After life settled down from my 6 months of going back and forth between here and Knoxville, I took inspiration from many long walks I took there with my friend D and decided I was going to start trying to allow the brave part of my spirit some time to shine. I call that part of me Adventurous Kim – she’s a little courageous Kim who craves adventures and excitement and meeting new people and trying new things. I found her voice grew stronger after time with D who doesn’t fear change like I do. D has lived all over the country and gets restless if she’s in one place for too long. D jumps in a car at a moment’s notice to go road trip to visit a friend or family. D shines in crowds instead of cowering in the corner by the cheese dip.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with cheese dip.)
The more I talked with her on our walks, the more I realized that I started hearing Adventurous Kim’s voice more and I started wondering why I didn’t honor that voice inside of me like I idolized it in my friend?
So I started listening to Adventurous Kim. I didn’t obey her urges, but I started holding space for her. And then a few months ago I decided that maybe it was time to let her shine a little. When I started hearing her say, That sounds fun, I should do that…I decided to just do whatever it was – before Anxious Kim’s voice drowned her out.
I taught a bullet journal class, I signed up for a neighborhood book club, I started going to yoga classes and inviting friends to hike in the woods with me. I’ve started a partnership in hopes to open a book store and I’ve attended a business class and am signed up for me. I’m shocking myself every day with the things I’m saying “YES!” to before the fears tell me otherwise and y’all? It’s kinda fun.
Now, I’m definitely dealing with whiplash anxieties of most (All?) of these situations. Do you know that whiplash anxiety? It’s very common for some of us who deal with social anxieties. It’s what hits you AFTER you leave the class/party/meeting/room. For me – I end up spending hours – OR DAYS – rethinking the events and analyzing everything that happened and I tried to map out all of the ways I was dumb or embarrassing or foolish or boring.
BUT AT LEAST I DID IT, right? Yes, I played that bullet journal class over in my head minute-by-minute and there are definitely things I hate about myself – things I said and did and things I wish I had done differently. But here’s what I’m trying to remember: Those post-processing anxiety reflexes are going to be there, that’s simply a fact right now in this current brain and this current body. Those reflexes are usually what keep me from trying anything new because I hate that whiplash effect SO MUCH.
But – here’s the thing. I’ve been giving the voices of my anxiety the power to make decisions for me over the last 15-20 years. I’ve turned down and avoided and backed out and simply never considered a lot of things that the OTHER voice – the ADVENTUROUS voice – wants to do. And after all of that time with D – feeding off of her passion and love for life and people – I realized that I need to give that other voice some attention. The one that whispers, That sounds fun, when possibilities arise.
I let her REALLY shine on Friday.
There’s yoga studio Donnie goes to regularly, and I go to a few of the classes the various instructors teach around town. One of the instructors who I like teaches a class called BUTI yoga. Every time she posts about it, Adventurous Kim says: That sounds fun. This is the type of instagram post that she shares about it that always speaks to Adventurous Kim. If you can’t see it – the words say:
B U T IMaria Brito Fitness on Instagram
Y O G A
Taught me to love my body ?
To flow with intention ?
To move my hips ?
To scream when needed ?
To dance with pure joy ?
L A D I E S
Connect to your divine feminine and join me
Adventurous Kim loves to dance! AND WOULD LOVE TO CONNECT WITH HER DIVINE FEMININE! And the studio is in this space downtown which I adore, the top floor of a building you might recall me rappelling down, back in 2012 for a fundraiser. Although that’s not why I love it, that day was TERRIFYING. I love it because it’s the old building the newspaper was in and I just think it’s pretty.
ANYWAY. The class sounded fun, it’s with a studio we love, in a building that inspires me so WHY NOT GO? SO I WENT. Here’s one of the pictures the studio owner posted of the class. It’s like cardio yoga, you go to a pose and then move in a way that raises your heartbeat. Like, pulsing squats during goddess pose. Or mountain climbers out of downward dog. It’s like a mix of yoga poses and an aerobics class and it’s all done with lots of dance music and lots of WOOOOOOing (If you’ve ever run or worked out with me, you know I like to WOOOO!!!!) and they even handed out glow-in-the-dark BODY PAINT.
IT WAS AMAZING.
I’m also signed up for another version of the class where they’re going to have a live DJ and…AND…I signed up for something called a “Women’s Empowerment Class” taught by the same instructor and I have no idea what to expect at that and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have MAJOR anxiety whiplash afterwards because that one will involve much more socializing than BUTI yoga but you know what?
WHO CARES. It’s Adventurous Kim’s time to shine…FOR ONCE. Anxious Kim and I will work through the Anxiety Whiplash together every time we let Adventurous Kim take the reins. But! I truly believe it’s for the greater good because I contain multitudes and I want to learn how to honor all the parts of me, when possible.
And let’s be honest, I’m not going crazy over here. I’m not taking left-hand turns or anything. Adventurous Kim is still anxious about a lot of things too. But sometimes her excitement is stronger than her anxieties and while I’m not giving into her every urge/whim…I am honoring her periodic instincts for a change.
And so far, so good.