S2Episode19 When Our Shyness Is A Tell

February 12, 2024

Good morning from Milano. I have David Whyte on my mind this morning –  David Whyte, the great poet philosopher I cite frequently – because he is someone I listen to who gives me a lot of perspective. You know when you meet someone, you know someone or you listen to someone who is a few steps ahead of you, he’s like that for me. When I say ahead of you, I mean someone who has already been down the path maybe you find yourself on. Or, importantly, someone like David Whyte who in his creative artistic endeavors has taken the time and done the work to articulate some aspect of the human condition, which is of course universal.

Anyway, I was listening to a lecture, and he was talking about a couple of things that I wanted to share here. One of them is around shyness. When I say shyness, it’s about feeling awkward and vulnerable. He was talking about that awkward shyness being a tell or a clue. “Shyness tells you you’re in the presence of something you desire.” My immediate thought was hmm, that is really true.

This shyness, sense of vulnerability, or however you may want to refer to it, can show up for example in a long term relationship, a friendship, or a marriage where there’s a sort of deeply embedded blueprint for the way you talk, the kinds of conversations you have. We can feel sort of shy and awkward about finding a way to break through to a different aspect of intimacy in the relationship. We can feel that same shyness or vulnerability towards a longing we have, an ambition we have.  David was talking about that shyness is part of the awkwardness we feel in moving forward.  I found that a very rich and interesting way to think about it.

I was just sitting here noodling why that speaking to me so much, and of course what came up for me was that Rocket Fuel call. Beyond how fun and invigorating this idea of the Misogi is for me – this articulating one big thing for the year – the Rocket Fuel call for me was really an important thing in my intimate interior life.

I’ve talked about many times in the past how much I enjoy group interaction, because I love getting energy from being with like-minded people and I think it’s a privilege to be in the presence of people who are willing to share their stories. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving. This shyness and vulnerability I’ve been feeling about it was indeed an important clue that it was something that I desired.

In one of the episodes last week I was talking about Billy Joel and how sometimes the difficulties we have are because we’ve set the bar too high on our mind, the stakes are too high.  I would say that this is another side of the coin –  this idea that shyness and vulnerability is a clue that you’re in the presence of something you really desire. And it’s really important that we allow ourselves to be patient with that awkwardness because that’s simply a way of moving forward and moving towards something that we’re longing for, something that we desire.

I want to end today with this thought around how we betray our own knowingness, our own inner authority. We often tend to talk about our fears and doubts, like we’re not qualified or we’re not ready. I like this idea of thinking of awkwardness, vulnerability, and shyness as  a sort of invisible pull that is revealing both a longing and what I think is in reality a buried, deep knowingness.

When I think of it this way, I’d have to say that my Misogi for the year is around convening people, probably in the form of a workshop. In fact, as I’m talking about this, I am just now remembering this one day when I was sitting outside having my quiet time on Martha’s Vineyard last summer. I remember I had a complete download of what felt like a really exciting workshop I wanted to create. I even shared it with a couple of people, but I then proceeded to talk myself right out of it.

This is actually bringing up something that David White mentioned which I circled and put stars around, and it’s this. We tend to gloss over things that are actually really precious to us. When we find the courage – when we allow ourselves to be patient with our awkwardness and shyness and muster up the courage to do whatever that thing is – that can be the very thing that shows us the path forward.

We tend to gloss over things that are actually really precious to us. Hmm, that is really true And that is excellent fodder and a perfect note to self to end on today.

I’ll leave you with that. Until next time, from my heart to yours.?

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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