So recently one of our podcast guests had to cancel at the last minute due to illness. My producer, Joseph, suggested that I “just talk” with the time we had – talk about myself and what Courageously Go!™ is all about. Gulp. If I chickened out and did not do this I would not exactly be walking my courageous walk, now would I? So– I took a deep breath… and when Joseph asked: “Ready”? I said “Yes”!
Without a script to read or any kind of warning or rehearsing, I spoke from my heart for 23 minutes straight (one take only). You can listen to the podcast here.
If you prefer, I had this transcribed so you may read it. This is really my BIG WHY on why I am doing this. I am so excited for I know that I have found my true vocation and purpose. I am confident that this is what I am supposed to be doing at this time in my life. I value your input and would love for you to join me on this adventure and conversation about courage.
Read on (or listen)…
Hello, everybody. I am Debbie DiPietro, the creator of Courageously Go, and I thought I would take a moment and just share with you a little bit about myself and what this is all about. I am someone who has been challenged for much of my life with anxiety issues. I have been introverted. I’ve been a little shy over the years, and kept myself, because of that, on the sideline of opportunities. I let opportunities pass me by. I went to law school, and I never practiced law. There’s so many different things that I have wanted to do, but did not because I was scared, scared of failing, scared of what other people thought of me. I always was the perfect little Debbie at school and just wanted my teacher’s approval, and my dad’s approval, and always worrying about what the world and the other kids thought of me. That held me back a lot over the years.
I started writing about these issues in my first blog called The Warm Milk Journal. The results of my anxiety really resulted in a lot of years of lack of sleep. I didn’t sleep well. It seemed like I’d keep together very well during the day, but at night, my very active mind would get going with worries and ruminations. Before I knew it, I just wasn’t sleeping, and I started writing about it. I figured, I am not the only one that has these anxiety issues and issues of insomnia. So I started writing and reaching out, and sure enough, there were a lot of people out there all around the world that could share and resonated with some of the things that I experienced and wrote about on my blog, The Warm Milk Journal.
As a result, I grew a following. I made lots of friends all around the world, and many of those people are going to be guests here on Courageously Go, and I look forward to your getting acquainted with them. They’re just wonderful. So I had this network, this community of people out there, and you know, ladies and gentlemen, whoever’s out there listening, we never need to feel like we’re alone. This human life experience, this adventure of life, you know, we don’t ever have to be alone, because whatever the challenges are that we experience, someone else is going through it, too. This show, Courageously Go, is in many ways an extension of my work, The Warm Milk Journal. It’s definitely a project of the heart.
I turned 50 September of 2016, so almost a year and a half ago, and I had an epiphany on the morning of my 50th birthday. I decided that it’s about courage. Everything important in life starts with courage. Whether it’s being in a marriage, or raising children, or getting into the work world after being at home with the kids for many years, or changing careers, or getting laid off and deciding what to do with our lives, and what to do when we grow up, whatever age we are, everything starts with courage, or even starting a new hobby or sport, or making a new friend, or getting out, and discovering something new, it all starts with courage.
I figured, you know, I may not be perfect, I have a lot of challenges, and every now and then I do have that little flutter in my stomach, and I get anxiety when it’s time to go to a party, I’ve never been the biggest party girl, but whatever. If I just move in the direction of courage, baby steps, challenge myself to do new things, to go to that party, to perhaps go to the networking event that really I don’t want to, but I make myself go, and sure enough, I meet someone and it opens doors for me. It’s amazing, when we choose courage, the doors that begin to open, and our life experience becomes more expansive and exciting.
I truly believe that we never need to be stuck in life, that we can always make change. Thankfully, you know, most of us, we’re free, and we can make positive changes. Whether it’s in relationships, whether it’s job, we can up and move across the country. We can try new things, and we can always challenge ourselves. I find that when we do challenge ourselves, we grow in confidence. That, to me, that’s the heart of Courageously Go, really. I have a vision. Primarily, this is a show for women, this is a network for women. But it’s really, I think, it resonates for really anybody. We can all benefit from choosing courage and moving in the direction of courage. Because what this world really needs now, and I believe this with all of my heart and soul, this world strongly needs people and women to be confident. We need to listen to our hearts. We need to find our voices. We need to assert ourselves, and we need to be seen and heard.
If women out there have their voice, and we have our confidence, and we’re feeling strong, I believe then this world will prosper more, the environment will be cleaner, we’ll have more peace, and just a lot more joy all around the world. I really grew up feeling this, because I’m a woman, and there’s what I think of as a confidence gap. Something happens. I remember when I was a little kid, and I was always just a fearless little kid. I didn’t have a lot of fears when I was a little kid. I would just play along with my friends and the boys in my class. I was little bit of a tomboy, and enjoyed life. I had enjoyed a wonderful childhood in Hawaii.
