On the Other Side of Brave

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Every year for the past four years or so I sit down to reflect on the year that's ending and envision what I'd like to call in for the new year. I usually Desire Map and complete my Year End Ritual as per The Not So Big Life book. This year I'm a adding daily exercise to the process. 

For the next 31 days I'll choose a prompt, journal out it's answer and share it here in this space. As an avid believer in placing your attention more on what you want to cultivate, my questions will focus MORE on what I desire to call into my life and LESS on what I intend to leave behind. 

It's also why the series is called On the Other Side of Brave. Because there, on the other side of being Brave are all the things I am ready to welcome. All the things I'm ready to receive. All the things I am ready to see, be, do or have. All the things I'm ready to embody. On the other side, a new level living awaits all of us with open arms. 

Day 1: Yes. Thank you. More please. What in 2017 gave me immense Joy?

Quiet mornings, that include cuddles with with my pup, Vada. Listening to Abraham Hicks Youtube videos. My hands covered in paint. My very own home studio. Launching my podcast. Frequents trips back to NYC to see family and friends. An unstructured Summer. Bone broth. Breaks from Instagram. Laughing a lot. Especially with my man. Skype dates with my Soul Sister. Patching up things with my Dad. Finding a new Doctor. Morning pages. Minnesota. Being featured on podcasts I love. New online friends. Road trips. Yoga with Adrienne. Naps. My 100 day project. Finding just the right natural deodorant. Interviewing conscious Brave women for my podcast. Going no-poo. Time with nature. Good times with great people. Contrast. Desire. Learning. Letting go. Getting closer to my inner guidance. Spending with ease. Creating with trust. Whitespace. 

Day 2: Being & Becoming. WHO I am in 2018?

Open. Fluid. In tune. Listening to my voice and expressing it with ease. I am as in the moment as I can be. I am still learning to unlearn. I am marrying structure and spontaneity in a way that's all my own. I am taking my time. I am zero waste student. Lesson #1: Anything you do makes a difference. I am painting. Frequently, with great Soul and always because it feels good. I am channeling poetry and performing to my hearts content.

I am sharing in all ways I can. I  am experimenting with my introversion and expanding my ways of connecting. I am in sync with my body. I take care of her through movement. What I release is just as important a what I consume. I am resting well. I am tuning into my breath more often than not and a little deeper every day. I drink water and lots of it because it helps me to feel the way I want. I am playing, laughing, expressing, learning and letting go of anything that doesn't feel good.

I am not sorry for wanting to feel good. I am driving. Consistently. Confidently. I am awake to my contrast and letting her teach me more and more about what I want. I am connected to family and friends in  a new way and I am at peace with what has been. I am anything I want to be so long as the intention for it comes from a place of wholeness. I am here. I am ready to receive. 

Day 3: Rinse & Repeat. What Aligned actions do I want to keep cultivating in 2018?

Morning Pages: A stream of consciousness practice made famous made by Julia Cameron. My morning pages are the first thing I reach for when the new day begins. It was a practice I tried a few years ago that eventually fell to the weigh side. Today it's a practice I've maintained every day (give or take a few days of intentionally letting myself off the hook) for over a year! They clear my mind and ready me for a new day in the way I desire. 

Weekly Journaling: I've loved journal writing since I was a little girl. I've had years where I journal everyday and others where it didn't happen for weeks or months at a time. This year I decided that I'd journal at least once a week. If I felt called to do more I opened my Mac and just recorded a video diary. But every Sunday, now Mondays, thanks to Vienda Maria's insight on the impact planets have on the days of the week, I sit for as long as I want and talk to myself about the week. My insights, lingering questions, things I'm curious about etc. The rhythm has suited me well. Just enough time passes in between to notice the changes and gives me space to let life happen on a day to day basis. 

Quiet Mornings: It doesn't matter if it's 20 minutes or if there's space to make it last 2 hours. I need something in the morning, just for me. What it is never matters as much as just carving out the time to be with my heart before I turn on to serve others. Some of my favorite activities include gratitude journaling, listening to Abraham Hicks videos on Youtube, cuddling with my puppy, and a warm beverage (lemon water, bone broth and most recently Chaga mushroom tea) 

Skype Dates with Solai:  My younger cousin and I have a very special bond that has evolved throughout the years depending on what was true for our lives in that moment. When we entered 2017 we decided to carve out time for one Skype call a month.The intention was to rekindle a very consistent closeness that existed when she was in High School and I visited her once a month for almost 2 years. And guess what? It worked and it worked well. We are there for one another in a new way as we both explore aligned living and all it's magic and our conversations have made ALL the difference in how nourished I feel.  

