Stripping Down Naked

The last month or so has been one of the hardest months I've had to face. 

Things like the podcast, my side-hustle work, my social life, health, and pretty much everything was put on hold. 

I'm not writing this to divulge intimate details about what happened, but I am here to share with you what I've learned... so far at least. 

Often times we project into the future. We make plans. We believe so strongly in those plans that we start to build our lives around them.

Then, life is clicking along, and all of a sudden... BAM! Everything changes in a white-hot instant. 

We're shocked and find ourselves saying "WTF?! WTF!?! WTF!?" to the universe. 

"Ummm excuse me, but I was going this way and you kind of are cramping my style here."

With this recent life change, I have been thrown into the depths of darkness. And when you're in the darkness and your life has taken an unexpected turn, it can feel like you will never ever get out.

Despite your logical brain reasoning with you. Despite what your family and friends tell you, you are CONVINCED that this will be your life, for the rest of your life.

And I'm not here to tell you that either. Because if you are in the darkness you don't want to hear that. You just want things to go back to the way there were.

So why is it so fucking uncomfortable?

Change means switching gears. It means stripping down to your naked self and reevaluating. 

And it's not easy. In fact, it can feel like you're getting raked over the coals of life. You come out feeling burnt, broken, bruised and like you've lost all care for what happens to you next. 

But, it is in the rawness stripping down that we then come in contact with a very deep connected part of ourselves. 

We're naked. Totally exposed. 

It's from here that we can then begin to rebuild. Which can be an extremely scary and daunting thing. Especially when you feel so deep in the hole that the thought of climbing out, let alone rebuilding seems next to impossible.

And for those of you who find yourself in this place right now, to you I would say, let yourself be there. Let yourself feel the gravity of the situation. Write about it, talk about it, reach out as much as you need to, ask for support, allow yourself to be needy, and the number one thing is to be gentle with yourself. Don't judge yourself for anything that goes on during this time. 

You are raw and exposed. Now is the time for compassion, not judgment. 

At some point, most likely very slowly, you will get tired of feeling like this. You'll pick your head up and if that's all you can do that day... that's ok. Go slow. Be loving. And most of all trust that where you are is exactly where you're meant to be. Burns, bruises, and everything else. 

After a while, you'll pick up your head and then you'll sit up fully, maybe you'll stand up, and maybe eventually you'll take a baby step or two. Maybe some days you'll find yourself laid out on the floor feeling like you're back at square one. 

That's ok too.

The important part is to trust and be patient with yourself. Treat yourself as if you were the 7-year-old version of yourself. Be tender, be loving, and be kind.

To get stripped down to nothing is hard, but find solace in the fact that the universe is always working in your favor. It has given you a contrasting experience because the road that you were walking down was no longer the right road for you. Trust in that. 

Start to focus on the things that make you feel good. Even if it's something small like a warm cup of calming tea in the morning, or the way the breeze makes the curtains float around the windows. 

Focusing on these things won't make you feel instantly amazing, but it will make you feel a tiny bit better in that moment. And if you can spend your days looking for those little things that make you feel good, you're well on your way.

Now, this isn't to say you should avoid your feelings. In Tara Brach's book Radical Acceptance, she talks about allowing yourself to sit with, and allow all of your feelings to be there. She talks about saying "this too" when the uncomfortable feeling arises and just letting it be there. Welcoming it and not trying to push it away.

If you have to cry, get mad, or just sit there in silence that's just fine. Just be with your feelings and let them be there. Or, as someone once said to me "if you don't face your feelings they will go down into the basement and start lifting weights". They'll just come back with more punch and power and lay you flat on your arse the second time around. 

Also, take solace in the fact that feelings are temporary. None of them are sticking around for the long-term. Both the good and bad. It's just part of the human experience. 

Honor yourself and where you are, and when the time is right, start to focus on the joy that is rebuilding your life. Start to think about all the things you really want to do. Get in alignment with your soul, and start to make plans that excite you. Maybe you've always wanted to try a dance class, or learn a language. Whatever it is, plan it, think about it, dream about it, and take steps towards all of it. 

