Movers have come. Cleaners are here. Bags are packed. Goodbyes for now are being said.
It's hard to believe our time here is coming to an end. My thoughts feel all over the place and my heart feels just as scattered.
I am feeling sad. I am feeling grateful. I am feeling anxious. I am feeling excitement. I am feeling awed. I am feeling cheated. I am feeling blessed. It's fair to see I am feeling a smorgasbord of feelings.
Notice I said I am feeling. I am not any of those things. They don't define WHO I am just what I am feeling as I show up for my life with an open heart.
We love to judge our emotions. We feel sad and then we judge ourselves for feeling sad and then we judge ourselves for judging ourselves for feeling sad and so on and so on. Stop that. Feel the feels.
When you recognize you are more than the emotions you feel, they don't have as much power over you. They don't feel as permanent. You have more control of them.
They don't define WHO you are, just WHAT you feel.
This year I have done a lot of work around this. 95% of the time I am a joyful, optimistic person and this year brought up a lot of challenging emotions for me. Instead of ignoring them I noticed the more I welcomed "negative" emotions like anger, sadness, bitterness, instead of ignoring and pushing them down, the quicker I was to process whatever it is that is bringing them up.
I know I am not alone in this. It's been a topsy turvy year for us all. It's totally normal to feel whatever it is you are going through.
Do you allow yourself to feel emotions without judgment?
Do you welcome the "good" and the "bad" emotions that come up for you?
Give yourself the space with no judgment to feel those. It's OK. It's a sign you are showing up for your life.
If there is one thing you can count on every year around this time, along with all of us saying "How in the World is it already December?", it's the fact that for some reason we forget about the power of choice when it comes to the Holidays.
It's like poof, we are Men in Blacked and we must do ALL THE THINGS.
We HAVE to travel to relative's house. *Think pre 2020*
We HAVE to buy all the presents.
We HAVE to put the Elf on the Shelf up.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard (said) a version of one of these, I could have funded the COVID-19 vaccine and we would all be living our best life.
There is a lot of pressure around the Holidays but we have a choice in how we show up.
I am here to tell you. You are a grown adult who can choose what their Holidays look like.
If it is sucking the life out of you, you have a choice to not do it. Will you have to maybe let some people down or have difficult conversations? Most likely. And that may be something you aren't willing to do. That too is a choice. You have the power.
"Geez Holly, we haven't heard from you in a month and you're' all tough lovey."
And since this year is like no other you have the opportunity to let old habits that don't serve you die hard and make an empowered choice of what a meaningful and joyful holiday will look like.
I understand the loss of what you'll miss but (knock on wood) you'll only have one once-in-a-lifetime, world-wide pandemic Holiday season so make it your own.
It's your choice.
Gratitude/Thankfulness/Appreciation are some of my highest values.
I guess you could say it’s in my DNA. I come from a family that shows thanks and appreciation in all ways. We have even been known to send a Thank you card for a Thank You card which I can even admit is a bit extra.
Personally and globally, this year has been one like no other. Moments full of absolute joy and moments of absolute sadness. Sometimes living in the same moment or coming some quickly after each other you wonder what just happened.
There is such beauty in this. That we can coexist in a space that is joyful and sad. That we can laugh and cry. That we can be sad for what we lost and grateful for what we have. Our emotions and experiences don’t exist in silos and neither should our gratitude.
Last night we spent Thanksgiving with an amazing family we have become friends with here. We went around the table and shared what we were thankful for. I said I was grateful to be so sad about leaving Norway because it means I had such a special experience that it will be hard to say, “See ya later!”. That although it is bittersweet to leave, I am so grateful for the sadness because it showed how meaningful this experience has been for me.
Their 8-year-old daughter followed me and was grateful for deviled eggs. Me too, girl. Me too.
We can be thankful for sadness and deviled eggs. The space exists for both.
I've definitely had better lunches but not sure I've had a better lunch view. Our friend kindly loaned us her car so we took a Sunday drive on a beautiful Norwegian day. Some of my favorite memories here will be the drives, with our wedding playlist in the background, where the only purpose is taking in the beautiful scenery.
Norway is a quiet country. We live in a quiet house on a quiet street in a quiet city. Like so quiet one of us has to wear noise-cancelling headphones when the other eats cereal in the morning.
As a person who is more loud than quiet, I absolutely love it. It is not just in the noise level but in what you see as well. No billboards. No big box stores. No constant distractions. It makes a Sunday drive, and life, so much more enjoyable.
This was kind of surprising to me when we moved here. In the States, I was the person who had a constant stream of data going into my brain from news in the morning to podcasts during the day to TV at night along with the constant distraction of social media and news updates. Most days there was never a moment of quiet. I would say it's because I wanted to learn and be in the loop but in reality it kept the quiet away.
