About 2 weeks ago, I embarked on my first Solo Trip ever as a mom, wife, and business owner. 

My goal: write and finish my first book - a lifelong dream of mine is to become an author (and now, I am.)

 

I confess: I had another agenda that even I wasn’t owning up to; I needed to face a deeper demon.

This long weekend solo trip was a big deal.

I used to have post-partum anxiety disorder (which very much had morphed from undiagnosed anxiety disorder that I’d had throughout my life).

 

I had to take this trip for me, and have faith that whatever happened, I would be able to survive it.

  • Maybe you’re the type who’s ITCHING to go on a solo trip, to have a weekend alone... guilt free? 
  • Maybe you’re the type who wouldn’t DREAM of it because you’re so busy, running the show? 
  • Maybe you’re totally cool where you are, and you know this is your dream life already? {Hey, I freaking LOVE you, and also, will you mentor me?!}

 

So I embarked on this first ever solo trip to Breckenridge, Colorado alone, facing the music.

The day of departure, I was dragging my feet leaving the house. I knew this was important, a true opportunity to grow... and so of course, I resisted it. An old habit and fickle friend of mine - perhaps you do the same from time to time?

I began to feel guilt, sadness, fear, the need to spend as much time with my son and husband as humanly possible. 

Finally, after a long morning walk, a trip to breakfast for beignets, and several coffee runs, I got in the car with my belongings, and got on the road to drive up I-70 to Breck.

 

The drive through the mountains was a serious roller coaster.

(How symbolic that I was literally driving on a rising and falling, twisting and winding road along the mountainside?) 

I had the urge to turn the car around and drive back home as thoughts of anxiety, anger, fear flooded in.

“What are you doing? Are you crazy? What kind of MOTHER are you? This is so selfish… Who are YOU to take a trip alone? You think you’ll actually write that book?”

#glasscaseofemotions

 

But I kept going, through the tears, through the fear, through the anxiety. 

That’s when I noticed the beautiful colors of the aspens which were changing to yellow already. 

In my head, there was the message to simplify things, to let it go, burn it all down, as my mentor said. Funny, too, that Fall is the season of turnover, when the leaves turn fiery shades of red, orange and yellow.

 

So I took in the message: something needs to be let go of - and I’m going to pinpoint it.

When I arrived at the giant, gorgeous, completely silent home I’d rented for myself, I decided to walk around town, alone.

The quiet made me want to crawl out of my own skin that first night, and I needed to be around other humans. 

I took myself to lunch alone - this was a big deal that I was okay being the person sitting alone at lunch or dinner. #hellopartyofone

 

It’s OKAY to be alone, and the discomfort with being alone, will pass. 

 

Question: Do you feel like you just can’t be alone? Is it torture to be without someone else? Why? Explore that. 

 

As I walked through Oktoberfest (funny timing!), I realized 

1. That people were REALLY drunk, and it felt liberating to walk around totally in control of myself, yet totally loving how happy everyone was. 

2. That this used to be my old life, and it was interesting that I was surrounded by representations of it and can appreciate it for what it is/was, and 

3. That I was literally walking through a crowd of people alone, feeling totally fucking okay about being alone. Maybe I’m NOT as much of an introvert as I thought.

4. People naturally gravitate toward me and are drawn to connect with me, and it’s not because I have something on my face.

Another girl walking alone asked to walk with me because she felt safer. A few gals walked up and complimented my outfit. Throughout the weekend, I noticed this, and challenged myself to make eye contact and say hello to everyone.

As I walked back to my place, Voxering with my mentor she asked... 

What if you didn’t finish the book this weekend? 

What if this weekend was simply about being?

And I replied... what if????

Being a recovering perfectionist, this was a daring thought - to go do something without a goal or outcome needed. 

Rather this was just about being present and exploring the safety of that.

Question: Do you always feel you have to attach an outcome or a goal for something to be worthwhile?