Often times the best gifts in life come hidden in a pile of shit. I have to remind myself of this on the daily. And sometimes even minute by minute. 

Don't trust your thoughts. Remeber what Gandhi said...

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your values, 
Your values become your destiny.”

So be mindful of the chatter in your mind. Remember that you can choose how you will look at the situation. Also, remember that the monkey mind is just that, a fucking cheeky monkey. Don't trust it. 

So to those of you who find yourself in a dark pit type of situation, I raise my giant glass of champagne to you and say cheers, you naked and brave mother F*cker. I tip my hat to you. 

You got this.

Sincerely your host,

Katie B

#Oprah2020

I'm just going to say it outright...

Oprah needs to run for president.

I love that woman.

Now before we dive into the sinkhole that is politics, I have to preface this by saying, I don't often talk about politics, mostly because I think a lot of it is just total nonsense. A bunch of egos out of control in a corrupt system that gets more corrupt by the minute. 

Also, when talking politics everyone seems to get all twisted in knots before the conversation has even started. 

Ok. Rant over. 

That being said, due to recent events, where a certain toupee'd wearing child made it into the White House I'm feeling rather uneasy and have been hopefully keeping my eyes out for the eventual force of light that will overshadow this darkness. 

It's no secret that this world is in a "huge" period of growth. And, as you well know, growth can be incredibly painful at times. 

Like step on a lego block with your bare foot painful. No bueno.

Because this period of growth has been especially painful. I anticipate so much brightness and good coming from it, we will all have to start wearing sunglasses and sunblock just to function.

I think Oprah could be a big part of the light.

The fact is, this planet needs some serious mothering. 

It needs nurturing, compassion, empathy, love, unity, understanding, and nourishment on a very deep level. 

It's the time for women. 

This world has been mainly run by men for long enough. And as much as I love men. And I do. We're now finding ourselves quite out of balance. 

As my good friend always says "you need both the yin and the yang".

Yang energy is fiery and powerful. It's hard. It's active. It's masculine.  

We've been operating under that Yang energy and now we've gone off the yang deep end.

In comparison, Yin energy is soft. It's slowness. It's feminine. 

Sounds good right about now eh? *excuse my Canadian*

It sounds good because we need it. And we need it badly. 

Why I think Oprah would be such a good candidate, is because she is a beautiful representation of strong female (yin) power. She is steady, she is soft, yet she has a backbone stronger than anyone's I've seen. 

She is Mother. 

And right now the world needs a serious time out in the corner. Followed by a big hug and some healthy snacks of course. 

I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. There is a reason that Oprah has the kind of reputation and experience that she does. There is a reason that at this point in her life and career she could make a move like this. There is a reason that this toupee-wearing child is running the show now. Isn't it kinda wonderful how beautifully orchestrated the universe is?

I mean... Speilberg couldn't make this shit up.

We needed to be shaken up. We needed to see just how divided and in pain the world really is. We needed to feel it's darkness and heaviness so we could course correct.

Think about all the good that has happened since all this awful shit went down...

Women have risen up on SO many levels I have chills as I write this. The power is palpable.

Oprah pretty much captures the energy perfectly in her recent acceptance speech for receiving the Cecil B Mille Award at the 2017 Golden Globes. 

I don't know about you, but by the end of it, I was crying. A kind of crying that wasn't from a sad place, but a relieved and powerful place. We have been going for too long living in a man's world.

This has resulted in an entire gender being oppressed for generations. Enough of that shit. 

As Oprah so eloquently said...

"for too long, women have not been heard of believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men"

What an amazing time to be alive. To start to witness women stepping up and really taking what is rightfully theirs. 

I've been saying for a while now, this world needs women. Women are willing to talk. Women and sensitive but also hold such a strong steady strength. 

The perfect antidote to the sickness of our time. 

What an exciting time to be alive.

If Oprah runs for president, the only reason I would be seriously remiss would be that I can't vote because alas... I am not a US citizen.