Day 4: Go where you thrive. In the 2018, where I am investing my time?

Moving my body, daily. In any way, for an given amount of time. I've got a special interest in dancing and hula hooping. Painting, especially large canvases because ohhh, they scare me. Writing more snail mail notes to people I love, and continuously to those who write back. Getting into better alignment with the idea of driving through meditation, visualization and plain ol' practice. Cultivating deeper friendships with people I've met online. Learning how to play the ukelele. On dates with my man.  Building rituals. Especially around bath and bed time. Podcasting. Me and the mic, we've got a thing going on. Speaking my truth, even and especially when I fear being judged or misunderstood. Breath work. Sharing the works of others who inspire me and are making this planet a better place to live on. In silence. In appreciation. Offline. 

Day 5: Reframed metrics. How will I measure my success in 2018?

How often I laugh and how much my belly hurts in the process. How at ease I feel. How kind I am to strangers I may never see again.  How often I choose compassion over criticism, towards myself and others. By saying what I mean and meaning what I say. Through the depth of my presence when I'm spending time with others.  The whitespace in my calendar. How often I call my grandma. Any step taken to become closer to my dad.

How good I feel when I think about driving. Each time I get behind the wheel and drive. Double points when I do it solo. My effort to rekindle relationship with far away relatives. Showing up as I am, no matter what that looks like. How intuitively I cultivate the quiet brave community.  How often I move by body for the pure love of letting her go be wild and free. Being in alignment, more often than not. Every cuddle with Vada. Every hug from Joe. Every moment of peace with Liam. How in tune I am with my breath. Showing up to be a creative channel. And how embodied I feel. 

Day 6: Mistakes mold mastery. What lessons am I bringing into 2018?

Done is perfect than perfect: Every day I become less of a perfectionist and more of a practionist. (yes that's my very own word I made up) I approach my fears and resistance with extreme curiosity and love. I ask myself questions to unearth the root of my shying away, I aim for simple and to simplify at almost every turn. Because simple makes me feel good and when I feel good, there is space for progress and when appropriate, a finish line. 

*I had a delicious conversation about it earlier this year. Listen here.

Ease over exhaustion: I want to change the world. I mean that will all my heart. But I will not do it at the expense of my physical, mental or emotional well being. I will instead make daily deliberate decisions to embody the change I want to see and encourage others as they explore writing their own new stories. And in a hustle oriented world that may mean that my impact will unfold at a much slower pace than someone who is "at it" 24/7. And I'm finally OK with that. 

This is not to say I am not up for a challenge or that I intend to dance around in the fields as if that's how I'll manifest my desire for a better world. That does not I will make just as much room for dancing in the fields as I do for my work mediums. If I am starved, I can not offer to others without resentment. I will never live that way again.

Alignment before action: This is a big one for me. In the past year, especially when it comes to all things business, I've made a very deliberate decision to make sure whatever action I took, felt aligned FIRST. To me alignment feels like I'm acting from a space of excitement and clarity. It means I don't feel pressured, obligated, guilty, a sense of lack or FOMO when making a choice. When I choose: to paint, to podcast, to write that post, make that thing, to send that email, to envision the unfolding future of the quiet brave, feeling good green lights my actions. The same goes for my personal life, of course, but there was a strong focus through the lens of business this year.

All is well: Everyday moves me closer to live inside of this one truth. The ebbs and flow of life may move pieces around and contrast will definitely always be around to teach me, but I know in my Heart, all is well and I will always be ok. I trust the unfolding of my path and the power of right here and now.

Day 7: Deliberate decisions: What's one choice I want to be able to say I made?

Danced. Before finding my love with a paintbrush, my body was my tool and the dance floor was my canvas. I loveeeeeeeee dancing. Everything about it is all I could ever want. I get to be quiet and listen to the sounds, vibrations and words that unleash a joy in me that I only know in that moment. And except for a few weekends when I travel back home to NYC be with my besties, its been a really long time since I've consistently moved in the way I once did. And In work I've explored this year, I am feeling called to explore my body as a vessel of expression through dance again.

Day 8: Believe it TO see it. Where am I one year from today?

I'm nearing the end of a magical year. One that takes my breath away, in the every way. I am at ease. I am in the moment where I am and I am with people I love. I have expressed to my truest desire, how to be a better being on this planet.

