What If It’s Not About Changing Your Vocabulary?

Over the years, I’ve talked a lot about changing our vocabulary in order to change our lives. How words carry energy and actual vibrations that have an effect on how we feel and what we can or cannot create for ourselves. I still believe this 100%. It’s how we manifest. It’s real and measurable.

Words, and the ways we choose to use them, are important.

That said, as I deepen my own spiritual practices and settle into the work I’m being called to do, I’m learning that simply changing our vocabulary is more of a “level one” approach to making positive changes. And while it’s effective and was hugely transformational for me when I began implementing it… it can also actively deny a side of us that’s as powerful, important, healthy, and necessary as our positivity is. It denies a side to life that is real and true and normal.

It denies the darkness.
It covers up the wounds.
It avoids the shadows.

It leaves us unbalanced and incomplete, because until we know how to feel safe inside the pockets of life that are darker and harder than most, we lack the strength and understanding to hold steady through them.

To expand inside of them. To become more healed and whole and bright because of them. We lack the ability to feel them all the way through and find the strength and joy and positivity that require the darkness and shadows to even exist.

We tuck the “bad” and “negative” words and emotions down inside our bodies, where they simmer and fester and metastasize into illness.

We smile and say, “things could be better,” when really we want to rip the photos of the ones who hurt us off the walls and stomp them into scraps as we scream.

We take a deep breath and say, “my life is very full right now,” instead of curling up in a mess of tears on the floor and admitting just how broken and worn and overwhelmed we feel by the tiniest aspects of the day.

We hold our chins up high and say, “God never gives us more than we can handle,” when really the weight of all that’s wrecking havoc on our hearts is eating at our insides, and we’re not sure we can make it through another day.


I’m finding that the next level, for me, has been about changing the energy behind the words, rather than banishing them from my vocabulary.

I’m learning that we can say “bad” and “negative” things from a place of love and acceptance. We can call ourselves damaged with pride and empowerment. We can admit we’re struggling with strength and grace. We can acknowledge that in the grand scheme, nothing really matters, with trust and faith and massive gratitude or enthusiasm for all that we have before us.

When we say things from a place of fear or negativity, it holds us prisoner and reinforces realities that don’t have to be tied to the words that slip from our mouths. When we say the same things from a place of love and trust and belief in a supportive, loving Universe, we expand into possibility, reinforcing realities that are so big and beautiful, we could never name them on our own.

I’m not ashamed to admit I’m damaged.
I’m not embarrassed to share that I’m struggling.
I’m not scared to tell you life is challenging me.
I’m not afraid to say that I’m being ripped to pieces.

Because I don’t believe those statements to be “bad” or “negative.”

I don’t believe that saying “damaged” means I’m broken in ways that make me unlovable or incapable of greatness. I don’t believe that saying “struggle” locks me into a constant state of stress and overwhelm. I don’t believe “life ripping me to pieces” is a terrible thing I will never overcome or be stronger because of. I don’t believe “challenge” is a thing to fear or avoid.

I have trust and faith.
I believe love is at the core of everything.
I know I’m being supported, always.

These are the beliefs that fuel my words and what I say about myself, my life, and my work. And I don’t feel that banishing the truth and realities of our situations is the answer to creating phenomenal lives… it’s only the answer to a temporary sense of peace and fulfillment.

Until we integrate the two and shift the energy at our core wholly and completely, we’re not living life fully expressed. We’re not able to create true alignment and show up powerfully and joyfully in every moment, no matter what. Instead we just hide behind polished words and pretty affirmations, which won’t create any positive changes unless the right energy is attached.

Shifting the energy is about self love and compassion. Acceptance of all the parts and energies that want to show up in the moment. Integration and an understanding that there is nothing wrong with the darkness or the hard emotions. Welcoming them with love and an open heart, and allowing them to move through you. Fully. Completely. Truthfully.

Take a moment to get honest… where are you covering up the truth with pretty words and fluffy affirmations? Where can you stand to be more transparent with how you really feel? How can you shift into this truth with love and acceptance, and trust that everything is perfect and as it should be?

When Your Work No Longer Resonates

Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of pulling down years of content from my website. Which is hard, because I know that content has helped thousands of people over all the years it’s sat on my blog. I know this because many sweet souls write in to tell me exactly how a blog post or video training has helped them in their life or relationships. And yet I want to pull it all down, simply because that older work no longer resonates anymore… for me.

