A writer writing

by Nancy Colasurdo on September 30, 2013

You know what’s kind of dreamy for a writer (read: me)? The right outlet. You know what’s even dreamier? Several of those.

It occurred to me today, just today, that I have manifested something I’ve been saying I want. It’s options within my writing. It’s kind of like, “here’s what I have to say today — now where can I put it?” I confess that I never thought it would look like this.

Come on into my head for a moment if you dare. I’m walking down the street or strolling through a store or conversing with a friend and I get an idea. It develops and I want to write about it. But where? Privately in my notebook? On my Unfettered 50 site? Here? In my book? Or in one of the two blogs I’ve been contracted to write — Day Brake and Live Riveted (link to come)?

This is pretty amazing. Because, well, writers write. We ideally write about what moves us. And every single outlet I mentioned above moves the heck out of me. I keep saying I’m never going to retire because I’m never going to stop writing. I am so clear that my No. 1 focus is to live my life and chronicle it. And that it is my livelihood.

The Universe is listening.

A moment in my day that makes me nod and acknowledge myself for something will probably become a post for A Day Well Lived. Something that deepens my understanding of me as a writer and/or coach will likely be expressed here. Essays that are cultural, weighty, controversial, serious or imparting advice go to Unfettered 50. Others’ stories of living in the now on their own terms are a fit for Live Riveted. The book and all subsequent books are for stories and topics that require length and exploration in a deeper context. My notebook, well, that’s mostly a place to sort out everything before it gets to any of the aforementioned outlets.

It all fits. It ALL fits.

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Checking back in

by Nancy Colasurdo on September 24, 2013

It’s been a long time since I wrote here. Part of the reason is the launch of my new blog venture, Unfettered50.com. But there’s more.

I’ve been giving serious thought to what I want to convey here that separates it from Unfettered 50. I love this site. It has been my go-to for years. And earlier this year it became the home of Game Plan (formerly at FoxBusiness.com) when I wasn’t quite ready to let it go. I dig the bookshelves and the sections that share who I am as a professional coach.

Which brings me to what’s happening in that area of my life. I’ve been noticing a pattern lately, from clients to friends to casual inquiries — I spend a lot of time helping people tell and even understand their own stories. Here’s what is now written on my revised ‘About’ page:

” … [Nancy] wants you to understand and be able to convey what is compelling about your story. How do your unique experiences and interests make you a standout job candidate, entrepreneur or employer? What is it about your particular background and world view that sets you apart? How do your skills translate to a whole new career path? Nancy will extract your story from you in ways that will make your interviews and correspondence more powerful because you will be more clear about your life narrative.”

This means crystallizing it so that you can slip it into your LinkedIn profile, include pieces of it in your cover letters or have it at the ready when you’re on a job interview.

I didn’t set out to tell stories when I became a coach, but after a decade of working with creative and ambitious clients I have come to realize it is at the heart of the whole operation. And it’s amazing when it all clicks in.

Meanwhile, I am also sharing bits from my own story in weekly posts at A Day Well Lived (Day Brake archived here) and another outlet for storytelling is in the works. Stay tuned for more info on that.

And by all means, if you think I can assist you in bringing clarity to your story, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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The birth of Unfettered50

by Nancy Colasurdo on August 6, 2013

Oh, baby, have I been working. And so has an amazing woman named Jeanne Weierheiser. I am so pleased to share that the result of our energetic collaboration is Unfettered50.com. It launches today and it makes me giddy.

Regular readers of this space know that since last year I often tag some of my posts “Unfettered 50.” I got the idea early in 2012, after turning 50 in late 2011, and I purchased the domain name. But I had a lot going on in my life and I wasn’t prepared to give it a real go despite the Facebook page by that name gifted to me by a friend with a good heart – Todd Lieman.

