Our Real Work: Jess Ryan, MS

Coaching and consulting. Something's calling. It's your life.

Rising Strong or staying home?


I was ready to wow you with wisdom and insight from Brené Brown this week. I was supposed to hear her speak in Denver last weekend. And then spring happened as it does around here. There was a blizzard in the intermountain west, and she rescheduled the event for November. Love you some Brené? Tune in…in November. If my schedule (and the weather) cooperate, I’ll share with you then.  

Without even going, this event taught me about intuition and decision making. That snowstorm triggered a hilarious dance of figuring out if our group of five women should go. We knew we ran the risk of being stuck in Colorado for up to three days (not so bad except for missing one of our kid’s birthdays).

Should we try to sell the tickets? Should only some of us go? Does I’ll go if you go mean I need to go so I don’t let somebody else down?

You can imagine the texting and calls flying back and forth. Checking the weather. Weighing the risk. Wondering if we dared. Wondering if it was foolish. Safe. Worth it.

Because I was doing this with other people, there were a lot of voices to listen to. Sometimes in all that noise, it’s hard to listen to the strong but quiet voice inside. The one that knows what you need to do, even when you’re torn. You listen to everyone else. You even listen to the arguments in your own head:

When are you going to hear Brené again?

But what if we get stuck.

Think about how hard it was to organize this—getting the tickets and working out childcare.

I don’t think it’s safe to go. But I want to.

Then the organizers cancelled it on Friday afternoon. Phew.

The decision got pulled away from me. What would I have done if it hadn’t? Would I have traveled the iffy roads to this rare event? What was my gut saying?

Sometimes losing a decision like that teaches you something about your intuition. Were you disappointed by the outcome? Or relieved? If you hadn’t quite figured out what you should do yet, that reaction to the decision gives you a clue. Look back—can hear what your intuition was telling you in the midst of all that noise?

Last weekend wasn’t at all what I expected. In the end, it was lovely because the five of us decided to do a small group retreat on Saturday. On Saturday night, my little triad of a family got to watch live music—super fun. I got to go to a baby shower of a friend on Sunday morning, and then I got to go to that kid’s birthday party that actually happened because his mom wasn’t trapped in Colorado. And in November, we’ll try again. Fingers crossed for no snow.

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