Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dont Let Shame Get in the Way-What Do You Want To Do?

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about shame and it’s been really resonating with me at this time in my life. I never knew shame had such a strong hold on our actions and behaviors but it really does.

For example, I have always loved writing. When I was younger my mom and I used to write stories together just for fun. We would go line by line taking turns writing out silly stories. As I got older, we made way for different activities but I still held a strong love for writing. I would write stories on my own in little notebooks and keep them tucked away in my room. Slowly my love of writing became more secretive. I started to feel more worried about what people would think. I was afraid they would judge, say I wasn’t good enough or mock my words. Eventually I just stopped writing altogether. 

This creepy ass clown box holds all my childhood stories. Including one about a girl named Niagara and every time she would walk she would fall. #talent

Until I was in my second year of teaching and I had to fill out forms for conferences with my assistant principal before every observation. When we sat down for our first meeting, she said she was reading and thought, “Ok! Sabrina can write!” Funny how those few words about a conference form brought back the fire in me. All of a sudden, I was confident in myself again. I saw myself as a “writer” and I had confidence in my skills and capabilities!

...But I did nothing about it.
For a very long time..

During yoga teacher training we were required to journal after every class and session. Eventually, the habit just stuck. I began to write more feverishly, with more desire and passion. I began to find that confidence again. Then through some act of God, I got the courage to start this blog. I’m sure not many people read it yet, and I’m sure some people who do read it don’t like it. But that doesn't matter. I’m writing because I love to write and that is enough.  
The keeper of dreams, secrets, and notes from my Spanish class in Spain-my journal

So that got me thinking, what is it that other people really want to do but are afraid to? I text some of my family and friends this question

This question got me talking with lots of family and friends about our hearts desires

The responses I received were varied and telling. What was most telling was that everyone had a dream or desire they haven’t fulfilled- but want to. From improv training, to politics, and creating Youtube videos; everyone had something that shame and embarrassment were getting in the way of.

Everyone was so authentic and open with me and it began to lift my spirits. I’ve been feeling nervous about following my own dreams and desires. It may seem like I’m doing that right now, but the truth is I’m still sometimes afraid to go after what I want. So I voiced it to my friends and family and I’m voicing it here.

I want to write children’s books.

I love children’s literature! I respect and admire the craft of writing these books and I want to be a part of that. Why don’t I? Because I fear rejection. I don't know if I could go to 100 publishers and be told no 100 times and still have the confidence to stand back up. And will it make me lose my love of children's literature? I’m really afraid of that. 

My first fan girl experience at age 9 when I wrote to JK Rowling and received this letter in the mail

But today I voiced that for the first time in a very long time and the responses I received were so uplifting. My mom told me to get my ass to a coffee shop and start writing. Of course she said this in nicer words but that was her basic sentiment. 

And when my friends told me their dreams, I encouraged them too! No one told me anything so outlandish that couldn’t be done and truthfully, each person's desires seemed so fitting for their personalities I began to wonder why they aren’t doing those things already! 

Say it loud and proud, you can do it my friend :)

Because of shame. More specifically the fear of shame. That hot feeling that burns up inside of you, turns you red in the face and makes you back down from your dreams. It’s easy for me to start this blog because I don’t have to witness people rejecting it. It’s hard to take a piece of work to someone and hear a firm “no.”

But maybe we can start to take the risk together. We can honor the potential shame and move past it. Take the dance classes, tell a story at the Moth, write that book about your life. It’s hard-but it’s what our hearts and our souls want to do. After speaking with so many supportive people about my dreams, I feel motivated. Motivated enough to say it to the world and speak my truth.

Let’s honor that first step.
Speak your truth and say it to the world.
What do you want to do?


  1. Beautiful, eloquent, moving and sincere. I love it!

  2. So great. You write well and you are great with kids. Writing children's books seems like a natural move. Good luck :)