That brings me to that old saying about one door closing and another opening. As of March 1, this independent contractor ended a five-year column-writing gig. It was admittedly jarring because the column had become a habit, but slowly my soul caught up to my intellect as it told me repeatedly that I had done all there was to do in that forum. A beautiful opportunity that had run its course.

But then, what?

Exploration. I have railed here. I have been impatient. I have questioned. I have opened, opened, opened. Another cliche started overriding all else — build it and they will come. I had to keep turning up the volume on that, humming along with faith and calmly answering well-meaning questions about how it would generate income.

Patience. I have that way more than ever before. Much emotional and spiritual work over the years, but honestly an escalation of the concept the last two months. This took front and center — Follow your marching orders. You hear them. Go. Do. Be.

If not now, when?

I keep joking about how my new job is to figure out how my 50-something self fits in to this new world created by 25-year-olds. I see it pretty clearly now and I’m just sitting back and letting it evolve. Try this. What about that? Open.

I’ve been challenged by me, Nancy (a.k.a. my biggest critic), to shed ideas that are no longer viable and figure out what might be possible instead. I’ll be darned if all kinds of stuff didn’t come rushing in when I removed the filter. That essay I want to write can go from a germ of an idea to published product in a few hours. I’ve known that for a while, right? But I’m just getting the power of it now.

I attached the number to Unfettered 50 because I felt this sudden freedom when I hit this milestone decade, but truly I want readers to come along on the Unfettered journey no matter their age. Just because it took me a while to get here doesn’t mean it’s the same for everyone else. However, I do think many of my 50-something brothers and sisters will especially understand the liberation of getting to this point in life.

Please check out the site. I explain who I am, why I created it and welcome readers to seek Unfettered Advice. There’s a newsletter, connections to social media (Unfettered Pinterest boards, oh my), and even a spot called You May Want to Rethink That for dispensing advice when something hits me off the news cycle. There’s also a place to connect to my weekly Day Brake posts at A Day Well Lived.

I have ideas for moving forward and it will be a fun challenge to execute them all with the vision of Jeanne in the mix. She has a way of making my musings into something better than I could have imagined. Blessings abound on this project and beyond.

Here we go, folks. Here. We. Go.

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On Affecting Lives

by Nancy Colasurdo on July 30, 2013

I recently received a wonderful piece of mail that said this, “Your perspective is unique in the way it resonates and God has put you in this place at this time to change and affect lives.”

This reader went on to share a story about his health and he had written to cheer me on in my efforts regarding my recent blog post Life in the Hypertensive Zone. His issues with cholesterol were similar to mine with blood pressure.

This kindness from a stranger reminded me of several things about life. One, it is hard to keep track of all the people we might be touching, especially if we’re writers in this age of the world wide web. My goodness, what a privilege to have someone tell me I’m affecting lives.

Two, our stories are important because even though sometimes we feel like we’re telling them and no one is listening or caring, they are. They’re listening with rapt attention. They’re caring enough to write and share their own stories. That kind of connection is such a big part of why I do this.

I suppose that’s also why I’m moved to share that I’m in a major state of flux right now. It is filled with big ideas, endless possibility, uncertainty, lean living, physical pain, surges of confidence, groundedness, much introspection and mad bouts of writing. This is a summer of sequestration of sorts. I have no feeling of deprivation around that. It feels peaceful and I’m vicariously enjoying others’ getaways and such via social media.

Sometimes when I ask my life coaching clients what they’re willing to do (sacrifice?) to have that thing they say they want, this is kind of what I mean. I’m one who’s willing to hunker down and say no to dining out and skip a vacation if it means I can make my next vision come to fruition. There is something so primal and cool about scaling way back. The simplest pleasures take front and center. No, I can’t make that dinner at that trendy restaurant, but how about a walk? We can catch up that way.

I see it as temporary. I used to see it as a terrifying failure, a reason to beat myself up for falling short somehow. Now I’m unsure of how this is all going to go, but there’s an underlying joy and purpose and a certainty that it will all work out. In fact, more than work out. Hard to explain, but clearly all the work on self I’ve done up to now is rising to the surface. And this is part of the ebb and flow of being a writer who actually takes the gift seriously.

