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Living brave and the COURAGEworks project

“Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where scarcity and shame dominate and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of feeling hurt.” – Brené Brown – Daring Greatly

Today I’m starting Brené Brown’s new “Living Brave Semester,” an online course led by Brené and her team at COURAGEworks that dives deep into the content of her books, Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. The commitment is to work through this guided, 12 week program on your own time, accessing the videos, reading, journaling, and sharing with others.

I first discovered Brené’s work when I watched her widely-viewed TED TalkThe Power of Vulnerability, featuring her research on the role vulnerability plays in helping us to be better leaders, parents, and live a more authentic life. She has spent her career studying shame and vulnerability and sharing stories of how showing up and owning our stories can be a catalyst for living, loving, and leading.

Why am I doing this? It is easy to proclaim a vision, but without a path to action it is SO easy to get side-tracked. I want to build new habits around my new goals and learn how to better manage patterns of behavior that I know get in my way.

For those of you not familiar with Brené Brown’s work, this is how Brené describes the progression of her books:

  • The Gifts of Imperfection – Be you.
  • Daring Greatly – Be all in.
  • Rising Strong – Fall, learn, get up. do it again.


COURAGEworks Living Brave Semester

living brave semester I love that I can do this on my own time, WHEN I have time and I’m excited to see what comes out of it and share my journey with the program here. Over the next 12 weeks, I’ll be writing and working through the process. This post did it for me:

brene brown facebook

SO true. Thanks Brené. This is definitely something I want to say NO to in 2016. Are you with me?

Coming into a fresh year with what feels like the right balance of commitments and white space as I wrote in my last post, I am carving out just a little bit of space on my own time to explore this, apply it to my writing, and see what comes out of it. No expectations, just a chance to create new habits and gain new insights as I write.

COURAGEworks’ mission is “Braver living, loving and leading.” I for one, want to strive for that this year.

Will you join me?


– Anne

Image credit: COURAGEworks

Creating space for the new

Hi. I’m Anne. Welcome to my new creative space. This is a space where I will test new ideas, topics and chapters of my book project and related endeavors. You will see that this site has lots of white space, and that is entirely intentional.

Like a blank canvas, this is a space that will be created, one brush stroke, one post at a time. Here and through email, I will share my story, ask questions, and other people’s stories and words of inspiration that inspire me. As I journey down the road of writing my first book, I hope to bring with it a healthy does of authentic dialogue about juggling our social media connected lives and the opportunity and complexity it brings – in our relationships, our parenting, in our work, and pursuing your passion – or finding it – and sharing stories about the joys, and struggles and keeping it all in perspective. I’ll share what I’ve learned from my own experience pursuing the impossibly imperfect task of juggling a marriage, raising kids, carving out time with friends, and balancing work you love with making money that pays the bills. I will share what I’ve learned managing a career in PR and marketing building trusted brands, and building my own brand in the last eight years blogging and traveling the world with my family writing about it. To bring more transparency and authenticity to a world that is increasingly defining life’s moments by a perfectly edited Instagram post.

But first, a bit of background. I’m a mom of two amazing humans, married to a wonderful husband who has put up with my crazy intense ambition for the last 24 years. I make my living as a social media expert and run a digital marketing consulting business where I do everything from PR strategy, to create content marketing and social media campaigns. (A fancy way of saying I come up with creative ways to tell a brand’s story and take that to TV, blogs, Facebook and other social media channels so you can learn about a company, or buy their product). In addition to my first love – my family – my  first creative space pursuing my love of travel started eight years ago (more on how that got started soon). On Hip Travel Mama and through numerous other media outlets, I share our travel adventures, tips and inspiration on how to create more connected families (and relationships with spouses and friends) through travel.

Last year, I turned 40. And it sent me into a year of reflection and evaluation. In 2015, I put everything I was spending time on through the filter of these three questions:

  • Does it bring me energy?
  • Does it help me meet my goals of what’s most important to me?
  • Does it provide me with an opportunity to learn something new?

What I discovered in the process was that there were commitments I was dedicating a significant amount of time and energy to projects that were not serving me anymore and it was taking space away from the things I wanted to spend more time on. At home, we felt the shift as our oldest started middle school and the schedule of school and sports activities took a front seat to our evenings and weekends. So in November, I got out the pruning shears and cut back the branches that were stunting the growth of new buds. What remains in 2016 are the branches that bring energy and support my family, health, financial goals.

What does creating space look like for me? This means creating space in my calendar by reducing my commitments to just a few HELL YES opportunities that inspire and challenge me professionally. Creating space and resources for more meaningful travel, for projects and topics that fuel me and serve others. This means creating space to enjoy IRL (that’s text speak for in real life) time with my husband, being more present with my kids, family, friends. Space for taking proper care of my health and energy reserves – spending time with my faith, fitness, yoga, mediation, cooking healthy meals with my family, and getting more sleep.

For the latest, I would love to have you follow along with my musings and subscribe by email.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you. Happy 2016!


Photo credit: Talia Cruz for Flytographer

A new chapter is coming in 2016

2016 begins a new chapter and I can’t wait to share what I’ve been up to exploring, soul-searching and preparing in 2015. Sign up for my email and check back here in 2016.