Gratitude isn’t just unicorns and rainbows—it’s actually for all the in-betweens…and yes, even the struggle
I’m feeling the Best Self love. I’m feeling grateful, celebratory, slightly giddy — and want to share some backstory with you because I want to make sure you’re not sidestepping your dreams. And I also want to let you in on a little secret, it wasn’t always this way.
Far too often, we check one thing off our to-do list or accomplish something noteworthy and whoosh, we’re onto the next before sinking into it and fully appreciating it. Can you relate?
I want to put my foot on the brakes…or at least slow the pace for a moment (or permanently). I don’t want to miss the ride anymore. I want to scoop up and recapture all the in-between moments I’ve hurried on by in the insatiable quest for more. I want to scatter them about and languish in them for a minute. Because as I said, it wasn’t always this way.
I didn’t always make the connections and see all that I had to be thankful for.
I know you understand — glass half full/glass half empty. Hmmm.
We all have much to be grateful for — even the darkness, it’s where the cracks of light shine in and make their presence known. What I really want to do is to celebrate YOU and some big benchmarks around here.
4 years ago, my Best Self life partner, Bill and I set out on a wing and a heart-filled (we-have-no-idea-how-in-the-world-we-are-going-to-do-this) prayer to birth a creative baby. There, the inspiration of Best Self Magazine was planted. And before you think I’m going to digress off into a rainbow-filled picture with unicorns dancing about the office, keep in mind: We didn’t get lucky, we created our reality.
I’m not sharing this because I want to pat myself on the back…I’m sharing it because I want you to know what is possible. I’m sharing this because I want you to nurture the faintest flicker within you that is crying out for more even beneath life’s seemingly limiting realities. And like our recent cover feature, Brendon Burchard, said — I want you to honor the struggle, your struggle to get there.
What do I mean by that? Don’t let the struggle stand between you and all that your soul yearns for. Period. Struggle is real. It’s like a compass directing us.
We can see struggle as a GPS or we can push back on it, resist and ultimately allow it to become the excuse that stands between desire and achievement.
And I personally feel that the longer we ignore the inner soul cry, the further we have to retrace our steps. I know because I’ve been in those trenches…and I wore my shoes out finding my way home again.
Don’t waste your time looking around at what others are doing. Everything looks easier on the outside — and everyone looks more successful, richer, thinner, more beautiful. Why waylay your own dreams because things look better out there? Don’t let that stop you. Let it inspire you. If others can do it, so can you…and it’s pretty likely that they struggled too!
We had everything stacked against us when we started the magazine. Here’s the reality:
- We didn’t have a clue how to create a magazine
- We didn’t have a staff
- We didn’t have money
- We didn’t have connections
- We didn’t have the skills
- We didn’t have you
We were also in the midst of a lot of emotional healing. Oh, and our 1st issue completely crashed our app! So, if that list doesn’t stop you in your tracks and make you run home…nothing will.
But see, if you wait until everything is perfect…well, you might be waiting a very long time (like forever). Life doesn’t work that way. Things don’t suddenly line up in perfection and say, OK, all systems are go!
Here’s the thing — we had to deal with all the constraints listed above. At times, they felt daunting — so much so, that there were moments when I doubted myself, moments when I wondered if I should apply for jobs, moments when I almost threw in the towel. But they were just moments — and I allowed myself to sink into them and feel the depths of them. Then I got up, dusted off and carried on.
The reality was that not continuing was far more painful a prospect than carrying on.
Besides life is about work-arounds and figure-outables.
What did we do? We worked hard, dreamed big and ferociously guarded those dreams. We continued to work other jobs to ‘fund our dream’. We learned skills that we couldn’t afford to hire other people to do. We learned from our mistakes. And we planted a garden of Best Self Magazine seeds from which much has grown.
