unattached.

ever notice your addiction to technology? we sit attached and controlled by what exists outside of us. what exists and tells us data about us. i am addicted to these things and it has burnt me up and made me feel lonely and sad.. i decided august 31st it was time to learn to detach.

baby steps.

slowly, i turned off notifications. slowly i took off my watch. slowly i am becoming unattached. i finished two of the three books i’ve been reading and i’m closing in on the last.

life is beautifully and utterly amazing when we just turn off for a moment. even better, i am discovering me again. not who people think i am or who they want me to be, but me. i am remembering my purpose that i have been in search of for the past year. here i am. i am a work in progress, but i am ready to make things happen and i am ready to help you do the same.

stay tuned.

listen.

I have constantly tried to evolve and create strength out of some of my weaknesses. One being listening. I recently took several trainings in leadership and coaching and was always drawn to the component of listening that exists in each of these topics. I know I am someone who talks a lot. For real, if you’ve ever taken a class of mine you know this is true. It’s genetics, I swear. If you ever met my Grandma June or my Grandpa Morrie you knew why. I often heard the term “leaky lip” around them. I like most humans though, don’t pause and actually listen when other people are talking. I’m working on it.

The problem is, most of us have that issue, and most DON’T listen. We act as if we are, but instead we are thinking of what we’re going to say next, we think about what our beliefs are versus what the person is sharing as their beliefs, and so on (usually what’s for dinner is a distracting thought – is that just me?). What’s happening is we are not intentionally listening and we are not taking a moment to understand. We don’t have to agree.

My point is, we all need to be better listeners. Ironically enough I am writing this and listening to Gov Walz speak and he no joke just said “WE ALL NEED TO BE BETTER LISTENERS”.

I began writing this tonight because I was listening to his speech and reading the comments that kept popping up. We are in unprecedented times with COVID-19 and racial injustice. What I gather from most social media comments is people don’t listen – they are too busy just sitting in their own narrow thoughts and not understanding the full picture. People half listen and then use the keyboard to spark off a comment. I am seeing such divide on social media and it makes me sad. It makes me sad because so many choose to hide behind a keyboard and say things versus pausing, listening and understanding.

We all need to be better listeners, we all need to pause.

For the past 5 days I’ve journaled about my feelings on everything going on. I’ve wanted to blog about it, but I have felt so distracted by all the information pouring in, so unsure of how to feel, what to say and what to do.  I am fortunate enough that I was raised to treat all people as equals, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always done it or that it’s been easy. I know I will never understand as a white woman what a person of color goes through.  But I am here to listen, I am here to understand. I am here to stand up against injustice and fight for inclusion. I am human. I have a lot to learn. I am starting with listening.

choice.

Close your eyes and scan your physical body.

What are you feeling?

Where is there tension?

Are you breathing?

This has been my reoccurring conversation with myself during the closure of everything. I am usually surrounded by people, so this lockdown has been a struggle, because now, for the most part I am alone. It’s a blessing and a curse to sit here in my own mind, with my self and with “nothing” to do (I actually have plenty I can finally do that I have put off for so long).

Normally I am really good at putting on a smile and bringing light. I have always felt that God has put me here to do just that, and I can’t help but do it. But I am struggling just like the rest of you with adapting to change right now. It’s all unknown right? At first it was a week, then two, now a month. We are diving into a new world whether you have decided you believe that or not. On the other side of quarantine there will be lost jobs, financial stress, lives lost, relationships in shambles but then there will also be new bonds created, new ideas imagined, and new life.

What I have chose to journal about the last couple weeks is the ability to choose. You can choose the negative or you can choose the positive.

If you choose negativity: You are likely sitting in a place of judgement with things you can’t control. You are choosing to let the negative light bring you down. You are choosing to let it take over your mind, which ultimately takes over your body and your soul.

If you choose positivity: You are likely going to come out of this stronger, full of more light, more ideas, more compassion, more love. You’ll likely come out being a better version of you.

That’s easy to read and say “Yea! I’m going to do that!”. But it’s not as easy to just ‘do’. You have to practice everyday. Cut the bad habits, create the good ones. Only YOU can make the choice of how you will come out of this.

I woke up today feeling overwhelmed with everything. My Grandma moved into hospice last week and is on what are likely her final days and I can’t see her because of the pandemic and everything being on lockdown. It sucks. But today I cried, and finally I am feeling lighter.

