My Birth Story | Second Time


We are one month and a couple weeks in over here as a family of four.  

And our Nora girl is five-ish weeks out in this Earth. 

And wow, we are exhausted. Two kids is a gamechanger...I mean, life changer. My grandmother laughed at me as we chatted on the phone on her birthday, she asked how tired I thought she was with five kids in seven and a half years, I told her she was totally crazy. She said I was right. 

So. my birth story of the arrival of our second daughter goes a bit differently than my first birth story with our Evergreen lady. 

I was late past our due date. Quick rant, I do not even understand due dates, like give me a due week or even just a due month. The date is rarely, rarely right and damn, if we Mamas get attached. Spoken like a true goal setter who loves a timeline, ever learning over here. Rant over. 

Okay just a little more rant, my second child was low, low, low at around 37ish weeks. I am talking a doc would reach up there for a check and every single time go, "whoa, there is her head, she is really low and ready". And of course, I am stoked thinking she will arrive right on time or even early! And they all agreed, she will be here soon. 

She didn't.

And because of these false dreams the docs put in my head, I started having SUPER MILD contractions on May 22 (her due date was May 23) and we went to the hospital early, like some amateurs! Note: We now live up in the mountains so our trek down to the hospital is about 41minutes, give or take time of day and traffic, so we left thinking it would be more intense by the time we get down the hill. Not even. I walk in there cool as a cucumber saying I am having contractions, let's do this. The triage nurse was like, 'It doesn't look like you are about to have a baby, not very convincing". She was right, by the time they got me all hooked up to a fetal monitor, the contractions were basically non-existent.

So we left and headed back up the mountain.

One note to share, that amateur move to the hospital actually made it really real. Leaving our house, I sobbed realizing things were going to be so different. My sister came up to hang with Evi and I left kissing her so intentionally with tears rolling down my face. She saw the tears and comforted me, held my neck in deep hugs, held my face speaking a two year old language of her own and kissing me all over. There was so much uncertainty of what the future held, how I could love two children and what our days would look like. So it was emotional, to say the least and probably so necessary to feel those feelings before our second daughter arrived.

So back home. We waited and waited and waited.

Her due date came and went with not even a Braxton-Hicks to report. Chris had taken off work in case I went into labor as he works in the city and might not have time to drive back up the hill to get me and all the way back down again. 

So here we are, staring at one another. Small hikes, spicy food and watching movies with our firstborn during the day and I would later binge on the Harry Potter movies in the eve.

The waiting game is intense, especially when you are past the due date. My parents had flights booked that they kept pushing the date. I had a maternity leave pretty set. You really do get attached to that date. Oh and the text messages from the sweetest friends checking in and you have to say still not baby yet. I tightened the jaw a bit each time the text a reminder of my own impatience!

Finally, on the evening of May 28, I start to feel some feelings. Chris is passed out next to me in bed as I dive into 'The Goblet of Fire', the fourth installment of the Harry Potter movies (and my favorite one! Note: this is my favorite movie. My favorite HP book is 'Prisoner of Azkaban' to be crystal clear). I gently wake Chris up as they start to feel more rhythmic and he starts timing them. It is about 10:30pm at night, Evi is fast asleep and well, Chris was snoring too at that point. 

We are a bit shy to make any moves, as we already went down to the hospital once and no baby. So we wait a bit to track them as they keep rolling in and the intensity is manageable. I give my sister a head's up to be ready, as she agreed to be with Evi and the pups when the time came. Takes a village!

And those contractions keep rolling in and every time I squeeze Chris' hand that I am holding a bit tighter. Probably 12 minutes after giving my sister the warning, I let her know to come on up here just in case.  She is on the way!

So I finish my Harry Potter flick, such a good one. I had forgotten about Cedric Diggory and I cried hard at the end. Could I love Dumbledore more? 

Chris is packing up the hospital bag we have had ready and waiting for almost two weeks now. We have towels and plastic covering the seats in our car, in case my water broke on the way. All the things. 

I start to feel antsy with my contractions moving closer together at about 7ish minutes apart and my sister is not here yet (she lives in the city) and I am feeling real ready to get down the hill to the hospital. I labor in our bedroom that we share with the nursery and realize there will be another human occupying this space with us so soon, sleeping in that Moses basket there, waking us up at all hours, loving us and growing with us. Damn, motherhood and parent life is so intense on ALL LEVELS.

