How to Bridge Presence and Ambition


When I was in my twenties I thought I had life figured out - it’s about choosing happiness, right???

I was dead set on living life fully (still am), and the last thing in the world you’d catch me doing is resigning to a life prescribed and designed by anyone but me (insert a proud, hands on hips, chin slightly to the right and elevated, wonder woman kinda shot here). I took off to NYC when I was twenty, quit my PR career when they offered me a raise and a promotion because “I didn’t move to NYC to settle.” Then, in my early thirties I still thought I had life figured out. I moved to Nicaragua to live the ‘ex-pat’ life because once again, I was choosing happiness. 

The thing is, after twelve years living a stimulating life in the big apple and two years in Central America, living a life most would say is ‘the dream’ (riding my motorcycle to surf, laying around in a hammock, meeting new people all the time, and teaching yoga), I was finding myself…well, not really all that happy. 

The truth was…

I was bored.
I was stuck.
I was unfulfilled.

Then something happened. I was in a motorcycle accident. I didn’t die (duh), didn’t even come close, but I did get pretty banged up and was given a true taste of my own mortality. I was hammock-ridden (much better then bed-ridden) for two weeks. During the time my body was healing, my mind was clear. I wasn’t resisting the thoughts that were coming and I wasn’t trying to figure it all out. I was, as it is said, ‘just being.’ In that being state what became crystal clear to me was why I felt a lack of fulfillment. 


I thought I was choosing happiness when what I was really choosing, was a side. Happy and present to life vs. Safe and successful in life.


I was having fun and I was doing really cool things that made me happy in the moment…yet something was missing. The thing that confused me the most was that I resonated with people who had chosen ‘the safe and successful’ life. They were also missing something. They also felt unfulfilled. 

On that hammock I realized a fear I had been running from for so long that I couldn’t even see it anymore. 


I had been choosing happiness in the moment, but all in exchange for my deepest ambitions, my potential.


The truth was right there, hanging out with me for two weeks straight, and this time I couldn’t run from it. 

Life was good and deep down I had an ache and a longing to truly create and be the best version of myself. I had an ache to feel fulfilled in my own life, a longing to belong and to have confidence in myself, and a call to make a positive impact in the world - to make a difference. 


Up until this moment I had been choosing sides…

“In the moment” vs. “In the game”
“soul-driven” vs. “success-driven”

“present" vs. "prolific"

I found myself questioning, can we really create a life that is both…

Deeply Driven and Deeply Devoted?
Productive and Passionate?
Purposeful and Playful?

Focused and Free?

Well, I was certainly going to at least give it a go. I started by bringing an idea to life - something my heart wanted to create that my mind had no idea how to do. It was a venture that was going to ask me to bring my full self to it - mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and financial resources, time, tenacity, courage, and grit like I had never gritted before. In just six months I created what I refer to as a highly original and highly mediocre yoga DVD (that I’m very proud of to this day). Now that’s a story for another time, but what I will say about it, is that experience was the beginning of me truly seeing what I was made of. Even though it was soooo hard and soooo scary, it was soooo fulfilling. That was back in 2012 and I’ve been bridging presence and ambition ever since. Along the journey I learned a few things…


3 Things I Learned About Bridging Presence and Ambition:

1. YOU’RE THE DECIDER how you create is what you create - so commit to creating with joy, rather than with stress. This takes practice and a willingness to get it wrong. BEing the change you want to see in the world is both a messy and marvelous requires us to look at the places in our life where we're not stepping into our potential by hiding behind our limitations, stories, fears, worries, and justifications. Bringing your full self to the world may very well be the hardest thing you ever do and also the noblest and most fulfilling.


2. POUCO A POUCO in NYC I studied a Brazilian martial art called Capoeira. My Mestre would say, “pouco a pouco (little by little)” referring to the path towards mastery. When I feel myself racing ahead I remember this and let it softly pull me back into the present moment. It reminds me that there is no race, we never ‘get there,’ and to simply take it one step at a time (in life, in love, in work, in pain, in completing tasks, in actualizing goals, in creating a life of meaning and fulfillment).


3. RELEASE & BE FLEXIBLE resistance always (every time, no exception) shows up when we stop choosing sides and start showing up. Resistance will come out of your mouth with what feels like extremely logical and rational excuses (I’m too old or too young, I have kids, I have debt, I don’t have time, I’m not ready, I don’t know how, my dog is sick, I’m fine, etc. etc. etc.). It often shows up in our life as procrastination and perfectionism, and it usually stems from fear. The antidote? Stop wishing things were different and start dealing with life the way it is. This is not about resigning, but about re-designing. It’s about letting physical, mental, and emotional stress go by not resisting what you can’t control. One of the most practical spiritually evolving things you can do is distinguish the difference between things you can control vs. what you can’t control (and then focus on what you CAN control). Give it everything you got, but keep it in perspective. Stay light, stay loose, but give it everything you got. 


I didn’t say it would be easy, but I did say it would be worth it. {Tweet This}

Join me September 13th  for a FREE Master Class. Spaces are limited so  reserve your seat now. 

Join me September 13th for a FREE Master Class. Spaces are limited so reserve your seat now. 

>>> Now I’d love to hear from you<<<

Which of these three learnings resonates with you the most?

Have you been choosing sides?

Do you have any tips for bridging presence and ambition? 


Bring Your Full Self to the World, 

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