A year and a half ago, I followed an impulse to create a non-judgmental, safe and supportive space for women to explore being in their authenticity through dance. I had never facilitated a workshop before and followed this impulse bit by bit, finding my way.

I remember scanning centers online looking for one that might host what I was seeing in my vision. Without having been there, but going on a gut feeling, I emailed one that looked like it might embrace my intention.

At the time, Donna was the director of this center. Without having met and without knowing anything about me, she emailed me back and invited me to come in and meet with her to talk about what I was trying to create.

She asked “where else and how many times have you done this before?”

I responded “nowhere and never.”

I would have perfectly understood if her reply was for me to try my idea elsewhere. Trusting someone you just met (especially in business) to create something for the first time off an internal impulse requires a special kind of willingness and special kind of person. Not to mention, I have no formal training in dance.

But Donna opened her doors and let me create. She offered her guidance and insight from her experience throughout the process and at the same time; let me create my vision in the way I envisioned it. That in itself, is true leadership.

When the night of the event arrived, she even took the risk of participating herself.

When I saw Donna was holding a talk and book signing near me over the weekend, immediately decided to go.

Besides just being an awesome person, she is the founder of ‘Better off Well’ and an amazing nutrition/lifestyle coach. She recently released her first book “Indulge Your Way to Healthy” and I highly recommend reading it.

It was great to see her in her element, meeting people with kindness and a special kind of non-judgment (just as she did with me two summers ago).

I listened in as she extended her support to another; empowering him to make choices that were right for him (not the masses). BRAVO!

While reading her book, I read a paragraph that resonated deeply with what I want to bring into the world (and wanted to bring into my first ever workshop at her center).

On page 42, I read “None of us is perfect, but it is within those imperfections that authentic lies. The Japanese have a concept of wabi-sabi, which nurtures all that is authentic and real and imperfect. It values age and wear and the quirks that make objects unique. We need to apply wabi-sabi to our own selves and value those characteristics that make each of us unique.”

Risking being who we are (no matter whom that is) and loosening the need to feel bad about or hide parts of ourselves that we deem imperfect or negative is the intention behind my work with clients in my practice. It is also the road I’ve traveled and will continue to travel in my own life.

In other words, letting go of shame and embracing what is “authentic, real and imperfect.”

I believe this shared intention is the reason my gut guided me to reach out to Donna. The center where I created this vision (including those running it) needed to hold that vision as well. After all, it is not often we take our masks off and just let ourselves be with each other.

I meant for this to be a short post about the weekend but I’m feeling inspired. I get this way when I see authenticity warriors, like Donna, out doing their thing!

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