Running Forward Toward Fear

I have been cruising forward toward goals and accomplishments. Pushing myself to complete tasks that have long been on my list but that I have yet to organize and arrange. These are big long term goals and my momentum has been building but I was feeling a bit rushed, even though I’m prepared to step forward I found myself feeling a like if I kept moving at that pace that energy would devolve from momentum into overwhelm. 

I have started reading Brenee Brown’s book, Atlas of the Heart, and in it she describes a difference between anticipation and anxiety. There is a distinction between our awareness that we have a lot to accomplish and the belief that we can accomplish all we want or have the necessary bandwidth to give to the project. We devolve into overwhelm when we are presented with a variety of opportunities but we do not feel that we are able to bring the appropriate energy or skills to their accomplishment. On weeks when my agenda is full I get into that overwhelm zone but I’ve never deliberately channeled my energy to get out of it – I didn’t know I could!

Therefore, for the first time today I took notice that I was feeling a little off kilter. I intentionally reigned in that energy so that I could locate my center of gravity, find where I am comfortable and process from a place of strength. This is totally new for me. Usually once I start tottering there needs to be a meltdown or freak-out before I find my way back to calm. But today I recognized that I was flying, feeling fast and loose and not in a good way. I felt those feelings and instead of being paralyzed by them or flinging myself even further into that unwieldy energy I stepped back. I did a meditation on being grounded and centered.

I will still pursue my goals and I remain intimidated by them – I love the quote that if your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough. And right now the goals I am pursuing are scary for me. I’m hoping to grow this blog and this site – I want to create the community, sites, and works that we all deserve to enjoy. I want this site to be a welcoming home and a place where you can come to sit down with a cup of tea and rest, feel nourished, and centered before you return to whatever amazing things you do in the world. In order to give all of us this gift I am stepping out of my comfort zone – I don’t know a lot about website design, or starting a business, but I do know how to write and so I am writing out my fear. Because it is real fear – fear of failure or of making the wrong choice and wasting time and money. It is fear of doing things incorrectly. It is fear of judgement and letting people down and those are big scary things.

They are also very exciting things because what if it all works out and I am able to create the site we deserve. What if I am able to reach a wider audience of like-minded people. People who need my work as much as I need them to read it. What if we are on the cusp of building something truly transformational together and if I don’t step forward something that could have changed the world could be missing. And so in spite of my fear I am letting it ride shot-gun. I do not forget my fear or my caution but I don’t let them hold me back. I am letting them inspire me to choose wisely and do my best. I am using that fear to help me create an even better site and space than I imagine now. I am using that fear to keep me accountable and hold myself to the highest standard. 

I am also remembering that failures are not losses they are opportunities to recalibrate and realign. Failures are lessons in how to do it better. Failures are gifts that we can choose to learn from and grow with added wisdom and experience. It is humbling and it may be humiliating but it is a step in the right direction and I intend to take it. I intend to try and hopefully I will be able to give us all a space to grow together, learn from one another, and blossom into the fullest and most authentic versions of ourselves that we can possibly be together. I’ve got you. I’m getting to work.

15 Simple Pleasures to Make Life Lovely

I always love a new suggestion on how to make the sweet life sweeter. Especially in winter when the days are long and cold, it’s nice to be reminded of some very good things we don’t always remember to do. I compiled a list of small things I do to make life more lovely and hope you’ll try a few. I hope they bring as much simple joy and wholesome happiness to your days as they do to mine.

  1. Read a good book – A new read or an old favorite always puts me in a good mood.
  2. Take a bath – Not too hot in winter but warm and cozy, I double the delight by putting on a face mask or bringing my Italy towel with to turn bathing into a Korean spa.
  3. Make a hot cup of tea – Harney and Sons Raspberry tea is my absolute favorite. Add a teaspoon of honey for a sweet and lovely moment.
  4. Bake a batch of cookies – Whether you use the break apart type or whip something up from scratch nothing makes a space smell like home like a batch of fresh cookies.
  5. A good stretch – Even if all you know is child’s pose a few yogic stretches can get blood flowing and warm your body up. I love legs up the wall before bed, it helps improve circulation and isn’t too strenuous.
  6. Lotionize – In winter I make a point to keep my feet moisturized and soft by using a thick cream and then layering on cozy socks. Add a little lavender essential oil to your lotion for a heavenly aroma.
  7. Add peppermint or tea tree essential oils to your shampoo – I don’t wash my hair every day but on days I need a pick me up I add peppermint to my shampoo. Another trick my stylist just taught me is to add tea tree oil to get rid of winter dandruff or dry scalp.
  8. Call an old friend or a new one fit to make an old one out of – Science shows connection releases feel good endorphins oxytocin and serotonin. Call a good friend for a quick pick me up, it’s even better if you can share a laugh.
  9. Hug your knees, partner, or pet – A good cuddle and squeeze even as short a six seconds releases endorphins and has an immediate relaxing and calming effect. It benefits our health and even improves our sleep.
  10. Dance – even if it’s alone in your kitchen, pick your favorite jams and twirl yourself around the floor. 
  11. Make Yourself Your Favorite Meal – It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. Any meal that reminds you of childhood or a favorite memory can be special. Take your time and enjoy the process or prepare it for a friend and share the story of why this meal is special to you.
  12. Get creative – Even if it’s only for a few minutes, draw, color, or rearrange the furniture, whatever creative endeavor brings you joy give yourself some time to do it!
  13. Take a walk – Get outside into the weather and breathe deeply. A walk around your neighborhood or on a trail will always change your perspective and improve your mood. Shinrin-yoku, or Japanese forrest bathing, is a long practiced tradition for improving quality of life and health.
  14. Simplify Your Space – Research shows clutter can feel like a loss of control, especially for women. You don’t have to scour the baseboards but clearing off your desk or even a small part of your work space can feel freeing and invigorating.
  15. Purge – Even if you only set up a box for donations by your door and make a plan to place items inside of it. Getting rid of those pants that don’t fit or your tights with runs is freeing – you’re making space in your wardrobe and in your life for what comes next and that is powerful.

Let me know which of these you try and if you have any recommendations that I missed! I love learning and remembering new ways to create comfort and coziness at home.