goals

Resiliency Recap + Announcement!

Back in May when I asked my friend Seth Jaeger to speak at a Bravery Board Gathering on the topic of resiliency, I got a little worried about my decision right after he said "yes". Don't get me wrong, Seth is AMAZING and BRILLIANT, and I knew he would deliver a great talk, but he just happens to be... well, a male

If you've followed along in the progress of The Bravery Board and know what we're all about, you know that we started this collective as a open-and-welcoming-to-all-genders sort of endeavor. However, we primarily draw an audience of women like us-- 20-30 somethings seeking to kill it in life. (We are okay with that. We get it. We are women hosting gatherings where people come to talk about their personal stuff.) But we want to branch out. We believe men need this message too. So although Seth is the type of person we want to attract, I wasn't sure we were ready to go there yet being so new. 

But, as so often tends to be the case, I was wrong. Seth nailed it. People came. His voice resonated. It was an intellectually stimulating party.

In his brilliantly-delivered talk about intellectual resilience, Seth spoke about how we can strive to be "exceptionally average", following what the Buddha describes as The Middle Path, or a lifestyle of moderation. We know this is the optimal place to thrive rather than on certain extremes, however sometimes it is so tempting to cling to distinct side or frame of reference to understand the worldSeth offered some suggestions on how not to get stuck on one side of the pendulum. He talked about making decisions, trusting your gut, and all these amazingly-relatable concepts that matter. 

You guys, Seth's topic SPOKE to me. And I think it spoke to many others in the room that day as well. Seth touched on something I ruminate a lot about- which is how my culture effects me and how I effect it. In other words- I don't just arrive at my thoughts or opinions of things because they are correct, but because they are what my culture tells me is correct. Interesting twist on what is truth, and something I spend a lot of time thinking about. 


Announcement!

And now I get the privilege to be able to tell you that not only did we record this thought-provoking talk, so you can now hear it, but it is going to be the first one ever that we release as a PODCAST

Yes, that's right.

A PODCAST! 

We have posted our talks on Soundcloud in the past, but none of us knew how to edit audio or make any of it spiffy and polished, so it ended up sounding a bit... well... a bit of a let down. The content was great but the way it was delivered was very lackluster. This month I have been spending many-an-evening-at-home learning how to edit and record audio, and out of that we have upped-the-anny and are now releasing ALL of our talks, WITH INTROS, TODAY!

We've always known we wanted to do a Podcast, and now we get to make that desire a reality. The hope is that the awesome talks our speakers spend so much time preparing can reach a wider audience, because they are SO GOOD. I am constantly blown away by the wisdom that exists right here among us in our good ol' corner of the MIdwest, and I am passionate about extending that wisdom to others all around the globe.

So you'll not only hear talks from our gatherings on this podcast, we'll also share interviews with our speakers, conversations with special guests, segments on mental health and wellness, and behind the scenes & candid stories from Kate, Madison, and I. We can't wait for all the goodness in store. 

So please, if you are excited, go over to Itunes and check us out. Leave us a review if you're feeling it, because the more the Podcast gets reviewed, the more it gets viewed in searches and other things. Also- go check out Seth's podcast first. Its BRILLIANT! 


Compassion Gathering Saturday Sept 10

Our next gathering is September 10th and will be on the topic of Compassion. We are SO STOKED to have our first out-of-town-omg-she's-traveling-to-speak guest Colleen Kirk. To learn more click below or go to our gatherings page. Tickets are just $10! 


Goal-Setting Gathering + Madison's Break From Setting Goals

Can you make a goal to become someone else? 

I've used goal setting as a way to take charge of my life so I could become better... better like the others. (You know, all the people killing it at life.) Have you been there? Setting a goal out of fear that your life will never unfold quite right if you don't "take charge" of it?

I have.

The biggest frustration with it all was that no matter how many self help books I read on achievement, no matter how organized I was, how minimal I lived, how much I wrote down my goals, prayed, journaled, and pushed to achieve then, it never felt good; and often I'd forget about the goal altogether.  Only to find the goal written on a notecard inside a book I never finished reading... oops. 

So what changed? 

How did I go from frantic goal-setting mode into a healthy, balanced relationship with setting goals?

I got help.

No, no, not help achieving the goals.

I mean real help. (from a professional.)

