Stay Awake – A poem for those feeling big emotions

Inner voice painting

Last Friday I shared the most raw blog post I’ve ever published. I live alone and I had the realization that I hadn’t touched another living thing in two weeks and it would probably be several more weeks before I did touch another person.

I felt deeply for a few hours. And then I wrote about it. And the next morning I shared that blog here and on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

It was one of the most freeing and healing experiences I’ve ever had.

People popped up from all over the place saying the felt the same way I did and that they were touched by my story. And so many people offered to connect – it was amazing.

It’s also already the second most read post I’ve ever shared – and it’s only been out there for eight days.

Publishing that story of sadness and grief showed me that we can share hard feelings with people. You don’t have to be grateful and happy all the time – even if you are a grateful and happy person!

Right now, with so many ups and downs and uncertainties, it is so important to slow down and give yourself space to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. You don’t have to deny your emotions.

On Sunday I wrote a poem about diving into your feelings that I want to share with you today. I call it “Stay Awake.”

When you feel a crack inside of your soul,
Slow down, pry it open, dive into the hole.
Sink, swallow, and let your truth thrive,
This is where you are most alive.
Shed the layers that kept you from hearing your heart,
Take a moment and listen to your whole in the parts.
Find freedom in allowing your feelings to flow,
Nothing held back, you can let it all show.
Stay awake for the wonder, the chaos, the pain,
Stay awake for it all, let go of the shame.
See the light shining from deep in your soul,
Nothing to fix, you were already whole.
So when the going gets tough, let tough be your guide.
Dive into you’re your depths, that’s where magic resides.

The cracks in your soul are an invitation to slow down and feel. You are most alive when you allow your feelings to flow through you – sadness, anger, joy, wonder, and everything in between. This is where your magic resides 🙂

Three questions to ask yourself right now

Three questions to ask yourself right now

The answers to these questions is all you need to do right now.

This is not a time to try and be perfect.

If you’re entire definition of productivity has changed in the last ten days, that’s completely fine.

If you’re so tired that all you can do is the basics, that’s completely fine.

If you feel super busy, but you can’t figure out why because you’ve barely left the house, that’s completely fine.

If you’re sitting at home bored because you live alone and your entire social life has been cancelled and you genuinely want to use this time to dive into personal growth, be creative, write, read, workout, whatever you want to do – that’s also completely fine.

There isn’t any one right way to do this. Listen to yourself, to your true inner voice, to your core needs – and find the way that works for you.

Fulfilling what YOU need – no matter what anyone else thinks

adult-balloon-beautiful-1236678

Last week I cast my vote in the Minnesota primary and got an unexpected life lesson that had absolutely nothing to do with politics.

The voting started normally – I checked in, got my ballot, went to the cubby, and filled in the bubble to select my candidate. Then I took my ballot over to the scanner. That’s where I met the life lesson giver.

The woman manning the scanner was pushing 80 years old and perhaps the jolliest person I’ve ever seen. She made small talk as I submitted my ballot and I made small talk back.

And then, without any prelude or transition at all she said to me, “You know, I’m old enough that I just don’t care anymore. I know what I need.”

She wasn’t talking about voting or our government or anything having to do with politics.

She was talking about what SHE needed. On a personal, human level.

She needed to be around people. She needed the interaction.

She used to fulfill that need through teaching. Last week she fulfilled the need by volunteering to watch over the scanner – and probably chit-chatting with every voter like she did with me 🙂

I don’t know if this was a new realization that she could stop caring what other people thought and meet her own needs or if it’s something she’s been practicing for a long time.

Either way, I know with certainty you don’t have to wait until you’re 80 to unapologetically fulfill your needs.

You get to do it today, no matter what anyone else thinks.

You Are Whole On The Journey

Friendly Beaches, Tasmania, Australia

I’m seeing a TON of podcasts and emails right now about doing a deep dive not just into the last year, but the last DECADE. And then planning your big goals and dreams for the next year – or decade – of life.

I’m all about reflecting. And I’m all about big dreams. I have an entire day blocked off next week for reflection and strategic planning for 2020.

But I also know it’s easy to look back and instead of seeing what you’re proud of, you see all the places you feel behind. And then that feeling quadruples when you starting thinking about the future and some imaginary point when you’ll finally be have it all together and be complete.

I had a client recently tell me that she didn’t feel like she could rest until she was fully formed. Like she wasn’t already enough in this moment.

Have you ever felt like that? Like you just need the better job or a revenue level and then you will have made it. Or you need to get married. Or have kids. Or buy a house. Or lose 20 pounds.

Just one more thing and then you will be enough.

I’m here to say YOU ARE ALREADY ENOUGH.

You are both whole and constantly forming at the same time.

You are already amazing. And you are developing and learning every single day.

You have nothing to prove. You can stop hustling and take a breath.

You deserve to feel good on the journey – because it’s all a journey.

I’ll say it again. You are already enough.

Remember this as you reflect on the last year and dream your dreams for 2020.

Self Care During The Holidays

Candles - self care during the holidays

The holidays are supposed to be joyful, right?!? And they can be – or they can be total chaos.

Overachievers and perfectionists (which I KNOW many of you identify with!) have a special challenge during the holidays – taking perfectionism and applying it to holiday cheer.

You have to find the best gift for everyone, get out your glue gun to create the most perfect ugly Christmas sweater, decorate your house and tree and cookies to look like a Pinterest board, and put that stupid Elf On A Shelf in the most creative place each day (I’m not a parent, so maybe I shouldn’t comment on this, but I do not get Elf On A Shelf! It seems like just one more thing on the to-do list during an already busy time.)

It’s time to stop. You are not responsible for creating the perfect holiday.

But even if you know that logically, it can still be hard. And this is a busy time of year for most people even if they aren’t overachieving at holiday making.

Here are my top 3 tips for self-care during the holidays:

  • Say no. I’ve written about saying no many times. It’s because most of us need to do it WAY more. The holidays are no exception. You get to say no to a party invite or a cookie exchange or even a volunteer event. Your no is not a judgment on the person extending the invite or your relationship or the worthiness of the activity – it’s just a no.
  • Take 5 minutes of your day just for yourself (or more if that works for you!): December is actually a slow time of the year for me in my business, which means it’s a good time of year to start new habits. Before diving into work each morning, I’m spending a few minutes journaling. I light a candle and write. It’s the perfect start to the day. You can take a bath, sit quietly with your cup of coffee, or just breathe for a few minutes.
  • Choose present over perfect: I’m stealing this from a book title (one I haven’t actually read but had to buy because of the title and is now sitting on my shelf). You will be more joyful this holiday season if you are present. Throw perfection out the window. Enjoy right now. Love the people you’re with. Doing this will create the moments you wanted in the first place.