Every Day You Have A Choice

At the end of October, an amazing person, friend, mother, wife and aunt left this world. I would have said her light went out but her light hasn’t gone anywhere and that is exactly why I decided to write this post.

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When I stop to think about the kind of person I want to be and the impression I want to leave on those who I encounter in life, I have a handful of women I look to as role models. Each of them have certain attributes I would love to have within myself. Don’t worry, I do realize that I cannot just combine the best traits of my role models and become some kind of super woman. No one is perfect and I am certainly not. I can, however, learn things from each of them and try to apply those lessons to my own life.

The biggest lesson I have learned from my Aunt Julie, and was so eloquently shared by my cousins at her memorial service, was that each day you have a choice: you can choose to have a good day or a bad day.

While we cannot control our circumstances, as she could not control her cancer, we can control our attitude and she fought with a smile on her face and kindness to those around her. I heard countless stories of how she befriended the nurses in the hospital, went to spinning class within a day after chemotherapy and was a loving human being to everyone around her. The nearly one-thousand people who attended her service are a testimony to the lives that she touched with her incredibly bright light.

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As someone who has battled anxiety and depression for most of my life, choosing to have a good day is hard. If I’m having a bad day, I want to have my bad day. I want to wallow in it and show my pain to others. The past year or so I’ve been trying so hard to be positive instead of negative. To choose my attitude.

However, I have not tried more than I have these past few days back at work. I wallowed last week in my grief and how heartbroken I felt for her husband and children. But on Monday, I decided that I would have a good day no matter how bad I felt when I woke up. I chose to be positive, joyful and kind to others. To say I’m a work in progress is an understatement but trying is certainly better than nothing.

Julie said something to me once I will never forget and will always make me laugh: “Life is too short for uncomfortable underwear.” While sound advice in and of itself, I think it’s metaphorical as well. If something was wrong, Julie didn’t complain - she did what she could to fix it and moved forward with a smile on her face. She knew that life is too precious to let things keep you down.

Every day we all have a choice to have a good day or a bad day. What are you going to choose today? Because I’m going to choose to look at every positive aspect of my day instead of complaining. I’m going to choose to be happy and kind to others no matter what. Lastly, I’m going to choose to be grateful because gratitude leads to happiness, not the other way around.


On a separate note - two of Julie’s daughters ran the NYC Marathon to raise money for Cholangiocarcinoma, which is a rare, and unfortunately fairly underfunded, form of liver & bile duct cancer that my Aunt Julie fought for over two years. To donate to their fundraising efforts, click here. Every gift makes a difference to both their fundraising and the support that they feel from our community.

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Catching Up On Life

Remember that one time? When I said I was going to start blogging again?

Whoops.

However, I can’t be too hard on myself for that one as these past two months have been quite a doozy. I kept thinking of the blog and wanting to write but I just didn’t know what I wanted to say! I figure, instead of coming up with a specific topic, I’d share with you what’s been going on in my life over the past month or so.

1. Let’s start off with the biggest news:

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I only have one kidney now!

That’s right! You probably already know this if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, but I donated my kidney to someone very special to me. Surgery took place just over four weeks ago on Tuesday, September 25th and we are both doing well.

I went into the process knowing that it would be painful physically but I had no idea what a rollercoaster it would be emotionally.

I’d never had any kind of surgery or stayed in a hospital so, while our transplant center was amazing, it was still a completely new and somewhat overwhelming experience. And then just a few days later, they sent me on my way! I have to admit, it was scary to leave the safety of the hospital.

I also tended to cry at the drop of a hat. Any kind of semi-emotional conversation turned me into a fountain and I couldn’t figure out quite why I was down so much but I soon discovered that post-transplant depression is fairly common (thank you Living Donor Facebook groups!).

A friend of mine described the feeling very eloquently in her comment on one of my Instagram posts:

We learn, in its own way, being a donor can be just as, if not more difficult than a recipient. To lose something, to go in completely healthy and come out less than whole, to undergo more difficult surgery, to be dealing with the pressure of chronic illness without the time to process. You’re not alone. You’re a hero, even when it seems over time everyone forgot what you went through, you are still and will always be a hero.”

BUT I’m doing so much better now and I’m back in Denver and semi-back to work. I think I’m going to have to create a whole blog post about my experience.

2. I spent a month in Kansas City.

Because of surgery recovery, I spent a month living with my parents in Kansas City. Honestly, I thought I’d get tired of it after a couple weeks but that was not the case. I absolutely loved being home and spending all that time with my family and the many amazing friends and family members who came by to visit us. Plus, two of my friends flew in from San Francisco and Santa Fe (both SF?!?) to visit me, which was so much fun.

