HOW TO RECLAIM YOUR TIME.

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I had to shut it all the way down this week.My energy was totally depleted & I found myself physically and emotionally exhausted.

Between an incredibly full schedule last week, an emotionally draining conversation over the weekend, entertaining out of town guests, new work projects, late night conversations and Charlottesville having me really feel enraged, once again, at the plight of being black in this country... my damn cup was empty, y'all. 

Like, not even a drop left in that thing.And it was no ones fault but my own.

To quote Auntie Maxine, I (desperately) needed to reclaim my time.

So I said no to work, to friends, and cancelled dinner dates.

I filled my refrigerator with food Monday afternoon, spent the evening listening to a book on tape while lounging in a massive bubble bath, and then climbed my naked, ashy ass into bed & stayed there for 3 days.

And it was everything.

I didn't return any emails, work related or otherwise. Didn't leave the house. Didn't open the drapes. Didn't really leave my bed except for food.

My only plan? Resting until I felt like I didn't need to rest anymore.

Taking care of myself. Recentering. Recuperating.Reclaiming my time.

Because somehow I got way off track over the last 2 weeks. Didn't do a great job of monitoring my input vs. my output. Started giving people more of myself than what I actually had to give. And it left me feeling like shit. 

And while self care is this idea people seem to love in theory,they don't always love it in practice. We seem to feel VERY entitled to each other's time. That oururgent needs means others should adapt to our schedules. That taking days to rest your body & mind--when you're not actually sick--is an indulgent luxury when in fact...

it should be standard practice.

Because allowing your cup to get all the way empty is unhealthy. And dangerous. 

I love to talk about this because I know that I'm not the only one who sometimes forgets that I have the right to say no...but that's the only way we can truly reclaim our time.

No, I will not allow you to manage my time. No, I will not put my needs on the back burner. No, I won't apologize for needing a break. 

People like other people who like themselves.And you know how you like yourself?By making you a priority.Putting your needs first, even if it's inconvenient for others.

Because "reclaiming my time" is really more than just a catch phrase--it's a call to action. A reminder that you are the guardian of the time that's been given to you while you're on this earth. 

It is YOURS. It belongs to YOU. And it's your responsibility to manage it, direct it, decrease it, or increase it, as you see fit.

But you must be the one to do it. 

NEVER be afraid to wave the white flag in your life. If you don't feel well, tell the truth.  If you're burned out from work, tell the truth.  If your relationships aren't supporting you, tell the truth.  If you don't know exactly WTF is wrong, but you know for sure that something just ain't right, then tell the truth about that too. 

I'm spending this last weekday catching up on work & even though a project went a little haywire while I was away, I don't regret waving my flag & closing shop. There was nothing I could've done to avoid the mishap & more importantly, I know that I'm of no service to my clients if I'm not first serving myself.

I needed every single one of those 3 days off, so I took them.THAT'S how you reclaim your time. 

THE 21 DAY GRATITUDE PROJECT.

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I know, I know. It's been awhile since you've heard from me.

Admittedly, this summer has asked a lot of me. Things I didn't know that I would have to give. 

I'd love to tell you that I've just been lazily spending days lounging by the pool & adventuring off on spontaneous road trips & occupied with lots of wonderful, intelligent and funny men (Ohhh....how I would love to be able to say this!!) but....that hasn't been the case, y'all. 

Instead I've been very meticulously disassembling the foundation I've been standing on & rebuilding a foundation to support something that I've wanted for a long time. Something that I can't even totally conceptualize myself just yet but...it's clearly coming faster than I imagined. 

The process has been excruciating, challenging, draining, scary, expensive & frustrating but....this has also been one of the best times of my life. I am learning A LOT. And I'm still happy. 

And it's kind of interesting because, in a broad aspect, this is exactly what I thought I'd be doing this summer.

I just thought I'd be doing it in Spain

Taking siestas in Retiro Park with my Spanish boyfriend (who I'd already affectionately named "Javi", short for Javier), while we shared tapas of jamón y pan con quesopracticed each other's languages and customs. (clearly I have a VERY vivid imagination)

But since I'm here--healing my body & intensely working on this glow up--I figured it's the perfect time to do launch the 21 Day Gratitude Project for 2017.

The 21DGPis a project I started 2 years ago to experience a deeper level of gratitude by sharing my experience with others. 

