Enjoy straight-from-the-heart reflections on 2016 from inspirational women, like Sarah Kathleen Peck, in our Holiday Council Featurettes.
Inspired by her musings? Need to recommit to your own dreams and plans? Join the Stratejoy Tribe for the Holiday Council, starting on November 28th!
My word or theme for the year was EXPAND.
I wanted to expand physically, as I was growing bigger and bigger by having a baby. I also didn’t mind adding a few extra pounds along the way — I added twenty more pounds and explored a larger shape and a more luscious body.
I wanted to expand my business and my practice, and write more. Bigger pieces, more articulate thinking, more difficult projects and puzzles.
And I wanted to expand my groundedness and my presence. In my yoga practice, I explore new shapes, trying on new movements, and taking up space, rather than shrinking.
In this year, I have honored how difficult and challenging it is both to become a new person, and also to grow a new person from scratch.
In May, on Mother’s Day, I became a new mama to a beautiful little boy. My life turned inside out, and I felt as though I was being physically and cognitively rearranged. I didn’t have any clue how difficult pregnancy could be, and I had lost touch with the mamas around me. It felt like I was brand-new at everything, trying to learn the basics all over.
I remember when I first met Molly, and she whispered that she was pregnant. I have since watched her continue to grow Stratejoy. When I was nervous during pregnancy, she called me and reminded me: this is a time of deep creativity.
All of my habits and routines shifted, and time began to take on a different kind of space. The time I had to work was precious, and became sacred making space. It became so clear what to say no to. And I began to say no to quite a few things. In doing so, my “yes” became so much stronger and my space for writing began to expand.
I have honored the deep voice within me that has told me to connect more deeply with women, and host more and more conversations with small groups of people. The year has been filled with Masterminds, retreats, and soul-filled gatherings of women and tribes to share our stories. When we tell our stories, we can connect, and we can heal.
It’s felt, more than ever, that I’m riding a current or a wave rather than pushing to get work done. I’ve done the adrenal fatigue, push-until-you-drop kind of startup life, and I’ve lived a life as an architecture graduate student. More than ever today, I’ve felt the call to connect people to heal, to work in our own virbancies and resonances and wavelengths, and to find work that feels more like truth than effort.
And shortly after my little one was born, I stole away a few minutes, here and there, to keep writing. Keep writing, my inner voice said. I put words to the page and started a new website focused on women, leadership, and motherhood. How do you do work in the world as a mama and as an entrepreneur? What kind of creative magic is born out of the well of feminine and creative energy when we pair these phenomena? The writing started pouring out. I pitched my idea to an agent in New York City and she immediately told me to get writing on the book. And that is what I am now focused on: writing a book on being a mama and working the startup life.
Because of this year, I now believe more than ever in the holiness and importance of having a routine. It’s something I struggle with, and it’s something that creates an immense amount of freedom in my life.
I understand how important it is to focus, ruthlessly focus, on the things that you want.
I believe that “no” is a word you wield with fierce kindness to both your soul and to people you connect with.
I believe that women, in particular, need to stop apologizing. We can stand tall, we can stop smiling if we don’t feel like smiling, we can wear our hair wild and unkempt, and be as big and as expansive as we dare to be.
And more than ever, I believe that we need sacred space to go deeply inside of ideas. The things worth doing will take five, ten, fifteen years, a lifetime. The things most worth doing may take multiple lifetimes. There are things that we do in service to the big ideas (like posting on Facebook), but they are not the big idea. We need everyone to dig in and do their best work and bring their biggest, boldest, scariest ideas forward. It’s time.
In this year, I am most grateful for having a healthy, happy baby who teaches me to see the world again with new, bright eyes. I learn more in a few seconds by watching him and his curiosity than I do in a traditional work week.
In 2017, it will be time for writing! I am grateful to be focused on writing and working on a book throughout most of 2017.
Meet Sarah! Sarah Kathleen Peck is an author, writer, business owner, and yoga teacher. She creates space for abundant conversations and connections: with your self, body, wisdom, and community. She writes weekly newsletters at www.sarahkpeck.com and recently launched www.startuppregnant.com to expand the conversation about what it means to be a business woman and mama at the same time.