Tag Archives: adventure

Audacious

Last June I was reading Wild on my condo balcony. My health and fitness hobby was growing into what could easily become a career. My mind was searching for which direction I would go. Would I continue to teach in a local school district one more year or would I knowingly give up a steady paycheck because deep down I had faith and a feeling this will work? Do I have enough courage to make it work when the feeling has left me?

In my deliberation, I never once thought teaching was inferior, though if I was honest with myself and everyone else, teaching in the U.S. in a public school was on my list of “nevers.” I did not want to become a teacher, especially not an elementary school teacher. What happened though is, I really wanted to move to Nashville and it was something I could do.

Often we make choices based on what we think we can do instead of aiming for what is nearly impossible (and what we would clearly need God’s help in achieving).

So in weighing both of my options, I only had one true choice. Continue to dole out advice I was hypocritically to terrified to exercise in my own life, or fall in love with the fear knowing my dependency on faith would multiply.

After a few, long, deep breaths and uplifting conversations with Nigel, I made the phone call. I said no, and thank you, to an opportunity. A really good, amazing, fantastic opportunity, because when I evaluated my motivation – money was at the core. I started teaching to get to Nashville. I was still teaching because even though teachers are not paid a great deal of it, money is involved, and it comes steadily.

I knew this is what I needed to do. I knew in my heart when I was moved to tears at the bravery and audacity of this woman who decided to write an honest story about her experience in coming home and embracing who she is. Her account paired with the notion in The Compound Effect about doing things in a big way and going for the shock factor over what is comfortable, made up my mind.

I wasn’t sure what it would look like, but knew, this is how I wanted my story to read:

she had a chance to live her life and she took it

Now, six months later, the choice is still scary. I still doubt. I still question myself and my crazy. It would be so practical to give up and move on; I’m doing what I do well, but am I doing it well enough?

This morning I spent some time reading Love Does by Bob Goff. This was gifted to me by a new friend who I don’t even truly know, but the internet and life work that way.

Aside from the heart and humor within each story Bob tells, he also continues to remind me dreaming in an enormous way is important. Having faith because it’s unlikely and unpractical and outrageous, is important and even necessary.

Bob has used the adjective “audacious,” nearly ten times in his book. Of course anyone is welcome to use any word they prefer, and still because he keeps using that word of all words, I know to hang on. I know to keep going, keep pushing, because nothing worth doing is easy (it’s what they say, right?) And because I never want to leave this life a little short of what I could have been.

When I look at who inspires me, I see the relentless, passionate few, who no matter what – never freaking give up. And in doing so they arrive where they are headed. They embody audacity and true faith.

Living our day to day naturally dims this drive. We all become very comfortable. Life is convenient, even easy mostly. So I don’t expect you to fully understand what I’m saying. Because when I’m in the routine, driving to and from work, tired, only slightly passionate, I forget too. However, in these moments when I take one second and let some truth touch my soul – I remember. I was meant for more, I can feel it. You were too. Whatever it looks like for you, I’m not sure. But what I do know is you should always do a “soul check.” Ask yourself questions regularly. Reflect on who you are and who you want to be and listen to what’s inside of you. At your core you always know which path to follow.

Be freaking audacious. In your actions, your love, your life. Every day, forever. Amen.

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Year In Review

Honestly, today I’m cranky. I felt dreamy beforehand when I planned to post all that’s happened this year and now at the very end of the year, I feel there’s been a misstep. It’s the dressing room mirror’s fault.

Regardless, I started brainstorming my list. It made me smile. I guess I did kind of love this one.

