Handcraft a hope map for a brave and beautiful life. Growth or becoming our most honest and integrated selves is more circular than linear (or more like a spiral). Each new season of life invites us to journey deeper, to stay open to joyful possibility and learn to sit with discomfort and uncertainty, to build upon the scaffolding of yesterday, to make new connections and increase in wisdom and understanding.
Pausing to check-in and notice our growth or how far we’ve come instills a sense of pride, it offers evidence that we are capable of doing hard things, and of the power of one intentional step or breath or conscious choice after another. It deepens our commitment to the work when life feels hard and we want to quit. And only when we know where we are can we carve an honest, compassionate, and compelling path forward.
I read and loved Krista’s Life in Progress emails for a while before deciding to join the Brave and Beautiful community. Krista is not only a truly gifted writer, but her take on how to approach life and all its craziness has been a godsend. I look forward to her “mostly-weekly” emails and often forward them to my daughter. I decided to join the Brave and Beautiful community in June when Krista opened it up to new members. Although it’s only been 2 months, I have learned so much and look forward to our new units and activities. I also love that we have live Zoom calls and can interact with her and with one another. Each one of us gets to benefit from her wisdom and advice and I am so grateful for that. I am amazed at the wealth of information Krista provides … not only citing relevant resources but enlightening us with her own personal reflections and revelations. I plan to be a part of this amazing group for a long time!Amy Dolinky
A hope map (or growth path) for a BRAVE AND BEAUTIFUL life: go deeper not wider
My work offers a growth path, or hope map for a brave and beautiful life, that journeys through seven core concepts and 21 milestones (take the assessment for more clarity). Our journey through life is not linear, of course; it continually invites us DEEPER into the work. As we journey, slow and steady, we grow stronger and more resilient and deepen our roots of understanding and embodiment of our values and beliefs. And as one cycle comes to an end, we’re invited to begin again.
The following is a rough guide to help you identify your current depth of understanding and embodiment of the growth offered in my work. If you see yourself somewhere in steps 3-7 then the Brave + Beautiful Community might be a great fit for you. Some people in step 2 can do well in the membership community but I recommend we talk first.
I joined the Brave & Beautiful Community to have a group of growth-minded women to journey through this season of my life with. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to learn new strategies for living with purpose as well as supporting and celebrating other women as we share our lives together as part of the community. Brave & Beautiful is a wonderful investment and I would highly recommend making the commitment.Shana H
1. YOU’RE IN CRISIS, AT LOW LEVELS OF HEALTH, OR IN NEED OF 1:1 SUPPORT
You feel stuck, alone, unseen, unheard, and unhappy lots of the time. Maybe you live with a constant undercurrent of anxiety yet aren’t sure why or you’re struggling hard with your mental health. Your mood is easily impacted by external circumstances/others. You feel busy, harried, overwhelmed, stressed, unhealthy. You’ve spent lots of energy trying to squish yourself into an ill-fitting box for belonging, conforming, performing and you experience low self-worth, poor body image, mean self-talk. Shame, self-judgment, and a vicious inner critic play a big role in your life.
The truth is you never feel good enough. You defer happiness – “one day” you’ll allow yourself to feel happy. Stories loop in your brain: you ruminate about the past, worry about the future, rehash old conversations, or let your brain spin with negative thoughts. Rules, rigidity, jumping through hoops, addictive patterns, and bullying yourself for being imperfect are common themes in your life.
You may need healing from trauma and addiction, or you may be in crisis and need professional medical or therapeutic support above all to help you love yourself through this hard season of life. You may not feel worthy of support. You need 1:1 care before you’re resourced and feel safe enough to join a community.
2. YOU’RE CURIOUS, DESIRE A MORE HOPEFUL POSSIBILITY, BUT FEEL EASILY DISCOURAGED
You’re afraid and hoping for change, you may have done years of therapy, and still wonder if real change is possible, if life can be better, if you’ll ever learn to love yourself. You don’t know who you are or, you’re in a big life transition and need help finding yourself or “coming home to yourself” again. You notice a sense of burgeoning courage but still have lower self-confidence. You’re learning to pick yourself up when you fall. You need new, healthy role models beyond your familiar community.
