Be the Hero of Your Own Story

Feb 11, 2020

Read it on Facebook.

“Just share the little things.”

I took a “few minutes” to skim through photos so that I had something to print (and test the new printers a friend gifted me) and put into picture frames for my room.

I, naturally, fell into a rabbit hole as I went from album to album on my computer and social media.

Immediately reminiscing about the people I’ve met/know, the adventures I’ve had, the mindsets I’ve had, challenges I went through –

It was so fascinating to “see myself” in this 3rd person perspective, as if I was looking at a character in a movie or book, recognizing the change I’ve made over the years – the courage that has grown, the things I’m doing now that I couldn’t have fathomed.

It’s surreal going through all of those photos, triggering memories and positive states from revisiting what I’ve been able to accomplish, the people I’ve connected with, experiences I’ve had, and the support I’ve received over the years.

After starting to collect a “few” photos to print…

1 turned into 10, turned into 100, turned into…

… hours of exploring multiple nooks-and-crannies and now writing this post.

I was in a different physical, mental, and emotional presence than I was earlier that day:

I had a few takeaways and reminders for myself as a result of taking that time to be with myself and not distracting myself with Youtube or scrolling:

1) I realized how much I’ve lost touch with myself and how much I feel overwhelmed with life lately.

I know that there are LOTS of people who have it way fucking worse than I do – but we all go through things, some more “severe” than others, and some less “severe.”

BUT that does not mean that just because someone has it worse or better does not mean that you aren’t subject to your own unique pain of life; overwhelm, sadness, doubt, fear, anxiety … whatever it may be for you.

And that also doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way forward from where you are now.

Even as I write this I’m finding myself getting a bit emotional, which I have since embraced as my gateway to the heart – processing emotions physically (e.g., crying) instead of only “mentally understanding” things or pushing those feelings aside.

Tonight, for me, that means taking a step back and acknowledging…

“… shit, things feel so out of control right now and I am not handling it well.”

“I feel like I have so much to do and I don’t know if I can cope with it right now.”

“I have a lot of uncertainty of whether or not I can ever get “caught up” on everything.”

“I’m terrified to move FORWARD. I don’t trust myself.”

It’s this feeling of losing touch with myself – and EVERY time I go through one of these impromptu experiences (I’ll take a “few mins” to skim through photos, or listen to nostalgic music, or read some old blog posts) that it re-triggers a completely INSULAR state of being;

where I feel more connected with myself than ever before, where ALL the creativity explodes into existence, the PRESENCE with my own heart, the CONNECTION TO THE HEART-MISSION seems to turn on like it was as easy as flipping a light-switch.

2) I don’t create nearly as much as my heart calls me to. Just put it out when it shows up. Share the micro.

Due to that sense of “overwhelm” or feeling like other things take precedence before these “heart nudges,” I have practically stopped creating compared to previous years.

I have not been posting nearly as much as I’d like, or would be as beneficial.

I may be “capturing” moments, but they don’t get shared.

They enter …


Dun dun duuuun.

(no doubt if you’ve spent some time around me, you’ve heard of the legendary “list.”)

Where projects and intentions go into LIMBO of inaction.

Because “the list” is so fucking massive now, it’s hard for me to pick something to chip away at – so the list doesn’t get worked on, and things continue to get added to it.

I also have this tendency to want to do things in a perfect linear or chronological fashion; and in some cases, I still stand by that, BUT … BUT … BUT …

I am trying to embrace that I can take a few minutes and share what’s happening with my day, share a single photo from that album-that’s-been-on-the-list-for-2-years and talk about an experience — that in itself is creation.

Nothing says I can’t still do the album both in its “perfect order,” AND ALSO STILL post this one photo.

I have a thought, a nudge from the heart — and so I share.

That doesn’t take away from “the album,” or that “big project.”

In fact, it adds to it, because it’s sharing things as they happen, when the emotion is ripe, and not only just the tidied-up-end-result.

And more often than not, it’s these kinds of shares (the “I’ll stay up a few hours later and finish this post for this one thing”) that ends up resonating with people more than the refined albums.

They both have personal value for me, but I’ve neglected the small, quick, or individual shares like this.

Share more of the micro moments.

Put more out, because I’ve put CREATION on HIATUS for far too long.

It’s okay to “do life out of order.” Document and share in the micro WHILE working on everything else.

Share, document, and not worry about the BIG THING until it happens or I set aside time.