  • had the opportunity to work with the sweetest ESL kiddos, during this time the idea of adoption was placed on my heart and will now shape a few things I am doing with the business in the near future
  • left that amazing job after being moved to tears in June, on my balcony, over a book. Had a stirring inside me I could not ignore and knew it was now or never and though I didn’t even realize, I’d been pursuing what was ‘easier’ this entire time. So I said YES.
  • felt more peace than before because of the decision to be myself unapologetically, found my voice
  • attracted more of my people because of the above bullet
  • paid off (almost all) debt. School loans, car loans, anything and everything else is diminished. We don’t own a home so I guess no mortgage can be celebrated – for now.
  • helped Lewis Howes launch his book, was apart of SOGA
  • came clear on my vision for Live Audaciously
  • became a personal trainer
  • helped my ladies shed a combined over 200 pounds of fat – online!
  • did a pull up, almost to two in a row currently!
  • live workouts with Tony Horton & Shawn T
  • read tons of books
  • practiced gratitude more often
  • adopted another puppy (Reg dude) Who am I??
  • met my nephew Gabe, had the chance to talk to my sister immediately after she gave birth (so many tears, so happy for her)
  • put on the guest list for an intimate house show by a musician I’ve followed for the past ten years, such an incredible experience.
  • I’m not telling you how the above bullet came to fruition but I really want to; it’s hilarious (so I’ll still make it a point, because it made my entire year)
  • visited the Oregon coast and the mountains and rode a train to Washington
  • met so many incredible people
  • attended two Dave Bazan house shows
  • FaceTime with family over the holidays (was bummed about not being there but had to look at the positive, still had a chance to drop in!)
  • witnessed my friend talk about her dream of designing a planner and see each step lead to now; launched and published!
  • witnessed my husband become more and more of who he is meant to be – you can tell, there is a peace and a confidence that arrive when you step into your true self
  • was always provided for and supported. So blessed, so thankful

I acknowledge what may have been a fantastic year for me may not have been for you. If so, I hope you find strength and peace tonight and know it does get better. Life is full of seasons and the above is only my highlight reel. There were frustrating, angry and off moments too. I also hope you find a moment to tease out the miracles this year held for you. May your next trip round the sun be blissful. xoxo

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30 for 30

As an adult, it’s so easy to push everything onto time. Everything. I didn’t have time. There wasn’t any time. I ran out of time. I wasn’t watching the time. I would do ____ if only I had time. This is perplexing as we all actually have the same amount of time. No one invented more time, however, again, it’s a matter of how we manage what we are given. 

Thirty books in one year shouldn’t actually be difficult. I decided on jotting this goal with the rest when I realized I hadn’t been actively reading (hadn’t been actively growing my brain in one of the best ways possible) since I had graduated college. I was only skimming articles. I had only been reading what was required, and my goodness, I’m 30 years old, why in the world can I not read when I want to read?! Well. Simply because I didn’t make time for it. Didn’t schedule it in. This was the goal to remedy all of that. 

Comprehensively, this seems noble. Like, heck yes, 30 books in one whole year. The reality is I read about seven books through August and now I’m cramming the rest in the last month of the year. I have 10 to finish.

Below I reflect on what I’ve read, what I have yet to read, and how I feel about this ambition currently. The book theme of the year morphed into a personal development + exploration and adventure. Interestingly, I feel this could be the definition of my life in 2015.