So remember, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be angry right now. Write about it, let it out. Then write out how you will create something better, how you will fill your mind, body and soul with more nourishing, uplifting choices. Once you decide how you’ll fill yourself, share it and spread the love. Keep in mind though, what you post on social media is what fills other people’s cups. Be mindful that you can spread negative or positive. Choose to be positive and you just might change someones spirits today.

 

reminder.

Wow, what a reminder losing someone can be to appreciate all that life has to give. If you have flipped on a radio, TV or scrolled through social media you have seen the impact Kobe Bryant has made on the world. I am not a huge basketball fan in general (I was more so as a child), but I have always been a fan of great athletes of my childhood that continue to inspire and continue to give others hope. I have been reflecting on my life a lot in this new year and the loss of Kobe and his daughter for some reason hit me hard yesterday. I actually spent most of my afternoon crying. I don’t even know Kobe or his daughter or his family, but I cried. I almost didn’t go to hockey because I felt like I couldn’t pull myself together.  I am 34, single and I often times feel really f’ing lonely.  For some reason hearing about this tragic accident made me big time reflect on this constant feeling of being alone that I have silently been struggling with.  I’ve written about it before and I know I have great family great friends and an infinite amount of people I get to inspire daily through work, but yet I still feel alone. Just yesterday I wrote to a friend that I just need to fill my cup more. I give so much that maybe I just don’t do enough to give back to myself. I worry too much, I focus on the wrong things, I scroll too much, I waste time on nonsense.

So here it is, my focus is changing. I am not going to work on being more present, I am going to be more present. I am not going to focus on how short life is, I am going to focus on how precious life is. I am going to embrace the good, I am going to learn from the bad, I am going to appreciate all the moments. Today I was listening to the podcast ‘On Purpose’ with Jay Shetty. Julianne Hough was a guest on the podcast and she said “to have joy in life, you must also experience sorrow”. What a great reminder that what I am feeling right now is normal, we all go through it.  It’s how we choose to come out of it that really matters. Reminders, little ones daily help all of us get through the storm. If you needed the reminder, here it is. If you don’t, pray for those of us that do.

Life is good, even with the bumps in the road. Embrace and keep your head up. Remind yourself it will all be okay.

create.

In your life CREATE space to be alone. CREATE space to be together. CREATE space to open up and share the possibilities of connection.

I have for so long struggled to be alone. Loneliness and sadness constantly looms in this space. Its very uncomfortable. Now if you know me you’re saying WHAT?!? You, Lonely? Yes my world is FULL, more full than I can balance at times. In a world of these highs also comes the world of the lows. I know I am not the only one who sits here. But I am one to share openly about it. I discover that when I share, when I connect and when I create a space for others to become vulnerable, it becomes less lonely.

This year gave me the opportunity to explore and create space with many. (all over the world in fact).  Coming off an unexpected surgery into the new year I learned to appreciate my body more. How it heals, how it grows, and how it shares feedback with me. I have learned to appreciate my friendships, my family and those who surround me everyday. I have learned to not feel bad when I can’t spread myself in every direction to connect with every person. I have learned to create alone time. I have learned to create togetherness. I have learned to connect in a bigger way than ever before. I’ve also learned to let go of the things that don’t fill my cup.

I am learning who I am in a deeper way. I am finding my real self. In the loneliness, the sadness, the happiness, the connection, I am learning to balance. I am recognizing the light of my soul as so many books have been telling me to do. Recognizing I am never alone, but connected with the universe (yes I am picturing Betty White in The Proposal when I say that). But it’s true, I am accepting what is, and letting go of what isn’t.

I am far from perfect, heck I never ever plan to be perfect. I do however plan to be perfect in my individuality and I plan to use it and do the things that I have been sent to this earth to do. This new year is going to be huge. Do you feel it!?!

Every year I plan to blog more and every year I have every single intention to do so. Then enters the crazy busy life. This year I AM NOT going to blog more, I am going to live more. I am going to experience more. I am going to CREATE more. I hope you come along for the ride.

happy birthday dad.

1 year ago is the last time I spoke to my Dad. In December I decided to add things to the opposite of a “bucket list” and I created a “f*cket list”, and he was on it. For most of my life I have struggled with our relationship. He didn’t show up to games. He didn’t call me, I called him. He didn’t ask about my life, he told me about his new life. He made me feel bad that I didn’t spend time with him or reach out even though I was the only one that actually did. I’ve had friends like this too and those friends quickly pass through. This from your Dad, really hurts, and takes time to pass.

