“After two years of looking at cuddle events, I finally gathered enough courage to attend. Now that I’m here, I wish I had come sooner. I missed out on two years of having this in my life.”
A first time attendee shared this at an event recently. He’s not alone. I hear variations of this all the time, and I totally get it.
There’s a lot of inertia we have to face when putting ourself in new situations.
Not knowing what to expect puts us in a very vulnerable position. We feel like we don’t have much control. That feels uncomfortable. And yes, it’s a lot easier to avoid facing that by never venturing out of our comfort zone.
Not Just Newcomers
This pre-cuddle anxiousness doesn’t just apply to newcomers. Many repeat attendees face that hurdle too. I sure did!
When I first started attending events regularly, I found myself having to face that same fear of discomfort before every event.
Before showing up, I would worry about who would or wouldn’t be there, if there would be people I would enjoy connecting with, if I would have to endure touch I didn’t want.
After months of this, I finally decided to confront this recurring emotion. I knew it didn’t make any sense. In fact, it was absolutely ridiculous. I’d had nothing but positive experiences at events that reinforced my value, my agency, and filled me with bliss and connection.
I should have come to expect positive outcomes, and still, my mind and body were stuck in a worry loop.
I decided I needed to rewrite the script, and change this story I was telling myself about expecting the worst. It simply wasn’t true.
I realized that my worry was trying to take charge because it was afraid no one else would do the job.
I asked my worry to take a break and to focus on trust instead.
1. Trust the Environment
The first step was learning to really trust in the skill of the facilitator, and the ingenious design of the event.
I would have lots of option for opting out, I would be encouraged to say no. My boundaries would be respected with enthusiasm. What more of a sanctuary could I ask for?!
Turning toward trust instead of worry helped me connect to the true abundance of the event. Instead of worrying about what I would have to do or not do, I gradually shifted into anticipating my wants and needs getting met at each event. What a treat to look forward to!
2. Trust Myself
I also gradually learned to trust in my capacity to find meaning and positivity no matter where I went. I learned to enjoy and appreciate my own company: I would always have me there, no matter who else showed up.
As I practiced, I also began to have trust in my own empowerment. I learned to trust in my “No”. That meant that I would never put myself in a situation where I would be stuck. I had an ally in myself. What freedom that provided me!
3. Release the Outcome
Finally, I learned to just arrive with openness for whatever happens.
Not every event is a life-changing smash hit. Sometimes, things are just good. Sometimes, I’m having an off-night. Learning to accept it all and just be in the moment has taken the pressure off forcing a specific result.
Making Room for Magic
I’ve found that this practice of trusting and releasing has created a spaciousness inside of me. There’s an innate security and assurance in the abundance of goodness. Not being focused on worry allows me to be present to the magic around me. This openness has allowed me to lean into the unknown with more surety.
I’m no longer letting fear hold me back.