I'll be cheering for you from the sideline Oprah.

Sincerely your host,

Katie 

For more of this business, tune into the Real Rebel Podcast. I put out a new episode every Tuesday.

 

Ask yourself This Question before the New Year...

Ever worked in retail?

I have.

Before I started on the path of working for myself, I worked in a clothing store, a housewares chain, numerous car dealerships, a small downtown boutique, a specialty foods store. All retail. 

In the lovely world of retail, sorry, in the soul-sucking world of retail, there is always a time where the store shuts down to do an inventory count. Where they take stock of what they have and what they're missing. A full picture view if you will.

So it would make perfect sense that we would do the same for ourselves. 

But too often we don't.

All too often we plug away at life not really asking ourselves this very simple but very challenging and potentially life-altering question.

Am I REALLY doing what I desire to be doing with my life?

In other words, is my life really the life I want to be living? When I step back and look at the big picture, am I on the path that will lead me to a life that is inspiring to me? 

Big question. Very big question.

Why?

Because it forces us to get really honest with ourselves. Which can lead to feelings of doubt, fear, upset, frustration, anxiety and so on.

Perhaps you look at our life and we realize that, regardless of how good or bad it looks from the outside, it's not actually the life YOU want to be living. 

Maybe you got carried away by the promise of a raise or a big bonus at the end of the year. Maybe someone got sick and you had to adjust your life and you now find yourself going in the opposite direction you'd hoped.

It doesn't matter how you got there. The important thing is getting brutally honest with yourself, and asking truthfully if this is the life YOU want to be living. Not your partner, not your family, not the society you were raised in. YOU.

A great way to do this is to close your eyes and get really still in a quiet and private place. Then think about your life. Think about what you're doing. Your job, your home life, everything. When you think about them, notice if your body feels like it's contracting or expanding. 

If it feels like it's contracting, then think about what you'd rather be doing. Think about all the possibilities. Notice your body. Does it contract or expand each time?

When you're living a life that makes you feel expansive you'll be far more open to (and it will be much easier for) the universe to help you out. #synchronicitiesmuch

So what happens next? 

What if you ask yourself this question and discover that you would rather not sit at a desk all day, and in fact, you want to raise sheep and preserve jam out in the countryside whilst hanging your clothes on the line to dry?

Ok, well first things first, don't panic. Be proud of the fact that you were honest with yourself. 

And next and perhaps most importantly, don't let your inner critic come in and spew a shit-storm of criticism and negativity your way. Be kind to yourself. 

If you're out of alignment in your life, in a big way, or a small way, that's completely normal and totally ok. The important part is that you're aware of it and can slowly steer your ship the other way.

Note the word slowly. 

Just because you may have had this realization doesn't mean you should pick up your life and move to a farm and immediately plant a raspberry bush and hang up your clothesline. Or whatever it is you feel you really desire to do with your life.

As I mentioned before, the important part is that you're aware.

Now this may be wrong. It may be right. I don't know. But this is what has worked for me.

I start to plan and visualize. I write out where I want to be and by when, and work backwards from there. When doubt starts to creep in, I refer to something I learned from Tim Ferriss called "Fear Setting" . You can watch his TedTalk on it below.

Basically, he makes himself aware of the cost of NOT doing the things he wants to do. More often than not, the cost of not doing it outweighs the cost of doing it. 

Then I start to take steps. Some of them baby ones, and some of them big ones. It doesn't matter the size, all that matters is that there's movement. 

Then the most crucial component of them all is patience. 

Just because you make a clear decision to change your life, doesn't mean it happens overnight. Or even 365 nights. But, if you're taking action every day in that direction, you will get there. It's just the facts.

So this year set aside some time to ask yourself this question. 

Because I'm not sure if they told you this yet, but this isn't a dress rehearsal. We don't get another shot at this particular life. There will be an end to your life. So it's best you make it as wonderfully and unapologetically you as you possibly can.