I finally pick up the phone to call my sister, Mel to see how close, she talks about some elk on the road and tells me she is close. A contractions surges so I tell her see you soon and get my breathing on.

Two minutes later I text Mel to let her know we are getting in the car and will high five her in the driveway. I walk into Evi's room and Chris and I pick up our girl, she is half awake as we let her know how much we love her and that we are leaving and the next time we see her, she can hold her sister. She nuzzles in Chris' neck, then I take her from his arms and balance her on my belly, Chris looking concerned that I am actually going to push that child further down and out but I don't care, I hold Evi tight and breathe in the moment. I am so present. So present to the moment, the love I feel in all directions and again, the looming uncertainty. And we lay her back down, she sleeps and we head for the car.

We close the car doors at 12:50am, my sister literally turns the corner. We reverse with the windows rolled down and through a heavy breath I say thank you and we are off. And the minute we are in that car, my body knows and gets in go-mode. And by go-mode, I am talking contractions I cannot speak through, only those Amazonian moans that release in labor from the depths of some divine primal feminine space. My voice fills the car and Chris goes faster, a lot faster.

We are speeding down the mountain, past our town lake and up the local highways. I tell Chris to slow down as about 110 eyeballs reflect back off the headlights of our car, there are about 50 elk standing on either side of the road. Sending us off, nature reflecting nature. That was surreal.

So back to speeding, back to moaning and I see my contractions are definitely at 5minutes apart and as we creep closer to the city with all of its F*CKING stoplights, they sneak to 3minutes apart. I barely have time to rest in between, much less be in a comfortable position in the car.

Finally, at 1:20ish am, we arrive at the hospital. We valet and I ever so slowly yet in a rush land in the wheelchair. We grab nothing and Chris is wheeling me in. Seriously, time stands still when we push the elevator button and it feels like it is literally making its way down from the Heavens itself, it took that long! It is actually only three floors. 

The elevator arrives and Chris cannot figure out the wheelchair. It has some auto lock thing when you stop - for the love of God, Chris and I stand up to walk into the elevator cursing my sweet husband and he figures it out. Poor thing. Can you even imagine? I already apologized a few times, he gets it and yet reminds me that I was pretty mean and scary.

So we arrive at security and sign in and she has to call up a nurse to get me, cue a contraction and the Amazonian moan. This lady on the phone, I hear her somewhat scared saying 'umm, this lady is in for real labor, you need to get on up here'. She was right.

And the nurse isn't running, like on every hospital TV show you have ever seen. She is slowly meandering her way down the hallway, come on lady!

So we start to push back and they set me up in the triage room to check things out. What in the literal hell? You can see I am in labor, take me back to labor & delivery already! So this doc comes in and I am moaning, she checks in to see how far I am dialated and we are at 9cm. 9 centimeters, people! I am ready to go!

And within 30 seconds, my water breaks. 

They are like let's go. Crying, I look at them and ask if I have to get back in that wheelchair and they say yes when all I am saying is NOOOOO.

So they wheel me back to labor & delivery and I am moaning and almost screaming at this point. I ask how much further and we arrive to the room. I undress, jump in bed and they are all scrambling. I tell my doctor, to my own shock, I think I am ready to push. She responds, 'great, start pushing'.

I am thinking this cannot be real. Evi took a total of 22 hours and pushing wasn't until way later. We hadn't even set up the JAMBOX playlist, diffuser with oils and my Mama Blessing candle. Hell, Chris didn't even have his sweatshirt off yet.

And they are moving things around, trying to get an IV in me - no time. Trying to get all this plastic stuff under my body on the bed. Stirrups? Nope, no time. After two pushes, I ask for a mirror. A nurse runs out. Chris looks at the doctor and lets her know he will be catching our little girl, she looks surprised and then invites him on over to the action.

I push again, asking if people can see the head. 

No time for an answer, no time for a mirror.

My doc gives me a different pushing cue telling me to push more from my butt. So I do. 

I push a fourth time and she has made her entrance into the beautiful hands of my husband at 1:46am that full moon morning of Tuesday, May 29.

Chris lays her on my chest and again, as I did with Evi, I tell her how much I love her. Over and over again. And I look to Chris and tell him how much I love him. My body is shaking and Chris and I are literally freaking out that it all just happened that fast and that we made it in time!