I am so very grateful to everyone who has shown up on our covers, to everyone who has written and co-created with us and for everyone who has ever read the magazine. I’ve known from the get-go that this was a true collaboration — and it would never work without a tribe; a tribe of seekers, dreamers, and fellow works-in-progress — those dedicated to being the change they want to see in the world. And if you are reading this, that’s YOU. You’ve played a role in some way in elevating humanity. It’s true!
Today our little ol’ magazine app has 5 stars, is known worldwide, just celebrated its 4th birthday, literally features the rockstars of the world of conscious living and holistic health, and continues to inspire and empower others to reach for their own best self stars. It doesn’t get much better than that.
A 2-minute celebration of Best Self Magazine, in celebration of our 4th anniversary
I’m grateful to you for having been along for the ride. And to Bill for being my dream-keeper. 14 years ago when I was broken, he saw me, he didn’t save me. He saw the parts of me that needed to emerge — and because of that, I feel empowered to continue figuring out how to do what I love to do — each and every day.
I want that for you.
The ride has ups and it has downs, but I’ve got my seatbelt on and I’m not giving up. When I have a bad day, when I feel like I’m on shaky ground or that I should give up? I remember how far I’ve come and how transformed I am because of the journey. Sometimes I don’t even remember that other girl.
I want you to find a way back to some lost part of you, some dream, no matter how far you’ve wandered, no matter how many perceived obstacles stand in your way. And give thanks for it. Don’t allow it to slip through your fingers again.
So as we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the U.S., I celebrate it all: the journey to here, our 4th anniversary of Best Self Magazine, YOU…and the struggle. I also have a special shout out of love to our cover features:
Giancarlo Esposito — for showing us that a Hollywood ‘bad guy’ can actually be a man on a mission for good
Sonia Choquette — for guiding us back to the power of our intuitive selves
Congressman Tim Ryan — for demonstrating that goodness exists even within politics and for leading a food revolution and bringing meditation along for the ride
Danielle LaPorte — for illuminating the path to freedom by claiming how we want to feel
Kris Carr — for sharing her crazy sexy wisdom and journey to wellness — and showing the rest of us how to live in health, self-love and delight
Reid Tracy — for dreaming big and activating the superpowers of others
Kate Northrup Watts — for showing us that we can have a love story with our money
Dr. Christiane Northrup — for being a pioneer of women’s health and for provoking us not to take aging lying down
Nick Ortner — for teaching us how to tap into our best selves (literally)
Marianne Williamson — for being a bold spiritual leader, championing a return to conscious love
Dr. Kelly Brogan — for fiercely challenging and shifting the paradigm of psychiatry and pharmacology forever
Lodro Rinzler — for making us mindful of meditation and life
Nancy Levin — for reminding us that we are worthy
Jonathon Fields — for giving us the blueprint for living a good life
Mike Dooley — for demonstrating the power of our thoughts (and choosing the good ones!)
Elizabeth Lesser — for revealing how organ donation can not only heal a body, it can heal a soul
Regina Thomashauer — for celebrating the power of pleasure and reclaiming our radiance
Glennon Doyle — for truth-telling, showing up, keeping it real and personifying the new activism
Dr. Aviva Romm — for bridging ancient wisdom and modern science — and trailblazing a new health paradigm for women
Lewis Howes — for leading an un-masking revolution — helping us identify and shed preconceived notions of what is to be a man
Dr. Mark Hyman — for unraveling the confusion over food and food systems
Ruth King — for guiding us to transform racism from the inside out
Brendon Burchard — for showing us what it truly means to live, love, matter
I thank them and I thank YOU.
Let’s keep showing up for the journey. Let’s continue to expand our minds, stay open and receptive. Let’s keep giving thanks. Let’s not miss the ride. And may we know and honor not only our own interconnectedness, body, mind and spirit — but may we see the connection between all things and our beautiful planet.
In gratitude and love,
Have you ever imagined that you could honor the struggle in your life? Where could you show up kinder for yourself and this life journey you’ve been on…and even give it thanks? Let me know in the comments below!