1. Creativity is air. Wholeness is the secret. Truth is the strategy. Enthusiasm is fuel. Courage is the method. Movement is the way. Listening is a healing. Love is the answer.
I spent a lot of time this year railing against our scarcity-driven culture—wasting countless hours screaming to my door or computer screen or sweet husband just trying to read his book:
Performances of perfection and unethical claims and dogmatic leaders and 10 steps to your greatest life are ripping us away from the sound of our truth and selves!
(And then I would simultaneously get baited by all the noise within a matter of minutes).
The universe is full of answers and secrets, they just aren’t products, a specific person, or an exact dogma.
In the coming year I want to go all into what I believe and waste less time fighting against the noise.
2. Overwhelm is not failure, but a sign that your soul is growing faster than your systems.
My work and business grew faster than my ability to lead and manage this year which was… humbling.
(Read: multiple meltdowns, some very rough days, a few pretty terrible hiring decisions, and operatic levels of doubt.)
But outer and inner growth are more like a dance than a simultaneously rising.
What I noticed both for myself and many of the incredible people I work with this year is that we significantly expanded the vision and grew the conversations and containers in 2019—which is exciting—but with it came the onset of additional stress, pressure, and overwhelm.
Now it’s time to build new support systems, capacity, and leadership.
3. Flourishing is an act of resistance.
The last three years of 45's presidency in the United States have been a level of trauma that I'm still not sure I even comprehend, and some days shutting down or fighting back have felt like the only options.
But activist Ruby Sales says that women are not here to break the glass ceiling, but to build a whole new roof. With a different kind of table and chairs.
The theme of The Collective in 2020 is Radical Flourishing. I believe this is the most audacious form of resistance while living in a society that does not believe that all people get to flourish equally.
We must keep fighting, yes, but I'm curious about how we can also create capacity for flourishing— so things can get good...
(and you better believe I am gearing up to help elect a leader who believes all humans get to flourish equally)
4. Do the outrageous thing you don't think you have time to do.
The moments I did the seemingly outrageous thing this year—creating this show with my Dad, organizing a 5-minute wedding dance and pop-up ceremony choir, taking a last minute trip to Paris, spontaneous dates with my amazing husband, getting up before dawn to write—are now some of the highlights of my life to date.
5. Creative flow is the forgotten antidote to our relentless angst.
We tend to over complicate the creative process—negotiating ourselves out of it, obsessing about the perfect title or conditions, even going to therapy with our litany of excuses about why it's not the right time—instead of simply spending a few moments getting started and letting the next step emerge.
It is impossible to be in angst and creative flow simultaneously. We are creators. This is who we are. Creativity is air and all we need to do is show up to be able to breathe.
6. High expectations backed by clear communication, deadlines, and a plan inspire everyone to go higher. High expectations without limits or clarity is a form of sabotage.
Let's just say I continue to learn this the hard way and leave it at that :)
7. Take whatever time and space you think you need around a thing and DOUBLE IT.
Limits ignite creativity and deadlines empower actualization, but cramming things into our weeks and days, as well as not giving ourselves time to transition from one moment to the next is a form of violence.
I realized this year that while developing a more compassionate relationship with my body is one of my most essential acts of the past decade, I had repurposed the violence I formerly experienced with my body into my relationship with time.
The inquiry I am taking into the 20s is:
What if time were my collaborator—or my dance partner? What if it doesn't have to be a war?
8. The two teachers we most regularly forget to listen to are nature and ourselves.
9. I’m a sprinter. (And so are most of the people I work with).
As appealing as it sounds to plug away in little bits every day at the project, I finally owned up to the fact that I work best in short, concentrated bursts.
Not surprisingly, so do most of my clients and students.
Designing the work flow and process around this awareness--rather than trying to jam ourselves into someone else's productivity formula that has never made sense to us— is the way forward.
10. Not-enoughness belongs not to us, but to the culture that made us.
This one is really important and I hope we can keep talking about it.
We are immersed in our imposter status and not-enoughness because of a culture that taught us to do so, not some kind of deficiency in our beings.
I don't have all the answers about this, but I dream of a world where our daughters do not have to expend energy fighting an unworthiness that was never theirs to begin with.
11. Friendship is the unsung shero of adulthood.
There is nothing like sitting in a room and breathing the air of your people— the ones who know you and really see you, and see the parts of you that you forget to see—in the context of where you came from and holding the vision of where you are going.
People who know what you want to eat before you ask for it and what you want to wear instead of what you think you should wear and help solve in 5 minutes what you agonized about for weeks.
Friendship is a very essential part of the foundation of our becoming, but it can often take a backseat to everything else as we age.
Some of my happiest, deepest, and most nourishing moments this year were with friends, and I am so humbled by the extraordinary light they continue to bring to my life.
12. Following your bliss does not always feel like magic (And we have to stop perpetuating the myth that it does).
Sometimes bliss role-plays as extreme dissatisfaction.
Sometimes magic shows up as a storm of comparison and jealousy.
Sometimes living your purpose means eating a big bowl of doubt for breakfast.
The self-development world fabricates a fantastical notion that living the life of our dreams feels like the dreamy ecstasy of a resort commercial, but the long game of living a purpose-driven life means sometimes the big magic does not always look like daily magic and this absolutely doesn't mean we failed at our vision-boards or are in the wrong place.
13. The adventure begins when we let go of how it’s supposed to go.
(This will probably be on every new year’s list until I either die or stop writing them).
Best thing: Marrying the amazing Michael.
Most joyful experience: The 30 minutes of our wedding ceremony.
What I'm unwilling to repeat: Working consistent seven-day weeks. Signing contractors’ contracts without also having them sign a contract that includes my needs and requirements. Hiring out of desperation.
People who inspired me: Everyone who spoke truth to power, especially: Maxine Waters, Elijah Cummings, Ayana Pressley, Elizabeth Warren, Paola Mendoza.
My extraordinary clients and students—taking leaps and taking names and bravely going all in to their creative work while simultaneously learning how to be gentle with themselves as they go.
Visionary creators and brave women everywhere.
Best investments: Coaching. Learning. Orange Theory. Art. Glo app.
Daily ritual that makes the biggest difference: Writing in the morning before checking email or social media.
Art I loved:
SIX the musical
Hadestown the musical (and specifically Amber Grey's performance)
SHE SAID by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey
Every single exquisite minute of a private tour of The Musee Dorsee in Paris
Everything Lizzo Beating
We're Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
Catherine Lacey's short story CUT
The movie BOMBSHELL.
Things I'm proudest of from the last decade: Developing a compassionate relationship with my body, taking risks in my creativity, and learning how to give and receive love.
What I'm ready to leave behind in the last decade:
Weird thing that doesn't go in a category but deserves a mention: The great discovery of the aqua desk!
A little book of inspiration, frameworks, and guidance for your next creative project.