By the Light of the Fiery Skull

Chapter 3 of WWRWTW tells the tale of Vasalisa the Wise, a little girl who is given a doll by her mother just as she passes away. The mother’s dying words to her daughter are that anytime in life when she doesn’t know what to do, she is to ask the doll and the doll will guide her.

A few years pass and the little girl’s father remarries a widow with two daughters of her own. Soon after they all move in together the wicked stepmother and stepsisters, who hate Vasalisa for being sweet and pure, devise a plan to send her into the forest to a wicked witch called Baba Yaga. She is to go to the witch’s dwelling to retrieve a hot coal or burning flame, which she’ll then need to carry back to the house to restore the fire they purposefully let go out.

Dr. Estes’ interpretation begins with the death of Vasalisa’s too-good mother, equating it to a natural period of maturation when we have to learn to let go of the protective mother in our psyche once it starts to keep us from responding to challenges and deepening our development. Letting this part of us die allows us to move into our intuitive nature.

However, Dr. Estes speculates that most of us will not let the too-good mother die . . . because . . . it is so nice to be with her, so comfortable . . . Often we hear voices within our minds which encourage us to hold back, to stay safe.”

Right off the bat I was scratching my head and scrunching up my face. This is a huge point of deviation from the norm for me. Not let the too-good mother die? I think I murdered mine before I even came out of the womb. Does that make me an outlier?

I will take a risk and say this: as a child I never needed an initiation into my intuition. This chapter lost me a bit from that perspective. My earliest memories revolve around me, at three or four or five-years-old, being absolutely confounded by the adults in any given room who could not see what was clearly going on beneath the surface of their idle chit chat.

Furthermore, there was never a voice in my head encouraging me to play it safe. Quite the opposite really. Every voice I heard cried, “Go now! Quick! This is your chance!” So perhaps I am revealing the onset of my masculine qualities. Did they develop from societal shifts and pop culture, or were they always in me? This chapter makes me think they’ve always been there.

My mother was actually saying the exact phrases Estes uses aloud. “Don’t say that,” or “You can’t do that.” I can hear her on repeat ad nauseum warning me about how dangerous it would be out there in the big bad world. But my inner voice overrode her outer cries from a very young age. I always knew that secretly she wanted me to go forth and be stronger than she ever dared to be, but externally she thought it her parental duty to be overprotective. She projected her fears onto me and I squawked back, “Ain’t no fucking way!”

No one from home was pushing me the way I needed to be pushed, so I left.

Estes goes on to say, “It is typical for women to be afraid . . .”

So why wasn’t I?

This is where I feel like I’ve always been on track. I’m rarely afraid now and when I was young? Pffft . . . fear barely registered at all. And in the rare instance that it did, it felt like drugs. Awesome, hallucinogenic, speed-filled, fun, happy drugs.

“To be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves . . .”

Yes. And. I never struggled with that as a kid. What harm did a little exile do? In fact what I struggled with was judgment when I observed those fears in the young women around me. What was wrong with these girls? Why were they such scaredy cats? Why were they so lame as to want to stay home and marry idiot boys and have annoying babies? Why would they waste their one precious life that way? As a young girl I was very clear about my intuitive powers and I adored them. That’s what made me the odd one out.

I have to say I expected this book to tell me I’ve gotten everything assbackwards my whole life, but this chapter made me feel like I got something very right—especially when Estes says that, in fairy tales, the outcast is often the one most deeply connected to their intuition. Aha! Something I can smile about! I don’t have the answer for why I was able to block out the cultural noise as a child. To risk quoting Lady Gaga I might simply say: I was born that way.

As Vasalisa makes her way through the dark woods to Baba Yaga’s she relies on the doll her mother gave her to tell her which way to go. I couldn’t relate to this idea either. A doll “is the symbol of what lies buried in humans that is numinous. It is a small and glowing facsimile of the original Self.” Dolls represent our inner voices of reason, the homunculus, an always accessible yet completely invisible little helper. But there’s more. Strong ties to our intuition allow us to embody a pre-cognitive animal consciousness that heightens our ability to move with confidence. OK so what?

