I’m Kyla Roma - a business coach and web designer who teaches gutsy bloggers and creative entrepreneurs how to shake off uncertainty and make strategic decisions that transform their online worlds into thriving businesses.
In my down time I hang out with my husband, bad little dogs and hedgehog, make popcorn, drink pinot noir and watch marathons of early 90's Law & Order.
“No one looks stupid when they’re having fun.” - Amy Poehler
One of my favourite holiday campaigns is More Love Letters – an incredible organization that helps strangers request and write love letters to someone who needs one. I’m sharing Cody’s story today:
“Cody is the most selfless and giving person I know”, writes his good friend. He is the Captain at a fire department, as well as a police officer, and goes above and beyond to help people outside of work. He spends most of his time striving to help others and save lives.
His friend writes; “he saved my life almost 10 years ago”. He is selfless and full of good heart for others, but Cody, in his positions, rarely gets a thank-you that his heart deserves.
Lately, Cody has been through a lot and has fallen a little lost. Let us remind him just how thankful we are for him, and just how much he is loved by perfect strangers. There is still good to be spread in the word, let’s be a part of that with Cody.”
The news has been full of hard things happening to normal people lately, and it’s a time of year that lends its self beautifully to helping others.
Before December 19th, join me in sending Cody a note of encouragement.
We all have thatthing on any given day. It simmers away at the back of your mind. It’s something that you want to put time into, but haven’t got to yet. It’s an idea you can’t unhook yourself from. A “sticky” challenge or problem.
Sometimes it’s simple and small.
A book you’ve been wishing you could jump into, writing that blog post you meant to get to, or starting the chores that have been driving you crazy all week.
Sometimes it’s huge and intimidating.
Changing jobs. Feeling happier and more alive day to day. Sharing your truth with someone and not knowing how it will pan out.
It feels like an end of summer thing, to have a lot of these things piling up. In my mind, I‘m used to navigating around stacks of these things that I dream up for myself as shoulds,wants and (God forbid!) musts. I’m used to knowing that I will never get them done, and filing them in Pinterest and Evernote for future reference if they’re really tempting. But lately I’ve decided to change my approach.
I’ve started a habit of starting small.
Instead of blogging from start to finish, I’ll write for 15 – 20 minutes and then come back to continue another day.
Instead of cleaning my whole house, I’ll de-clutter part of one room for 15 minutes and continue the next day.
Instead of setting aside a whole day to work on my personal creative projects, I’ll wake up earlier and give them a half hour.
Instead of putting aside 3 hours once a month to talk shop with my business partner, we check in throughout the week.
It’s not revolutionary, but it feels like a superpower! After two weeks, my house is cleaner that it’s been in months, I’m writing again, I’m creating things for myself for the sheer fun of it, and the things that have been burning a hole in my piece of mind are things I can feel accomplished about.
Whatever that thing is for you, I have a dare for you today:
① Take a small step & celebrate it.
Take the first impossibly small step toward that thing that you can think of. Making a list could be a good place to start – but just writing the list, not even doing anything on it. Set a timer for 15 minutes, do what you can, and then stop.
Stopping is hard, but it’s a powerful practice in letting a little be enough.
The magic is in the repetition. Do this little bit every day, or every other day, will make your accomplishments stack up in fabulous ways.
② Remind yourself that you’re doing great, and you are not behind.
No matter where you think you should be, that idea is just your imagination. You are only exactly where you are, and with tiny repeated effort you will move mountains!
You are not behind. And while we’re at it you are also not too old, or too young, or too fat, or too thin, or too late, or too early, or too anything. You are putting one foot in front of the other, and you are doing great.
Is there something you wish was part of your life, or that you were brave enough to take on? The trouble is you only get those experiences and bravery when you reach for them!
It’s not comfortable because learning to use your wings for the first time uses new, different muscles. You’re going to come out with a few scrapes and bruises, but soon you’ll be able to soar on your own strength.
That one thing in the back of your mind that feels to scary to step toward? Instead of looking at how big it is, find what the one next step toward it would be. And then take it!
I bet you’ll survive, even if you feel uncertain and wobbly at first. You’re marvelously resilient like that xo
I wonder what would happen if we really started believing that all the steps we take? They add up. I bet that if you keep moving slowly, inch by inch and day by day, one day you’ll wake up feeling exactly how you’ve been hoping you would feel. I bet it would be even better than what you’re imagining for yourself now. It won’t be like that every day because we’re only human, but some days would be good, and every now and then you’d have a day that just shimmers with greatness.
