First I learned the power of pause… and what it meant to slow down, step back and not take action at times rather than trying to fill space with lots of things to do/busyness/frenetic energy. Because when I made that choice, the most mind-blowing and incredible things came in to the pause. I dreamed up a course, found a super lucrative client, and made room for my dream apartment to show up, all when I made time to pause in 2015. This year was all about learning to appreciate making ‘do nothing immediately' an option in my menu actions …. and I realized that the pause can reveal magical results.
Another thing I learned was how to develop a new cadence to how I work, live, and approach “achievement” … bringing my goals to life. This new rhythm is much more about ease and flow than I’ve hustle and push. I used to be all about ‘making shit happen’ and ‘powering through’ and working endlessly to bring my goal about. I find that work ethic is pretty typical of most us Type- A, high achieving folks .. especially in the entrepreneurial world. And yet in 2015 all of the insanely cool and exciting efforts I wanted to bring to life required a radically different way of going about them, one that is more mindful, that is grounded, that happens step-by-step (and not in a frenetic flurry of activity or forcing energy) … it’s much more attuned, with trust and faith that things will come together.
It was trust, faith and a more mindful cadence that allowed me to launch Plugged In (a 7-week course I designed and hosted in the spring of 2015, which was truly one of the most incredible and proud professional experiences I’ve had). It was a product of acting differently in a powerful way. I won’t lie, it scared the shit out of me at times because I realized that going slower and being more mindful (not being frenetic) felt like I couldn’t be in control of “making it happen” .. and then I realized that pushing energy was masking a lot of fear and doubt that things were going to come together in the end. Because a mindful cadence demands that you trust it will all come together. Yet it is the only way to make deeply soulful, marvelous, inspiring creations come to life.
Another part of 2016 was producing work that I was fully, bone-deep aligned with and proud of. Bringing Plugged In to life - designing it, executing it, finding people for the course, having them pay for it, connecting with the four amazing souls who committed to that journey with me - was out of this world. And when I completed the entire experience I just felt this inner smile that I had never experienced before. That’s fulfillment. I realized I hadn't created something that was this wholehearted, authentic, or rooted into the heart of what I dream of sharing with others ever before. I hadn’t gone that deep inside to source my creativity, because it’s vulnerable and shaky and very uncertain, and now that I have, it’s set the bar to a different level.
The final component from my 2015 was appreciating the power of baby steps: the notion that small steps can actually get you to where you want to go. This past year I had to learn that when I come up with these fantastical visions in my heart and mind (workshops, experiences I want to create, even the new apartment I moved into), I then need to zoom all the way down to the tiny steps I can get started on now. Otherwise the visions are so overwhelming I do nothing with them. And these steps by the way, feel way too small to get me to that grand vision - yet trusting that they will and continuing to take some kind of step forward each day is exactly what brought it all to life. I now know you can’t plan every detail, but you can show up for your dreams and put energy into moving them forward in any way you can..
A final important note about my learnings … at first, all these felt very uncertain that they would work in the real world. There was a lot of fear and doubt that showed up this year (because let’s be honest, we are human and our brains kick in all the time). That is why stepping in with slow, mindful steps rooted to intuition are vital. We can unleash the ideas we are thrilled and compelled by, the ones are resonating with us somewhere deep inside, if we choose a new way of going about them. If we slow down, step into the uncertainty of a vision through small, daily steps that we learn to trust and embrace what shows up along the way.
That is my wrap for 2015.
Now it's my job to walk my talk and use these insights in the new year … because at the end of the day life is always subtly showing me what I need in the journey, if I pay close attention, I have everything I need to know.
Here’s to a boundless, imaginative & delightful 2016 my friends!
I've been in the thick of transition this December, and on top of the 1,001 things 'to do' around the holidays, I have felt unsteady. It's compelling to rush through it all and get to January 1 so I can start again with 2016. Yet I know that's not making the most of this beautiful moment "in between."
A few weeks ago, my brilliant friend Christian Duell of Be Awesome in Melbourne, Australia had a chat about transitions, and we recorded our discussion. In it, we share our rituals around the new year, practices for staying in touch with ourselves throughout the process, and an approach to moving into transition with a different energy.
Have a listen below:
A few months ago, I woke up at 3pm to see the house across the alleyway from my apartment go up in flames. Two people died, firemen were injured, and the home flared into ashes. I was horrified. A mere 200 feet away from me - death, destruction, loss of life - and yet I was not physically harmed at all. I struggled to understand. And I processed the experience, I was struck by immense depth of how lucky I was to be safe, and how grateful to wake up the next morning with my life, my breath, and my own home fully intact.
Some days I use this thought to remind me that no matter the dramas or imperfections showing up in my life, I woke up and I am alive today. That is a great place to start.
Founder of Mind Into Matter and lover of coffee, color, and passport stamps.