Each of you is personally paired with a partner (whom you don't know!) and through 21 days of DAILY emails you connect with them by sharing something you're grateful for in your life. Or the THINGS you're grateful for. Because sometimes we just need to talk & celebrate & focus on the GOOD STUFF going on in our lives. And sometimes it feels lovely to create a deep connection with a person you may have never laid eyes on in your life. Actually, I think we can agree that feels lovely every time it happens.

Because the reality is that the only way to make joy, abundance, peace, happiness, & gratitude grow in our lives is THROUGH OUR OWN COMMITMENT TO UNAPOLOGETICALLY CHOOSE THEM. Again & again.

This project starts next week, on August 2nd, so if you want to participate, head to my blog & use the box on the RIGHT to add your name to the list.

Last year I had over 100 people & I'd love to see this group keep growing! Click here to read more & sign up.  (USE THE BOX ON THE RIGHT THO!)

Lastly, thank you for staying with me these last few weeks and caring about what I do & who I am the things I create & what I have to say. 

For a girl who grew up feeling like what she had to say didn't matter..... it means a lot. 

xo.

THE REAL DEAL MONEY TALK.

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I could be making more money. SHOULD be making more money.

The truth is that there are things that I KNOW that I know, and I have no doubt that my areas of expertise could be an immense help to so many people.

I am a thinker at heart and I'm always reframing experiences, words & ideas. I have ideas for hosting seminars and retreats and writing books and making jewelry and designing shirts and building authentic communities where people really EXPERIENCE one another.....but few of those ideas have actually gotten beyond the door of my office.

Because for as much as you SEE me do...there's triple the amount of things I don't do. And I have a lot of very "rational", "logical" reasons for this, of course. The standard lies we tend to tell ourselves when we get scared & decide that tapping out would be easier than doing the work.

The idea isn't ready yet. It's not a good time for this. I'm not ready. I'm waiting on ____ to help me with _____. I don't know how to do it. (<<--my all time favorite)

But these, my friends, are lies. And because I've been telling lies, my income isn't doing what it could be doing. It's not doing what it SHOULD be doing. And in case you were wondering, apparently there IS in fact a direct correlation between telling lies & making money. Just FYI.

Monday I had an early morning, major breakthrough about my work, my business and what's actually holding me back. I wasn't even consciously thinking about it but the revelation showed up anyway:

I'm afraid that making more money will require me to live a life that I don't want.

That more money will demand I become drastically more entangled & stressed in the everydayness of life, and that I might end up with so much responsibility that I feel like I'm suffocating. 

And suffocating is a big fear of mine.

In work and in my relationships, I'm afraid of feeling like there's not enough space for me to be me. Like I will be drowned.  

Because after growing up constantly feeling and being told that who I was, what I looked like & how I spoke was "too black/white", "too much" or "too grown", I've evolved into a woman who's very protective her essence. I may not have had a choice as a child, but I certainly have one now. And I exercise it. 

But stepping into the kind of success I imagine for myself means I'm going to have a lot more things going on. And I never knew, until this week, that somewhere deep down, the idea of  "a lot more things going on" makes me feel like I may not be able to be ME.

Now I understand why I've been both pulling close & pushing away the very things that I want most. This is a huge ah-ha in my world.

I know several people who make anywhere from multiple six to multiple seven figure incomes and when I look at their lives, I don't see anything that I want. I don't believe in being stressed out, over committed, sick, exhausted all the time or endlessly complaining.

Yet I see a lot of this in them.And it's a major turnoff for me.

I somehow started equating more projects & more financial abundance with what they have: Stress. And it's made me recoil.

And I get that this may sound a bit odd to you but I think it's important to tell the truth about how we feel, no matter how it may sound to others. So I am.

My truth is that I'm afraid of being trapped with too much responsibility in a life I fundamentally don't want. Because I actually love how I live now....I just want MORE. 

So I've been unpacking this idea all week, and I've come up with a ton of ideas & thoughts and my work. Things I'll tell you more about in another post.

But here's what I know for now:

That it's time to really get to work. To do what I could&should be doing.

The reality is that I love money. Not for what it can buy, but for who it helps me to become & how it helps me show up in the world. So I'm not serving myself--or anyone else--by avoiding a life of greater abundance. That's Bible. 

It actually is NOT easier to avoid doing the work.

If there's a chance I'm gonna be "suffocated" by doing the work or "suffocated" by not getting the work out/being able to live the kind of life I want then....I'd rather take the chance and create art. And to move forward trusting that the road will be paved along the way.

So I am.

And if any of this resonates with you, please leave a comment or drop me an email. I'd love to hear from you.