I don't believe it's possible to create meaningful connection within ourselves and others without the quiet. In the quiet is where the work and the magic happens. It's where we figure out what is important to us and why. It's where we have the space to just take a deep breath and be. It's where we get to know ourselves and realize how cool we really are.
Don't get me wrong I still watch TV, currently on a Modern Family kick, and I still listen to podcasts, too many to name, but it's not just an automatic response. It's intentional and purposeful. Just like adding quiet to my day is now and will be in the future.
In last week’s podcast of Chill & Grace, one of the biggest takeaways was this.
“Be sure to check yourself that the life you are living is the one you really want.”
I don’t think many people have a plan to check in on their life. To check in and see if what they are doing aligns with what they want. To be proactive vs. reactive. We plan our doctor's appointments, vacations and voting plans (RIGHT?) but so often we do not have a plan to check in on our life. How crazy is that?! But I know you and you're different.
So today my challenge for you is to take a moment and answer these 5 questions for a quick check-in on your life.
1. On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied am I with my current situation?
2. What is it I want in my life a year from now?
3. How is where I am spending my time and energy serving me for the life I want?
4. What is one action I can take this week to honor my goals?
5. What do I need to remove from my life to make the progress I want?
Take the time to make sure the path you are on is the one you want to be one. We are all going somewhere, we might as well make it where we want to be.
Connect with me at email@example.com for some accountability. You deserve it!
Tracie is one of those people I met years ago and knew I would always want to keep track of. We met more than 10 years ago when we both worked in athletics and I have always been inspired by her joy for life and ability to beat to her own drum. We both have a career path that is diverse and may not make sense on paper but every stop and decision has a single thread through it. We trusted ourselves and what we wanted for our life.
Along with a diverse background, we also share a joy for being childfree, love for sports and empowering other women to live their best life to it was so fun to chat with her.
A self-proclaimed learned extrovert (which you would never know), Tracie has a passion for supporting those who have a voice that needs to be heard. With over 20 years of branding experience, Tracie works with individuals and brands to get their story heard. As someone who felt her voice wasn't heard growing up, she is on fire to help those who feel the same way. So many of us don't think we have a brand but that is not true. We all have a brand. We all have a reputation and image of how we show up in the world. You don't have to have a product or a business to create YOUR brand. Your brand is not only what people say about you but a guiding light for how you are living your life.
We spoke about Fear of Failure vs. the Fear of success, how its great to get the guidance of those you trust but equally as important to say No to what doesn't serve you and the importance of mourning losses and moving forward. She also shared how she is handling planning and hosting a wedding during a world-wide pandemic by staying connected to what's really important.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
Let me ask you a question, have you ever set a goal for yourself? Awesome. Me too!
Then have you ever pushed that goal to the side, made other things a priority and instead of making progress, spent all your energy, thoughts and brain power beating yourself up and regretting the lack of progress? Not as awesome. But me too!
We only have a finite amount of energy. We have to stop using it to look backwards on the things we should have done, didn't do and all the other thoughts that keep us stuck.
Ruminating on what you haven't done will not get you moving forward but it will keep you comfortable.
We often would rather beat ourselves up and hold ourselves back than to start the work toward what we want in our life. It can feel like a good excuse but really it's just keeping us comfortable.
I dont care if you have something you've been wanting to do for 2 weeks or 5 years, start fresh today. Give yourself the permission to let the regret and inaction go and begin today.
Life is too short to use that precious energy on what you cannot change. You're good. Let it go and get going.
Plant your tree today and get ready to watch it grow.
I have had this conversation with so many people from friends to clients to myself over the past six months.
For Now. *Yelling it loud for people in the back.*
The feelings you are feeling. The thoughts you are having. The circumstances you are circumstancing. They aren't permanent. Despite what you are feeling they won't last forever.
There is so much power in adding For Now to our thoughts. We have a short term vision at times not thinking to the future of how it won't always feel this way. We live in moments of panic and worry and all this overwhelm, never stopping to think it won't always be this way.
It's just how it is.. For Now.
Taking that secure job over exploring dream job.. For Now.
Frustrated with the way of the World ... For Now.
Homesick, lovesick, unmotivated, frustrated, all the feels .. For Now.
Thinking with a For Now mindset doesn't diminish what you are going through but it does keep it in perspective. It keeps the hope alive and mind open to what is ahead and not get lost in the here and now. It's a reminder to not base it all on this one moment.
If we've seen anything over the past year, our lives can change in an instant. One day we'll look back on this time and be in a brand new space of For Now. We live a lifetime of these moments.
I wish you the awareness and grace to remind yourself of being in the For Now. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share how this works for you.
Life is funny. Today I had planned to share a podcast I recorded a couple weeks ago on being happy, Listen here, and this week has been one of feeling all the sadness.