Today I woke up knowing it was his birthday and I was going to call, because, well,  that is what I do. But this past year I have had a birthday, I have celebrated holidays, I have had kick ass things happen in my life and he hasn’t reached out to learn about any of it or to wish me any amount of happiness.

Today I am deciding to be free, free of guilt that I have so long struggled with because of a relationship that has been very one sided.

Today I let go.

Happy Birthday Dad, I hope this next year is great for you, I really do.

I forgive you, but I am moving on. My life is filled with so much love, that is what we all deserve and that is all I’ve ever wanted.

Nonna

As we stood amidst history, a story of murder, the life of Julius Caesar, we learned of one of the best restaurants in Rome, Trattoria Der Pallaro, owned by Nonna and her family. It’s been around for over 100 years.

I was not feeling very well the night we should have had dinner here, but the thought of eating at Nonna’s sat with us overnight so we made sure it was in our plan the following day. It did not disappoint. The only thing that was disappointing was the people coming in wanting pizza, or a menu for that matter and leaving because at Nonna’s you get neither of these. What you get is a traditional 4 course Italian meal that Nonna is serving up and if your plate isn’t clean, you don’t move on (I can’t imagine leaving any of the delicious food on the plate anyway).

It started with Wine, red or white. That’s all the decision you have to make. Carafe of red it was, or at least how it started. Our server asked, “do you have to be anywhere?”, and we were so glad the answer was “No”. So was he.

Fennel, Lentils, mozzarella, fried cheese balls, fried meatballs, prosciutto and bread. That’s just how it started. When the first course was finished, we took a deep breath and awaited the arrival of our second course, pasta!

Two different flavors, red, white and a very empty plate at the end. I could have ate the white pasta over and over again. It reminds me a lot of my favorite pasta at Louis in St Paul.

Veal, some sort of spinach like green (if anyone knows what this is, we couldn’t understand) and home made potato chips rounded out course 3. Did I mention we moved to the white wine at this point?

A delicious dessert followed by several servings of limoncello finished up what was one of the best meals we had in Italy.

The experience was priceless. I am glad I was lucky enough to travel with two people that loved the adventure of trying new things. What if we would have not come back or said no because there is no pizza?

If you are going to Rome, go to Trattoria Der Pallaro. You will not be disappointed.

buy the ticket

You know when you read a book and it creates a dream or an adventure in your mind but you never really believe its going to happen?

And then the book turns into a movie and you see Julia Roberts twirl some pasta around her fork and she enjoys every last bite of food with no guilt whatsoever?

Okay okay I know it’s a movie, but seriously. Ever since I read the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert I’ve had a dream of making it to Italy. A slightly different path than her, and far less Italian in my vocabulary. But this is my journey, not hers.

I’m not on this adventure alone, but I am here with two of the people that get me the most. One who was by my side through one of the worst times of my life and one who scooped me up and became my best friend post that dark era.

We’ve been here for two days, 18 miles of walking, 2 pizzas (one all to myself), 5 pastas and countless glasses of red wine, white wine, Prosecco and espresso.

Venice is really as breathtaking as they say. Every direction you look is a postcard or a scene from a movie. It’s unbelievable.

This trip was set with zero expectations except to take a much needed “holiday” and do it in a place that teaches new culture, new adventure, new life. When you step outside your comfort zone of America and get lost in a place it can be the most magical and refreshing reset.

I always remember the line from Eat Pray Love when Luca Spaghetti is telling Liz that Americans don’t know how to relax and enjoy life. Only two days here and I can agree. We believe we have to earn that time, but we burn ourselves out to get there. Hence why this reset is so needed, I don’t want to burn out because I have found something in life that gives me life and gives me adventure and yes, I get to do it as my job! 🧡

So here we are, waking up in Venice, ready to depart for our next adventure. We hear the food in Bologna is a must and then off to Cinque Terre. This is our adventure and dang, it’s off to a great and beautiful start.

i should be sleeping

My alarm is set for 3:45am, which means I should be in bed. But I am sitting here thinking about life and the amazing opportunities I have had over the last couple years.
 
The past year alone I have made a connection with so many new people, but I’ve also reconnected with people that continue to make a huge impact in my life.
 