So I never had a human doll. I had more stuffed animals than could fit on my bed (no exaggeration) but dolls, Ick! My mother will cry foul and tell you all about how I begged for a Cabbage Patch Kid in the mid-80’s, and sure, yes I did that. But that was the little kid in me being appropriately jealous of friends. That had nothing to do with what I really wanted. My father could tell you about my real guide doll.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, he was a male grey dog. I never thought of him as a wolf, though I’d love to place that meaning on him now. To me he was a boy dog who never left my side and his name was Puppy. Here is a picture of me sleeping with him as a child.

And here’s us last night tucked in so I could read to him.

I don’t normally sleep with him. In fact he’s been locked away in storage for many, many years. (We could pause here to notice the coincidence of me unpacking him and putting him in my closet when I moved to Colorado months ago, but do we need to?)

As a young girl, I related to this animalistic intution so much more than I did to the conforming and demure feminine girls I went to school and dance class with. And I related to animals more than people.

Once Vasalisa gets to the witch’s house in the forest she is greeted by the fierce mother—the wild hag Baba Yaga—a scary and somewhat gross figure who she works hard to keep up with, respecting and learning from her the whole time.

This made me think of my first serious boyfriend.

At seventeen I attracted an older man and knew the second I saw him that he was good for me, even though EVERYone else disagreed. From him I received an education I was going to get no matter what, and I was very lucky to get it from him. Like the Baba Yaga he looked dangerous at first glance. A twenty-three year-old man involved with a seventeen year-old girl must only have vile and evil things in mind. And yes we did drugs and drank alcohol and had sex. But I was not a girl. Nor was a naïve. And to me, he was a teacher, a best friend, a kind-hearted lover. There was nothing gross or scary about him.

Most around me at the time created their own vision of who he was and what he represented. They only saw what they feared. I, on the other hand, got everything I wanted out of that relationship and even more than I bargained for. Because he actually loved me. He looked out for me, guided me, always had my best interests at heart.

Even though the Baba Yaga is rough on Vasalisa, she does her a great service in teaching her how to be self possessed and unafraid. In the end she gives the girl what she came for: a skull on a stick with fiery eyes, the flame she needs to re-light the fire back home. Vasalisa makes her way back through the woods with much more confidence than she had at the onset, yet at one point she becomes afraid of the powerful skull she is carrying and almost throws it away.

“Each woman who retrieves her intuition and Yaga-like powers reaches a point where she is tempted to throw them away, for what is the use of seeing and knowing all these things?”

For the first time in my life I considered throwing everything away. Shortly after I was accepted into a first rate private college, I strongly considered quitting to move back home and get married. His response was to break up with me. We had to break up so I could live my life, is what he told me. He wasn’t enough for what I was becoming.

There was nothing easy about the experience of letting that relationship die. I fought hard to keep it alive but he insisted. The shock came when he said he wouldn’t visit me at college anymore, that he wouldn’t even call.

Oh my goodness look what just happened . . . Do I have this backward? Was he not my Baba Yaga but instead my too-good mother? Was he the safe comfortable protector I needed to let die in order to truly move into my power? Hot diggity! It is so fun figuring all of this out 😉

To this day I consider my experience with him one of the purest and happiest times of my life. He called me out of the blue two months ago just before he got married. We hadn’t spoken in over twenty years but he wanted me to know that he always loved me, he had always wondered what if we stayed together, and most importantly that he never intended to hurt me when he left. I assured him I had never for one second thought he had.

By the light of the fiery skull we can see everything we need to know, even in the painful scary moments.


