Today is a Choice Point

Life is too short to waste being afraid, and far too fragile to leave room for wonder.

When we’re at the end of the line and there’s nothing left to do but wait for our last breath, we’re not going to fondly remember the moments where we held back and played it safe. We’re not going to be glad we never spoke our truth when it mattered most, or that we never told the people we cared for deeply how we truly felt. We’re not going to be glad that we did what we thought we “should” rather than following our hearts. Rather than taking risks, putting it all on the line, and living life full out.

No, we’re going to regret the words we never spoke and the ways we ignored our heart’s true callings. We’re going to wish we were braver and bolder, and that we showed up as fully as we could have. We’re going to want to go back and write a different story, one that’s colored with love and passion and purpose. We’re going to wonder what we were really afraid of, and how things could have been different and more fulfilling.

Most of us know this, yet we don’t really take it to heart, do we?

We hear the words, but they don’t register on a soul level. Or maybe they do, but it’s too uncomfortable for us to really let sink in, so we shake it off and pretend like we’re really honoring ourselves in the moment. That we’re doing the “right” thing, or that not everyone can follow their heart.

Yes, there are bills to pay and people we’re accountable to. There are things to take care of in the day to day of life that simply can’t be pushed aside. But there are also the things that are more important, and yet somehow we justify de-prioritizing them… because we’re scared or uncomfortable or just unsure of how to take action. Because we think there are more important things to focus on first.

But the truth is, life is too short to waste being afraid, and far too fragile to leave room for wonder.

Ever since I declared I wanted to be braver and bolder with this one life of mine, I’ve been presented with opportunity after opportunity to live up to this commitment for myself. Choice points between going after what I really want in this life and playing it safe. Between making assumptions that leave room for wonder, and being courageous enough to ask the hard questions and have the uncomfortable conversations.

I’ve put my heart on the line in order to bring closure to situations that were slow leaks of energy and focus. I’ve come face to face with old patterns and ways of hiding out so that I can step into more depth and connection. I’ve been honest about what’s not working for me so that I can invite in more of what does. I’ve challenged myself to create on a level I never have before, so I can step further into the work I’m here to do.

I’ve stopped allowed fear and discomfort dictate the trajectory of my life. Instead, I’ve chosen to lean into the uncomfortable, raw, hard spaces of life, love, and work so that I can truly say I lived my life as fully as possible when that last breath comes. So that I can be proud of the things I was brave enough to go after, and left with absolutely zero wonder and regret.

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There are always reasons why now isn’t the right time, or why we should continue doing what we’ve always done. Our mind’s can justify anything in any given direction, especially when it means keeping us “safe” (aka stuck).

So the question is, are you willing to settle for a life that’s guided by fear and leaves space for wonder and regret? Are you willing to stay stuck because getting uncomfortable seems too much to bear? Are you willing to spend your whole life wondering what could have been, simply because it was easier to stick with what you’re already doing?

Or are you willing to go after what your heart really desires and start taking the steps towards building a life or business or relationship that makes you feel alive? Are you willing to lay it all on the line so that someone can see and love you fully? Are you willing to risk rejection and failure to bring your dreams to life, to do the work you’re here to do?

This is a choice point. This message right here.

A big one… just like all the others.

You can choose to let this be another message where you nod your head (possibly with a little oomph even) in agreement, only to then continue on with a life or business or relationship that doesn’t light you up… because it’s easier, or it’s not good timing, or you “should” be doing whatever it is you’re doing. Or you can choose to lean into the uncomfortable and make a change.

And here’s the thing about change, it doesn’t have to be hugely disruptive or hard. It doesn’t mean totally uprooting yourself from everything and everyone you know, or walking out of the job that pays your bills. It means making a choice and taking a single step in a new direction. Maybe that step is big, or maybe it’s as tiny and powerful as admitting you’re not happy. But you have to take that step if you want to create changes. That first, tiny step… and today is a choice point.

So, I’ll say it again: This message right here, it’s a choice point.

Will you continue on letting fear dictate the trajectory of your life, or are you willing to do everything you can to eliminate wonder and regret? To ensure that when that last breath comes, you feel proud that you lived bravely and boldly and went after all that you wanted, success or failure?

It’s up to you, but I would nudge you to choose the latter… life is better when we make the choice to lean into fear and discomfort and eliminate wonder and regret. It’s better when we choose to be brave and bold. Sometimes it’s harder and more challenging, but it’s always worth it. Always.

What are you going to choose?

My Wish For You

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May you be brave enough to lean in and see what unfolds. To trust that things are going exactly as they should, and moving at exactly the right pace. To forgive those who hurt you, and send love and peace to the ones you’ve hurt. To fall in love with faith and find comfort in complete surrender. To relax into the flow and allow yourself to experience all life has to offer.

