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Getting back to basics

Appreciating the journey, not just the destination

It's ok brave girl - listen to your heartI am passionate, goal driven and focused. I approach pretty much everything in life now by going 100% all in! Those of you who know me personally, know this to be true and sometimes tease me about it.

On Aug. 4th, after getting in touch with my deepest desires and re-prioritizing life, I embarked on a 28-day personal challenge to intensely re-focus on me. I decided to take both my physical and mental game to a whole new level.

I am now about half way through that challenge and still having to fight for it every day. It requires more focus and is harder than I thought.

Maybe it will never be easy, but I have evidence now. I can (& will) do this!

At first, this caught me off guard. I expected it to be easier because I have been here before. But in reality, I can appreciate that it’s never easy and a big part of my struggle is that I’m doing this while in a very tough emotional place. Let’s face it, I am nothing if not an emotional being (“feeler”). I tend to process first with my heart and second with my head (logic). (I’m working on that balance, but it’s a work in progress!)

Earlier this month, I dared greatly in love, in business, and by pursuing a very big and scary personal goal. I am in the arena right now (as Brene Brown would say referring to theĀ Theodore Roosevelt quote, Man in the Arena), and I’ll be honest, I am getting my ass kicked. And it doesn’t feel good.

What I mean by this if you are not familiar with Brene Brown’s work, is that I am putting myself out there in some intensely personal and vulnerable ways, and the outcomes are not what I intentioned. While this is incredibly tough and even heart breaking — as documented in my last blog here — I wouldn’t trade one moment of it. Not one. I mean it!

That’s because the struggle and emotional pain along the way is reminding me of a very important lesson that I learned while in the process of my physical transformation — and that is that we must appreciate the journey itself, not just the destination. It is in the journey — all those steps along the way to the goal — that transformation occurs.

The real learning and growth happens in those very moments that we are in the arena
going for it and getting our ass kicked. And it’s not just psychobabble.
Honestly, I know this to be true in my personal experience.

So, while it is incredibly difficult for me right now to put myself out there and not have things go my way, I know wholeheartedly that I am going “All-In” with courage and conviction, that I am doing the right thing, and I am here right now because there is more to learn. More to do. This is exactly where I am supposed to be.

This morning with that in mind, I decided to take it back to the basics of what I know. The ways in which I transformed my body and my life in the first place. For me, those basics are:

  • Focus on the goal like a laser beam. Go 100% all in and do not quit no matter what. I repeat, do not quit or throw in the towel because it gets uncomfortable or difficult. (Note to self, the good stuff is usually uncomfortable or difficult at some point.)
  • When you slip or fall, or have a bad day, do NOT make it about your self worth or beat yourself up. Simply chalk it up to being human and “RESTART.” Remind yourself you are strong and “you’ve totally got this!”
  • When the going gets really tough — especially on the emotional front — break it down. Take one moment, one hour, one day at a time. You can do anything for one hour, 8 hours, 24 hours…
  • Be 100% aware of what you are practicing and feeling that serves you…and what does not. Learn to let go (as hard as it may be) of the stuff that does not serve you in reaching your goal and being happy. (I imagine that I am releasing it into the sky and freeing myself. Sometimes it works. šŸ˜‰ )
  • Do not compare yourself to others. We tend to compare ourselves to someone else’s highlight reel. This is our journey and our goal. It isn’t about anyone else or anything but doing our personal best.
  • Find what works for you – physically and emotionally and do that. There is no magic pill, no magic solution, the solution is to just do it – and do it for yourself. The good news is YOU are in charge of your destiny.
  • Ask for help, support, and connection with others who can meet you and support you where you are. You don’t have to do this alone.

All of these reminders are for me, but I suspect they might help you, too. Those are my basics. And they work.

I cried through my workout this morning with my awesome trainer Sandra Swami. What I appreciate about Sandra is that she is not just an incredibly skilled trainer, but one of the most intuitive and wise people I know. She met me with empathy this morning right where I was emotionally, and supported me while simultaneously working me hard. We all need people like this in our lives.

Instead of getting on the elliptical at the gym for my morning cardio, I got outside in my happy place and power walked my beloved Como Lake. I took it back to basics and reminded myself of my earlier point — that there is more for me to learn right here where I am today. It is all part of the process, part of the journey. It is the journey that really counts. And even when it is tough, it is awesome.

So while I have some incredibly aggressive goals for myself this month — both physically and emotionally — I must appreciate all of the steps along the way. The successes, the laughs, the tears and the struggle. It is in those moments that I will find the lessons and the real answers. It is there that I will find my way.

And so I tell myself with a smile: You’ve totally got this beautiful girl. You know the way.

Can anyone relate? Would love to hear your stories here.


NOTE: The title of the book, Daring Greatly, comes from the famous Theodore Roosevelt quote, The Man in the Arena:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Related blogs:

Daring greatly. Lessons from the road.

Quieting the mind, listening to my heart.

One year sans 200 lbs. My new reality.

Getting in the arena and daring greatly.


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