Tag Archives: Jeff Goins

The journey…six years later.

**I’ve been ruminating on this post for a few days. Stops and starts. It may not flow, but it’s what’s in my brain, stream of conscious**
Six years ago, I got married. October 21, 2007.
Yet it feels *so* much longer than six years.
My life then to my life now? Is simply unrecognizable. While dates that used to bear significance to ‘that’ life used to hit me more, with time, they become duller and duller and now, just a memory of a lifetime that has passed.
But what doesn’t become dull is rejoicing in where I am today, vs. where I was then. In embracing my journey. In realizing that every step I took, every decision I made, was made with intent, and was made with empowerment and choice.
I shaped this life. Me. Nobody else. I went for what I wanted, I changed and evolved and became the me I am today for nobody else but myself.
And that is something I will cherish and embrace forever.
And it is something that is always within me, this drive for more, bigger, better. Truthfully, this drive sometimes causes me angst, unrest, and restlessness. The want for more, always and my ongoing journey towards simplifying, doing more by doing less, and being content with being perfectly imperfect.
And I circle back to my beginnings, which I define as the day I started my journey alone, independently, for the first time in my life, back in 2008, just about this time of year…which is probably why I am thinking so much about my beginnings lately. Late October has felt like the ‘bewitching’ time of year for me (and truthfully, no pun intended), conjuring up the juxtaposition between then and now and it humbles me. It brings me back to that drive, that motivation and that want for the best, always. In everything I do, every step I take, every barre n9ne class I teach, every press release I write, every action I take in all walks of life, from my marriage, to my job, to my passion (b9, of course!).
Which brings me to this…some more beautiful and striking words from Jeff Goins, a writer that strikes what I am thinking just right…in the below, and generally, in any of the blogs and articles I’ve read from him lately (see my post on the Slow Down Challenge here).
THIS.
When we embrace the journey and don’t just live for the destination, we discover a deeper life.
And this. Take a read of these…and I am pretty sure one, if not all of these, will resonate. To the next six years, beyond and further. To the journey.

10 lessons we learn from journeys

Journeys are important — both physical ones as well as figurative ones. They help remind us that we are not done yet, that life itself is a trip that we can make the most of or completely miss the point.So here are 10 brief lessons I learned from my trip. Maybe they’ll help you on whatever journey you’re taking:
  1. No journey is perfect. Take one, anyway. You will grow regardless.
  2. The destination is never quite what we expect. But without one, we wander aimlessly. So having a final arrival point is important if for no other reason than it gets you started.
  3. Only when we let go of what we think we deserve can we really enjoy what we have.
  4. Inspiration is everywhere. You just need eyes to see it. Yes, even in cornfields.
  5. The hard part isn’t getting from point A to B. It’s paying attention to what’s around you before you miss it.
  6. A journey is less meaningful when traveled alone. We need community to make the most of all experiences, even if that means finding it along the way.
  7. Art helps us process. A good book or great record not only helps pass the time; it gives language to an experience you might otherwise not be able to describe.
  8. Gratitude makes any experience better. It’s easy to want to be home or some place else but we have no control over that. Turns out all we can control is our attitude. So why not be thankful?
  9. The best journeys have a purpose. But expect to be surprised and even see that purpose change.
  10. If you accomplish nothing, see nothing, even feel nothing, take heart. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve changed. And this is reason enough to continue traveling.
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On humbleness, respect, and reality checks.

Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve gotten hints, reminders, little lessons in humbleness and it’s really made me stop and think, stop and change, stop and shift.

It reminds me that I’m not perfect. That my journey is not over, it’s lifelong.

For example, my fitness journey? Of the barre n9ne variety? It continues. Practicing mindfulness in eating. It takes committment. It’s not a sprint. Ever.  Practicing ‘smarter not harder’ is also ongoing. I can’t cram it all in, but what I do know is whatever ‘me’ workouts I get a week, go big or go home.

Don’t half ass a run.

Don’t take a class but zone out…zone IN.

Focus. Drink it all in. Learn more (because there is always, always, ALWAYS more to learn, even after almost two years instructing). I feel invigorated in this new season – literally and figuratively – as I set my own mini goals, to continue growing, refining and challenging myself, my body. As an instructor  at barre n9ne, to continue bettering my abilities, and being humbled by the knowledge that I can always always always improve. And that I want to always improve. Strive for better. Strive for stronger. Not only a passion but a committment. 

It reminds me that respect, trust and honor are three traits never to be taken lightly, or for granted.

These things take time to build, and an instant to be crushed instantly. This weekend, I mourn that this was taken from me, in a friendship I very much respected, trusted and honored, and as much as it saddens, shocks and upsets me very deeply, I know that sometimes, its irreparable…once the damage has been done, there’s truly no going back. And I realize how much I value those traits and how much I value the friends that do respect, trust and honor. That commit to a friendship 10000%, and it is making me reach out to those friends most right now. That I value more than maybe they even know.

It’s felt like I have gotten a few of these lessons in humbleness, respect, and reality checks this week, and I sit here, readying myself for the week ahead, I feel renewed. Clear-minded. Ready. Leave it all behind, and move forward, embrace the journey, the good and the not so good, because it all shapes you, it makes you better, and it gives you perspective.

