A few months ago, I made it a priority to focus on self-reflection and define clarity on where I see myself going, in lieu of accepting tasks at work to make my boss happy or to continue doing excessive menial activities like watching TV. I wanted to define my actions with intention. Recently I’ve been reaching out to people I look up to that support me. No journey is without a solid base of supporters. I’ve been fortunate to find incredible coaches and mentors along the way.

One of these in particular is a special person who has served as coach for me. After one of our conversations she challenged me to create a timeline, starting with my earliest memory. The idea was to share my life story, highlighting moments when I lost track of time or activities that made me feel strong. I found the assignment to be very easy and fun reflecting on happy times in my life. I started sketching my defining moments on a sheet of paper.

I’ll share with you just a few highlights from my timeline:

My earliest memory is playing with my brother.

What I learned: A majority of my memories were with my younger brother. He is an amazing human being. I vividly remember his many moments of protecting his family and friends. I’m filled with pride every time I see him help his friends at a moments notice. I’ve experienced no greater feeling than being his older sister. (Thanks mom and dad!)

In elementary school, there was a boy who would made fun of me because I had hairy arms. Just as a superhero appears, my best friend came to my rescue and stood up for me.

What I learned: I was hurt, but my best friend used her voice to be an advocate for me. I saw this theme occur regularly. I fondly remember people who stood up for me. I always want to use my voice to be an advocate for others.

Canyoning in the Swiss Alps.

What I learned: I am attracted to new and challenging experiences that push my comfort zone to the limits. I have a tendency to gravitate to activities that scare the hell out of me.

As I compiled my timeline of defining moments, my coaches and mentors helped me discover a life-connection with each memory. All of my defining moments share this in common, they have strong people that are passionate defenders of others and moments I felt naked to the world and embraced it. I strive to be like the heroes in my life, listening to people who feel unheard and giving them a voice. In building strength for others, I consistently challenge myself mentally and physically and I strive to grow while learning other people perspectives. I feel strong in my vulnerability.

In the spirit of honesty, I am terrified to write my thoughts, but also compelled to share my stories in hopes to be an advocate for others.

I challenge you to create a life timeline of key memories. You can list them, draw them, speak them out loud with a friend. What were you doing? With whom? Did you lose track of time? What were you feeling and why? Document each moment that brought you happiness and talk with someone (or find me on my contact page!) of a common theme. What’s your story? Who knew playing with my brother, my hairy arms and canyoning shared a common theme?

Check out part of my timeline below!

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