This past week has been an unexpected one. My original plan was to stay in the Bay Area and spend Thanksgiving with my aunts and cousins. But the smoke from the fires moved me to head back to LA early and at the same time I was pulled by the arrival of another force, my younger brother.
Brendon and I haven’t always had a smooth, easy relationship. Sibling conflict is something I don’t think we talk about enough in this space but with the holidays here I think it’s a relevant conversation.
From a young age, I willingly stepped into a parental-type role over Brendon. Mostly, at a time when I was not fit to be a “parent” to someone else, especially because I myself was still in need of some parenting. On top of it, Brendon made my teenage/young adult unruly-ness look like amateur hour. So I assumed the role of the tough love take no bullshit disciplinarian.
Unsurprisingly, that left us at odds (and still does sometimes). But like any relationship - whether it be a partner, a child, or a sibling - it’s not an opportunity to fix or perfect someone; it’s an opportunity to discover where you need to grow. My discovery; my “parenting” style was the way I treated myself.
So when Brendon showed up in LA this week to embark on his own adventure, one I initially had my doubts about, I had a full circle moment.
I believe we need to hold each other (and ourselves) accountable, sure, but that accountability needs to come from a place of compassion and understanding. I rarely allowed myself much compassion, and probably not much understanding, so how could I fully offer it to someone else? Once I learned to accept myself for the person I am, and the person I’m striving to be, I could hold that space for Brendon.
He’s headed out into the desert to live the mobile RV life and do what he loves, rally race, and (kicker) he’s now officially part of our little 3 person Life by Design team. As part of the culture here at Life by Design, it’s paramount to have a gypsy soul. An undying thirst for adventure. And since my mom sent me this quote when I moved to LA, I’m passing it on to Brendon.
Life by Design was born out of a need for my own self-healing after decades of unresolved illness. It wasn’t until finding the courage to look within that I discovered it was my own belief system holding me back from experiencing a truly thriving life. We all have access to that thriving life. We just need to rediscover our power and ignite the healing-self. Only then can we unapologetically live a life by our own design.