{#TransparentTuesday} “Me too.”

Editor’s note: These posts were written back when my brand name was Remodel Fitness. I’ve decided to include them here without editing them, in the interest of…well… transparency. 😉

I fully intended to sit down and write all about the Women’s Fitness Summit, which I attended this last weekend in Kansas City.

But I can’t. Because despite the amazing workshops and learning and conversations that I had with some seriously inspiring women, the thing- the big, juicy thing on my mind right now- is the magically healing power of “me too.”

There was so much value packed into the weekend for sure, but the thing that made it so powerful for me was the hundreds of little moments of sharing and vulnerability between women. Sometimes they were so small you’d barely notice it, just a simple knowing nod from someone as you told a story, or the way everyone laughed at the same oh-god-I’ve-been-thereline in a presentation.

Each of those moments seemed to burst tiny little shame and loneliness bubbles I didn’t even know I was carrying, and I was surprised by how much lighter I felt with each one.

This was especially needed for me right now, because I’ve been thinking about some heavy shit lately, like sexual assault and sexual violence. I’ve been re-processing my own, listening to the stories of my friends and clients, and re-taking in the context of the world we live in.

All this processing has taken me, quite frankly, to a dark fucking place.

I feel like I’ve been opening up these old, deep, painful boxes, and seeing what’s inside. I feel raw. I feel achey. I honestly feel kind of stupid, like… I thought I was done with this shit. I thought I had healed it and processed it and it was over. But it’s not done. It’s not healed. And lately, without even realizing it, I’ve been taking these old traumas out of their carefully wrapped packages, and re-examining them. Re-healing them. Eventually I’ll re-wrap them up again lay them to rest forever, maybe. Or maybe just until the next time they need to be examined.

The thing about all this dark work is that I’m going through it alone. I mean, I talk about it and write about it. I’m surrounded by support and love and comfort, and I ask for exactly what I need from people who want to support me. But ultimately, this stuff is mine alone, and I’m the only one who can feel it and understand it.

But something crazy happens when you tell someone else your burdens and pains, and she says… oh, yeah I get that. Me too. Something chemical and literal happens to our brains and hormones. It kind of feels like your little heart-guard-fairy suddenly realizes she doesn’t have to carry this burden all alone for the rest of her weary life, and she relaxes and weeps with desperate relief. That’s my way of saying oxytocin and dopamine are released when someone else hears, validates, understands, and shares in your experience.

Shame disappears, and loneliness lifts. We stop judging ourselves as the weird outliers who have a unique experience that nobody else could possibly understand. We are, in a word, supported. We are connected. And we are fucking healed.

This weekend I was healed, over and over, by hearing the little vulnerable moments of other women. Women who felt alone in their fears and thoughts and habits- all of which I share. Badass and amazingly talented and smart women, sharing that they feel like an imposter. Mothers admitting they didn’t really like being a mother sometimes. Wives saying they love their husbands but it just feels so unfair that all the responsibilities automatically fall to them.

Every moment- every single moment- that someone else shared something and a little voice in my head said “me too,” it felt like my little heart-guard-fairy came back to life. Every time I shared something and the person in front of me said “me too,” I felt braver and stronger.

Which brings me to my point. You can’t hear “me too” if you don’t talk about your stuff. And you won’t get the opportunity to say “me too” if the people around you don’t talk about theirs.

This kind of healing requires a vulnerability and depth of connection that goes way beyond  day-to-day chit-chat.

I believe we desperately need those “me too” moments, though. We need them to become our best selves and do our best work and be kept in check. We need those moments to counteract the thousands of tiny moments that happen every day that make you feel shame and loneliness and fear.

So I encourage you to actively seek that shit OUT. Don’t accept small-talk. Get vulnerable and see what happens. Ask for more vulnerability from the people around you, and ask for support in sharing yours. Be sure to hold and create a safe (aka non-judgemental) space for other people to share their stuff, and make sure they know you are right there with them. Push the envelope of how vulnerable you can get with the people who hold that safe space for you. Give them the opportunity to fully be there for you.

If that doesn’t work (no judgement, but not everyone is ready for that yet!), go seek out people who are ready. I promise you they are out there. I met about a hundred of them this weekend.

I’ve also decided to bring some of these people together for some sharing and healing and learning in September! If you’re in NYC and want to join me for an afternoon of in-person work in the realm of self-care, self-love, and acceptance:

I will be running my first ever live workshop on Sept 17th!

I’m looking for around 10 women to join me from 1-4pm. We’ll be covering some important topics like self-care, mindset, boundaries, stress, and what it takes to be a fully embodied and empowered woman, as well as sharing and discussing our own stuff and racking up an abundance of that magical “me too.”

The cost per person will be $145, and will be first-come, first serve. If you’re interested, just hit reply to this email and I’ll take it from there!

Warning: please do not sign up if you’re not willing to get fucking vulnerable. This is some deep healing shit.

You’re all on my mind today, my sweet readers. After this weekend, I wish I could gather every single one of you together to share our hurts and healing and tears and laughter. I am so incredibly proud to be a part of this movement of empowered women, and you are a part of that community too, whether you realize it or not.

Wishing you all a most magical Tuesday,

<3 Jessi Kneeland Get strong. Feel confident. Look amazing.

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