Revisiting My 2015 Intention: “Do more things that scare the $h*t out of me.”

So far this year has been a crazy good ride in life, sport and my career! My intention for 2015 was “do more things that scare the $h*t out of me.” While many would assume it would be applied to sport, which is true, but it’s played out largely in my life and career. It’s been amazing year so far BUT does always mean it has felt amazing. When I started the process to becoming a certified mindfulness-meditation teacher last year I was often confused and questioned myself “Would it happen? How would it happen? Is it worth it? It’s so long of a process? It’s so expensive?” I faced many reasons excuses but held fast to my intention because mindfulness has changed my life and I have witnessed it change many others. It has empowered me in so many ways. It helps me face things that scare the $h*t out of me. So while it scared the $h*t out of me to continue to believe in something when I did not know how it would come to fruition, I none-the-less continued to believe. I continued to do the work at work and spread mindfulness through education, teaching and practice. Then this year I got news that our center at Sac State would fund myself and three other colleagues to get certified…Hallelujah!!! This relieved major stress in the process.

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To become a certified teacher there are several requirements, specifically, one is expected to have a consistent meditation practice as well as attend several retreats to deepen their practice. “Retreats” sound so blissful but on the contrary this is where I faced most of the stuff that scares the $h*t out of me. Two weekends ago I returned from a meditation retreat at Esalen in Big Sur, CA. It was beautiful but by no means a vaction. If you follow my Facebook or IG here is what I shared and how I summed up my weekend:

“Esalen was amazing but to be honest the 3-day meditation retreat was not easy. Often we get the impression that meditation is about bliss, positive emotions, being present and all inner peace…NOT the case. The practices often surfaced emotions that were quite the opposite. Once again, meditation allowed me to face what is underneath the surface of the seemingly “calm waters” and gave me the opportunity to accept with compassion or judge with expectation and resistance. “Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work.” -Thich Nhat Hanh”

Sitting and facing my stuff does scare the $h*t out of me, but it’s the necessary work if I want to continue to live in a way that empowers myself and others. How can I empower others if I am not doing the work myself? This keeps me dedicated. It keeps me dedicated because at this point in my life I have finally embraced the fact that my purpose and mission in life is to empower others – through my work, who I am, and what I do. <- THIS scares the $h*t out of me! Why? Because this means I have to check myself in all that I do. To face my shit and be honest, authentic and true to myself on a level that I may not have previously done, that is the not so good feeling stuff (especially to ones ego). This is where I set different boundaries. This is where I make mistakes. This is where I meet my mistakes with compassion. This is where I may say “no” when I have previously said “yes.” This is when I sit with the uncomfortable feeling of knowing someone may not be happy with me because of something I did for myself. This is where I keep doing the work despite not getting the “at-ta-girl” pat on the back or praise. Yup, all scary $h*t!l-159783However….I believe because I have been relentlessness and committed to “doing the work” other amazing things have happened. Amazing-good things that also scare the $h*t out of me! Like being published in several magazine articles, especially  Triathlete Magazine! Witnessing the athletes I work with have growth, success and breakthrough’s in their process. Sharing mindfulness in my community and at Sacramento State with amazing colleagues that care just as much for empowering students that I do…we are a mighty compassionate bunch! Most recently, it was announced that I am one of the award winners for Sacramento Business Journal 40-Under-40. This is an absolute honor to be chosen among so many amazing young professionals in Sacramento, but scary at the same time. However, this is not something I did on my own. This award is a result of me being empowered by so many women and people in my life, from my mom, to my husband, to mentors at EMU, women in my sorority, to past supervisors and colleges, friends and my community. This award is a manifestation of all those people that planted seeds of belief in me, even when it was scary to believe in myself. This is a manifestation of believing in what I do even when people told/tell me I’m crazy or told me I didn’t have what it takes.

So with all that said I want to tell you all that THIS is also IN YOU! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Don’t let fear, or any other person, tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough, enough ________(whatever) or that you don’t have what it takes. FIND your people that whole-heartdly believe in you- even if it is the random stranger on the street (IG, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that says an encouraging word, bank it! Educate yourself and dedicate yourself to the process. Sure the praise, prize or awards may not come immediately (they’re not supposed to) but use every single little grain of good energy to make yourself better to show others’ that they have it in themselves. That is why I believe we are really here on this Earth…to empower each other for greatness!12019803_10156041370965317_271074801843119722_nAnd guess what?! All of this applies to sport too! As I train for my first 50 mile trail race at the North Face Endurance Challenge in San Francisco I am facing distances, paces and mental challenges that I have never faced. That’s a good thing (and something that scares $h*t out of me too). Because I am remembering once again that I have people that believe in me and sometimes its scary to believe. It’s scary to believe that WE REALLY DO HAVE WHAT IT TAKES to conquer our fears, do the hard things and to actually come out better on the other end… Mucho love and thank you always for reading!

Keep shining beautiful people!

Dr. G12080220_10156060417785317_1470048601274518351_o

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Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli

Dr. Petruzzelli is sport and performance psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher located in Sacramento, California and works with elite sport teams and athletes across the country. She is competitive athlete herself and enjoys practicing what she preaches.