Je parle un peu français. (I speak a little French).
I’m learning to speak French. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since middle school. In fact, in middle school and high school I took French, but only a year of it was required in both grades, needless to say, I don’t know very much.
Its a beautiful and scary place to be at, not knowing very much.
As children, we took this on with confidence. Trial and error was our jam, but at some point we got jaded and now the thought of failing at anything gives us hives (or I that just me?)
One of my biggest downfalls is that I live in my head. It’s a beautiful head to be in, but it’s messy and fearful and plays it safe. It’s in my head that failure isn’t allowed, at least not publicly. So, getting out of my head and into my body has been an exercise in and of itself.
I practice meditation when I can calm down long enough to do it. I work on my breathing anytime I think about it. I’ve started dancing again, which I haven’t done since high school. All these things are getting me back into my body and building trust with my gut. But the practice that does it best, is learning French.
This beautiful, yet complex, language doesn’t want you to think. When you think too much about it you get stuck. If you can just embrace it and go with it, you flow in the most beautiful of ways.
The phrases don’t translate word for word–that tripped me up for awhile. I wanted to make sense of it so I could better apply what I was learning to words and phrases down the road. I was looking for the speed line to learning French. But that’s not how it works. On the other hand, if I wasn’t making sense of it for future learning, I was trying to pronounce it the way English would, sounding it all out. Again, that’s not how French works. If you stop worrying about how you say it and just throw it all out there, that’s usually when it came together.
When I stopped trying to be perfect, when I got out of my head, things started to flow. The words made sense.
Getting out of my head took a new mindset. Its meant accepting that I’m a beginner in tuning into my body just like I’m a beginner at French. I won’t do it right but I can show up and keep trying. Consistency is king in all aspects of our lives but most importantly when we are trying to show up for ourselves.
I’m still getting the hang of being in my body. When my mind starts racing, when the anxiety starts building, I sit and notice the feelings. I let them be, I breathe, maybe I’ll even go for a walk or do some yoga. Then, after giving it some time to settle, I get into my body by dancing or practicing French. It’s amazing how much better you feel after exercising your body or a different part of your brain.
This is my practice. With time, the racing mind and the anxiety settle and don’t come back as frequently. By allowing myself a beginner’s mindset I get to play and explore, taking the pressure of perfection away and instead embracing deep belly laughs (when was the last time you had one of those?!)
Building a business, designing a home, showing up for your family, it can be a lot. As women, we have to do it perfectly on top of it all to prove our value. But that’s the head speaking. If we could do these things from inside our bodies, I think we’d have a lot more fun. And we all might just get to finally speak the language we’ve always dreamt of knowing. Our own kind of love language.
**Header Photo from brand photography shoot with local Denver business owner
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