FACTS

Dear Strong Woman,

Focus on the facts.

I had frustrating pool session this week. (Quick catch-up: I’ve been taking swimming lessons the past few weeks.  I signed up to do a triathlon with my Strong Man this September and I really don’t want to drown.  I also really want to keep dating him, which is why I’m having someone other than him teach me.)

Nothing was working.  I forgot everything I’d learned.  I was clunky in the water.  My breathing was out of wack.  I wanted to quit.  I considered cancelling my upcoming lesson due to my regress rather than progress.  The thought of actually completing the (open-water Atlantic Ocean) swim part of this race became more and more of a pipe dream in my head.

And then it hit me.

OF COURSE this swim was a shit show: I hadn’t been in the pool in five days.

I do this all the time…expect performance without putting in the practice. Last night we split a tray of Grand’s biscuits for dinner, and I still got pissed when I saw the scale moved in the opposite direction this morning.  What is that?!

I think as humans it’s natural for us to let our emotions drive the bus.  That’s why we often don’t do the work that’ll get us closer toward our goals – we don’t feel like it!  And when we don’t see any signs of progress, we let emotion make it a big friggin’ deal. 

It’s too hard.
I’ve just got a lot going on right now. 
Easy for YOU to say.
I’m just not wired that way. 
Those things don’t ever work for me. 

You don’t know me!

But if we focus only on the facts, on what IS rather than what we’re letting it all mean, it deflates that drama cloud.  We go from OH MY GOD LIFE IS SO HARD to Hmmm. How about that.

Shift the way you look at things and the things you look at change, right? Pinterest has a point, friends.

Our best decisions are often what we choose not to get involved with…like our own bullshit stories. 😉

Practice, practice, practice.

CLOSED

Dear Strong Woman,

This office is CLOSED.

I’ve had to get super intentional with setting boundaries lately. I’ve been dissecting some feelings around overwhelm and realize that this stems from what I allow to happen.

So I’m taking back my power.

The old story tells me I can’t achieve my goals and also be well-rested. The old story tells me there must be sacrifice.  As someone who tends to listen for what others need so as to feel valued and important by providing it, it’s automatic that the sacrifice comes in the form of self.  So when I see a blank space on my calendar I take that to mean I’m available to assist others.  Though am I really?

Case in point: writing this post in this very moment.  This writing session was something I planned to do because I saw a blank space on my calendar.  However, this blank space is coming after just completing an intense two days of training that stretched my mind, heart, and soul. Yes, I currently have the time to write, but do I have the mental capacity to create? Am I of any service to anyone right now if I’m having trouble thinking straight?

(rhetorical)

I let go of the thing I wanted to write about for you and went back into “the vault” in search of something I created in the past that might resonate.  I did this with you in mind (oh hey, old patterns), and then found this whole bit around knowing when to log off and power down. I read it and it hit me like a love note from myself to myself.  Funny how that happens!

So this whole post is actually a reminder from a former me – with a few added words from present me – encouraging you (okay, AND me) to declare a quitting time in service of creating space for yourself.   

Regardless of what isn’t finished, and regardless of what you said would get done – IT WILL BE OKAY. So far, the world hasn’t come to an end (like I always thought it would).

Givers need to set limits, because takers rarely do, and takers do this because you’ve taught them that it’s okay!

Your time and energy are sacred, friends.  Log off. Lights out. Rest up.

GO BIG

Dear Strong Woman,

It’s okay to be scared.  Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.

There is raw energy surrounding all the seeds being planted right now.  I can hear it humming…and the one theme that keeps coming to the surface is this:

Go BIG or go home.

But the problem when going big is that the fear that comes with doing so is a B-F-D!  No one wants to fail, but isn’t settling just another form of failure?  I mean, really.  If it isn’t everything you ever wanted, can you truly be happy?  And don’t try to tell yourself that ‘happy’ and ‘content’ are the same.

They’re NOT.

(And you know it.)

COURAGE

Getting everything you ever wanted depends on your response to the fear. Do you choose to hide behind it or harness it into something great?

“But what if I fall?”
“Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”

(Right??)

Think about all of the famous failures who continued to go big despite everyone telling them to go home:
– MJ was cut from his high school basketball team.
– Oprah was told she wasn’t fit for television.
– Walt Disney was told he lacked imagination and had no original ideas.
– Steve Jobs got fired from his own company.
– Edison was told he was too stupid to learn anything.
– The Beatles were told they had no future in show business.
– Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected by 27 different publishers.
– Lincoln lost 8 elections.

Do you think they weren’t afraid?

(Rhetorical…)

Everything they ever wanted was on the other side of fear.

And the same is true for you.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

In closing, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something – not.even.you.

Stop cutting yourself short and promise yourself your best.

Your best effort.
Your best life.
Your best  e v e r y t h i n g.

Because it isn’t a matter of going big or going home. Going big is what brings you home.  It’s what leads you to find who you are and your purpose in this world.

Your fear has the same magic as Dorothy’s ruby slippers.

So whether it takes 3 or 300…

Go click those heels, babe.

CHECK-IN

Dear Strong Woman,

I know 2017 has been a period of high highs and low lows.

I know you’re not where you wanted to be at this point. I know you’re tired.

But I know you are STRONG.

Just be patient, dear. Results take time. If you’re consistent, they will come.

Believe you deserve it and the universe will serve it.

Mindset yields confidence.
Confidence yields success.

But it doesn’t end there!

Success is not final.
Failure is not fatal.

It is the COURAGE to CONTINUE that counts.

You are too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, and way too determined to be defeated.

So dust off your shit-kickers, love.

We’ve got some goals to smash.

xoxo

 

[[Photo Credit: Anders Eliasson]]

LET IT GO

I’ve been a chronic planner for most of my life.  Taking charge and being in control of the what, where, and – most importantly – WHEN are an art form to me; all just pieces of a puzzle that, with the proper attention to detail, will fit exactly where I want them to fit. 

Fortunately (yes, fortunately), I learned that the blueprint I hold for my life is not only incomplete, but missing some key components…and I am likely looking at it upside down.  

We all have things that are in our control, but there is so much that just isn’t.  It takes strength to let go of the reigns and let things play out as they are meant to play out.

I hope this #strongwomanseries entry helps you loosen that grip and lessen your frustrations.  Thank you in advance for reading.

Dear Strong Woman,

Take a deep breath and let – it – GO.

It’s only the start of the week, but I’m sure you’re in need of the weekend. I’m sure you’ve had one thing after another dumped on your plate. I’m sure you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders.

I’m sure you’re FRUSTRATED.

But sometimes we get caught up in all of those desired outcomes – how we think things SHOULD be, how things SHOULD have unfolded, what we SHOULD have said – that we (honestly) get a little full of ourselves.

We forget there is a bigger plan.

We forget that we are just one piece of that plan.

We forget that there is something in the works, and we just haven’t been privy to all of that information yet.

Every situation – even the shittiest ones! – has a lesson for us. But if we stay PISSED off we also risk being CLOSED off and unable to receive that lesson.

And how does THAT serve us?

You know the answer, ladies…so I’ll leave you there. But I challenge you to find the JOY, even in the CRAP.

YOU control your weather.

Shine on.

Shine bright.