 

For the next 3 days of the trip, I decided to let go of my anticipated outcomes, and instead, to let myself be.

I said screw it to my schedule. I had no calls or meetings as I’d blocked my calendar long ago, and I did as I pleased. 

I slept in instead of waking at 5am as I usually do, and I woke with the sun.

I let myself go for walks in the morning, enjoy coffee and walk through town early in the morning when no one else was awake.

I let myself enjoy the stillness, sift through the discomfort, and face the fear and guilt as it crept up.

I got more curious about my thoughts and emotions with less self-judgement or criticism.

I called on my mentor to talk through things here and there. 

I let myself off the hook to write the book. I’d attached a GOAL to this weekend - a thing I had to accomplish and work for.

Who the hell says, “I’m going to write an entire BOOK in 4 days!”?

A high-achieving, do it my way rebel, like me. 

This solo weekend that was about becoming more of my best self; it wasn’t just about writing this book.

It was about me, being a mom, evolving my business into the new direction it was meant to go in.

So I learned to let GO of the outcome - detach myself more from what it means about ME.

 

As we all know, when you give yourself space to just BE, to feel the discomfort, to feel the anxiety, and to move through it with grace…

That’s when you come up with THE GOOD STUFF. The life-changing epiphanies, the letting go, the transformation. 

This is when we light the match, burn down the stuff that’s dead and not working anyway, and start the fire of la passione!

  • The new business direction totally based on innovation, impact, service, healing, supporting.
  • The book that flows exactly into what it’s meant to be.
  • The awareness of yourself, your deepest needs, wants and fears, and also, your greatest achievements that maybe you don’t talk about or recognize.

I consider myself pretty intuitive and in flow. My alter ego is Flow-Jo, but I’m by no means perfect (although I’m perfectly ME ). 

In this flow state, I did what felt GOOD, and I was okay with it. 

I hiked in the mountains.

I found a beautiful reservoir that I had no idea existed, despite all of my trips to Breckenridge prior.

I noticed more leaves changing.

I met strangers and saw love and connection.

I saw peaceful moments and playful adventures. 

 

I began to observe and in that peaceful place, the door to creativity opened wider than ever before. 

 

Creativity is fueled by fear, by desire, by imagination, by openness. 

Are you allowing it, or denying it?

It needs to be valued, to be supported, to be allowed, to be received. It’s hard to have it come from force or from pressure, but when we know what inspires us and we allow ourselves to tap into our imaginations it’s far easier to get the creative juices flowing. Even when we’re ON in our everyday work. 

 

#truth: We’re all creative, and we all have purpose.

But often we turn off our creativity, imagination, and our dreams for one reason or another.

What if we turned it back on and let it be natural? 

My vision for my business, purpose, and passionate new work came to me: to support people in being purposefully, playfully, passionately productive in their business creation.

To help them become freer from the inside out, to create and unleash what’s within their very nature to create and harness. 

 

The Growth As A Parent was by far, the best part of this whole adventure.

I used to live in terror of the things that would or could happen to my son, to myself. I was afraid for his health, safety, and happiness. So I attached myself to him as his constant protector, his safety net, his personal bubble wrap helmet.

{Not that we aren’t responsible for our child’s safety or wellbeing as parents, but we literally cannot prevent everything bad, unless we place our children in a plastic bubble.}

Even if my son gets hurt, scrapes his knee or bumps his head, if he tries things and fails, if he falls in love and suffers from rejection, if he doesn’t get the job he wants, or into the school he wants, or isn’t able to sell a painting or get paid to do what he loves on the first try…

He needs to be able to DEAL with it, to know that he will be okay. And if I smother the shit out of him… he may not have that deep sense of self trust.

If I don’t deal with my own shit, I could very well be the catalyst to screwing him up and making him unable to cope or deal or be OKAY when shit happens. 

He should be allowed to LIVE his life fully, to have adventures, to be free to explore and be a kid, to be a caring, loving, present human - who feels worthy, capable, and able to take risks and experience life and love deeply - knowing that he will survive and thrive through everything.

