I got called out yesterday morning.

It stung. I was told “why don’t you practice what you preach… positivity no matter what” after I was asked how I was doing and I honestly shared that I was irritated with my homeowner’s insurance regarding a repair from storm damage (as I was just finishing sending an email).

I’m currently practicing staying open and being aware of all of my feelings. And while this stung for a minute, I learned something priceless from what was said to me, and how I interpreted it.

I realized that this person misunderstands my intention, doesn’t fully understand what I’m doing in my coaching, how I’m teaching people to thrive. It’s not about positivity.

The intention of coaching and Thrive Arena is NOT to promote “positivity no matter what”. I don’t want to be happy when someone is in pain or dying or there is injustice in the world. I don’t want to be (or pretend to be) positive about things that sucks, I want to be able to feel and allow ALL emotions and process them in a healthy way to grow and expand my capacity in life.

This is what I focus on with my clients. We do the work to allow ALL the feelings. Life is 50% positive. 50% negative. Often, the thought error (aka belief that is holding us back) IS that we should be happy all the time.

No. Just no. But I get it, because I used to believe this too. Now I don’t – and that’s just one way that coaching has opened up my life.

There is a time and a place for all feelings. Trying to force positivity and happiness in a space where it doesn’t fit is like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. It doesn’t fit. I want to be authentic, vulnerable and allow all of my emotions. THIS is how we feel greater joy, love, and happiness. By allowing the contrasts – the anger, the hurt, the disappointment, the fear. All of the uncomfortable emotions (that we’re regularly trying to avoid or suppress) are the ones that need our attention the most.

So I stopped, explained briefly that I was being authentic and that she caught me in a moment of frustration and then we both went on with our day. I am so grateful for this conversation and the honest expression of my colleague.

When we allow ourselves room for ALL of our emotions, we can stop suppressing, stop spending time avoiding, running from, overeating, overdrinking, overshopping, overspending, and doing all the other things that we as humans do to avoid our true emotions. Processing these in a healthy way (aka not doing all of the above to avoid them or suppress them) makes us both emotionally and physically healthier.

And that, my friends, is how we thrive.

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