Empathy has been the name of the game for me throughout the months of May and June. My dad is not well and his illness came to a head last month. Then last week I said goodbye to a dear friend of mine. Someone I considered family.

The emotions that arrived with these circumstances were intense. I let myself feel them, thoroughly, and then the gifts started to arrive (I believe that EVERY circumstance life gives us is a gift – though we often can’t see what it is until AFTER the hard parts are over).

The first gift was that, for the first time ever, I FULLY allowed myself to lean on my incredible group of friends. In the past I’ve struggled with not wanting to “be a burden.” I’m infamous for going into my cave and re-emerging when I’m bright and shiny again.

This time I chose differently. I let my 10 closest friends show up… hard. They cooked for me and held my hand. They brought me tissues and snacks. They shot this video. The support, hospitality and kindness I received was so incredibly healing… I could write a whole post on just that experience alone. I am, without a doubt, the luckiest girl on Earth to be surrounded by these incredible humans.

Another gift was the realization that, at this point, I have my own back so hard that I can pretty much handle anything. This means FREEDOM in a new way. I mean, what’s there really to be scared of at this point? I have been to – what has felt like – hell and back many times over and each time I emerge so much more the me I want to be… Every challenge has created the opportunity to step into my tenacity, my boldness, my confidence.

This tattoo is my physical representation of these gifts. It’s a reminder that in time, they always come. Some last remnant of caring what other people think died along with this ink. It is time for me to look on the outside how I feel on the inside. No more hiding, it’s time to play full out.

I feel more alive and inspired right now than I have… maybe, ever. Super grateful for the challenges this month because they led me here <3