Live vs Recorded Version.

I was on my way home from a weekend with some dear ex-work colleagues (Dream Team as we used to go by) who I have stayed in touch with spite quitting the company over a year ago to peruse my own venture.

On the plane ride home I was listening to a live version of a John Mayer song and began to think of how much more I love the live versions of my favorite artist’s songs than the recorded versions.

What is different in the live version?
Authenticity. Humanity. More passion. More vulnerability. More life. More love.

The dear friend’s house who we stayed at over the weekend happens to be a talented musician and singer so she has a record player and a ton of incredible records.

We indulged in powerful music all weekend. Music from all genres. We played live records and we played recorded records. Regardless of the artist, and whether I liked them or not, the live records were always my favorite.

Vulnerability was a common theme of the weekend. This group of spectacular humans happen to be some of the people I can get the most “real” with. Our relationship together started in a work sense but quickly we were growing together, discovering life together and bonding quicker than imaginable.

Over these couple of days, we basked in the simple company of each other, we sang songs we loved, we danced out of pure contentment and we discussed topics that most don’t even talk about with their closest family members.

It is very clear that we have become a family. A family that shares similar values, alike desires and paralleled life experiences.

I began to ponder why this weekend is always so moving to me. It’s our second annual (Ultimate Soirée) get together since I’ve left the company that most of them still work at. Why does this weekend leave me feeling so filled up yet so somber?

It’s because of vulnerability. It’s because of the connection that comes from people letting their fucking guards down. It’s from the bond that strengthens every time we are together due to each of our willingness to open up, challenge ourselves and push the borders of our comfort zones.

There is no topic that is too risqué or any discussion that is off limits. We bare it all – heart and soul.

As I’m growing older I’m realizing these are the people I need in my life. People like this are the ones that fill my soul and inspire me to be my best.

This is also the type of the world I desire to live in. Where neighbors are family. Where distance doesn’t break bonds between loved ones. Where people are more concerned with learning something about the humans around them than people on their cell phone screens.

Luckily, I do have a impeccable group of dear friends (in addition to my soirée squad). And we’ve all found our way into each other’s lives due to similar life experiences and values.

I am challenging myself to go further though. I want to feel more. I want to feel my friends and family’s feelings more. I want to understand the feelings of those around me more, even if I don’t process them at first.

Life is a journey with a ton of different stages and levels. Some are euphoric and some are world shattering. Why do humans feel the need to ‘look’ so strong and deny help and comfort from others?

Feeling and communicating is the only way to bring healing to this world. It’s the only way to bring people together.

So today… I dare you… feel it all… the good and the bad. Then, tell someone about it. See what happens.

An open letter to my Father

An open letter to my Father,

Before I was born, I chose you to be my father and you chose me to be your daughter. You can call it God, Universe, Destiny or whatever you believe. We chose each other in this life.

Religion, society, media and social structure have taught us to believe that the relationship between a father and daughter is supposed to be constant, supportive and joyful. We are taught to believe that a father is supposed to stick around and be there for his daughter. Like most societal beliefs, this ideology was something that someone made up and people started to believe. It is evident that our relationship doesn’t fit the societal mold.  However, just because you chose to remove yourself from my life doesn’t mean you didn’t teach me profound life lessons like so many other fathers do for their daughters.

I acknowledge and appreciate that you did and are doing the best you can as my father. In your efforts, you have taught me to stand on my own, to be an independent individual, to protect myself, to never settle and to accept and love people for who they are without judgement. You taught me all these lessons by removing yourself from my life. I am choosing to believe that you knew you could teach me more by leaving than you could by staying.

Because of your absence I’ve found friends who’ve turned into family. I’ve clung to the family I have with the fiercest love and commitment. I’ve found a man that shows me his love in all the ways you never could. And I’ve been able to see the world in a way that allows me to empathize with a greater number of people.

There is a saying, “you don’t get to choose your family”, but I’d like to challenge that and reframe it. I believe we do subconsciously choose our family and we choose them to teach us important lessons. These lessons are usually life long and will reappear many times throughout your existence in order to aid in your growth as a human. The purpose of these lessons is to get you to the greatest version of yourself. If you hide from these teachings, or push them away you will never experience the deep understanding that lies on the other side.

The lesson I am continually learning from you Dad is that I am worthy of the love I desire. Despite your actions and behavior, I am worthy of all the love in the world.

