It’s a big word and there seems to be a lot of emphasis on it during this season.

I don’t just mean a little emphasis….

I mean a lot!

Facebook, Blogs, Instagram….  It’s everywhere!

People are writing about it.  Embracing it.  Choosing to live it.



This word has been a tough one for me this year.  And I will tell you why…  Every year, I intentionally choose a word for myself.  A word to focus on.  A word to grow my heart and feed my spirit.  A word to strengthen my voice and what I offer back to the world.

In past years, my words have been:   Freedom.  Intentional.  Clarity.

And, you guessed it.  My word for 2014 is GRATITUDE.

I thought it would be an easy one.  After all, I am a pretty positive person. I believe in living life to the fullest. I believe in finding the “thank you’s” in everyday living. I take deep breaths and truly engage with what life offers.  This word seemed like it would be an easy journey.  After all, it’s a natural response to a good life, and I definitely have a good life.  So I could easily cruise through this year and this word! Right?

Not exactly.

Instead, this word seemed to taunt me.  It served as a reminder of my humanness. I became acutely aware of my many broken places.   And I was reminded of my short comings.  It brought my biggest fears to the surface.  But Why?

Vulnerability.  That’s what I feel when I focus on gratitude.  Because I recognize how much I have to be grateful for, and that definitely touches on a deep part of my heart.  BUT with that awareness, I also recognize how much I have to lose.  That makes me feel vulnerable.

This is just me being completely transparent. Let me give you an example of what I mean:  When I think of my children, my heart explodes with love for them.  I feel emotional.  Just writing this, I feel teary.  Oh yes, my kids are such a beautiful part of my life. Of course I am grateful for them.  Their life is a gift to me.  But with that gratefulness comes the realization that I could lose them.  In a moment, something could happen, and I could lose one of them.  Isn’t this every parent’s worst nightmare?

HENCE: The vulnerability.

This is what I have come to recognize.  I am not afraid of vulnerability.  Vulnerability is such an authentic way to live my best life. So I choose to live from that vulnerable place, and embrace all that comes with it.  And part of living from that vulnerable place is exploring GRATITUDE.


Brené Brown said it perfectly… in order to experience joy, we should be practicing gratitude… Who doesn’t want more joy in their life?!!!

So I am embracing  gratitude.

Gratitude is a choice for me.   It’s a response to the beautiful life I have been given.  It is a declaration of today’s many gifts. It is about showing appreciation and returning kindness. It is what encourages the JOY in my life.

Oh Yes.

I’ve got this word.

Gratitude… choosing the risk of vulnerability… experiencing joy… bring it on! I want all that life has to offer through the gateway of authentic gratitude.


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RECAP: Explore Your Voice Day Retreat


Well!  We did it!  Success!  Arise & Be just wrapped up our last retreat of 2014, and man, what a way to go out!


The Explore Your Voice Day Retreat was spectacular… beyond words amazing. In fact, trying to put words to the feelings and energy that filled the room, the message, and the most uniquely gifted group of women, could never adequately capture everything the day was.

So, instead of trying to put MY words to the day, I’d like to let the beautiful women that attended the retreat do it instead. {Because really, there’s no one better to hear it from:-)}

These are the actual questions we ask guests at the end of every retreat:

– How was the length of time for the retreat?  The facilities?  The food?

I loved it all! The food was amazing.
I feel like everything should have been on Pinterest.
– Laura

– Which activity did you enjoy the most?  Why?

ALL OF IT!  Each bit was equally important.
Great mix of information, thought, processing time.
– Liana

– What part of the retreat was the most challenging for you?

It’s really hard for me to embrace silence or ‘alone time’… this retreat has taught
me the value of this and why it’s so important for me to recharge.
– Lexi

– What was most significant for you about this retreat experience?

The entire event. I loved all the women, stories, speakers and projects.
– Laurie

– How was your experience during space within time?

Awesome! Valuable. I achieved clarity around things
I needed time to stop and think about.
– Melissa

How did this day meet your expectations?

Exceeded all expectations!
– Michele

Any other comments or feedback?

Wow!  What a day! I will not only be back, but will share with others.
– Cristal

With two retreats officially under our belt, the year couldn’t have been any more perfect. We learned a lot about each other, who we are as a team, and have met some truly incredible women along the way. What a gift this year has been!


The line up of upcoming coaching retreats and workshops for 2015 is looking even more fabulous! Visit our website {} to learn more! Hope to see you there!


– Michaela 🙂

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