Trail Mix :: No. 22
An Annoucement! Plus, Why We Can Share More Of Ourselves, Joy-Hunting, Easy Parties, Peaceful Poems & Prose, a Person You Need To Know & More!
First up, welcome to the Trail Mix Weekly-ish Letters, a snack for us curious and ambitious folks, seeking to create adventures we love in all avenues of our lives.
Second, and this is new, so come close.
The words and content I share in Trail Mix Letters and on my blog Art of Adventure are expanding. It is time for me to do what I’ve felt for so long- branch out and break down some self-imposed boundaries!
The Charissa who normally comes out in writing is more soulful than business savvy, she’s more poetic than practical-minded. But the truth is, I’m compelled by all of these concepts, not just one or the other, because I’m committed to living an integrated and abundant life-expressing and exploring my true essence in every situation and honoring who I am becoming.
This means I’ll be lifting the cover off my real estate and life coaching practices.
In addition to the usual content, you’ll be hearing more about…
my local adventures within this little village-like community of Bellingham,
quick tips and inspiration for making your home warm & inviting,
ridiculously helpful insight for navigating the housing market if you’re thinking about making a move,
as well as how to create more magic and flow in your life by leaning into your questions, listening to love, & letting your curiosity lead.
So, to summarize, you’re going to be experiencing a fuller, more expansive, multi-faceted Charissa from here on out! With these added layers, I hope you’ll find the words, stories, and experiences I share to be even more amusing and relatable.
And remember: These letters are designed to be picked through (like a handful of trail mix). No need to feel overwhelmed, just take what stands out to you, sounds interesting, or feels relevant to your next steps.
Then, leave (or pass on) the rest!
Now, onto the personal note from one fellow traveler to another, little glimpses into my life you won’t find anywhere else but here.
She Revealed and I Relaxed.
A surprise encounter with a sweet friend this week left me in awe of the power authenticity has to leverage our relationships.
We hadn’t seen each other in months and we had been messaging back and forth about a convenient time to meet up.
But, the next day we found ourselves in the same ballet studio with our daughters. After a quick hug and a giggly hello, we got right to the heart.
Within seconds she was confiding in me about the fight she and her husband had the night before and I was nodding along while images of the last few raw and emotionally draining weeks flashed in my head.
My own marriage fraying and faltering. Years of hurt and distrust coming (once again) to the surface. Marriage to me felt like an unwelcome invitation to hard work, forgiveness, and learning the only person you can try to change is yourself.
Upon admitting the previous night’s argument with her husband, something in me released and I suddenly felt as if I could tell her my deepest, darkest, most shameful secrets right there in the ballet studio.
And what’s more important, she wouldn’t flinch or grimace. She’d still want to remain friends.
In short, I could trust her.
Researcher and best-selling author, Dr. Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is the glue that holds intimate relationships together.”
In a famous Ted Talk, she reported on a study she did to find out what differentiates people who live with an incredible sense of love and belonging from those who don’t. She said,
“they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were, which you have to absolutely do that for connection.
The other thing that they had in common was this: They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn't talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they really talk about it being excruciating…They just talked about it being necessary.”
I’m no expert or trained researcher, but I do have life experience and there seems to be a common thread in my most treasured relationships- openness and honesty. I can take the risk and talk about how I’m feeling, what I’m going through, or what I need. They won’t respond in judgment or shock and I definitely won’t make them feel uncomfortable.
In these trusting spaces, both people benefit. The relationship is a safe place where growth and happiness flow organically. The evidence is clear, when people feel seen and heard, when the human experience is validated and understood, connection deepens.
My friend and I continued to chat for at least 10 minutes about marriage, about back to school scheduling craziness, and about the winding road of healing. I’m still reveling in the feelings it brought up in me, mainly this sense that everything is going to be okay because I have friends who are with me.
So, whether we’re at the ballet studio, in our office, writing in our journal, chatting with a neighbor, or sitting at our favorite coffee shop, there are millions of moments waiting for us to show up as we are, opportunities for us to let down our guard, create new friendships, find our commonalities, strengthen our communities, and build a more hospitable world where no one needs to feel alone.
Perhaps you’ll join me…I’m putting this thought into my pocket as I enter the week ahead, “take a deep breath and figure out some ways that you can (comfortably, of course) share a little more of yourself—your feelings, experiences, goals, and challenges…”
On that note, I'd be honored to come alongside you in your travels, guiding you through the exciting unknown, infusing you with extra doses of confidence and energy so you can delve into adventure, stay open to the next chapter of your life, and have fun along the way! I believe transformation doesn't have to feel pushy or rushed, we can move at your pace, meandering down the path of your life with wonder and curiosity. Schedule a free 15-minute inquiry chat here.
