My February Writing Challenge: Day 1 of 28
As I sweatily peddled through spin class this morning I found myself saying thank you. But not in a vague thank you to God or the universe but very specific thank yous. Thank yous to every client we delivered meals to last night. Thank you to every team member on our squad and to anyone who ever remotely played a part in our growing this business. With each pedal it was a new name. Thank you Carrie Hoefer. Thank you Paige Payne, Thank you Chef Cathy...
I started with our client’s names from yesterday’s delivery and it quickly turned into a thank you fest of every single person who has touched this passion project. The very first clients who believed in me when I was cooking out of my tiny NYC apartment and delivering meals by foot. Thank you Megan Bradley. My landlord in the West Village who found me a free second refrigerator that he then installed in my tiny studio apartment so that I could continue growing my little business. Thank you Raul. My friend who lived down he hall who would let me and my 200-lb dog Kingsley stay in her apartment with her every so often when I’d need to rent mine on AirBNB to scrape up my monthly rent. Thank you Lisa Sherwood. My ex-boyfriend who built me my very first business model spreadsheet that I never figured out how to use but that inspired me to actually go forward and start this crazy thing in the first place. Thank you Brandon Simins.
This process could go on and on and on. And it did as I pedaled and pedaled and pulsed. I’ve never had two songs fly by in a workout class so effortlessly. I left feeling glowey and grateful. (Many thanks to Alli Sutter and her 8:30am Monday class at Studio Cycle CDM which is SO much more than a physical workout - if you’re local to Orange County, CA, I HIGHLY recommend it).
As you may or may not have noticed, I took the full month of January away from my personal social media. I will reflect on this experience in more depth at another time, but what I will say is that I missed you and I missed sharing. I learned so much about myself and I was more present than I’ve been in a long time. I also learned the harsh truth of how dependent I’d become on external validation and encouragement, and worked on new ways of finding it within myself (even though I thought I’d been doing that all along).
I like to give myself a new challenge each month. I went into January feeling cocky with about 5 monthly challenges for myself (see last blog post) and I was successful with just one. I was humbled once again and am learning to be ok with just BEING instead of constantly DOING. I learned a lot about surrender and perfectionism. Two very different ways of existing.
So in spin class this morning on this first day of February it became clear to me that for this month I’d pick just ONE self-challenge. Something that would encourage me to do the opposite of what January’s challenge had been about- and that is to share more. But to share things of value. To share from my heart. And what better place for me to access that than in my writing? My daily journals. The place where my truth tends to pour out in ink and where I ask questions of God and try to make sense of this human experience. It is the most fun work I’ve ever done - tuning-in instead of numbing out. Writing has been the gateway to myself and it is how I most effectively communicate.
As I was writing in my journal the other day I found myself asking God when I’d finally start sharing? When I’d have that platform to really reach people. How I could use my life experiences and lessons to help in the healing and betterment of this world. As if there were some place I had to get to where it would all start. Where life starts. Where you’re thin enough or famous enough or rich enough or find that perfect person or blah blah blah.
Monday, January 25th, 2016
13th Street Lifeguard Tower - Newport Beach
Me: So God, when will it all start? When is that big moment, the exposure, platform, audience?
God: You already have it. It’s now. You just have to do the self work to uncover it. The more you tune in, the more you will hear it and the more you can live your truth. You must find enough-ness in this space now. Perfection and love and acceptance of yourself and your life at this very moment comes first, and everything else that you think you need to get there will actually follow.
Me: Why do I have blocks towards sharing my writing? Why am I not finishing what I start?
God: Because there is fear. You don’t want to believe it but you’re scared. And the writing will come when it’s meant to. I will provoke it when it is meant to be. You will spend your entire life writing. Enjoy this time now when you are so free. Do the work on you. When it is time to share, I promise you will. You will change the world and many lives but you can’t do it until you do the inside job. Fill up now. You’re exactly where you need to be. You’re doing everything perfectly. We’re co-creating, don’t forget that. I am here. Always, always, always. You’re right on time. You will read these notes later in your life. They will be of great use to generations but right now they are for you. You’ve found me but you forget sometimes and that’s ok. This serves as a little reminder. Contrast. One day we will be fully together. You will live fully from me - heart space - love. You are young and adventuring and you will smile back at your curiosity for life. At the questions you asked and the body you wanted and the “things” you thought you needed. You will love the childish curiosity you once had and you will embrace it. Not as ignorance but as miraculousness. You’ll laugh with yourself at how you thought it was your job to control everything. You’ll smile at your anxiousness and your worry about everything. That’s love you’re feeling now. That overwhelming emotion. It’s still stuck inside but it won’t always be. Those bells are me too. And those waves and sun and seagulls. I can’t wait tor you to see how great you’re going to be and to acknowledge exactly how perfect you’ve been all along. Stop worrying so much. You’re right about yourself. You are spot on. I’m glad you’re letting me in right now. You’ve known it was through this pen but this format works for us. Just ask. Ask as often as possible and I will answer.
Me: I’m scared about using the “God” word (no offense). I know how it used to scare me away so I hesitate to use it in my writing. I feel spiritual but far from religious and I know that word has so many stigmas attached to it.
God: You have to let go of that. You cannot speak everyone’s language but I promise that if you speak your own, it will reach exactly who it’s meant to. God is different to everyone. I know that “God" has been used in a lot of cruelty but that’s not what “God” is to you, and that is what matters. If I am love and acceptance and kindness to you then that is how I will play out in your writing. It matters much less than you think.
And so after this conversation - yes, I’m very much referring to the conversation above that I had in my head - I asked my idea of God that he help me in sharing my writing more- and right there in this morning's spin class and my rambling of thank yous, he placed in my mind, on this 1st day of February, my newest monthly self-challenge, and that was to share my writing daily for 28 days. He gave me the shortest month of the year to do so, as if to say “I got you”.
And so here I am sharing for the first of 28 days, and hopefully much longer. I am thankful to you and for these technology platforms that, though often criticized for inauthentic connection, truly give us the opportunity to connect with so many new souls that we may not have otherwise had the chance to cross paths with. I expected to come back from a month away from social media telling you how freeing it was and how much better my life was without it, but instead I’m here telling you otherwise. It did have so many benefits and lessons (I promise I'll share more when I'm ready), but it also left me grateful for the platform we’ve been given to connect. To heal and share and support each other. To remind us that we’re all made of the same stuff and that we’re in this together. So thank YOU for being part of this platform. For being here in this very moment reading these words. I can’t wait to send you so many sweaty thank yous. I hope you feel them.