Turns out, wanting to achieve goals in order to become like someone else isn't the healthiest state of mind to live in. My comparison, shame, guilt for who I was, dissatisfaction with my own life, and jealousy over the successes of others were not issues that could be cured by setting goals OR achieving them.

I spent 6 months without setting goals. I saw a counselor and a life coach and decided to become the best version of myself I could be, which meant healing from the past, accepting who I am, developing healthy friendships, and learning to use my strengths. I'm still on the beautiful journey, only now I'm more me than I've ever been, and it feels great. 

I'm back to setting goals too! Only this time they are heart-aligned. 

Now, each new goal I create ads to my life and comes from a place of abundance, not fear of what will happen if I don't achieve them. 

My current goals finally feel good because I am living with intention. 

At our last gathering, Kate and Emma both touched on intentional living and becoming the person of your dreams while going after your goals.  Every step in the journey is a part of the process. Every day of shooting your arrow at your target, even if you miss, is a step in the right direction. 

No matter that looks like for you right now, you are in a perfect position to take the next step, to aim at your target and shoot.

Being intentional isn't just about achieving the big things, it's about taking steps in the right direction. Your first step to intentional living may be healing, like me. And that's okay, in fact, it may be the most important step of all.

1... 2... 3... LAUNCH!

You guys! Today is the day!

We are launching our passion project, The Bravery Board TODAY, and we couldn’t be more excited! 

If you’ve found this post, chances are you have looked through our site and caught wind of what we’re rolling out, but you may not know the story behind how The Bravery Board came to be.  I want to tell you our story, not only because it's interesting and hopefully inspiring, but because it's nothing short of divine.

Early in the Fall of 2015 I started thinking a lot about my place in the world professionally. I have been a counselor for several years in the school setting, but had just begun the process of being fully licensed as a professional counselor (outside of the school) a few months prior. I started thinking I may want to switch to private practice eventually or counsel clients privately on the side of my full time work. I believed in my capability of being great at it, and was ready to face the challenges that came with learning new skills; yet I didn't know much about the profession side of it- the nuts and bolts of how to set up a practice or go about getting clients, per se. 

I also had a lot of ideas brewing about the type of mental health practice I was interested in seeing and putting out in the world,  especially in my little corner of it in the Midwest, but I had no idea how to go about waving that banner to get it started.

Acknowledging the conundrum, my brilliant go-after-your-dreams husband encouraged me to write down a list of 10 professionals in my field who I could contact and ask to pick their brains. The challenge made me excited to dig a little within myself to be vulnerable and ask for help, but also to learn more about what others were doing in the field, so with a little lump in my throat, I started calling people.

Two of the names I wrote down that day were, you guessed it, Kate Alsup and Madison Hedlund. I met them separately at coffee shops within a week of each other, not even realizing they knew one another. I didn't know either of them well, but within those meetings quickly learned that they were MY KIND OF PEOPLE; they shared very similar values and goals as mine, and were also in the same spot I was-- eager to push their careers to the next level.

And thus The Bravery Board was born.

Kate, Madison, and I come at mental health concerns from different standpoints, but arrive at a very similar conclusion-- we all need help. I do. You do.

We all come across road blocks in our lives that challenge us, and yet so very often we are afraid to call upon others -- professionally or not professionally- for help when we need it.

With The Bravery Board we want to create safe spaces where people are inspired by vulnerability and change.

We are launching The Bravery Board as a collective website where you can access us for professional counseling, life coaching, or mentoring services, and a platform to host gatherings where we will ask community members to come and talk once a month about their expertise in areas that matter - Creativity, goal setting, de-cluttering the mind and life, finding your strengths, chasing your dreams... the list goes on.

So, today we launch a project that I hope continues to grow and improve over time. We're kicking it off tonight with a party for our close friends and family. Then, on April 9th, we will host our first event centered around the topic of Creativity. I will be speaking about my creative process and how I use that as an avenue of self-care. My friend Katie will speak as well, and she has some seriously-cool ideas about creativity and how to harness it.

If you're interested in any of this, sign up for our monthly bravery briefings! The emails are designed to gather up all of our favorite books, articles, and podcasts that relate to the topic we'll be hosting a gathering about that month, and to send it right to your inbox. You’ll also be entered to win one of the books we’ve been reading related to our monthly topic every single month!

I can't wait for all that is coming! We have more up our sleeves and are SO excited about sharing, but for now, let's launch and celebrate!