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Change starts with awareness

What has worked in the past might not work now.

Start with your thoughts. Follow them. Make a list of your wishes and fears, doubts and insecurities, the things you want and the conversations you’re having.

And challenge them.

Ask whether the thoughts you’re having are true.

Decide if your conversations are helpful.

Are your doubts and fears based in fact?

Change begins with awareness.

Fear, regret, and bonus questions (grab a pen)

I was writing every day. Every morning. And I stopped.

Why?

I was afraid.

(Yep! Me. Afraid! Little known fact: I constantly battle a thin hum of anxiety. But that’s a different story, a different post. Back to writing.)

I was afraid I wasn’t good enough.

I was afraid my writing was missing the mark. I’d let a few rejections from publishers mute my enthusiasm. And I got tired. Other things because More Important. (Though what can be more important than telling your truth, I am not sure. Certainly not work. Or YouTube yoga videos.)

So in 2020: I’m coming back. I’m owning myself and my time like never before. I’m ready to take up more space. I’m ready to shove fear in its rightful place, even if it needs some coddling to move. This year, I’m not going to let anxiety drive the car. Not anymore.

Your turn: (Here’s where your pen comes in.) Tell me…

What are you returning to this year?

What are you letting go of?

What will you keep?

What mistakes have you made? I’m asking not to make you feel bad, in fact, I want you to celebrate them. Mistakes mean you’re going for it! Have regrets? Even better! Celebrate! You’re LIVING LIFE.

What will you move away from in 2020? What don’t you want?

Now. Get ready.

Celebrate what you’re going to create.

The projects you’re going to put into the world. The dreams that will manifest. The big move. The relationships you will nourish and cherish. A new business.

This time next year what will you be proud of?

And celebrate. Celebrate all of these things as if they have already happened. Imagine your enthusiasm and accomplishment. And rejoice.

Rejoice at this life you are living. Rejoice in who you are.

Rejoice in what you love and what excites you and what keeps you curious.

Rejoice in all of it, the ups and the downs.

Happy New Year.

23 times to say “Yes”

  1. will you forgive me
  2. can you help
  3. will you listen
  4. will you share your view
  5. will you try
  6. can you do me a favor
  7. will you show up
  8. can you do better
  9. can you learn this 
  10. will you speak your truth
  11. can you donate your time
  12. will you respect yourself
  13. could this work
  14. am I good enough
  15. will I regret this
  16. unexpected connections
  17. opportunity — even when it seems scary/hard
  18. new experiences
  19. teaching moments 
  20. stepping outside your comfort zone
  21. each morning
  22. every day
  23. this moment

How to create your future

Last weekend my team and I organized the first free outdoor film festival in Pokhara, Nepal. From crowdfunding to logistical planning, we spent months outlining how the event would run. Through hard work, grit, and perseverance, we turned what was once a dream into reality: Over 400 attendees enjoyed films in three different locations throughout the city. Popcorn, prizes, and toys were distributed. People who had never stepped foot in a movie theater were inspired by Rocky, Titanic, and Pocahontas. The smiles were priceless. And it was all set beneath starlight skies.

Plenty of times along the way we could have given up. When we first launched our crowdfunding campaign, I spent several days riddled at home with anxiety, wondering how and if we were really able to pull this off. We could have let frustration win when we were sent to yet another government office for another stamp or another signature. We could have shrugged our shoulders and moved on to another idea when we were questioned, “What is this? Who watches movies outside?” or asked about the motive of our program. We could have quit when we were laughed at.

But we didn’t. Even when we knew people were watching us, hoping we’d fail, we kept going.

And that, my friends, is how you create your future. You keep going.

When the naysayers doubt your dreams, even when you doubt your own abilities, keep going.

Your future is ready for you to create it.

Guilt is worthless (mostly)

Guilt can be split into two faces: The kind that is paralyzing and negative, a harmful state that serves nothing and no one; and the kind that can help you fix what is broken.
The first kind, for obvious reasons, is worthless. This kind of guilt will trick you into thinking you are worthless. It robs you of your most present and precious moments and kills your confidence.
The second kind, however, can be a gift. This one can push you into unexpected growth. Instead of living in shame, this guilt prompts action. It can apologize for wrongdoings and set wheels into motion. New behaviors, evolved patterns, inspired creative projects.
Don’t fall victim to the first kind. If you find yourself wallowing in that direction, force yourself to turn the corner and see what good can come out of a tricky emotional experience.