Aug22

A Daydream

Someday, I want to own a home with an epic door knocker — the type that is so perfectly unusual it makes you question if you’ll be stepping into another world on the other side of it.

I want door knobs and keyholes that look like intricate puzzles, waiting not only a key but a password or secret knock for it to work properly.

The garden in the back will be heavy with time, for there it slows and speeds up and slows down again, until you lose all sense of what hour it is and what you’re supposed to be doing.

There are no “supposed to”s or “should”s allowed within the house, only dancing and indulging in your senses. The kitchen transforms at different hours of the day from bakery to café to gourmet kitchen. Dinners always have candlelight. Afternoon tea involves a stack of books and laughter. Breakfast can be eaten at any hour, particularly if it’s some variety of french toast or pancakes.

And yet, the interior is surprising unassuming and modern in its simplicity. You are more likely to get lost in art or a sunbeam than in the cushions of an old sofa or amongst decorative objects. The rooms feel both a blank canvas and a warm inviting place for solace and entertaining and dreaming.

Someday…

Jul10

Go One Deeper

The answer is never obvious. Even the question isn’t always clear.

Sometimes the revelation is one deeper.

Let me give you an example. For years, I thought I was afraid of heights. I once hiked to the top of a very large hill, with a cliff overlooking the ocean. As I climbed higher, I started to get vertigo, or something strange like it, like every cell in my body was raging against the tiny trail and my proximity to the edge and how far down it was. But oddly, the higher I climbed, the freer I felt. So I looked further, and discovered that it wasn’t the height I was afraid of, but falling from heights. And even further: it’s not falling I’m afraid of, it’s breaking at the impact of the fall, the pain, the possible end of everything. And so I had to face not a fear of heights, but a much deeper fear.

I do this exercise often, every time I come up again a fear or hesitation or when I’m looking at what might be holding me back. I do it when I’m trying to understand what I want, what I really want. Because it’s never about the money or success — those thing don’t drive me. It’s always about something deeper, more tender, more raw.

So I keep going deeper. Another step, another level down, chipping away at what layers I must to see the truth of it.

 

Jun18

Good vs. Perfect

Hello, my name is Brandi and I’m a recovering perfectionist.

I was a good student growing up — the type that gets A’s on tests and papers and goes above and beyond on projects. In 9th grade, we were tasked in history to write a section of a chapter on one of the topics we were studying. While most of the kids in my class, gathered their papers in those plastic covers that made everything seem more formal and professional, I spent time building a mock textbook from foam board, created a cover, and glued my chapter in it. I could feel the glares.

I probably got a little too drunk on 100s on tests with extra bonus points, papers marked with A+ and the praise from teachers. As long as I kept being perfect — or at least near perfect — I would be fine.

But perfection is not the reality of life.

It dragged me down for years, the pressure to do everything exactly right, to please people, to adjust and change and shape myself to make other people happy. I wanted approval, I wanted praise, I wanted to know I was good and kind and beautiful and worth something.

In the past 4 years, I’ve given up the perfectionist and discovered a deep sense of connection and self-compassion. Because in business, nothing goes perfectly. You learn from every stumble and mishap and project. You grow. And suddenly, you realize that it’s not about getting it perfect, but letting it change you. It’s about the expansion and the deeper discovery of truths that shift you closer to you.

You realize that it’s about good rather than perfect.

In his podcast, Rob Bell elaborates on the difference between good and perfect so eloquently. In Genesis, God made the world good, not perfect. There is no growth in perfection, but there is growth and story and love in good. It is dynamic and changing, rather than stagnant and fixed.

I choose to embrace growth and evolution and story. I choose to embrace my beautiful and imperfect self. I choose to embrace and love others in their beauty and imperfection. It is good and it is miraculous.

Jun03

Healing the Source

My friend Soshy and I were chatting on the phone yesterday as I drove home from Pennsylvania. Last year, she had a baby, a super sweet little girl name Rosie, who is both a blessing and a challenge (as all babies are to sleep deprived parents). Soshy has spent the past few months adjusting to being a mama and trying to catch up on sleep and told me that she’s ready to dive back into her business again. She needed advice.

If you had told me four years ago, I would be dispensing business advice to people, I would have laughed. But I was only starting out then and had very little idea that my freelance work would turn into a business. It was supposed to be just me, wild and free and making money in a slightly less traditional way. Yet, here I am with a business and a team and a whole wealth of knowledge I’ve gathered from past experiences, wise mentors, and friends.

Soshy had two problems. First, she wasn’t sure what to focus on — getting clients or the backend of the business? We may be reluctant to put ourselves out there, but when you’re getting a business going, you need to focus on getting clients. Your clients keep your business running. We talked about different ways for her to do this and I gave her some homework.

The second problem was much juicier, in my opinion. Soshy works with people who want to change unwanted eating habits and transform their body image issues. She is brilliant at what she does. Doing this work, potential clients often ask her about weight loss. Soshy’s past response has been to tell these people that weight loss isn’t what she does.

Except it is. It so is.

Here’s the thing (and I know this having been through my own eating and body image issues): If you don’t heal the source, you’ll never fix the symptoms.

I gained and lost weight repeatedly over a stretch of years until I finally took the time to work on the issues that were hidden beneath the few extra pounds. And I’m still working on it. But I was done with the wins and losses of weight loss, because I knew that as long as I was at war with myself, there would always be a loser. So I do the work.

It’s true everywhere, not just with regards to eating, body image issues, and weight loss. It’s true in business and relationships and friendships and hobbies. I could give you examples and tell you stories, but in the end it comes down to doing the work, to ending the fight, to healing the source.

If you’re curious to learn more about what Soshy does, check out her website, Embody Nutrition.

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