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| Empowerment Brand

What I Learned From Traveling Abroad

I’m writing this at a quaint little Paris cafe’ called The Palette. In front of me is an art gallery and a gentleman dressed to-the-nines walking past it, cafe chairs with seat covers made from the colors of what you would see in a paint palette. Today is my last full day in Paris. While I am ready to be home and get back to my routine and spill all the inspiration I have been filled up with while on this trip, I am feeling myself hold on to every single moment that happens today and all the Paris-ness that is. Fifteen minutes ago, I sat down and asked the waitress what the wifi password was and a man next to me asked me where I was from and now we have each other’s emails and I have a new friend in Boulder. And as he looked at my business card he commented, “This is so cool, so it’s all about moving through Fear. You know, I always thought, instead of the brand No Fear, it should be Know Fear.” And just like that, he changed me by offering something of himself. How amazing is that…to know fear. And now, I can share that with you.

The thing about travel is that you never know what can happen. And if you can think of it like this, that this can happen anywhere and everywhere, as long as you are open to it…your world changes.

It’s not just Paris that has changed me, it’s everything that has happened since making the decision that I would take this trip for me. As I stated here,

Home is a feeling that resides within ourselves and it’s when you follow your heart that the door home, swings wide open.

I had been feeling out of balance and even, off the mark or not at home, for some time before this trip. I needed to do something that felt uncomfortable, something that would push me to get out of my bubble. And in that space of intention, I conspired everything to get me here.

In Ghana, I saw how hard people work to earn the little they have to simply survive. I thought of all the things I consider my “needs” back home. I thought about simplicity and the possibility of abundance within simplicity. Could I possess more abundance if I let go of more possessions?

In Morocco, I felt gratitude for a new experience with Mark. As we laid under the bright stars in the desert, I felt how much I love my best friend, my husband. I learned that we both want more experiences in our lives, together. To continue saying yes to what we want together in this life.

In Paris, I learned that I don’t want to keep living in Indiana. I learned that I love to walk and to move. Paris is is like a huge catwalk. It’s in the movement forward, that I was able to think about where I was going, to adjust my gate accordingly and to fiercely walk where I had never been and I liken that to my Fierce Forward movement in my own life. I began considering, am I walking just to walk? Or am I walking with a clear purpose and owning every step? And furthermore, what do I want now?

And in all of it, I learned that life is so short and the world, it’s inside each of us.

Everywhere I went, there I was. Even though the scenery changed, what I learned is that it is both in movement and stillness that we find who we really are, what we really need and that we come home. If I wouldn’t have left my bubble back home I wouldn’t have learned the value of moving. I would have kept doing what I was doing and I would keep getting what I was getting, but was that serving me? Was it growing me? And while I was moving, I learned that I also need stillness. I need time to understand the lessons in the experiences and time to be quiet and simply listen.

I have spent so much time in my life questioning. Questioning if I’m trying hard enough, if I’m being too lazy, if I’m in the right direction, if I’m strong enough…if I’m this or if I’m that, if I should be more of this or more of that. Holy he## is questioning exhausting! And it certainly isn’t quiet time doing so. In fact, it’s chaos.

Enjoying the sunset on the Riad in Morocco. I love that Mark took this of me, I was very relaxed and happy in this moment

Surrender. To surrender to what comes in and goes out and everything you are and aren’t and to simply, just do your best. This has been my biggest lesson. That while I’ve felt off the mark more recently, it wasn’t a wrong doing or a detriment, it was simply a neon sign, lighting up and pointing me in a direction. And that Fiercing Forward for me has always been and always will be about doing my best every day to be happy for me. I lived (and have lived in periods since then) in times of what I call a personal apocolypse, where I became a zombie. And sometimes, we need to be a zombie so we can decide to instead, be a phoenix. It all matters. Fear, worry, elation, joy, sadness, concern, anger, guilt…it is all essential and nothing is wrong or bad or incorrect to what happens to us in our lives. We need it all and when I surrender to it all, it all becomes essential and I start learning and growing from it. I start observing and move with it, not against it.

The waiter just let me know that since I don’t have cash, I need 7.50euro more to pay with a card so a glass of wine it is! Go with the flow, not against it and what a beautiful way to say goodbye to my favorite little cafe in Paris. Listen, you don’t need to travel over the pond or even to another state to learn about yourself. I learned so much here and the point is, the world is not around you, it’s within you.

Fierce, love and surrendering,

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