**Also, I've not only dropped the price on my 18 page Design Proposal & Terms by 51-ish% (the one that I use with all of my design clients!) but I've also made it into a word document which makes it easier for you to adapt for personal use. If you're a design professional/aspiring professional or student, you WANT to have this. Click here to see more details.**

THAT TIME I ALMOST STOOD UP AL ROKER.

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January 21, 2015 06:19:50

In my natural life I don't think I've ever been as scared as I was in this moment.

All of the sudden I found myself at The Weather Channel headquarters, Studio 9, getting ready to go on LIVE, NATIONAL TV with none of than Al Roker & Stephanie Abrams.

Yes, that Al. The one from The Today Show.

In less than 10 seconds Al was going to utter my name across his lips, look me in my eyes & engage me with rapt interest as I discussed the projects I'd created for my live, national tv debut on his show.

But how the hell did I get here???

I saw the clock start counting down the seconds 10, 9, 8, 7....and I all of the sudden a sheer panic rose up in my chest. Then I heard it--the sound of some crazy person inside me shouting:

What the fuck are you DOING HERE?? You're gonna forget everything you're supposed to talk about!! They will see that you're a fraud!! Run out the door right now--GO!!! Save yourself while you still can!!

I felt like a deer in headlights and thought my heart was going to beat itself right out of my chest.

Now 10 seconds doesn't seem like a long time but let me tell you...it IS. You can't imagine how many (nasty, destructive) scenarios the human brain can create in as little as 10 seconds but I think I experienced almost all of them that morning. I swore I was gonna have a major asthma attack, right there on the stage, save for the fact that I don't actually have asthma. 

But then the clock hit "0" and it was showtime.  The cameras were up & we were live all across America.

Al introduced me and I was all smiley and chatty and 100% in control and totally schooling them on my spring projects and my hair was shining like a Cornsilk Cabbage Patch doll and my face was beat and my shoes were all the way on point. And just as I really started getting into it....he "threw it" to commercial break and my time was over. Just like that. 4 days of preparation & work summed up in 180 seconds.

I went from feeling incompetent, afraid & under qualified to feeling empowered, confident & more than capable. All in the span of 3 minutes.

But that's how these things always seems to happen, you know.  

Because this is how it feels to invite yourself into the process of creation. You get an invitation (from a friend, from God, from your intuition, your kids, etc.) to create something new, so you start doing it. You find the work tedious, but exciting. You love your ideas but none of the work actually looks like what you envisioned just yet. But what continues to push you is your desire to see this thing come to fruition. To watch it be born. And then all of the sudden it's showtime/launch time/show up time and in an instant, you feel scared out of your mind. You worry that maybe your idea actually isn't new, that it's not a fresh perspective, that you aren't good enough, don't know enough and seriously feel like you are quite possibly a fool for even embarking on such an ambitious undertaking.

But now you're on stage (figuratively speaking) and can't stop. There's nowhere to hide. You've done so much that the easiest way out is actually to go forward.

So that's what you do.

You deliver your creation, knock it out of the park and realize that--surprise, surprise--you had it all along.That the voice was a lie. Not only can you now see your creation in all of its intended glory but you start embracing the fact that you totally killed that thing and maybe you even shot too small. You realize you could actually be a fantastic FILL IN for Al when he's on vacation because you rocked it so hard!! Fuck the 3 minute segment--you could totally do a 20 MINUTE segment! Maybe even have your own show! Own your own network! The sky is the limit!!

But you only get here by pushing beyond the voice.

Beyond the fear, beyond the doubt, & beyond feeling like you're still just an over talkative, precocious 8 year old. Because the truth is that none of those feelings are real.

This is just a reminder that the closest (and easiest) way out is actually through, because going back means you'll never get anywhere. It seems like it's safer, but it's not.

Staying small will actually kill you. Quite literally. 

For every story you hear about how it "turned out so bad" or about how someone "just couldn't make the idea work", never forget that there are MANY MORE stories about people who refused to let the fear have the final say.Everything you see, do & use in your life today is a result of someone pushing past their (thousands of) fears to make their idea work.

And then there's me. I talk about these things because this is what I KNOW firsthand.I HAVE BEEN THERE (and have the pics to prove it). I would've missed out on so many projects, clients & opportunities if I would've let fear get the best of me that morning. I never would've know what I was capable of if I hadn't totally blew past my self-imposed boundary. 

So whatever you may be working on, praying for, or struggling with...... KEEP GOING.

The easiest way to get beyond those feelings is to just buckle up & take the road that goes straight through them.