Sad for our time ending here in the next couple months. Sad for what may be to come. Sad to leave a community I have built here. Sad for the state of the World.
Hey Holly, Thanks for the pep talk!
The thing is my sadness doesn’t take away from my happiness. They aren’t opposite emotions. I can be one or the other or both and THAT’S OKAY. We feel happy and sad when we are paying attention to what is important in our lives. In fact, in the episode I spoke about the more consistently happy I am, the more I sit in my sadness and give it the space it needs. When I do that, I open myself up to more happiness.
Happy for the experience this year has been. Happy for what is to come. Happy to see my family and friends. Happy that good people are still in the World fighting to make it a better place.
This photo is such a good reminder of this for me. Our happiness can be reflected in our sadness and our sadness reflected in our happiness, giving us a beautiful, full picture.
This was such a special episode as I shared what happiness feels like to me *hope* and the three reasons I don’t think people are happy. Dustin, Joh and I also talked about the danger of toxic positivity and the impact trauma has on one’s happiness. I hope you’ll tune in and share your thoughts.
“We all have a story. Either we don’t give value to our story or we let our story have power over us because of past experiences, shame, guilt, etc. I want to show women how to flip the paradigm for themselves and harness the power of their own story so they can shine a light out in the world.”
In today's episode of Chill & Grace, I spent time with certified coach April Pertruis and founder of Light Beamers, where she helps women use their story to get clear on their purpose, build their audience and grow their brand.
A natural born story teller, April believes every single person has a story (or stories) to tell that will light the way for others and that if we knew the impact and power our stories could make we would shout it on the rooftop.
We talked about how acknowledging and naming fear (hers is named the Devil)is the key to moving through it and how sitting on our story does a disservice to everyone but mostly ourselves. She shared the #1 reason she believes women don't tell the stories of their heart and how at the end of the day your story doesn't belong to you, it's there to serve others.
And a bonus, she shared a story that involved a strip club owner and mob boss! I bet you didn't think that was coming next.
This isn't just for entrepreneurs but for every woman or man out there who has a story on their heart they want to tell. It's for those who want to create meaningful connections and change the world. It's for all of us.
Like this podcast? Please leave a review so it makes it easier for others to find it! Have a topic or guest you would like to see, drop me an email at email@example.com!
Last Wednesday, I was about 20 minutes late to knitting class, trying to find the bus stop, when I got a call from Katie very kindly and maybe a tad scared, asking if I knew I had booked our flights to Oslo for Thursday night not Thursday morning. Um. NO.
In 20 + years of booking flights, hotels, trips this has never happened to me. I felt terrible for possibly wasting money. I felt embarrassed for making the mistake. I felt annoyed because it was one more thing on a busy day.
After a couple deep breaths and positive self-talk which went something like this, "You are a smart, resourceful woman with hours in the day. Figure it out!", I was ready to explore all options.
Book a new flight at exorbitant rates? No thanks.
Keep flight and miss a day of exploration? I'll pass.
I knew that both of those options were not ideal and would have left me disgruntled and resentful. Then I asked myself, "What else am I missing?"
So we ended up taking the overnight train from Stavanger to Norway. Something neither of us had done before and were glad to have experienced. May not do it again as an odd sensation to feel jet lagged after a train ride that would have been a 50 minute train ride but I digress.
I could have easily just gone with an option above but in my gut I knew there was more than I was giving myself credit for.
Asking myself, "What else?" kept the possibilities open. It kept me looking for more options.
How do you handle life when you get derailed? Do you typically just call it a loss and begrudgingly go along or do you stop and think "What else?"
We are far more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. Trust your ability to find the "What Else" and see how your world shifts.
Intention is the buzz word of all self-development but have you ever thought about what it truly means?
I love this definition of Intention: a determination to act in a certain way.
It doesn’t leave much up to interpretation, a clear focus for action on what it is you want.
The intention for your life is yours and yours alone.
What are you going to do with this magnificent honor?
Life happens quickly and if you don’t slow down and honor what it is you want for our life, the weeks, months and years fly by without you making any moves on your life.
Setting intentions and HONORING them is a daily practice so that you aren’t sitting somewhere years along the road, looking back at your life thinking what the heck did I do with my time?
As childfree humans we get to define our own lives, often creating a life that is different from everything we see around us. Setting intentions is even more important for us so that we stay centered on what it is we want, shutting out the chatter and distractions around us to stay on track for the life we want.
Living with intention is waking up knowing who you want to be as a person and setting tangible goals to get there.
Living with intention is knowing without a doubt what you stand for, not letting life distract you from doing it.
Living with intention is setting boundaries for the things that don’t serve your life.
Living with Intention is your North star for creating your best life.
Setting intentions isn’t a fluffy, woo-woo idea. It’s critical for your success.
What does it mean for YOU to live intentionally?
And how can you commit today to action in staying in your intention?