Endings & Beginnings

 

Dear Strong Woman,

Endings are just as important as beginnings. 

I wanted to leave this chapter powerfully. Doors I’ve closed in the past were often slammed shut, locked, and turned away from with a flair of “Good riddance.” Whether it was a job or a relationship, my habit was to give until I was so empty that I blamed the job or relationship for my exhaustion. This created a lot of negativity and resentment, and made me feel like I had to escape in order to save myself. A vicious cycle. 

I broke that cycle this time around. When it came time to step away from my part time job, I did it because I wanted to, not because I needed to in order to protect my sanity. I protected my boundaries throughout my time working there so that the decision to leave was full of possibility and celebration rather than “See ya never!” And as I sit here on Day One of be being a full-time business owner, no longer working for someone else, it feels good to know I can look back on that chapter and smile rather than cringe.

Now that we’ve entered this final month of the year, you too may be thinking about endings and beginnings. Let this be a reminder that you don’t need a toxic environment to exist before you walk away from something. You also don’t need that goodbye to have a covert “go to hell” laced inside it.

Things can end without the drama.
Things can begin without us needing to push against something in the past.

As I sit here and play Misterwives’ SUPERBLOOM on repeat, and look towards December, towards 2021, and towards this next chapter in my life, I’m committed to showing up for all beginnings and endings with the same amount of joy, compassion, presence, grace, and strength.

🎼I deserve congratulations ‘cause I came out the other side.🎼

Expansion

(Originally written November 25, 2020.)

Dear Strong Woman,

I returned the keys to my little studio apartment on Monday, exactly one year after I moved into this precious space.

My breakthrough for 2020 was Expansion, and this tiny space became a rather literal stage.  My beau came down to spend a few days with me when the quarantine went info effect, and when a few days turned into a few weeks, then months, then indefinitely…I had to be conscious to let all of me take up space despite the close quarters.  This meant doing workouts in front of the tv he was watching and letting him see the frequent tears that come with my job. I consciously chose to take up space.

Cooking became a part of my usual routine rather than something I do sometimes when I want to impress others.  I’ve put on nearly 20 pounds this pandemic – again embracing Expansion in a literal sense – and it’s the lightest I’ve ever felt.  I put on weight from nourishing my body, eating regularly and intuitively for the first time in over a decade.  Turns out life is pretty great without the side of guilt and shame.  Food tastes even better, too. 

Leaving behind this apartment also coincides with me leaving behind my part time job.  Expansion showed up in my coaching practice, too…but the way in which it showed up is an important distinction:  I didn’t leave the job because my practice was booming.  I put in notice at the job to make space to create the booming practice.  I didn’t wait for Expansion to take place.  I cleared the path for it.

My favorite part of all of this?  I didn’t wait for January 1st.  I broke my lease to move out and up two months early. I’m leaving the job earlier than I said I would.  I did it because life is short, and my time clock said, “It’s time, sister.  In fact, you’re past due. How ‘bout now?”

What I want you to take away from this:
– The breakthrough you declare will show up in ways you won’t expect.
– Getting your ducks in a row first isn’t the only way to do life.
– You can start a new chapter at any given moment.

If you’d like support creating whatever the hell you want in your life, give your dreams the space to play in a conversation with me.  I’d love to help you create expansion in your life, too.

Everything is perfect

Dear Strong Woman,

 

You’re missing it.

 

You’re immeasurably gifted with sixth sense for what the world needs, but your anger at the fact there is a need at all is blinding you to the beauty the world already has.

 

It’s worked for you.

 

It’s how you’ve come to be a leader.  You find the problem and fix it. Find and fix. Find and fix.  But it keeps you looking for what’s wrong in the world, rather than seeing what is right.

 

You look at yourself this way, too.

 

That suitcase full of complaints is starting to get heavy.  You feel it’s effect on your body. In your heart.  And yet you’re attached to this bag of bricks.  You use them to build a wall between you and the ones who don’t get it, stacking them tall and wide to block your view of the problems.  