In the very near future I will be unveiling Unfettered50.com, a venture (website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) born of a feeling I had last year when I was new to hitting age 50. I’m so excited about it and have been pouring lots of energy and time into making it shine. Simultaneously, I have clarified some questions I had around a book I’ve been writing that was dormant for a long time and I’m now working on it voraciously. That baby is ready to be born. It wants out.

It’s a special kind of challenge to create on different levels and that’s new to me. Blogging here, generating content for Unfettered50.com and writing for A Day Well Lived on current topics. Going deep into a memoir manuscript that spans a decade I’ve already lived to chronicle past experiences. In an interesting twist, as I’m rereading my own chapters I’m finding it valuable to apply those lessons learned to my life now. What a kick.

In between the writing moments, I’m getting immense satisfaction from clients who are clearing clutter – physical and emotional — to let in new possibilities, revamping resumes to invite new opportunities, proudly honoring their own creativity and working through loss to make life-altering decisions. It’s heady when I actually pause to appreciate it.

In a previous post I spoke of talking to a woman in my community who suggested I learn more about Paul the Apostle. I have borrowed books and even watched a film on him since she gave me that nudge. Last week I watched a documentary about Buddha on PBS and a theme emerged. These men – Paul and Siddhartha — forged their own path, spread their message with little care about mainstream reaction. They did what they were compelled to do – learn, keep the faith, teach.

That feels very right in the life of this coach/writer. I’m so glad I’ve learned to pay attention when others make suggestions and when my gut directs me to something. I get to learn and share and maybe affect some lives.

I’m all in.

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My gratifying gig

by Nancy Colasurdo on July 16, 2013

A few weeks ago I informed my readers here that I’d be writing a new weekly post called Day Brake for A Day Well Lived. The site and newsletter will launch soon, but in the meantime you can find Day Brake on its (public) Facebook page.

What I am finding joyful in the process of contributing original content to ADWL is that it serves two purposes — I get to pause and reflect on what makes a particular day ‘well lived’ and I get the opportunity to share any insights I have around that. You will find these posts anecdotal and reflective but also conversational.

At this point ADWL‘s Facebook page has eclipsed the 150,000 followers mark, a credit to its founder/creator Todd Lieman, and it is beyond exciting to speak to such a wide and diverse readership. We’d love it if you’d take the journey with us.

Here are Day Brake posts No. 2 and 3:

‘Only’ Appreciation (Thoughts on abundance …)

Appreciative Energy (Applying energy to showing appreciation …)

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Life in the Hypertensive Zone

by Nancy Colasurdo on July 10, 2013

I hate writing about health. I glaze over when people talk about it regularly. I am bored to tears when I’m fixated on my own health issues. I don’t seek out articles about it. I guess you could say when it comes to this topic I learn about things on a need-to-know basis.

Courtesy of freeimages.co.uk

All that said, I have been posting a bit more on the topic of health in the last year or so. People other than me tend to respond favorably to these pieces; they like the sharing. Plus, I have vowed to be pretty much split-open vulnerable in my writing, more so than ever before, and this has been a major time suck the last week.

So let’s talk high blood pressure.

To summarize, I learned I was hypertensive in April 2012 while getting pre-op testing for arthroscopic surgery on my knee. Bring it down, I was told, or no surgery. I got on meds, pronto, and they helped, but even the day of the surgery the anesthesiologist was freaked because I was on the borderline. (That’s relaxing for the patient to hear, by the way).

Since then I’ve blown through four different prescription meds. Dark moods, leaden limbs, etc. On to the next.

I figured I’d found my answer with this diuretic concoction (I’m purposely not naming names on here because I don’t want to get bogged down in debating drugs), but since starting it last September I’ve had an increasing problem with throbbing pain in my legs, mild to severe joint stiffness (walking across a room is challenging), cramps in my feet and overall achiness. When I walk or exercise it’s like I’m working against myself. Hard to explain, but that’s close.

