follow your passion

The Crossroads of Should and Must Giveaway!

The next Bravery Board gathering will take place on Saturday, May 14, on the topic of chasing your dreams. In honor of this topic, we will be giving away a copy of The Crossroads and Should and Must by Elle Luna. Elle first gained attention back in 2013 with an essay published on She followed this up with her beautifully written and illustrated book that we will be GIVING AWAY to ONE SUBSCRIBER!

If you've already subscribed to our Bravery Board Briefing emails, you're already entered to win! If not, sign up today to be entered in the drawing. 

One of the reasons we were so excited to give this book away is because Elle brilliantly describes what it feels like to make the realization (as so many of us have done) that we are spending our days doing the things we are supposed to, and seldom taking steps towards our dreams. By describing her journey from should  to must, she translates that feeling into a language we all understand. When we hesitate at the crossroads of should and must, we lock ourselves in prison of our own making. The good news is that there are ways out.

While Elle writes beautifully and shares inspiriting words from diverse thinkers, some of the most helpful features of this book are the action steps and exercises she provides to help with the first steps towards identifying our musts and the barriers that stand in our way. 

One person's must will look radically different than another's. For some, must will require a transition to a new career or another life change. For others, it will look like carving an hour a week out from all the should to pursue a passion. Your must is individual, and part of what makes you who you are.

Whether you're well on your way to pursuing your dreams, or wondering how to even start, we invite you to join us for our May 14 Bravery Board gathering!

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!




What I’ve learned so far: what they don’t tell you about following your passion.

Image taken by Kinsey Mhire

Image taken by Kinsey Mhire

What I’ve learned so far: what they don’t tell you about following your passion.

I am a life coach, I own my own business, I am paving the way to my dreams every day through blogging, using social media, and taking new clients. It’s growing steadily and I am SO happy about it.

But there is a side I also want to address. In reality, businesses like coaching take time. Building a brand and becoming known for what you do is a slow and steady building of momentum. If you are not careful when launching a passion project, you can get burnt out before you even truly begin.  Building a reputation, being consistent, and becoming amazing at your trade--these things take serious hustle. But that’s not what I’m going to post about today.

Here are three areas people rarely talk about when they discuss their passions:

Know your bigger life theme.

I know my passion. And it isn’t coaching. My passion is a deeper life theme, it is the thing I want my life to be about. Some business people call it your “why” or even your “vision.” I like calling it a life theme because no matter what I do, I want the same theme to be the thread that weaves through each season, each career, and each relationship.

I wrote out my own personal life theme recently and this is what it sounds like, “to live my life in vibrancy, truth, and authenticity, and help others come alive.”

I can and will do that in many ways throughout my life. In this season, I do it through coaching and blogging. But I also do it as a wife, as a waitress, and as a friend.

My life theme helps me show up in all areas as my best.  I know what I want my life to reflect, so I am able to show up at my serving job AND as a coach and be my best. I can help people come alive no matter where I am. I can live in vibrancy, truth, and authenticity no matter where I am, and that gives me credibility.

Be your best.

Being your best is tricky and relative. Our best changes from season to season, and we are able to give different amounts at different times. That is normal, human, and expected. The key is not to be perfect, but to strive for excellence; for your best in the moment you are in. I am always attempting to act as my best self, to filter my response through the lens of my life theme.

Being your best self on purpose is actually a skill. It takes the ability to self reflect without judgement, be thoughtful and assume the best, and it takes self control. It is choosing to respond in the most loving, mature way you can.  It is aligning your life with your values and your life theme. It is honoring your yes and your no. It is you becoming better with small choices every day, choosing healthy thoughts, and mature actions which align with your life theme.

Become a Servant.

Sounds fun, doesn’t it!? Be a person who offers an insane amount of value.  You can start doing this in areas like at home, at the office, or in your passion project.  Something I am committed to in my business is offering educational, inspiring and relevant content for free to the people who read my blog and are on my email list. This does sometimes come at a sacrifice. It takes time, it takes consistent growth on my part, and integrity of living what I put out into the world.

What does this look like in your life? How can you be a person who offers value?

What ways can you bring value to your daily life, in and outside work?

Here are a few simple ideas anyone can implement today to be successful at following your passions

1. Be interested in people.

This means asking questions, listening well, commenting back on social media platforms, and thanking people for the good you see them doing. Pay attention, people are always communicating ways they need you.

2. Give more than is asked of you, or do what you do with excellence.

Consider how you can go above and beyond a person's expectations. One way I do this is by remembering birthdays or other important dates and sending cards, flowers, or texts. Be creative with what you do, and who you do it for. A short list would be friends, clients, and supporters, but you could even extend this to service personnel, your neighbors, your co-workers, and even former teachers and employers.

3. Know your deeper reason.

The hustle of following a passion is real, but the reality of knowing the deeper reason behind your life, the growth that comes from being your best, and the magnetic pull people feel toward people who offer value, that is the good stuff.

Try it out, your hustle may become much more enjoyable, and much more passionate.

Read more from Madison at her blog.