You no longer have to explain yourself…
You know. You choose. You did. You are.
That is all.
Is it time to write yourself a permission slip?
To read the full Permission Slip blog, click here...
PART TWO: 📷: @eriniswitte Rare Sighting
Dear Audrey, I am your fear.
Turns out a lot of my decisions are still ruled by this tedious entity. And I create whole scenarios and problem solve imaginary situations hoping to gain control over the uncontrollable. The topic of children has come up quite often in the past few years, and my body goes into panic mode. Stone cold detachment. I watch my close friends start their families and I see my classmates' kiddos on Facebook and Instagram. And something inside me shuts down.
Nope. No kids for me. I'm an independent lady. Total time suck. Goodbye travel. Hello boredom.
Fear had surprising things to add.
What if she is mentally I'll? In my dreams my child is a little blonde girl. Yeah I dream about kiddos. Denial at its finest.
What if she turns out to be an alcoholic/drug addict? What if your partner doesnt help? What if your partner leaves? What if you feel all alone and lose your sense of self and resent this tiny being? What if your child doesn't feel loved? What if your child is bullied or is a bully? What if your math skills aren't good enough to homeschool? What if?
In my mind I make the decision not to have children. I convince myself it will alleviate disappointment. When I'm too old to have them I can say it was my choice. That I made the call. That I prevented a catastrophe.
Some of these fears are valid and should be considered and weighed and some of them are down right ridiculous. But they all feel equally heavy and real inside my heart.
The truth is, I don't know what will happen down the road. The only guarantee is there are no guarantees. And that scares the shit out of me. But I'm trying to come to terms with those fears and make room for them without letting them rule. Maybe someday I will be a mom. Or maybe I won't. But I want to be genuinely okay with either outcome.
Hello My Name Is: Audrey.
And I'm trying to let the light into my dark places.
#presentandinawe#befuckingbrave#fierceselfcare#heartonmysleeve#bravemagic #1440 #fear#hellomynameis#writeforyourlife#soulsearching#lovealways#exploremore#neverstopexploring#wanderlust#infinite@elizabeth_gilbert_writer
10 629:48 PM Nov 2, 2017
My twentieth high school reunion is at the end of this month.
Hello My Name Is:
My badges of failure.
I recently attended a workshop led by two of my favorite brave voices. On the last morning of the emotionally exhausting weekend one of the authors made a list.
Hobbies - provide enjoyment
Job - pays bills
Career - pays bills + provides enjoyment
Vocation - calling of the soul + provides enjoyment. Bonus if it pays the bills
She was quick to point out that while hobbies, career, and vocation are wonderful and welcomed, a job is the only life criteria that is mandatory. If you happen to like your job, great. But if it pays the bills and creates the time to pursue your hobbies, then that's an entirely appropriate and sustainable way to spend your time. She also made a point to add that if your "career" pays the bills but does not provide enjoyment you are allowed to get a job and focus on your hobbies. Life is short.
These words pierced my soul. Here was an incredibly successful writer offering me permission to live my life on my terms. Inviting me to give myself the same permission. And encouraging me to stop berating myself for not fitting into particular boxes. These words were freedom. And my heart broke under the weight of wasted time. Comparing where I am and where I am not.
Turns out I'm not as brave as I had hoped to be.
During the workshop we were also asked to write letters to ourselves from different places in our psyche.
Dear Audrey, I am your fear...
#presentandinawe#befuckingbrave#fierceselfcare#heartonmysleeve#bravemagic #1440 #fear#hellomynameis#writeforyourlife#soulsearching#lovealways#exploremore#neverstopexploring#wanderlust#wandermore#infinite#magicaladventures@elizabeth_gilbert_writer
9 609:42 PM Nov 2, 2017
So the real question I had to ask myself is “What the hell am I WAITING for?” // It’s been a year and half since I became a full-time entrepreneur and almost a year to the day since @clairembiggs and I became partners and landed out first client together. When I think about where I was this time last year, I never could have guessed that we’d be where we are today with @loredeforce. I also wouldn’t have imagined that I’d be sitting here a year later - as a successful creative entrepreneur - doing a creativity challenge.
