Retreat & Reflections on Privacy

Hello, dear readers!

Last week I regret that I did not get to write a blog post. However, I do not regret why.

Last week was the annual retreat trip for the church community I am mildly active in. (Or, more accurately, this is the retreat that my boyfriend’s mom coordinates each year and I was there to enjoy myself as well as provide the emotional and physical assistance needed to run a retreat of such volume!)

I did have a good time (sometimes) and yes, it was a lot of work (but not too much!) and overall I think I enjoyed myself.

I enjoyed being out in nature.
I enjoyed the work.
I enjoyed the talks I got to have with the boyfriend.
I enjoyed catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a while.I enjoyed being away for a while.
I enjoyed giving free *gasp!* tarot readings and receiving readings in return.

Was it worth it? Yes, I believe so.

It was definitely an exercise in patience, in letting go, and community. (Sometimes there was a little too much!)

But, as I look back, it was worth it. There are things maybe I would do differently next year, as always, but it was nice to get out of town for a few days.

That said, I also DID get some awesome biz-related stuff done while I was up there. First off, I got to create 3 new pieces of jewelry while I was there, and purchase some new stones (arrowheads, to be exact!) that will soon be incorporated into my work. I also got to chat with some lovely folks about what I have been doing, and hand out business cards. (Yay, I have biz cards now! I feel like a “real” business woman, whatever that means!)

And, of course, I got some stuff done for just me. I got some reading done, and have since finished the book I was working on, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (great read! Shout-out thank you to my sister for getting it for me!).

I have since moved on to a more spiritually-based book called Mother Earth Spirituality: Native American Paths to Healing Ourselves and Our World by Ed McGaa, Eagle Man. So far, so good for this one. I’ve read through Chapter 4 as of right now, and it seems to (mostly) be a call to action when it comes to treating Mother Earth better and doing everything in a sacred manner. The realization that we are not separate from nature, and we cannot separate ourselves from it without severe consequences, seems to me to be one of the main points so far.

One quote stands out for me so far in the book: “We are all one family.” This is something I feel like I’ve been struggling with recently and has popped up a lot in my conversations, my FB newsfeed, and the TED talks I listen to…the idea of community and vulnerability and how it connects with something I seem to value so much: privacy.

Since my little realization, I've felt compelled to do one for "Privacy"...
Since my little realization, I’ve felt compelled to do one for “Privacy”…

While in a Wild Women program earlier this year (run by Melanie Munir), one of the exercises was to come up with 3-5 values. The 3 I came up with are still values to today: Beauty, Community, and Self-Reliance. I realize now that I was missing one, one that I’ve held dear since I was younger…

Privacy.

It was during one of those conversations with the boyfriend recently that I said that I value privacy because I want to be able to be okay with up and leaving anyone, any time. I’ve had to completely remove myself from friends groups before to protect myself, and, though unpleasant, I could do it again.

Is that just me, or does that seem a little insecure?

*gasp*

No way!

Way…

Duuude…

Don’t worry, I’m secure in my insecurities. (I think…)

I mean, everybody has them, right?

Sure! Why not?

Okay, now that I’m done having a minor conversation with myself, let me dig into this further.

Yes, I believe that privacy is important. I have a lot of stuff to keep secret! Who doesn’t? But at what point does privacy become harmful, and at what point does discretion come into play?

The biggest way I value privacy is when it comes to other people talking about me, I feel. I don’t like it when my boyfriend talks to his family or our friends about our problems. Not that that’s ALL he does (and, for the record, I don’t believe we have that many that haven’t been touched on in our *private* conversations), and he certainly says good things behind my back (I’d hope!), but it bothers me. Imagine if you had a good friend or family member constantly say bad things about their partner to you. How soon would that color your opinion of that person? I feel as if I’d like to have more control over what type of information goes to who, so that I can better monitor who knows what about me.

…Okay, seriously insecure, right?…

One thing I struggle with is keeping in mind that those who talk (behind my back or to my face) MOST of them speak out of concern, love, and respect rather than with malicious intent. Sometimes there is a bit of manipulation, but I feel as if manipulation is too hard to get rid of. This is where discretion is important, I feel–first, whenever you’re talking about someone other than yourself, it is important to be clear about your intentions, and then to be clear about your message.

So I guess I’d like to try and experiment with myself in trying to step out of my comfort zone, once a day, and be vulnerable in a new way.

“We are all one family.”

Family shares with each other. Family helps each other. “Family means no one is left behind or forgotten.”

Family knows that we’re all human, we make mistakes, and we fuck up, and we royally fuck up.

And when we do, sometimes it hurts, but we always need our family to help us get through the shit we got ourselves into.

And, maybe, just maybe, by being vulnerable and sharing our hurts, our fears, and our stories, we can find more family, too.

Extend our tribe.

Help each other with our problems.

Grow together.

Heal together.

Love more.

Dr. Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability comes to mind when thinking about this–probably because her work has come up a lot recently in conversations and I recently watched one of her TED talks.

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” ~Brene Brown~

So, as I try to be more vulnerable, please be patient with me, as I will move at a pace that is my own. If you know me (Hi!), ask me how it’s going with my own vulnerability project.

If any of you would like to share similar experiences with me, please do so.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and start my vulnerability challenge as a daily practice, for 100 days. That’s right. Count them. All 100. Day 1 is done with a blog post on reflections on my privacy value and a challenge about exposing myself more and seeing how powerful a blessing vulnerability can be.

Jessi’s 100 Days of Vulnerability Challenge: Oct 8th, 2015 to Jan 16th, 2016

I’m so ready!

Love,
Jessi

PS — As always, my blog readers get a special promo code for my Etsy shop, so please use the code THX4RDNG on orders over $15 for free shipping in the US.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/SunshineHideaway

AND, if you’d like to be a part of my extended tribe, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter!

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