I’m always a bit doubtful about New Year’s resolutions. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of choosing specific practices to improve on and accomplish, but every January I start to wonder whether now is really the best time to do so. Is anything major in my life going to change overnight? Do I have a clear idea of how to make it happen? Keep this realistic, Sarah. You tried giving up sweets last year, and two days in you ate a chocolate bar while shopping for shoes online. So much for “new year, new you.”

While I think it’s great to see so many people working on their best selves this time of year, I’m a firm believer that resolutions need to be a year-round thing to be sustainable. If you want to make a meaningful adjustment in your routine, don’t set January 1st as the starting point with no room for failure along the way. Change is inherently dynamic, and serious change takes time, devotion and usually a whole lot of messing up (or in my case, consuming entire bars of chocolate with abandon). I’ve been trying to live into this mindset of embracing gradual changes in my life, so this year I rang in the new year without much thought as to what kind of habits I resolved to dismiss.

Then this morning I went hiking with my friend Jonny. We haven’t seen each other in months, so we did the usual bit of catching up and started talking about goals and intentions for 2018. Jonny is one of these people with a real talent for perceiving truth in others and helping them see it for themselves, and I was rambling on about how I needed to commit to some changes when he said something that really resonated.

“I feel like if you’re going to get back in touch with what matters to you, you need to refine your sense of focus.”

The truth is, my brain has been all over the place lately. One of the biggest things I feel like I’ve lost sight of is the act of intentionally choosing whom and what to allow onto center stage in my life. I’m harder on myself than I should be in regards to this, but as I was telling Jonny, I often feel like life is happening to me while I’m sitting helplessly in the passenger seat. Some of this is par for the course with being 23 years old–it’s hard to take charge of your future when so much around you exists in a state of transition. But that being said, I miss feeling like I was in touch with the pieces of life that make me Sarah–what matters to me, who inhabits my brain space and what kind of life I’m working on living.

I want that kind of intention back. I need it as much as my breathing lungs need oxygen. So here’s my resolution for the year, written out for the world to see:

I promise to exhale the things in my life that are not serving anyone for the better. I promise not to hold on too tightly to ideas and notions that are not constructive. I promise to remember that at the end of the day I seek work and relationships that nourish my soul. 

I promise to focus, in January and July and December and fifty years down the road. This kind of work isn’t happening overnight. But what I do want to remember is that I can be an active player in my story, just as you can be in yours. What are you letting go of today, and what are you claiming as your own?


Do you ever remember the closed doors in your life and just wonder?

Do you ever consider what might have happened if, way back when, you said one different word or did one different thing? Uncertainty can bring about these convoluted questions, the kind that keep you up at night and make you doubt, just for a moment, who you are and how you got here. What if things had changed? What if I had taken that leap? What if I had said what I felt?

I’ve heard it stated that every second we are choosing to walk a certain path while everything in its midst gets left behind. Even the smallest steps forward leave a thousand other directions that will never be explored. Isn’t that crazy to think about? Last week, last night, this morning, you’ve made choices whose alternatives you will never be able to know. We go about our days without realizing this, because what good does it do to sit with ‘what ifs’ that will never become material truths? Yet they hang in the air, a haunting reminder that maybe, just maybe, there could have been another ending.

I’m going to be honest with you guys: I think about this stuff a lot, and it terrifies me. I’ve never been the world’s best at letting things go. In reality, I’m exceptionally awful at it. Too many times I’ve engaged in the most senseless self talk, blaming myself for allowing things to turn out the way they did. If something went badly, it must be my fault, glaring evidence of the fact that I will never be as good as I expect. Instead, I’m stuck with the questions in my own head, the girl who wonders if she screwed something up, if she said the wrong thing, if she made herself look like an idiot, again.

It could have been different. You could have considered this outcome. You could have kept it together and not been so stupid and maybe, for once, made people proud of you. 

What if, what if, what if.