They ask for her name but I need a minute. I need to meet her for a little while and let the reality of what just happened sink in and soften in. 

At that moment, in walks our sweet doula, Skylar. Everything happened so fast, she even missed it. Chris and I send her home to get sleep.

I now have my own diaper on, a few stitches down low and we spend time with our newest baby and the nurses tell us they will be back in a bit. Like an old pro, she latches immediately and starts to feed. How she knows to do that within minutes of arrival is absolute magic to me and Chris.

We take our time. We move rooms. We still laugh at one another that that happened like it did. So fast and did you see those elk?

Chris asks me her name for the millionth time. We had named her months on months ago yet I wasn't ready. Finally, through tears, we know her. She is our Nora Katherine Hynes and she is truly wonderful. 

Honestly, because she came so fast, I needed some time with her. Time for her to feel really real. And my tears in that naming moment came truly in realizing she was here, she was healthy, safe and home. 

Honored to be a Mother again. Although I write this so tired and still rocking a maxi pad, I am honored, grateful, emotional and leaning into what feels certain now and that is the expansion of our family and the bond that continues to evolve as Nora integrates into our family.

Thank you to the village. And especially thank you to Chris, my rock, my favorite rock and our wild child, Evergreen for the love and support and adventure. 

 Meeting my Nora girl. 

Meeting my Nora girl. 






BodyLove | BellyLove: A Maternity Shoot

I practice loving my body often.

It is a major roller coaster, one I still ride emotionally. And like I said above, a practice. 

I made a promise to myself to love my body and capture the moments when my girls and I were sharing one space, when our two hearts were in one body.  Here are a few of my moments with Nora girl wombside at 39 weeks pregnant below. 

Thank you Tayler Carlisle for capturing these memories for me and the girls. I want them to see the joy they brought me when they were home in my body and truly how home they taught me to be in mine amidst transition and expansion


You Have It All.

I am obviously on a goals kick in my writing right now. 

I am sitting on my front porch surrounded by pine trees and potted plants (a new obsession, total plant lady millennial stereotype a la this article) in Colorado with the mountains gracing my horizon view and a big belly with our second daughter on the way and a home to call our own. 

One of my childhood best friends came to visit a few weeks ago and as she walked up my front porch stairs, she said, 'Wow Jacki, how does it feel to have it all?".

I chuckled and nearly scoffed. What!?

I was in the midst of a weird month with money drama keeping me up at night, scarcity beliefs creating anxiety in my body and adult acne on my skin and unnecessary snap judgements towards my husband. Messy on verge of internal shit show, to say the least. 

And her words caught me off guard.

Way off guard.

And those words also caught me deep in the muck of my own bullshit. You know that mental bullshit we craft out of old stories, old dramas and that space where we feel comfortable but not great? 

Right there.

Because damn, she is so right. I have a f*cking beautiful life. Like stellar. You just read about the front porch, mountains and all the plants, come on now. Add a hot husband and babies and I have zero to complain about. 

And I start to think about how I got here. What twists, turns, teachers, dreams, goals, big conversations with others and with my own self that had to take place and risks and all the failures and celebrations that got me to this front porch spot. 

And I realize that goals are the key for me. I set goals as a way to create the life I want, as a way to ask for what I want of myself, of the World. I dream on vision boards so that I can see it, what could be possible if I stepped out of limiting beliefs and into that dream space of marriage, babies, entrepreneurship, happiness, avocados and dark chocolate are on there, too....

And I know goals get a bad wrap at times. They can create unnecessary pressures, a perfectionist model of thinking or an all too easy way to label ourselves as 'failures'. But honestly, that is our own bullshit creeping in again.

Goals can also create stepping stones, possibility and move us into action towards the life you want. 

If you can define and see the why of your goals. THE WHY OF GOALS. 

And I realized that in the midst of my downward spiral a couple of months ago, I was sitting on some logistical goals that did not excite me. I was actually in a space where I was somewhat goal-less and rather complacent. And that is okay, some days/months I do not have a clear vision or super great goals. 

And yet, the times my goals are clear,

The times that I am pushing myself beyond my comfort zone,

The times I am scaring myself a bit to a life I didn't even know possible - because you know goals are never cookie cutter in how we get there or even in how they actually come to fruition - all the twists and turns and lessons we have to learn to get 'there',

This is when my goals are most alive.

