|  Blog Post   |  Putting on the hard pants.

Putting on the hard pants.

Yesterday I was reminded of The And.
The dang annoying and freeing And.
I mean I have a TED talk on it.

And dang, that And is so hard.

That space between. The messy middle. The both and.

To feel more than one emotion at the same time because it is not only possible it is the truth of what it is to live in this broken world showing up as our full selves with all our emotions, even though it is so uncomfortable and messy.

My speaking engagement yesterday was in a huge and fancy auditorium.
So many seats. The music energetic. The screens huge.
It felt so professional and exciting.

And I knew those seats wouldn’t fill.
The seats wouldn’t fill because this was a hybrid event.

And even though I wanted as many people who were local to have their butts in those seats, I knew that if given the option to log on instead show up in person for a 90-minute keynote, I would have probably logged on too.

It’s easier. I mean, I don’t want to sit in traffic. I got that time back.
Also, who wants to wear hard pants and uncomfortable shoes?

I am so, so, so grateful for virtual. It helps us to meet people where they are, from wherever they are, and it oozes grace when life feels like too much in many ways. Plus, those virtual chats are super brave, authentic, and awesome.

And dang, I wish there were more people in that audtorium.
For me and for them because there is just something about in person connection.

And virtual is needed, here to stay, and connection happens there too.

That damn And.

What I know for sure:
?The work I teach translates virtually.
?Connection is possible both in person and virtually – when we make the time for it, make it intentional, and show up fully.
?Being able to read body language and emotional energy is much easier in person than from a tiny box virtually.
?I have never regretted putting on the hard pants and showing up in person. See screenshot of one of the many messages I got from one of my attendees yesterday.
?I also know I will need to rest and refill after all that peopling.
?Some days however logging on virtually is what is best for some people, which means it is best for their work. We can trust people on that.
?And finally, lots of freaking grace. Grace upon grace upon grace to stop living from the stories we make up whether we are the in person person, the virtual person, or the hybrid person. People are doing their best. Always.


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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