Get the benefit of the micro steps, the micro documentation, the micro heart-shares … and get around to the larger story, the larger album when it happens.

The tweak is going from


3) Listening to and following this ‘nudge’ creates an entirely new state and energy.

I know that I’ll wake up tomorrow morning with a completely different energy just by writing and posting this.

Because I spent this time “with myself” instead of in my head, being anxious, being distracted, etc …

There is something about “creation” and following one’s heart that can disrupt negative energy and flow, and create a more optimistic state of presence.

Presence – that’s what it is;

When I am distracted, not doing those little heart-nudges, I feel a sense of disconnect from myself; anxiety is on the rise, and my mind is bouncing around from thing to thing —

But as I start to write, as I look at old photos and blogs and remember things I went through, people I met, courage I created on the fly — it puts me in a completely different state.

The NOISE is gone, and all I can hear is my own thoughts, my own heart — I can see the “light” that the heart is beckoning me towards.

I’m not worn down by the fearful, judgemental, “busy” part of my mind — I finally got myself to sit WITH myself so that I could actually hear the calm, quiet heart speak.

I might be thinking of “you” as I write, but the “scenarios of you” in my head no longer plague me into inaction.

When I am creating, I am in a better flow, and when I’m in that flow, I create more.

It’s a cycle – and all it takes is letting myself fall into rabbit holes.

4) it doesn’t matter what “they” think… Write, create, post, do for you first.

If others can resonate, cool. If not, doesn’t matter – ‘cause everything we’re doing is for fulfilling our heart’s little mission.

Some days that may be just taking care of yourself, and other times it’s doing something that will change the world.

And most often, it’s somewhere in the middle, a mix of both.

So – be okay doing things for you, and not worrying about how it’ll look to others(: just do your own thing; it’ll all play out in the long run.

5) I’m “onto something” – but I like to wallow in being lost and unfocused.

My life IS unique, -I- am unique, I have crazy adventures and periods of growth that feel significant to -me-.

The same for you.

I see this photo and I think about how much I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone, taken leaps, trusted complete strangers, started listening to my heart, got more courageous and authentic, and how I’ve grown as a result.

But TOO OFTEN for me I neglect that realization, and it takes little photo-perusing nights like this to be reminded…

“Oh, wait a minute — no, I’ve actually been doing some really epic growth over the years. I might stumble here and there, I might get into little ruts, but I have come so far from where I was, already.”

Either I get some kind of satisfaction out of sharing all the ways I’m “broken,” or I’m afraid to step fully into what I feel I can do with my life and who I can be.

When an emotional, insular presence-state like this hits, I immediately reconnect to the fact that I -am- moving forward in life.

No “but…” or “even if…” to attach to that statement.

“I am moving forward.”

P E R I O D.

6) There are some really fucking beautiful souls that I’ve been blessed with in my life.

There are way too many for me to list – and I’m bound to forget someone even if I spent all day trying to think of everyone.

The only one I’ll share today is the one that took this photo, for 2 reasons:

1) Jamie​ has been one of my incredible supporters as of recent AND 2) she is constantly challenging me to “Austin, just let it be messy” in everything I do with her + in sharing what I’m up to in life.

Even this process of writing this post is messy and it’s my heart’s way of nudging me back into sharing parts of my adventure/life.

Despite all the fear of judgement, or fearing not being able to self-validate in my life — it’s my heart’s invitation back into creating, sharing, and opening myself up to be seen.

(And allowing me to see myself.)

Even if I don’t fully understand the scope of “why” this feels significant, it’s there, and it exists for a reason.

The same can be said for some of the people I’ve crossed paths with — I could never see the impact of individuals I meet until retrospect — and thus: the value I hold in photographs.

Even as a minimalist, photos are the one thing I have ZERO intention to minimize. Tidy up or archive elsewhere, yes, but get rid of – nope.

They help me to remind me of the beautiful people in my life – current and past – and of the experiences we’ve had together.

Especially if I’m ever in a place where I’m feeling ungrateful, lost, confused, hopeless —

— all it takes is one little photo to remind you of some experience or beautiful soul that helped change the course of your life.

7) Life right now is about learning to “see yourself.”

Learning to acknowledge yourself and trust that inner guidance system.

For my default to be inspired by own own self and trajectory in life.

Instead of putting others above me or to be seeking to be “more like them” – instead to be more like myself.

Discovering, uncovering, being more of that person.

Even if I draw inspiration and guidance from the outside to improve myself and life…

… to still recognize that I am the hero of my own story.