 

It also blocks your view of what’s possible.

 

This isn’t working for you anymore, sis!  Yes, you’re tired of being the one to stand up, speak out, get knocked down, and try again. And yet this is how you learn.  Success is not built on success.  It’s built on failure, frustration, catastrophe.

 

So trade your criticism for compassion.

 

You are exactly where you need to be, and everyone else is, too.  So b-r-e-a-t-h-e. If there is nothing to fix about where we are on the map, what action can you take from here?

 

Smile?

Explore?

Love yourself?

 

Guess what!  You can lead from this place, too.

 

You can make change without sacrificing your joy.

You can make an impact without giving up your peace.

 

You can love the world as is, while standing for what you know it can be.

 

Pause.  Take in the view.  

 

Everything is perfect.

SPEAK YOUR TRUTH

Dear Strong Woman,

When people ask you how you are doing, do you answer honestly or comfortably?

I’ll come clean: I’ve been telling half-truths, tip-toeing on the edge of my comfort zone for fear of sounding braggy or being labeled as inconsiderate.

The truth? Things are GOOD.

They’re so good I have been reluctant to say so because I know we are not all in the same boat, pandemic or not. But bringing attention to what’s happening with me feels…selfish.

And that’s because it is!…which is the point of this share. Creating the space to celebrate that I made some uncomfortable moves, some unreasonable declarations for my life, and am blooming in spite of the circumstances in front of us. Toot toot!

So here are my recent wins:
• I’m getting 8 hours of sleep on average for the first time in decades.
• Creating home-cooked meals on the regular has been cathartic. It is now and will continue to be my new normal.
• My business has doubled.
 • My pups are getting the love and attention I always wished I could give them, especially considering my recent hospital scare with Juno.
• I’ve done all of this the last six weeks while sharing my little studio apt with my new beau, and we have been belly laughing on the regular.

I created this.

I created this and skipping the celebration of it would take away the opportunity to be in awe of what became possible when I took responsibility for my life. That is some awesome power to get present to!

If you’re holding back from saying what’s true for you – good or bad! – notice how uncomfortable you’re choosing to remain in order to prevent someone else’s discomfort. Remember, sis – you are not required to shrink yourself down in order to put those around you at ease.

Speak your truth.

Both

Dear Strong Woman,

First of all, imma do both.
 
I bought this dress today as a symbolic representation of the problem with being me.
 
 
(And I’m not talking about the problem of what shoes to wear with this thing.)
 
What I really mean is that limiting belief I have that has me holding myself back; two characteristics of my personality that I think just can not exist at the same time; the two traits that, if I were to step into then both simultaneously, would likely create a lot of awesomeness in my life.
 
For me, it’s been a choice between being bold and embodying grace.
 
It shows up like me biting my tongue to keep the peace, and focusing the attention on others rather than on myself. Then my bold side retaliates and says the thing, only now with a hella hefty helping of resentment because I waited too long. It’s me quitting jobs, relationships, and projects because I shove down the inkling to have a bold conversation before it becomes more than I can handle. I escape, start fresh, and the cycle continues.
 
Today I’m choosing both. I’m choosing to TRUST that I can embody both grace and the audacity to do or say something that may be completely unreasonable, and not have the world – MY world – come tumbling down.
 
I can challenge a client from partnership, not make wrong.
I can give tough love to my brother from compassion, not disappointment.
I can share my take on the matter from communion, not proving.
I can stand my ground from love, not fear.
 
I can tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they enjoy the ride.
 
I saw all of that represented when I looked at myself in the mirror wearing this dress. I knew I had to buy it because the awareness had me second guessing myself. Can I pull this off? (“This” clearly meaning so much more than the dress.)
 
I can.
 
I can and I will.
 
 
 
 
 
But seriously, what shoes?