The thing about getting paid to be creative is that it’s so easy to crowd out the space that used to be “just for the hell of it” creative projects in favor of prioritizing client work (note to self: these things don’t have to be mutually exclusive!) I was recently insanely lucky enough to attend a creativity retreat at @1440multiversity, and it’s felt like since then, the universe has been conspiring to inspire me, and I’m grateful that the imaginary restrictions I put on my personal creativity have lifted. It could ALSO be because I’ve tried a revolutionary thing called self-love after I had a major epiphany about the fact that on a scale of 1-10, I come in at a solid -747646556 for how much self-compassion I have, and creating when you’re beating yourself 24/7 isn’t exactly a recipe for magic, but this is another Instagram post...
I’m not sure what exactly is going to come from some of the ideas I’m playing around with, but it’s a glorious thing to create without an outcome (or a deadline or a contract) in mind. To answer my own question of what the hell I was waiting for - I was waiting for a permission slip, and this challenge is me giving myself one to create EVERY DAMN DAY, just because. I need to be reminded that I don’t ever need a reason to create, that we ALL have the capacity to create within us, and that we just don’t need to take ourselves so damn seriously all the time. And now, it’s time to experiment :) #wildawake
6 1014:26 AM Nov 2, 2017
📷: May 2017
The harbor of my mind is an open bay, the only access to the island of my Self (which is a young and volcanic island, yes, but fertile and promising). This island has been through some wars, it is true, but it is now committed to peace, under a new leader (me) who has instituted new policies to protect that place. And now- let the word go out across the seven seas- there are much, much stricter laws on the books about who may enter this harbor.
You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, with your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts — all these will be turned away. Likewise any thoughts that are filled with angry or starving exiles, with malcontent and pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimps and seditious stowaways — you may not come here anymore, either. Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be screened carefully, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind- otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward the sea from whence you came.
That is my mission, and it will never end.
☀️🌲🙏Still re-integrating from a retreat in the redwoods in Northern Cali a few weeks ago. Definitely blown away and honored to be in the presence of @cherylstrayed and @elizabeth_gilbert_writer - who were throwing down some bad ass truths - while surrounded by fellow inspiring women with an insatiable creative itch. It felt so freaking good to be surrounded by the deep forest. The experience definitely hit the reset button on a personal level. Thank you @1440multiversity for making the space to harness our #bravemagic and to my hubs @keithbersonphoto for taking care of our little babe, so momma could take care of herself ❤️❤️❤️
Day 286. 🚪(last day of #BraveMagic workshop) “It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn't matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.” - Paulo Coelho, The Zahir
The phrase that keeps repeating itself in my heart from last weekend is, "You have been given stewardship of your soul."
To me, this aligns with the notion that I've been exploring all year -- that personal sovereignty is both a privilege and a responsibility. Ownership of your life, your choices, your body, your mental gyrations, your talent is AMAZING! It's FREEING! And it's fucking HARD!
Layer in privilege and nuance and the mess that comes along with being human, and just "living your life" can feel so hard (scary?) for those of seek 🔭 to understand who we are and why we're here.
(And if you don't identify as a seeker, none of this musing is going to make sense. Enjoy my pretty boat photo + skip the rest of this post!)
So, back to Liz's quote...
I love it so much.💖
It speaks of honor. Of paying close and intimate attention. Of trusting yourself as source. Of making your best effort. Of protecting something precious.
There was no way I could scribble down all of Liz's thoughts on this when I was in the audience listening, so I'm THRILLED that I found her FB post about stewardship from April. Tiny snippet below, but seriously go read the whole thing.
"You are a unique event in the history of the universe. Nobody has ever tried YOU before. This whole thing is a wild experiment. I do not believe it was meant to be easy. (All signs point to: NOPE.) But I do not believe that we come to this planet in order to experience a life of frivolous ease; I believe that we come to this planet to learn courage. It is hard.