  1. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Wilson – this one was slow but had a lot of interesting information. I liked to see how she mapped out her year and the revelations she came across. Probably the best book to kick off a new year. If you haven’t read it, you may want to give it a go, but don’t pressure yourself to finish because as I mentioned – s l o w.
  2. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – currently the best book I’ve ever read. Seriously. It took a minute to gain momentum in reading, but soon I couldn’t wait to finish the book so I could re-read it again. I haven’t yet because of my crazy book goal, but will be returning to it soon! If you want to live a better life – read this book.
  3. Today Matters by John Maxwell – oh how I love Maxwell! I started reading his work upon recommendation and now I’ll happily soak any wisdom he offers (through books, email, anything). Today matters, not yesterday or tomorrow.
  4. Be a People Person by John Maxwell – pretty decent book. Quick read.
  5. Wild by Cheryl Strayed – another life changer for me. Her honestly made every word rich and more valuable than it could have been if she focused on writing politely. I laughed, I cried, I related in so many ways. Nigel and I rented the movie afterward and came to the pretty frequent conclusion that is – the book was better.
  6. The Winning Attitude by John Maxwell – Attitude is everything and he explains it all perfectly. Read this one!
  7. Tribes by Seth Godin – this was a quick read. It’s a small book and I highlighted several concepts of his. Not earth shattering but worth picking up sometime.
  8. The Best of American Travel Writing 2013 Edited by Elizabeth Gilbert – I’m one chapter in and finding it difficult to keep reading for pleasure. This would be a better read under less pressure.
  9. Guide to Becoming Rich by Robert T. Kiyosaki – my dad used to read these books years ago and I always thought, “geez, Dad, money doesn’t matter why are you pursuing it so fiercely?” I could not have been more wrong. All of his books are on my ‘must read’ list because he has loads of financial wisdom.
  10. Cashflow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki – opened my eyes to why it is important to own your own business. How money is a mindset like everything else. You have to learn the correct way to think about it and then you will know how to manage it most effectively.
  11. The 8 New Rules of Money by Robert T. Kiyosaki – another eye opener! As a society, we expect our lives to be handed to us. We expect the government to take care of us, and we expect to live happily ever after. When so much is working against us, we need to learn to take ownership and to work smarter.
  12. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer – This book was hard to push myself through even though it was interesting.
  13. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer – I’ll admit, I’m not completely finished with this one. It’s taken back seat to other books I can breeze through more quickly.
  14. The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey – Not finished with this one either. It is thick. But what I love about it is that it discusses the importance of finding your voice and the importance of not buying into the scarcity mindset.
  15. How to Win Friends and Influence People – in progress
  16. The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes – Fantastic read, especially if you want to organize your life and develop a clear and succinct vision. You know – I even have one for you!
  17. Becoming Odyssa by Jen Pharr – I enjoyed this book even though I felt her writing was too polite (also see – too Christian). The story was fun to follow.
  18. Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell – Another I plan to re-read. Solid info that can be quickly and easily implemented.
  19. Put Your Dreams to the Test by John Maxwell – I’m a dreamer by heart. Good info but didn’t feel Earth-shaking.
  20. The Process of Living Your Dreams by John Maxwell – see above
  21. Do Over by Jon Acuff – this guy is hilarious. He also lives in Nashville. So when I saw on Twitter he was speaking at a local college, I decided I’d be there. Crazy thing – he gave everyone there a free book. I had already planned to read this so he made my life so much easier with that kind gesture! This book is a fun read. Lots of humor. Check it out.
  22. Start by Jon Acuff
  23. You’re a Badass by Jen Sincero – many of the coaches on my team have read this one and absolutely love it.
  24. Secret Laws of Attraction (unsure of author, could be a problem)
  25. I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones
  26. Thrive by Arianna Huffington
  27. Success Principles (author?)
  28. Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
  29. The Go Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann – I wanted to end the year with a few books centered around something I found so invaluable which is generosity. I want to lead with love and generosity ranks close to number one on my list.
  30. Love Does by Bob Goff – This seemed like another perfect end of the year book. You’ll have to let me know if you’ve read it!

Those I’ve listed in italics are those I’m speed-reading through December 31st. I do not recommend it and don’t plan to hold myself to this type of standard in the future. Because of this, I’ll spend the month of January skimming through the notes I’ve made throughout these books. What good is digesting so many books if I’m extracting nothing from them? 

Lastly in 2016, my focus will be 100% on health from the inside out – this means I want to fill my brain with all those good health reads. I’ve heard suggestions like Grain Brain and Skin Cleanse. Any good books surrounding health you think I should put on next year’s list? 

 

 

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2015

I remember with good intention, wanting to reflect on my year in years previous to this one. I never seemed to have make the time though, and last year, I probably made fun of the idea. But guess what – as I’ve mentioned before – this year was the best so reflecting on what it’s been brings me joy

Growing up, I’ve had these convictions. I’ve had this passion. And for some reason, even with these things, I fell into a pattern dictated by everyone except myself. Little by little, I began to chip away the exterior, the pleasing face I wore because that’s what I was supposed to do. As a “Christian.” As a “good person.” As someone who needed a job to support myself. Pleasing. Following rules on the outside even though my inner monologue strongly rejected those rules. I am serious when I say, I thought growing up meant letting go (of who you wanted to be, of your ideals, of your expectations).