There’s a funny thing that happens as we move forward in our lives and work: we change, we shift, we grow.

Go figure.

Life happens. Loss happens. Love comes along and wakes us up. Things force us into transformation. We’re asked to take a path we never planned to walk. We learn new things. We lose pieces of ourselves that never quite fit. We let go of hands that weren’t meant to hold ours for as long as they did.

We change… and suddenly, we begin to cringe when someone excitedly shares that they read X or watched Y. We feel imposter syndrome in a new and challenging way, because we’re staring at work and words and ways of being that were honest and true in the moment, but no longer fit.

It’s a little weird, I’m not going to lie.

All I know is that as I evolve—as this year continues to strip me to my core—I see that my work is more and more about integration between the light and dark. It’s about bringing two sides of me that are real and true and completely opposite into one space with a powerful new message.

This new work is all about meeting people where they’re at, deep in the muck of whatever life threw their way, and creating the space and safety for them to emerge as the person they’re here to be, doing work that lights their soul on fire. It’s about raw truth and transparency, and that my life is no longer just for me. It’s about service in way that scares me more than anything ever has.

It’s new.
It’s some of the old.
It’s different.
It’s some of the same.

And suddenly the words of the sweet little soul that started this business over four years ago feel empty and invalidating, despite being written and shared with a deep love and understanding. They feel incomplete and hollow, despite being filled with all the truths she knew about life and love and loss in the moment the words tumbled out. They feel rigid and overly polished, despite flowing freely and with a lot of openness at the time they came to be.

The words and the lessons feel foreign and void, because there’s so much more I’ve learned. So much more I want to say about all the things I’ve already said. There are new perspectives and ways of approaching topics. Ways of communicating that meet people where they’re at. Deep in the muck.

Case in point: I love my Awesome Life Tips.

I read them myself every morning (because they are divinely inspired and are as much for me as they are for you) and still hold a big vision for their role. But recently as I had a conversation about how my work and I are evolving, I pointed to my book and admitted with truth and hesitancy, “I love my tips, and they are real and true and needed… but in the depths of my grief this past winter, they would have done nothing for me.

The blogs that sit on my site in archives of years past would have done nothing for me. The videos that release when you subscribe would have done nothing for me. All I would have heard were words. Pretty, shiny, happy words that had no ability to tap in and touch my broken heart. To resonate inside the parts that hurt in order to help me find my footing and begin to heal.

Does that mean I don’t think they’re good and valuable? Not at all. I poured all I had to give into everything I’ve created… they’ve helped many people from around the world start making big shifts and changes in their lives, in the places they’re the most unhappy. But I evolved. I shifted. I grew. And my work and how I want to show up evolved and shifted and grew with me.

Life gave me an advanced skills class with a grief that took the wind straight from my body and rocked the ground beneath my feet. As soon as I felt like I’d “mastered” what I knew and how I taught it, life kicked me into the next level and forced me to grow even more. That growth has changed who I am, and if you’ve followed me for long, you know it’s changed how I write and work.

And that’s okay.
It’s perfect.
It’s as it should be.

It’s something I couldn’t see for many months, because the blur of my grief and the uncertainty of the new terrain was disorienting. We talk about outgrowing people and things… but there’s something to be said about outgrowing yourself.

Your work. Your ways of being and showing up. Shedding the old and make space for the new. Because if ever I find myself the same as I was six months or a year prior, I will know I’ve gotten too comfortable. I’ll know I’ve chosen safety and security and certainty over growth. I never want to stop choosing growth.


Growth is hard. It hurts like hell and sometimes it feels like you might not survive it. Sometimes it fees like you might actually die before you see the other side. It’s scary, yes… but it’s the point. It’s the only way to build a life and business and relationships that bring you joy at your core. It’s the only way to become who you’re here to be, to leave the mark you’re here to leave.

And while I haven’t made the decision to pull anything down just yet… my point is that it’s okay to outgrow yourself. It’s okay to look back at who you were with love, acknowledging the truth of what that person had to share and how they showed up, and have it not resonate even a little bit.

It’s okay.
It’s perfect.
It’s as it should be.

Are You Willing To Suffer For It?

