Inspiration, Manifestation Retreats

What Happens When You Admit Out Loud You Are Scared?

October 23, 2012

I am just back from my Manifestation Retreat. My biggest retreat to date. 47 people.

Our mantra: Be Fucking Amazing! 

And we were.

Last night, as a true testament to my retreat, about ten people from the retreat came to my yoga class at Equinox. They hadn’t seen each other in less than 24 hours and couldn’t bear to be apart.

Maybe this is my gift, after all? This power of connection, of being a connector? 

So after class we all go out to eat and it truly was the most inspiring group dinner I have ever had the pleasure of being part of in my whole life.

I came home to this email, which was sent to two other people. It was brave and it broke me. I was so touched.

With permission I am sharing. My request is that although the name remains anonymous, you comment below and let this person know that they are not alone in this. Not now.

Not ever.

Here is the email:

So I came home and cried tonight.

I went to one of the best yoga classes I have ever taken…surrounded by all of my new, fucking amazing friends. There was laughter, there was connection, there was love. It was truly a magical moment in time that I wanted to hold onto forever.

But at dinner afterwards, everyone started opening up about their feelings, and their struggles, and their experiences. It was so incredibly touching to see people who were strangers 3 days ago sharing their hearts. And, yet again, I couldn’t do the same. I couldn’t say “I’ve been there too”, or “My family is broken as well”, or “I’ve lost people I loved”. Even though all are true. I couldn’t open up.

I don’t know how.

I don’t know how to be vulnerable.

I don’t know how to tell people when they hurt my feelings.

I don’t know how to ask for help.

I don’t know how to not take everything so seriously.

I don’t know how to receive love.

I don’t know how to not be the person I have been for the last 34 years.

Where do I even start? 

Do I admit that I’m scared all the time? Of being alone, of not being accepted, of failure? Or that I can’t stop criticizing myself–when I look in the mirror, when I can’t do a yoga pose, when I don’t bring in that extra page of business? Or that I don’t think my family will ever really heal from everything we’ve gone through? 

What happens if I start saying these things out loud?

I really don’t know. But I want to. I don’t want to be the one on the outside looking in. The one who can’t truly connect past the surface level. The one who won’t let herself cry in front of other people.

I don’t want to be that person.

Maybe by telling 3 people, I will start to not be her.

photo by Joe Longo and poster by Jenni Young of Both are fucking amazing!

So I ask you this. What happens when you admit out loud that you are scared all the time and all the other questions that were posed in this email?

Just watch the outpouring of love and support.

Just watch.

Post your comment below.

Keep being fucking amazing, xojen

You Might Also Like


  • Reply beth anne (@I_am_Beth_Anne) October 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Yeah, pretty much this sums up how I feel, too. Except that I have now learned how to cry in front of other people, select people that I can trust mostly, but sometimes anywhere! It’s hard as hell to be open and vulnerable with others. But when you open up (like you just courageously did in your email and this blog post) you realize that you are not alone. LOVE TO YOU both anonymous email writer and Jen!!!

  • Reply Lenora October 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    What happens when you admit you are scared? Life softens. Something lightens up and you realize this is not going to be the worst thing ever. You open up a little bit. And you start bringing more honest people in your life. People who are also scared and amazing, just like you.

  • Reply barbarapotter October 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    This post is Amazing!!!

  • Reply Mm October 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    This is an amazing email. And I think the first thing is to applaud yourself for figuring it all out. When you finally admit to something out loud, it is no longer only your thought. It is in the universe, in the space and it is now free to go where it pleases. I think that now in your conscious mind rather than the unconscious. Now, it can be thought and processed and practiced on– maybe throughout your day you will begin to actually see yourself rejecting the thought of asking for help, or rejecting letting your mind wander to a space thinking about your family and so forth. Then, you can see where you an change the direction and take some steps to try and change the things you want to… Such as by actually asking for help, feeling vulnerable, not putting yourself down and thinking about your family and personal struggles. Then, like anything practiced and thought about, maybe those changes will become second nature… Or lead you into thinking differently and opening up a new side of yourself that will exhibit growth. I wish I had better words or even the answer to this dilemma– sitting here in Santa Monica, I read this post after thinking about something very similar both tonight an a few nights ago. I realized that I wasn’t allowing myself to be vulnerable, to deal with issues, to actually RELAX and take care when I really need to. Obviously needless to say, you are not alone. I feel that you wrote this for me. However I truly feel, that by putting this out into the world, you are already on a path to change and healing. I am there with you too. Cheers!

