If you have endured tragedy, if your heart has been ripped apart, if you’ve been lower than you ever knew to be possible and you are still breathing, still waking, still thinking, then you are capable of dreaming. Not only are you capable of dreaming, you become capable of achieving greater than you ever before thought possible. When you have lost that which you didn’t think you could endure to lose and survived; you earn the antidote to failure. You confront Fear in the arena and you are offered the choice to become a Survivor if you choose…but only if you choose.
There’s a dead spot in my heart.
It’s like a dull wooden spot that has calcified. Like, The Chronicles of Narnia when the witch freezes over the characters and they turn to stone. My heart is hardened over, blue – but I’m still very much alive.
I am dead within being alive.
The thoughts of I wish never stop. I wish I would have put you in high school classes, I wish I would have gotten you a mentor. I wish I would have stayed home.
The wishing never stops, Jamison. It’s a wish that pushes up against the calcified portion of my heart and burns through like a firefly trapped in a glass jar; bumping, bumping, bumping against the colorless wall but never escaping its prison.
All My Love,
It’s 8:06pm. Breathe.
You really never know where life is going to take you. I spent a lot of today wishing I could drink myself into unfeeling grief. I wish I could tell you that I go through every day happy and joyful, with positive thoughts running through flocked meadows…but the reality is. I don’t. I work at it. I try to recognize when my head is going down. I spend a lot of time and money on therapy. I’ve walked through this past six months focusing on reframing and all that proven neuro-science brain reprogramming. This post isn’t to lessen the fact that what we believe creates our reality. This post is only to say that I am just like you and to be. Being me, flailing myself in front of you..tearing off all my exterior makes me feel known. That’s why I do it. It comforts me and I know sharing all my shit…comforts some of you.
I’ve spent a lot of time in conflicted thought over openly sharing who I am, all the good and the “bad” and balancing my business; part of which entails coaching entrepreneurs toward their life and business goals. I am a good coach. I am very good at what I do. My clients see great results, but the reality is, I am very human.
Sometimes all the positive thinking in the world can’t keep us from feeling the pain that’s part of being here.
Death affects us all.
Loss affects us all.
Depression affects us all.
So far since losing Jamison, I haven’t drowned myself in alcohol for days on end or looked for a tall tree (ok, not more than a couple times.)…by God’s grace. I share my life with you because I want you to know that you’re not alone. Actually, I want to know that I’m not alone. We all want to feel like we aren’t alone.
Losing a child hurts like hell. As a mother you feel like you failed. You feel like protecting and nurturing that child to adulthood…the only job you were entrusted with…you couldn’t do. When you couldn’t make your relationship work and you made choices you never thought you would; when things ended in a way you never expected. You feel alone. The reality though, is you’re not alone…and yeah, thank God, I’m not alone either.
It’s ok to depend on the people around us. We need them. Times in life like these teach us humility and dependence. Independence is a false sense of control. Codependence, no matter what our psychologists say, is necessary to our survival. Falling into someones arms is the best thing you can do sometimes. Let go. Stop being so strong. Don’t do alone.
All My Love,
I’m 40 today.
For a woman to age gracefully she has to have that je ne sais quoi; that I don’t care, come what may attitude.
Growing up and growing old takes guts. It takes even more guts to do it well.
I never thought I would be where I am at today. When I was 20 I didn’t think much about my future beyond marrying and having children. I liked to write, craft, travel and eat. That’s what The Husband and I did for 8 years in our 20′s. We drove to San Fransisco on $500 for 10 days, we stayed in dark parking lots. We had a lot fun and got fat, but that’s a different story.
Turning 40 is confusing. You feel like crap one moment and ecstatic the next. That must be why they say “Uh oh. You’re turning the big 4-0.” I read somewhere that 40 is the new 30, 80 is the new 60. Funny things happen as you grow old. Your boobs and rear get lower, your soul gets wiser, but your spirit doesn’t age.
You’re still you, inside there. Like Peter Pan.
I’m 40 today.
I get out of the shower, wipe the steam off the mirror and stare at the lines on my face, I take a deep breath and then let it out. Maybe I should visit the dermatologist, I wonder. Isn’t that what you do when you turn 40? They did start sending me email offers recently. How do they know that stuff?
A moment passes, I take a step back and dry off my body as I think about the story I’ve played a part of in it for the last 40 years.
Life is never what it should be, it’s what you make of it. There are no should’s. In life, we find ourselves in situations and circumstances we didn’t choose. When we’re kids we don’t know any different, we think we’re just like everyone else or rather that everyone else is like us. Somewhere around high-school, the lid blows off and we start to see our story from the outside of the box.
I glance at body and then at my floor. For a moment, I think about how far I am from where I wanted to be by now. My mind goes to all the things I haven’t yet accomplished.
- Write a book.
- Speak around the world and inspire others.
- Visit Africa. Work with sex traffiking victims.
- Be more consistent.
- Be more kind.
- Love more deeply.
- Be more thoughtful.
- Be more present.
But…it’s all too easy to get stuck in the be more’s do more’s. I know this because…
I’m 40 today.