But you are not alone. You have a celestial voice within you, trying to guide you. Your soul may sometimes shout out to you in joy, or it may cry out to you in appalled misery — but it will never stop speaking to you. Do not numb it out — especially not when it is appalled. Do not ever stop listening. Your soul knows what it came here for, and what it didn't come here for.
Fierce stewardship is the only way this experiment will ever work."
Liz's Whole Post:
📷 from my Croatian Vacation
We are calling this group photo, “Because of Write Doe Bay”💕 We love you Jen and Kerry, Casey, Joe and everyone involved who stirs magic, shares space and allows us to find our tribe. Overflowing gratitude ✨🗝 #1440multiversity#bravemagic#writedoebay
On discovering new truths.... “Granting yourself the agency to change your life, to reclaim your life... That is the kindest reckoning you can offer.” — @cherylstrayed
I’m probably butchering what Cheryl actually said because I was scribbling in my journal after a very intense day — but yessssssss.
Reimagining your own life based on newfound (or finally admitted) truths? Yessssssssss.
Cheryl telling her own stories of the times when she was on this precipice? Yessssssssss.
Truth-telling FTW. .
2 5812:35 AM Oct 19, 2017
You aren't here to be anyone.
You aren't here to be more than who you are.
You are here to be you.
There is a divine magic within you, that is ready to be expressed.
There is a divine light within you, that is ready to shine.
One of the best parts about feeling called to do something is that you can truly step out of the way, if you choose to. You can open up your awareness to seeing that it isn't even about you. You, personality-you. You, story-you. When you are called to step out of that comfort zone and step into a place of shakiness, you can sit in the knowing that something else is going on. Ask Elizabeth Gilbert says, "something interesting is going on here." There is a conditioning that we are breaking through around who we are in this world. Our roles, our identities, our stories and our experiences. They are all a part of this journey. And at some point, something happens to shift that experience. To cause you to stop in your tracks and to feel something different. Perhaps it's a tightness in your throat. Or maybe it's a breaking of your heart. Or a bubble in your gut. Our bodies are speaking to us. Energy is delivering a communication. A message.
We are being called to rise. We are being asked to open our eyes and connect to the wisdom of spirit. It's time to start pointing the focus back inwards. What is happening to us, is happening with us. We are a part of all of it. If it is in your space, there is a message there. And your body will tell you what it is about. You just have to listen. To ask, and be open to hear the response.
Can you experience the light and joy that is existing behind all of it?
Telling us a deeper story. A truer story. 📸 @iulia.agnew
Sweater and shirt by @nicolebridger#CORECOLLECTION ✨🔥🌏
3 10910:41 PM Oct 18, 2017
It’s been a tough few weeks for my community. It’s been tough for our country as a whole. There have been times when I’ve felt conflicted over being okay and being grateful during a time when so many are grieving. But then last week, my friend said something that totally shifted my perspective. Find out what she said and the 10 things I do to nourish myself on particularly tough weeks in my journal. I hope you are taking extra good care of yourself this week, we all need it.
8 578:45 PM Oct 17, 2017
What an honor designing flowers for the stage that these two women spoke on for #bravemagic this weekend! Both @cherylstrayed And @elizabeth_gilbert_writer have inspired my journey over the last 10 years. Probably more than any two writers, these two helped me to access my creative courage when it came to starting and continuing a business when all I had was a passion and a vision but no experience and no clue. In fact @dearsugarradio is where I go weekly to keep my tenderness these days in a crazy world. Pausing in gratitude this morning for the beauty and power of this sweet universe. Thanks @drharfouche for the pic! 💛
Nothing but brave magic all weekend long, culminating in how to put our 3,000 ideas into action while lying in beds across from one another after waking up at the Hayes Mansion this morning. See my hand holding onto her arm? Yeah, it’s like that every time we meet up for an adventure. Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed rocked our worlds. You can’t go back to life as usual when you get cracked open. Nothing but love and gratitude and I begin my journey home. #bravemagic#1440multiversity
12 618:58 PM Oct 16, 2017
Holla if you’re ready to get brave and give courage a big old hug! #cherylstrayed (And Program Participants from our #bravemagic weekend: watch your email for that special treat coming your way tomorrow!)