The thing I’m starting to realize about this way of thinking is that it keeps us from seeing beauty in the raw, messy reality of being human, faced with a million choices and only one lifetime to live them out. While this makes our decisions more impactful, it also makes them more uncertain, which explains that stubborn question that we might be reaching the wrong conclusions. Life is scary because it’s our one shot–the only chance we have to write a story in this world that’s worth telling. And there will always, always, always be what ifs and reservations and mistakes. Doors close, windows open, people come into our lives and leave them, and it’s never quite as tidy or as graceful as we might like to believe it should be. Sometimes it’s the very opposite.

But know this: You are worth celebrating, you are worth messing up and you are worth more than those untold endings. What if you started closing doors with just a hint of faith in the ones you opened? What if your one life became a triumph in making choices, good and bad, and owning them with all the courage you could muster? What if you wrote your own narrative and didn’t apologize for a moment?

Own your truth, let go, tell your story. What if it made you exactly who you are?


“This is not your practice life; this is all there is.” -Unknown

Life isn’t meant to just happen. Life is meant to be lived and it is meant to be felt. Sometimes it feels like breathing in that sharp burst of cold air in the winter, the one that stings your lungs and waters your eyes and causes an exhale that looks like smoke. Sometimes it feels like walking on hot asphalt in the summer sunshine, scorching your feet and causing blisters that will speckle your skin for weeks. Sometimes it feels like a long run on a fall morning, when the world looks so striking you forget your aching muscles for a second just to take it all in.

Sometimes it feels like waking up in a house where you’ll always be the stranger. It feels like living each day according to a routine that is not your own. It feels like facing your weakness, really knowing and reckoning with it in ways you never have before. It feels like making close friends with discomfort, feeling its presence acutely and letting it sit like a constant reminder at your side. And every time you start to settle in, a shifting foundation prompts you to tear it all down and start over. Sometimes life introduces you to a whole new meaning of lonely.

But feeling life, really living it, means contending with adversity. We are alive precisely because of the feeling we possess, that rich emotional complexity that makes up every crevice of the human mind. There are days when you will wake up and remind yourself to step one foot in front of the other because the mountain before you looks so massive you might never see the other side. You gather what courage you have left to muster and prepare for the tasks ahead, knowing that the only way through the challenge is exactly that: through it.

There is good news here. Life has meaning precisely because it’s hard. That cold gust of winter air brings life to your body and those blisters put calluses on your feet. Those long runs build strength that makes you powerful and brave. The mountain you’re climbing, no matter how daunting, has a peak at the top. Resist the temptation to stay in the valley below.

Hard things make you better. Get out there and live.


Breathe in, breathe out. Today is bigger than the discomfort you’re feeling at this moment. And besides, this is how you grow, right? Get out there and make it happen. But maybe get an iced latte first so you can put it off just a little bit longer.

Welcome to the real conversations that happen in my brain.

Let’s talk about inadequacy for a second because I’m becoming all too familiar with the notion as of late. Have you ever had seasons where you can’t shake the feeling that you’re not quite good enough to be doing what you’re doing? Sometimes no matter how prepared I am for a task, or how excited I am to take it on, it ends up feeling like I’m standing at the bottom of a mountain cliff with no climbing gear. Well, I guess we’re doing this. At least I packed snacks.

Merriam-Webster defines inadequacy as “the quality of being insufficient or incapable,” which feels like a harsh truth for those of us who set sky-high expectations and then act as our own most ruthless critic. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well you may seem to be performing if you can’t rectify that feeling in your own mind. Whether it’s in a career, a relationship or a creative pursuit, that perception of being “not good enough” can sneak up out of nowhere and bring your productive energy to a screeching halt. I say this because I know the feeling all too well.

