bye bye, good girl

 
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How many times has someone told you - as you're about to embark on some kind of an adventure - to 'be good!'

As if we aren't already, right?!

And therein lies the trap. Life and society - by telling us things like be good - distracts us from the truth of what already IS. Off we go in search of our gifts, talents, passions and adventures with the idea that we need to be or become something other than what we already are. That we need to find our 'authentic self'.

that which you seek keeps you seeking.

The decision to go to Barcelona made absolutely no logical or financial sense. And though it's been on my bucket list since I was 15, my first response was 'Nope. Not Practical.' But after a generous nudge - or rather, push! - from a dear friend, the details came together with an impossible-to-ignore amount of flow and grace and before I knew it I was locked {seatbelt tightly fastened} and loaded {up with Stress Relief Complex to quell my fear of flying} and off on what I would soon come to experience as the most important trip of my life thus far.

It took me taking a giant leap, flying across the Pacific Ocean and immersing myself in another culture, another language, and bearing witness to another time in history to discover and reconnect to something that I'd been searching for half my life:

Me.

Far away from the familiarity of my friends, family and streets that surround me, the truth of who I really am, the me that I've known all my life, was mirrored back to me and affirmed so many times it was almost ridiculous. Every coffee shop, street corner, picturesque view + Gaudí architecture masterpiece whispered the same thing to my soul...

'Welcome Home.' 

Ah, travel, hey? True travel. I mean, I've travelled before... the beaches of Mexico, the mountains of the West Coast, New York, Los Angeles, the Dominican. But this trip was different.

 

 
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During this trip - and for the first time in almost 3 years - I actually felt like I owned a company.

And maybe it was because for the first time in even longer... I was owning my life.

 

 

The familiar pull I've had to walk the streets of Barcelona was always a clear sign that I just had to get there in this lifetime, but I'd often wonder why. Mystery solved as soon as I stepped off the plane. The creative pulse is palpable there and hit me right smack in the middle of my heart, waking me up on a soul level... a level that is beyond thoughts and feelings. It courses through everything... the architecture, the people, the food, the air. I mean, Antoni Gaudí, Pablo Picasso + Salvador Dalí have all called it home at one point.

And now... I consider it home, too.

Though I'd packed my bags + my mind full of artistic expectations, I surprisingly did not experience huge rushes of creativity while there. I was soaking in it, could feel it seeping into my bones, but nothing productive was coming through... at least not for my company, as I had hoped. I cheerfully lugged my laptop + to-do list with me thinking it'd be a snap to complete creative tasks fuelled by fun, rest and immense inspiration, but it was nearly impossible for me to tap into my business.  What was easy, however, was stepping out of my own way and allowing my team to do their thing. Silver lining... everything at the studio runs smoother when I don't try to have my hands in everything we're baking. Humble pie, anyone?

 

What I did gain, however, was perspective on the greater role of creativity in life and love. How its the fuel with which I live my life in every moment, not just in the business of being a creative entrepreneur. I found myself re-evaluating what I really wanted out of life and how I wanted my days to look. How I wanted to act, to be + to show up in all aspects of my life. How I wanted to surround myself with beauty and inspiration.

My biggest realization, though, was crystal clear: that in order to really succeed - to actually feel fulfilled in my work - I have to bring all of myself to it. And I don't mean giving it 100% of my time/energy/money. In fact, I see it as quite the opposite. I need to bring my whole being-ness to what I do. My desires, my dreams, my values, my ethics, my courage. My inner me. The me that I met in Barcelona. I realized that so often I've been acting inauthentically because I feel I need to be a 'good' entrepreneur; that I need to sensor or edit myself, be apologetic, say 'yes' to everything and everyone {clients, friends, family}, tone down my own dreams because others should come first when you are in the business of serving others, right?

Nope. 

 
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My suitcase is empty, now, waiting for my next adventure, but it'll take a while to unpack and integrate the glimpses of truth I got high above the clouds and far away from familiar. It'll take time to dust off my dreams and desires that I've shoved to the back of the closet of my life.

So, fellow lovers of Life and Liberty... some leave their hearts in San Francisco, but I left my 'good girl' in Barcelona. Doesn't quite have the same ring, does it? Ha. I'm as curious as you to see how my life and my business change in the wake of her absence. I'll keep you posted ;)