If I could pinpoint a date or year I began to shed the outside and step more into me, I’d say 2012. In 2012 I’d been married two years. We started into some real marital problems. While that topic is for another time, my point is that it was enough cause to step back and ask – what am I really doing here? In marriage, in life, at work, at home – all of it. I began to re-evaluate why, and more importantly why not? I began peeling back the layers of every decision and uncovering a similar core theme: I did or didn’t do often because I felt guilty. I did not want to disappoint someone. And the absolute worst – I was doing what I thought I was SUPPOSED to be doing. 

It’s a lie to say I only realized the flame in 2012. I’ve always had the flame, however in twenty twelve, I slowly began to add kindling. Piece by piece, with every decision toward me, I gave light to the fire inside.

And now, almost four years later, I feel the closest to myself I’ve ever been. My inner thoughts are lived out in action, my heart is at peace. 

Ladies and gentleman: My year, my goals, my thoughts in December. 

 1. Debt free by June 1st, 2015. This was fun. We knocked out all debt except 1k, then we added a few “k” to that in the form of my own education/professional development, so I’m going to say – win. I’ve learned so much about money and will continue to do so! It’s such an important subject. Don’t shy away from it because of a money misunderstanding. Learn how to manage it well (I believe this applies to all of the gifts we are given – manage them well).

2. Goal weight of 130# by May 12th, 2015. Another “learning goal.” I’m not at 130. I weigh more than 130. I’m made of a lot of muscle and I’m not unhappy with my weight now, but my goal going forward will be less numerical and more abstract, like, do you feel like a badass? Yes? Ok, then – win!

3. 10k in savings by December 31st, 2015. This one is comical. We legitimately had a plan to save this amount with ease and then I went and QUIT my job! That makes a difference. I’m in the growing stages of doing what I absolutely love, so can I call this a win too? I believe with absolute conviction that I traded instant gratification for delayed success. No, we didn’t save 10k by the end of the year, but I started early in building in growing in ways that will save me so much more for the rest of my life. So thankful.

4. Read 30 new books by December 31st, 2015. I will be writing more about this tomorrow. Currently I’m about ten books shy of my goal. This by far has been the most important. Because of one of these books, I felt convicted enough to take the leap and start my life now, instead of “buying time,” for another year. Check out the blog tomorrow for my book list and thoughts for each.

5. Take a summer trip to Portland, OR. Yeass. And it was beautiful. We rode the train on the coast up into Washington, stayed in a few Air BnBs, went to the coldest, windiest beach, took so many pictures, got lost in the mountains. Oh Oregon, I miss you.

6. Start writing that book. So this is one of the hardest. I love to write and I often make excuses to keep busy instead of writing – so how does that make any sense? An author I respect said something this year. He said the hardest thing to write is that first line, that first chapter, that first book. You just need to start. I’ve put so much pressure on myself regarding this goal specifically. I still didn’t know what to write about, where to begin. And as I take a deep breath, I’ll say, I didn’t begin in January. I didn’t begin in May. Not even in November. Instead I’m starting…now? Via this blog and the health overhaul I have planned for next year. The most important step in all decisions will always be starting, so like, this is me starting. Hoo-rah.

7. Start a personal website for BB and other passions. I did this right away. “Jumped the gun” and bought a domain name. Then used the site for a few weeks and forgot about it. How about we try this one again?

8. Sponsor 10 new coaches MINIMUM by December, 2015. Yeass! And my team is the freaking bomb. We have so much planned for 2016, be ready you guys. And if you’ve given thought to joining us – reach out now!

9. Shakeo + Workout + PD daily – Goal: 25/30 days of the month. This is funny. I set this huge, ambitious goal of almost daily and did absolutely nothing to track my progress. Guys, tracking is key! I’ll try better next year and I’ll go into it with the tools I need. (funmeetsfunction.com)

10. Be me, unapologetically. (Not as measurable, but it’s important to me this year!) I’m all smiles. And I lied before. This is the goal that was the foundation for all the rest. I was me and my heart and soul are at peace. Thank you, Lord, for another year.

