Inside: If you’ve come to the end of the story you’ve been living, and if you want to live whole and brave, it may be time to write a new story and trust the magic of new beginnings.
Three and half years ago I heard a strong and clear inner voice tell me “This is no longer your story. You will write a new story.” After a long and challenging season of liminal space as I grieved, processed, and grew even deeper roots, I’m now stepping into that new story. I choose to live whole and brave in my life and this means beginning again in many different ways.
In the end, what we fear will not go away, for it indicates what we must go through in order to awaken, become more genuine, and live more fully. The problem is that we tend to be most afraid of what our own souls require of us. Often our deepest fear is that we might become who we are intended to be, who we already are at our core. For becoming who we truly are requires the greatest amount of change.Michael Meade
The work of integration and choosing our response to life
Many women in my community (perhaps you too) have come to the end of a story that no longer fits.
None of our experiences are wasted. This does not mean we’d choose them for ourselves or wish them upon anyone else. It just means that we truth-tell, integrate all of our life experiences, and take responsibility for choosing our response as we live forward into unknown territory and unfamiliar landscapes.
Examples of what this could look/sound/feel like:
Recalibrating and saying yes to thriving and living fully again after trauma and/or deep grief.
Leaving behind relationships and spaces that do not allow you to show up in full integrity, or the full expression of who you are. This might mean divorce, walking away from a faith community that does not align with your core values, or letting go of friendships that no longer feel safe, nurturing, or kind.
Empty nest and entering a season in which you get to be first.
Taking off your armor and allowing yourself to love again after being hurt.
Saying yes to a creative project, business, or other endeavor you’ve been dreaming of and deciding that you’re going after what you want even though you’re experiencing fear and self-doubt some or all of the time. No more allowing fear or your Inner Critic to control you.
Naming your old wounds and getting the help you need to process them, close those loops, and find mind-emotion-body freedom.
After decades of hiding and trying to take up the least space possible in the world, embodying joy and the full expression of who you are.
Instituting a no-bullying policy, shutting down all the noise that makes you feel ashamed of your body or self, and deciding that you will never again ignore or disown the needs and desires of your body.
Making friends with the truth that you are indeed aging and also you have lots of life and vitality ahead of you.
Rewiring your pattern of isolation and uber-independence to risk making bids for connection and building brave community.
Getting out of debt and living within your means or writing a new money story.
Deciding that you’re done living in shame and judgement, caring what others think about you to your detriment, or trying to measure up and keep up to arbitrary standards, and you’re ready to do the work required to become your own best friend and rebuild self-trust.
Forgiving yourself for your past. Acknowledging that you did the best you could with the knowledge, resources, and support you had back then. And now you get to keep writing your story.
Transitioning through peri-menopause or menopause and claiming your wisdom, power, and leadership.
Letting go of how you thought your life would be, should be, wanted it to be, so that you can live whole and brave inside the life in front of you.
livE whole and brave as you say yes to what’s next and trust the magic of new beginnings
In my post How To Show Up With Strength When You Must Begin Again, I shared that beginner’s mind is “dropping our expectations and preconceived ideas about something, and seeing things with an open mind, fresh eyes, just like a beginner. (…) You’re also looking at everything as if it’s brand new, perhaps with curiosity and wonder.”
When we stand at the threshold of a new story, it’s normal to feel excitement, anticipation, and also some fear or discomfort. We don’t know for sure what lies ahead, but the truth is we’ve never known what tomorrow will hold. It’s also normal to experience some grief as we release what was, both the beautiful parts and also the really hard parts.
It’s healthy and wise to give our fear and grief a voice. They need to be heard. They matter. You may want to consider a ritual or celebration of some sort to mark this important life transition.
Wail, sing, dance, write, grieve, rejoice. Move your body or express yourself in whatever ways feel meaningful to you. Be proud of yourself for all the hard work it took to bring you to this place in time.
And then when you’re ready, take a deep breath, exhale, remind yourself that you’re safe and capable of doing hard things. Then step into your new story and trust the “magic” of new beginnings.
vision + Values-Aligned Living Workshop
We are all embodying something, it just may or may not be the truth of who we are, our core values and primary dreams. Instead, we may be living from comparison, perfectionism, fear, external pressure or conditioning, and old narratives. I consistently circle back to Vision and Values in my work with my clients and community because this is foundational to a brave and beautiful life. Learn more here.
is it time to shake things up? Will you step whole and brave into a new story?
Faster is not better; as long as we show up willing and curious, life invites us deeper into the work. As one revolution cycles to an end, we begin again. There need not be urgency around this. As you practice listening inward and trusting yourself, you’ll know when it’s time.
If you do recognize the call to a new story – a desire to live whole and brave in a new way – and you need wise and brave community to support you as you go, you may be interested in what we’re exploring this year inside the Brave + Beautiful Community.
Our theme for the year ahead is BEGIN AGAIN. We’ll explore this through the lens of Rewilding self + Restoring self-leadership, Recommitting to our values, vision + full expression of who we are, and Rebranding Middle Age. Learn more here. Or reach out to ask me questions about my community of wise and brave women.
As Parker J. Palmer says, “life is constantly rebooting.” This truly isn’t something to fear. It’s a beautiful (though uncomfortable) part of being human in this messy world. Making art is always messy.
To live whole and brave we need to open up our hearts, minds and bodies to many new beginnings.