In addition, I wanted to be sure that I could, in fact, be the best mom possible. This to me, meant that I was responsible for dealing with the stomach-twisting fact that no matter how amazing of a job I try to do as a parent, no matter how liberating, or controlling, or loving, or smothering, or smart, or “cool” I am as Mom… 

I can’t control how he feels about ME. I can’t control how he perceives the quality of this part of my life’s work: being his mom.

I just had to find my center, to be my best and truest SELF, to nourish myself and continue to live according to my own values.

THAT is how I'm going to be the best parent to him: by being the most loving person I can be for myself.

Pour into yourself, and you'll always be the Beacon for others to live more fully and authentically than even they thought was possible.

This journey taught me it's not about being PERFECT. It's about being OKAY, about being where I am, being who I am, and exploring and being more curious and creative with myself.

As a parent, as a business owner, as a leader, as a force of nature.

You get ONE LIFE, and if you're not contributing and growing, then what are you doing?

THE NUTSHELL

Freedom isn’t a solo trip to the mountains. It’s not having your own schedule. It’s not doing what you want. It’s not having money or luck.

Freedom is an internal state, one that couples with peace and bliss.

It is entirely within your power to create it, feel it, and harness it to change the world, to serve, support, and LIVE as you are meant to. To bring more joy, peace, and acceptance. 

And of course, that’s when the book began to FLOW.

I sat down to write wherever it felt right to - on a hike, in the coffee shop, in my bed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, or on a full belly of pasta bolognese. 

 

As the final day of my trip arrived, I realized that this was the greatest gift I could have given myself:

  • To let myself BE.
  • To sift through my discomfort with being alone.
  • To recognize my attachment to my son, my need to be needed.
  • To understand my purpose, and my passion, as they exist right now in this moment.
  • To let myself experience my emotions, and know that I’ll survive.
  • To let myself be ME.

 

I came back appreciating this moment, appreciating my baby and my husband even MORE, but feeling far more clear, capable, and content than I’d ever felt.

I knew the anxiety was done. The tunneling into every random fear was over with. The release had happened. 

 

I was ready to live more presently and to enjoy every moment with the people I love, doing the things I love… something I had felt like I had to force previously.

 

You may not have the same experience I did. You may not NEED it. 

You may already be where you are and feel freaking fantastic (and that’s such a damn blessing, to be okay in your own skin.)

But if you don’t feel that freedom to be HERE, if you’re afraid all the time, or attached to your results, living in a container of pressure and anxiety about your parenting, your work, your money, your ability…

 

It’s time for you to create space to just BE.

Don’t make it a question of IF you’ll do this. You will. 

Don’t stress about HOW this will come together. You’ll know what to do.

The question is: when? 

You’re ready now.

 

P.S. As you may or may not have heard, my mastermind sister, Jessica Eley, and I are opening up a unique Sisterhood for Mompreneurs who crave clarity, productivity, connection and mentorship as they bring their dreams to life, with business and babies! This is your unique opportunity to…

  • Learn how to invest your time and energy wisely and simplify your to-do list
  • Let go of the pressure and anxiety in parenting and business, and feel more peace, flow and ease
  • Create more joy and faster income and impact as you grow your business and feel more present as a parent
  • Step up and become the inspiration, the leader, the beacon of light that you know you are
  • Stop struggling to bring your passion projects to life, and actually learn how to get it DONE in less time, with less stress

 

Additional Prompts for You:

  • What outcome am I attached to? Why - what does it mean for me? {Am I doing this for MYSELF, or for someone else?}
  • How do I feel about that outcome that I want?
  • How much control do I actually have over that outcome?
  • Are there opportunities to be more present in my life, with my loved ones, in my work?
  • Can I be open to the opportunity that every moment, every emotion, every encounter in my life, is a gift?
  • What beautiful moments did I experience today? How do I feel about them?

 

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