I’m finally here in New York, living in my dream setting, a city full of hustlers and people who work tirelessly in pursuit of goals and dreams. The ambition running through the streets here is palpable. And yet, more often than not I feel thoroughly out of my element and wondering why I chose to take this leap. What made me feel qualified to be here, telling stories about real, multidimensional people? How can I write in a way that feels authentic to me and also representative of the world I inhabit? I feel tiny in the grand scheme of life and yet also in possession of an opportunity I’m scared of messing up. This is a chance to make a real difference and I know for certain I want to be all in.

And yet, that persistent misgiving in my gut is that at the end of the day, in the eyes of the people I love or the goals I set or the issues that matter, I just won’t measure up.

Feeling incapable is a tough thing to shake, especially when you’re consistently working through a learning curve (Hello, graduate school!). But here’s the good news: Growth doesn’t come from comfort zones and it doesn’t come from embracing the familiar. It comes from the unwavering resolve to climb that mountain cliff, whether or not you packed the right materials. Life would be miserably boring if we all just stuck to things we knew well.

So today I’m celebrating the feeling of falling short because it opens up enormous room for progress. And maybe that belief that I can’t do it will become the very thing that teaches me I can.

One week. Seven days. 168 hours, give or take. That’s how long I’ve been in New York City, which feels like a blink and simultaneously like an eternity. Everything about life is so different here and every part of my day feels like a learning curve in some way (insert mental image of me, probably looking mildly stressed, trying to maneuver my way through a tiny grocery store in the midst of 100 other people). From riding the subway to doing my laundry, even the simplest things here have a different energy to them. ‘One day at a time’ has been my mantra on repeat while I figure out this thing out.

But I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be doing this. When you spend a full year as a nomad, it gives you this pronounced appreciation for the smallest occasions of routine and familiarity. I have a home here. A brand new one. It’s the most surreal thing and I keep having to remind myself it’s legit. This is the fresh start I’ve been awaiting for what seems like a lifetime and it’s finally happening. Pinch me.

Transitions are intimidating. They’re huge and unpredictable and confusing, and they make you feel like a stranger in the best (and worst) ways. But for the first time in almost two years, I’m entering into something that has the possibility of permanence, of being more than a passing phase or a way to fill time. If I have discovered anything from traveling constantly, it is this deep need in my soul for community, much more present and important to me than I would like to admit. I, like so many go-getter types I know, carry my stubborn independence with a measure of pride that can keep me from seeking out people who can see behind the mask. And when I’m in motion constantly, it’s even easier to keep this up. But this new chapter is serious business for me, and it comes with the chance to form a community that has a real possibility of sticking around. That may sound like a small thing, but in the scheme of my 23-year-old life, it’s huge.

I can finally lay claim to a location pin, a ‘You Are Here’ spot on a map and an entirely blank slate. And that in itself is the most freeing thing I’ve felt in a long time.

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days at the end of strings that somebody else pulls.” -Howard Thurman

I’ve never been very good with directions. When I first moved to Nashville, I relied for the longest time on Google Maps to get me from point A to point B, even when navigating the simplest route through my own neighborhood. And this past year? I can’t even list the number of times I’ve gotten lost in a rental car in some state I’ve never visited before. Or better yet, in the middle of a run. Call it poor planning or an abundance of distractions, but navigation has never been my strong suit.

The Thurman quote above was the focus of our yoga practice this morning at Shakti, and it continues to resonate as I think about my intention for this huge upcoming change in my life this year. (moving to New York for graduate school next month, in case you missed it!) I’m standing at the edge of this massive shift that feels impossible to predict or quantify, and at times it can feel like I’m about to drive right off the map and into uncharted territory. I have no clue where I’m going and even less of an idea how to get there. It’s refreshing and exhilarating but equally nausea-inducing. It feels like a profound disruption in the reality I’ve created for myself here, and despite all my wishing, there is no real way to prepare other than diving in headfirst.