“You have to show that you’re willing to suffer for what you want,” he said as we drove, “that’s the idea… are you willing to suffer for your prayers to be answered?”

It was late afternoon and we were preparing for our time at the sweat lodge that evening. We had given our prayers to the medicine man and were headed to the kitchen to prepare a feast as an offering to the Grandfathers who would not only receive, but hopefully answer them. “I feel like that’s what this year has been about for me,” I replied with a knowing nod. “Am I willing to lose everything in order to step into what’s next, am I willing to let it all go… and I am, I have been.”

We ask a lot.

We pray to God and the Universe for healing and guidance and all the things we think we need to be happy. We ask for money to rain from the sky so we can buy the stuff we want and pay the bills we’ve racked up over time. We plead for signs and support. We expect miracles, simply because we asked. Simply because we’re in need. Simply because we’re wanting.

But sometimes I think we need to stop and ask, what are we willing to give?

We like the happy, effortless stories. The ones where someone sits down to meditate for the first time and suddenly they attract all the money and clients and fame they desired. The ones where someone goes to the healer for a single session and miraculously recovers from whatever was threatening their life that very morning. The ones with ease and miracles.

There are plenty of people out there who will only focus on the happy stories, because that’s what sells. People who only want you to see the good and shiny parts of life and growth and change. The ones who believe that flow and divine support is only present and possible with polished positivity and big smiles.

I’m not that person.

I’m not that person because, in many ways, life has asked me to take the harder route. Life has asked me to struggle and face challenges, big and small and life altering. Life has asked me to walk into situations and relationships that left me shattered. Into losses which broke my heart in places that may never mend.

And because of the paths I’ve chosen over the years and the ways life has taken me out at the knees, I’m not interested in the happy, effortless stories… because anyone who tries to tell you that something worth having can only come with ease and positivity and fluffy mantras is doing you a disservice.

Sometimes, yes. Most of the time, no. Growth and change and things worth having take more than just happy thoughts and good vibrations.

The question is simple, though you may not like it: are you willing to suffer for it?

At the end of last year I chose a simple guiding word as a focus for the coming 12 months of my life, like I do every year. I chose the word expansion. I wanted to experience expansion from the core of who I was… to step more deeply into my truth and my purpose, and to create greater alignment in my work, my life, and my relationships.

With one simple word, I asked a lot.

Life, God, the Universe… something far greater than me immediately asked if I was willing to walk through what it would take to reach the kind of expansion I desired. It asked if I was willing to fall to my knees, to be ripped wide open from the depths of my soul, and to face all the things inside that had been holding me back.

This year flattened me before it even began. It’s been colored by more losses than I can count and more kinds of heartbreak than I can name. It ripped me and my relationships and my business to pieces. It stripped me to my core and forced me to rebuild from a place of pure truth, because there was nothing else left.

This year brought more expansion than I knew was possible.
Because I was willing to suffer for it. 

Before you get mad and say that I’m implying everyone must suffer and struggle and lose everything in order to have what they desire, hear me out. Sometimes life is going to ask you to struggle and suffer in ways that force you to grow more quickly than you ever have before. Sometimes it’s going to present you with harsh opportunities to learn and expand. Challenges and obstacles that teach you how to pivot and shift as you need. Life lessons that leave marks and bruises as they go.

This is a fact of living in the world.
A hard truth about life.


But sometimes life simply wants to know, are you willing to fall to your knees in total surrender? Are you willing to admit that you don’t have all the answers, and commit to what’s next with complete trust and faith? Are you willing to face what must die inside of you so that you can become the person you’re here to be, big or small?

Because while we think we’re asking for simple things, like a little bit of expansion, oftentimes we’re asking for more than we’re capable of handling in the moment we send up our prayer to the heavens. I don’t believe in a cruel God or a harsh Universe… I simply believe we have to be willing to walk through what’s required of us in order to grow into the person we need to be to have the things we desire. That’s it. Sometimes it’s messy. Sometimes it’s easy.

But the question still remains, in whatever capacity is asked of you in response to your prayers and requests: are you willing to suffer for it?

When There’s No More Map

This year has been the year where I really found my people.

I let go of hands that no longer fit, and settled into relationships with those who were once acquaintances and have now become my very best friends. People who get me on levels no one ever has.