*And if you wanna watch my segment from that morning with Al & Stephanie, click here. *

APPLY YOUR MASK FIRST.

I haven't been feeling all that hot this week and while I've written a ton of ideas (I'm always writing), nothing really seemed right for today. I was trying to think about what's really relevant in my life right now & yet it's hard to think about those things when the main thing is that you're not feeling well. But because I'm really focused on trying to get SOMETHING out every week, I thought I'd just drop in to tell you the truth:

I didn't really feel like writing this week. I didn't feel like doing much of anything this week. I just didn't have it in me. 

So I didn't. 

And that's the best message I have to share...one that's timeless & never goes out of style.

The one about putting on your own oxygen mask before you even ATTEMPT to put on someone else's. 

No matter what you may have committed to, LISTEN to your body. Listen to your spirit. If you don't feel like pushing through, don't. If you can't muster up the energy, that's totally fine. If you just need to take a day off because you need to take a day off, do it. Do NOT ask for permission or expect other people to understand because chances are, they won't. Matter of fact, don't even talk to other people about it. Be like Nike & Just Do It. Tuck yourself away & hibernate until you feel like you "can" again. Cancel the dates, reschedule the lunch appointments & take care of yourself.

I promise that whatever you're working on will be there tomorrow...there is no rush. Nobody will be mad at you.

And if it's not there tomorrow--or the people are really pissed that you cancelled--then the truth is that none of it is right for you. 

Let's stop making some of the most basic things more difficult than they need to be. Like self care. We owe it to ourselves to be first. And I don't mean some of the time...I mean all of the time. If you let yourself go there will literally be nothing for you to give.

So as crazy as it may sound, the best way that we serve others is to first serve ourselves. 

And then there's this blogpost. I was only supposed to be "checking in" to let you all know I wouldn't be "coming into work today" (I.e, sending out a blogpost) and in the midst of me telling you about that....all of this came tumbling out. Apparently the message was here all along & the inspiration came by me just telling the truth about where I am & how I'm feeling.  And it took me all of 15 mins. Hallelujah.

Don't force what isn't coming naturally. Pay attention to how you feel and go with that, even if it seems counterintuitive. Had I been a fool I would've sat at my desk all day trying to figure out what to share, while really not feeling good, instead of trusting my gut to go get back in the bed and--in my surrender--allowing the inspiration to come on its own.

Life is funny like that. Sometimes obedience, surrender & ease will take you MUCH further than effort.

Have a good weekend & take care of yourselves. Trust that I'll be doing the same over here!

IF IT HURTS, CHANGE IT.

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The Friday before I was set to leave for Madrid my doctor informed me that I needed to go on the Autoimmune Protocol for at least a month. I kinda thought that may be coming--due in part to a ton of tests & a few weeks of digestive issues--but I still was a bit shocked to get the news.

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is essentially a Paleo diet (which is how I normally eat) except that in addition to removing all flours, grains, refined sugar, processed foods, beans, corn & dairy from my diet, additional common intestinal inflammatories are removed which include eggs, potatoes, peppers, anything in the nightshade family, heavy spices (cumin, paprika, curry, chili powder, mustard, etc.), all nuts & nut butters, sweeteners of any kind (no honey or maple syrup), and NSAIDs (Aleve, Motrin, Advil, etc). All of it. Gone. 

I was fine with the basic Paleo part--I've been doing that for about 5 years so I'm used to it and know my way around.

But no honey?!No almond milk for my smoothies & ice cream??!No almond butter?? NO EGGS?!?!?!?!!!!!

Oh shit. What do I do now?

I thought I was going to die of starvation because duh...there is NOTHING else edible to eat in the entire world if you can't eat those things. I went to the bookstore, picked up a book to help me brush up on the specifics & then proceeded to spend the whole drive home thinking about how this 1-3 months of AIP was gonna be the worst thing ever.

And then I heard that voice.

You know, the one I always mention that's basically God speaking to me, as me?

It was all:

"You know you don't HAVE to do this, right? You went in search of an answer to a question (Why am I not feeling well??) and that's what you got...along with detailed instructions for how you can feel better. Don't want to feel better? Cool. Don't do it. But don't complain like you don't have a choice, because you do."

Then realized WHY I was so annoyed about the new diet.

I didn't want to learn a new way.

I wanted to stay safely tucked in my cocoon of ease & comfort by continuing to do the same thing I'd always done because I could do it effortlessly with my eyes closed & one arm tied behind my back.

Me.

The one who loves to read, loves to study, loves to learn.

