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Embrace: Live Your Best Life

best life

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How many of you select a word for the year? Instead of a new year’s resolution, you choose one word to focus on that sums up who you want to be or what you want to carry out. I picked my word in November and had even shared it with others and then it happened – sign after sign made it truly clear a new word had picked me. My best life was calling, and the new word it had for me was EMBRACE.

Why embrace? Let’s start with the easy stuff. The first sign was a realization I have some important things happening this year. I know it sounds unbelievable that I was not aware. It’s not that I didn’t know these things were happening. I had gotten into a routine of a singular focus on getting things done that had to be done right now. I had trained myself not to look too far out so I would not get overwhelmed. It was a bit of a revelation when I realized things I have worked on for a long time, things that mean a lot to me, and positive events in my life that deserve to be celebrated are happening this year. And it wasn’t just that things are happening, it felt (and still feels like) a shift is occurring. More on that to come.

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More Signs

The next sign came from my reiki master, Mona. For years I have made reiki part of my self-care routine. At first, I simply did it because it made me feel better and then I got curious. The more I learned, the more I was drawn to what reiki is and how it supports who I want to be. A pattern started to appear from my sessions. In fact, it got to the point where Mona would start with – “you know what I’m going to say, right?” When it comes to my heart chakra, she challenges me to receive love as much as I give it. To let others embrace me – figuratively and literally.

Here’s the hard one. I can remember the exact moment last year when I sent a text asking a friend if she was coming to a zoom call, only to receive a text back from her boyfriend that he was sorry to tell me that my friend was in a coma. It was totally out of the blue. She was a vibrant, young woman who had a laugh that would fill a room (and the best part is she let it). She embodied both candor and compassion, poured into others through her leadership, coaching and yoga instructing. And she loved life and all the people, places, and things in it.

She had recently made changes to fully embrace the life she wanted. And then she was gone. I cannot tell you how often I have come across her name in my phone contact list or watched it self-populate in my email or text distribution list. I’m not ready to delete her contact information and I feel those signs are “Godwinks.” It’s Lisa telling me to live my best life with no regrets. To not wait. To be all in. And to embrace who I am, who I want to be, and what I want to do.

Embrace the Fear

I often tell my clients they deserve good things, that they are worthy, and not to dim their light. Because I honestly believe it. Why is it so hard to believe those things for ourselves? It can be the fear of how others will react or of being vulnerable and taking risks. Take the leap and see what happens – your best life is out there. You can’t succeed if you don’t try. People can’t say yes if you don’t ask. The antidote to fear is action.

Are you like me? I find it difficult to open up and share my “stuff” with others. I’d rather flip it around and talk about them. And although I like words of affirmation, it is hard for the focus to be on me and for me to receive acknowledgment. Kelye Rouse Brown, an Executive Coach, recently challenged me to ask others what contribution I have made to their life. Honestly, I have never been more uncomfortable than I was hitting that send button to a small group of people asking them that question. Here’s why this activity was important – this shift is not just about embracing what is happening or will happen in my life, it’s also about embracing who I am and who I want to be.

Last year I started posting more on social media. I believe my friends and connections understand my intention. It’s definitely not for attention. That’s just not me. I do it to spread love and positivity, to let people know they are not alone, to hopefully make someone smile, and to give hope when so many need it right now. There is no room for skepticism and negativity in the new world I am embracing.

best life

How to live out EMBRACE

Tell people you love them

A little while ago, I decided I wanted to be more intentional about telling people that I love them. Because I do. And at first, I wondered if people would think it was weird. But now I feel like I don’t do it enough. People need to know they are loved, and we need to tell them more. Yes, there has been some awkward moments like when I told the young lady at grocery pick-up or a client that I love them. Many of you have reminded me that maybe they needed to hear it. So, be the good! Spread the love!

Have you been hugged today?

It might seem like a silly question, but the benefits of hugging can be nearly as beneficial as the benefits of your other healthy habits like exercise, meditation, and more. Hugs reduce stress, show support, ward off illness, reduce fear, make you happier, and improve your physical and psychological well-being. If we are talking about the word embrace, let’s return to actually embracing each other.

Live your best life

What that looks like is totally up to you. For me, right now, it is about slowing down, setting boundaries, finding time to be still, making time for who and what brings me joy, focusing on what gives me energy, and ensuring that my core values are being honored.

How can you define your best life? In Marie Forleo’s book, Everything is Figureoutable, she describes the following journaling activity: Take out your notebook and in it, write the following at the top of six pages: “What I really want is…” Every day for six days, write freely about what you really want in your life – business, relationship, career, family, health, money, faith, anything – just write for at least ten minutes. Challenge yourself to use all the time. After six days, evaluate what you wrote and pick out the most repeated items from what you have written. Now write about WHY you want this and how you will FEEL when you figure out how to make these things happen in your life. 

Be myself because I’m fabulous and so are you

There were times in my life when I felt that I had to be someone I am not to be successful or to have others like me. What I underestimated is how hard it was and that it would be virtually impossible to sustain. I also underestimated my own value and gifts. We all have talents and strengths, and the world needs them all.

Embrace leadership

whether you have the title or not, lead from your values, create a culture of accountability and compassion, build an environment where people can make mistakes and ask questions, have fun, learn something every day, and acknowledge attributes and accomplishments.

The Shift

As I’m figuring things out, I know it won’t be perfect. It’s not supposed to be. I’m already learning something. The more I embrace the true me, the more I’m okay with some things not working out. That just means something else is meant for me. And as I continue to prioritize giving a compliment, spreading the love, and celebrating successes, I see the real Debby is emerging.

It’s okay if embrace is not your word. That’s not really what this is about. My challenge to you is to not wait to embrace your best life, to be all in every day. Say what needs to be said. Do what you want to do. This quote by Rachel Marie Martin of sums it all up: “There is a powerful shift when you choose to let go of what is holding you back and you embrace the moments, the opportunities, and the people in front of you now.” Do that.

best life

Comment (1)

  1. I love how you EMBRACE life Debby and inspire others to do the same! You are a daily dose of fresh air to keep on keeping on and be ALL IN!

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