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Dear Friend,

Theresa decorated our wee artificial tree and the windows of our living room over the weekend. Scattered amongst the delicate glass balls and twinkling lights are my contributions from over the years – a tiny paper chain made from scraps of magazine; a rainbow-winged My Little Pony ornament; and our initials, which I cut out of felt and hand-stitched onto store-bought stockings.

We watched an array of Christmas-themed rom-coms that were so predictably and thoroughly mediocre that I started wondering if there’s a Hollywood handbook for the right level of acting, writing, and production to hit that exact level of mediocrity. The best of that bunch – Love Hard – had a plot predicated on dating app catfishing so, you know, only sort of a win.

Jingle Jangle, on the other hand, is sheer delight in all the ways. It’s become a seasonal go-to for us in the few short years since it was released:
What I really have on my mind today, though, is the prickly underbelly of this season: The reflections that arise for so many of us that clash with the call to celebrate infusing this time of year. The families that aren’t as close – emotionally or geographically – as we would like. The fresh loses from the year past; the memories of older losses and hurts that rise unbidden from deep within our psyches.

As I notice this swirl within me, I’m reaching out to my resources – the solo ones I’ve cultivated through years of learning and healing and practice, like writing, cooking and movement of all sorts – and the ones that require I lean into our web of interconnection: Conversations with loved ones, getting coached, reading, working with a therapist.

If you, too, are feeling a blend of delighted and down in this final season of 2022, please remember two things:
  1. You are not alone. Not in your feelings, not in this world.
     
  2. You do not have to agree to a story of being broken or needy in order to utilize your available resources. The vast majority of us don’t need therapy – we’re living fully functional lives. No one needs coaching, much as that feels like a bad marketing move to admit. And yet if we are open to those resources, they can help us reduce our own suffering, heal a little more, and see ourselves and our lives with greater clarity, perspective, and even hope.
Okay, and a few more things in case coaching is something you’ve had tickling the back of your mind:
  1. All of my coaching collaborations start with a casual chat to check fit – interpersonal and goal-wise.
     
  2. I connect; I don’t sell. I don’t even know how to sell. (Please don’t send me advice on that front, either. I like not selling.)
     
  3. For some people, a single session produces exactly the awareness needed in the moment; for others, a longer collaboration is key to deeper learning. What’s important is that each individual gets what they need.
Sure, why not, one more list because the distinction between therapy and coaching can be blurry to most of us:
  1. Default to therapy when you’re dealing with emotional experiences that are making it meaningfully difficult to live your everyday life, if an old or recent trauma is present for you, or if you’re having thoughts of self-harm.
     
  2. Coaching can be a fantastic tool for even moderate levels of depressive or anxious feelings – as well as learning better communication skills, creating and reaching meaningful goals, and figuring out why you keep getting in your own way.
     
  3. Neither coaches nor therapists have magic wands. I know, I want one, too.
If you are feeling like something inside of you is asking for a little attention – that something inside of you is ready for a little more healing – I hope that you’ll pack some snacks and heed that call to adventure.

You deserve your own loving attention.

new year reflections


My 2023 Passion Planner (big sales today for Cyber Monday, of course) arrived in the mail the other day. Soon, I’ll start transferring over dates to remember and other customizations I’ve come up with over my five years of using this calendar.

This, along with my 5-year journals, has changed my relationship to time, especially as one year folds into another and I review the 12 months that have just passed and look into the year to come. There is no time of the year that I feel more hope and possibility than dreaming of the year to come.

I thought I’d see if I could give you a similar experience in a more abbreviated form with my latest zine:
You can find it and my other zines in my ever-evolving Etsy store, Humaning.

In a 1922 letter to Harriet Monroe, Robert Frost wrote, “I don’t care what people think of my poetry so long as they award it prizes.”

Perhaps he was being tongue-in-cheek. Perhaps he was being earnest. Let’s imagine, for a moment, that it was the latter.

Let’s imagine, for a moment, that you, too, could own what it is you really want and aim in that direction, rather than being waylaid by what you think you should want, or what looks more admirable in a quote.

What, then, would you dream for 2023?

(Spoiler: This is my invitational prompt to this week's Chomp & Chat!)

With love and gratitude for all you are,
SB


p.s. Scroll all the way down for 10 seconds of Jon Batiste demoing one of my long-term goals.
 

 

Ways to engage with The Bigger Badder Crew
(and/or help me keep the lights on!)


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Saturday, December 10 | 11am ET/8am PT

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"With SB as your guide, folks from any career, or on any career path, will find a joyful, nurturing, and strongly encouraging coach. With tangible, tactical, and often fun exercises between sessions, she helps us work on a clearer way forward to our own happy places."

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What's my long-term goal that he's demonstrating?

Not the dancing itself but the commitment to his movement and style and way of being in the world. Or maybe, like I’ve been so often told, he looks that unabashedly himself while harboring human insecurities behind the dance…
Okay, one more full-length because, I mean, so good!
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