The quote that changed my life
"The comeback is always stronger that the setback." This quote guided me the last eight months, and as I'm levelling up, I realized it was time to uncover my new mantra for this chapter of things. Last week it found me... "Freedom through structure."
What is the most adulting thing one can do? Deciding to step out of chaos and frenzy, and into routine, planning, and solid execution.
When I got back in the driver's seat with work back in September, I went full throttle. I booked a bunch of trips and speaking events, and dove in head first. What I knew I was good at was making my way into the right rooms, and meeting people I could connect with on a heart level to help amplify my work. The people I've met in the past are humans who have left incredible marks on my life, and who have propelled me forward in my projects and career.
The thing about this approach this time, was that I didn't have something to sell. I was back to work after 8-months of time off after leaving Dream, Girl, and the chip on my shoulder that should have been there (the need to prove myself, especially to others), didn't exist anymore.
Something about being sick for the year prior made me not give a f*ck about what anyone thought of me. I no longer needed to 'be someone' to the people in the rooms I was going into.
Instead I adopted a service mentality. This led me to helping facilitate the conditions for Valarie Kaur to give a kick-ass TED Talk, and get into some meaningful conversations with the visiting students at Harvard who just needed some heart talk in a BS-filled entrepreneurship scenario.
I was happy to take off all the masks, facades, and expectations, and just be me.
The thing was, I had booked my travel and work schedule when I was still in recovery and felt like I had to go all out. So once that stint was complete in December, I opted to slow down travel-wise (as much as my personal life would allow).
That relative stability and consistency in Ottawa has lent itself to some of the best foundation-building work I've ever done.
I realized at that time that the hustle and burnout model for entrepreneurship was actually an avoidance tool for me, and that I could choose a different path. In fact, I realized that I was proudly on a different path, and things were really working out.
Kylie and I were able to begin building systems and protocols to ensure that we could create consistent content for you guys here and on Instagram. I learned to better delegate to ensure I could do my best work. I was able to shift my perspective on a lot of things I didn't like about myself, and I have consistently been able to prioritize my health and wellbeing.
I've been living the life I've always wanted. What it took to get here was a focus on routine, systems, simplification, and calm.
I realized I had finally broken my dependence on chaos, something that has been ingrained in me since childhood.
Now, to some it may not look like that. I mean, I am suddenly back in Grande Prairie with my mom and Grandma this week to spend time together before my Grandma has cataract surgery. This after a lot of weeks of back-to-back travel and life-happenings on my end.
The thing about the order of events in my life right now is that I am not trying to run away from my reality. Instead, I am showing up for the people in my life who need me because I have put in the time to be grounded enough to do so.
This is a small, but important nuance. When we run from our minds and realities on trips, vacations, or escapist tendencies, we never actually resolve what's at the core of our pain and suffering. We simply hide from it... or we try to. The thing is, that which we try to avoid always comes back louder and louder.
Instead of hitting snooze on the thing that's causing your suffering, I encourage you to gently uncover it. To create an environment that allows all your negative dependencies to fall away slowly, and to allow you to actually breathe. You might be wanting me to list out a how-to of how to do this. But I have a feeling you already know the first step or two... the rest will come when you start taking those actions.
At the end of last week I realized something wickedly important with the help of one of my key advisors. He reminded me that we have the opportunity to pause and do things better than before. That we have the privilege to build our companies better than we once could.
I think we can forget that we have agency in how we live our lives. We have the power to break old patterns and habits and discover what that life we've always lusted after can actually look and feel like. For me, what's enabled me the greatest freedom in life has been a commitment to structure...
Finding the right team before diving headfirst into a major project and business expansion. Developing systems and protocols for the things that are working in my business. Scheduling the same workout times every week so I don't even have to think about it. These small shifts, and active choices to be and do better are unleashing my potential in unknown and beautiful ways.
I hope you'll be able to uncover what can help you do the same.
Now before I go, I want to share for our Ottawa peeps that I'll be doing my first Q&A with my film Dream, Girl in over a year on May 4th at Ridgemont High. I'd love to see you there! Also, we are releasing the film for free on YouTube on May 9th, so our newsletter next week will be coming out Wednesday instead of Tuesday with the link to the film right here for you!
More soon! As always, thanks for letting me into your inbox.
Until next week,
P.S. If you want to receive these letters, along with what I'm reading, watching and inspired by, first each week, sign up for my newsletter here!