Sometimes we get so caught up in waiting for the end results that we miss the moment in front of us, but it counts & you count too.
I’ll pinky swear you on that.
Keep it up, lovely. It’s already working.
What’s one way you could celebrate where you are today, no matter where you hope to end up?
What if your best life is out there looking for you, hoping to bump into you at the grocery story or after yoga class? What if it doesn’t care if you’re not wearing makeup, or if you said the wrong thing or should have replied to that email yesterday? What if it it was bring magnetically drawn to your unique you-ness and was hoping to coax you out of your shell and into you greatness?
Something about living in a small city makes it easier to see the connections between people. How when you make a positive connection with a like minded person, in the right place at the right time, you can propel yourself forward in the story line that you half imagined for your life by leaps and bounds. As all small towns do, it can also crystallize how relationships or situations that don’t serve you can slowly pull you into a life that doesn’t fit your heart, which can make linger on forever in the worst way.
This week is the anniversary of one of those small moments where it really felt like the life I was hoping for actively found its way to me. Eight years ago my husband and I had been dating for six months, and he was permanently relocating to Florida. We knew it was coming, that we would probably break up, and it made getting to know each other and fall for each other incredibly bittersweet. The day arrived and we got ready to say goodbye, but the trip was delayed by chance for a day. That evening, the job he was moving for fell through and suddenly his move became a road trip. Six months later we were living together, and this Christmas is our nine year anniversary.
I’m not trying to say that I have a dream life, or a perfect relationship, but this week I’m feeling grateful and it’s hard not to notice such a clear fork in the road. While most of the magic that underpins our lives is more subtle, it’s just as powerful. Like the decision to take one class instead of another, or following the instinct to speak up for yourself, even when it’s uncomfortable. I’m a profound believer that the little actions add up.
Maybe another way to look at it is that as ordinary acts of bravery inch you in the direction of your true values and deepest passions, you start to shine brighter and it’s easier for your dreams to find you.
So your dream life might not be out there on a tropical island, waiting for you to RSVP but I bet it’s much closer than you think. It could be out there in the wild blue yonder, but it could also be tucked between pages at the library or tangled in a tub load of laundry at the laundromat until your decisions make you a beacon it just can’t miss.
This has been a hard week for the world, and I’ve seen a lot of people feeling profoundly shaken. And rightly so. I’ve also seen an overwhelming amount of love and support pouring out from strangers to emergency relief and to those in need. My husband is a runner and we travel to races for him now, just like so many other families out there do. So much is luck and happenstance that it’s hard to know what to do with that knowledge.
So today I’m just sitting with it and reminding myself of this: that staying soft and experiencing the hard stuff is better than hardening to it or pushing it away. And that the world is an achingly beautiful place full of caring, heartfelt people who are ready to help each other.
That includes you, lovely. Don’t you forget it. Today or any day.
Whew! I thought that I was going to have lots of time to post last week before my trip to California for the Stratejoy Elevate Mastermind kick off weekend retreat, and life picked me up and swept me away. The retreat was incredible (since how could a spa weekend in California with soulful, hilarious women who want to make the next year their best ever not be amazing??) and I have a re-cap post brewing complete with more pictures that you can shake a stick at.
In the mean time, yesterday I was hanging out with Ashley at Your Super Awesome Life, talking about what my version of a super awesome life looks like, how I became my own boss and carved out online work, and what living with intention means to me. We also dream up changes for the world and imagine who would play me in the movie of my life.
In case you’re having trouble finding clarity today, this might help find your inner compass and take your next big step.
Squash that negative little voice inside your head,
Tip your hat to all the unknowns,
Make the best plan you can,
And see what happens.
Even if you embrace this in a tiny way, like saying no to making more plans when you can’t take on more commitments or taking an evening to explore a library and gather up inspiration with your best friend, I bet you’ll love the results.
Kyla is a Canadian web designer, digital strategist, teacher, blogger and owner of Kyla Roma Creative who's worked behind the scenes in hundreds of blogs, shops and online businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Her mission is to bust enthusiastic creatives like you out of their misconceptions about online work and show them exactly how to get more out of their online experience.