What’s driving you?

Do you ever wonder why your goals, dreams and intentions are seemingly impossible to achieve? Why is it that when you set out to accomplish something , before you know it, you feel as though you have been hijacked by something you can’t put your finger on? Or you convince yourself you can’t do it before you begin? Or maybe you do accomplish all that you set out to achieve and you still don’t feel good enough, so you are constantly setting more goals?

I have. This is what drove me for YEARS. For years, I pushed to prove myself by doing figure competitions, races and the like because my foundation was built on not being good enough, not mattering enough. When I succeeded in these endeavors, I would never let myself celebrate, because WHY in the world would I do that if I still felt like I didn’t matter and wasn’t good enough? In all of the goals I created and fulfilled, there was always a feeling that I could have done better. SO, I would create another carrot to chase.

You may ask, what is wrong with this? The price of this is HUGE. If I continued down this path, chances are great that I would not succeed in any of my relationships. I wouldn’t appreciate any moment in my life. I would never be present for anyone, because I would always be thinking about how I could have done better or my next goal. The bottom line is that I would have missed out on my life. I would have lost the opportunity to create an amazing marriage, the incredibly irreplaceable moments I have had with my son and the chance to inspire and lift others (this IS my calling).
So my question is, WHAT is driving you? As the saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know. Could it be a pattern handed down from one of your parents? So engrained in your behavior, emotionally and mentally, that you can’t see it for what it is? It’s comparable to your home being built on top of sand, but never having the awareness that you may have a huge issue on your hands until some time has passed. Overtime, the house starts to break down because the land it sits on is weak. Do you have a foundation of not mattering, not being good enough or some other variation that goes around disguising itself as part of who you are? These are the core beliefs I adopted along the way, studies have shown it can be passed along as early as in the womb. These beliefs hijacked my intentions, my dreams and my life. They will hijack yours as well until you expose them, accept them and rewrite a new belief system. Until you have fixed your foundation and replaced it with empowering data, you will keep getting the same exact results as you are right now. This is a great thing if you are fulfilled, fully expressed and truly alive. However, most of us are just going through the motions, acting out these generational patterns and are about to hand them down to the next generation.

Life isn’t meant to be played out this way, my friends. Until I committed to bringing my patterns out under the spotlight and got intentional about conscious living, I might as well have been sleep walking through my life. I decided I would not pass this down to my children, that the buck will stop with me. What is driving you that you don’t know is driving you to sleepwalk through your life? More importantly, what is the price this is having on your life?


La Belle Vie TJ2


In between witnessing Jennifer embrace her situation and squeeze every ounce out of life, remaining positive and loving through it all, and spending a week with her and my other best friend Tarah Long the month before Jennifer passed away, I gained a perspective of life that shook me to my core. To give you a little background, Jennifer and I had studied abroad in Tours, France together in the fall of 1998, along with our best friend Tarah Long, who now resides in Hawaii. We all returned to Paris and lived together in the summer of 1999 and continued our friendship from there where we visited each other in various places over the years.

When Jennifer found out her breast cancer had returned in the fall of October of 2014, she started writing her bucket list. One of the items she had wanted to check off was the three of us reuniting in Hawaii and sharing a beach vacation, something we had talked about for years. We went ahead and purchased our airfare and reserved a place to stay, as Jennifer remained optimistic of being able to travel to Hawaii. However, in February her oncology doctor told her that he would not recommend traveling. She had recently been placed on oxygen and was continuously getting weaker by the day. So, Tarah Long and myself arranged to fly out to Maryland, to spend a week with Jennifer. During this week we brought the beach to Jennifer and had a Luau. We had a photo shoot, in which we laughed until we cried and then cried some more…., we made a video and got matching tattoos together. Jennifer, held our hands and tears streamed down her face, as we had “La Belle Vie TJ2” tattoed inside our forearms. We celebrated life that week. We were stuck in the house for most of the week because Jennifer was too weak to do much, but I can honestly tell you that the week we spent together was one, if not my favorite week of all time. When you know it’s the last time you will spend with one of your favorite people in the world, you squeeze every second out of it. You make every moment count. I have been so privileged to travel a lot in my lifetime and make some amazing memories. However, nothing could compare to this week, stuck in a suburban house in Frederick, Maryland with my two best friends. We relished in a whole lot of laughter, a whole lot of tears and as much love as we could muster.

So, all of this has made me question my life in a pretty huge way. These questions have come up since that time and continue to come to mind.  How can I create a life that I cherish and embrace everyday for the gift that it is? What if I could live day-to-day with an urgency that it might be my last week or month or that it might be Justin’s (my husband)  or Kai’s (my son)  last day on earth with me? How would I change my actions if I knew this? What would I focus on? What would I include in my life to create the very best moments possible? One that would not take away from myself or others, but that would give myself and others the freedom and love we all desire? What things would I let go of that aren’t serving myself and those that I cherish? How would I treat my body so that I could have as much energy as possible and do all that I want to do? What is blocking me from living fully? Unresolved conflicts with others or myself? How can I live urgently and passionately infuse every moment with love so there are no regrets? How do I create a life that allows me to remain vulnerable so I can create the very best, most exquisite memories, in the walls of my own home? How can I live my life on a day to day basis filled with love and be as raw as possible with those that I love so much?

Is the answer to this accepting each moment for what it is and loving it? Is it refusing to take anything personally, to intentionally choose the people and passions I give my time to and to take full responsibility for the life I create, each and every experience I have?! What is the price of not doing so? I become a victim. I can’t create a life I thrive in and live urgently and passionately as a victim.  I think the key is to understand and really embrace that I am creating everything that I have experienced in my life. By choosing how I view, experience and hold onto my experiences, I have the ability to enjoy a life of intention, urgency, empowerment and freedom.

My biggest take aways and actions I have chosen to make my life exactly the way I want have been the following:

  1. A regular meditation practice.  This has allowed me the space I need to be less reactive and more intentional in my life.
  2. Moving towards more of a minimalist way of life.  If it doesn’t serve me in being the best version of myself, I let it go.  Whether it’s possessions, activities or relationships, I have paired down.
  3.   Speaking my truth.  I have given up people pleasing.  In doing so, I have a life that I love and do what I want the majority of the time.  (I am still working on not saying yes to please others.)
  4.    I remind myself regularly how fragile that life is.  I ask myself; what if this is the last time I see this person?  How can I leave them with love and inspiration?
  5.    In making decisions, I often ask myself; if I were sitting on my front porch when I’m 90, what would make for a better story?  In the past I have let fear run my life, so this is a great one for me.  If it lights me up and might take me out of my comfort zone, that is the better story.
  6. I do a mindfulness practice where I regularly check in and am aware of my mental and emotional state.  If it is low, I check my thoughts and make sure I am taking responsibility for every area in my life. I do my best to embrace my lower emotional states and avoid distractions or numbing agents that I have used in the past: perfectionism regarding body image, technology and peanut butter.

I am also a recovering perfectionist, so I’m always a work in progress, if you will…What actions do you take to make sure you are living your life on purpose?  I would love to hear your strategies!