1 Year After Starting My Comeback Experiment

One Year After Starting Resiliency ExperimentThis post was not on the schedule.

I sat down at my laptop this morning after whipping up two cups of coffee and my standard green protein shake and I had the urge to write a one year reflection.

It made sense. I remember starting out on my comeback experiment around the beginning of December.

So, I opened WordPress and clicked back to the very first post: December 13, 2015. 

Exactly one year and my soul instinctively knew it.

Life had gone down the tubes in August of that year, and had generally just been the absolute worst through Thanksgiving, when my divorce was final and I suddenly had the space to consider how to pick up and move on from the traumatic mess that was left after the fact.

As a Type-A therapist with a passion for resiliency, I ended up crafting a pretty aggressive personal experiment based on the research.

I resonated with the concept of the hero’s journey and transforming my adversity into a legacy. And I simultaneously wanted to be authentic to myself.

Therapists tend to be pretty polished and passive, which explains why I never really enjoyed the traditional therapy session.

At heart, I am irreverent, playful, and relentless; a force not to be reckoned with.

I’ve tried to chameleon into what others expected of a young woman in my industry for years, but this project was personal, so I didn’t set out to make it speak to anyone but me.

It just made sense to think of this little experiment as my Rockstar Comeback Tour.

And so it all began last December with an initial list of 12 tour stops that integrated all of the research into concentrated injections of resiliency.

First up was a solo adventure to Puerto Rico.

Across 7 days alone exploring a beautiful island and saying yes to every new experience, I reconnected with who I am. Underneath all of the layers of conformity and suppression was a strong, adventurous, proudly eccentric woman who no longer had any desire to play a part.

This single experience was so powerful that I’ve committed to an annual solo retreat to return to that place of reckless truth and will be venturing to Thailand and Bali in less than two weeks.

After returning from Puerto Rico, I went about mashing together the aspects of my former life that would be allowed to remain with the new infusions.

I didn’t get around to every tour stop on my list this first year, deviating as I followed a rigid mantra of saying yes to every sign – every book recommended to me, every introduction, every new experience.

In these past 12 months:

Through it all, lessons unfolded that shifted my focuses, added or subtracted from my original list, and ultimately became a flexible criteria for living with resiliency:

  1. Create a sanctuary – a safe, peaceful homebase to come back to on your comeback.
  2. Start and end with gratitude.
  3. Be open to the signs. Be curious and say yes to new experiences and people. Follow the breadcrumbs relentlessly and without judgment.
  4. Practice stillness.
  5. Move. In nature. As often as possible. Nature provides the beautiful, peaceful, and inspiring perspective needed to find and maintain your own reckless truth.
  6. Build rigid boundaries. Seek out and invite good, positive, non-toxic people into your life (and be a good, positive, non-toxic person). Purge the rest.
  7. Find and follow role models who blow your mind with the positive impact they create simply by being who they are.
  8. Learn. Apply. Reflect. You aren’t the first person on this road. Identify one shift that would drastically improve your life, find the book or workshop on that topic, and apply the lessons. Repeat.

It’s been a year of extreme highs and lows. A roller coaster that I am grateful for, but I am also exceedingly relieved to have this first year behind me.

Looking forward to next year’s review, I hope to have:

  • Firmly established my own sanctuary. After negotiations with my landlord, I finally had a concrete patio poured yesterday and feel content to stay put in my current home. It’s time to nest.
  • Maintained a daily meditation practice. Living in the present moment is a discipline that requires practice and has already brought me so much peace and power.
  • Mastered the guitar. This is one of the more intimidating items on my comeback list.
  • Become a yoga instructor, with a rockstar twist of course.
  • Taken to the skies again, but this time in a hot air balloon and helicopter.
  • Ventured out on my first backpacking trip and summited King’s Peak (tallest peak in Utah)
  • Adventured with my kids again, this time on our first trip to the Grand Canyon
  • Read 12 books that built up resiliency in my own life

What kind of difference would it make if you asked yourself today what you want to have achieved one year from now?

When I launched Rockstar Comeback as more than just a personal experiment and held the first live events, I expected the message to resonate most with trauma survivors.

But, in reality, the vast majority of attendees and those who actually applied the ideas were simply stuck in the status quo. Restless with a life where the momentum of the daily task list carried them forward without much to speak of when looking back.

In truth, that’s where my Rockstar Comeback was born – in 2012 when I recognized a status quo in my own life that was unacceptable and began to make changes.

Whether you are restless, in transition, or suffering from trauma or loss, it might be time to make a change with your own resiliency experiment.