This summer has been a whirlwind of travel, festivals, retreats and growth. To say I am excited is an understatement and to say I am grateful hits the nail on the head. As a growing business, I take what I do to heart as it’s not just what I do for a living but I care immensely about it. It IS my heart and so as Fierce Forward has grown, so has a Community of Fierce women working together to move fiercely forward in their lives; and as this vision I had six years ago grows, so do I with it. There are moments when I feel flustered, overwhelmed, unsure, hesitant, fearful, discouraged, overwhelmed (ha) and in need of help and then there are greater moments that I realize come from all of these latter emotions that lead to feelings of gratefulness for all that is and all that has been. I am going to share my experiences with both the festivals and Fierce Forward Retreats one at a time as they each have a story worthy to be told on their own. For now, let’s start with Wanderlust Yoga Festival and the moment I realized to always ask for what I want.
Ahhh, Wanderlust. I remember hearing about it for the first time last year and going home and applying to four that year. I researched about what it is, where they are held and the impact they are having on people’s lives and although I did not get accepted to any last year, I knew I had to keep trying. This year, I applied for a newer, smaller one in the mountains of West Virginia and also Vermont (a forest wonderland place I have dreamed about going) and Squaw Valley, the big Kahuna of the Wanderlusts. I got word back that I got into West Virginia but did not get into the other two. At first I wondered if I just wasn’t as “big” as the other companies that were getting into them and if I should stop trying to apply but then I thought, no, this is amazing, I got into one and it will be amazing! It’s funny how, no matter how fierce I feel I have discovered and created myself to be, those moments of questioning will always come up, because that is what it is to be human. I got pumped and me and my aunt drove 9 hours to West Virginia, rocked it out and between me and you, it is in these moments of connecting with other people that I am assured that I am right where I need to be. I wonder if others have moments like this that reassure you that you are on the right path. I sure hope so because it is a beautiful moment when it happens. There was one story that made me and my aunt tear up. His name was Troy and he was hesitant about sharing his story as he began telling us his background and then we looked at each other and told him he needed Badass, because everything he did in life so far, we felt he really found his badassery. He picked it up and tears began welling up in him and he told us more. It’s in these moments, when people are vulnerable that I am reminded to remain vulnerable in my life, in my work and with my self, because vulnerability is real, it’s honest and it’s who we are.
There were so many amazing stories, moments and memories from both Wanderlust trips but a personal one I had I wanted to share with you and it is about asking for what you want. So as the festival neared an end in West Virginia, the vendor coordinator for all Wanderlust events came into our booth and asked how it went and after we chatted for some time about stories and things we loved, I had this thought to ask her how I should proceed to get into other Wanderlust events and then a little voice inside of me tried to override that and tell me how I should stay quiet. I then thought, no ash, you don’t get anything when you stay quiet. So I said, “Katie, is being here and continuing to apply online the best way to get my foot in the door to other Wanderlust events?” and she replied, “Do you want to go to Vermont and Squaw Valley?” I smiled and felt myself getting goosebumps and feeling giddy in this moment of realization. I kept this moment quiet but said, “yes, I would love to, but my gram is coming into town so I can’t make Vermont but can I let you know next week about Squaw?” And the rest is history. Then we went to Squaw and I just couldn’t stop thinking about HOW IMPORTANT it is to not silence her. The definition of Spirit was still in the air as the Collection was going to launch in Squaw but this happening in my life inspired the definition, which has fast become one of the most popular pieces of Armor, alongside Badass and a few others.
Do not let her stay quiet…
This dream team came into our booth and picked up Tough As Nails to commemorate their friendship and their lives as women of the world. They even came back on day 2 & 3 and Meagan and I loved them to pieces.
Brothers walked in and b-lined it for the Fierce Armor.
At the end of each day, Meagan and I made sure to do something that would fill our personal cup. Ten hour days of spreading a mission from your heart can take it out of you as much as it gives you energy from all the stories we heard and memories we shared with so many amazing people, but we knew we had to take time to silence ourselves and have fun together. This was at the top of Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe. It is a thing of beauty. That thing called nature…
I am so grateful for all of the experiences I am having, creating and sharing with others. I am so completely grateful that Fierce Forward is impacting lives and helping influence others to know that they are limitless and that they, too, can fierce forward towards what EVER they want in their lives. I am grateful that this is all working but I am also humbled by each day of challenges that come with a growing company, movement and community. I will continue to put my heart into everything that Fierce Forward is and is doing and will always…be grateful.