|Happy New Year, Soul Fam!|
Remember me? I know, it’s been a while. I’d love to say it was the ultimate rebel move because your inboxes and social feeds were being inundated with holiday messages and offers, but it wasn’t quite that strategic. I needed soul time – in a big way – and gave myself permission to take it. Accepting that some things would slip through the cracks (and that’s ok). If I’ve learned one lesson on this wild ride called life, it’s that we can’t serve others powerfully if our own tank is empty.
And I didn’t want to start the new year, with you beautiful souls, on empty. I hope you’re also taking the time to nourish and refuel yourselves/souls. Last year was intense and emotionally exhausting. We all need a break – and to rest up for an epic year ahead. (Please give yourself permission to slooooow down if you haven’t already.)
Now, from the coziness of our couches, in our comfiest pajamas, let’s flip our middle fingers to 2020 in the rearview mirror. Buh-bye. Chapter closed. It’s time to start laying tracks for what we want to come next. I’m not a big believer in resolutions; I prefer to set the stage with a word (or words) that signifies what I want to manifest in the new year. This year I’ve been hearing three (and they’re alliterative, of course):
Spaciousness (in my life for creating/playing/self- and soul-care)
Scale (in my business for greater impact)
Sunshine (on my face more often)
I added “sunshine” because, as you read this, I’m packing my car to head out west for the winter. LA-bound to a cute little apartment less than a mile from the beach in Playa Del Rey. I set an intention earlier this year that I wanted to make this happen and, voila, it did. With so much ease. So, you better believe that I’m setting a similar intention this year that also includes more time in Baja, Mexico. (You’ll have to read the “Fascinating” section to find out why…)
I’m curious, what words are coming to you for 2021? No worries if they’re not clear yet. I’m hopeful that this newsletter might inspire them.
So, let’s dive in. Think of this edition as primer for your soul; a base coat on which to start painting your best fucking year yet. It’s time, my friends.
WHO OR WHAT IS INTRIGUING ME AT THE MOMENT
|My experience at the Modern Elder Academy (MEA) in Baja, Mexico, in November. It blew my (already oversized) expectations out of the water. |
Falling asleep to the wild waves of the Pacific Ocean every night.
Sunshine every day.
Feet in the sand.
Epic organic meals.
Surfing for the first time ever (and loving it).
Receiving messages from nature, especially hawks and dragonflies.
Witnessing the miracle of sea turtles being born on the beach and finding their way to the ocean.
Being in constant awe of the migrating whales blowing and breaching daily.
Watching the dolphins, my spirit animals, play (and taking the hint).
Experiencing an epic session with a shaman on a mountaintop at sunrise.
Falling in love with the Baja.
Learning from brilliant teachers.
And basking in the restorative power of a community of like-minded souls, many of whom have left an indelible imprint on my soul and path forward. (You’ll read about three of them in this newsletter!)
Pure. Fucking. Magic.
So many lessons and a whole lotta “Baja Aha” moments that will shape my year(s) to come. I share these – and a framework for stepping powerfully into the new year – in my final podcast soulisode of 2020; it’s called Rebelling FOR Our Best Year Yet. Gift yourself an hour of reflection: 30 minutes to listen and 30 minutes to journal on the prompts I share for creating your best year yet in 2021. We got this.
WHAT’S GOT MY ORANGE HIGHLIGHTER IN OVERDRIVE
|One of the youngest people at MEA turned out to be one of the oldest (and wisest) souls I’ve ever met. Justin Michael Williams is a passionate and powerful voice at the intersection of music, mindfulness, and social justice. You guys know I have a thing for movement makers and, damn, this guy is the real deal. He’s on a mission to help all of us – especially those who’ve struggled, been silenced, faced discrimination, been made to feel “other” or “not enough” or marginalized in some way – rise together into the life we were born to live. I love him because he’s the anti-guru in the (all too often) guru-obsessed world of personal and spiritual growth. He’s of the people, for the people. He had me at his signature line: “If you can worry, you can meditate.” A reminder that fear and faith are flip sides of the same coin. #preach|
His new book Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us is more a practical handbook for managing through the struggles of modern life so you can be who you’re meant to me. It’s become a staple for me, joining Rumi, Yung Pueblo, and Rupi Kaur on my bedside table. Companions for a created life.
His song “I Am Enough” is my current anthem. He performed a live, acoustic version of this song at MEA that had us all on our feet, connecting with our bodies and souls, and shouting “WE ARE ENOUGH!” I highly recommend it as an empowering way to start your day. More mojo than a high-octane mug of your favorite dark roast. 😉
That’s only scratching the surface. His website is the gateway to so much more goodness from his podcast to courses, meditations, and music. And he’s @wejustwill on Instagram. Bon voyage down the rabbit hole! (Stay tuned for an interview with him on Rebel Souls this year.)