I met the most amazing man, a sweet soul who was made for me and who I’m so excited to walk this life with. Who supports me and cares for me in ways that make me feel safe and loved and adored. A true partner.

Mentors who push me to be the best version of myself in my life and relationships and work, who inspire me to step it up. Who give me new tools and guide me when I’m stuck with love and wisdom.

Entrepreneurial friends who not only support me in building my tiny little online empire, but show up for me in ways no other friends ever have. Who give me their cars and spaces and time and resources.

I feel blessed. I feel supported. I feel loved.
And I’ve also never felt more alone.

Let me be clear… this isn’t another post about not belonging (something I’ve written about many, many times). This isn’t a post about relationships or finding your tribe. It’s not about learning to receive support (a huge lesson for me this year). Nope, it’s not about any of those things.

This is a post about the work.

The work that’s waiting to be birthed from within me. The work that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, I’m called to do in this life. The work that has taken me deeper and deeper into a space of the unknown. Into uncharted territory, where there are no maps.


I’m learning how necessary this part is.

The part with no map, where no one can really guide you, because no one’s ever been there. At least not in the way you plan to be. Because when you want to create change in the world and others — to have an impact — it often requires that you do something new and different. That you take the road less traveled. That you find your own voice and path and way of showing up.

And it’s lonely.
It’s scary.
It’s exhausting.

It feels like everyone’s having a rockin’ good time around the fire, planning to trek up the mountain together in the morning… and you’re being called away from the warmth and love and security of the people you know. The people who have the map and the knowledge. All because something inside of you says you need to go another way. Up the back side of the mountain in the middle of the night, by yourself, where it’s muddy and cold and there’s no clear path.

You can hear everyone laughing and carrying on, and every bone in your weary, cold body wants to go back to the fire. But something inside that you can’t explain keeps calling you up and away. It’s lonely and scary and exhausting. All you can do is hope that you make it out of this alive and whole and with some semblance of clarity, and that the people you love are waiting for you at the top.

Because, while there may be people who appear along the way with words of wisdom and smiles of hope, you are the only one who can make the journey up the back of this mountain with no trail.

A very close friend of mine spent the last year of his life in near isolation, working a ridiculous amount of hours, all while risking losing everything. Because it’s what the work asked of him. It’s what needed to happen for him to create something amazing, that will have a big impact in his industry, around something that’s meaningful to him. He was asked to step back and away, so that something could be birthed from within, for no other reason than it needed to be birthed.

I’ve read stories of entrepreneurs and change makers and authors who’ve basically had to do the same. Step back. Let everything and everyone fall away. Wander alone. Find the answers for themselves, with no map or mentor or clear path.

And as I’ve begun to step back and away, so I can walk the path that’s calling to me, I just want to admit how truly terrifying it is.

How truly isolating it can feel, no matter how many beautiful, brilliant souls surround you. Because you know that this journey is different from the rest, and no matter how many people try to give advice and guidance, they really have no idea what it takes. You are the only one who will be able to say what it takes to travel this path, but not until you’re done. Not until you’ve reached the top.

And there’s no telling if, or when, you’re going to reach it.

So you channel all the trust and faith your little heart can hold, and you keep on walking deeper into the darkness, mapping each step you take as you go. Working through obstacles as they come. Battling the demons and monsters that try to consume you. Clawing your way up and through something that makes no sense.

For no other reason than you absolutely must.

So whether you’re just beginning to hear the tiny whisper of a call, or you’re deep in the mud of your own journey, just know that I feel you. More than that, I honor you and your courage, because it takes a helluva lot of trust, faith, and courage to wander where there are no maps.

I’m Not Going To Tell You It Will Be Okay

Not because I don’t think it will be (because, okay, it will be). But because that’s not helpful to you where you’re standing right now. That’s a thing we say to each other when we can’t find any other words.

It will be fine. It will be okay. Everything will work out.

These are all real and true statements that apply to you, no matter where you stand. I have enough trust and faith for the both of us that everything you and I are walking through in this moment, we’re both going to come out the other side wiser and happier than we ever thought possible.

But the truth is, those words don’t help. Instead, they usually cut us on a level we didn’t know pleasant words of comfort had the ability to cut.

Because even if it’s true that it will be okay… it’s not okay right now, and sometimes that’s all we can see and feel and hear. Sometimes that’s all we can register inside our weary bodies.