  • Reply what makes you eat ? October 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Beautiful !
    So happy you have started to share.

    Through sharing we break our isolation. Through sharing we give others permission to let their walls down and through sharing we allow others to help us. They want to !

    It seems like I hear stories like these every day now.
    Could it be that there really is something happening in a collective sort of way? Have the tensions of war, economic stress, ecological destruction etc. started to pile up and take their toll on our patience and are things breaking down ?
    Is there something to the Mayan prediction that the cycles of our planets are affecting us and we are breaking down into an “apocalypse”, an opportunity to re-birth ? Or is it just because you see around you what you are also experiencing ?

    I am not to sure yet, but in any of those cases, the fact that we can share with each other, see each other’s pain, be held and be witnessed is a medicine like no other.

    This week-end I was blessed with so many people witnessing and sharing love. I hope I was able to do the same for some.

    In The Netherlands where I grew up we say:
    “Shared pain is half the pain and shared joy is double the joy”

    I will share pain and joy with all you F@cking Amazing ones.


  • Reply Beth October 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    When I went to my first yoga retreat with Jen I barely spoke too. At my second yoga retreat I was able to open up a little more and talk a little more. I was open and patient with myself and when I was ready and the time was right the words came a little more. Its hard for me to speak in front of large groups. That’s who I am and where i am at right now and that’s ok. I accepted who I was and where I was at. I actually manifested speaking a little more at this retreat than the last one. :-))

  • Reply Darlene October 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    You are not Alone!! Your true light is already beginning to emanate for it has touched me. Even though you might not realize you’ve already begun to set yourself free. I too have felt the same way for a very very long time crying inside. I am breaking free from all of my fears which made put up many walls and my heart closed.. For the first time I am truly loving myself, the earth and everyone around me. As I saw the pictures being posted of the retreat all I could do was smile both in the outside and inside. You know what we are all truly “Fucking Amazing” and that includes YOU…..<3. Much Love to you.

  • Reply Molly October 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Just writing this email you are almost there. Push yourself to just go one step further … as you wrote – open up to at least 3 people. KNOW that it WILL be the first step to lead you to your personal freedom. As we heard from so many people in class, life is short. Live it how you see it. You are a fantastic person who is surrounded by people who would love to meet even more of you!!! Open up. Be Real. Be Liberated. Be Fucking Amazing.

    • Reply authenticalive October 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Just like you, and me,and all of us.. It’s happening.. What a complete gathering of personalities to bring all this Healing Forward.. Praises of Being Awesome

    • Reply Stephanie Neutze October 24, 2012 at 8:52 am

      Absolutely! We already love who we have met, so how could we not love the rest of you that is waiting to come out!

  • Reply Erin Terese October 23, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Where do you even start?

    My dear, you have already started. You are surrounding yourself with people you hope to be like. You want to share in the joy you see them having and you have come to realize you must be vulnerable to make that happen. Your email was perfect. Even people that are open and share their feelings and take great joy in everyday life (those that cry easily, love willingly) they have those same thoughts sometimes too. The thing is you are now at a point where you truly want to be happy. You are willing to dig in the dirt to get there, and that will come. As you address your fears and insecurities, you will find out so much about yourself. You will see how amazing you are, and you will watch yourself blossom like never before.

    Kudos to you for being so open in your email. You have to start somewhere, and you just started. Honesty is much more appreciated than you realize. When you are honest with people and it is coming from a place of truth and not from a place to hurt, shame or the need to be superior – your ‘truth’ is heard, appreciated and will send out the ripple, touching other hearts. The more you share, the more you help and strengthen yourself. Allow it in. Allow it all in. Soak in the love. Soak in the energy. Wade through the doubts, sorrow and fear and soon you will realize, there is no need for it. Because we are here and we love you. People that are loving will accept you and appreciate your honesty.