May you be brave enough to get vulnerable and lay it all on the table. So that someone can truly see you and meet you where you’re at. So that you can love, and be loved, as deeply as is humanly possible. So you can know, and be known, more fully than you could ever imagine. So that you leave nothing unsaid, and let those around you know how you truly feel.

May you be willing to trust yourself and your intuition completely. Even when everyone tells you to take another path or do something different. Even when it doesn’t make sense or is asking you to walk away from the people and things you’ve settled in comfortably with. Even when it’s scary. Even when it’s challenging. Even when — especially when — it’s hard.

May you be ready to lose your way from time to time, so that you can home to yourself more fully than ever before. So that you can peel away the layers that no longer serve you. May you be willing to let life and love and loss crack you open, time and time again. No matter how much it hurts and brings you to your knees. No matter how hard the wind gets knocked out of you.

May you be open to saying HELL YES to life, and to show up for each and every moment as fully as is possible. To regain your sense of childlike wonder and enthusiasm for adventure. To stare at the stars in awe and to see the magic in the mundane. May you live with gratitude and appreciation for every single moment that you get to be alive in this world.

This is my wish for you.

Because it’s easy to lose our way and settle into the day to day.

It’s easy to let the time slip by without a second thought. It’s easy to settle for less than what we desire or deserve, and to hide behind comfort. It’s easy to sit back and let life happen TO us, rather than giving it everything we have and going after exactly what we want.

It’s easy to let life kick you around and bring you down. Too easy. This living stuff is hard and challenging. It’s downright exhausting. But it’s also a beautiful blessing, filled with amazing people and so many opportunities to learn and grow.

May you be willing to see the miracles this week.

The Space Is Always Safe

I was staring into the fire thinking about death, naturally, when he asked me one of the questions I had most dreaded until that night.

The question about whether or not I’d lost someone close me, or the one about what happened with my last relationship. Not many people know that those questions are one and the same, and that having to answer them has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life.

When you ask me those questions, you’re asking me to share my greatest loss and tell you about an experience that completely shifted me to my core in a moment. You’re asking me to open a part of my heart that is the most tender and raw and unfiltered. Basically, you’re asking a whole lot more than you realize… and that’s made me a little unsteady at times, as I’m often uncertain how to respond.

Because, as you probably know, when we put ourselves out there in a real way, we risk getting rejected, ridiculed, or hurt. We risk being told there’s something wrong with us, or that we’re making other people uncomfortable. We risk feeling isolated and alone in a way that leaves us shattered.

“Don’t be afraid, the space is always safe.”

As I took a deep breath and did my little mental debate about how fully to answer the question, this thought popped into my head. A simple truth that calmed me on a deep, soul level, and invited me to just speak openly and honestly.

The space is always safe.

Even when they don’t ask questions that let you know they’re actually interested in what you have to say. Even when they don’t seem capable of holding space for the intensity of your range of emotions. Even when the story is uncomfortable and the pain is still fresh.

The space is always safe when you hold it fully for yourself.

I’ve learned from answering these questions honestly and working through my grief, you really do learn who’s willing to walk alongside you and hold your hand through the worst of it all when you show up truthfully. And sometimes people aren’t willing to do that. They’re not able or capable of holding that space for you. Or maybe they just don’t want to.

And that’s okay… because YOU are.

You are capable of holding space for all of yourself and allowing it to feel safe to be exactly where you are. You are capable of owning the truth of your experiences and journey, and making it more than okay to feel exactly how you feel in any moment. You are capable of having total love and compassion for the pain and missteps, as much as for the joy and successes.

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You are capable of creating a safe space for yourself to show up fully, regardless of who’s around and how they feel.

Does that mean it’s easy? No, but it’s possible.

The space is always safe when you have yourself on your side. When you don’t apologize for being who you are or for what you’ve done and experienced in your life. When you stand confidently and lovingly exactly where you are right now, no regrets or defensiveness. When you know that you’re whole and beautiful and complete even if the other person can’t (or won’t) stand alongside you and hold your hand as you walk forward.

We often put too much pressure and expectation on other people to make the space safe for us… but truth is, the space is always safe because you always have yourself. And while sometimes we can be our own worst enemies, we have the ability to be our own best friend, number one fan, and cheerleader… and that’s a choice we should all make sooner rather than later.

I’ve been through some hard experiences and I’ve made some really bad choices in my life. I’ve done things I’m not proud of, and things that make me look like a total fool. But I choose to hold a safe space for myself and own every part of who I am and where I’ve been… because life is better when we have ourselves on our side. And I’m learning that the more we own and love and hold space for the person we are in each moment, the more able and willing the people around us are.

The space is always safe.

