Just Pause

You know that phrase…Beauty from Ashes?  What does that even mean?  Why does it feel so patronizing sometimes?  Well meaning people tell you to embrace that sentiment when you are standing in the hot embers of the fire that just burned down some area of your life or your dreams.  Or even worse, knowing that you burned it down all on your own.  Yep, I play with matches.  Never a fun reality!  It’s so much easier to see the beauty when you’re standing far away from the heat of the fire and the hurt.  Experiencing the Beauty from Ashes is a matter of timing and perspective for sure.  I wholeheartedly believe that beautiful things rise up out of the ashes of the hard, and sometimes downright brutal, parts of life.  It just takes time, restoration is a process.

Beauty from Ashes was a topic that wove itself into numerous conversations for me this week.    When the same topic pops up 7 times (literally!) you have to pay attention.  I did something out of the ordinary for me, I simply paused.  Being still is not my strength, but when I do…it NEVER disappoints.   There is great power in pausing, to simply sit with your thoughts and shut out distractions.  I took time to soak in the significant lessons and blessings that surfaced after the brutal parts of my life.  Fortunately, unfortunately there was plenty to reflect on.

I went on the hunt for my journal, dusted it off and started writing.  The journalling pause is a hard one for me, I would rather just talk and analyze.  Shocker, I know!  Seeing the words on the page changes things.  What seemed to be the worst possible things at the time, revealed a bold pattern of grace over and over.  Some of the best things rose up as a result of those ashes.  I saw courage, inner strength, and how hard I worked to restore and grow over the years. Also, there were so many blessings and opportunities that I never could have dreamed of as a result.  I wanted these reflections to be all rainbows and sunshine and perfectly resolved on the page.  That’s the irony of pausing, it also revealed places that are still very tender and waiting for the beauty to be revealed.  I was humbled to see that in ALL things God is Good and Faithful.  I saw how I have been refined in this process of Beauty from Ashes time and time again.

What would be revealed if you took a quiet moment to pause?  Would you see that some of the worst days were actually turned into beautiful blessings?  It is incredibly brave, and honestly a little vulnerable, to look back on the hard times seeking out the Beauty from Ashes.  Finding perspective and gratitude through these circumstances will also bring healing, reveal strength, and so much more.  There is Power in the Pause!

Live Fearless, Be Epic!


Reflections, Roots & Risks

It is very early Monday morning or as I like to call it O’ Dark Thirty, my children and the sun are all still sleeping. I turn on my Christmas tree lights, grab a cup of coffee and snuggly blanket and I sit quietly in this space. Truthfully, I’m resisting the urge to turn on the news or check Facebook quick. Instead, I’m closing out Thanksgiving weekend reflecting on this past year. I want to do this before the hustle of the Christmas season takes over and I can only give it a token 10ish min. on NYE. I’m a hard core believer in the power that reflection and gratitude has on our daily lives. Being still and letting things settle in isn’t always easy for me, it’s the still part that gets me, I’m just distracted so easily. Friends, the struggle is real!

I shut out the distractions and focus on being still. It is peaceful, much needed and easier than I expected. On a Monday morning that says a lot! I don’t have to reflect much to know it has been one of those years. It is marked by events that shaped me in ways I could not have anticipated. I experienced brokenness and the loss of core people that consumed my heart and reminded me, once again, that life is so precious. It brought the unwanted conviction to live each day a little differently…More Fully.

There has also been incredible joy and blessings offsetting the sorrow. Others having my back, is completely an understatement over this past year. This abundant love wrapped over my heart, creating a new strength that has left me a little overwhelmed. This is where I publicly pledge my fierce love and loyalty to my sweet family, friends and soul sisters! My framily rocks! (just incase you thought I can’t spell…friends + family=framily)

This year has also taken me by surprise, I had no idea I would be nurturing new roots of growth and risk in my business. My established roots of faith, life experience, and of course all the framily love has helped me to heal, stand strong, and brought the confidence needed to take on new adventures. I believe that if you want an extraordinary life it means taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone. I had been playing it safe for a long time. As a life coach it is so much easier to help others do the uncomfortable intentional work. Who knew imposing it on myself would be so empowering and intoxicating!

I have spent a lot of time figuring out who I am in light of the ups and downs this year. I see snapshots of me processing over coffee, on walks, on the phone…pretty much to anyone that would listen! It has become clear in conversation and in my quiet time, that this been a year of authentic grieving, healing, establishing new roots and taking risks.

Yesterday I heard a message about waiting. I realize I kept waiting for the right time to completely go after what I love. I have been observing it rather than experiencing it. I want to wait in humble anticipation for the things that matter. The things that transform our hearts and lives. Those things that are a work in progress and are worth the wait.

This is my plan for each day in December and beyond, to experience life as it happens. To talk a little less and listen to that still small voice a little more. I’m done waiting because I am stuck in insecurity, waiting for the right timing, healing to be complete, my jeans to fit better and on and on the excuses go.

It is now hours later and I am once again sitting here in the quiet reflecting as I finish this post.  (If you are counting, that is two times in one day! Who knew I could pull that off!…FYI the quiet ends in 9 minutes when the bus arrives!)  I am convicted and determined to be fearless in this new year.  I don’t just want an extraordinary life, I have an extraordinary life with all its ups and downs!

Blessings! Tracey