May 2017 I made one of the scariest decisions and left my full time stable job for adventure in dreamland. I was very lucky that I was living with my friends James & Sasha who so graciously allowed me to be a basement dweller for far longer than I expected. It allowed me to clean up some debt, travel to Bali for a month, and to figure out how to survive by just coaching. I say ‘just’ coaching and it makes me smirk, because every day I get presented with an opportunity to hopefully change someones life. 
It’s funny because I get told often about the impact I am making for people, but for me I feel like the one who is being impacted so very greatly by all of you. Sometimes it is hard to believe this is my job. There are ups and downs like any other job, but at the end of the day I get to teach people to get rid of self doubt, stop focusing on their flaws, get stronger, get faster and see the kick ass person they are.
After a day that felt like a full moon hit I am sitting here reminded that life is freaking awesome and we can choose to feel crappy when shit hits the fan, OR we can choose to grow from it and become stronger.

I am choosing growth today – and DANG I’m excited for February, because it puts me one step closer to my super scary BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL I’ve set for 2019. Stay Tuned.

The F*cket list

Oh yea, we all know about The Bucket List, and heck we all probably have one. A few weeks ago I was inspired to create a different kind of list.  I listened to Steph Gaudreau’s Podcast, Harder to Kill podcast (I listen weekly, you should too )  Her Fierce Love Friday Episode was about the “The Fucket list” .  It’s the anti-bucket list. Giving fewer F***’s about the crap that doesn’t matter. You know, the stuff that holds you back. We ALL have these things.

I’ve thought about this A LOT since I’ve listened. I’ve even listened again just to  continue the inspiration. I started the book that’s been sitting on my “to read pile” too. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck) by Mark Manson.  It’s all made me realize 2019 is going to be my year to let go and just move forward.

So here it goes – My “F*cket List” (or at least some of them) :

  1. Letting negative energy people bring me down.  Their bad energy is NOT mine and it was probably built up of a lifetime of crappy people poo pooing on them. My goal for the year is to just shine a little bit of brightness their way and maybe just maybe their energy will turn – or at least it won’t effect mine. Mark Manson actually talks about this in his book (mentioned above) saying that some people have nothing better to do than complain – they are bored otherwise because they aren’t putting anything more productive in their life. So to these people, BYE!
  2. Fear that people don’t care what I have to say. This has long been a fear of mine. It was instilled on me in a relationship I was in and has continued to haunt me for over 12 years. I truly believe it’s what has held me back from being a better, more committed blogger and it’s held me back from starting a podcast (p.s. this is one of my BIG goals for 2019). What I’ve realized though is that some people DO care, and some people DON’T care. You will ALWAYS have that no matter what, so I’m gonna say F it in 2019, be vulnerable and write.
  3. You ever feel down if someone doesn’t like you? Me too. I see this most in the never ending and somewhat depressing world of dating in your 30’s. Ughhh. It’s awful and really I truly want to say F it. If you don’t like me, no biggie, you aren’t my person and there is probably a reason we shouldn’t be in each others life. I mean this both in a relationship and friendship way. I’ve learned it’s okay to let go of some people and it’s made my life SO MUCH BETTER.  But heck, I’ve sure learned a lot from these stepping stones, and I’m continuing to learn. On my way home from Church today I was reflecting on the message “Imperfect Together” and the focus on developed intimacy. I realized I need create a more intimate relationship with the kick ass humans that already exist in my life and truly connect with the strangers I come across as I understand there is a deeper purpose to all these connections and it’s not just the “likes” on social media. That crap is leaving us in isolation. We need more.
  4. There is much more on my list, but the final one I want to share is this. I want to share and let go of one thing that has brought me down for much of my life. The relationship with, or lack there of, with my dad.  I have tears streaming down my face just writing it now, because yea it hurts, but I need to send it out and let it go.  I have constantly struggled with not feeling good enough when it comes to the relationship I’ve experienced with him. I know he loves me the way he knows best, but quite frankly he’s never been there for me and it has hurt me. I know he is a great father to the half and step siblings I have and a I’m sure a great husband to my step mom. But for me, I’ve just been lost or pushed to the side. I’ve tried to build something, but it feels one way so I just stopped. I keep saying I want to hold on because of my Grandma who is still living, but I’ve come to learn I can have a really solid relationship with her, without him. So here it is, in 2019 I am LETTING GO. I am moving on and I am embracing the loving, inspiring and most importantly involved family and friends I do have in my life.  If that’s you, THANK YOU. You’ve given me a reason to feel wanted, to feel loved and most importantly that there is not a thing wrong with me.

 

I hope if you have things to let go of that you too will write out a “F*cket list”. If it’s anything like mine you will feel lighter and ready to kick ass and be a better version of yourself in 2019!