The Instinct-Injured Woman

Women Who Run with the Wolves opens with the stories of La Loba and Bluebeard. La Loba is the all-knowing woman who lives deep inside our psyches. She is ancient. She is wise. She collects the bones of deceased wolves and pieces them back together in her cave.

“Today the old one inside you is collecting bones . . . What is she re-making for you?”

Once she has an entire skeleton, La Loba sings the wolf back to life promising . . . “that if we will sing the song, we can call up the psychic remains of the wild soul and sing her into vital shape again.”

In stark contrast, Bluebeard, a gruesome French folktale first published in the late 1600’s, represents the predator inside of us. At first glance, it’s a shallow tale of a silly young woman who succumbs to curiosity thereby disobeying her husband’s wishes. While he’s away, she uses a tiny key to open a small door in the castle which reveals a dark room filled with the bloody corpses of his previous wives. Her disobedience nearly gets her killed when her husband returns, but her brothers swoop in to save her right at the last minute.

Many modern interpretations keep the story shallow and off-kilter to say the least, but Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. dives much deeper.

“Women who are gullible or those with injured instincts still, like flowers, turn in the direction of whatever sun is offered,” she writes.

In this tale the maiden is naïve and she does turn towards the charming suitor at first, even though he has a bad reputation and that strange blue beard. But once they’re betrothed she’s not obedient or submissive as would likely be expected. Instead she is independent and curious. I can definitely relate to that.

This happened to me twice. First, when I was 23 years-old (read : gullible) and completely convinced I had already missed the boat on everything important in life, I got into a relationship for the sake of no longer being the dreaded “S” word: single. Second, when I was 30 years-old (read : injured), literally seconds after I ended that first experience.

Just when I thought I was set to soar, I crashed with a thud into a wretched relationship with a compulsive, alcoholic liar. So many nuggets that Estes drops ring true for me. Silencing my internal alarm bells (because I knew exactly who and what he was) and turning instead towards whatever scrap was offered. I let reasons like ‘he hugs me’ justify a relationship I knew was bad for me even though it was quickly heading towards marriage and permanency. But my previous relationship had been almost entirely devoid of hugs, so to my injured instincts this made sense.

Also this new man appeared to ‘believe in me’ whereas my previous captor had been frying my goals on the back burner in order to pursue his own. There was no room in our house for us both to be successful and happy, so he won out and I shrank into a frustrated heap of tired anger. This new man was going to pick me up and help me fly again. That was my perspective at the time and, while it may not be how I view the past now, it was very much what I was experiencing in that moment.

In both cases I willingly affixed my blinders and proceeded into the dark room with the tiny key, into a sort of spiritual death.

But there is always a light, isn’t there? Estes goes on to say:

“Though there be injury . . . there is still left adequate energy to overcome the captor, to evade it, to outrun it, and eventually to sunder and render it for their own constructive use.”

It’s true. I observed the darkness, came to my senses and got the hell out of each situation. The second time I moved much faster than the first go round (a mere nine months vs. seven years). In a way it was good that the experience was so much worse because it allowed me to wake up faster. I wasn’t the frog being slowly boiled in the pot as I had been in my twenties. Instead I was crossing hot coals in bare feet and subsequently ran like hell.

“In many cases what is required to aright the situation is that we take ourselves, our ideas, our art, far more seriously than we ever have before.”

And that is exactly what I did. I moved to Portland, OR where I promptly started writing and running my own business.

Years later, I am recognizing where I got stuck. Not at the beginning behind the wall of a predator, but in my own heart where it’s safe because I don’t let any monsters in. It’s also intensely boring and lonely in there because, well . . . I don’t trust myself to tell the difference between the monsters and the good guys. So I don’t let anyone in.

For many years I’ve lived in that no-man’s land of not trusting my instincts enough within the realm of romance. I’ve learned how to recognize the bad almost immediately, which has served me tremendously—in life, on OKCupid dates, at work. I’m safe and I can take care of myself in a crisis. But the second half of the equation, the part where I learn how to recognize the good ones and enjoy them . . . I’ve avoided that almost completely.