Sincerely your Real Rebel Podcast Host,

Katie B

Don't Wait for Confidence - you'll be waiting a real fucking long time

Don't you just love confident people? *insert GIANT eye roll here*

How they sashay into a room looking like they're masters of the universe. Like their sweat probably smells like eucalyptus and lavender and they've never even heard the phrase "excuse me, your shirt is on inside-out... and backward, oh and there's a bit of toilet paper on your shoe... and is that your car alarm going off?".

They just ooze confidence out of their tight and tiny pores.

Bastards. 

But really, we may look at these people like they're whimsical unicorns that just seem to have all of their shit together and always have. 

Like we could never reach that kind of sossy-minx style of confidence. 

But as Dwight Schrute would say "FALSE"!

This simply isn't true. At least in the majority of cases. 

Most people, unless you are of course Beyonce, have confidence because they first had courage.

It is the courageous that eventually get to reap the reward of confidence. 

Courage looks like taking that big risk to live more in alignment with who you are. 

Which looks like starting that business, telling that person you love them, divorcing those negative "on the road to nowhere fast" friends. It looks like saying yes to that trip abroad. To getting that tattoo, to writing that book. 

Courage is saying yes to the seemingly scary things in life, taking a risk, and betting on yourself to win.

When we make courageous moves, we get a chance to see what we're really made of.

We stretch ourselves. 

Which results in us being able to see for ourselves just how much we're really capable of. 

Which then, of course, results in a little more confidence each time. 

Over time, we start to build up our confidence because we know that "yes I fucking can handle that situation because I've either done it before or have done something 10x as scary and came out looking fresher than a motherfucking daisy".

So the answer to becoming a confidence unicorn sashaying about with your confidence pouring out of your pores and eyeballs... is courage. 

Don't wait to be confident. Or worry about the fact that you're currently not walking around with the confidence of a New York real estate agent.

Fuck that!

All you need to do is let yourself be exactly who you are right now, and don't put pressure on yourself to be anyone else because... that's #1 exhausting and #2 it causes stress wrinkles. 

And then just focus on making decisions that are in alignment with who you are at the core of your being (especially of their scare your pants off a little... or all the way). 

Courage comes first. Confidence follows. 

That's all.

Sincerely your Real Rebel Podcast Host and resident weirdo,

Katie B

 

Could It Be Easier?

At the moment I'm deep in the bowels of Tim Ferriss' latest book "Tribe of Mentors".

If you haven't picked one up yet... well, I'm not going to tell you what to do. So I won't.

Ok maybe I will. Go pick a copy up for yourself. 

I bought mine in the Bangkok airport with the last of the Thai Baht I had on me. My boyfriend and I had been living in Thailand, then made our way to Bali, then due to the powers of Mount Agung and it's impending eruption, we decided to make our way to Denmark where I have family. 

I had no business buying a book with the thickness comparable to the Bible. Especially with a lot of travel in my near future. But for this book... for Timothy Ferriss... I would do it.

As we boarded the plane from Bangkok to Copenhagen, I cracked open the pages and read the intro. I was hooked. 

A question Tim has been posing, one that he asked in the intro, and one that he has been asking in his most recent YouTube videos, was this... "what would it look like if it were easy?".

Hm. 

Good question Timothy Ferriss. Good fucking question.

So often we look at our goals and dreams and get taken aback by the size of the mountain in front of us. 

We have a "holy shit... I want this but... Jesus fucking Murphy... that's a big friggin' mountain" moment.

The mind is a powerful thing. If we tell ourselves it's a big fucking mountain and it's going to be hard to climb. That's exactly what it will be.

Why?

Because we're focusing our energy on the hardness and complexity of the situation. As opposed to taking a step back and thinking... "ok... so I could go this really hard route, or... could I look for another more graceful and elegant way to go about this?"

Does it always have to be hard? Or is there another way to go about it?

In our society struggle is put on a pedestal. Now, don't get me wrong. I think struggle is our greatest teacher. 

