I knew it even then.
I could smell it on the wind, I think — the newness coming in 2014. Last year, December carried with it a holy level of anticipation.
This would be the year I claimed myself.
I started the year with the official launch of Story Sessions. January brought our first twitter party and with it, our numbers grew from 40 to almost 100.
I spent most of January in teary-eyed wonder. Every time someone else would sign up, I'd whisper a thanks and push deeper. February brought confirmation. Sitting at a dining table at a ranch in Dripping Springs, I watched women from all over the country walk around the grounds and talk on the porch and rest on the couch. I can't tell you the gut-level conviction I felt in those moments. It can't be articulated. I will always remember that weekend as the moment I reached for my calling and chose to embrace it.
I think back on those moments and am amazed at how quickly this year passed. Everything else feels blurry and translucent, bits and pieces of conversations and arguments and tears and misunderstandings merging together into one thick fog that covers everything that happened from March until September.
One thing I've learned: claiming yourself isn't for the faint of heart.
I realized in July changes needed to be made in Story Unfolding. I was learning something: risking is huge. Articulating what you want or like or believe is scary. But you can't just stop there. You have to do it. You have to own it.
And so I did.
In October, fresh off the month from hell, I signed up for Hey, Sweet Pea's My Own Irresistible Brand. This itself was a risk. September brought a massive hit to Story Unfolding and Russ lost his job 30 minutes after I signed up for this course.
But I had to do something. I was at my limits in so many areas and I knew I needed to remember that why — needed to remember the moment I knew this was what I was supposed to be doing with my life.
You see, I thought I just wanted to wipe everything clean. This fall was one of the hardest I've ever experienced. I told a mentor of mine that I was just going to give it all up and do something else. One of my closest friends said, "maybe you'll just need to start over..."
But I started to remember. I got into this to breathe life into other people. I wanted those who interacted with me to feel electric and inspired and empowered. I wanted to awake the stories caught in our bones.
So I renamed Story Unfolding.
Here's the thing: I thought starting over looked like offering something completely different. I thought it would mean creating something from the ground up and re-visualizing what I already did. I thought the subscription — now called The Storytellers — would just be a small offering in the grand scope of my business.
But one night while I sat at my desk doing homework, I looked at the question "what have you always wanted to get paid to do...." and started crying because I'm doing it. I've never stopped.
It's the group of women I interact with every. single. day. It's hearing their dreams and sprinting with them in our manuscripts and hopping on a Skype call with them at all hours in order to iron out the stickiness of their storylines. It's penciling in release dates on my calendar and celebrating when another one of us pushes out another book. It's laughing at the solidarity behind capturing ideas and realizing (yet again) that if you don't write, you get stuck.
I thought of this time last year, prepping for the launch and being blown away by the yes-ness of January and the life and movement pouring into the community.
My storytellers? They are the core of Awake the Bones. They are everything. From there, everything made sense.
My year had come full circle.