditate, if we don’t journal, if we eat chips, if we watch TV! No more we said! It’s time to put ‘play’ back on the table and not just at regimented times. In every day life. In all situations. 

              “Emma…………come out to play!”  

              This morning I opened up my book to read the next chapter and do the exercises. The title of that chapter? ‘Lighten Up’


              “Emma…….

              Okay, okay I get it. I’m listening. I’m coming out to play!! I much prefer myself that way!!


              Emma x

              Naked Yoga

              Most mornings I start the day with some 5 Tibetans Yoga. It consists of 5 different yoga positions, done up to 21 times each (I usually do 3 rounds of 7). I was recommended this type of Yoga from a teacher after telling her ‘Yoga wasn’t for me’. 

              Well this morning I did the yoga naked and in front of my triple mirrored wardrobe. 

              Learning to love my body. 

              That is all!

              Emma x

              3 small cheers to Saturday 💪💪💪

              Yesterday (Saturday 18th Feb) I did 3 things that were not my default, 3 things that were uncomfortable, 3 things that welcomed unease. These 3 actions that would be passed off as insignificant to many, were triumphant to me and fit in perfectly to my year of vulnerability

              The day started with speaking my mind and facing conflict. Not something I am a fan of but I had to step up. Unless I am pushed I tend to keep quiet. It’s a trait I’ve carried through from my childhood. My Auntie loves to tell me how I was so placid as a child – having the patience to endure my cousin’s teasing and tormenting. He would continue to push and push and………….push until I would see red and just lash out. It used to be physical…….his head versus a brick wall! Ahem……but maturity and adulthood turned the physical into lethal words wrapped up in passive aggressive paper. Self development has thankfully taught me to step back, breath and not to act on the defensive so although this is a character trait I have to live with it’s one I rarely let control me. Speaking my mind is going to heavily feature in my year of vulnerability as it’s so important. I’m not going to go around using my opinions to hurt and insult others but I am going to speak up when something truly matters. 

              As Martin Luther King Jnr said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. 

              So today was a great step in speaking my truth and coming from a place of authenticity. I am calm inside and that’s when I know I did the right thing – my stomach wasn’t churning with regret or turmoil and I know my conscience is clean. 

              I had decided earlier in the week that this Saturday would belong to me. I usually have plans on a weekend, if I’m not jumping on a train or coach to spend time out of London, I’m on a personal development course or training event. I love that my diary has something scheduled most of the time but I felt I owed myself a ‘go slow’ day. I stayed in bed long after I woke up, without setting an alarm, my pyjamas (yes pyjamas – this was a dirty word for me until a few months ago. I now have 3 pairs!! What has happened to me?) were still on after midday and I watched some TV. It felt wrong. I felt guilty. Guilty for having a lazy day! I sat with these feelings, had a word with myself, basically telling myself to lighten the f*%k up and embrace the day. I’m nurturing myself and that’s nothing to feel guilty about. Once I made this decision the day lightened up and I had 2 long and great conversations with friends and organised my desk. This wouldn’t have been a possibility if I was elsewhere. Plus I feel that my energy has been recharged – so I am going to make it a priority to schedule more days like this. 

              The 3rd act to me was the most empowering. I left the house without a bra! I let my boobs hang out. Well not literally hang out. I was wearing a vest, cardigan and jacket (both unbuttoned) but I was braless! And man did it feel good! As many women will testify, that moment when you get home and you take your bra off is such an epic feeling. I’ve definitely been known to emit an accompanying groan to go with it…….like a really satisfying stretch. Thanks to the media, snapping shots of unsuspecting celebrities body shaming them I have not gone braless since my early 20s. If the media is blasting women for nature and gravity being in cahoots, then that means everyone else is looking and judging right? Add to that people thinking they have a right, as a mobile phone owner, to take pictures of others on the sly just to share on social media – to laugh at! And we thought bullying stopped at school! I had no desire to put myself out there, until now. As SELF LOVE and not caring what other people think is a BIGGIE for me in my year of vulnerability– this was the perfect challenge. Many of you will be thinking, erm – wait a minute – you got your full kit off last year in Hull and painted yourself blue, how can going without a bra to your local shops be more empowering? I have 3 words to answer that ‘Safety in Numbers’. I was in the same boat as every other person there. This time this was my own challenge. Do you know what happened when I went out braless? 

              🔹The man that was staring at me as I walked past, spoke out to say……………my fly was undone. 

              🔹My nipples stood to attention as I passed the chilled food aisle! Brrrrrrr!!! 

              So nothing happened. Absolutely nothing!! So many times we spend time worrying about what may happen when most of that time nothing does. 

              No makeup and no bra 😬

              So there you have it. My 3 things. I’m proud of myself and have just stopped typing to pat myself on the back. 

              I want to leave you with some words that came to me today. 

              “Would you rather be liked because of what you do or because of who you actually are?” 

              I’m choosing the latter ❤️

              Until the next time xx

              My year of vulnerability 😳

              On the build up to 2017 my mind kept focusing on vulnerability and how it was something that I lacked. So I decided that instead of making a number of ‘new year’s resolutions’ I would have a theme. That theme being ‘vulnerability’.

              I became hooked on vulnerability when I discovered Brene Brown and read ‘Daring Greatly’ listened to ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ and watched her Ted Talk. I am now almost at the end of ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ so I’m practically her stalker.

              Through taking time in silence, listening to and trusting my intuition and Brene stalking. I finally came to realise that the many things I hadn’t achieved in my life, the aching feeling of disappointment, the unchangeable decisions that haunted my dreams. They pointed to me not wanting to be vulnerable. I had made the decision to protect myself. I thought if I was strong I would be safe from harm, from sadness and only happiness would be present. Still shitty things would happen to me but I would just add another protection layer, believing that I was in control.

              I’m only just seeing now that this protection field that I created kept out the good things too. Falling in love, standing out, being the authentic me – I just glided by enough to be okay, enough to be liked, enough to get by and have a certain amount of fun.

              As I am tired of making the same old resolutions, goals, vision board desires…….I knew something had to give. That something was the fear of what other people thought. Hence my year of vulnerability. I believe cracking this will stand me in a better stead – so much so it frightens and excites me.

              I’m ready to replace being tired.

              Tired of hearing that my man is just around the corner. I’ve heard this year upon year. Which fucking corner? I just googled how long it would take to walk around the world and it took someone 11years – FUCK….does this mean I have another 1.6years to wait?!

              Tired of hearing ‘It’ll happen when I least expect it’ and ‘if you stop looking you’ll find it’ and the slightly offensive ‘what’s wrong with you?’

              I’m tired of hearing all of these. It’s time to step up and take ownership. I’m the reason – that protective barrier I’ve been wearing for so long – the one that doesn’t want to get hurt has been cock blocking love.

              I’m tired of it playing havoc with my business. Protecting me from rejection by holding me back and not putting myself out there. Whispering words in my ear ‘you’ll make a poor leader’ ‘you’re not worth this’ ‘this is too good to be true’ ‘who are you kidding’ – these are the censored versions.

              So yes. I’m tired. So I’m taking control. I’m opening the door, pulling up the blind and allowing myself to be seen, to be heard, to be criticised.

              My year of vulnerability has begun and I know that 1 year from now my life will be considerably different. I’m welcoming the unknown and I’m going to have fun with this. Excited for the journey.

              Toodles

              Em x