This is when I am most alive. 

THIS is when I have it all, even if my bank account is a little scary in a moment, or my health goals might have taken a back seat for a moment or my adult acne is flaring. I am alive. I am moving forward, failing forward, celebrating forward. And I have choice always to set new goals, speak them up (up being to Universe, up being in my mind, up being out of my mouth to people who support me) and live it bold. 

What goals are you speaking right now?

I am meddling and crafting a program all about speaking our goals. Just wrapped the first beta test with an incredible group and more to come in July with two more beta offerings. 

Stay tuned.

Keep goaling.

 Photo X  Matt Meyer

Photo X Matt Meyer

The Grit of Goals: Put a Date On It

I speak with a lot of people about goals. It is pretty much 'my thing'. And when asking people about their dreams, their desires, their big goals, we often time run into this exact follow up question:

When? When is that happening?

ON CUE: the eyes widen. Look side to side to avoid my excitement. A bit of the shoulders start to creep up to their ears, a change of position in the chair and this idea of adding a deadline feels like...well, death. 

The idea of a date on the dream is too much pressure, a set up for failure or creates anxiety. 

I so get it.

I think about this when I was prepping to bring my first child into the World. Her due date was set for Earth Day, April 22. And you know what, I LOVED THAT DATE. I was like oh we can play the 'Earth Angel' song or call her our little 'earth muffin'. How fun. And then, that date came and went and my little girl stayed put.

Mind you, I was ginormous. Uncomfortable. And ready and actually attached to that date, that song and the nickname. 

So, as you can imagine, I got mad.

And then the anger turned to disappointment.

And then back to anger. 

Similar to that of goals when they do not happen just when you thought they would or as they were placed beautifully on your goal sheet. (Psst, do you have a goal sheet or goal board? 

So why place dates? Why even bother?

Well, here is the deal? I found the date creates reality for me. When I share a goal out loud without a date, I feel this pull to 'whenever' or 'someday'. For me, that creates inaction, stagnancy and this notion that I don't really care. This is, of course, personally speaking and how I rock my goal style. This might not be how it feels for you.

However, I have learned that when it comes to my goal style, I need some grit in there to light a sweet fire under my sweet butt. I need a date on there to create action and honestly, to make it feel real.

And, a big AND. There is space for grace when you set the date as a goal, a desired outcome on time. You get to collaborate with TIME. Similar to that of my missed due date, did I give up the goal? Haha, no. That baby was going to come eventually, on her own time. And I feel this way about the goals that really matter, they are going to happen because they call to us, they itch, they keep showing up in our dreams or psyche or 'what if' thoughts. The space for grace is where we can reflect, move the date up or back and see that our life is dynamic, ever changing and not always on the exact time frame we write down.

NOTE: I do say, careful with language like 'it has to be this way OR ELSE'. That 'OR ELSE' can really get us into trouble and actually throw our entire goal sheet out the window.

Let's talk some of my goal examples:

I always set goals in the affirmative present tense with a by when date on there!

I birth our second daughter into this World by May 23, 2018. 

I speak the goalSPEAK motivation speak 15 times this year by December 28, 2018. 

I sign up for a YIN yoga training workshop by December 25, 2018.

I launch three new creative beta goals programs November 1, 2018. 

Ohhhh snap, those dates feel good and real and on purpose and so alive. Am I attached to them, nope. Am I so committed because they feel fun, so me and on purpose, YES! This is where goals come to life for me when I start to visualize how they look, when I speak them out loud and see how they vibrate in my body and specifically my spine. 

What are your thoughts on Goals and Grit, add some of that sweet Grace? Can you set a date and start to move towards you goals? Can you be so open, not attached and yet so committed to what you will learn along the way and the grit and grace it takes to get there?

Let me now how it goes, how it feels and what you see!

Goals Alive! XO, Jacki 




On Goal Failure

I posted this on my Instagram recently....

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...With this long (really long) caption below about failing forward in my goals and it resonated and I want to be in conversation and action about it way more.

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So hi. I am a goal setter. And hello, I am a goal fail-er.

You know this. 

I have a vision board literally sitting on my desk and one glued in my notebook. I have goals written and scratched out and celebrated and rejected and even forgotten then remembered. And that right there, are goals ALIVE.

