The past few years have been so full of immense, and often random, challenges that they’ve almost come to feel normal. Some challenges were foreseen: like having a month to almost single-handedly clean out every inch of my late mother’s home; hold three garage sales to rid myself of everything, give away, donate and toss the rest; then re-renting my home for a year (advertising, interviewing, dealing with finicky renters), then pack up my car once again and drive the three days down to Mexico with son and dogs in tow. One evening last summer in the midst of all of this a friend said to me over dinner, “We were talking about you the other day and saying just what a badass you are. It’s really incredible all you accomplish, and as a single mom.”
A badass. Yes, that’s me. I’m one badass mom. Yet sometimes it takes an outside friend or perspective to reflect that back to me, to remind me that not everyone takes on the same challenges, not everyone accepts that they most often have to do it all by themselves, that ideas of risk or daring are relative (and I apparently embrace much of both), that bucking conventional wisdom on education, travel, career or living and loving life as a single person is unthinkable to some. Indeed very badass.
The thing about badasses is that we also experience real fear and sometimes second-guess the unconventional choices we’ve made. Like many, I also watch my meager stock portfolio plummet, wonder where the next work opportunity may be, and wring my hands when yet another story emerges about our evil empire (and naked emperor).
So we take precautions. One time before I made the move to Mexico (in the bucket of “random” challenges) I was walking on a footpath over a river and it was as if someone pushed me forcefully, even though I was alone. I suddenly tumbled over the rocks and into the water below, smashing my leg against a rock. Days later I had an allergic reaction to apple cider vinegar that landed me in the ER, ambulance ride and all. As I conveyed the apple cider incident and footpath fall to my friend and acupuncturist, she blurted, unprompted, “someone pushed you.” Yes, I said, I felt that too. “I don’t ever say things like this, but I saw you pushed over the bridge. Something is trying to hurt you.” This led to her husband doing a shamanic ceremony of sorts and discovering that there was indeed a dangerous “ogre” trying to do me harm. (No, not my former co-workers at KSFR, but similar). So that year I didn’t drive down to Mexico until the Christmas break. However flaky and weird this prediction and ogre scenario might sound, my fall and hospital stay were entirely real, and I didn’t want to welcome anything like it back into my life. All this to reiterate: our fears are like anyone else’s and we do take precautions.
At the same time, we manifest and embrace our beautiful lives. The other day while sitting alone on an empty beach in Mexico I marveled that I had created this event. I jumped at an opportunity when finances might not have predicted it, because all the pieces fit. And because I am a badass.
It occurred to me that for so many years living in New Mexico, I would bemoan each and every cold, winter day. I would whine and try to convince myself of the beauty of black ice and grey skies, while promising myself that eventually I would have a life where I spent the winters in warmer climates and the summers in Santa Fe. The mantra was: Six months on, six months off. Of course, I never had the details in place. My freelance writing work was very focused on New Mexico so I didn’t see myself necessarily picking up and moving away that day, or really any day before I was old and grey. But a seed was planted back then, and even though I had forgotten those days and those promises made, they recently came back to me. As I watched the waves roll in, watched delighted as my dog raced after beach crabs, I realized I had made it happen. I had the life I had wanted, and apparently I had wanted it so badly that my life built itself around the idea without my conscious brain even realizing. This year I want to manifest even more.
I really like being a badass. So much so I will own this term for 2019, and I invite you to do the same. In fact, I’ll help you if you want me to.
I’ll start by suggesting a great book I read a couple years back by Jen Sincero called, fittingly enough: You are a Badass. How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life (https://amzn.to/2Lx4POI). Her book is great and funny, and yes, inspiring. For me it was yet another reminder that I have and am embracing a badass life already, but so many others are still afraid. So go read it. It’s a good start for 2019.
Then begin to imagine the life you want. I’d suggest focusing in on your passions, those activities or past times that feed you so entirely and fully that you couldn’t live without them. I have a fantastic method of walking people through identifying those passions, and determining ways to manifest them in your life. It’s a method established by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood, both of whom co-authored the book “The Passion Test – The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose.” (https://amzn.to/2BEGVwg) I trained in San Miguel to help facilitate the test, and led traveling families through it at a Worldschooling conference in Guanajuato before last year’s health stuff surfaced.
This year, I’ll refocus and spread the word. Because if anything has become clear to me these past few years, it’s the realization that we are here for so short a time and we need to make it a beautiful journey. Be grateful for what you have, of course, but don’t let that stop you from taking chances and stretching outside of your comfort zone.
I’ve interviewed many traveling families this past year, and many of them shared that moment when they took a leap of faith and left their old lives behind. The stories are touching and inspiring and familiar. I’ll be sharing some of them with you in the New Year. So please follow my blog and send me your comments, inspirations and questions.
Most importantly, in 2019 go out and identify your own badass self and inhabit him or her fully. Definitely call me for a session if you want guidance in identifying your Passions (and I highly recommend having someone outside your intimate circle guide you through the process) because The badass in me sees the badass in you. Finally, may this year be everything you desire – and more.
Happy New Year to all.
Note: I am trying affiliate links for the products I love most. If you decide to buy any of these, please use my links!
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
Jen’s next book for those of us working on our finances is called: You are a Badass at Making Money: https://amzn.to/2Lx51xq
The Passion Test by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood