My October Top Five – Croatia Edition

Read all the way through to find out why I added a photo of paprika to the newsletter.
Autumn is my favorite season an it’s NOT because of pumpkin spice everything in the U.S.

Autumn has often felt like a season of reflection for me. I think it’s because I love the warm colors of the leaves before the Chicago winter has its way with our lives. It feels like one last vibrant comfort. My birthday is in the fall and I think about what I learned from the previous year. And, the darker days require more resilience and mindset work for me to adjust to the inward, restful, quieter months. Here’s what’s been on my mind.

1. Get quiet and honest about my chosen priorities.
I took steps to stop overcommitting and “should-ing” myself which almost always leads me down the path to resentment, partial attention, self-judgement and overwhelm. I want to show up fully in all the areas of my life. Remember last week’s newsletter? You can find it HERE. I don’t want to “leave too soon” or show up halfway in my priorities. Here are some of mine. 
My wellbeing 
Chris & our kids 
People I love 
Global feminist impact 
Clients & my coaching business 
Meaningful, focused, slow conversations 

2. Figure out my “why” to make sure that I’m not lying to myself.
My brain does that. It decides ahead of time what people in my past (parent, teachers, relatives & community members) or future (who knows, right?) would think about what I should be doing today. See how that kind of upside down and inside out time travel is made up of assumptions, old memories and unresolved wounding? My “why” is active today in my mind and body. That’s where I will find the answer.

3. Ease into action to live according to my priorities and my “why.”
There’s no rush and nothing to fix because nothing has gone wrong. In fact, lots has gone “right” when I have the personal victory of knowing what matters, why it matters and how I want to show up in alignment with it in my life. I also know that I get to change my mind because I am not a static human.

4. Binaries are bullshit.
We can love several seemingly conflicting situations, experiences and ideas at the same time. I’ve spent nearly four weeks in Croatia away from my family and my people. I miss them deeply (que tears & sleeplessness). I’m also happy to be in Croatia because it feels like home in some ways too (que wonder & calm). There’s no conflict here though. It’s an honest reflection of my uniqueness and I’m living it out in this one life I have to be me. It was a simple knowing that took lots of coaching and courage to realize.

5. I carry my emotions with me wherever I am in the world.
Nothing external can solve or validate what’s internal. I can feel happy in IL and in Croatia. I can feel miserable in IL and Croatia. We are our own safe hearth, sacred space, creativity hub and possibility generator. I used to feel burdened by feeling like I had to be in charge for so much of my life. That’s changing because when I am my own home, I get to tap into the intimacy of self-love.

6. Oh, and I don’t like spicy paprika.
I learned that in Osijek last weekend when I ate a wild game stew called Čobanac. Here’s a recipe.

I’d love to hear what you learned this month and what you’re planning to work on next month. Drop your comments below.

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