I’ve written about this here before, but each time I wind up ending the post with some resolution. In other words, I keep thinking I’ve figured out it’s some other thing or I’ve found the answer (freakin’ pineapple juice, drinking more water, challenging myself more at the gym, etc.) because it goes away for a day or so and returns.

But last week on the 4th of July I went to sit on the ground and couldn’t physically do it. My knees stiffened on the way down. Me, who works out four days a week and walks everywhere (I don’t own a car). Seriously?

The next morning I emailed my doctor. I was firm. Time to go off this drug. It is either causing these problems or there is something else very wrong. We need to conduct an experiment. I know you like my blood pressure in this “sweet spot” but my quality of life is getting progressively worse. I’m an active 51-year-old.

She agreed. Go off the meds, she said, and monitor your blood pressure every other day and then come see me in two weeks. Fabulous.

So here’s where I am. This is Day 6 off the meds. I feel amazing. My workouts feel less leaden. I’ve done the elliptical three of the last five days, something I haven’t been able to do in over a year. Euphoric doesn’t begin to cover it.

Except, except, except … my blood pressure is running high again. Monday it was pretty high. Today it was markedly better but still high. This is going to be a challenge. I am seeing it as an opportunity to take my life up a few notches in every way. It feels like I have been emotionally preparing myself for this. Hard to explain, but true.

The plain truth is that since being diagnosed I’ve never given myself a chance to bring it down naturally with lifestyle changes. I am called to do that now. Out the window – olives (*weeping*), full-sour pickles, salami (say it isn’t so), the few processed items I still consume.

This morning I went to Panera and asked my favorite employee for the “binder” of nutrition info on their products. I went through it and gasped. So my whole grain bagel (I usually eat just half, but slathered with peanut butter) has 400 milligrams of sodium? Are you screwing with me?

Great reality check. I won’t go extreme, but I will be creative about doing this in a way that doesn’t make me feel deprived. That’s the only way it works for me. Exercise will now be easier and more appealing because I won’t have to work through pain, plus I can hopefully get back to walking long distances again. That comes naturally and I enjoy it.

Simultaneously, meditation becomes more a priority and not a luxury. Politics, formerly a favorite ‘sport’ of mine, is getting relegated to passing interest. I’ll stay informed and vote my conscience. I’m pulling out and widening my perspective to seeing us as humanity with lots in common and lots of differences. Period.

I’m in the process of transforming my professional life and staying open to all the possibilities before me. It’s invigorating. In the last few weeks I’ve had coffee with an aspiring life coach, sat down with a homeless man to listen to his story just because, run into a former life coaching client who’s now thriving as a writer of erotica, visited The Cloisters to revel in the feeling of ancient art, and met with an artist to help me realize a part of my new venture.

A few days ago I struck up a conversation with a stranger and wound up sitting and talking to her for over an hour. We talked about religion mostly and she suggested if I wasn’t acquainted with Paul’s writings in the Bible I might check them out. She spoke of how driven he was and how he spoke from an enlightened place and that reminded her of me (*blush*).

When I mentioned this exchange to my friend Kathi she offered to let me borrow a few books. I am well into the first, an old Westminster guide to the Bible called “Light for the Gentiles, Paul and the Growing Church” by Leland Jamison. I always see moments like these as calls to act or at the very least as a breadcrumb to lead me to the next one. My spiritual core is more a swirling combination of various disciplines and teachings than any one, so I welcome more information or even a revisiting of what I studied a long, long time ago and have forgotten. This is one of several lines that gave me pause in Jamison’s book:

Gentile pagans were by no means godless; on the contrary, they worshiped gods many and lords many, in quest of a spiritual salvation that would transcend the insecurity and frustration of the present world.

How timeless.

