Sharing Our Story, Being Present, and Making Magic: A Fall Picnic Adventure With Charlotte
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Carrots and Beets baked, branches and the last of the lavender foraged, blankets, napkins, cutlery, chairs, and bags packed carefully between baskets, cameras, and treasured goods; the feeling of Fall hung heavy in the air as we climbed into the car, readying ourselves for a day filled with spontaneity, vulnerable conversations, moments captured, antique finds, and a collective understanding that great things happen when we we allow ourselves to be seen.
When we show up and dedicate our every thought, idea, and physical movement to this very moment.
When we recognize that being present takes a certain type of dedication. A dedication that lends itself well to mishaps and set backs. To mistakes being made and being ok with not always being ok, because being present isn't something you should stress over, but rather, something you should strive for. Something to lean into when we've found it, and let go of when it is just out of reach.
And believe it or not, I find the letting go part to be most valuable, because letting go often leads to saying yes when we would normally say no (or vise versa), allowing ourselves to be seen when we'd rather hide, and being honest and real with ourselves when filling in the blank with empty thoughts and forced words sounds much more appealing.
Right now, as I find myself curled up in a big arm chair by the fire, legs tucked tightly beneath me, I am in a way, letting go. Letting go of the idea that I need to do be doing something else. Letting go, tuning in to the crackling fire, and dedicating myself to this act, no matter how simple or seemingly unimportant...
because when something is done with intention, it pushes you to be present, and when you're present, you see the world around you in a much, much brighter light.
So, as Charlotte and I made plans to take this rainy day adventure together, I settled into the idea that reaching out to those that inspire me is something that, no matter how initially scary, lifts me up and fills me to the brim with the confidence I need to share my story. To show up and be there, no matter how much I would like to brush off and skip over the not-so-great parts, because you never know who they may resonate with. You never know who might take those pieces of your story, and use them as hope and reason to share theirs.
There may be times when you feel as if your story isn't worthy of being heard, and for me, these moments come in waves. Waves of emotion and triggers that send me down a road filled with nothing but doubt and uncertainty as to whether or not what I'm doing is making a difference. And the thing is, it's hard work to pick yourself back up.
To brush off your knees, lift your head high, and keep sharing your story. To keep circling back to the things that keep you curious and motivated.
That keep you striving for a life that brings you the utmost joy right now, not ten years down the line, because no matter how discouraged you may feel, you can always be honest with yourself. You can always show up and be truthful, even if it hurts. So, when I showed up for myself on this rainy fall day, I also showed up for Charlotte.
I allowed her to see the whole me, and in turn, she felt comfortable enough to share her story, even the parts that have caused her pain - the parts we so often try to hide from.
Without hesitation, we turned the heat on high and music at full blast, glancing around at the goods we had gathered for this day; a wide variety of trinkets and treats that collectively made up something I like to think resembled magic. Things that would, together, just like the two of us (and all of you), create something beautiful simply from the outlook we choose to carry in this moment.
Because guess what? Amazing things happen when we come together and share our story.
And remember, however you're feeling right now, it's ok. Just be here, and when you're ready, we can once again pick ourselves back up, lean on each other, and carry on.
Here's to curiosity, adventure, hard truths, and connection.
A Little Bit About The Lovely, Charlotte
*Showing up: The act of being present and honest with oneself, no matter how terrifying or uncomfortable that may be.
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