M I N D S E T = T R A N S F O R M A T I O N

mindset transformation

Be who you needed when you were younger.

Photo on the left – 2008 (22 years old)
Photo on the right – 2018 (32 years old)

Today I woke up in a grateful, happy, + reflective mood. I made myself a matcha latte and sat on the couch in my new home.

A thought hit me. A simple thought. That thought was: “This is my life.”

It was a thought filled with wonder + disbelief + gratitude + awe. I have been hustling, grinding, + burning the candle at both ends for the majority of my life. I did this to become the woman that the young woman on the left in the photo above needed.

I cannot believe that there is a DECADE between those two photos. The change that has happened between 22 and 32 has been astounding.  As my “insides” changed while I focused on my mindset, my “outside” also changed with it.  Personal growth is more tangible + obvious than most of us realize.

I attribute my personal growth to the following things:

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As we approach 2017, I look back at 2016 with a flood of emotions.

This year has been absolutely life-changing. And it’s been a year filled with “the feels.”


It all came down to a decision to change. Not because I didn’t like who I was… I did (and that’s important. I want everyone to LOVE exactly who they are).

I decided that I wanted a great adventure. A fairy tale. A dream.

I wanted the thing that we’re told as a child that we can have… that we will have… and then, as we enter adolescence and early adulthood and beyond, we’re told by a thousand other voices here and there that we are no longer allowed access to that life. That the dream is impossible. That we’re asking for too much. That we should be comfortable where we are. That it’s ungracious to strive for more.

I call bulls$%t.

2016 was the year I decided to dream again. Believe. Wish.

I only needed one motto to make that change (and it aptly came to me in a fairy tale… Cinderella, in fact): “Have courage and be kind.”

That’s it. Two life rules to make everything change.
1. Courage
2. Kindness

The only thing standing between you and everything you want, deserve, and used to dream about is fear. With courage, bravery, persistence, and unabashed vigor (accompanied with constant kindness)… you can break through the illusion of fear.

Don’t get me wrong… it is not easy. Being brave is hard. Really really hard. There are sleepless nights, doubt, anxiety, and tears that accompany bravery. To grow, one must experience growing pains. In those moments, it is important to keep going.

Before any fairy tale character ever got to the castle, they had to brave the dark forest.

One of my dreams is that 2017 will be a year that we all learn to support one another’s fairy tale. The dark forest isn’t so dark if you aren’t alone. The dream isn’t so far away if the voices telling you it isn’t real don’t exist.

I commit my 2017 to the fairy tale. 2016 showed me that it’s oh-so-real (and worth every single sleepless night). Who needs sleep when reality is better than your dreams?

Wishing each of you an absolutely magical 2017. I hope that every single one of you lives a life that’s a little different (in small or big ways) this year than it was the last. Here’s to the dream. May you courageously earn your place in the sun.


image via gemfound.com

image via gemfound.com

On this day of thanks, I am wishing you and yours an abundance of love and overwhelming sentiments of gratitude.

Some of the things I am thankful for, large and small:

  • The health and current state of joy that each member of my family is experiencing.
  • My home.  I get to celebrate Thanksgiving in my childhood home… my parents are still currently living there and they have maintained the place… and our traditions… with a kind of care that has not gone unnoticed.  I am so grateful for my parents’ creation and preservation of all of our holiday traditions.  Thank you for teaching me what a “home” can feel like, Dad & Mom.  You two are the best parents around.
  • My friendships with a few women that I hold close. They are my sisters.  They are my tribe.  They inspire me.  They challenge me.  I respect and admire them.  They are beautiful.
  • Leopard print.  I am very thankful for its existence.
  • Billie Holiday.  Without her, I wouldn’t have scratchy jazz filling my soul.
  • My mother. The older I am, the more I understand her.  Each year, I am filled with ever increasing awe for her feminine, soft, gentle strength.  What a role model.
  • Each of you reading this.  If I had a way to send a thank you note to each and every one of you who support this site with your time, your comments, your messages, and your existence, I would.
  • My man.  He has taught me that there are men beyond my father and brother who hold the kind of goodness that I knew could exist, but had yet to find.  And… he can cook.  Gratitude bonus.
  • Food. Glorious food. Food. Food. Food. And…. food.  Did I mention that I’m thankful for food?
  • Freedom.  In light of current events, this concept has become something sacred to me.  I never want to take all of the freedom I have for granted.  Thank you, America, for allowing me access to art, education, a voice, work, opportunity, and exploration.  I love this country for that.


thirty scott cutler

photo credit: Scott Cutler

I thought thirty would look a little something like this…

Happily married.  Two children under the age of five.  A 2,200 sq ft “cottage” with a white picket fence, solar power, grey water, and a chicken coop.  A career (lawyer, real estate agent, POTUS) that generated considerable financial success.  A published book that resulted in moderate national renown.  Home-cooked Sunday brunches hosted in the backyard (all eggs provided by aforementioned chickens and produce provided by the yet-to-be-mentioned hydroponic garden) with a mimosa in hand, scratchy jazz playing, and a spattering of the most interesting, accomplished, jet-setting company that one could imagine.

No, no, no, I hadn’t put much thought into it.  None at all.

The truth was that I had put so much thought into it that it had become real.  I believed that this entire world existed and that the day I hit thirty I would magically acquire all of it.  I don’t know if I thought the hard work I had put in would cause it to just appear.  I don’t know if I thought it would come my way via osmosis.  I didn’t think much about the “how”… I just focused on the “why.”


Because I believed that was the script that would result in happiness.  I hadn’t even considered an alternative script.  There was no alternative.

Until I turned thirty.

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