But, something happened in adolescence when I grew my hips and I grew my breast. All of a sudden, I had this woman’s body, but I was still just 12 or 13 years old, and I didn’t know what to do with that. Suddenly, I felt like I wanted to cover myself up. I would get attention that I didn’t really want. I wasn’t sure what to do with that. I think, at that point in time, something happened, and I became more introverted, and I became less secure, and I became less confident, and I almost wanted to hide. I almost wanted to put a cloak on, a mask on my face, and not let the world see me anymore because I was afraid. I wasn’t afraid. I was afraid. And so, I think something happens to a lot of girls when they do go through puberty and adolescence, and we don’t know what to do with that. That’s just kind of been my experience, and I took that with me for many years.
On the surface, I was always friendly, outgoing Debbie. I don’t think anyone really realized just how shy and insecure I felt. I faked it really well. It’s amazing how we can really hide how we’re really feeling to the world. I also think, nowadays, with social media and the internet, it’s even easier to kind of portray ourselves a certain way online, but really not be that way and who we really are. I think it’s important that we need to just own who we are, be comfortable in our skin, and say, “Here I am, world. Here I am.”
Now that I’m 51, that’s the gift of this time of life. I have to share with you, I absolutely love this time in life. I love being 51, and I will tell you why. Because now, it’s like, I’ve been around a while, and I’ve had all this life experience. I’m like, you know, life’s too short, right, to not be ourselves, and to be worrying all the time about what others think of us. It’s just after a while, you’re like, “No, I’m just going to be myself and let the chips fall where they may,” and that is enormously freeing. I feel like a hundred-pound elephant, or a thousand-pound elephant, is off me now, and I can just be Debbie DiPietro. That’s really the spirit of this show. You know, it’s just I just want to have a conversation about courage.
I used to be a school teacher, and I’ve always enjoyed facilitating, and bringing positive experiences, lessons, people together. I love organizing small, intimate dinner parties. I’ve done play shops in my Jacksonville area where we bring ladies together and have two hours of fun theater improv, and getting to know one another with ice-breaking activities, and I enjoy that.
And really, so this podcast and radio show is that. This is just a joy for me to bring an interesting guest on board here, and we just talk. It’s as if you can envision me in my living room with my guest. We’re having a cup of tea, or coffee, or perhaps a glass of wine, and just sitting on my couch, and my cats are nearby, and we’re just talking, and talking about what I think is probably the most important topic, courage. Because again, it starts with courage.
Courage is a Latin and old French word, courage, meaning heart. Le cœur is heart in French. I’ve always loved that word, anyway, courage. When you think about it, if we just give ourselves a little pause and really listen to our hearts, it’s amazing what that does to our life experience. I’ve started meditating, and I’ve been a journal writer all my life, but just sort of recently, I’ve been really focusing on my meditation practice in the morning. Really, essentially, what is meditation? It’s stopping all the activity, right? It’s getting out of our heads, and into our hearts, and tapping into that inner power, that higher or divine power, and listening. It’s diving listening, and I think courage takes that.
I think if we’re just in our heads all the time, and we’re thinking all the time, we’re not going to live very courageous lives. We’re going to be overthinking things. We’re going to be stuck in paralysis analysis. We’re going to be talking ourselves out of things, like I did much of my life. We’re going to get ourselves stuck, aren’t we? But if we just stop and listen, that is where courage comes from, heart, heartfelt life, joyful life, a more confident life, and that is the heart and spirit behind Courageously Go.
I’m so very excited about this. I really feel like this is, at this time in my life, this is my vocation. This is my higher purpose, and this is my calling. Yes, I do other things. I wear different hats. I have a day job. I manage social media for a wonderful automotive group here in Jacksonville, and I love my company I work for. I do my writing. I have a beautiful book out through my publisher out of Boulder, Colorado, Blue Mountain Arts. It’s an original collection of short morning prayers to start your day off. It’s a beautiful book. You can order it on Amazon. It’s one of those books that you can just have on your nightstand and flip it open and first thing in the morning, before you start your meditation or having your first sip of coffee, and just see what you find in there. It’s original, universal, non-denominational prayers. It’s essentially a conversation with God, and yourself, your higher power.
I know that when I start my day off with prayer, and meditation, and journal writing, my day is much more courageous, and confident, and joyful, and happy, and positive. That is a gift that if you go on Amazon and you can order my book Short Morning Prayers, it’s a gift you can give yourself. It makes for a great gift book. Sure a Blue Mountain Arts, you might, when you walk into a Hallmark store, they have the beautiful line of greeting cards, and that nice, heavy, quality stock card paper. They’ve been around for years, so you’ll recognize them. It’s not your ordinary book. It’s definitely a keepsake book. We’re currently working on a … I’m very excited. We’re working on a collection of evening, a companion book, a collection of evening prayers as well, so stay tuned for that.
SO Courageously Go With Debbie DiPietro, my aim and my mission is to have a conversation about courage, and to close that confidence gap that I believe we have in this society. And nothing against men, I’m not one of those women, you know those feminist, you know men haters. I’m not. I love men, and men have been very good to me in my life, but I do believe there is a confidence gap there. As a sisterhood, as a community, I want to be there for one another. I want to know, any woman out there or girl out there, I want that person to know that she is not alone.