I have been in deep inquiry the past few months about my own goal setting practice. Moreso because it started to feel stagnant and well, I was failing a lot. Questions like: How I set them and my own goal setting style. How I ask for help and really, how I fail and restore? How I want to teach them and coach them?

Recently I finished Gretchen Rubin's book 'The Four Tendencies', have you read it? A great read and it has an online quiz! Like a good student, I love a quiz! And yes, I just took the quiz again and got the same answer. My tendency is OBLIGER.

From Gretchen, "Obligers respond readily to outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations. In other words, they work hard not to let other people down, but they often let themselves down. Obligers may find it difficult to form a habit, because often we undertake habits for our own benefit, and Obligers do things more easily for others than for themselves.
For Obligers, the key to forming habits is to create external accountability."

Sound familiar? Take that quiz!

I won't lie to you, I was annoyed by my results. I wanted to be an UPHOLDER so bad. I mean, so bad!

And then, I softened into the reality and honestly, I softened into the truth of the matter. I love human contact, human connection, human accountability. 

And my goal style really is best when shared out loud, when someone is watching me or cheering me on or checking in on me. It is true. And vulnerable. And emotional. 

Sharing goals out loud is not for the faint of heart. It is real and raw and bold. 

And yet, I started to think about what happens when I don't have that accountability, that check in partner or that boss giving me a promotion or feedback to be better and I realized when I fail goals, or when I miss a date I set for myself, I feel goal shame. And then, oh man, and then the stories start to follow about how I am not good enough, smart enough, making enough money or in the right time on Earth...

It is a weird vortex, that goal shame.

And as I shared on Instagram, I came to realize that failure is part of the process. Failure is part of the goals game. It is part of what made me reach for Gretchen's book, learn more about me and see that perhaps the failure is on purpose so I can lean, ask, speak and connect even more about my goals than I have been doing. Or try a new way. 

I recently read in this amazing book (I know, another book, I am on a reading binge) on creativity called 'Wired to Create' by Scott Barry Kauffman and Carolyn Gregoire, that most creative people fail way more often than we think. Even though instagram might be tricking us not to believe that, it is the truth. The book hit a point for me when it said, and this is my understanding, that creators create, it is what they do. And they keep doing it, again and again until something sticks, rocks, works for them and the World. They don't just stop because they failed, they keep creating.

And I was like yes, duh. I have been wrapped up in this story that I have to have everything perfect or look like the perfect goal setter to even be a goal coach. A new limiting belief I have been dipping my toe in, eww. And my goals have felt, lame, small and well, forgotten.

And in reading that book and reading again and again that creators are going to create, I realized that goalers are going to goal. And they keep goaling because that is being alive, that is offering up our gifts and learning every single step of the way.

It is in that learning that putting ourselves out there and speaking our goals out loud that we create a bridge to allow others to join us, roots for us, be inspired to goal, too. This is the OBLIGER way. 

And I am creating a program around literally this. I am calling it goalSPEAK and it is about speaking our goals out loud, celebrating failure, asking for accountability or support and learning, together. 

It is in a 3 week beta phase and yes, you are invited to explore it until the full 6 month program is robust in 2019. We start this month and I would love to have you join at this amazing rate to get down and dirty with our goal practices. ALL THE DETAILS ARE HERE.

Let's learn our goal style, get in a practice of speaking our goals way out loud, fail forward and be bold, together. 

Old Friends. Old Vision.

I have had a lot of conversations lately around friendships. How friendships ebb and flow, how they change, how some are meant to be in your life for only a certain amount of time and how some you are currently transitioning out of, bringing closer, making new. 

Especially in this time now. When we move a lot...for love, for jobs, for our vision boards. When we interact online more than offline. When we don't marry our high school sweethearts anymore or go to church every Sunday.

Times. They are a-changing.

And with this conversation, I have been thinking about my friendships. The people I choose to spend my time with, share my life with and have fun adventures with and experience life's hard stuff with and celebrate with. 

I realize looking back I have had such an eclectic mix of people. From elementary to high school to college to my Hollywood life to my lululemon life to married life to Rocky Mountain life now. WOW. And some of those friends are still close, some are nonexistent, some are broken friendships and some are on pause while others feel like family.

And for some reason, I have been focusing on the broken friendships. The ones that are gone now, for whatever the reason it was that it all shifted and they are no longer in my life. Was it me? Was it them? Where can I place blame to feel better? But you know, not better. 

