Rip Off Your Mask And Get Naked

I don’t mean literally….

But I do mean figuratively. So let’s talk about that:

We all have something that’s hidden in our past that we keep to ourselves. That something can be a number of things: an event, a relationship, an addiction, etc. And we keep this something to ourselves for a number of reasons: embarrassment, guilt, pain, shame, or if you’re like me, all of the above, plus the feeling that NO ONE will understand what you went through, and therefore, judge you for having gone through it. And I now KNOW I’m not the only one who has gone/is going through this….

Listen, we ALL have stories. We ALL have shit that we’ve gone through. And MOST of us choose to wear a mask throughout our lives that serves to hide the inner and outer struggles we’ve gone through. We choose to suppress these situations in an effort to forget, or to move on.

Sometimes, this mask becomes too heavy to wear, and instead of peeling it off to face what’s underneath, we crack under the pressure. The pressure of our past. And this pressure leads to illness’s such as anxiety, depression, and unfortunately, for a few, suicide. Now, I am not here to dive into the depths of these detrimental illnesses. I’ve been there before, and it’s tough, I know, and I understand.

But, let’s go back to that mask. Most people believe that their masks are what hold them together. Their mask allows them to be a part of society, it allows them to “forget” the past, and move on.

I’m here to tell you differently. Your mask is holding you back. It is giving you a “safe face” to hide behind. It is allowing you to “forget” your past, but let’s be real here, you’re not really forgetting, you are simply pushing your shit down deeper and deeper, and letting it sit there, and stink up your life. Sounds pretty morbid, I know, so bear with me….

As humans, we are born with one 2 fears. A fear of falling and a fear of loud noises. Every other fear has been learned over time through the experiences we’ve had: the events, the relationships, the addictions, the abuses, the fights, etc…

The Fear of Failure.

Of Success.

Of Disappointment.

Of Money.

Of Imperfection.

Of Rejection.

The list can go on and on.

And what most humans do is they put on this mask, and they accept their fears as real. The same way they accept their mask as real.

The longer you’ve worn this mask, the harder it is to take it off, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just takes a little bit of strength, courage, and badass-ery.

And whatever you do, do not blame yourself for hiding behind your mask. Our society tells us to “forgive and forget”, it tells us to “just try not to think about it and everything will be okay…”, no wonder we have so many fears!!

Your mask probably won’t come off in one swift “rip”, it takes time, but it all starts with facing your past. Facing the source of your fears. Uncover the events you’ve worked so hard to suppress, the events that created your mask. Acknowledge those events, and work to understand how your current fears are a product of your past. By work, I mean: journal, talk it out with a close friend, scream it, recreate it, whatever the “work” may be for you.

Your fears are part of your mask. As you begin to do the meaningful work required to rip off your mask, you will feel exposed. You will feel naked. But most of all, you feel vulnerable.

Vulnerability is what destroys the mask. Vulnerability is becoming your truest self.

Say goodbye to your mask and your fears, get naked, and get vulnerable.



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The Brewing Of CS&CT

This morning I was sitting in this cute little Belgium Bakery in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. I know, probably the last place you would expect to find a Belgium bakery, but nonetheless, I was there. I ordered my usual: Coffee, Black. And within 2 minutes, I was presented with the COOLEST coffee cup ever, with the most rich and tasty Dominican coffee, and a delicious froth on the top that coated my upper lip as I took my first sip. But before I took my first sip, I just had to snap a picture for my Instagram account (@Wildgust_OfWind), and as I uploaded the picture, I noticed this was the 6th Coffee-Themed photo in the last 2 weeks; it dawned on me, I am a coffee addict. Not a caffeine addict, but a coffee addict. I love the smell, the taste, the presentation, the coffee shops, and even the baristas that brew my delicious cup o’ joe. So with my newfound realization, I began thinking: What if I could share my love of all things coffee, but also include the unique feel that those organic coffee shops give off? You know, that quaint, and inspiring feel? Like you can just sit down and conquer the world, all while sipping coffee and observing the cool crowd that seek out anything BUT Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. And thus, Coffee Shops and Courage Talks was born.

So you may be thinking: Okay, I understand the Coffee Shops part, but I’m still a teensy bit lost on the Courage Talks part. Well, in order to fully explain the second half of the title, I must first introduce myself; my name is Shelby Wildgust and not only am I a newly-admitted, yet totally okay with it, Coffee Addict, but I am also a Personal Growth Junkie, or as one of my favorite authors’, Gabrielle Berstein, calls it, I am a Spirit Junkie. I crave stimulating conversations with interesting people from all over the world. I read, A LOT. I create weekly motivational videos for my friends on Facebook (Shelby Wildgust, Follow/Friend Me!), I aspire to be a Motivational Speaker, and I am currently building my Health, Wellness, and Prosperity Coaching Business. I try to learn something new every day, and I tend to live my life OUTSIDE of my Comfort Zone, which let’s be real here, is where the magic happens. There’s a lot more to me than just a paragraph, but this pretty much sums up where the “Courage Talks” part comes from.

What to expect from this blog: It’s difficult to say right now, since, at this point, this blog is just a tiny little coffee bean, waiting to be brewed. But what I foresee is a platform for creativity, inspiration, courage, and COFFEE! I will be posting my weekly motivational videos on here, interviewing some of Gen Y’s most courageous leaders, and providing daily content to help kickstart your day. If you’re like me, and you drink your coffee black, think of this blog as your added sugar. Or, you could just think of this blog as your daily cup of inspiration.

So, that’s it! I look forward to running along this journey with you by my side. Let’s see where this takes us!