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Sunday

I’ve always wanted to write, and I’ve always found an excuse not to write. I don’t know how to start. They wouldn’t understand what I’m trying to say. I’m no better than the next guy.

I was listening to an established author on Periscope the other day and he mentioned the first page is always the hardest to write. All the pressure lies on that one page. What a parallel to everything else in life, right? You put too much pressure on anything and it becomes paralyzed.

Take a deep breath. Begin.

READING: Put Your Dream to the Test by John C. Maxwell

LOVING: my new hair do by Chandra Rae Fredrickson

LISTENING: to Sons & Doubters (podcast) & Latifah Phillips: Joy

MOVING: my p90x3 routine (you need inspiration to move? see me)

ASPIRING: to do the thing that scares me

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Seasons

Phew. September was difficult. After a summer of flying high, late August and September were the months that grounded me. Feeling thrown back into something I sprinted from left me bitter and searching for focus and gratitude. I welcome this month with arms fully extended, blissful at the thought of leaving the rest behind.

October, you son of a bitch, where you been hiding? 

In an effort to hold myself to writing more freely and more often, I’ll be including my “currents” at the end of my posts:

READING: Put Your Dream to the Test by John C. Maxwell

LOVING: my new functional planner by Dana Bowman @functional15

LISTENING: to Lewis Howes School of Greatness (podcast) & Derek Webb’s Ctrl album + random songs by Audrey Assad

MOVING: to those beats above & my p90x3 routine (you need inspiration to move? see me)

ASPIRING: to make this routine

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Photo: by me @Cheekwood; Artist: Juame Plensa

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My Sister, The Warrior

Yesterday morning, I was driving to a sub job I’d agreed to work. It was 45 minutes away (oops) so I had a lot of time to be alone before arriving.

During my drive, I received a photo for my eyes only. It was a photo of my sister holding her fresh, new baby boy, Gabriel. When I saw the photo, I called my mom. She told me that Gabe was just delivered and handed the phone to my sister.

“That was HARD,” she said, laughing and crying at the same time. Poor thing was exhausted, but I could hear her joy. “You did it! That part is over!” I told her. To my surprise, I was choking up as well. And here we were, my little sister, having just given birth 500 miles away. And myself, on the way to work, allowed to have a quick conversation with the brand new momma.

Kara, I was crying just as much as you were yesterday. Not from the pain, of course, but because I am so proud of you. I will {always} love and cherish those few moments I was able to talk to you right after Gabriel was born. You have so much ahead of you with a new human to care for, but you conquered the pain, sister!

Especially because I haven’t been through this stage of life yet, I’m so proud. You handled pregnancy gracefully and delivered your son into this world.

Only a few short days until I get to meet him and hold him in my arms. I’m excited to hug you and congratulate you in person. I love you. I’m so proud of you. You are so special to me.

Gabriel

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When Plans Change or When Everything Goes Exactly as it Should

Years ago I thought God had forgotten me. From my own perspective, my closest friends were being heard, prayers were being answered, and there I was.

I felt so lonely.

I thought maybe these rules, thoughts, and ideas didn’t apply to me. Surely not. I couldn’t see the evidence anywhere. While I’d cling to the hope in my tears being repaid tenfold in joy, I’m not confident I believed it was true.

The feeling came back again, a year and a half into marriage, when I felt all my dreams were shut down and my hopes were put on what could be a permanent hold.

“But I thought we were supposed to do this – together; and here I am feeling all the weight and all the burden and none of the joy,” were thoughts that consumed my mind. It was really tough. It was difficult to keep my heart and mind focused. I reacted and broke my own heart in the process. I felt stuck and resentful and hopeless. It sounds heavy but it’s true and that’s why I think it’s important to share.

My problem then and sometimes now, was my lack of vision. I couldn’t see past that month or year or past my own hurt. I couldn’t see this work that started years ago will be continued, and it will be for my own good.

I measured my life in nearsighted-ness, ignoring the decades I had yet to evaluate.

