Last month, I flew 4000+ miles to the Hawaiian island of O'ahu.
No kids, no husband, just me. I stayed in an private retreat house on the windward side of the island—complete with pool, spacious kitchen, water access, and a three-person kayak.
For the next six days, I ate leisurely breakfasts on the back porch while watching the outrigger canoe teams practice, took time to do the (real, pen-and-paper) crossword puzzles, and attended small, specialized classes in Polynesian dance, arts and crafts, costuming, and studio management.
During this time, my husband flew—with all of our children, by himself—to a neighboring island.
I joined him, the kids, and our extended families three days later at a 100-year-old plantation house with private beach access, expansive lawns, mature coconut trees, and an unobstructed view of Ni'ihau, commonly known as the Forbidden Isle. For the remaining five days, we swam in Kaua'i's warm waters, explored its backcountry, and dined like royalty.
During this time, I saw some of my favorite cousins, met new ones, danced at a live concert by a world-famous musician, and was invited to perform in Japan. I spent undivided time absorbing as much knowledge as I could from masters of hula and Hawaiian history, culture, and art. Every day—even the days when we stayed up late—I woke up well-rested with the sun.
And as a bonus? When we returned home, my kids brought me coffee in bed and left me to binge-watch Gilmore girls: A Year in the Life.
If this sounds pretty awesome, let me tell you: it was.
Those two weeks felt like both the culmination of years of intentional focus on creating my Audacious Life and the beginning my New Normal.
Now, I'm not sharing this story to brag about how amazing my life is. (Although these two weeks do go down as a high point.)
I'm sharing this story because it's proof positive that with the right tools and the right mindset (and the right tools to create the right mindset!), you absolutely can have your version of sunshine in the tropics.
A few years ago, there's no way that I could have pulled this off. In fact, until 2013, only a handful of these opportunities were even available to me. The fact that I could enjoy this experience can be traced back to a handful of life-changing decisions I made in 2012.
Hon, we're rolling into 2017. In just under a month, we're going to have 365 shiny days of possibilities and opportunities stretching out in front of us. Twelve months to make a deep impact on the direction and creation of our Audacious Lives.
And I have to ask you: HOW do you want your Audacious Life to unfold in 2017?
Do you want to continue to be overworked, overscheduled, and overwhelmed? Or do you want to clear out the excess and have space for your Audacious Life to emerge?
You can probably guess my answer. I want to know YOUR answer.
So do me a favor. Leave a comment below and tell me two things:
1. What do you want to create in 2017?
2. What's keeping you from doing it?
I can't wait to hear from you!