In this way the Bluebeards stop being actual men and manifest as the thoughts and fears in my head. That is to say, I had physical captors and once I was released from them I took on mental/emotional ones to fill that void. Can you relate? Anyone out there survive something awful just to sabotage yourself because you couldn’t handle existing in a state of happiness?

So what did I do in the romantic/intimate relationship area of my life? It seems I poured every one of my bad decisions, along with my inexperience and immaturity, into a pot and boiled it down to a thick opaque soup. Then I subconsciously put it into a jar and labeled it: All Men Are Inherently Dangerous.

Oops. My bad.

As I do my best to start taking 100% responsibility for the course of my life, La Loba is resurfacing to remind me that evil men aren’t keeping me single. I am. I’m not responsible for any horrible events that happen, but I am entirely responsible for how I react to them and what label or meaning I give them.

My Winter with the Wolves

“Bone by bone, hair by hair, Wild Woman comes back. Through night dreams, through events half understood and half remembered, Wild Woman comes back. She comes back through story.”
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.

Saturday at a vision-boarding-for-the-new-year Meetup I cut words and pictures out of magazines for close to an hour before coming across what I was subconsciously looking for: pictures of an ancient wolf ancestor and the phrase “Bringing them back to life.”

In that same issue of National Geographic I found another article titled “Wild Men.” With a large “W” found somewhere else in the stack and an “O” from Oprah’s magazine I morphed ‘men’ into ‘women’ and there was the basis of my vision:


The funny thing is I hadn’t read that quote from Estes’ book yet. Funny. Coincidence. Guidance. You get to call it whatever the heck you want. You already know what I consider it. I’ve picked that book up six times since my new Boulder housemate handed me her copy back in October but never made it past the introduction. Wait, no, rewind. The day I moved in, in September, I was met with this tattered poster thumb-tacked to the wall in my bathroom:

I had one of those moments where you know something matters but you have no idea why. Then a few weeks later I mentioned maybe wanting to read the book. Then my housemate handed me her copy which I picked up, read a few pages and put down six times. It’s been sitting on my desk untouched since then. Fast forward to my vision board. Here it is for your viewing pleasure. Feel free to laugh at how bad I am at art-like creations:

And now here we are, mere moments after I finally started actually reading Estes’ famous book for realz and of course, on page 24, there was the Bone by bone, hair by hair, Wild Woman comes back quote and I got to have my fun little Hooray I’m on the right track! moment. Yay life!

I was raised during a time when the possibility of women pursuing true autonomy was becoming tangible for the masses. I wasn’t a tomboy myself, but I was brought up to believe it would be good if I was, because boys are independent and independence is key. If I could be independent then I could be anything.

In my late teens and early twenties I was a version of Wild Woman. I loved how powerful she was. She attracted men from all walks of life and settled on two (one after the other) who she thought to be strong enough to keep her fire burning. But it turned out neither of them was and that spark was slowly, unintentionally doused with jealousy and manipulation. In revolt, she continued to secure her self-reliance and freedom while flipping the bird to anyone who thought they could control her.

Bye bye love. I was my own person—I didn’t need a man—but to be that independent freebird I had to take on more and more masculine qualities and my feminine heart needed to die a little. How else could I protect myself from the clutches of yet another man who would smother my soul? This wasn’t something I noticed as it happened. It’s something I need to deal with now that I’m entrenched in it.

Don’t mistake masculine qualities for those of a tomboy. I’ve never liked bugs or baseball or playing in the dirt. I’ve never cared about how things work. When I say I espouse masculine qualities, what I mean is I support myself completely therefore I take on both male and female roles. I cradle myself to sleep at night because there is no one there to hold me. I make my own money. [Even a decade ago in the midst of a long-term relationship with a man who made twice my salary, I paid for half of everything communal (mortgage, groceries, utilities, travel) and covered anything extra I wanted for myself.] I am my own source of calm when the world gets rocky because for nine years there has been no man around to steady me. I carry the 40 lb. bags of dog food from the store to my car and into the house. I pick myself up when I fall literally, emotionally, figuratively, metaphorically, mentally, et al.