I've had conversations with some of the bravest souls in the world and I've designed a life that reflects how I want to feel. I am abundant in wellness inside all corners of my life. I've got paint on my hands, my microphone, my loves and another breath in my lungs. Life is good. All is well. And I look forward to another great year.

Day 9: The road less traveled. In 2018. What am i curious about?

  1. Essential oils
  2. The moon
  3. Kundalini yoga
  4. Pilates
  5. Oil pulling
  6. The ukelele
  7. Swimming
  8. Rituals
  9. Earthing
  10. Coffee enemas 

Day 10: shift your perspective. Where can using a new lens help me tell a new story?

In 2018 instead of saying it's been 11 years since my car accident, I'll say it's my first year driving. It'l be in a way that's more consistent than it's been since that day, over a decade ago. The truth is I don't feel as free as I desire because I don't drive anymore.  And the idea of telling a new story after so long of having lived this one, scares me because it matters a great deal to me. I'll never feel the way I want to feel until I am literally in the drivers seat of my life again.

And while I've continuously choked in moving ahead in any real way, this year was different. I've driven more, although far and very few in between, than in years before. And it's feeling really good to imagine being behind a wheel again. And its that feeling I'm going to feed. It's that story that I'm going to repeat until it's not only the truth I know but the one I live out more often than not.

Day 11: Name 10 things you want to do every day.

  1. Move
  2. Create
  3. Let go
  4. Breathe deep
  5. Laugh
  6. Replenish
  7. Connect
  8. Align
  9. Help
  10. Daydream

Day 12: Live like you mean it. What words do I want to live by in 2018?

I am not doing. I am being done: This phrase from the amazing Caty Pasternak (An upcoming QBR guest) who heard it from her coach. A trust that nothing that I "do" is what will truly create change but what I allow to be created through me. As a body of work and through my body of work. To free fall into my aspirations with a deep, unwavering trust, knowing that I am here to serve as a cosmic channel. And allowing that KNOWING to be the compass I follow through and through, more and more every day. 

Day 13: IT's never too late. What's a dream I want to revisit? 

Of all the things I ever imagined myself being, a performer has always topped the list. It used to have a dance focus. It used to also have a singer focus. And later in my life, after years of it being a very private things, performing poetry became the focus. 

You see, poetry and me go way back. It was poetry that taught me how to express the deepest and truest thoughts I knew in a way that made me feel seen and safe. My verses held expressed every feeling I ever dealt with. It was the way I spoke to the world. 

I've dabbled here and there over the years. I even got some youtube videos to prove it. And of this, I'm so proud. But I gotta admit, I don't feel done. Not even close. So in 2018, I'd love to revisit this preciously held avenue with open arms and a curious heart. To focus fiercely on returning back to it being a sacred space it was for myself, long before I realize it could also be for others.

Day 14: Stand in your truth. What do I really want 2018 to be about?

To live in alignment, more often than not. This friends, is THE goal. The north star of my life. In learning that it can't ever be done, this cyclical goal propel's a sense of self-compassion I've never known. It centers my understanding that the ebb and flow is critical for my expansion. Without it my Soul remains stagnant, judgmental and focused on the lack and not good enough. With it, I am ever growing, consistently on the edge of my greatness and welcome the entire process, including the wide range of emotions that come with it. But that's what I want. I want it all. To feel it all. To heal it daily. All by remembering that the impermanence is what makes it special and the practice is what makes sacred.

Day 15: 365 days later. What have I learned about myself?

I've learned that I want joy, ease and peace more than anything else. I've learned that every day I grow more ready to seek, find, create and protect that desire with my whole heart. I've learned it's not my job to make people understand. And how good it feels to let go of trying to.

Day 16: Experience and expand. In 2018, what's one book I want to read?

Women who run with wolves by Clarissa Pinkola. I'm been thinking a lot about the kinds of feelings I want to nurture and Wild, feels potent right now. There's a level of myself that stays above the surface. In my head instead of in my body. And I want to get to the root of what it feels like to embody Wild in a way that's all my own. Where I can get in touch with a very primal part of my Soul so that I may bring that energy into All I do. This book has come up across many conversations and feels all to appropriate for where I find my interesting going...

Day 17: Savor it. Where am I inviting slow in order to create sacred?

  1. shower time
  2. before bed
  3. painting sessions
  4. eating
  5. writing

Day 18: Do something differently. What tools will I use to amplify my alignment?

