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Holy, moly, was Courage Camp with Brené Brown intense!! I created an intimate Zoom group call to share with you the 3 greatest lessons I took away from a week of courage with my peer group of Certified Daring Way Facilitators.

But first, some context:

1. Busyness is an addiction

Busyness, even though not on the list of classic addictions (eg. food, drugs, sex, cigarettes, work or alcohol), is an addiction. We tell ourselves, if I'm busy, then I'm important. Or if I'm busy, then I'm worth something.

The mind then extrapolates that if I'm not busy (ie if I'm resting, rejuvenating, being present with friends/family, sleeping or relaxing my nervous system), then I'm a lazy, worthless pile of shit. Oy... the stories our mind confabulates about our inherent unworthiness.

The thing is... we cannot out busy our own truth. Truths about how nastily we despise parts of ourselves, how violently we beat ourselves up (emotionally, psychologically or even physically), and how many titanium barriers we've erected around our hearts to keep pain (and as a consequence, love) out.

How do you start telling yourself the truth? Join us on our live Zoom call!


2. Pain and Joy Go Hand in Hand

The three most important questions I ever got asked by Brene Brown and my master coaches on my journey to freedom were:

  1. What's your capacity for discomfort?
  2. What's your tolerance for pain?
  3. What's your capacity for joy?

The higher these 3 capacities, the faster the rise to success.



3. The only way out is through

I spent 3 decades wishing I wasn't a highly sensitive introvert, obliterated and drained after being in a room of 3 or more (myself included)... and simultaneously in complete awe, love and adoration of people, all people. I want to hear your stories, I want to feel your pain and joy, I want to hold your hand, I want to dance and sing together, I want to hold you tight until all tears are squeezed out of you, I want to jump out of an airplane together. But I can't :(

It's like being made of ocean, but allergic to the sea... or being made of sunshine but allergic to the sun. So f*cked up, Universe! #paradox

Had I known sooner the power of Acceptance, I would have accepted my human limitations and known 30 more years of joy and freedom. Regret is a terrific teacher. As are the Triple A's: Awareness, Acceptance, Action.

Far too often, women overachievers realize something (awareness) and have the undeniable urge to do something about it (action), skipping the middle part (acceptance). They end up doing a tornado of things and eventually realize that they are no closer to what they originally desired.

That all those things were random busyness to suppress the feelings of pain and inadequacy. In the end, you realize that the middle part, the Acceptance part, is the best part. AND the hardest part. No one is spared from the middle part. The only way out is... through.

Acceptance releases you from... you. Acceptance is the doorway to Grace. Acceptance is also the magnet for ease. On the flip side, acceptance ignites war between you... and you. Acceptance unleashes gargantuan pain. Acceptance triggers death (whether emotional death, psychic death, social death, relationship death, spiritual death, geographical death, financial death, you name it!).

One of the 3 greatest takeaways from #couragecamp2017 is: Nobody, NOBODY escapes the pain. There is no way out but through. For a gifted mind, I've outclever-ed my way around, under, over, sideways, upside down and right side up. It doesn't work.


4. When a horse bites you...

The last time I was near a horse, it bit me!! Through my red winter mittens, leaving two teeth marks on my right hand. I alerted the ranch owner and she asked me which horse bit me. I pointed to a little dark one and she said non-chalantly, "Oh yeah, we use that horse to test people's boundaries."

She looked down at my hand and declared, "Clearly, you don't have any." And walked away matter-of-factly. I went home and googled the shit out of the Internet: What is this foreign thing you call boundaries?

Never heard of it before! How does one get some? How have I never heard about it until my 30s? Does everyone know about this boundaries thing except for me? Did I miss the memo?

Being of Asian descent, the dominant social values are: saving face (even if it means faking, lying or not talking about anything of significance), duty (even if it means sacrificing your health and happiness for the sake of the whole), and filial piety (even if it means not being who you really are and doing what you really love for the sake of family pride). Boundaries did not exist in my world...

Until my coaches and mentors challenged me to do so, I didn't know I had the right to say no. I didn't know I was allowed to be me. I didn't know I could choose to do what I wanted without guilt. I didn't know it was permitted to live my way. I didn't know it was ok to put myself first sometimes and/or all the time. I didn't know...

It's been many, many years since that first horse bite. At Courage Camp yesterday, I was so nervous getting close to a horse again. Not because I was afraid of another bite. I actually entered the pen with a "Go ahead, bite me!" attitude, knowing it wouldn't. What I was nervous about was that years and years and years and tens and tens and tens of thousands of dollars on coaching and psychotherapy will have amounted to nothing... if the horse bit me again anyway.

It didn't. Thank God!!! And I found such joy in my spine, presence in my hips and peace in my heart riding the trails in the great wilderness. I shared how I made the leap from no boundaries to joy/presence/peace on my special post-courage camp debrief!


5. Braving the Wilderness - Belonging Manifesto

With this kind poetry, who wouldn't be inspired to find their tribe?

Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don't belong.
You will always find it because you've made that your mission.
Stop scouring people's faces for evidence you're not enough.
You will always find it because you've made that your goal.
True belonging and self-worth are not goods.
We don't negotiate their value with the world.
The truth about who we are lives in our hearts.
Our call to courage is to protect our wild hearts against constant evaluation, especially our own.
No one belongs here more than you.


Courage Camp Debrief • Recording

If you missed our live call, with all 3 greatest lessons from Courage Camp 2017 with Brené Brown, you can access the recording in our private Community Vault.

With infinite grace,

xo, Ella

ellany writer fountain penInspiring Stories of Surrender,
Reclamation and Freedom

Practical tools on how to navigate identity crises, creativity and lifestyle freedom through joy, grit and grace.


Author • Ellany Lea is a success coach, master freedompreneur, and modern mystic. She writes about collecting the 4 types of knowing as a pathway to total freedom.