Crossing the Continental Divide

Posted Thursday, August 23, 2018

Nearly two weeks ago, I left Chicago behind. I had lived there for 27 years so this was no small move. The sun, the ocean, and the hills of California called me as they’ve been calling me for years. I finally packed up my car and started the journey west. 

On my journey, I spent time with family and friends and slowly worked my way west. Last night, I arrived at my destination—Southern California. The journey was an adventure to remember for a lifetime—the chance to see America in a new way—but one moment from my journey stands out: the Continental Divide at Independence Pass. In the US, the continental divide is a geologic feature—a line down the middle of the rockies—where all water on one side of the line flows into the Atlantic Ocean and on the other side it flows into the Pacific Ocean. 

Metaphorically, in our lives, a continental divide is the moment where, when you cross it, everything goes in a new direction. We’ve all had these moments—the day you sign the lease on your first apartment, when you cross the threshold of your first job and start making your own money, getting on a knee and asking your love to marry you, saying yes to said question, quitting the job that is sucking your soul, getting on that plane to travel internationally for the first time, starting your own company, signing your name for 30 minutes to own your first home, and the list goes on and on. These are the moments where we have understandable fear but we move ahead anyway. We don’t know exactly what is on the other side but we move forward boldly.

As I approached the continental divide this past week, I noticed that some of its features also seem to coincide with this metaphorical divide.    Read More »

Do Scary Shit

Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Do something that scares you every day. ~Mary Schmich

I'm in Athens today and I'm scared. I saw a police officer in full riot gear on my Uber ride back to my Airbnb last night. My driver seemed to slough it off like it was no big deal as he said that "this here is the anarchist's area." Umm...Cool. 

I realized that I'm doing a lot of scary stuff lately. Scary for me anyway. 

I left Chicago last November and traveled for six months. Since returning in May, I have been all over the eastern US and northern and Southern Europe. I calculated that over 80% of my days have been spent in a bed other than my own. I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago with no clue what continent I was on. I was in my own bed.

My changes in Chicago may be the scariest. I ended a long term relationship and set out on choosing singleness for a period of time in my life. This is scary for me because I've rarely been single. I'm what you would call a serial monogamist. Since the age of 16, I have had a significant other for all but 9 months of my life. I have no idea what to expect from it but I can tell you that it feels damn uncomfortable.

In a typical life, we run into the same things, the same roads, the same foods, the same relationships—all with an occasional step into the unknown as we meet a new friend or take a new path to work. In this new reality that I'm creating for myself, however, every day, every moment, can be an adventure. 

There are good reasons why most people don't do this. 

  Read More »

I'm Weird

Posted Thursday, April 05, 2018

"How would you live if you were fearless, if you lived your life as an expression of your deepest heart." David Deida 

I’ve really got the best job in the world. I get to start nearly every work conversation with a big, deep question. I get to ask questions like: “What are you celebrating this week?”, or “What’s true for you right now?”, or “What does your purpose have to do with what you focused on today?”

I often say that the thing I love about my job is that I get to really BE with people all day long. 
In a world where we all long to connect—I get to do it for a living. 
There’s something weird going on though, and not just with the world—with me. 
I live with an eight-year-old. Her name is Sophie and she is the daughter of one of my life-long friends. There is nothing like a child to call you on your own BS. The other day, Sophie had to make a rule for me—no looking at my phone when I am with her. You see, right in front of me, I have all this life—all this joy—and over and over again she had to ask me to get my face out of my phone. 
That’s weird. 
It’s weird that we don’t connect when we have a chance to. It’s weird that we think people who talk on elevators are weird. It's weird that we don't acknowledge each other.
We were born to connect. Born to live with open hearts. I get all the good reasons why we don’t but we’re totally missing out on all sorts of love and joy. 
So this is my assignment to myself this week—to show up with an open heart to every conversation and every interaction with humans. It's been liberating. The chance to simply connect with strangers is everywhere--not to mention to more deeply connect with people I love.

Will you join me?

"All your guarded moments are life wasted." David Deida in Blue Truth
  Read More »




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