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6 “ugly cry” lessons of 2017 and a soundtrack for it all – Part 1

Happy first week of the New Year! Wow, was I ready to let go of the year and start actualizing the lessons of 2017. I know so many of you felt the same.

I’m grateful to have played a part in some really cool things that were created last year. But on the flipside, a good part of the year was spent doing really hard things, including a lot of ugly crying.

With lesson after lesson of letting go of resistance, and it was a perfect manifestation of exactly where we’re at right now: microcosms of the macrocosm.

I remember setting out with an intention of breaking through the pain of the past and living out loud in 2017, and today as I type this, I can say, this absolutely happened – just not the way I wanted it to.

Not the way I‘d envisioned.

I certainly wasn’t intending to break up with alcohol (a relationship that was literally killing me) or go through a romantic breakup at the same time over the latter half of the year, but I did. Yep, 2017 was messy, really fucking messy.

This was not at all what I had in mind this time last year, but it was pretty much a miracle, and all so perfect. Today I understand that my numbing through alcohol and toxic relationships were the two things really standing between me and my intention of living out loud.

The past year has also confirmed what “the hustle” is really about, from my perspective. Sometimes, when life doesn’t look like we want it to, the self-judgment starts. We feel we’re not doing enough or being enough, because maybe we feel like we’re not enough.

Real hustle is never about what you create on the outside, but what you’re creating on the inside – and then your follow-through in actualizing this essence into your life, into your relationships, and into your message.

This past year has prepared me to BE this conversation and space, for myself and other women. This space where we take care of ourselves, express ourselves, and celebrate.

I’m sharing this – first, for any of you who may be reading this and waiting to achieve perfection before you allow yourself to start creating your own path. It doesn’t take perfection. It takes your ability to show up with intention, get around the right people, and ruthless action. If you wrap this around service to others, it can be done even faster. That’s really about all it takes.

To have peace and be fulfilled though, we have to show up and receive the lessons each moment brings. And so as you read my personal 2017 journey, my hope is that you’ll see how you can act on some of these lessons this year and that you gain new awareness and appreciation for your own lessons.

1. We create from intention but it never looks like we anticipate.

This is the magic of manifestation, and it’s also what makes me throw “inside fits” when I’m not able to control the path to my intentions.

Many of us were tested in this way in the last year. We felt the jolt of January, the ache for times past, a drive to RESIST the forces of evil, and the uncertainty of the future.

I felt a fire in my belly next to this kind of energy, and I intended to live out loud in 2017. I intended to put the darkness of the past 6 years behind and fucking shine! I had no idea how it was happening, because though I couldn’t admit it then, I knew deep inside that no matter how high-functioning I was, following my morning meditation with a vodka (and then another and then another…), had to stop. After 6 years of this, it seemed like an impossibility. I saw no way out.

Except…

Thankfully, I also had self-awareness, and I was working with a track-record of showing up regardless of my personal setbacks, and seeing magic happen. I knew that ANYTHING was possible.

So I focused on bringing the energy of the collective to everything I touched. I was stepping back into the shoes of a bootstrapping content creator, collaborating with some incredible minds and I was feeling gooooooood. I had a knowing there would be much clarity through contrast for myself, and really, the world in 2017. I think we all did. Looking back though…Wow, I had no idea.

Today, I’m learning to let go of control on this journey, because it’s in the letting go that we discover our miracles. We are powerful manifestors who can create anything we choose, but we can do it in some pretty fucked ways. Accept that, accept your human-ness and stay open for the magic.

Girl Talk – Like This

 

2. Life teaches us to stand alone one way or another.

Our ability to truly connect with others grows from our ability to connect with ourselves.

A lot of the life I’ve lived so far has been experienced in creating my own way of doing it. Being independent, being a free-thinker and being a DOer. Yet, I’d always run away, FAST, from any moment alone with myself.

In February, my grandmother passed. She was the one person on this planet who I felt always accepted me unconditionally…even the parts of myself I hadn’t yet accepted.

She taught me to be independent, to be a self-starter, to take something you enjoy and build a life around it. She had a way of making me feel at “home” in my own path.

And then she was gone.

I’d never felt so alone.

Any ambition to spread a message was temporarily lost.

If I was moving forward, I could no longer deny that “home” only ever really existed within me, and I was the one keeping myself from it.

Bon Iver – Wash

 

 3. Healing of the past just happens when we create in our present.

All we have is this moment, and when we show up, healing is creating and creating is healing.