    If you receive any pushback, always remember that judgment comes from a place of fear and insecurity within the other person.

    Inherently, we all are beautiful souls. You just need to unleash yourself and allow yourself to “just be”.

    And you, my dear, are already on your way.

    Love, hugs and know you have a friend in me.


  • Reply authenticalive October 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Thank you, baby… Annie and I are having a dance party like we haven’t had in years..
    I’ll listen to you anytime… love encapsulating us so we feel Safe to Heal… Extending my days in So Cal so I can come to Todd’s potluck…. And Be Fucking Awesome with all my buddies.. Laughing, crying, sharing our hearts and speaking the truth…. It’s just happening and I’m loving it…

  • Reply Melissa Chataigne October 23, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I’m so proud of my friend for sharing this. Everyone has a moment when it clicks and they have their AHA moment. That is when they are at a cross roads and are forced to go a different direction.

    She help me during mine and I’m here with open arms for her. xx

  • Reply Eliana Crema October 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Maybe you feel like you can’t be completely open and vulnerable just yet, but look at you! You are well on your way! I think you were brave and you deserve to give yourself a big hug for taking this step. You have acknowledged that there is something about you and your life that you want to change, and you have shared that with others. That’s half the work right there.

    Although I’ve changed a lot in the last few years, I can totally understand what you said about being unable to tell people that they hurt your feelings, etc. I couldn’t tell people they hurt me. I couldn’t ask for help. Heck, even when people volunteered to help me, I still didn’t know how to accept their help. I didn’t know how to receive love. I didn’t even know how to be loving and kind towards myself! Luckily, all of that has changed. If I did it, trust me, you can do it, too!

    The funny thing that I really wanted to share with you is this: although I was miserable and unhappy with all of that (and more), I was afraid – really afraid! – of changing any of it. I remember thinking something along the lines of

    “if I let all of this shit go, who the fuck am I going to be?”

    In a bizarre and fearful way, I was attached to everything I didn’t want anymore. I was afraid of letting go.

    Honestly, I don’t think you have to worry about where to start anymore. I believe you are on your way to letting go of the chains that hold you back from becoming a newer, lighter, more open, more vulnerable, happier version of yourself. Yes, it may take a little while for all the changes to take place, but time is going to pass whether you go down this path or not. You might as well continue on your healing journey, right?

    No matter what, remember that you belong to a tribe of fucking amazing people who love you and accept you *exactly* as you are. We are here for you and we are here for you all the way. When you start changing things about yourself and about your life, guess what is going to happen? We will still love you and accept you *exactly* as you will be then! So say it all and say it out loud! Connect! Connect deeply! Cry your eyes out with us! It will feel great and you won’t be able to be any other way anymore.

    Sending you my love and my support. XOXOXOXO


    • Reply Stephanie Neutze October 24, 2012 at 8:53 am


  • Reply Angela October 24, 2012 at 1:16 am

    These are words from a postcard I shared on my page the other day… We need to let her know, she is a Superhero. And writing those words she did. I’d say that is showing vulnerablitly. Beautiful vulnerability…

    “To me, a Superhero is someone who invites her wisest, bravest, most alive self to come out and play. Every day. This doesn’t mean having all the answers, being unshakably strong, or performing dramatic feats of heroism. It means being someone like you – and someone like me. Someone who is anxious and uncertain. Someone who wants to live a juicy, full, courageous life, but doesn’t always know how. And someone who understands that vulnerability just might be the greatest superpower of all.”

    – Andrea Scher

    Much love,


  • Reply Shell October 24, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Every little movement, every little step is going forward. What is we put ourselves out there, what if we are judged. I think truly, the biggest judgement comes from ourselves. I am 40, been through my stuff, and still going through them, but I have finally realised that if I am myself, and come from a place of love, I have to be ok with that.

    Just start small, and remember when you are feeling uncomfortable, that is the time the most growth is happening within. You are on the edge, I can read it in your words – you just need to take that next step, have faith in yourself, and have faith that there are enough people in your world who will love you and care for you purely because of the person you are inside. The others don’t matter so much.

