Happy Birthday Karousing! A Year of Living Soulfully and Other Life Lessons

My baby is ONE! Happy birthday, Karousing!

Most people would say that this is the one year anniversary of when Karousing was launched. I say it’s a birthday, because it is the celebration of life.

The celebration of something I gave birth to.

The celebration of growth – where I came from and where I’m going.

Over the past year, I had more than a few growing pains. But I kept following my dream and along the way, miracles happened. Doors opened. I helped people. People helped me. And I learned more than a few lessons.

Are you chasing a dream? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but are afraid to try? Do you want to change jobs? Start a new business? Move to Europe?

It’s scary, I know. After listening to my soul, here’s what I can share with you about following your dreams.

You can do anything!

When I was young, I did everything. I painted, danced, played piano, and earned a green belt in karate. Money was no object for my parents, and the living was easy. But then, just like that, everything changed. I turned twelve. My parents divorced. And the money was gone.

I spent the next few years scared and doing without, watching my mother scrape by with whatever we had left. Operating from a place of scarcity, my mother no longer believed in much of anything, including her own dreams. She was tired and beat down.

And then it happened.

The day came when she stopped telling me that I could do anything.

I wish she hadn’t. I needed her to tell me that our situation did not define me. I needed to know that the world was actually quite small and that I could dream bigger. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I dared to believe I could be something other than what I went to school for. That I could be me – the real me. That I could be a writer. That I could start my own business doing what I loved to do. That I could be happy, pretty much every day.

I learned all this the hard way.

In case no one is telling you, let me do the honors: YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! What makes your heart soar? What fills your stomach with butterflies? GO DO IT! YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! (Please reread this whenever you need a reminder.)

Talk less. Do more.

When I was unhappy practicing law year after year, you know what I did? I talked about  it. A lot. I’d meet friends for not-so-happy hour and we’d lament our career choices. And after a couple drinks, I’d hug them goodbye, go home, and prepare for the next miserable day.

This went on for years.

Then one day, I was struck by a lightning rod of hope and wonder when I came up with the idea to start Karousing. I had finally accepted my truth and surrendered.  I knew where my life had to go.

Then you know what I did? I talked about it. A lot.

This went on for a year.

Just think where we’d all be if we followed our dream from day one instead of day 1,459. So get busy. Every day you don’t follow your dream is another day lost.

When you are at your lowest is when the magic happens.

Someone wrote me a few weeks ago, asking me for advice. This person was down in the dumps. Sad. Unsure what to do with her career. She felt so lost, she said that all she wanted to do was lie in bed with the covers pulled over her head.

You know what I told her? Hang on, because this is when the magic happens.

I have been there. In bed. Under the covers. Unsure about tomorrow. Unsure about today. If you continue to do things that make you miserable, your mattress will become your only refuge, but even that won’t last long. Because between those sheets, your soul is still festering, stirring, and making you uncomfortable.

When you can bear it no longer, you will leap from your bed wearing the sheet like a superhero cape and you will yell, “I’m ready! Let’s do this!”

And once you’re finally ready to follow your dreams, that’s when the magic happens. Doors open. You meet the right people at the right time. You path is not clear, and for the first time, you don’t want it to be because the exploration of life sets your soul on fire. Your journey becomes sacred. Your heart beats a different rhythm, one that feels like…gratitude.

I’m so grateful that Karousing is celebrating it’s one year birthday. I’m grateful for people like you, who read what I put into the Universe. I’m grateful for every twist and turn of my journey that led me here.

Before I blow out the candle, here’s my wish.

May we all live a life that’s soulfully on course. One that feels fresh and right. Purposeful and lovely. And may we have many more birthdays to celebrate each other.

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  • Kaisa

    Kudos to Karousing! But especially, kudos to you.
    How few of us have the courage (kourage?)to talk less and do more. You are an inspiration to me and your readers.
    Happy Birthday my friend!

    • Thank you Kaisa! You and I have talked about these ideas over wine so many times. You are an inspiration to me. You are my sister from another mother.

  • rusty

    Karena – Just got a chance to read this article. Happy Birthday! Very well written and expressed. I think you know I sublimated my creative juices to write fiction for many years while practicing law. I am so much more content and fulfilled now. Let’s keep on writing!

    • Thanks Rusty! I couldn’t agree more. A day without writing is a day without sunshine in my book. Even when I don’t think I feel like writing, I start typing and time flies by leaving me feel light, open, and clean. Here’s to many more years of putting thoughts into words!