Of course, in this moment, I see my fair share of responsibility in the matter. And I see my fair share in the realization that it wasn't all them, I changed and thus, we changed. 

When it comes to letting go of a friendship, I have found the part that was and is hardest for me to let go of was the future I had created with that friend. The trips we might take together, how my children might call them 'Aunt' or 'Uncle', and who they would be for me down the line.

Perhaps this feeds into my big picture thinker, my right brain ways, the dreamer in me. And whoa, do I paint the picture in the future and usually it is a beautiful piece of work. Full of color, connection, adventure and so much loyalty.

And then, as if painted on glass, the image shatters. 

And you know what, that is okay. 

In letting go of friendships, I realize I have to let go of the future I had written. And take the time to feel the loss, mourn the lost vision and truly let go (and cough, most likely forgive...). And then, only then, I see I actually get to rewrite it with perhaps new characters, space for a different friend, a different 'Uncle' or 'Aunt' friend-that-feels-like-family. 

Our only constant in this life is change. When I fight this notion, I create so much stress and drama in my mind, body and my goals. If you, like me, are in transition and exploring the ebb and flow of friendships (because I believe it just might be happening at all times), it is nothing to take personally. Honor the space, honor the ebb and flow and perhaps, let that old vision go to make the space. 

It can all be in love. It can.

 Photo X  Tayler Carlisle Photography   X Sand Dunes National Park

Photo X Tayler Carlisle Photography  X Sand Dunes National Park

The Art of the Chameleon

As I have written about often, I was a shape shifter, a people pleaser, a fit the mold-er human. I did this often in friendships, at work and definitely in relationships or potential make out sessions. And some times I still do. Not the random make outs, but the shifting of personality shapes. 

Did you?

I believe there is a space for this in our lives, be it our teens or the 20s I wrote about in the last post or if you are in the thick of it now. However, there has to be a time and a place where all the chameleon-ing has taught us the lessons we need to know and we then see the choice, the truth, and the realness of who we actually are and we make the choice to honor our individuality, all our unique gifts and all our weird and amazing. 

But. How do we know?

Well, your body will always tell you when you are in alignment and when you are out of sync. It sounds a major alarm. Not that guy, alarm alarm alarm. Not that friend, alarm alarm alarm. Or hell yes that guy, peace, peace, a little sweaty palms, elation, butterflies. Or yes too her all the secrets, peace, peace, trust, connection. 

Also, your intuition. And this is a tricky one for me, as I am a known mind over matter human, so I like to force and push and prod and overanalyze versus flow, listen and feel. Trusting in the guts is something I had to learn, unlearn, relearn and am still in the process of. Your soul knows. Creating the relationship of listening is our work. Oh too woo woo for you, holler in a couple years when ready.

Lastly, there are true experiences in life that will start to almost pinball you to where you need to be. I was speaking with a friend today about rejection. Oh the glory of rejection, I actually cringe writing the word. Me and my ego, we hate rejection. I heard Jia Jang speak on rejection at a conference once and it was super enlightening, check out his TED Talk on Rejection here. Because rejection can be the protection. And what I shared with my sweet friend is in the era of chameleon life that some of us might stumble into, we are actually rejecting our true selves. So it only makes sense that rejection from friends, work and lovers would follow suit. The puzzle pieces do not fit, round peg, square hole. 

These moment of listening to our body, trusting our gut and actually being open to getting rejected are truly pointing us in the direction we can be heading, if we allow ourselves to see it that way. The perspective is clutch in that regard. You are not late. You are not a failure. Nope, you are not unloveable. Damn, listen to all that mental drama. 

I have been there, too. Hell, I was there last week.

And yet, if there is something we are not listening to, and you know exactly what I am talking about right now in this moment (yep, that, whatever your brain just went to, that is it), it will continue to show up. When we are forcing versus flowing, when we fear rejection, when we chameleon to belong and fill a void with that terrible make out session IN PUBLIC at the end of the bar, we will feel it. And it is a major practice to have the awareness and then make a new choice. 

And yet, all this time we are learning our own way to go. 

Pivot. Take a new course. Learn from your (many) rejections because holy hell, I have so many rejection stories that still make my stomach ache and my ego cringe ... in the best way. And take the time to reflect on moments you felt joy, moments you felt so alive, moments you felt home in your soul, in your body, in your being.

And let the practice be so human. We are all in it together. 