My friend, Katrina, welcomed me to San Francisco with this t-shirt. I LOVE her. So much. She gets me. She knows I wear my heart on my sleeve and my politics with pride. There is no greater gift than a friend like @katwatters ❤️ #true#blue#bravemagic
It was a Brave Magic kinda weekend with these two powerhouse. It was one of the best decisions I made to sign up as an unemployed person at the time. The universe worked its magic for me to go. Lots of laughter and learning. Worth it. #bravemagic #1440 #lizgilbert#cherylstrayed
Both 'Eat Pray Love' and 'Wild' came into my life at a time when there was constant upheaval. Moving countries, cancer, death, throwing myself from a world of science (nursing) to a world of art (photography school), and then planning an around the world trip to eventually move countries again, alongside long walks and a divorce of my own. Liz and Cheryl have always represented for me that feminist curiosity. That "fuck you, I'm doing it anyway" approach in the face of our patriarchal world/society that says women aren't good enough, strong enough, smart enough, or really, anything enough to have adventures too.
And thus the love affair began.
Between me and these book heroes, and me and the world.
This weekend I've had the privilege to meet these two women in the flesh. And it was such a relief to me to find out that they were human too! Messy humans, leading messy lives by the pull of their hearts.
It's amazing to me what happens when we just show up. When we know we're afraid, but we decide do it anyway. I really can't think of anything more brave.
My mom told me the other night that she doesn't know anyone like me. That I'm the bravest person she knows and she has no idea where I could possibly have come from (note: I'm pretty sure I came from her uterus, my first dark and watery home), but still, she got me thinking about bravery. From the Latin "barbarous" to the Italian "Brevaria or boldness, it's known as "the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty: the quality or state of being brave or courageous. Nerve. Daring. Manfulness" (wtf?!)
But bravery is so much more than all of that. Sometimes it's quiet. Calm. Even invisible. Sometimes it's just saying no to something that no longer serves you. And sometimes it's just showing up, little by little, and walking into a new way of thinking or a new way of life.
I've come to see that there's a richness to life that has nothing to do with money, but by filling the heart with experiences that nourish and enrich the soul. It's too bad many of the women at this California retreat can't see beyond their own wallets, entitlement, and privilege...
Huge thanks to the witty & wise duo of @elizabeth_gilbert_writer & @cherylstrayed for sharing their warmth and light at 1440 this weekend.
As Liz said this morning, "It helps to keep your voice human, intimate, real, and consistent." You both did this and so much more. We all cannot thank you enough. #gratitude
14 2279:45 PM Oct 15, 2017
Team @loredeforce swapped laptops for notebooks this weekend at #BraveMagic, and MAGIC is an understatement. When we had to say a word that described the weekend, mine was "HOLY SHIT." So many thoughts and so much I want to share in the weeks and months to come, but for now I'm thankful that a year ago - on the last day of an epic 5 week trip across SE Asia with @clairembiggs - we made the decision to make a huge investment in our future selves, and one year later we're exceeding our goals, setting bigger ones and living terrified, exhilarated, and grateful lives that brought us to @1440multiversity with @cherylstrayed + @elizabeth_gilbert_writer for a weekend of creativity, reflection, challenges and growth. Bye for now Cali, I love you as always. Hello next and exciting phase - I'm f*cking ready for you ♥️
7AM, writing by the fire at one of the most magical places I've ever visited. This morning is our last session with Cheryl & Liz and I have already gotten more out of this weekend than I could have hoped. It's good to have teachers in life. And as I've discovered, even teachers need teachers. It is no small thing to be a creative adult. Sometimes it feels like our society is rallying against creativity - the act of making just to make. Learning how to tune out that noise is an ongoing process. The little demons inside love to remind us we're not worthy of our own aspirations. But at the end of the day, this life is short. And as Cheryl reminded us yesterday, the hardest thing is not the creating. It's the living without having done the creating. #bravemagic#womenwhowrite#multiversity