It didn't make any sense until I made a wider correlation--because this moment isn't actually about egg frittatas or the bomb non-dairy honey pistachio ice cream I can't have anymore. And even that language.

"Can't have."

The truth is that I can have & do whatever I want but this experience here? It's growing me. It's teaching me about letting go of the ways I've become too familiar with my life so that I can learn how to do things I've never tried before. Learn some new tricks that will better serve who I'm evolving into & where I'm going.

The fact that I can no longer rely on the same things that have been getting me by for YEARS--the things that I learned how to do only a few short years ago (egg muffins, almond flour pancakes, lamb curry)--means that I have to acclimate to my kitchen with a mind & spirit of a beginner, all over again. Because figuring out how to make new meals with new constrains means I have to study & plan. Assemble combinations I've never tried before & even waste food by making a few mistakes along the way.

I never had to do any of this before because I had a routine I could hit with my eyes closed. It required zero thought and I could just skate by on auto pilot, all while complaining that something was "off" with my stomach.

But getting tired of the same old results is what changed. I finally found a functional medicine doctor who ran a TON of test--the right tests--which yielded a result. Making the decision to stop avoiding that feeling in my belly & just commit to the (minimum) 30 days is just the right thing to do.

Which then got me to thinking,

Where else is this pattern showing up in my life??

So many things are falling away--things I've wanted to keep holding onto--but this AIP opportunity is reminding me that the pain is a sign that something isn't working as is, and that it's time to make a new choice. And once I realized what was really happening, I was golden. I felt empowered and even cautiously excited about the next few weeks.

It only took a few days of using avocados to make basil pesto (no pine nuts or cheese--imagine that!) & crafting artichoke & caramelized onion pizzas from scratch before it hit me...

I kinda love this new way.

I love how mindful & committed I've been about my eating. I love that I've fallen in love with coconut butter (something I'd never had!) & that I made a strawberry, cucumber & avocado salad for breakfast last weekend that was so bomb I didn't even miss my eggs. I've found new spice rubs to make and finally got around to making my own bone broth which was AMAZING. I like what this is doing to my body & what it's doing to my mind. 

And I needed all of this to be shaken up because there is NO WAY I would've done this on my own.

I was assuming that the "glow up" would be focused on how I'm evolving my business, changing my writing & re-evaluating my relationships but it turns out it that the revolution started a bit closer to home. Like, right downstairs, in my kitchen.

If you're wanting to know where the next revolution is waiting to happen in your life, look no further than to what is hurting you in the life you have now.

The answer is right there. 

"NOT NOW" DOESN'T MEAN "NEVER".

Tuesday, April 25 at 3:26pm I was scheduled to be on a long awaited flight headed to Madrid.

Today is Friday, April 28 and...I'm still in Atlanta.

What happened, you ask? 

Well, life happened.

Business opportunities have come up, things I need to address, ideas I want to launch and as all of those things started converging, something deep down was nudging me, "Dayka, it's not time." And let me tell you, when you love Madrid as much as I do heeding to that voice isn't always easy. The final straw came last Friday, after suddenly finding out from my doctor that I have some gastrointestinal issues which require me to be on a very strict diet. Going to Spain & Morocco while on a diet that keeps me from eating all of the bread, cheese, eggs, rice, & sweets that I want?? It felt like more anxiety than bliss.

So I got up Monday and cancelled my airline ticket, just 21 hours shy of my departure. 

But leading up to that dramatic, last minute cancellation, I weighed my options for weeks. Talked about it with a few close friends. My best friend asked me last week, "What are you feeling overwhelmingly led to do?", and I didn't really have a response because there wasn't an "overwhelming" feeling at all. Instead I just heard a quiet but strong voice of encouragement saying, "You know what to do." And I did.

The right thing, for right now, is for me to stay put in Atlanta. 

To be clear, I am still moving to Spain....I feel this deep in my spirit. I still feel the pull of Spanish life and am looking forward to the experience of building a new life in a new country very soon.....it's just not gonna happen for me this week. And this decision, of course, has made me think a lot about the ways that I attempt to direct (read: control) my life.

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to Surrender--to be open to the fact that something greater than I can imagine is organizing itself in my favor. Most of the time, even with the best of my intentions, "my plans" are in the way of that greater good, because I'm only considering with what I THINK is possible. Possibilities that are based entirely upon my limited perspective of who I am, where I'm from, what I look like, where I've been, past relationships I've had and more. But the reality is that there are FAR MORE possibilities for me in this world than I can imagine. And I always want to stay open to that truth. For all I know, postponing my trip may just be a happy detour from The Universe that's leading me towards a new opportunity that covers ALL of my expenses, both here and abroad (!!!). Or one that puts me in connection with some amazing people doing international work that I really want to be a part of. Whatever it is, I'm totally open to receiving whatever goodness wants to come my way. In fact, I'm beckoning it forth.

