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.

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.

SPLURGE

Dear Strong Woman,

Don’t cheat yourself when you treat yourself.

We really did this one right. We splurged on a nicer hotel that had both prime location and the most perfect pillows. We saw a Broadway show from mezzanine seats that were front and center. We had Thai food, cheesecake, and late night pizza without the guilt because we walked over 25K steps in 24 hours.

Less-is-more is an excellent concept to keep you grateful and present. Cheap-is-more is not the same thing. We could’ve spent less on the tickets, but we didn’t want to squint and strain to see the stage. We could’ve stayed in a cheaper hotel further away, but that would’ve meant a tighter schedule, a worse nights sleep, and yet another vacation leaving us wanting to take a vacation to recover.

I’m proud of how my money stories are evolving. A former version of me wouldn’t have been comfortable spending the extra bread. Current me defines “comfort” differently, prioritizing rest. Time. Space. I’m not at a point where I’m doing more than window shopping on Fifth Avenue, but I’m also not eating rice and beans in an effort to have my finances in order “one day.” I’m saving for tomorrow without cheating my choice to live now because life is short.

Who would’ve thought THIS mentality would help me crush a five-year debt pay-down goal in half the time?!

I’m not saying you have to do things the way we did, but I do hope you don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Take a stand for your worth; take responsibility of your experiences; take charge of how you do this thing called life;

And start living today.

HEALTH IS WEALTH

Dear Strong Woman,

Health is wealth.

This has been THE preach-worthy concept I’ve heard from three different business mediums this past week. (Yes, business…not fitness!)

  1. In his book High Performance Habits, Brendan Burchard shares data showing that 97% of high performers commit to working out.  97%.
  2. If you look at the #fivetothriive that govern the #Last90Days Challenge Rachel Hollis is currently leading, 3 of the 5 relate to health.
  3. My Strong Man shared with me an a-ha from his current read (David Osborne – Wealth Can’t Wait) where CEO of Virgin Records, Richard Branson, shared the secret to the success of his company: getting a workout in.

And for the Grand Slam of clues from the Universe regarding this, the homework assigned to me in this week’s business training was to schedule things into my calendar in a specific order. Guess what comes BEFORE doing anything for your business?

A workout!

Are you hearing this?! If you have career goals, financial goals, spiritual goals, lifestyle goals, mental goals, ANY goals…chances of you reaching those goals increase if you commit to your health FIRST.

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This isn’t rocket science, and yet we (yes, me included) often need something as unsubtle as a rocket launch to clue us in!

Houston, we have a strategy…and hope isn’t part of it.

Striving for success?  It’s time to sweat for it.

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ABLAZE

Dear Strong Woman,

Have you ever had that moment where you’re driving alone in your car, and the song that suddenly comes on the radio feels like it was written for you?

Or maybe you find yourself at church, actually listening to the sermon your pastor is giving (for once), and find that it was exactly what you needed to hear?

What about when your sitting in a room with 30,000 other people, both exhausted an invigorated after three full days of intense training, listening to woman at the top of your organization getting praised for the positive change she has brought to the world, and feel a bizarre futuristic sense of deja vu?

“Who would’ve thought a girl from Western Pennsylvania could have done all of this.”

WAIT.  I’M a girl from Western Pennsylvania, too!

From Spark to Wild Fire

I felt it – that spark – way back when I decided it was time for me to put myself first and encourage others to do the same by becoming an advocate of self-love.  I knew it was going to be my saving grace, as I couldn’t ask others to do what I was unwilling to do for myself. The example I strived to set was the answer to the problem I avoided by constantly kneeling at the alter of my to-do list.

I just didn’t know that such a tiny spark would eventually spread like wildfire.

Self-love has played a major role in transforming me from rundown workaholic to wellness warrior, so much so that the act of saying no to the shit I hate has allowed me to say yes to the things that have always set fire within my soul.  (Hence, this blog.)  In a way, I am becoming who I was always meant to be.

However, the most profound discovery thus far on this grand adventure has not been my light, but what happens when one chooses to take their light and light the candles of others.

And then put 30,000 of them under one roof.

It’s Lit

There is something so beautiful about a person whose energy introduces them before their words do. Get enough people like that together and you’ll find the air around you buzzing.

Buzzing with hope. With opportunity. But most importantly, with intention.

And isn’t that how we should be living every day?  In fearless pursuit of what sets our souls on fire?

*click*

It was then, there…in the middle of the fire, that I decided.

There is no such thing as having enough time.  You have to MAKE time.  Life never slows down. You are never ready.  As is the case with everything, you’ll figure it out as you go, and even then you’ll never have it all figured out. (Here’s a secret: no one ever does.)

But if you find that place where you are just a little more excited than you are afraid, that’s your magic moment.

That’s when you go for it.  That’s when you go all in.

I’ll leave you with this:

When it feels scary to jump, that’s exactly when you jump. Otherwise you end up staying in the same place your entire life.

And I don’t know about you…

But that’s not something I can do.

“Be here a year from now.”

Message received. 

Now this girl from Western Pennsylvania has some work to do.