You’re opening up tentatively to new paradigms/possibilities and to trying new ideas on for size. Anxiety, feeling less than, comparison, perfectionism, fear, and a mean inner critic are loud in your life. You feel guilty for resting and feel perpetually behind. You feel jealousy or envy and anger and then feel bad about this. You get distracted easily. When life is hard you may decide it’s your fault.
You look back often and tend toward anxiety and rumination or projecting far ahead rather than living fully present. You most often live on autopilot. You’re looking for freedom but keep picking up another set of chains. You need space to rest, repair, and to be equipped for what lies ahead. You’d benefit from consistent encouragement and reminders that you’re not alone.
brave and compassionate community matters for health and happiness!
The Brave + Beautiful Community is a place for brave, weary, curious women in the middle season of life. We gather in warm and welcoming community to build relationship, learn and grow together, practice new skills with ongoing support, and reclaim freedom, wholeness, and joy for our lives.
3. YOU’RE PRACTICING, WALKING LIGHTER, AND FEELING HOPEFUL MORE OF THE TIME
You are being challenged to question, examine, and challenge the status quo. You are doing hard work to take responsibility for your mind-body-emotional health and to get honest about what you want and need. You’re beginning to learn more about who and how you are, shame and judgement-free. You’re practicing asking for help and staying with discomfort. Practicing the pause. Practicing presence. Sometimes you tilt a little far, get pulled off course, or get distracted by comparison or shiny things. You are less triggered or reactive than before.
You still struggle with allowing yourself to feel joy because what if something bad comes around the next bend? You may want to quit or occasionally fall back into old patterns. It’s hard to see your progress at times. You’d benefit from outside witnesses and accountability and understand the value and necessity of brave and values-aligned community (though you may not have found “your people” yet). You don’t always feel safe to be yourself but you’re making progress in using your voice and you feel a new spark of hope and joyful possibility.
4. YOU’RE COMMITTED, HAVE A CLEAR LIFE VISION, AND YOU’RE IN SIGNIFICANT AND EXCITING TRANSITION
You’re seeking a healthy community and releasing old, less healthy relationships. You are finding more freedom, confidence, and permission. You are building a healthy and trusting relationship with yourself and you’re becoming clearer about your strengths and weaknesses. You’re learning to give yourself permission to rest and weaving new gentle rhythms, habits, and practices into your life. You notice a feeling of lightness and exhale. You’re opening up more and more to the truth that joy and pain can coexist in your life. You practice “both/and.” You’re fairly boundaried and resourced and you regularly take imperfect action rather than hiding or living in fear.
You want to give back. Self-doubt still arises at times – you’re human after all – but you’re learning to use or reclaim your voice. You’re learning to acknowledge the truth that you are gifted and lovable and though you’re still in progress like the rest of us, you are deserving of love and compassion right now. You’ve begun or want to craft a compelling life vision. You’re allowing yourself more often to be seen and heard and you’re living with more curiosity and less judgment.
Mindfulness and body awareness are increasing. You practice self-forgiveness. You’re quicker to notice your old triggers and default patterns, and quicker to gently redirect. You laugh more freely and heartily these days.
Years ago I gained great courage from a quote I heard regarding the power of telling our truths and being authentic as a catalyst for others to do the same. Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui, is a perfect example of just how true this is. Her courage in telling her truth, no matter how messy, has been an inspiration to me for years. And, in her Brave & Beautiful Membership community, she has provided a safe space where others can follow her lead in the company of like-minded women. Truly a gift!Sandra Kerr-Porcari
5. YOU’RE GOING DEEP, EXPERIENCING RADICAL GROWTH, AND BECOMING YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND
You’re living awake and engaged, practicing self-compassion as your new instinct, and learning to honour your wiring. You’re refining your voice and vision and practicing conscious simplicity. You feel more empowered and you’re building a sense of agency. You have deep roots of self-awareness and self-compassion. You understand your story and are clear on your values and who you choose to be. You’ve done hard work to feel mind-emotion-body healthy but recognize there is still more work to do.