Are you willing to be on your own side and hold a safe space for all of you to show up, no matter who else is around? How will you do that today?

Around Here

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I’m in Boulder and life is good.

I’m exhausted and worn out from all it took to get myself here, but I’m finally done with Thornton for good.

There have been hikes with my favorite friends, and the perfect trail that’s just a five minute walk from my door. Darts, dance parties well into the wee hours of the morning, and donuts with people who make me laugh so hard it hurts. There’s been learning to brew my own kombucha tea with friends that are now just minutes from me. Reading, writing, and writing some more… because I started writing a book that’s stretching my soul in ways I can’t even describe. Picking fresh strawberries, swinging kettle bells, walks around the park, lots of raccoons, and conversations with people who know me to my core. About love and loss and the ways we learn from one another in this life.

There have been tears. Many, many tears… because life is a beautiful, amazing disaster and sometimes that’s exhausting and overwhelming. Other times it’s so truly remarkable that I don’t have any other way to process the awesome people and experiences I get to have.

Then there’s the work I get to do, the work I feel so deeply called to do. Just earlier this week someone looked at my words and said to me, “you must have it all figured out.” And I laughed so hard it made me cry, because no, I definitely don’t have it all figured out. Not even close. So much of the work I do and the words I write are as much for me as for whoever else needs to hear them. Sometimes this work requires me to step up in ways I feel so far from ready for, and I’m forced to stretch and grow and show up more fully than in the past.

Sometimes this work asks so much of me that it brings me to tears, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yes, life is good. So very, very good.

The Common Way We Disconnect From Our Audience

My plea today: can we please stop writing off concepts and practices and beautiful opportunities for growing and changing simply because we’ve decided a word is overused?

“I cringe at the word purpose.”
“I hate when people use the word vulnerable, ugh.”
“I don’t even want to say engagement because it’s so overused.”

Chances are good you don’t hate the word, you hate the fact that it’s been overused as a marketing ploy or tool. I get it, I do… but so many people talk around important conversations and experiences because a word bothers them.

Yes, we’re all talking about purpose and passion and vulnerability and authenticity and engaging on a deeper level. We’re talking about it because it matters. Because it’s important. Will there be someone out there who’s using the word as a ploy to get you to read a thing that isn’t even related, sure. There are many someones doing that very thing right now, it’s just something that happens.

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The fastest way to become so “high level” in the work you do that you no longer connect with your audience is to become a semantics snob.

It’s easy to forget that a word and concept as simple and beautiful as vulnerability can be life changing for someone who’s been so lost behind a facade they’ve created that they don’t know who they are anymore.

It’s easy to forget that a word like engagement is a life line to the budding entrepreneurs of the world who want nothing more than to connect with and serve very specific individuals with very specific problems.

It’s easy to forget that a word like purpose can mean the difference between life and death, and finding meaning and joy in a life that’s otherwise bleak. A life that’s dark and dim and lacks any reason for continuing.

Yes, take the time to express these concepts and ideas in a way that feels really aligned for you and your work, but don’t become a snob. Don’t act like because you were writing about vulnerability before it became “mainstream” that it’s just too cliche and overused to continue. Don’t forget that you exist in a world of other entrepreneurs and marketers who say all these things regularly, but that your audience likely doesn’t… they probably still need to hear those words for the first time, and they need to understand the importance of the concept behind them.

Your audience needs you to meet them where they’re at, not talk over them.

We like to get creative with our words, using different terms for our website navigation and our concepts, because they feelsso overused to us. We don’t want to put “blog” on our menu, because that’s so boring and everyone has it… but will your audience really know that “showroom” is your portfolio, or that “love letters” is the contact page and not the blog or testimonials?

Don’t overuse industry terms and clever words on your site, content, or when you’re teaching and coaching. Meet your clients where they’re at. If they’ve already been in your sphere for some time, it might be okay to take a more creative, higher level, or industry termed approach. If not, remember what it was like the first time you learned about these seemingly “basic” concepts, and how powerful that experience likely was for you.

Meet them where they’re at, even if all your colleagues huff at the fact that you’re not more “clever” with your words. Remember that this is about serving the people who need you, not impressing the ones doing similar work.

If you’d like support figuring out how to best talk to and connect with your audience, book a 90-minute strategy session with me today!This is one of my favorite ways to support my clients, and it’s easier than you think. We’ll map out your content or process, and you’ll be able to walk away with a new and unique offering, unlike anything else out there. Feel free to contact me with questions.

It’s changed my life. It made me became clear on where I am heading with my career and now it’s all falling into place. I can see it going just the way I dreamed of. I’m full of ideas and creativity now and I can put those ideas into practice. I’ve got my fire back. I’m excited, happy and full of energy. Thank you.