When your boat is rocked, adjust the sails and try to navigate to smoother seas

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that life is unpredictable, change is often unanticipated, difficult, and terrifying, but that every slowly closing or slammed door leads to a new journey, a new beginning, and a new set of experiences. When your boat is rocked, adjust the sails and try to navigate to smoother seas.

I think back to being in Girlscouts when I was little, and how I could never figure out how to properly use a compass when we were camping; like wtf is this thing and how will it ever help me if I am lost; is north even north? I give up....like is this even a real gadget that people actually use? Point of the story?

  1.  I know a compass is, in fact, a real, life-saving gadget, yes.
  2. However, life doesn’t have a magic little tool that serves as a perfect guide to save you when you’re lost, telling you exactly which way to climb, walk, or drive.
  3. There’s not a specific device, person, or scenario that will truly point you exactly to your true north and always help you find your way, per-say.
  4. It takes a bit of mountain climbing to reach a destination, and a journey full of switchbacks, wandering, and where-am-I-and-what-am-I-doing. 
  5. It takes YOU. You are the best little device you can find, use, and depend on to find your north – or your east, west, or south. Or a combo of the four.

Your heart, your soul,  your will, your determination, your drive, your strength, your discoveries, your curiosity, your being, your sense of wonder, your magic, your everything.

You are your own advocate, cheerleader, path-leader…your own compass. Let yourself and all that makes you whole guide you through the good times and the bad, but don’t be afraid to lean on others when you need help, advice, or extra navigating.

Finding your True North is about discovering what really brings enthusiasm and passion into your life.

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True beauty is blossomed the moment you’re no longer afraid to be vulnerable, to be yourself. True strength is found the moment you realize it’s okay to wander off the beaten path. True courage is found when you feel scared, lost, or unsure. True character is built when yours is questioned. Being true to yourself is validated when you’re no longer afraid to let go of what’s not meant to be, what doesn’t feed your soul, what doesn’t make you happy, and what doesn’t nourish your body, your being, or your lifestyle. 

The moment I decided all of the above is an absolute necessity to happiness and moving on from testing times, and fully began to acknowledge, appreciate and honor gratitude and positivity, were the moments I began to feel whole again. The moments I began to notice wounds were healed and time keeps ticking. The moments I felt like myself, felt a glow in my heart and my soul, and felt content and at peace with the person I had been fighting to be and continue to become. It was in these little moments and mini epiphanies that I realized we all seek different paths, different beginnings, different endings, different wishes, wants, desires, adventures, opportunities…and we all go about writing the chapters of our books differently. Some of us race to an ending. Some of us start rather slow to begin writing at all. Some of us take a pause from a “deadline” to reflect and accept “lost” time, which is considered research (right??); Some of us skip pages, some of us may take a year to collect what we had hoped to jot down in a month. Some of us find inspiration from others, some of us find it in solitude. Some of us have lightbulb moments at 5am, some of us hear them as we’re drifting off to sleep, or even in our dreams.

Just like reading, we all learn at different paces, in different ways,

  • Visual (learn through seeing)
  • Auditory (learn through hearing)
  • Tactile (learn through touch)
  • Kinesthetic (learn through doing and moving)

…and therefore explore, discover, and write the chapters of our life, our adventures, and our lessons at a different pace. We all go about our own ways of “research” through life, whether it be through love, careers, moves, laughter, grief, happiness, change, growth…every day experiences. The little things are what build strength, character, and molds who we are, and shapes us into who we’re meant to continue to become.

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A few months ago I shifted away from a blog + social media channels specifically focused on fitness. There was so much more to me, my body, my soul, and my being than a sit up, burpee, or mile jog [miss my made up terms? This is “Shelley” for a walk/jog]. I have a significant back injury that no longer allowed me to be defined through bootcamps + online fitness posts, or workouts alone, because I had to take a serious break from most movements that kind of defined my brand and me.

It was then I decided to reflect on what else embodied me, spoke to me, and did some soul searching about what I wanted from life, what I wanted to share with my readers/following, and how I wanted to be inspired and inspire others…….

I took a good look at who I currently was, who I wasn’t, and who I wanted to be. I wrote down a list of things I wanted to accomplish, places I wanted to see, people I wanted to meet, adventures I wanted to explore, career goals, mom goals, and little things I wanted to see, touch, feel, accomplish. The day I decided there was so much more to me than dwelling on the past and what I COULDN’T do or control, was the day the lightbulb went off that it’s okay to feel lost. It’s okay to feel scared. It’s okay to feel like sometimes our life crumbles, is full of shambles, and we’re not really sure who exactly we are, or even who we want to be. The beauty in this is we FEEL. We feel vulernable. We feel magic. We feel depth. We just feel, period.

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“It feels good to be lost in the right direction.”

So ask yourself this….what do you hope to leave behind as a legacy? What do you hope to do today that builds a better tomorrow? Create the foundation of your life, just as you want it to be. If you don’t like something, change it. Whether that’s within yourself or around you, commit to yourself, and how you want to grow.

People will judge you and criticize you when you’re happy, when you’re down, when you’re feeling pretty, or when you’re feeling unlike yourself ANYWAY. Insert quote about how you may the juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still someone who doesn’t like peaches….

Continue to do what speaks to you, inside and out, and remember to hold your head up high, proud, and continue to march forward. Get rid of the glue weighing you down and move forward. Always. With one foot in front of the other, one windy dirt road at a time. Remember you are strong, beautiful, capable, and no one…not one single person…is YOU. and that is your gift to yourself, others, and the whole wide world.

“Let the fire inside burn brighter than the flames around you.”

xo, Shelley

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