Okay, up next… the list you’ve been waiting for!
1. A Nightly Read Giving Me Instant Peace.
Have you experienced the poetry and prose of Brianna Wiest yet? Her new book, Ceremony, sits on my bedside table and practically every page is dog-eared. It feels like she wrote this book just for me. I fall asleep with total assurance I am held and loved by the universe. I think you’ll feel the same spirit as you read it!
“You are allowed to redesign your plan for your life. What you decided upon years ago was chosen for a person you no longer are.”
2. The Gospel Of Self-Improvement.
You may have heard me talk about Tara McMullin before in previous Trail Mix Letters and I’m going to rave again about her newest podcast series entitled, Self-Help LLC. As she describes, “It’s a look at how the gospel of self-improvement shapes our lives, our work, and the business we’re building.
She continues, “My intention is that this series gives you a fresh perspective on what you create, what you consume, and how the underlying values of self-help culture influence them both.”
Her podcast style captivates me instantly with the superb, concise storytelling mixed with relevant, interesting research packed into about 30 minutes.
The latest episode, “Selling Empowerment with Kelly Diels,” was fascinating! Here’s a quote:
“Women spend 4 to 8 hours more per week on household chores…spend more time on child-rearing…their labor is uncompensated in the workplace…the emotional labor…basically there is more on women’s shoulders than ever before and fewer resources available to them for like sharing that labor…”
3. Do You Want To Become A Joy-Hunter? Here’s How.
I’ve been following Ingrid Fetell’s work for awhile now, and recently listened to an interview she did on Spread the Love Podcast, which led me to watch her popular over-2-million-views Ted Talk from 2018. It’s only 12 minutes and I highly recommend it!
Ingrid reveals how and why we find joy in certain objects, colors, and designs and how we can create more of it in our lives. (Hint: it’s not that difficult!)
Here are a few photos I captured this past week, moments where I literally had to stop and take a picture because my insides screamed, “YES, I need more of THIS!”
4. This Made Me Excited To Host A Party!
I’ve never heard of Nick Gray until now, his new book is called, “The 2-Hour Cocktail Party: How to Build Big Relationships with Small Gatherings.” Nick is an exuberant character, basically like a party therapist/guru!
After listening to his interview on All The Hacks, I felt so fired up to host a Fall-Themed Get Together with my neighbors and friends or a book swap party!
5. A Person You Need To Know.
I’ve been on an Alain de Botton kick lately. I’ve heard of him and read one or two of his books and was reminded again why I enjoy him so much.
“The word happiness for me is a tricky one because I think it’s quietly a rather coercive word. It doesn’t feel inclusive because I think that the dominant emotion that most people have everyday of their lives is anxiety. And if you tell people the goal in life is to be happy, it’s quite a demanding thing.” source: Ctrl Alt Delete podcast, Life is Not Meant To Be Perfect
In regards to my mid-life marital crisis, you better believe I’m eating up all of his wisdom on the idea of Romanticism and the concept we have of finding this “soul mate.” He can debunk these faulty, damaging myths in about 2 seconds!
He says, “eventually if we keep going hard enough we will find them. And when we find them our soul will fuse with theirs. All areas that have previously been confused and lonely will be redeemed. We will no longer feel ourselves worthless, agonising, melancholic for the mysteries of existence we have found a true friend and loneliness will be banished. This, ladies and gentleman, is the person waiting for us somewhere out there. The soul mate.” source: You Tube talk, On Love
I sincerely hope you found a delicious little nugget from this mix to tuck into your backpack as you continue on your travels this week. Just pick one thing from the above list and leave a comment below to tell me what you loved most! Or pop into my DMs on Instagram!
It’s a glorious, late summer day here in the PNW, the most heavenly temperature (75 degrees) and I’m about to hop on my bike to fetch my 3 oldest kids from school, then it’s off to piano lessons.
If you know of any family or friends interested in visiting this magical village-like city of Bellingham, Washington let me know! I’d love to show them around, send them some of our favorite places in the area, or simply be a resource for them if they want to know more! Simply send me a direct text message by going here!
What a delight to share this space with you. I enjoy every minute I put into these weekly-ish letters!
On this winding path with you,