the end and the beginning: why i'm ringing in the new year with less

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.”

- Golda Meir

Two years ago, I cracked open Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals With Soul. And, by cracked open, I mean I devoured it. Danielle has a writing style that is equal parts spoken word poetry and sermon - and it’s enough to get you off your ass and digging deep into your life.

The basic premise of The Desire Map is this: when you get clear on how you want to feel (or, as Danielle calls it: your Core Desired Feelings), you begin to make decisions — from what you’re going to have for breakfast to your income goal for the year, from how you workout to where and if you’re going to go on vacation this year — that feel good and joyful and in line with what you most deeply desire. The book is part inspiration and part do-it-yourself life-planning workbook. For me, it was (and is, as I’ve read it more than once since then) a feel-good goal setting tool, one that gets me back into alignment with myself and my soul.

Over the past two years, my Core Desired Feelings (CDFs) have shifted and focused in a little more, but one has remained constant: I want to feel expansive.

By that, I mean that I want to live wide and deep. To explore and open and feel my heart and my experience and my mind grow and change. Expansive.  

And, over the past two years, my world has done just that. 

On December 22nd, my husband and I mark our two year anniversary living atop one of the seven historic hills here in Seattle

In that time, we’ve carved out and created a cozy home for ourselves, cultivating abundance and creative living, daily ritual and a hell of a lot of joy in our one-bedroom apartment. Together, we’ve started four jobs, turned down one, built two businesses, won one Super Bowl with the Seahawks (and continue to mourn another), celebrated our engagement, two anniversaries and one remarkable wedding. We’ve met soulmates in work and in life who have transformed our perspectives, created a tribe that continues to weave and grow together, and have taken business courses and writing courses and beer brewing courses. 

We’ve settled down and made a home, and, rather than burrowing into routine and obligation, we’ve intentionally expanded

To expand, however, means that there are parts of our lives that require balancing contraction. It means that, for all of the “yes's,” there are an equal amount of "no’s.” That for every new, solid, outgoing crack in this introvert’s comfort zone, there is quality self-care on the other side. That, as I learn and grow and become more of myself, I also let go of all the things that I am not.

To live wide also means coming back to center. 

In life, this has meant learning that I cannot be all things to all people - a fact that, as a recovering perfectionist, used to scare the pants off of me. Now, though, it feels closer to freedom.

In business, this has meant the same, albeit a different flavor. 

I cannot be all things to all people. I can only be all things to myself. 

To honor this learning, I am making some changes. To expand with my soul and release what's past.

As this December comes to a close, I am, with love and wholehearted clarity, bidding a fond farewell to coaching. I am currently at work finalizing sessions with my 1-on-1 clients, and I am so excited to welcome in 2016, with all its new opportunities and projects, with a warm, expansive embrace.

With a deep bow of gratitude to the universe and to the incredible clients and partners that I have worked alongside, I am turning my attention to focus on some personal, creative projects (including a new book!) and the launch of a new offering for entrepreneurs and fledgling writers. And, in the process, I am officially letting go of my work as a coach.

I am leaning, leaning, leaning into my creative expression and calling as a writer, editor, and author. There’s grief, yes, but, more importantly, there’s possibility and presence and alignment. 

So, what does that mean for katekmccarthy.com? Other than a grateful goodbye to one side of our work… well, not much. With a joy-fueled vision in mind and in the spirit of creativity and connection, I’ll be here, week after week. For the foundation is the same, and, at our center, nothing has changed, only the expression of it. 

The contraction, an end of sorts, means expansion in a different direction: the beginning of something beautiful.

Expansion feels so, so good.

What about you? What do you need to do to feel the way you want to feel? Share in the comments below, on Facebook, or on our Twitter feed!

xx k

A note: Just like before, you’ll see me here each week — but you can also see my work as it pops up in other venues and online publications. Behind the scenes, I am currently working on a new book and other creative projects that I’ll be sharing about very soon! I can’t wait. xx

“You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire."

-John O'Donohue