It’s not okay that someone you loved is no longer living and breathing and giving their gifts and presence to this world. It’s not okay that everything is falling apart around you, that your world is imploding more and more every moment of every day. It’s not okay that the bank accounts are at zero, or possibly into the negative, with no sign of relief. It’s not okay that someone was nasty or cruel to you in ways that shattered your heart. It’s not okay that you’re exhausted to the point you can’t make it through a single day without curling into a sobbing ball on your kitchen floor. It’s not okay that you’re swimming in failure or shame or a grief like you’ve never known.

Whatever it is for you… it’s not okay right now.
And that, my friend, is more than okay.

I heard a beautiful talk by Megan Devine at World Domination Summit this past July. I watched this strong yet delicate woman tell a story of watching the man she loved die right in front of her. How she’s gone on to bear witness to the grief and suffering of many sweet souls who have found themselves face to face with loss. I cried a lot of tears during that talk, holding the hand of my best friend, and reliving my own loss alongside hers.

When she was done, someone turned to me and said, “I just didn’t buy her talk, it seemed like she was trying too hard.” To which I responded, “I think she spoke from a place of a pain we’ll never know with a whole lot of grace.” And that’s the thing, we don’t like to sit in the shit. It’s not our favorite. It makes us feel yucky and sad and all the things we’ve decided there’s no place for in our lives.

So we tell each other it will be okay… because we don’t know what else to say, and we don’t know how to climb into the shit with someone and just hold their hand while they cry or scream or rage it out.


I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be okay.

That everything is going to work out.
I’m not going to tell you it will be fine or to buck up.
That you’ve got this and you’ll see it soon.

Instead I’m going to tell you that I see your pain.

I understand how much it sucks right now. How your heart is heavy and your spirit is weary. How it’s taking everything you have just to get through the day. I see you. I feel you. I love you. I know… I get it, I really do. And I also know exactly how much willpower it takes to not punch someone in the face for telling you it will be okay. Especially when it feels like “being okay” is completely out of reach, no matter how hard you fight to find your footing and dig your way out of the darkness that’s nearly consuming you. I see your pain and I’m holding you in my heart with all the love I have to give. Because it’s okay that everything is not okay right now.

I’m going to tell you that you’re stronger than you know.

Because you are, my friend. You are powerful beyond measure whether you know it or not. You have purpose and a contribution for this world that only you can make. I know it doesn’t feel like it when all you can do is find a way to get yourself out of bed each morning, when the hours begin to weigh on your chest like a ton of bricks and breathing becomes more difficult the longer you’re forced to be awake and upright. But you’re doing it, love. It may not be at a rate or pace that you want, but you’re doing it. Just by getting out of bed and finding a way through the next moment that smacks you in the face. And you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for.

I’m going to tell you that trust and faith go a long way.

I’ve never tried to pretend that trust and faith are easy. They’re not. Not even a little bit. But they are all we have when nothing is okay and everything is falling apart. They are all we have to make it through to what’s next. I say this from a place of walking through some seriously dark life chapters.

Chapters filled with depression that nearly killed me by my own hand, with being so broke that I owed the bank money and was being threatened with losing my house. Chapters that ripped someone from my life in the most abrupt and tragic way, and that have torn everything known and stable and secure from my hands. Somewhere along the lines I found trust and faith, and I’ve never let go, regardless of the chaos around me. Trust and faith. It’s all we have, and they go a very long way when everything feels impossible.

I’m going to tell you that you’re not alone.

Even though I know it feels that way, like you’re the only person in the history of the world who has experienced this much loss and pain and struggle. Even the most happy and successful people have been through some shit, or are probably walking through their own storms right now.

You’re not alone. You do not have to do this alone. If ever there was a thing that lifted me out of the depths of grief, it was being reminding that I wasn’t alone. That I didn’t have to do this alone. You, my friend, are not alone.

I’m going to tell you that I love you.

Because I do. Because you’re here and you’re having a bad day. Because you’re human and that makes you beautiful and messy and all things lovable.

I love you.

And you’ve got this.

Since starting this program I am on my way to obtaining my bachelors degree, I have reinvested in my own business, and started really focusing on my fitness. I am much happier and much more productive; laziness is a thing of the past!