You’re going deeper not wider, releasing what no longer serves. You might be experiencing radical/powerful growth/becoming/healing, you’re less shame and ego driven, and you’ve been growing your emotional intelligence. You’ve been holding on to some unhealthy relationships and it’s time to let go. You have a full life and some meaningful relationships but you’re ready to engage in deeper work and you need brave community to model growth and showing up bravely to life in every season. You may be in a significant life transition: you’ve come to the end of one story and need guidance as you step into what’s next.
You are clear on what enough looks/sounds/feels like for you in each season. You may circle back here for a season if you go through crisis, trauma, or profound loss. You’re not going backwards, but deeper into growth. The skills you’ve developed hold you fast so that you tilt but do not break. You know how to ask for and receive help. You’re happy much of the time, even when circumstances are challenging. You’re confident you’re on the right path.
6. YOU’RE WALKING IN FREEDOM AND CONFIDENCE AND HAVE COME HOME TO YOURSELF
You are living brave, whole, and on purpose. Your life is imperfect (because that’s real life!) but it is intentional, values-aligned, and feels like home. You practice Seasonal Living and make space for purposeful rest. You mine for the beauty and wisdom in every season.
You are the expert on your own life. You like and love yourself well. You look inward for direction more often than outward. You live with less fear about the ups and downs of life, with peace about the messiness of life. You recognize your strength and resilience. You look back proud and amazed at how far you’ve come. You offer your gifts. You celebrate with others in their success and joy, and sit with them in their sorrow, without bypassing, advice-giving, or trying to fix.
You look ahead at what’s next and to set your course but then pull your mind and heart back to today. You feel safe and at home in your body and your life, good in the skin you’re in. You live with balanced awareness and deep roots. You give yourself permission for rest, play, pleasure AND to do hard things. You both benefit from and contribute meaningfully to healthy community. Life is always messy and offers up new challenges and invitations to growth. You feel fully alive.
7. YOU’RE RESTED, RESOURCED, AND READY TO CONTINUE THE JOURNEY
You’re growing into your inner wise woman. You’re a role model, an agent of change, you hold the door and pave the way for those behind you. You lift up others when they stumble and model dignity and grace. You know your worth and have a healthy system for support and connection in place. You trust your inner direction. You turn your heart and gaze toward what’s next, calm, rooted, a little nervous. It too will be good. At this point you may stay in the BB community for the stability and ongoing encouragement it offers, or you may feel ready to move on to what’s next.
I’m intrigued by your hope map for a brave and beautiful life. now what?
As a holistic practitioner I offer compassionate, trauma-aware, and evidence-based coaching and education, along with hard-fought wisdom, to women+ in the middle season of life and from different corners of the world. My community members tend to feel a little beat up by life, tired of the status quo, and ready to do the stretching work required to walk in greater freedom and joy. They seek a gentler, kinder, and more values-aligned way of being and moving through the world.
The Brave +Beautiful Community is a place of tremendous collective wisdom, kind, welcoming, and as much I show up to serve the women who gather there, I too reap the benefits of this compassionate and brave community. It is a gift to come alongside the women who say yes to sharing life with me for awhile. It is a genuine privilege to peer inside their hearts and lives, to hold space, encourage, challenge, and support them for a season of their life.
I see my work in general – and the B+B specifically – as a resting place. A safe place to come aside and rest awhile, to be strengthened, nourished from the roots up, and equipped for the journey ahead.
There are countless ways to handcraft a hope map for a brave and beautiful life but if the Brave + Beautiful Community has piqued your curiosity, you can reach out for a chat to ask questions, or learn more and register here. I offer a number of pay-what-you-can spots available to people on my email list.
NOW WHAT? If you want to learn about 21 milestones you’ll encounter along this growth path, take the Hope Map Assessment!