I wish we were all given compasses to help us navigate life, for the periods when things look too cloudy or convoluted to know how to proceed. Wouldn’t it be ideal to have a tool to fall back on when you’re tired of trying to figure things out on your own? Although true north is a fixed point that stays constant, our relationship to it changes, and sometimes it can feel futile to keep pushing forward when you’re so turned around you’ve lost your footing. Half the time I feel like I’m headed the opposite direction of where I’m trying to go. How am I supposed to reach the end goal when I can barely see around the corner? This has been a season of real loneliness, questioning and a lot of guesswork about what comes next. In truth, most days I feel more lost than ever and just about ready to settle into something that feels easy and consistent.

But what I do know for certain is this: I’m staying engaged. I refuse to sit static as a measure of comfort, and I refuse to let fear stand in the way of forging ahead. I’ve been feeling far too often lately like I’ve lost agency, like the choices I make and the goals I set are born out of something other than my own heart. Is it all part of an effort to regain a sense of purpose? Probably. But what I want to avoid is getting stuck in a pattern that goes against the grain of my own soul. I want to make choices that are fulfilling. And in the midst of so many rumbling foundations, sometimes small steps forward are the best I can manage.

So here’s one truth that feels undoubtedly my own:

I’m moving north.


Life has a way of revealing tough realities whether or not we feel ready to face them. In this case, my brain feels something like a car screeching to a halt after driving down the highway at 100 miles per hour. It rounded a corner and suddenly came upon a stop sign, forced to take a break after ages of moving too fast.

Many of you know I had plans to see the world and check off as many bucket list items as I could this summer. Long story short, I’m sitting here in Nashville with a cup of coffee, a lot of ‘what ifs,’ and a newfound sense of freedom that comes from realizing my worth outside my own idealistic notion of achievement.

This is not something I couldn’t have seen coming. In honesty, my mind and body have been begging me to slow down for months now. As exciting and eye-opening as full-time travel can be, it can also be very hard on a person’s spirit without grounding practices to keep it in check. I completely lacked foundation this year, and it was bound to catch up to me at some point as I continued to run full speed ahead without ceasing.

Here we are, and here’s the truth I should have realized long ago: I had to stop. I have spent too much time constructing lofty plans under the guise of ‘living fully,’ of creating the impression that I am courageous and unbeatable and excellent at all things. The need to be constantly ‘doing’ is so deeply rooted in my psyche that I have trouble separating my idealistic persona from my reality. For someone who preaches the value of self-care and personal wellness, I am awful at putting this into practice in my own life. In this case, the only way to see the truth I’d been ignoring was to have it appear like a giant stop sign in front of my path.

Reality check: I am not superwoman and I am not a glossy social media profile. I am a person. A real, imperfect, complicated person. A person not nearly as strong or invincible as she would like to be perceived.

I am fearless, ambitious and bold, but I also have limits. And maybe the bravest thing I can do in this moment is muster the courage to say no. To face my fear of not ‘showing up’ and admit that I need a minute to breathe. For someone who has long taken selfish pride in her tendency to live life at a sprinter’s pace, this is a humbling reminder of my own inadequacy. It feels like a giant white surrender flag saying, “You cannot do it all, and believe it or not, this is okay.” Life was determined to teach a lesson despite my stubborn insistence not to listen.

In a way, this feels like my ‘Force Quit,’ the only action left to take when you’ve opened one too many programs and slowed down the system. Nothing works anymore and you’re stuck hitting Ctrl+Alt+Delete, at the risk of erasing unfinished tasks and losing part of your work. But the result is a brand new, blank screen with endless possibilities. It is ready to take on new projects because it has the space to function well. Regardless of how much clutter existed previously, as of today, the slate is clean.

I know that initiative is valuable, but so is focus. And routine. And stillness. And to be honest, I think my frenetic energy has kept me from concentrating on the things that really matter. So here I am, facing my weakness and taking back agency in my life. Maybe if I stop trying to do everything, I can go out and do a few things really, really well.

You are so much greater than the sum of your accomplishments. Believe this. I don’t know if I’m quite there, but I’m trying. And maybe, just maybe, this ‘Force Quit’ is my restart.