See how I took this post to something that interests me far more than a discussion of health? I think ultimately it is all of this – the interactions, the being in the world, the learning, the openness, the mindfulness – that will make me the best and healthiest person I can be.

Stay tuned. There will be more.

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The debut of ‘Day Brake’

by Nancy Colasurdo on July 6, 2013

I’m thrilled to be contributing meaningful content to a new venture called A Day Well Lived. My first piece called “Good Grief” was published on its Facebook page last week and Day Brake posts will continue weekly, eventually on its website and in its newsletter.

As the site-in-progress says, A Day Well Lived is “a celebration of the events, people and experiences that, upon reflection, allow us to feel like we ‘did the day right.’ It’s a great feeling.”

Take a look at the Facebook page and ‘like’ it if you’re so inclined, sign up so you’ll know when the site launches and get in there and let us know what you think. It’s a wonderful way to be present in your life, seeing something of value in each day.

I am so gratified by the opportunity to write about topics/events/insights that jazz me and this project is right in my wheelhouse. And there’s more to come. I hope you’ll stay tuned and come along for the ride.

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Not the Paula Deen Rant You Might Expect

by Nancy Colasurdo on June 27, 2013

If somebody asked me (in a deposition or in a confessional with the Pope or otherwise) if I have ever said the word “fuck” I might say something like, “Of course.”

Underlying it and unspoken might also be, “I’m from Jersey. Doesn’t everybody?”

So when I read that in a deposition Paula Deen answered “Of course” when asked that question about the ‘N’ word, I took it to mean something similar. That just makes sense. “Of course” has a completely different tone and meaning from, say, a sheepish “Yes, sometimes” or “I used to until I realized how awful it was.” By contrast, a completely racist person who had no regrets about saying it but thought her livelihood might be in jeopardy would likely go the route of flat-out lie and give an emphatic “Absolutely not.”

Deen didn’t do that. She gave the answer of someone who has had some exposure to the word (I’m not about to speculate how much) and feels it has its rightful place in some contexts. I think the last week or so has been enlightening for her because she may now see that actually lots of people think it has no place, anywhere, and some of those people employ her.

I was disappointed to see Deen in damage control mode with Matt Lauer. I was. There was ‘handler’ speak happening and when she went off script and became genuine it showed.

But I’ll tell you what I find infinitely more disappointing than anything Deen has ever done in her lifetime – the reactions to this whole thing. I am so over all the people who have slapped on judge robes or shrugged like ‘What’s the big deal?’ or started the tired conversation about hip hop artists using the ‘N’ word. Who cares? Why does that make you want to use it? Why oh why would anyone want societal permission to say it?

You know, there is gray area here. I can think Food Network did the right thing by ending Deen’s contract (people lose gigs all the time – that’s life) and still be sad for Deen. She’s a fellow human being. How do we seem to lose sight of that so easily? Is it the ability to express knee-jerk thoughts on the Internet?

I can disagree with virtually everything Sarah Palin says and still feel empathy when I see the poignant scene in Game Change where she is dealing with being in over her head as a vice presidential candidate, wondering about the safety of her deployed son and taking care of a special needs child. We are fellow humans, for goodness sake.

I can’t be that cut and dry. I would have few people in my life if I started phasing out the people who have biases. I have been publicly beating the drum against homophobia, racism and sexism since the late 1980s, but I’m not so deluded to believe I’m free of biases myself. Come on.

And what is with the nastiness around Deen’s love of butter? This crazy nation is filled with people anesthetizing themselves on alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, bad TV and sex, so really, are we going to pile on those who use food to numb out? I know about Deen’s whole diabetes issue and it was poorly handled. But I’m talking about this Judgey Judgerson thing going on so people can feel righteous.

Instead of showing our superiority by mocking those less disciplined than us (have you tasted butter?), maybe instead we could use that energy to go rescue an animal from a shelter, lend a hand to an elderly neighbor or tell someone we love them. If we’re passionate about obesity and nutrition issues we can do any number of constructive things to help the cause, as First Lady Michelle Obama has been doing.