    A heart hug from Australia…… you are truly loved


  • Reply Martha October 24, 2012 at 3:42 am

    When you start to say it ou loud, it sounds like someone else is talking at first, like the voice is not your own. And then you say it again, and 1 or 2 of the words sound like you and it becomes a little less scary. So you say it again and again and again out loud and the words are yours and the feelings are yours and the world keeps spinning and people love you for you and the light shines. So, my new friend of my new friend, say it out loud, whatever it is. Because it needs to come out and you need to connect and you have the right to be amazing! Much love, Maryha

  • Reply Rebecca Carter October 24, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Darling girl, how brave you are. You’ve already started! The person you have been for the past 34 years is already unique, beautiful and perfect. Maybe Norte time is right to try things in new ways … one step, one breath at a time. Rebecca xx

  • Reply Felice October 24, 2012 at 3:55 am

    You just began to be the person you wish to be and you are loved.

  • Reply Tim Vanderkamp October 24, 2012 at 4:20 am

    Where to start and how to do anybod this is a great question. Unfortunately you asked many questions. And each might have their own answer. But where to start:

    Be kind to yourself and just practice ONE thing one moment at a time. For instance: I want to be more honest with people about how I feel…. Ok…. Make a commitment to yourself that at least one time THIS day you will walk right up and tell someone how you honestly feel. I recommend an easy one first…. Tell the sushi chef you feel he does the best job of anyone you’ve ever seen. Praise the cashier who was fast….

    Then tomorrow try for two people…. Maybe try for one an hour after a week. The. While you are practicing …. Start looking at where true honesty, once practiced could really make a difference.

    It saddens me to hear people tell others to just BE this or that. I used to race downhill mountain bikes… I watched a lot of people get Hurt under the guidance of…. Just let go and try it…. They had not practiced…. They were not prepared…. No more than most people are prepared to “let go”…. You have to practice with intention….. Even when it doesn’t feel like it is working…. With intention… And then it will start working.

    Here is another great tidbit from an American Indian healer I worked with on past emotional trauma I had…. Learn the VALUE of each of these things …. Without a true understanding of why anybod these things is valuable …. It is just more fluffy advice from a bunch of other people who “don’t understand”….. Every day that man asked me “tim… How is your serenity today” and one day I yelled at him to stop fucking asking me how my serenity is that frankly I didn’t give a shit about serenity …. This gave him pause…. He had not taught me why serenity was important first so I saw no value in attempting to achieve it. Learn the value of being open, honest, less serious, serene….. Identify how your life would be different if you could achieve those things. Because until your mind sees the value… Who cares that someone else thinks it is something you should get ahold of.

    Bless you on your journey!!!

  • Reply Jan October 24, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I agree with Beth. Be patient. We all have our own path to take and follow. Keep moving forward.

  • Reply Dana Stough October 24, 2012 at 6:55 am

    yesterday i read a really inspiring graphic with sunset in the background; it said:
    “it’s a process,
    it’s a process,
    it’s a process,
    change takes time.”
    it is now the background on my desktop at work 🙂

    the first step in the process is realizing that you have the desire to make that change. and maybe you will not be perfect at it from the get go, but you are still making the moves, having the thoughts (and as we know from manifestation, having the thoughts is half the battle!)
    there are a million different ways to be vunerable. find yours. let people in. love.

    <3 and namaste
    – D

  • Reply Stephanie Neutze October 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I have so much to say and share about this and will most likely email it to Jen so she can pass it on to you. In the meantime, I want to acknowledge the beauty in this soulful confession. It is absolutely terrifying to admit that life isn’t how you want it to be. Most people just coast through their lives, “asleep” and unwilling to change. Not you. You know that you want to be more accepting, vulnerable and strong; that you want to love and be loved; and that you want to be connected and truly feel alive. Change starts within and it starts here. Be proud of this realization and the fact that you want to break those walls down so that the authentic you can shine through. You have 40+ other people who will be there for you in a HEARTBEAT….who are praying for you, loving you, lifting you, accepting you and cherishing you. Don’t be afraid to knock those walls down. I, along with everyone else, am here to help you rebuild and create the life you have always dreamed of and imagined. We can’t always change the things that have happened, but we can change the way we look at them. I love you!