However, everything worth having does not have to come with the price tag of a slog in the mud sweat on your back tear stains down your cheek struggle. 

There could be, just maybe, a more elegant and easy way to go about it. 

Look at your current situation. Perhaps you're building a business and struggling to pay the bills. Is there another way you could go about doing it? Is there an elegant solution to your hardship?

To figure this out, you need to first open your mind to the possibility of a more easeful path.

Then, you need to brainstorm the shit out of the situation. 

Nothing is off the table. 

Write down absolutely every possible solution. Anything that comes to your mind regardless of how crazy it seems.

Don't let your mind edit. Your mind is often being driven by your ego. And that mother fucker really likes to edit out the spectacular and exceptional and replace it with the humdrum and safe.

When you're done spilling your glorious wisdom out on to the page, look back. Refine. Ask yourself, "could any of these work?",  "could any of these solutions actually make my life easier?". 

You might be surprised at what you can come up with. You might be surprised at the kind of doors that you'll open for yourself. 

And you might even be able breath a giant sigh of relief, pour yourself a glass of wine, and giggle to yourself at this new path of ease that's been right under your nose the whole time.

"What would this look like if it were easy?" -  Tim Ferriss

Your Host,

Katie Buemann

Letting Go - Ditching the Things Keeping Your from Your Badass Self

Oye.

We hold on so damn tightly. 

Like baby holding onto a cats tail tight.

We hold tightly to things that no longer make us feel like the badass ninja that we are.

We hold on to ideas, relationships, plans, stories, and habits that stress us out, keep us stuck and make us feel like giant bags of garbage. 

I hate feeling like a garbage bag. Don't you?

Ok, so you want to be a rebel. Correction you are a rebel. You want to put your rebellious thoughts into action. 

Which as a sidenote, is a completely different thing than just holding on to thoughts and never breathing life into them. 

So what are you holding on to with your white-knuckled ninja grip that is keeping you from swimming in a pool of your general badassery and reaping the emotional, physical, and spiritual rewards from just being your true self?

Let's dissect this... one-by-one.

1. Stories - Did you leave your fucking mind on repeat again?

Stories are a big part of the mental narrative we have going on in the back of our minds on a regular basis. What stories are you telling yourself right now that are keeping you stuck? Are the even yours? 

For example, I had the story in my mind on repeat that sounded something like this...

"no one wants to hear what you have to say. What you have to say is stupid, insignificant, and too much."

A story I that had become so deeply ingrained into my psyche that it became the compass at which I navigated my daily activities. I would walk up to a group of people having a conversation and remain utterly silent. Laced with fear that I would blurt out the wrong thing and everyone would see just how truly flawed I was. 

Was this bullshit story mine? Fuck no! So why the flying fuck was I carrying it around with me everywhere I went? 

If you feel stuck or like you're not enough. Like you just can't seem to move to the next level, then it's a great time to ask yourself...

"What stories am I telling myself that are keeping me here? Where did they come from? Are they even my own? And are they true?"

Chances are, they're not yours. So throw them the fuck out. 

Send love and compassion to the person or situation that may have been the root of that sticky story, and move on. 

2. Relationships - Is it time to loosen your grip?

I'm no expert when it comes to relationships. For that you can listen to my episode with Kavita J Patel, but this is what I've figured out so far...

Relationships can be the biggest opening for growth if we let them. 

Our relationships are mirrors. Mirrors to things we don't like about ourselves. Mirrors to unhealthy past relationships we didn't fully learn our lesson from. Mirrors of our parent's relationship (or at least our perception of it). 

So take a good look at the people you spend most of your time with. Are these healthy relationships? If not, is there something to learn from this? Something I need to face?

Or is it simply time to let go and trust that I can walk on my own two feet. All by my big-girl-pants-self. 

Often times we hold on to people because we fear not being able to go it alone. We fear that we're not smart enough, strong enough, attractive enough, capable... you get it. Just not enough. 

You are enough. And you can handle it. 

This is not to say you shouldn't ask for help and lean on your relationships and community when the time calls for it.