Let’s get off the high horse. The perspective up there is skewed and it makes us scoldy and condescending. Change doesn’t happen in that place. And if we’re going to continue to evolve past hundreds of years of slavery and subservience it isn’t going to come from piling on one person who seems to be stuck somewhere between generations in her world view.

Paula Deen has some thinking to do. Let’s leave her to it, shall we?

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A window on my people

by Nancy Colasurdo on June 24, 2013

I never met James Gandolfini, but I am intimately acquainted with some of his art. I’m not sure if I quite understood how profoundly it touched me until I found out about his recent passing.

I’m an Italian-American from New Jersey. I’m not related to any mobsters, at least that I know of. I’m not fond of violence, in real life or in my entertainment. I’m often not thrilled with how we are portrayed in television, books and movies.

Among the clips I’ve watched since Gandolfini died was his appearance on The Actor’s Studio. He talked about how the violence bothered him, too. He talked about the Meisner technique and how he used it to effect when he knew he had a violent scene coming up. When asked, as host James Lipton always does, what profession he’d like to try other than acting he said “environmental lawyer.” When asked what he’d never want to be he said “oilman.”

Fascinating. The man, not the character.

But here’s the thing about the character. Tony Soprano’s interactions were a window into the Italian-American culture. I was well into my 30s when I realized my ethnicity was very different from so many. I suppose that makes me pretty sheltered, but it’s true. Much of that difference was about how Italian-Americans approach and view education.

While taking a creative writing tutorial at the Universityof Michigan– where I spent two semesters on a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship in 1996-97 – my instructor introduced me to The Dream Book edited by Helen Barolini. The introduction changed my life, particularly lines like this about my culture:

“Learning gave one ideas, made one different; all the family wanted was cohesion,” Barolini writes.

Because, yes, when I announced I was going to college in 1979 my grandmother cried “why, why, why?” and my father said it would “give me ideas.” Those exact words. Said with derision. People who are not Italian – OK, actually Nia Vardalos touches on this perfectly in a scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding – often don’t really understand how good people you love could find education threatening. It’s because they fear you’ll learn so much you’ll leave the fold, so to speak.

While watching The Sopranos, this mindset was ever present. Take Tony talking to his therapist, Dr. Melfi. In one scene she explains existentialism. This comes about because Tony is upset that his young son, A.J., has been learning Nietzsche (pronounced “Nitch” by A.J.) in school. He questions whether God exists. The conversation between A.J. and his parents (Tony and Carmela, played by Edie Falco) must seem nonsensical to people who come from more typical educated backgrounds. In the scene, parents essentially yell at their child for critical thinking and questioning and demand to know what teacher taught him these things.

All I could think of when I saw that scene was a similar conversation I had with my mother when I was in seventh grade. I attended Catholic school and one day I came home and told her that Mrs. DiGiuseppe said that some people think John F. Kennedy isn’t really dead. “What?” my mother yelled, “What are you talking about? His brain matter was all over his wife’s lap. Of course he’s dead. What are they teaching you at that school?”

Through Tony, creator David Chase explored how Italian-Americans relate to each other. Tony and Carmela’s marriage had its dicey moments, but the bond was clearly about family, tradition, loyalty. There was very little questioning of what they were taught by their elders. By contrast, their children, Meadow and A.J., questioned everything.

The threatened elders are ultimately proud when the children succeed, but the road can be bumpy. I know of what I speak. Feeling like you’re being disobedient or disrespectful because you’re learning is unsettling. That’s why Barolini’s words quoted above hit me so powerfully. It was just a few years after I read her book that HBO brought us The Sopranos and suddenly the world could see that dynamic I had only just begun to understand.