  • Reply livilala October 24, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Wow, this email is so heartbreaking because I struggle with this. It is SCARY to be open and to be vulnerable, to admit fears and struggles. Taking this step to reach out shows major courage. When you start saying these things out loud you allow others to support you, to cheer you on, to help you out, and to remind you that you are fucking amazing. You also help others by reminding them that they are not alone. We NEED community. It’s ironic that often the thing we need to do the most – reach out and ask for help, is often the scariest and hardest thing to do. It seems so much easier to suffer in silence. You are so brave for reaching out like this. Vulnerability takes major courage and you’ve got it! You are amazing and you are so, so loved.

    • Reply Stephanie Neutze October 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      Well said, O! XOXO

  • Reply naturegirltara October 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

    You are clearly at the doorway of letting go. You are AWARE and that is the first barrier to break it down. Now, you can keep letting go more and more and soon, all the walls you’ve built will fall away and your vulnerability will make you even more beautiful. We just cover it up with time and our own limitations. Now, since you’ve started the process of uncovering, freedom will be yours. Freedom feels good and you are ready to enjoy it!

  • Reply Janice October 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I’ve thought all day about this email and what to say in reply. I will echo the other comments – you have already started by writing this email! I won’t tell you this path isn’t difficult or long, because it is both those. But it is the most amazing thing you can ever do for yourself. I used to be where you are. I was afraid that if I started crying, I would never stop. I was afraid that if I showed vulnerability, people wouldn’t like me because I wasn’t “fun”. I expected perfection from myself in all areas, and that voice in my head was always quick to criticize.

    Over the years I have learned that crying can actually make you feel better, whether you do it alone or with a good friend (or a good therapist!). I’ve learned that when you open to others, that’s when you start to find the people that are really worthwhile connecting with, and you find that everyone is carrying a load of some kind or other. I started to imagine what it would be like if my inner critic spoke to others the way it spoke to me, and I was horrified. Now I speak to myself the way I would speak to a dear friend.

    Keep moving forward in tiny baby steps. Trust one friend with just one of your hurts, and see how that goes. Look in the mirror at least once a day and tell yourself you are gorgeous. This is so hard, but learn that you are not your job, or your body, or your family history.

    Remember that you are worth it, and you are already f*cking amazing. 🙂

  • Reply This Is What Courage Looks Like. « The Manifest-Station October 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    […] my yoga classes and whom I am close to. She is working on opening up. I am very very proud of her. Read Part 1 called “What Happens When You Admit Out Loud That You Are Scared” here. The responses/comments are so inspiring it brought me to tears. They will blow you away. Just […]

  • Reply Allison October 26, 2012 at 8:50 am

    You just took the first step dear and we will be with you every step from now on. You have never been alone because we have been there too. xo

  • Reply Confessions of an Imperfect Life. « The Manifest-Station November 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    […] is another follow-up post to The “What Happens When You Admit Out Loud That You Are Scared” post by my anonymous blogger. If you haven’t read it yet, click here and read it before you […]

  • Reply icanseealotoflifeinyou November 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    These are some of the times I feel scared: when I brush my teeth; when I make tea; when I park my car; when I get dressed; when I get undressed; when the message light on my work phone blinks; when I open a beer; when the beer is gone; when I fold clothes; when I clean the lint screen in the dryer. These are some of the times I feel sad/lonely: right now; definitely this morning and yesterday and 7 years ago; when I fall asleep; when I wake up; when I walk upstairs; when I walk downstairs; when I merge into traffic; when the phone rings; when I pour detergent into the washing machine; when I pee. This is when I say ‘I’m scared/I’m sad/I’m lonely’: never; not today; not on the phone; not in person; not while on a boat; not in a restaurant.

    You are in good company. I’m so afraid of never being happy. And this is my biggest, sickest secret: I am absolutely petrified of being happy. The very idea sets my teeth on edge.

    Sending you light and wishes for some joy and lots and lots of peace.

  • Reply Nic November 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Love. Just total love for you. I empathise and feel similar. You’ve expressed it so well. It’s good to see what I also feel written down. Thank you x

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.