I’m done running. I’m done hiding. And I’m done with the pain, anger and sadness. I am choosing to learn this lesson and get to the other side.

We don’t have the “normal” father daughter relationship and that has been the greatest gift of my life.

-Your daughter

Letting Go

My word for 2016 is freedom. It took me some time to arrive on this and in the beginning stages of committing to my word, the phrase “letting go” came up a lot. However, to me, “letting go” has a negative connotation around it because when I think of “letting go” I think of releasing lousy feelings or emotions. And when I think of freedom, I feel powerful and expansive. So, I picked freedom over letting go as my word for 2016.

The struggle of deciding between these two words got me thinking about the meaning behind them.

  • Is letting go an antonym to freedom or a synonym to freedom? Do we have to let go in order to experience freedom? Or do we have to experience freedom in order to let go? And what are the best things to let go of?

Thus far in 2016, I have had to do a lot of letting go in all areas of my life.

When we hold onto experiences, conversations or relationships that have adverse feelings associated with them we take up room in our body and mind. I think of the room taken up by these feelings as dense and dark.

As the new year rang in and everyone made their New Year’s resolutions, I had an “aha” moment (if you will). I realized that for the past 9 years I have allowed a dark, dense mass of resentment to harbor a lot of space in my body.

I could get intense here and pour my heart out about what particular experience caused this harboring of resentment …. but ‘aint nobody got time for that. Instead, I will fast forward to the lesson and save the drama for another day. 😉

The bottom line is… crummy things happen in life and we can’t control anyone else’s actions. The only thing we have control over as human beings is our own actions and emotions. I decided I was done feeling angry and resentful. Those feelings weren’t serving me anymore and were sucking valuable energy and time out of me.

So what allowed me to let go of the anger? Forgiveness.

You know I love me a good flow chart so… perhaps the flow chart looks something like this then…

  • Forgiveness → Letting go → Freedom

Nine years is a long time to carry animosity around. Carrying it around wasn’t changing the situation and it wasn’t affecting the person I felt the animosity towards. It was really only hurting me.

Is there someone you are holding resentment towards? What if you let it go? What would you gain from letting go of the resentment?

Letting go is a process. I know I have a way to go but I am already reaping the benefits of letting go. I feel as if a large weight has been lifted off my shoulders and that I can breath deeper. I feel more zen (and if you know me personally, you understand what a big deal this is).

You might be asking yourself right now, “how in the world does this qualify as blog post about the life of an entrepreneur?”….

Well, it doesn’t….

No, just kidding.

Experiencing more freedom has been monumental for the success of my business. I find it fascinating how resentment in your personal life can hold you back in your professional life.

Since this shift happened on New Years, I have had the two most successful months in my business thus far. You can call it a coincidence if you want, but I am certainly not!

Freedom is space, opportunity and movement which everyone needs in order to grow and expand personally and professionally.

It starts with the decision to forgive. It is your choice.

Another fun coincidence (or Divine happening as I like to call it) … my favorite song for the past 3 months has been “Let It Go” by James Bay (like so obsessed, I choreographed a lyrical dance to it and I don’t have any real lyrical dance background).

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Is vulnerability the key to success?

Does being seen, telling your story and being honest about your feelings make you run and hide? There is nothing easy about laying it on the line and speaking your Truth. I was reminded of this last week when I launched my first ever website!

In the creation of the website, I felt super confident. A dear friend designed it and he understands my taste and knows a great deal about me so I wasn’t really being exposed in that portion of the process.

Monday, December 7th came around and I started to contract, hide-out and make excuses why I shouldn’t launch the site. I told my friend (the web designer) and my business mastermind group that I was going to postpone the launch due to some minor edits that needed to be made. Well, my friends in this mastermind group aren’t about hiding out – AT ALL. They called me out and forced me to announce my website on Facebook and Instagram.

Leading up to pressing “post” I had knots in my stomach. I was incredibly nervous but I hit the button and then… exhaustion, fear and sadness came over me. I was stunned at my reaction but I couldn’t get away from the urge to literally crawl into my bed and just hide.

This entire scenario got me thinking about vulnerability.

What really is vulnerability?

  • Vulnerability – capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon.

I did feel hurt in that moment of releasing my website out into the world. Not because I didn’t absolutely adore my website and not because I was getting negative feedback but because I was exposed. My story, my journey, my words were out there… in cyberworld for anyone and everyone to see. I had ZERO control over who would view my site and the opinions they would form. And if you know anything about me, I do enjoy control. (Yes, I am working on it).