- I thought at 40, I would have a big house in the suburbs – I do.
- I thought at 40, I would be married with a gaggle of children – I am.
- I thought at 40, I would be an entrepreneur – I am.
- I thought at 40, I would be a mentor and business coach – I am.
I thought at 40, I would have arrived; arrived at that glorious place called – who the hell knows – it’s wherever you think you’re going to arrive at in your 20s and 30s.
But, somewhere, around the middle of your 30′s, if you’re like me, you begin to come to the realization that you never really do arrive. You begin to understand that there isn’t some big Ah-Ha you’re missing that everyone else gets. You begin to see that our stories are just strings that extend from before time into eternity; strings that stretch out along the horizon. In reality, we’re all just wandering and stumbling forward along the path in our own storybooks – like Peter Pan.
My story is what I make of it; your story is what you make of it.
You and I would not be who we are if we had not traveled the darkness of our paths. We would not be who we are if we had not stood in the sunshine and burned our faces. We would not be who we are if the tears we cried did not moisten our cheeks. We would not be who we are if you did not fall down and scrape our knees and break our bones. We would not be who we are if our hearts themselves did not burst into the billion tiny pieces that scatter the pathway of our lives.
Our stories define us for better or for worse.
We get to choose. We get to make the choice to pick up each drop of pain and every ounce of joy from the journey and carefully place them in our backpacks to use for good. Or we get to choose to let them weigh us down. We get to choose to set our gaze, turn our faces toward the sun; toward the unknown; toward the future; choose to let every particle fuel us. Or not.
If you make the choice to let your pain fuel you then you have power. When you meet someone on the pathway that needs a hand – you have something to offer them. You can carefully tend their hurt with a bandage that once covered the scars you bear. You can caress the soul of the stranger with the hand of mercy you never had. You can choose to dig deeply into your past, pull out every gem leave them like sparkling dust in your wake.
This is life. It’s a rollercoaster in a amusement park – if you choose to see it that way. We all go through it, but the strong choose to own their brokenness. They embrace the ups as well as the downs. They accept the wounds of this life and choose to let the ashes of ruin ignite their fire. They take in every failure and through labor, they birth beauty.
You get to choose to let your story be your strength, to let it carry you into the unknown; to let it break bonds and unite hearts. Be strong. Let every bruise fuel your step; let every joy be your song.
I wipe the steam off the mirror once more and peer at my face. This time, I smile. I earned and love every single last of the damn lines that etch my face. They remind me of who I am. They remind me that…
Today, I am 40.
I love my life, I love myself. I am Precious. Loved. Miraculous. Beautiful. Capable. Wise. So are you.
Happy Birthday, Gorgeous.
All My Love,
It’s not rocket science, you know. We like to make it rocket science. But really, everything you need to know about marketing, running a profitable business and living a great life an eight year old can do.
We just forget how to do it. And then we have to learn it all over again.
We like to make things too complicated. Should I do this, should I do that? We get all caught up in the 9000 ideas we have in our heads instead of just doing what’s in front of us to do.
Writing is like that, art is like that…marketing is like that. It’s really just a monologue, just ask James Altucher.
It’s Being, Not Doing.
Someone asked me, “how do you get so much engagement on your Facebook feed or other posts?”
My answer is, “I write whatever comes to my mind.” Actually, I’m not that great at it. I’m working on getting better. The best writing (and thus marketing) is a endless stream of raw thoughts that people can connect to, because they are thinking the same thing but they haven’t yet found the courage to say them out loud. A writer just writes them. They write the sh#t we’re all thinking.
I used to be very afraid of what people thought of me. I lived inside of a prison that I put myself in. Inside that prison, I wrote all the shoulds and shouldn’ts of my life on the walls. I carved them over and over and over again until they were like etchings in the concrete walls. It was exhausting. For decades I did that and then, one day, I just became so tired that I couldn’t even lift up my hand to write anymore.
So I stopped.
I stopped writing about what I should do, because what we should do doesn’t matter as much as what we do. Who we should be doesn’t matter as much as who we are.
In Hebrew, the language is not like English. It’s very dynamic. Every word in Hebrew is underlaid with action. You don’t just lay down, you ARE lying down (picture stretching out your body, lengthening it on the couch). You don’t take the trash out, you are taking it out. It’s an interesting language, funny that it’s one of the most ancient being that it’s about Being instead of Doing.
That’s the key, you know; the key to gaining an audience, to making work that matters, to living a life that touches people.
The key is: Being not Doing
Kids do it all the time. They’re great marketers. They make up some Koolaid, take it to the curb and ask every single person who passes if they want some. They don’t think about how they should present the Koolaid. They just ask. They put the packet in the pitcher, stir in some sugar, get some cups, set up a table and sell.
They market organically without thinking – by being themselves. That’s how they make $10.23 in an hour on a blustery Tuesday. By thinking, “who wouldn’t want this Koolaid – it’s awesome. I’m awesome. I want to buy a pack of gum and a Snickers so I’ll offer this Koolaid I made to the world.”
And really, that’s all the more complicated it is.
Be don’t Do.
It works, ask my 8 year old.