Be A Sparkly Unicorn. You Be You.

Although it previously wasn’t really optional, Being Authentic has become critical as of late.

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Card tucked into the corner of my computer screen as I type…

Recently I indulged in The Real Housewives of New York Reunion, Part 1 (don’t judge!) and Bethenny Frankel (love her ballsy badass self) was called out about her behavior at a party, where she ignored an annoying guest.

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Screenshot from the episode on Bravo

Bethenny’s response:

Here’s the problem with me. I cannot make believe. It’s really, actually a problem because it makes me socially awkward and inept in certain situations.

What I heard:

I need to be my authentic self at all times, and being authentic occasionally gets me into hot water.

Amen. You be you, Bethenny. 

Earlier this week my friend H. gave me this sparkly unicorn:

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This candy came with it. It no longer exists.

To me, Sparkly Unicorn symbolized this message: If you’re a Sparkly Unicorn, be a Sparkly Unicorn. Trying to be a sad old swayback mare isn’t going to pass muster.

Shine on, my glittery friends. Be a unicorn.

 

Self-Help without the Self-Helpy-Ness

The images and descriptions of these affirmation cards on Amazon were enough to land them a spot in my shopping basket.

Tagline50 Affirmation Cards to Help You Help Yourself – without the Self-Helpy-Ness!

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The box arrived last week on a day when I *really* could have used some affirmation, and this is the first card I saw:

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Because Being Authentic has been a huge theme for me lately, this struck a major chord. My favorite line from this card is “Whoever doesn’t get it, doesn’t have to get it.”

Here are a few others that resonated:

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This one made me laugh out loud:

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I have a feeling that many, many people on my holiday shopping list are going to receive these cards.

The Banishment of Just

I’m working hard to eliminate the word “just” from my vocabulary.

Not “just” in the sense of what is fair and equitable, but “just” in the minimizing sense, the one that depletes the value of everything that comes before or after.

As in “I just want to tell you something …” or “I just think that …”

Adding “just” feels apologetic, as if the contribution somehow isn’t worthy without qualification.

And that’s not how I feel about what I have to say.

As a runner I sometimes hear that word used in reference to shorter races, e.g. “It’s just a 5k.”

This great post sums it up well: It’s not JUST a 5k.

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Via Fellow Flowers

A few days before going to a running retreat held last weekend, I broke my toe – for at least the third time.

Let me repeat: I was headed to a RUNNING retreat. With a broken toe.

Visions of long miles were quashed every time I even thought about my bruised, swollen toe. Running seemed out of the question.

On the final day of the retreat there was a 5k run, strictly for fun and not meant to be competitive. I gingerly tested my toe and discovered that it hurt, but I could run, and that was enough.

With gratitude, I finished that 5k.

Nothing “just” about it.

 

Rising

And … I’m back.

Sorry for the radio silence. I didn’t mean it to be that way, I swear.

A lot of things happened, but I didn’t feel like talking about any of them.

Until now.

Something happened and I don’t want to stay quiet.

Or perhaps better said: I found my voice again.

I’ve written about my love for Fellow Flowers before. After discovering the group in 2014, I was all in.

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I wanted – needed – to be part of a community of women runners that is about so much more than running.

Last weekend I attended Rock Retreat Run, where nearly 250 like-minded Flowers were ALL IN for three transformative days of dreaming, connecting, laughing, sobbing (yes), and undergoing personal development (although to call it “personal development” is to practically belittle how important this felt).

Spiritual Gangsters in running shoes, y’all.

My BFF T. came along, and I was so glad to have her there as a witness. Two minds now blown.

There were so many Big and Small Moments over the course of the weekend, but a few particularly stood out.

One Big Idea was to figure out what it would take to lead a life you love, one filled with passion and purpose, and then find your First Step.

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Except.

The First Step can seem really, really scary. Paralyzingly so.

And then one brave, eloquent woman stood up and talked about the concept of Summiting. (Flower Friend, thank you for these words. You don’t know how they hit me). 

I’m paraphrasing, but this is the gist:

When mountain climbers get to the top of a mountain, they don’t stay there. They get to the top of Mount Everest and then they get the hell out of there, because it can be cold and dangerous at the top. And staying at the top of the mountain isn’t the point, anyway. The point is to Summit, to take it as far as you can go and then head down to complete the expedition and move on to the next adventure.

The thing is, Summiting exists in real life. There are some things we can take so far and then they’re done; we’ve Summited. 

Without too many details, lately a part of my life feels like I Summited, fell right off the damn mountain, and now I’m lying there busted up at the bottom of the valley.

But like Glennon Doyle Melton told us on Friday, the valley is where the rivers and the fields are. Rivers and fields give us tools to make energy. Being in the valley makes us stronger, and we can Summit higher the next time.

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Now I’m ready to Rise.

Thank you, Fellow Flowers.

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A Small-But-Awesome Moment: T. and I celebrating the Flower 5k finish.