We all have blocks and limitations around “being seen and being fully expressed” because it triggers fear in the brain. This is ironic because in actuality the only thing we desire as humans is connection. True, deep connection only comes from authenticity and openness. We will open this can of worms in another blog though ;).

Back to the story…

The feedback I received from friends, family and peers was

  • “I feel like you are talking to me when I read your website. It just feels like you.”

That got me thinking, what if I had not put it all on the line? What if I had tried to sound different or act like someone else? Would the reveal of my website have completely flopped if I didn’t truly open up and create it from my heart?

I mean I am not a psychic but my prediction is YES it would have been a complete dud.

So…. is vulnerability the key to success?

I have really come to dislike the definition of success over the past several months. It is so cliche and does not focus on anything besides money and approval BUT for the sake of this blog post…

  • Success – the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

‘Termination’ is not existence in any sense if you are a success because success is an ongoing journey. Just as getting comfortable with being vulnerable is an ongoing journey. It isn’t like you ride an elevator to the “success” floor, get off and never go back down to the lower floors. You are constantly tinkering between floors… floors higher AND lower than success.

So if we can start to think of ‘being wounded’ (from the vulnerability definition) as ‘favorable and prosperous’ then perhaps we will accomplish our goals’ (from the success definition).

When we create from our hearts people receive and resonate.

Hello World!

I survived my first two months being a full time entrepreneur. This is my first blog on my brand spankin’ new website and I am pumped up! Here is a little insight into my experience thus far…

The biggest lesson I’ve learned this far is to trust.

Trust in yourself, in the journey, in the universe, in the higher power and in your loved ones.

I quickly learned that I am not having the same experience as any other entrepreneur on this planet. Of course I am going through the same situation as thousands of other people but we are not having the same experience. Each of us is uniquely wired and has different triggers, beliefs, struggles and emotions. For this reason, it is key to master trust on this crazy ride.

You don’t realize how many insecurities you have about yourself until you are 100% responsible for creating your own income with your own ideas and hustle. I learned that all of my insecurities are just stories I am telling myself. They are in my mind but I am not my mind. I am a separate entity. Once I grasped that concept, believed it and started kicking up the daily guided meditations I was finally able to normalize my heart rate ;).

Our society is so ingrained with plans, agendas, knowing and time. We are in constant comparison to our neighbors, family members, celebrities and random people on Instagram. What is the end goal of all this planning and comparison.. to obtain true happiness, right? But happiness is not at the end of the journey happiness is the journey.

The brain is wired to keep us safe and anything unknown freaks our brain out immensely. So to my brain, was quitting my full time job with a consistent paycheck a “safe” idea? Hell no. To my brain, was embarking into the mysterious entrepreneurial world where nothing is “certain” a “safe” idea? Definitely not. So my brain does everything it can to pull me away from the great and scary unknown… by creating anxiety, self doubt, negative thoughts, etc.

As mentioned before though, we are not our minds or our brains, we are a separate entity. Separating my thoughts from my being has allowed me to enjoy the journey and trust it. I mean do I really believe I’m going to end up poor and on the street… No so why am I wasting all of this energy worrying about it?

This big ole universe is one crazy place, let me tell ya. How does one small little person “trust” in the enormous universe that is filled with so much mystery? You surrender. This immense universe is obviously way more powerful than any single human being. I mean the universe would completely pulverize any human in a bar fight or boxing match. I’m talking instant game over. So why try to fight what is already in motion? By trying to control the universe and what it provides for you, you are essentially asking to get your ass kicked every day. Let it go. Don’t be that guy who can’t back down even though he has two black eyes and blood all over his shirt.

Disclaimer: that doesn’t mean I have it together all the time by any means. Ask any one of my family members, friends or boyfriend who gets frantic texts and calls from me at all hours of the day and night. I mean, hell, I am writing this blog at 2:30am in the morning because I couldn’t sleep because my heart was palpating out of control.

It is about trusting in those low moments, in those high moments and all the moments in between. If you aren’t trying to see the lesson and beauty in all moments then you are denying yourself opportunities to grow and you are missing out on some pretty powerful stuff.

I definitely don’t have it all figured out 3 months in but I am TRUSTING that it is a good thing.