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The Two Hardest Things I've Learned

By Jess Fraser


Let’s set the stage as I create this article for you (or maybe this article is more for me). It is early yet, still dark with a hint of morning light to come. The house is quiet still, no one is awake. Having gone through my morning routine, read, showered, and brewed a hot cup of zen tea. I scurry to my office as I feel inspired to write this. Clanking my cup on the cool marble coaster, I put on my headphones. Then find some background instrumental music to help me stay focused.


I pause to look around, same old office which I spend countless hours, it is dark with only an overhead lamp lighting the area. This space feels comfortable to me. There is evidence of clustered chaos with mini stacks of folders, documents, and notepads. But when I look at my immediate workspace there are two things that anchor me into what I really want to write about today. Courage and being imperfect.


To my left is the mug I chose to drink from this morning. A gift from a dear friend of mine Sabeena, who at the time, both of us would not realize how important this mug was going to be to me. She had it custom made with a hot chick sporting a hoody and jeans with her hair in a messy bun. Yup that is me to the T but on the other side is what always stirs emotions. Imprinted are the words “Be Brave Not Perfect” my theme for 2022. I drink from this mug every time I want to remind myself and honour this phrase. I know I have spoken to this phrase in a past article but this morning I am drinking from it and there is something very strong and really symbolic about this process.


To my right lays my newly released Courage to Change Journal. This is my own personal copy with my own doodles, notes and daily entries. Of which I have already missed days here and there, a humbling reminder that not each day will be perfect but each day I can brave. In the creation of this journal, I have had to challenge myself on countless occasions to have the luxury of seeing this beautiful piece of work to my right. It is now also in the homes of those wanting to make courageous bold change and challenge their status quo.


For years now I can recall telling people that the hardest thing to do was starting. And now when I am reflecting on the year long journey it took to create this journal; I can attest that the second hardest thing is continuing what you start. It was messy, unclear and at times I could not see past any of the unknown. There were days where motivation was not enough and the fake raw raw was not hitting it. In fact, there were days, weeks and honestly maybe even a month or two where I did not touch this dream of mine at all.


It finally came to a point when I realized I must hanker in on these days of low energy and stagnant vibes and work on my dream anyways. No one is going to want it more than me. No matter what type of support I have there are going to be days it can only come from me. Even if it is just for 5 minutes a day, I had to be touching this dream of mine daily. At the launch party of this journal, I shared there were a lot of those 5-minute days. Some of those moments turned into hours of creative flow and others, each minute felt like an hour. The point is when we are braving something important for ourselves it is not always going to be easy, feel deserving or even think possible. When I look to my right and see the end creation from these impossibly hard moments, the win seems even sweeter.

This journal lays silently on my desk as evidence of all the quiet courage I found in those multiple 5-minute moments. These moments no one knew about or was present to cheer me on. I did this and I can do this again with those other crazy impossible goals/dreams I have set for myself (Next is the International Wellness Retreat coming up). This journal has now become a structural reminder of this all. Just like the mug that I drink from, it reminds me that it is okay to not be perfect and that I have friends out there that love me that way. And if I need a little extra support through any of my processes of braving, they are there for me. Also, ultimately, I can be a friend to myself and give myself the kindness I would give others during their imperfectly brave journeys.


So, in short, the hardest thing you are going to do is start. The second hardest thing will be to continue. So what is next for you?






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