I have a vision of growing a community, a community where we support each other to be more courageous, to step it up, and assert ourselves, and be more bold, and be more confident in a way that is authentic for us. I don’t believe in being brave and fearless just because that’s what we think we should be. I believe in letting our own light shine through, and in true authenticity, and whatever path that leads us. Ladies, let’s be here for each other. Let’s be, I like to think of it as being champions of courage. When you’re a champion, what are you? Your really rooting, right? You’re really rooting and wanting to win at something. You’re a big supporter of something, and I really see myself as a champion of courage. Now, I’m not an Olympic athlete. I didn’t win a race. But in a way, I feel like I am winning in my own way, my Debbie DiPietro life experience right now. Because in my own way, my humble little way, which is big for me, I’m choosing courage.
Doing this podcast radio show, if any of you knew me, and if you knew really how basically introverted a person I am, and especially when it comes to talking about myself, I’m terrible about promoting myself. I had this beautiful, beautiful book out, the Short Morning Prayers book that I just recently mentioned to you, and I know I don’t promote it anywhere near enough. I worked so hard on it, and it’s definitely a project of the heart. I think it’s just hard, and that might be true for a lot of you women out there. It’s hard for us to promote ourselves, isn’t it? It’s hard to toot our own horns. It’s hard to speak up for ourselves.
So a part of this program is helping each other get into that confident and courageous mode where, hey, you know, I’m here world, and I’m doing great work. I’m doing great things, and world, you need to know about it. So, world, you need to know that I have this beautiful book out there, and will benefit you. World, I want you to know about this podcast.
It’s interesting, this medium, and I think it’s a wonderful medium. I’m super excited about this whole radio podcast idea. You can get a very … You know, you can get your message out to many, but it’s kind of it’s intimate. I feel like all of you out there listening to me right now, you really could be just sitting here in my living room having a cup of coffee with me. I just love that. I’m finding this is so much fun. I’m just having fun.
Right now, it seems like I work a lot, but all of my projects that I’m working on are creative and work I really love to do, so it’s really all gravy at this point. It’s just, again, such a great time in life. I’d love to have more conversations with many of you out there, wherever you are in life, and how are you enjoying your lives, and what are your challenges. What are your challenges when it comes to confidence? What was it like for you when you came of age? I think it would be an interesting conversation, and I would like to take that a step further. How can we, any of us who are maybe my age or a little older, the mature women out there, how can we mentor our younger women? How can we mentor our girls and our young women who are coming of age right now.
When you think about it, it’s really interesting. The girls who are coming of age now, these girls, they’ve never known a life without a smartphone, without social media. They’ve always had that technology. I think that’s really probably affecting, in addition to what it’s like just to be a young woman coming of age anyway, and all of the things you’re concerned about, but I think that’s added a whole new layer for young girls. I definitely think that’s an important conversation to have. I know that that younger generation can open up our eyes. I know that we can, with our life experience, mentor those young women.
I would love, just love, this would be a great goal for Courageously Go is to have that intergenerational relationship. Let’s have conversations, and let’s get to know one another, and help each other. I’m very excited about that. I just think there’s just once we get going on this, who knows? You know, life is an adventure, right? I can’t look into the crystal ball. I don’t know exactly where this will go, but I certainly do have a vision that we become champions of courage, all of us together. We prosper together. We’re there for each other during challenging times and happy times.
So that’s my story, ladies. I’m Debbie DiPietro. I’m the creator. I have an award-winning blog, The Warm Milk Journal, and that’s still going. The mission of The Warm Milk Journal is to live the life of our dreams by day, and to sleep restfully at night. You can check it out at Thewarmmilkjournal.com. I’ve been writing that since 2010 is when I started The Warm Milk Journal. It’s gotten all kinds of recognition.
Success Magazine, two years ago, said it was one of … I won their inaugural Blogstar contest, and it said … Success Magazine called The Warm Milk Journal one of the top personal development websites on the internet. Not bad, right? I now, as a result, I have a great relationship with the editorial team at Success. I’m a contributing writer for them. Actually, if you go on success.com, you can see my article about courage. That’s been a topic of mine that I’ve really cared about a lot over the years, and also about how we never need to be stuck. That’s another article I’ve written for them recently. And so, you can check out The Warm Milk Journal.
And now, since I started this podcast, I have a brand new website, CourageouslyGo.com. You can check that out. It’s brand new, but as I develop it, and with time, I will add more and more resources for you. You will be able to listen to past episodes of Courageously Go. You will be able to learn a little more about me, and working with me, and joining my newsletter, and growing a community. I also have a brand new Facebook page for Courageously Go. I have not done it yet, but I’m really interesting in perhaps starting a Facebook group for Courageously Go so that we can continue the conversation outside of this podcast, and grow that community, and be there for one another. Most many of us seem to be on Facebook these days, so that I think that would be a good platform for us, so stay tuned for that. I will certainly invite all of you to join me once I have that started.
I look forward to continuing the conversation with all of you. If any of you have any insights, feedback, questions about what we’ve talked about so far, or perhaps some of you have some new ideas for Courageously Go, I am open to feedback. One of you, some of you, might even be a future guest on this show, so I would love to hear from all of you. I promise I’ll return any of your reaching out to me.
Until next time ladies –
Remember it’s our turn to shine.
Let’s make it so,
And Courageously Go!™