And, just in case you need to hear it, right now, as you cross the threshold into your best year yet: YOU ARE ENOUGH.
WHO/WHAT/WHERE IS GIVING ME ROCKET FUEL
|Laura Pauli, Chef, Sommelier, and founder of Cucina Testa Rossa, is another gem of a human being I connected with at MEA. It was one of those “sliding doors” moments in life where we almost didn’t meet in person. She was originally supposed to return home to San Francisco before I even arrived in Baja but, at the last minute, felt called to stay and finish writing her Quarantine Cookbook (a collection of fabulous recipes from the virtual cooking classes she hosted during lockdown). Lucky me.|
Laura ended up being my neighbor and, within an hour of my arrival, invited me to share a delicious bottle of Prosecco and quick-witted conversation next to the central plunge pool we dubbed “Melrose Pool.” (Anyone remember the show Melrose Place?!) A red-headed, wine-loving soul sisterhood was born.
And that was only the beginning of my experience of Laura’s generosity, knowledge, and fondness for making food and wine fun and accessible. I watched her do a knife demonstration, whip up a simple yet sumptuous roasted red snapper and gazpacho meal with local ingredients, and host an informal wine tasting at dinner one night. Since returning home, I’ve joined her Friday night virtual Salsa y Salsa classes, a spicy cooking and dancing combo with Manuel, her friend and professional Salsa instructor. (I may or may not have rocked up to the last class with a store-bought jar of salsa, but I definitely sweated my ass off learning the Mambo. Baby steps.)
Laura is so wildly talented, creative, and entertaining; I can’t understand how she doesn’t have her own freaking Food Network show yet. Or at least a booming business and massive following. So, I’m on a mission to spread the word and help my soul sister create the best year yet for Cucina Testa Rossa. Wanna join me?
You can read more about Laura’s very French, very impressive, Michelin-starred background here and check out the fabulous cooking and wine classes (and hopefully cookbook!) she’s offering in 2021 here. At a bare minimum, you’ll find me in her South Beach Keto cooking class in February, trying to work off the “food baby” I amassed in Baja. (I mean, c’mon. How can you say no to three gorgeous organic meals a day and free flowing wine and margaritas?)
You can also follow her blog and @cucinatestarossa on Instagram for a creative stream of new ideas and programs. Cheers to watching the rise of the next Food Network star – and to saying “we knew her when…”!
PODCAST EPISODES, VIDEOS, OR WORDS OF WISDOM
FROM MY TRIBE
|As most of you know, I’m a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and conversation. I’ve shared my own struggles in the book, and am donating 10% of the proceeds to the Life is Priceless Foundation, but that’s only the beginning. I want to use my platform to continue to shine a light on, and banish the stigmas surrounding, it. And that’s where the amazing Addison Brasil (@addisonbrasil on Instagram) comes into the picture. |
I met him at MEA (of course). We joked that he and Justin Michael Williams were competing for Youngest Modern Elder title (both 32 years young). Yet, ironically, he was another old soul who rocked my world with his depth, experience, and mission. (Not to mention his wicked sense of humor.) Addison is an actor, content creator and, in what might be his most important title yet, co-founder of Tethr, a mental health and wellbeing app that connects men for critical conversation, community, and support. Their admirable goal is to change the face of masculinity; making it ok to share feelings and ask for help. Bravo.
Addison’s passion for this conversation and business comes from deeply personal experience. Before the age of 30 he lost his brother to a brain tumor, his father to suicide, and one of his closest friends in a car accident (that left Addison learning to walk again and fighting deep depression). He shared his own story and the importance of this conversation in a TV interview the other day and one with TMZ on New Year’s Eve. Both are worth a listen – and possibly a share with someone you love.
I know that a good chunk of my soul community is women, but we all care about the mental wellbeing of the men in our lives. Fathers, brothers, partners, sons, spouses, uncles, friends, colleagues, and more. Many of whom might be struggling at this moment; after a very trying year. Please ask them how they’re feeling and share the gift of Addison and Tethr. You may actually save a life.
I’m here for each and every one of you. Shoot me an email and let me know what lit your soul on fire, what shifted your perspective for the weeks or months ahead, and/or how I can support you in any way. And, if you’ve read Soulbbaticalor listened to Rebel Souls, I’d be so grateful for a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or your favorite pod platform. Reviews are a vote of confidence that encourage kindred souls to make the leap!
And don’t be shy. If you love what you’re reading in this newsletter, please share it with friends, family, clients, and colleagues who need a little more Soul Fuel in their lives. I mean, in this day and age, don’t we all?
Stay safe and soul-full my friends. And please do whatever you can to make a difference in whatever part of the country or world you’re in. I appreciate you all. Sending lots of rebel love your way.