Passion Planner

Happy Sunday night!

I’m writing this post tonight with a grateful heart + a lot of excitement. Let me explain… I have this personality trait of loving to plan for things. Ever since I can remember, I have enjoyed planning out my outfits, what my week is going to be like + what I’m going to get at the grocery store 5 days from now. That being said, I truly enjoy planning out my weekly projects + meetings on Sundays.

This afternoon I spent a few hours sitting down with my new planner (I use an academic planner, so I get a new one in each summer) + started plotting out big meetings, dates, speaking engagements and the extra fun stuff like birthdays + anniversaries! šŸ™‚ What I found particularly exciting about today was that I had an empty planner full of a year’s worth of dates + saw it as 365 days/opportunities to make my personal goals happen.

If you asked me a year ago what I wanted to accomplish in the next year, I had it a lot more planned out. I wanted to be a semester away from graduating with my Master’s degree, be living in my first house with my husband, have a published book + a few other things added to that list as well. The thing is, plans change + we grow to evolve into the person we’re meant to be with each life experience + relationship. I used to despise that unknown + having plans change both expectedly + unexpectedly. I wanted to know what was going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month + five minutes from now… but something really cool happened last summer that brought me to this place of serenity + being present in the now. That thing was life changing + happened completely organically + out of the blue. That thing was me chartering my own Toastmasters club for women in my community.

So, Toastmasters… have you heard of it? From my personal experience as well as what I’ve heard from friends + family, is that many people are familiar with what it’s called, but don’t really know what it IS. Toastmasters was introduced to me by my therapist when I mentioned to her that I wanted to groom my public speaking skills. That’s when she brought up the suggestion of me finding a club in my area as many clubs are open to the public. I searched + found there was a need for a club in my community, strictly for women. It was a complete shock + very exciting to be approached by a woman in my professional community to start a club specifically for this opportunity. I was both honored + scared as I had no clue of what this would all involve.

Without hesitating, I said YES and jumped right in to researching, attending meetings as a guest in the valley + prepared info sessions to help women in my area learn about this opportunity to learn + grow professionally. Without getting into all of the details here as Toastmasters is a whole separate blog post, the point I want to convey here is that my being myself + pursuing my interests, this opportunity came knocking at my door. Was I planning for this to happen, absolutely not! I was caught completely off-guard when it came up, yet at the same time… the opportunity fit the bill + aligned with my passion + personal goals alike.

As I sat in front of my planner with a hot cup of coffee this morning, I felt no need to fill each page with everything possible + set out to write out the goals I wish to accomplish in the next 12 months. Instead, I took the opportunity to reflect on the infinite possibilities that are ahead of me if I keep an open mind + keep being TRUE TO MYSELF.

It’s taken me so many years to become this real with myself + who I am with the world. I’m still working on being the most authentic version of me each day as I don’t think there’s an ending place with this- it’s more of a lifelong journey to be your best self. What a great feeling to sit in front of a planner + just embrace the future opportunity ahead without obsessing or getting worried about the unknown! So here’s to going into this week with an open mind + being open to possibilities + many days of exciting things ahead…. whatever they might be!


ā¤ Ashley

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