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The Beauty of Hard Things

Hello, beautiful beings!

This month I’m writing to you from the other side of the world.

I arrived in my old hometown of Chiang Mai, Thailand last weekend and have filled the days since then with so much that makes me happy. Minus the dental work, that is. Yup: I’m wearing my favorite outfit–cutoffs and flip flops– and am literally drinking from a fresh coconut as I type.

While it’s hard for me to believe, I moved here nineteen years ago. I still remember my plane ride over: a Northwest flight that cost $920. The two empty seats beside me that I sprawled over as we crossed the Pacific (a phenomena that has yet to happen since). My long, black linen dress and black, strappy sandals from Barney’s. I even remember the underwear I wore.

When my plane first touched down in this town-turned-city and I looked at the mist hugging the soft, green hills to the west, I didn’t know that I was about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. One that would shape and define me profoundly. And I certainly didn’t know that I’d spend nine years in my new, Southeast Asian hometown, rather than just the one that I’d planned on.

My present self appreciates the risk my younger self took in coming here and creating a life for herself. She didn’t realize, in taking those bold steps, that she was giving her future self the gift of a home on the other side of the world– one that she could return to, over and over again, for the rest of her life.

Then, earlier this week, I hopped on a motorbike for the first time in a few years. At first, I worried that I’d forgotten how to ride one, or that the traffic would be too dangerous.

But, the moment, I revved the gas with my right hand, my confident younger self returned. Turning left into the stream of cars and bikes that buzzed every which way, but mostly forward, like a swarm of bees, I felt zero fear. Zero hesitation.

Inwardly, I again thanked that young woman for overcoming her fear of learning how to ride a motorbike, for mastering the art of driving on the “wrong” side of the street, and for even coming to enjoy weaving her own thread of order through the moving chaos.

This year more than most, I resonate with that younger Sara. Like my present self, she was ripe to not just start a new chapter of her life, but to start a whole new book.

As we get older, it gets harder to make big changes. We get stuck in our ways, locked up inside who we think we are and who others want us to be. We doubt our ability to begin again. It’s not often that we get a chance to start over, and life has handed me that chance again now.

The younger Sara inspires me to not chicken out. She’s urging me to put in the effort now, go for the big change, and do the hard thing. This way, my future self can enjoy a lifetime of even more wonder, more adventure, more beauty.

Maybe there won’t be coconuts waiting for me on the other side of the next, big change; but surely some of my new, yet-to-be-discovered-favorite things are.

No matter what age we are, let’s all remember that the hard and scary things usually end up being the most worthwhile. Let’s go for it!



Today is our first, full day at the SHE Yoga & Meditation Teacher Training down on the island of Koh Samui. I’m looking forward to going deep into practice and connection together over the next week.

Plus, these ladies are the first in our community to see my new ‘do! You can see more pictures and here the story about my “big chop” here.  

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