Listening Within

Today I am not looking backwards I am only looking forward. It is the only direction I am heading. I read something recently about how our pace is not consistent and that’s ok! Sometimes we’re going to charge ahead towards our goals and plans. Other times we will slowly and cautiously step forward. We may sprint, walk, or crawl – we may even rest and recover and that is important too. The only thing that matters is that we keep moving forward. 

I think that was the most meaningful piece for me to take in – that we are allowed to rest and recover. Particularly when things are hard – there are a lot of us feeling demoralized and down. We are allowed to be sad. It is important to take time to heal and hold ourselves and our loved ones close. This does not mean we are sitting this one out or staying silent on the issues that are most impactful and matter to us. It means we are caring for ourselves first and that is appropriate. 

When we are down or feeling tired we need rest. Self-care is a necessary responsibility. We will get knocked down in life – what matters is that we get back up. What helps us to carry on is the kindness and empathy we show to ourselves. 

Our progress is not measured by others. Let us always remember that we will never be criticized by people who are doing more than us. The people who are working on themselves, doing their own work, and showing up for their own journeys do not have time to critique us and our progress. Research shows that it is only those who are not proud of their own progress that have time to judge yours. 

We are accountable to no one but ourselves and as we authentically and generously listen to out inner voice and our inner calling we will move ahead. We are doing the good work that we were put on this planet to complete. Choosing ourselves and to stay focused on our own journey. Be gentle with you. Trust that you are made of stronger stuff than any of the challenges you may face. 

There’s a saying, “If God brings you to it she will bring you through it.” Trust that even if you are down for now you will follow your inner longing to get up and go forward toward whatever goals and dreams you hold in your heart. You already know where you’ve been – it’s so exciting to see where you’re going!

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Comparison as We Prepare for Re-Entry: AKA Brunch

Comparison is the theif of joy and I am going to do my best to remember this truth as I attend my first brunch with friends since the pandemic began this weekend. We are all finally vaccinated and ready! Despite scoffing at articles that preach the surge in spending on cosmetic procedures and the investments many of us are making into looking more youthful and attractive – I feel it. There is a twinge of desire to show off since we have been in lockdown. I am owning this feeling but I am also making a point to focus my attention on the intention of the gathering. 

The purpose of brunch is to connect and feel seen and supported by the people I love and who love me. This is not an opportunity to shame or show off. This is not a moment to “win.” The win is that we are all vaccinated. We can all safely eat at restaurants together, likely outside just to be sure. The win is that we can all be together without calculating the risk repeatedly or without fear that this gathering could be the last for some of us. 

Staying focused on the freeing and beautiful opportunity and not on whether and if we will be judged by our peers is focus of this event. If it isn’t then we are gathering with the wrong people or for the wrong reasons. Still, there is this feeling of wanting to impress. A tender little desire to show off and wear a face of make-up, or style my hair in a fashionable manner. Not as an attempt to draw attention or impress but to commemorate and celebrate what is a new event.

As we are going out in public, if you too want to dress up or appear stylish, let us agree to do it for ourselves. Let’s show up as we want to present ourselves. Let’s take care of ourselves and celebrate that we survived this pandemic. Let’s be there to support our friends who lost loved ones, who lost relationships, and many of us still uneasy with the prospect of even being in public. Mourning that we may perhaps have to return to the office or taking stock of friends we have lost to the disease. We are communing with our people and sharing what we have learned. If new sunglasses or a coordinated outfit will make me feel fabulous and more comfortable in my skin, I’m going to do it. But I am also going to focus my attention on what I am brining to this event. I am bringing my full self. I am not interested in portraying a character or an abstract version of myself that pretends like everything is fine. I am showing up raw, real, and empathetic. l am greeting my friends with open arms and a full heart. I am excited to see my friends. Excited to hug them and laugh together. I am grateful that I can do this. I am grateful that we have seemingly come out on the other side. There is much to celebrate and regardless of what is said or what has happened, we made it. WE did it! 

And with that in mind I will drink a mimosa, I will celebrate the victories, and I will cherish this moment. Because gratitude is what got me through this last year. The love and support I have shared with my friends is what supported me in this endeavor. And I don’t know about you, but that seems like enough. I don’t need to have my eyebrows waxed and my hair blown out to give and receive love. If I feel like styling I will, but i will not do it out of competition or a desire to see someone else feel less than or as if they cannot compete. I am doing it so I feel comfortable in my skin and so when I spill a little mimosa, no one will be able to see it – that’s what Lilly Pullitzer was designed for anyway. 

So cheers my friends! Welcome back to the real world! Let’s celebrate this moment with a little more kindness and gentleness for ourselves and for each other. Let us be grateful for where we are and how far we’ve come. Let us never forget that the reason we are friends is for what we have found inside one another that resonates not for what we appear like on the outside. Real deep lifelong friendship is a gift, I’m grateful I get to share it with these amazing women. I’m grateful for Brunch.