Welcome to Your Own University's "My Life on Purpose" blog tour. From January 1st through 10th, Y.O.U. partners are bringing you powerful stories, tips, tools, and advice to make 2015 a meaningful, purposeful year. My contribution is below and cross-posted at Your Own University.
In 2015, I invite you to become unmuted. No more settling for a life less than the one you require, desire, and deserve. No more whispering, holding back, or staying silent and small. No more wondering if you’re living a life of meaning, a life on purpose.
Welcome to The Holiday Sanity Blog Tour, featuring 20 days of tips, tools, techniques, and perspectives from me and 19 other fabulous women, all with LOVE and joy this holiday season.
I’m pumped to be a part of this tour! I'm so happy to connect with a group of like-minded coaches that have such a passion for helping others. When Megan Hale & Jenn Scalia shared their vision for this blog tour with me, I knew I wanted to be a part of it because all women can benefit from adding more nurturing, comfort, support, and love during the holidays!
Without further ado, here's my gift guide to support you in getting through your holiday season with ease, grace, and JOY.
A couple of years ago, I was living in NYC with a busy social life, great job, wonderful apartment, sex, beauty, youth… you know, all the things rom coms and TV shows are made of. It was like Friends, with a bit less coffee and way more alcohol.
So I felt guilty when I realized I was really fucking unhappy. I was angry, unfulfilled, lonely, resentful, and that was on good days. On bad days, I was depressed and wanted OUT! Out of my skin, out of my life, just plain OUT. I did the most drastic thing I could: quit my job and moved to Paris.
The growth and change was simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. I have come out of it mostly unscathed and about a million times happier, freer, fulfilled.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do the most drastic thing you can think of to get to this space.
When I first started working with writers, actors, coaches, and entrepreneurs on their brand and marketing strategy, my clients were worried about being too nice, too boring, too scattered, too cookie-cutter, too negative, too positive. I was met with simultaneous relief and speculation when I insisted, “All you need to do is be all of who you are. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Back then, authenticity was not yet jargon, an empty buzzword (which, as a sidenote, I am very sad this has happened). It was a challenge, a one-up on the competition, a chance to really shine.
The good news is, jargon or not, this is still true.
In July, I wrote about how important it is to honor your negative emotions. I said,
When we ignore our hurt, resentment, anger, despair, grief, guilt, etc. or hide it or shame it or pretend it doesn't exist or do anything other than process, feel, and engage with it, all we're doing is holding on to it for longer than we need to. That means it's living in your actual body.
Some of you were all, "Mmmkay, that sounds awesome! But how the heck do I process or engage with it?"
It's been about a month since you last heard from me. Did you miss me? Did you notice? (It's fine, I probably wouldn't have noticed.)
The calendar reminder to send out a newsletter for August 12th - which was also the day of my first solo show - was met in my head with a, "pshaw, yeah, okay, that's not happening." Then, before I knew it, two weeks flew by.
(The "right" thing to do in this situation is to ignore it or pretend it didn't happen because calling it out somehow makes it worse. Cuz, like, if you didn't even notice, I look like an idiot for pointing it out, right? Well... maybe. But if I'm committed to speaking my truth, my whole truth, and nothing but my truth, then I need to own it. Besides, when did I decide I was playing by the rules again? #nothappening)
Many of us grow up with models of struggle. Maybe your parents struggled financially. Maybe your grandparents were immigrants who struggled to find their identity in an overwhelming country. Maybe somebody in your family struggled through a health crisis. Maybe everyone around you was mostly fine but they struggled to find balance or happiness.
Consider this the next time you wonder why you haven't "made it" yet. Or why you aren't going after what you really want. Or why you have no idea what you want in the first place.
We all engage in self-sabotage. It can take the form of doubt, confusion, procrastination, self-induced overwhelm, resignation. There are oh so many reasons for this but I think one of the biggest is that we don't have enough models of success.
That One Time I Got Angry
(it wasn't pretty, but it felt good)
I don't have a whole lot to say in this week's newsletter (which is part of the reason it's a day late; we'll get to the other part in a bit). Everything I think of to say can be boiled down to this:
Honor your negative emotions.
That doesn't sound particularly pretty or nice or "right" or spiritual or what we've been taught, and yet, there it is.
To say that the last several weeks have been challenging for me would be a gross understatement. It hasn't been all bad; I'm actually happier now than I think I've ever been in my entire life (yes, seriously). But between Mercury Retrograde, my Saturn Return, and, like, life, I may have cried my weight in tears.
I was feeling particularly vulnerable yesterday... Well... I say "vulnerable" but that's sort of a mild way of saying "hopeless." I considered my options:
1) Ignore it and hope it goes away. (SPOILER ALERT #1: This never works.)
2) Sob on my couch.
3) Sob on my bed.
4) Sob on the rug, wishing it were softer so it didn't scratch my knees.
4) Sob while dancing around my apartment in my party dress.