*

Fast forward to now. I still feel lonely sometimes. I think we all do. But any and all of my feelings have been transcended by this thick, comforting blanket of peace. Almost ten years post endless nights of tears and my hurt doesn’t come from those feelings any longer. Almost five years post committing myself to Nigel and all we’ve experienced, through my fault or not, has been sobering and messy, but nothing I’d trade.

Sometimes all of these life events seem ironic. They aren’t. I think it’s more the beautiful detail that is woven through every interaction, pain, conversation, song, missed opportunity. It still leads me here. Those deep gut feelings or passions reside in me to be pursued, and those hurts I’ve caused are ways to learn and experience, and seek forgiveness and redemption.

When plans change, so do we, because we are meant to be more than we think we could be, and to make mistakes, and to work together and learn from each other, and be edified – and eventually made new.

So thankful for this story.

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Reviving the Blog

Hey there.

It’s been awhile, huh? I started this blog in 2012 as an outlet. Posted a bit about my ideal of teaching English in other countries and how that dream was a bit – squashed. I began with the hope of finding adventure in the every day. Because it’s possible, and interesting. And we all have a story.

I posted about leaving my wonderfully amazing non-profit job and pursuing other things. Those other things brought us to Nashville, and pushed me through conquering my certification in teaching Elementary and ESL. This included: the summer from hell (2013), living on Nigel’s income and withdrawing our retirement money, working 12+ hours daily with no pay, trying to show love and grace and add value as we were stressed to the point of breakdown. In fact, in the program I survived, there were several literal breakdowns daily. The only possible experience I could equate this to is boot camp, except for teachers. So yes, there was that summer from hell, which I survived when not many of us did. Nigel landed a job and then found an even better job. We slowly started accumulating furniture. Our one bedroom, unfurnished condo turned into a one bedroom with a couch, and then side table, and in the following summer we graduated to owning and enjoying a queen sized mattress. (Gifted by the parentals – thank you forever)

So we left Kansas City and set our feet in Nashville. We came with nothing (see above paragraph) and completely jobless. My teaching internship was unpaid and yes, I was admitted into the program, but surviving and passing was separate and undetermined.

But, my God, here we are. Two years into our Nashville adventure and already dreaming up our next big hoorah. I’ve quit two jobs while here. Not something to be proud of in the quitting sense, but if you look at it from my perspective, you’ll see with each decision to leave something, I’ve opened myself to something new, and better for me. Or I’ve uncovered another piece of myself that I didn’t think was reachable until the very moment in time when I had to make the decision – should I stay or should I go?

With every step, the intensity of my choices was greater and the reward was as equally great.

Currently, I am calling myself my own rule maker. I freelance my abilities and accept work when I want to work. As a married couple, we are not thriving by societal standards, but I hate those standards any way and choose not to live by them.

By our own standards, we are living an adventurously blessed life. Stepping more into myself is lending light to the vision I’ve had inside of me for some time; and suddenly I’ve found my voice that had been muted (not sure by who, probably me) and re-approaching my public story.

Again, here we are. We wanted something new and we found it. We stretched and grew into who we wanted to be, and we are preparing daily to do the same thing again – in a different way.

Please keep posted on our journey. Here we go!

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A Second Thought on All of My Goals

A second thought on all of my goals.

I was reminded today. Even though I plan to push myself and reach higher, become better, do more, I was reminded that I am enough. All I have is enough. No matter the slip-ups, the set-backs, the mistakes, the small things that make me feel week, worn, and so far from who I want to be – it is finished. It’s already done. I’m forgiven. I’m free. I am holy in the sight of a loving and holy God.

He poured out all of His goodness on me, leaving me spotless.

Guys, I’ve (we’ve) already won.

I say this just because I was reminded of it today. And because I felt like it’s something worth saying 11 days into the new year. How are those resolutions? If they are going well, then wonderful! That’s great to hear! If they aren’t going so well, guess what, you are more than your resolution. You are more than 2015. Your story is precious and unique and woven into the greater story of Grace.

Do not give up hope. Keep trying and pushing (and praising!) I promise you, this story ends well.

you are enough

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