But if you're holding on to someone with a grip that would impress the rockiest of rock climbers, then let go. Feel what it's like to stand on your own two, very capable, feet. That way, when you do meet up again, you can hold up your side of the table.

3. Habits - I know... this word makes me sprout gray hairs too.

Habits can either destroy us or catapult us into such greatness that we dissolve into the next realm and forgot that we even had a body in the first place.

If you feel stuck, maybe you have some habits that are no longer your friend. Maybe it's time to let them go.

Take a habit inventory. What do you do on a daily basis that (even in a very small way) could be hindering your growth?

Do you always skip breakfast? Do you not have a morning routine? Do sit down for obscene amounts of time every day? 

Make a list of all the habits that no longer serve you. Then make a decision to let ONE of them go. Don't worry about the rest. Let one go, and replace it with an extremely easy, but healthy replacement. 

That's it, that's all. 

Your brain is going to want to dive in and replace them all with the swiftness of... something really swift... but ignore that. Just pick one. And do it.

4. Who you think you should be.

This one kind of falls along the lines of the first one (stories). But I wanted to accentuate this point. And I can because this is my blog ergo I can do what I want. Ahhh and it feels so good...

Who do you think you should be? Who have you thought you should have been by now? Or who do others (society, family, friends) think you should be?

Are you living up to those old stories? Are you living up to the person you thought you should be?

Probably not.

Why?

Because life is not some linear plan that we strictly adhere to. In case you missed it, life is a messy, all over the place, disruption, interruption, course changing, pivoting extravaganza. And you have a front row seat to yours. Cool right?!

First, we have to respect what life is and not try to change it. 

Then, we have to accept that fact that our life is probably not going to plan, and probably never will. We have trust the fact that who we are and where we're going is exactly where we need to be. 

We need to celebrate who we're becoming. Because the moment we stop and show gratitude for who we are NOW is the moment life takes a deep breath and says... "Finally! You appreciate all my hard work. Now sit down, tune in, and enjoy the ride amigo!"

Let go of who the world (you included) thinks you should be, and just be. Appreciate everything that you are now, and get excited for everything that you will be.

So cheers to you letting go. Cheers to you releasing what no longer serves you. And Cheers to the bravery you most certainly have within you to do it.

 

 

Your Kid Self - Don't Disappoint

Do you remember your kid self?

I know it’s not good to look back too much because… like… we’re not going that way and all. 

However, there is some value in tuning into channel childhood and watching some old playbacks. 

Why?

Because when you were a kid you were so fucking tuned into your soul, it’s ridiculous. You knew who you were without a shadow of a doubt. 

You knew innately.

You didn’t need a Myers Briggs test to tell you who you were. You just knew. 

And because you just knew, you walked around confidently. You knew that you liked cheese, painting the fresh white walls rainbow, and walking around with no clothes on, and damn it, you were going to do all of those things and you weren’t going to apologize to nobody!

#thisismylife #nakedpaintingallday

Now, I’m not advocating that you start to run around town eating cheese and defacing public property with no clothes on. 

But what I am getting at, is that as a kid you knew who you were. So it’s good to look back and take note of the kinds of things you liked to do and the type of person you were. 

What made you laugh? Cry? Get really mad? What made you never want to come inside for dinner because you were just having too much fun? 

What lit you up?

When I look back at myself as a child I always was trying to start a business. I was always dreaming of the cool things I could create/do and then I would stubbornly go about the business of doing those things. Despite being told “no” and despite the fact that an 8-year-old should not be operating a handsaw unsupervised. 

Sorry, Mom.

To this day I am still doing these things. Less the handsaw, and less the parental guidance (sort of).

We come into this world fully formed. Ready to go. 

It is only when other people’s limited stories start to become our own, that we begin to shift our belief system around who we are and what we’re capable of.

The good news is, we all can access that part of ourselves that once believed wholeheartedly. 

Maybe we left it for a while, but now we can get back to it. 