And because of this, I have little time nor energy to be pretty or wild or gentle or frazzled (read : feminine). I have to be serious and have my shit together at all times. When I cry, I also nurture myself back from the brink. When I flounder, I also bark myself back into alignment. When I need to push, I coach myself. I cook, I clean, I balance the checkbook, take out the trash, feed the dogs as well as my soul with as much nourishment and love as I can.

I remember my uncle telling me years ago that I was single because I had absolutely no need for a man. I thought, “Well duh, but how does that help me get a boyfriend?”

In short, I am a modern independent financially stable never-married childless almost forty-year-old privileged white woman living in the United States at a time when I get to do whatever I want whenever I want. I am able to pursue my own goals and dreams, able to take care of myself, able to shield myself from the near constant spew of societal pressures to be __________ (fill in the blank). Also, I’ve been hurt and shaken and in turn my preferred form of protection has been to wear sneakers and hoodies. I can run at any moment and you could never catch me. I can go unnoticed so as not to attract attention from the men. The mean awful soul crushing men.

Hear me now, this has been on purpose for many reasons both positive and negative. For close to a decade I have been comfortable, happy and fulfilled in this guise. My needs have been met and really the only thing I’ve lacked . . . is a compelling reason to change.

I have that reason now.

Here is what I know for this new year: Wild Woman is coming back to me. I’m no longer afraid of her or anything she will attract. She’s not just on her way, but I am also running towards her. I will seek her out and find her before she startles me, before I lose her. Then I will walk beside her and soak her back up into my bones. And in time, together we will run with the wolves.

“This is our meditation practice as women, calling back the dead and dismembered aspects of ourselves.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.

Join me for the ride, won’t you?

Happy New Year from the top of the Manitou Incline!

My plan for this morning was to wake up at 4:25 AM and drive two hours south to Colorado Springs in order to climb the Manitou Incline and watch the sunrise. I wasn’t sure I’d make it considering I really don’t like the cold and it was forecasted to be 7 degrees as I left Boulder.

Well it turned out to be 5 degrees, but I didn’t let that hold me back. IT’S FREAKING NEW YEAR’S DAY FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!! YEOW!

Oh my goodness I’m so glad I went! It was invigorating to say the least, climbing 2,000′ in less than a mile, and I made 8 new friends in the process. Here’s the view from the top:

Aaaaaand here’s some perspective for anyone who’s never heard of the incline:

I don’t have the words to fully explain how excited I am about this new year. The Last Year of Life as I Know It is officially over and I am beyond psyched to enter 2018:

More to come on that very soon! Sending love & light for your best year yet ❤ ❤ ❤



I love Christmas but I get so excited when it’s over because I love Love LOve LOVe LOVE New Year’s! It is by far my favorite holiday of the year!

Here’s something awesome we can all do this weekend: has a great article about twenty questions to ask ourselves in order to reflect upon 2017 before jumping into goal setting for 2018. There are so many good ones on the list! Here are just a few to get your gratitude and awareness juices flowing:

~ What am I most proud of?
~ What do I wish I did differently?
~ What or who did I learn the most from?
~ What did I resist the most and why?
~ What new skills did I acquire?
~ What limiting belief about myself do I no longer have?
~ How have I been proved wrong and how was that liberating?

I’m definitely doing this tonight! Who’s with me? You can check out the FULL LIST HERE.

Here’s to ending 2017, a.k.a. The Last Year of Life as I Know It, on a positive, inquisitive and grateful note! Sending love & light

Was It a Coincidence or Were You Being Guided?