The best part? I got to watch FOUR CHIEFS GAMES with my mom! We’re pretty big fans…

I know that Colorado is where I’m meant to be right now, but I sure do love KC.

3. I’ll be thirty-one next week!

It’s kind of hard to follow those last two… But I guess my birthday is cool? Honestly, these past few weeks have been so overwhelming that I can’t imagine even more fanfare over my birthday. Can I push it back and celebrate in like January? :)

So many different emotions about moving past the age of thirty and where I am in life right now… Not sure how to even begin with that one. If you have advice on moving into your thirties, especially not being where you thought you’d be by now in life, please share!

4. I’m going to D A L L A S!

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I’ve been to this conference twice before and I almost didn’t go this year. However, I knew two of my amazing friends from Chicago (and coaching) were going to be there. They are the kind of people I can be real with, who get me and who can LIFT ME UP! So I had to sign up to go.

Bonus? I GET TO SEE JULIE!!!! Remember the best wedding I’ve ever been to? That was Julie. She and her husband and their two adorable little boys live in Dallas now and I’m going to see her as well!

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5. I promise I’ll blog more…

What do you want to hear about? Drop it in the comments or send me an email :)

BYCA Certified Life Coach

Remember that one time? When I took that six-month long life coaching course? And I flew to San Francisco for an in-person Inspiration Day? And then worked with pro bono clients? Yea? 

Well, I FINALLY finished everything I needed for my certification and guess what? 

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I'M A CERTIFIED BEAUTIFUL YOU

LIFE COACH!

Dance party, anyone?

Yes, I’m very happy that I finally made this happen. I had everything finished up a YEAR ago and then my website went down (which is one requirement of certification) and I just couldn’t manage to fix it. Granted, I could have tried harder, but I think that deep down inside I was appreciating the break from writing and sharing online. I needed the break from writing at that point in my life just as much as I needed the break from coaching in general.

So what does this mean?

Now that I’m officially, officially a life coach, it means that I can start taking on clients! Well, I already had one client but now I’m a little more official AND I have a profile on the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy website.

Aren’t I fancy? I feel pretty legit to be quite honest.

What do I do as a coach?

I work with women through one-on-one coaching sessions for an hour at at time over a span of 3 months. I help them create inspiring goals, the steps they need to get there and then weekly accountability to make sure they’re keeping the promises they’ve made to themselves.

I’m here to help women move through the fear and become the person they really want to be, deep down inside. Way too many women are sitting back and wishing their lives were different but believing it's just not possible for them but it’s just not true. We are capable of so much more than we believe. That is why I became a life coach. I want to help women see what they are capable of and to be the personal sounding board, strategist and cheerleader that they need to make their dreams a reality.

Now that I’m “official” and I’m FIRED UP about coaching, it’s time for me to take on new clients! Check out my Life Coaching page - I’d love to know what you all think! PLUS if it sounds like something you would want to learn more about (or someone you know), just reach out for a free chat with me to find out more about what we’d do and whether or not it’s a good fit for you.

Do you want to learn more about byca certification?

I knew life coaching was something I wanted to pursue and I found out about Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy through my friend, Anna Locke. She was about to take the course, so I did some investigating on my own to see if it was right for me. To be honest, I was almost uncomfortable with how “feelings” oriented the course seemed to be, which was a red flag and indicated to me that I needed to choose this course. I know I can be analytical, I went to law school for goodness sake! But what I needed to be was more in touch with my feelings. So I pushed out of my comfort zone and jumped in head first.

I am so very lucky that I was able to take part in this course and become a part of the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy. Of course I learned a lot, everything from how to coach to how to run a business, but I also grew so much in my own journey to understanding myself as well as became a part of an amazing community of women who are all over the globe.

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The founder of Beautiful You Coaching Academy, Julie Parker, is based in Melbourne, Australia and the course itself attracts women from all over the world. For example, we were all paired up with someone to practice coaching with and my “buddy” was Nadia who lives in Bermuda!

If this is something you’re considering, I want to share that the next course will begin in February of 2019 and is already 60% sold out. If you’re interested in learning more about the course, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to share my experience and answer any of your questions.

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I am so excited that I can officially call myself a Beautiful You Life Coach (can you tell??!!) and I can’t wait to see where life coaching takes me from here!

My amazingly beautiful head shots are by Bailey Pianalto Photography!