And this time, when you do get back to it, you’re an adult. Which means you have things like a wallet and a drivers license (or bus pass of sorts). Which means you can actually put those dreams into action much faster, and much more legally.

I’m not saying live life in a child in la la land. But what I am saying is access that extremely powerful and knowing part of you that has the capacity and ability to fuel your wildest dreams. Then couple it with your understanding of the world’s current reality and your knowledge of how to move through it, and get to work. 

 

Like this post? Then you'll probably like my episode with Kiley Redhead. Listen below to listen...

What Your Real Work Is - Launch Week Video 2

So it's launch week and I decided to create a little video of a snippet of inspiration gold from of each guest I've had so far. 

This video is from my interview with my guest Kiley Redhead.  She's a mentor of mine and is one of the most amazing women I have ever had the privilege to meet. 

I dare you to not be inspired by her magical words. 

If you haven't already check out the Thunderclap campaign to help get the word out for the podcast launch!

 

 

Mechanic Pants and Freedom Jeeps

 

I played mechanic today.

My Jeep had some mechanical errors. And I'm not gonna a lie. It rocked my world a bit. 

I know what you're thinking. Oh so sad for you little princess. #firstworldproblems

And to that, I would say... "Yea... I know eh? This chick needs to calm the F down"

But there's much more to this picture than just a broken down Jeep.

Let me explain...

So to give you a little context, Lola (yes I've named my Jeep and she is gorgeous), she's about 22 years old. So in car years, she's getting on.

There's nothing fancy about her. She's essentially a metal box on wheels with a few analog style dials and a stick shift.

Sometimes the window roller doesn't work, she rattles like crazy, you can't hear music unless it's on full blast when you're going down the highway, one of the head lights is out, there are no seats in the back, and my seat belt is a combination of a back seat belt and front belt causing me to have to work really hard to connect the two pieces.

Safe? Nope. Sexy? Yes? 

Considering her rather "colorful" past and general falling apartness, I didn't pay much mind to the fact that putting her into reverse was getting increasingly difficult. I just thought "ah she'll be fiiiine"

Mistake. 

Things got worse. Eventually, it got to the point where I couldn't shift it in to reverse AT ALL.

Cut to me trying to parallel park in a VERY public place and not being able to put it in reverse. 

Yea.

I had to get realllll creative there.

It finally got to the point where I couldn't shift into any gears. At all. First? Nope. Second? Nice try Bob. Third? We done yet?

Insert minor breakdown here.

I had a bit an internal "why can't anything just go in my favor for god freaking sakes" moment at this point.

Which seems a little silly and childish. But looking back I realize why.

Lola is more than just  Jeep that I've bestowed a human name and personality traits upon. She's a symbol of my freedom.

Without her, I feel stuck. Like I have my hands tied and can't get out.

There are few things that really get me upset. One being when I feel as if my freedom has been taken away or hindered in any way.

Our desire to feel free as humans is one of the strongest forces.

It begs the question, what makes you feel free? And are you living that life? Or taking steps in that direction?

If not, it might be time to course correct.

Do you feel free in the life you're living now? Or do you feel more like a sad whale at Sea World. Swiming around the same damn tank over and over again wondering where the fuck your ocean is.

What gives you the feeling of freedom are the breadcrumbs on the path of life. Follow those damn crumbs as far as they will take you. 

So if you're still reading this I have 2 things to say #1 you are a champion with a ninja like attention span. And #2 you might be wondering what happened to the Jeep...

Turns out poor Lola was fresh out of brake fluid. From what I understand that would be like being fresh outta knee cartilage. #hateitwhenthathappens

So I pulled up my big girl pants, asked my boyfriend to drive me to the nearest gas station to pick up some Dot 3 brake fluid.

I then switched out of my big girl pants and put on my mechanic pants,  called my Dad and little brother, and got my hands nice and greasy.

You'll probably be very relieved to know that she now shifts like a dream. I will be enjoying a freedom cruise with her as soon as I finish this blog post.

So cheers to you and your freedom. In whatever form it comes.