Back in August I experienced what I said was the loneliest moment of my entire life. It happened in the northwestern corner of Ireland, known locally as Bumfuck. (Not actually true but it might as well be.) I had just left the Pure Magic Lodge on Achill Island by bicycle. Have you heard of it? Of course not, it’s a tiny place in the middle of nowhere frequented primarily by kite surfers who enjoy frigid water and freezing cold blustery air. I stayed there because I liked the name of it and it had a colorful logo.

From there I rode up through Belmullet, a town dedicated to country fairs and hot wheelers making donuts in abandoned parking lots, and was on my way to Ballina. At this point I had ridden over 700 miles along the Wild Atlantic Way mostly by myself. I was tired, a little bored from the repetition quite frankly, and it was a Sunday.

Not much happens in Ireland on a Sunday. One might imagine that’s because it’s the Christian holy day except that no one was at church either. The parking lots to the chapels were empty, the chapels themselves completely devoid of humans. There was no one driving on the street. There seemed to be no one home in any of the houses. And when I really needed a break and a snack, even the gas station convenience store was closed. I could not figure out where everyone had run off to.

It was Ireland in the dead of summer so naturally it was dark grey and chilly. I sat on a cement wall across the street from the deserted gas station, wrapped myself up in my hoodie and ate a yogurt I had purchased the day before. I looked all around thinking surely one car would pass by at some point . . . eventually. But it didn’t happen so I got back on my bike and cycled on to the north coast and the famed Céide Fields.

There are stories from down south around Dingle about how European explorers who assumed the world was flat considered the southwest coast of Ireland to be the end of the world. But it was up north at the Céide Fields, the oldest known stone-walled fields in the world dating back 6,000 years, in County Mayo, where I felt like I really reached the edge. What do you say about a place that just gives you a feeling that something is about to happen?

It was there that my GPS went haywire, suddenly unable to locate my position and inexplicably adding 30 extra miles to my ride that I never actually rode. It was there, in the middle of Bumfuck Nowheresville, on the northwestern coast of Ireland with nothing but ocean in front of me and freaky-deaky woo woo shit behind me, that something crucial became clear.

In that moment I had a breakthrough. I saw the part of my life that needed to switch from a should to a must (something I learned at Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within). I must find a relationship because it is no longer an option to stay single and experience that level of extreme loneliness. I will always go on ridiculous bicycle trips; it’s in my blood. But I’ll no longer do it alone. I’ll no longer tackle any part of life completely by myself.

Two days later, amidst the worst rain Ireland had experienced in 100 years, I got hit by a car. I was on my way to meet a cycling friend in Donegal and still had fifty miles to go when WHAMMO! My saddlebags flew off behind me, my cycling shoes released from the pedals and I sailed through the air over the trunk and back windshield. I landed on my back with a solid thud next to the car’s back tire and squirmed like a flipped over cockroach, unable to speak my name or stand up. I was completely stunned.

A stranger called an ambulance and when the paramedics arrived I argued with them. I still had fifty miles left to ride. I couldn’t go to the hospital for goodness sake. I had to get to Donegal!

In my head I kept telling myself, “Stop fighting. Just relax and go with these people who are trying to help you. It’s OK if you don’t get to Donegal.” But my body felt compelled to get right back on my bicycle. It took a long while for me to calm down and comply. I felt like letting my wall down allowed the fear to flood into my fortress and I was definitely scared, strapped to a stretcher in a foreign country, soaked through to the bone and shivering uncontrollably.

And then a tiny miracle happened: I called my friend who was also on his bicycle fifty miles away in the pouring rain and I asked for help. No questions asked, all he needed to hear was the waffling quality of my voice and he rushed to my side. He stepped up. He figured it out and was there in just over an hour.

Fast forward to last Tuesday, December 5th. I’ve arrived in West Palm Beach, FL for my second Tony Robbins conference. This one is six days and nights and it’s called Date with Destiny. There are 4,500 people from 80 countries in attendance and we’ve been randomly assigned team numbers that are printed on our badges at registration. These teams break us up into groups of about thirty.

