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Lessons in Expressing Vulnerability and Circling Up Our Herds

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Beth Anstandig

I took a page out of my own book! The Human Herd: Awakening Our Natural Leadership was released into the wild April 12. It was terrifying! First writing a book is very hard, but even harder than the writing itself was all the time and angst spent NOT writing the book when you are supposed to be writing the book. Followed by the editing, design, planning and more.

Then you wait, and that’s when the terror hits. Soul crushing anxiety. It sounds like this: What have I done? I wrote a book and now people are going to read it. You spend all this time wanting to write a book and trying to get a book into the world and then you realize it goes into the world without you. 

You wonder: Can you die of vulnerability? Is that possible? Not sure but vulnerability of this kind feels life threatening. As publication day approaches, you feel like you’re walking the plank. A firing squad of your own imagination. The book is out there. Unsupervised and traveling. You have to let go. You had no idea you’d feel this way. The terror and panic are a surprise. 

So, on the eve of the book release, I did what I learned to do staying sober in recovery–and what I’ve learned from the horses and what I urge in the book–CALL IN THE HERD! I sent an SOS message to my inner circle and asked for help, support, and love. Help me with my fear and help me celebrate. Two very different needs. 

The herd showed up!!! So many calls and texts. Social media posts. Encouragement. Cheerleading. Flowers. A virtual hour of love and friendship hosted by one of my oldest and dearest friends. 

Here’s the thing, people: We can do just about anything if we aren’t doing it alone.

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