This was the big awareness of March.

Funny enough, it came through a deep dive into the past and lots of fun with my son (check out the video below).

Through the grieving of my grandmother, I decided to call a good friend and healer to schedule a shamanic breathwork session with her.

During the work, I experienced a past life regression that was so palpable I had to satisfy my logical mind with an all-nighter of research. What I found blew my mind, cold hard facts that my son and I are descended from the same group I had this vision about. (More on this in this March’s blog post for those interested.)

Suddenly, the meaning of the world got much bigger, and us…much smaller…unless we choose differently. This notion zipped me into the present moment where I was seeing my boy completely come into his own. And I realized that as parents, we had stepped out of primary roles of protecting and nurturing this amazing soul, to a space where, who his father and I are moment by moment, makes just as much or more of an imprint than any physical or emotional protection we could ever offer at this point.

We explored that as a family, we had fun with that. And healing…it happened.

Wild Things – Alessia Cara & Video – me:)

 

4. Connection is life force. We are not alone.

Elon Musk recently pointed out that we have more power than the president had 20 years ago, just with our smartphones. I really believe this is not just a by-product of the technology but of the ability to connect with other individuals with similar experiences, beliefs and values.

Social Media presents a double-edged sword. It can be easy to use social media to numb out the real world, but it’s also a massive connector.

I felt dreadfully alone in my romantic relationship. With no real connection, it was crumbling.

Yet, I was seeing connection everywhere else. We kicked off the SFM Tribe this month, a private mastermind of digital marketers committed to their journies of self-discovery and passing that energy on to others. 

Seeing the impact of this for the community had me fall in love again with the possibilities of the collaboration and connection for the people I work with every day who are looking to create their own paths.

We create these paths for self-sustainability and independence from someone else’s path, but we shouldn’t be doing it alone. While I was spreading this message with the WAKEUP team, teaching workshops and training others around this truth for business, I was also seeing that for myself. I would never stand a chance at accepting my whole self, without this same level of connection.

If there was a way forward, once again, it would be by surrounding myself with people who believe what I believe. Another layer of the “belief” onion was being peeled back for me.

Believer – Major Lazer

 

5. Embrace the darkness.

“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present” – Francis Bacon

We can get too good at compromising who we are. We do it for others, and we do it to maintain some sense of certainty and security.

It’s a journey to be able to stand in who we are, even in those moments where it seems small or insignificant. Or when the immediate outcome feels more desirable than the long game.

I was living a life where everything looked pretty good on the outside. I used “light” to mother my son and I used it to drive the vision of my life’s work each day. These ways of being have always been almost second nature to me.

And on the other hand, I also know how to run, really fast and really far when those shadow pieces come out. And if I feel like I can’t run, I turn into my own terrorist.

I woke up in May, 2017 to the fact that regardless of how many days I meditated, no matter how many books I read, or how many people I served, the frame I saw the world through felt like it was spiraling out of control. I was creating a lot on the outside but days on end of the loneliness and drinking were wearing me down and I was feeling the intense burn of the “Refusal of the Call”. I felt a yearning for a simpler way of living and an authentic sense of connection again… with myself and with others.

I knew deep down this would only happen through finally coming to terms with my own shit. By accepting that lessons come through our light and our darkness. It is simple, once we accept it.

Coldplay and the Chainsmokers – Something Just Like This

 

6. “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know“ – Pema Chodron

Ever notice that our shadow can manifest in our lives over and over again in the exact same way? It runs rogue when we don’t love on it, and this can make living feel like the movie Groundhog’s Day.

Post-divorce, I tried to work out my shadows through a series of unhealthy relationships (and then drank more because they were unhealthy, smart kid) instead of accepting those parts of myself. I had a pattern of choosing partners who weren’t really able to stand in their own power. This drove me crazy, but the truth was, I wasn’t standing in my own power either.

Instead, I was running. That’s what we do as humans. We try to compartmentalize. We shove down what’s not desirable to look at, OR we try to put it on someone else. And if you have any level of self-awareness – it’s terrorizing to watch yourself do this. It’s insane! But we’ll watch ourselves do this over and over again just so we don’t have to face fear.

I felt a pattern interrupt to all the darkness in June while in Toronto (again, community). I knew something had to change with my relationship to myself and to my partner at the time.

Issues – Julia Michaels

And with that, this is getting way too long. To be continued next week along with details on the podcast launch…

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