At the end of the first day we’re all told where to go to meet our teams. As I walk over towards mine I immediately notice a colorful logo on one of the other member’s t-shirt: Pure Magic Lodge, Achill Island, Ireland. Not only that, but he’s wearing a cycling jersey that maps out the entire Wild Atlantic Way cycling route I took.

What happened after that was an almost overwhelming outpouring of love and support, but more importantly, a release of information that had been lodged in my bones my whole life. Crystal clear memories from my childhood that shaped the way I approach the world (and very specifically men). Scientific research about how our brains function. Exciting/difficult/ tear soaked/joy encrusted/exhausting/exhilarating exercises that woke us up to the power we have to shape our destinies. 4,500 people from 80 countries spread out on the floor of a massive convention center with poster board and markers working on their values together, dancing up a storm, jumping for joy, doling out liberal high fives and hugs for six days and nights.

Tony Robbins asks this question a lot: Was it a coincidence or were you being guided?

Unleash the Power Within → Deep memories bubble to the surface but I’m still missing vital details → I wake up a little and get to work on all the things I can do in order to move forward → I experience the loneliest moment of my entire life and for the first time I demand that it change, I turn my should into a MUST → WHAMMO! I get hit by a car and not only do I let my guard down in a terrifying moment, but I allow myself to get rescued by a good man who I trust → I wake up a little more and keep charging forward with love in my heart and a positive outlook → Date with Destiny reminds me of EXACTLY where I was and gives me the missing information I need to truly move FORWARD → → → ♥ ♥ ♥

I’m definitely going with guidance on this one.

Dear Universe, Thank you for reminding me I’m on the right track. I get it and I trust you. Love, Jennifer

P.S. Can you believe the last year of life as I know it is almost over?!

Sending love and light

Goal Check

As we head into the final month of the year, this is a great time to check in on the goals we set for ourselves at the halfway point. Have we made enough progress to check some of them off our lists? If not, are we at least on our way?

Back in July I gave myself five goals. I’m happy to report I can check four off the list and have one in progress.

My #1 most important goal was to publish my book. And considering the only thing I’ve been talking about for the past month is my newly published book . . . Guess what? It’s done! Check!

#2 was to cycle the Wild Atlantic Way of Ireland. Most of you were along for that amazing ride. I also knocked out Goal #5 by writing a new blog dedicated to the trip called This Is My Wild. CHECK IT OUT HERE. Done and done!

My third most important goal was to change my diet. While I believe this will be a lifelong process, I am very happy with some big steps that I’ve taken. I’ve cut out alcohol, soda, potato chips, chocolate milk, Cheez-Its and Snapple. If I’m basically a stranger from the internet to you, this might not sound like much. But if you’ve known me for a while you are likely aware of the fact that I used to consume large amounts of all of those things. I feel amazing without them. I’ve also incorporated a daily green juice or smoothie and it’s been wonderful. Diet change = check!

Four is a work in progress. I set a goal of reading twelve books. I’ve read quite a few but I didn’t keep track so I don’t know exactly how many. I’ve put a heck of a reading list together for 2018. Forty-four books to be exact from categories designed to help move me in the direction of my next goals.

How about you? What goal are you most proud of setting for yourself and accomplishing this year? Let me know in the comments below.

Next week I’m off to Florida for my second Tony Robbins conference. This one is called Date with Destiny. It’s twice as long and probably ten times as intense as the one I went to last March. I can’t wait to report back all about it!

Sending love and light ❤

I’m Officially Published!

Hi everyone! I have such exciting news – I’ve been published by an outside source for the first time ever. This is HUGE for me!! It’s a really big step to finally become a published writer.

Please help me gain traction with page views, likes and shares by following the link below to my book excerpt on elephant journal: