the power of saying no

A wise woman (Jacki Carr) once said to me, "Your yes is only as powerful as your no." At this exact moment, the figurative light bulb floating above my head flickered on with so much force that it nearly shattered into a million tiny pieces. This was a total game changer for me, you guys. Since that fateful moment, I've been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting on the subject of yes and no.

Stemming from my "real" post on how I'm a people pleaser, I've started to notice that yes gets a thrown around a lot, many times willy nilly if you know what I mean. Yes to this, yes to that, yes to everything. This gif sums up my relationship with yes:

You get a yes! And you get a yes! And you get a yes! Everyone gets a yes!

And then I find myself stretched thin, committing to things I have no desire to do or that I want to do I just plain don't have the time for. And then come the maybes. And then come the cancellations. And inevitably then comes guilt following up the pack and inspiring shame and insecurity to step up to the plate as well. It's a nasty little cycle - a hamster wheel I've been stuck on for far too long. And then, worst of all, my yes becomes untrustworthy and pretty much useless. This is no bueno, man. No bueno at all.

It's not because I'm a flake, at least not intentionally. It's either because a.) I want to and I want to connect with you, or b.) I don't want to but I want to connect with you. Does that make sense? It has become a second nature for me to spit out a yes, rather than standing behind what I truly want and need - which might be next week rather than this week, yoga instead of pilates (pilates? oh hell no, I thought you said PIE and LATTES!) or an extra hour of sleep rather than an early AM coffee date.

For me, what this comes down to is twofold: my willingness to say yes when I really mean no is first and foremost me not being able to unapologetically step into who I am, what I want, and what I need; it's also about balance - which is something I've always struggled to create for myself. I've always believed that If I'm not running from one thing to the next, perpetually exhausted and hustling, then I'm not doing it right. Well, that's a whole other story to be discussed, but let's just leave it at no, it doesn't have to be like that.

So, I've been experimenting with saying no. I'm trying it on here and there, and I'm surprisingly starting to like it. I still throw out a yes or a maybe every now and then when I shouldn't, but I'm only human.

I'm starting to fall in love with the fact that there are little to no residual feelings leftover after a hearty no like there are after an uncertain yes or an half-hearted maybe. There's clarity's and satisfaction in knowing my no is helping to create space for "fuck yes" - which as you know I am all about as of late.

With that being said, try not to take it personally next time you get a hard no from me. It's not you, it's all me baby. Know that next time you get a yes it means I'm all in and ready to rock.

courage, my dear heart

It's happening. It's really, truly, seriously happening. I'm about to embark on my dream (in a couple months), my personal legend for those Alchemist fans out there, and aside from a heart bursting with gratitude I am ripe with excitement, anticipation and pure joy. Wow. Deep breaths. In through the nose, out through the mouth.

Full disclosure, though? I'm also terrified. Nervous. Uncertain. Come January, I'll be hopping on a plane that will drop me off half way across the globe. I mean, there's an 18 hour time difference for ya. NBD.

On a moment by moment basis I'm constantly going back and forth between "hell yes!" and "hello no!" I’m giving myself whiplash, man. Big time.

The past few days, months really, I’ve had one question lingering at the back of my mind: why am I doing this? The first thing that popped into my mind is duh, because I love to travel. I want to see the world. While yes, that’s true, I wasn’t satisfied with that answer. It wasn’t…whole enough. It just didn’t fit. There’s more to it than that, but what?

I just didn’t know. I sat down to noodle it and work it out in writing, and I ended up staring at a blank Word doc for what seemed like hours (but was probably five minutes, tops.) So, as I usually do when I come to a block in my writing, I take to Instagram for a scroll or twenty - I know, I know - and I stumbled upon this:

image via @iamhertribe

image via @iamhertribe

I want to live a fuck yes life (don't you?).

Find adventure around every corner.

Explore new cities.

Meet fascinating people.

Pursue what sets my soul on fire.

Yes. That’s exactly what I want, and this exactly why I've chosen to take time to travel - to live my fuck yes life. I like to think of this next endeavor as connecting another dot in the long, zig-zagged path that will eventually connect somewhere down the road. As Brene Brown talks about in Rising Strong, I’m choosing courage over comfort.

Cheers to saying fuck yes, you guys.

(And sorry for all the F bombs!)




I'm not exactly talking about the song by Beyonce, but I'm not exactly NOT talking about it either. But for real, let's talk ego.

Whoa there. Ego, you say? What ego? I've often labeled others as having "big" egos, but never really considered myself as an egotistical person. Honestly, I never really acknowledged the fact that I have one until recently - as in like, yesterday. We all have one whether we'd like to own it or not. Egos come in all different shapes, sizes and flavors if you know what I mean. I'm not sure where the disconnect has been all these years, but since I've made an effort to date myself (the irony of including this in a post about ego is not lost on me, but I swear it's NOT what it sounds like - I'll explain in another post) I've come to get to know my ego really, really well. I'm no narcissist, and I don't consider myself cocky, self-involved or anything else that is typically associated with egotism, but I have an ego nonetheless. I'm only human, after all.

We're about to get real here, people. Brace yourselves.

Sometimes I wonder why a guy would dare to date another girl over me. It's not uncommon for me to get a little envious when someone is better at something than I am. A lot of times I wonder why I don't have a butt load of likes on my Instagram pic. I ALWAYS wonder why I didn't get hired for the job and someone else did. I can get so broody over why someone should be choosing me, thinking about me, praising me, etc. that I forget about the world around me, that their are other people out there. I get a little obsessive - neurotic, if you will.

HELLO. There's real stuff going on out there and WAY more important things to be thinking about. C'mon girl. Get your shit together - this isn't The Jenna Show.

Yesterday when I was out for my morning hike, I reached the top of the trail and was faced with a stupidly beautiful view of Aspen Mountain. Ajax loomed over me like this magic, miraculous, all-powerful kind of force. Yeah, you could say some instant humbling went down. Ego, deflated. All of the sudden my problems, my insecurities, my worries didn't seem so big, so bad. I think as humans we tend to get so involved in ourselves, in each other, in our day-to-day lives that we forget we're not the only ones out there - that we're just a small piece of the puzzle that is the universe.

So, next time my ego tries to take the wheel, I'll remember the mountains. If I didn't hit this point home already, I don't think there's anything wrong with an ego. It's innate, it's something inherent to being human. I just think it's important to recognize when my ego is inflating a little too much and adjust accordingly. That's all. If you're with me when this happens and I fail to recognize or do something about it, call me out yo! Give my ego a solid smacking until I come back down to earth. Don't let me get away with that shit. I give you full permission, because you can be sure that I'll be doing the same for you.

Namaste, bitches. xx

about that comfort zone


A comfort zone is a beautiful thing. It feels like home. It’s the cozy, familiar cushion that we all cling to, to a certain degree. We all have one and we all need one. It’s a safe space we can come back to over and over again, to regroup, to recharge, to relax and whatever else we may need.

Having lived quite far outside the boundaries my own personal CZ for the past year, I’ve started to think of coming home as slipping back into the cushy and familiar – but it doesn’t have to be. At one point in my life – not that long ago to be honest – all I wanted was consistency. I craved routine and clung to it like it was the only thing that would keep my head above water. My daily routine typically consisted of: yoga, work, Netflix, sleep, repeat. And that’s kind of it. I know – SO boring.

Now, I’m doing everything I can to push myself farther and farther outside of the familiar each and every day. I fear anything even remotely habitual – the last thing I want to do is go through the motions, to feel like I’m on repeat. So, upon moving home at the end of this month (my god, when did August get here?) I’m going to actively challenge myself to not fall back into my old routines, to cling to the already-been-dones. Not to say I won’t spend time with old friends, eat at my favorite restaurants, peruse the usual bars, have my yoga-work-Netflix-sleep days – because let’s be real here – I’ll absolutely do all of those things, but I’m also going to mix it up. A lot.

I’ve always thought of adventure as synonymous with travel, but I’ve come to realize that there’s always adventure to be found if you’re open to looking for it. You don’t have to backpack in New Zealand for the better part of a year or move to a remote mountain town to fill your days with adventure (although I plan on the first aforementioned and have already checked the latter off of my bucket list.) True, I did spend 21ish years growing up in the great (and at times impossibly cold) state of Minnesota, but there are still so many nooks and crannies left to explore, so many rad people to get to know, so much room for ACTIVITIES (only avid Step Brothers/Will Ferrell fans will get that reference.) AH! I’m all excited just thinking about it.

I’ve been on a huge personal growth-spurt the past year, and I’d like to continue that. I also like to think that I’ve come to see the world through a different lens – with more gratitude, compassion, openness to possibility and diversity, humility (if you wanna talk humility, move to a place where you literally don’t know anyone,) and an all-around softer lens than before. Truth bomb: I used to be (and still can be) a little rough around the edges at times. I’m workin’ on it people. But seriously, I'm itching to get to know the city, the state, that will always be home for me in this new lens - and to get the absolute most out of this homecoming. I'm making a promise right MEOW to myself that I will make the most out of it, because who knows how long I'll be there. I've got big plans, yo.

I’m a perpetual student of life, and I never want to stop learning about what I have to offer the world or what the world has to offer me. Let's see what the next leg of the journey has in store for me. See you in a jiffy, my Minnesotans. I have missed you so!

Stay curious and never stop exploring, you guys. xx