Gratitude in Transition

If you’re like me and you’re finding yourself in a season of transition... check out this email I received this morning from Darling Magazine. It’s spot on.

“When we reflect with true gratitude on a past season, we are we are free to focus on the season to come.”

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Equanimity

About a year ago I learned about “equanimity”, which is the ability to be grateful for all there is in the present moment while letting postive and negative emotions come and go with neutrality. Equanimity is very difficult for me… which is why it is a very beneficial thing for me to practice.

Equanimity refers to balance, to remaining centered in the middle of whatever is happening. This form of balance comes from some inner strength or stability. The strong presence of inner calm, well-being, confidence, vitality, or integrity can keep us upright, like ballast keeps a ship upright in strong winds (see “Seven Supports for Equanimity,”). As inner strength develops, for example, from the accumulation of mindfulness in the ordinary moments of life, equanimity follows.

Today was one of those days where I woke up and I felt like something was missing. This happens to me every once in a while and it seems like no matter how much I rack my brain, I can’t come up with a good reason as to why I am feeling like this. And then it dawned on me… this was a perfect moment to practice equanimity.

How I do this:

I take a few minutes to reflect. To make sure there isn’t actually something that I am doing wrong. Then I pull out of a piece of paper and write down everything good in my life. The things I am grateful for… the accomplishments I am proud of. The things I am excited about. Once I run out of room on that piece of paper, I feel like an entirely new person. The negative emotions get rerouted into positive emotions instead of leaving me in an empty limbo for several days.

If you’re an Enneagram 4, or simply going through some kind of rough patch, I highly recommend doing more research on the positive affects of equanimity!

Bad Reception

This weekend we were at our family cabin in the middle of the woods.

Due to lack of reception and zero WiFi connection, I was able to disconnect and hit a much needed reset button. Weekends like this put a lot of things into perspective, and I realized my brain has so much more clarity when it isn’t constantly dealing with new stimulation.

Realizing this, I decided to disable all social media apps from being opened on Saturdays and Sundays moving forward.

You know that feeling when you come home from a vacation and you are pleased to remember you left your house completely spotless? Compare that to the way it feels coming home to house that was left in total disarray. The difference in your state of mind is palpable!

This is how I felt being disconnected from the internet over the weekend.

I felt like my mind was clean, spacious and had room to relax while it’s normally quite cluttered and chaotic. I’ve only been back on social for two days and I already feel the stress piling up again.

Time to overall rethink the way I use these awesome/ tricky/ inspiring/ consuming apps.


Being Present

Today was *such* a good day. I’ve been working on being more present whenever I’m around Ella and it’s been an extremely refreshing breath of fresh air that I didn’t really realize I needed. Seeing the world through her eyes has taught me so much about finding joy and wonder throughout our everyday little adventures. Lately she hates it whenever I’m on my phone, so I literally have to run to the bathroom if I want to check my Instagram or respond to a message. At first this was quite the conundrum but now I’m so grateful for it, because I’m finding that I’m just *happier*. Learning how to sit in silence and play with whatever’s around us... whether it’s a pile of blocks or a pile of dirt... it’s just been really good for my soul. Grateful for every moment I’ve been able to soak up outside & with Ella this summer. It’s truly been one for the books. 🌝💕

Thought Leaders

I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between “Thought Leaders” and actual leaders. 

A Thought Leaders is someone who: believes they are gracing the world with their insights and perspectives. Thought Leaders have a lot of opinions, but not a lot of experience to back up their ideas.

I know I’m reading a book from a Thought Leader when they spend the first chapter of their book preaching at me instead of introducing themselves.

Thought Leaders expect audiences to perceive them as an expert by default. The ironic thing is this isn’t humans function by default! As a means of survival we are inherently skeptical. This saves us from eating poisonous berries, jumping off dangerous bridges or walking down dark alleys at night. 

Actual leaders understand this. They will always come down to your level. 

Thought Leaders don’t understand this. They will actually talk down at you from the platform they have built for themselves. 

Thought Leaders speak in “matter of fact” statements. They expect audiences to jump on board with their ideas quickly. 

Actual leaders speak from a place of real world experience. They don’t expect audiences to do exactly as they do. 

Thought Leaders are really bad at storytelling. They will only share stories that help build the facade they are trying to put off. 

Actual leaders are incredible storytellers. They will take you on the journey with them. Unafraid to admit their shortcomings, they know that their own moments of weakness can spark courage in the hearts of those that are listening.

Thought Leaders tell you what you should believe.

Actual leaders show you what they believe. 

Thought Leaders will sit down with you for coffee and talk about themselves the entire time. 

Actual leaders will sit down with you for coffee and ask you questions about yourself, the entire time. 

Thought Leaders are quick to share what needs to change. 

Actual leaders initiate change without making an announcement. 

All in all, I am extremely drawn to actual leaders. These are the people I look up to the most in my life. These are the people whose words I hold onto and whose wisdom I can draw from during difficult periods and seasons in my life.

Sometimes it’s obvious who the actual leaders in your life are, because their books, conferences and podcasts sell-out and top the charts. But sometimes it’s not so easy to point them out. Sometimes you only learn from them via the people closest to them, because they  aren’t quick to share the incredible things they’re up to. Aren’t these people the best! What an absolute treasure. Just look at Jesus, whose ministry was documented by his disciples, not by him. There’s no book in the Bible that was actually written by a pen inside Jesus’ hand. Instead he just did his thing, telling stories and serving others, and people quickly took notice. In my opinion, Jesus is the definition of an actual leader. 

What do you see in actual leaders that you admire and aspire towards? 

Share your thoughts in the comment section below!