As I read Jeff Goins’ latest newsletter (the genius behind the Slow Down Challenge), my jumble of thoughts here came together…he writes:

A thought came to mind. In the pursuit of our dreams, maybe we need to remember two things:

How far we’ve come.

How far we still have to go.

One makes us grateful, and the other makes us humble. And I think we need both those things in order to do great work without going crazy.

Without humility, we’ll become arrogant or settle for less than our best. And without gratitude, we’ll never be content and make those around us miserable.

The best art comes from a place of both contentment and unrest. It’s a paradox. We need to always be striving for better and at the same time resting in who we are, not just what we do.

As you attempt greatness today (whatever that looks like for you), I hope you’ll consider this. I hope you’ll take note of how far you’ve come and still how far you’ve yet to go.

I don’t think I could have put it any better if I tried. Attempt greatness today, practice gratitude, embrace humility.

Show up to life, and then stay there.

As I continue finding my way, learning my definition of balance, priorities and imperfection, I am continually amazed at some of the words I’ve been reading by the creator of the “Slow Down Challenge,’ Jeff Goins, so much so, that I am definitely in need of reading his book, “The In-Between,” because just the snippets I am seeing so far have blown me away.  My beautiful blend Lindsay sent me this read today and it hit every single thing I have been working on, struggling with and in some cases, railing against.

I am sharing snippets here, with my thoughts in bold. And? Watch the video at the end, it’ll blow you away.

Only recently, I have learned how pointless the pursuit of perfection is. All these seemingly ordinary moments, the less-than-remarkable times and things, are all we have. How do embrace where we are, no matter where that is?

We must let go. There is great freedom in acknowledging we can’t control every detail. Because a mess-less life is no life at all.

A mess-less life is no life at all. Wow. And all these years, I’ve focused on perspective, and embracing what life has thrown at me, embracing divorce, and starting from ground zero on almost every aspect of my life, yet, I have somehow lost that, just a little bit, in my inability to let go of control and embrace ‘mess’ more, and perfection far, far less. 

We must learn to be present. It means showing up to life and staying there, even when it feels normal. I’ve realized that there are no big moments, no huge epiphanies. There is only now and what we choose do with it.

Show up to life and stay there. No matter what happens, that’s really what it’s about, isn’t it? Stay in the life you’re in now, embrace the busy, embrace change, embrace new, scary, hard, different. Don’t rail against it. Our lives are here, right now, so focus on that, not tomorrow, not next week, or even next year. Because when that’s all you do, you’re not living. You’re yearning.

In other words, this is as good as it gets. Right here, right now — in the middle of the mess. This is perfection, if we choose to see it that way.

This life IS as good as it gets, and despite the noise surrounding us, the doubts, the imperfections,  the challenges, the struggles, it’s how we handle it, embrace it, use it as a catalyst for change that matters Perfection…redefined.

On simplicity redefined and slowing down.

In my new mantra to learn to let go and embrace the ‘imperfection” that I am defining myself and my life of late, I am also redefining simplicity. After months and months of feeling overplanned, too busy and not even the ‘good busy’ kind of busy, I had it. I declared getting back to basics and uh, simplicity.

And paring back how planned I’d become, and prioritizing plans and making a pact with M that we always run plans that involve each other by each other before committing (this was key – we kept planning on top of each other and it was frustrating! seems like a no-duh, but clearly we were not doing it, or doing it enough!) really really REALLY helped. I felt less stressed, less rushy, and happier, generally.

But this weekend, in Maine for ‘#lakation13’ part two, I came upon a realization that my definition of simplicity was again changing. Well, let me rephrase that. My definition of simplicity and my feelings towards ‘busyness’ have shifted a bit. I go into this next ‘season’ of my life with the believe that simplicity means paring back my commitments but it also means prioritizing my commitments to those that matter  most to me…and that may again feel like a ‘no-duh’ statement, but I was feeling myself shifting towards ‘planless’ er, planning to mean no plans. And that’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to just make sure whatever I do, I do it because I want to, and if that means it makes a certain timeframe busier, with all of the other things that I may already have on my plate – work travel, meetings, barre n9ne classes or events, things like that, that I don’t shy away from plans with someone I care about ‘just’ to not be busy. That feels silly and somewhat counter-intuitive. Yes, there are times to say ‘no’ because there simply isn’t enough time in the day, but to almost automatically say no because you have something else going on that day, weekend or week? Not the same thing.

This realization came in part because of the Slow Down Challenge that came at just the right time. A challenge my beautiful friend Lindsay forwarded to me, and wow, was it right on. Every single daily message and challenge has been bang-on. It’s as if the writer – Jeff Goins – is writing this just for me. Legit. Every work.

For example? Multitasking and jamming everythingthatcouldpossiblyfitintomydayandbyGodiwilltrytofititin.

Hi – that’s totally me. And it’s robbing ME of the goodness that lies in focusing on the here and now, the conversation I am having, the meeting I am in, the quiet time I am savoring with M after work. It’s something I am working on, but it’s also something that is easy to let slide when life gets busy.

But that shouldn’t be an excuse and that is why I really just need to keep focusing on that. The here and now. Not this, that and the next.  Right. Now.

Simplicity

…yet prioritizing.

Life

….yet embracing ‘good’ busy.

Slowing down

…focusing on the here and now.

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