A few people have asked me if I feel embarrassed because I postponed my trip, or if I regretted sharing with the world that I was going.

But I don't.

On the contrary, I'm super proud I put it out there. Proud that bought my ticket and started downsizing my house and researched apartments in my desired neighborhoods and found a co-working space and already had plans to hang out this past Wednesday night. I'm proud that I started walking the walk of what it means to move forward with the intention of building a new life in a new country because these kinda things just don't happen overnight. Big ideas are birthed from tiny little ideas and the only thing required to execute them is that we take one step at a time, again & again. Whether or not "my goal" was obtained is actually neither here nor there, because just doing all of this preparation has changed me. I am better for having done the work. 

I've had to remember that not leaving on April 25th doesn't mean that I'm NEVER going, it just means exactly what I'm hearing, which is "Not right now." And sometimes we get those things confused, thinking "no" automatically means "never", when that's hardly the case. It's usually a "you're not ready just yet" or an "I have something better for you". And this is what you have to remember every time it looks like the door is closing in your face--there is something greater for me to know here.

Spain may not have been in the cards for April 2017 but best believe it's still there for me. And so is whatever you may have tried that didn't quite work out how you'd planned the first time around. Detours are ALWAYS the set up for something greater, as long as you remember that everything is here to teach us something. Learn your lessons and keep it moving!

SO MUCH has been going on in my life since January and I can't wait to share it all with you. But until that time comes...you know where to find me. Thanks for being excited for me anyhow.

JUST SHOW UP.

Every Friday when I send this letter out I am SO incredibly grateful for your feedback and the fact that many of you take the time to share pieces of your life with me. Your emails remind me that I'm on the right track and that I'm not the only one thinking the way that I do. You remind me that I'm not alone. But my reasoning for sending writing these letters is actually quite selfish. The truth is, I do this for me.

I'm doing this because for years I thought that being a writer meant that my name needed to appear on the NYT bestseller list. Or that I needed to have a byline in a major publication. Or that people should know my literary name--and my work--without my having to explain any details.

But these things do not a writer make. 

You know what makes a writer?

Writing. 

That's it.

Sitting down every day and committing to give breath to ideas by writing them down.

Even if it's just in my journal, or in a friend's birthday card, I know that I am a writer. I care deeply about the process of articulating my thoughts & find great JOY in the act putting them down on paper. These things alone make me a writer.

And I'm a writer because I said so--not anyone else.

But sometimes the best that I can manage to bang out is just a paragraph. Or all I have is the beginning of an idea that even I don't yet fully understand. Sometimes it's 6pm on Thursday and I have NO idea what I'm going to write for Friday at 6am.

And you know what??

I'm learning that's okay. 

Every week may not be a home run. Every letter may not hold some deep & profound truth or conversely, it may hold an idea that goes completely over everyone's head. But I'm realizing that NONE of that matters.

What matters is the act of just showing up for the work.

Judging how good it is--or how it should be changed/edited/condensed--is actually Step 4 or 5. But Step 1 is all about actually getting the work done. Giving life to the ideas. Creating sentences from the thoughts.

I thought about this last night at 10pm after I spent the majority of the day in bed with a rough upset stomach. A big part of me wanted to just push this letter off until next week but then I heard a voice that reminded me:

You need to write something. 

Because these emails are first & foremost about the discipline of doing the work I say I want to do. Everything else--how good, how long, how eloquent--is secondary. 

And just like that--at 10pm last night--I got the inspiration for this letter. What normally takes hours & hours took less than 90 minutes, because it just came pouring out.

The only thing that I have to do, every day, is find a way to honor my calling. Sometimes that's as small as a private journal entry, a thank you card for a kind gesture or public social media post but IT ALL COUNTS.

Every single bit of it.

I am a writer, so my job is to write and consistently show up to create this letter. No judging of the work is allowed in the early stages. Because when you do work that you love there is no "there"...you just keep working as long as there's something inside of you that wants to be born.

And the only way you can birth it is to show up.

Grab the pen. Pick up the paintbrush. Make the beat. Write the song. Create the code.

Today I've shown up to be a writer.

Who/What are you showing up to be???