When the series first came on I resisted watching it because I assumed I’d be seeing the annoying stereotypes. A few people in my life wore me down, though, and I soon became hooked. The overbearing, depressed mother. The dutiful but conflicted wife. So much martyrdom. The interaction of criminals over heaping plates of macaroni. For that matter, the appetites extending to sex. Flaring tempers. Insecure entitlement. The brooding. The lively celebrations. The imprecise language. The vicious language. The triangulating. The suppressed creativity. It’s all part of what makes us who we are.

But we are also a gorgeously irresistible people in our passions. Italian-Americans feel deeply and love hard. If it is human nature that we all like to be understood, James Gandolfini’s acting gift provided a lens into my people via Tony Soprano.

I never met Mr. Gandolfini, but what he brought into my living room on many Sunday nights was real and I am profoundly grateful for that.

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Unloading a Heap of Freight

by Nancy Colasurdo on June 11, 2013

I recently told a medium that I hate sounding like one of those annoying people whose ship is always coming in, but I feel like I’m on the brink of something. Here’s his response:

“Your ship is already in. You need to take the freight off.”

As Joey Tribbiani might say, “Whoa.”

That was May 11, a month ago today, and trust me, I have spent much of the last month pondering what the heck that freight is.

Now, I’m happy to report, I’ve got it. The freight was my old way of thinking. That has been making its way out of here, escalating the last week like I can’t tell you. Good riddance, man. Take a hike.

But wait. Let’s delve in to this a little.

One of the tools I recommend to my clients is Morning Pages a la Julia Cameron. Three pages of stream of consciousness writing each morning. For me it’s best in a plain spiral notebook accompanied by a cup of coffee. Cameron doesn’t recommend going back and reading them necessarily, as they are not about ‘the writing.’ However, on occasion I find insights when I go back and read them, as I did this morning.

I’m going to do something here that I rarely do – share some thoughts from my raw MPs so you can come along on this journey with me. On May 8, just days before seeing the aforementioned medium, I let the thought stream come out in bullet points (almost never happens that way) and here’s a bit of what channeled through me to the page:

~ I am alone and it’s OK right now with regard to building whatever it is I’m building. I feel like it has to be this way. My visions and feelings and purpose – all mine to figure out. No one else needs to sign on. It’s OK.

~ Trust in self is growing.

~ My ship is coming in, so to speak.

~ I’m supposed to keep doing what I’m doing. My only resistance is around my own conventional thinking. I can keep pushing through that because it gets easier.

~ Not everyone is going to understand and I have to be OK with that. Remove ego.

~ I’m doing OK not focusing too much on the ‘how.’

~ My life is good. On my terms.

~ Brand. Brand. Brand. Consistency of message sounds better. Authenticity. Keep at that. Be more vocal. Take chances.

~ Keep paying attention to ways to bring myself ‘back.’ To stay steady. To love when I’m feeling frustrated or annoyed at another’s inability to communicate.

~ Pay attention to my strengths. Don’t dwell in my weaknesses.

~ Keep reaching out to get pockets of wisdom. In marketing. In writing. In exposure. Stuff that fits.

~ Keep on.

Those are raw. I didn’t edit them to share them here. I realize they may sound cryptic in spots, but that’s going to have to be OK because I’m not ready to share what I’m building yet. It’s a work in progress and I don’t want to build it by committee.

Jumping ahead to today’s MPs, this month later, here’s what came tumbling out (not in bullet points this time!) into my lime-colored notebook:

Ha. I’m free. 

I. AM. FREE. 

It’s official. Just like that. 

Me and a team of fabulous people in my tribe are going to blow this thing out. I have never felt so sure-footed about anything.

I hasten to add here that the sure-footedness stems from realizing every freakin’ thing I’ve done, thought, experienced, agonized over, exulted in or conceived seems to be coming together. It feels powerful. Take note that what poured out of my subconscious a month ago was ‘alone’ and now it’s ‘team’ and ‘tribe.’

And yet the ship is so much lighter. I am overflowing with gratitude.

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