 Finding the balance in my identity. Day by day. Photo X  Tayler Carlisle Photography

Finding the balance in my identity. Day by day. Photo X Tayler Carlisle Photography

My Crazy 20s. I Made it Through.

I had a moment alone this weekend where I told my husband I was going to take a nap but the mind, well she was a-racing, so I didn't nap yet took some time with my journal. 

I sat down in this chaise lounge thing by my unlit fireplace and I listed per page age 20 through age 29. And I started to explore the moments that made up each year. To name a few....The nicknames I acquired, the boyfriend I broke up with via email before leaving to study abroad (I had reasoning, I promise), the time I wrote a tutu for my entire 22nd birthday day (get it, tutu, as in 2-2), my Hollywood life and passing out caffeinated mints to strangers in nightclubs to make extra cash, or starting my lululemon life and (over)drinking that spandex kool-aid and getting so lost again and again yet finding myself along the way, writing a blog about riding a bus in LA and getting on the cover of the LA Times for it (so crazy), all the duck face pictures (ugh), that time I got lip injections....on reality TV, getting a dog, launching my own businesses, meeting a tribe of women that have changed my life, falling in love with my husband, all the karaoke, ... SO DAMN MUCH.

Probably enough to fill a book and make me laugh, cry, scoff and want to crawl under a bed and hide foerver or stand on a mountain top and yell "I AM BADASS" all at the same time. Because wow, I got through it.

And so did you.

Or if you are seated right there in the shitshow that can be 23, you will get through it. 

I promise. 

And that is my note to you today, take a moment to look back. Look back say 10 years into the past. The many job titles you have held, or the embarrassing nicknames, the people who were there and the people who have stayed and some that have majorly left and probably for good reason, the lessons you learned and the way you handled things then versus the way you handle things now.

From this recognition of my growth, and my oh my have I grown, do I start to look forward and see how much change is possible in 5 years, 10 years, 50 years. From this place of embarrassing moments and holy shit wake up calls to hell yes, look what I did, I see that possibility and dreaming is so important.

From this place, I begin to craft a vision with no constraints and a lot of wisdom. 
And you can too. You will, too. Go create the future. 

 Roughly 23. What. In. The. Hell.

Roughly 23. What. In. The. Hell.

Perspective at a Coffee Shop.

I had my space all set up.

Computer. Donut. Coffee. Headphones. Notebook.

Ready to work at the local coffee shop and get down to business. I was nestled between a woman with her headphones on and her computer ablaze and a homeless man and his croissant and Coca-Cola can he kept adding some secret alcohol to. He wasn't very sneaky in even his sneakiest attempts. 

And this is our modern day co-working space. Isn't life so interesting?

And my phone lights up. You know I don't have it on ring, does anyone every have their phone on ring anymore? 

I answer. I listen. My face and my heart drop. I stand up, walk outside to take the rest of my call in private. I receive sad news across the line, my own tears begin to well and I pace back and forth in the couple of feet I have made my own personal phone booth.  

As the conversation ends, I take a few deep breaths and come back to my 'office space'. 

I take a seat back at my barstool. And I look around at the coffee bar and all the tables filled. Some people busy at work on their computers, some people in the midst of a meeting - who knows what for...a business deal, a friendly catch up or a job interview. My neighboring man hacking a terrible cough and eating his croissant so slowly as to stay a little longer in the warmth of the coffee shop inside. The woman next to me still tap, tap, tapping on her computer. This one guy lingering at the front to grab an open spot when it comes available, his eyeballs on scan and looking somewhat over-caffeinated. 

And I wonder what they are all feeling today?

I know I feel weighted with the news from the other line of the phone. I feel sad and almost lonely in this space, working next to him and her and they. Surrounded by humans yet staring at a screen.

And it is such a perspective shift. 

All these people. Sitting in this place. So close to one another. Churning and burning. And yet, what are they feeling today? I have no idea what news on a phone call they just got, be it this year, last week or earlier this morning. Is she going through a break up? Is he celebrating his new promotion? Do they like their job? Are they their work, to a human, in their own life? 

Such a simple shift in my own energy that morning at the coffee shop to realize and remember that we have no idea what another is going through. Unless they choose to share it with us in a sacred exchange that is communication. And we have no idea how their heart is?

So tread lightly. 

Smile. Say hi. Be gentle.