Desire Map Planner (by Danielle Laporte): I've never been one for a planner, if I wasn't in school and even then I had issues with most systems. The DM planner, just like the book it's inspired by is not most systems. And for this reason I ecstatically said yes to it being a new tool in my box. I'm using the daily (vs weekly) layout as a way to reaffirm my current habit of resetting and redirecting my energy on a daily basis. 

The Rituals for Living Dreambook (by The DragonTree): I felt called to explore this tool because of its emphasis of creating and cultivating rituals around not only planning but also for how it weaves and encourages a loving focus on doing things that are good for the Soul. I bought the weekly layout that does not include the planner because I've already got one. 

Alignment Games Notebook: As a student of Abraham Hicks and a fan of their book Ask and It is Given, I spend a lot of time, playing games suggested in this book. Depending how I feel I have about 3 to 5 favorites I revisit to sustain or regain my high vibin' energy. Because the rhythms of the games ebb and flow, this upcoming year I feel called to have it all in one place versus random pages inside other notebooks I use. 

Day 19: At the root. What am I seeking?

You'll hear me say this over and over. All I want is ease. And everything I do is in search of seeking to connect to it. To feel it. To live it out inside my decisions. Because it feels god to feel good. And when I feel good, good things happen. I didn't write the laws. I just live them ;)

And the world will continue to help me define my preferences, which only helps me ignite desire within me. And when I am clear and filled with ease, what I want is much easier to grows towards. Having a human experience makes contrast easy. And so here I am. Learning day by day how to go after what makes me feel good. And aspiring to use the peace it's given me to do my part on the planet we roam. Because happy people, make a happier, healthier planet. 

Day 20: let go or be dragged. what have I made peace with?

  1. The ebb and flow of friendship.
  2. My teen making mistakes does not mean I'm a bad parent or that his life is doomed.
  3. Not everyone is going to get it (the way I live my life or how) and that's MORE THAN OK.

Day 21: reap what you sow. What seasons am I looking forward to?

A season of connection: For me this is two fold. I'm so ready to know myself more intimately. To explore pleasure through play, movement, food, love, adventure, laughter and as many other ways as I can find it.

I'm also deeply curious and so ready to see what that looks like in terms of tribe building, especially in the realm of business. I am ready for deeper relationships with other entrepreneurial women. Women who will commit to me, as deeply as I will commit to them and inside that common heart space, nurture one another into our next level of living. 

A season of creation: In 2018 I will create. I will create with a pure devotion to expression. To expressing whatever needs to be expressed in whatever form it needs to be expressed, simply and only because it needs to be expressed. THIS WILL BE MY GREATEST INVITATION TO RISE. To dare deliberately and with great trust in the instrument I am. To love the process more than the product and show up ready to surrender to my Soul.

A season of receiving: For as far back as my story goes, I've been addicted to struggle in some way shape or form. Friends. Finances. Unrequited love. Hard and hustle are things I know all too well. And when things came with ease, it never lasted. Little did I know it's because the peace was unsettling. It's different now. I'm different now. Now, I know the truth. Now there's no story from my past that will distort my power inside the present moment. And in this moment, I am ready to receive (more consciously and consistently) all that I know I am (already) worthy of.

Day 22-31: mindset makeover. it's never over. you're never done. (Read: i took a break, here's what I learned)

On the night of the 22nd my family and I up and left on for our road trip to NYC 10 hours earlier than intended due to the inclement weather. And upon arrival, I proceeded to enjoy Christmas weekend with my loved ones, some of which I hadn't seen in years and others who had never broken bread together. IT WAS MAGIC. I intentionally left my laptop at home and knew there was a chance I wouldn't get to a computer for daily entries. And I was ok with that.

Which goes to show me how far I've come in my relationship to life, work, ease, and the myth of perfection.  And for that I am proud. Because I could easily flubbed and divided this one post into 9 separate entries as if it were written like that. But had I done that, It would've been from a place of fear and not wanting to be embarrassed or judged for "falling short" on my intention.  Things no one was thinking but me. 

I was exactly where I wanted to be, doing exactly what I wanted to do. It felt great to talk a break from dreaming up 2018 to just be right in the moment of where I was. FULLY. WITH ALL MY HEART AND ATTENTION.  

I came back more joyful than I left and clear on the FACT that since it's never over and I am never done, there's no real rush on any of it. Even the things that have the deepest, more sincere intentions. #ThisIsWhatFeelingFreeLooksLikeForMe