Let’s talk about strong foundations for a minute.
I typed that sentence and then sat still for quite some time, looking off into the distance, trying to think of what to say next.
Kathleen of Braid Creative and Being Boss shared a piece of advice years ago that I’ve never forgotten: When you’re having a hard time making your point, type something like “What I really want to say is…” Even if you delete it later, it’ll get you get moving again.
So what I really want to say is…that it’s hard to sum up my thoughts about strong foundations in a cohesive whole.
The idea has been on my mind a lot, and has made it into my core message, onto my website, and into my daily thinking and language.
But to be perfectly honest, I’m still exploring this particular area of my work. It’s clear to me that this idea has been lurking in the background throughout all that I’ve done and offered, but I’m just now seeing it more clearly.
And one of the ways I explore the different angles and edges of an idea is by writing about it, sharing it, and then discussing it with you—through emails, Instagram comments, and sometimes (joyfully!), real face-to-face conversations.
So where I was getting stuck as I was gazing off into the distance (something I do a lot, by the way, and that I highly recommend) is that I was trying to define my idea, to explain it clearly and concisely, to sum it up—when I’m really just not there yet.
So instead, I’m going to make some statements:
Strong foundations don’t have to be big shiny things.
They’re already in our lives, in the everyday things that are going smoothly.
The things we do well, often without thinking about it.
Those moments when the effort of trying to create a new way of doing or being pays off, and you relax into a new pattern.
Strong foundations are practices, systems, agreements, routines, decisions, habits, checklists, documents…so many things.
The habit of setting your coffee maker the night before? That’s a strong foundation.
The willingness to ask for help when you need it (a trait you worked hard to build)? That’s a strong foundation.
The list of go-to meals taped inside your kitchen cabinet? That’s a strong foundation.
The writing practice you only need sometimes, but that feels so good when you turn to it? That’s a strong foundation.
The cleaning schedule you made, the systems you set up in your work, the commitment you made to be compassionate, the library card that helps you (and your wallet) stay out of the bookstore, the document you made with all the things you know to be true about the work you do, the gym bag you keep in your car, the work you’ve done to lower unrealistic expectations, the email templates you created, the hour a month you spend getting a massage, the time you spend walking your dog each morning, the yoga practice you’ve committed to for the next month, the standing weekly friend date you never miss, the intentional breathing you do in bed in the morning before you get up? All strong foundations.
I believe these strong foundations help us live well.
And I believe that living well helps each of us contribute the things we’re meant to (time, money, energy, ideas, support, encouragement, kindness—it’s different for everyone) to the world in which we live.
Therefore, I believe that if we can be intentional about our strong foundations, we can contribute in a greater way—in the way so many of us long to contribute.
This isn’t about a big aha moment or a sudden burst of clarity. It’s about committing to the process. It’s about paying attention. It’s about believing that the choices you make, the work you put in, the decisions you stick to will make a difference—because they will.
Every day, we’re each building our own foundations. And I believe that if we show up in that process with intention and care, we’ll build even stronger foundations for ourselves—and for those around us.
That’s where I am with strong foundations, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to hit reply, or to leave a comment on this post on Instagram. Your perspective and thoughts always make my understanding and feelings about whatever I’m writing or thinking about more rich and layered. Thank you for being here with me!
With much love,
P.S. The work I do is steeped in this idea of strong foundations:
Core Message Coaching is about creating a strong written foundation for the work you do, content you create, and more.
Explore is about creating a writing practice that you can turn to again and again.
Stay Unstuck is about preparing yourself for the inevitability of getting stuck, so you have a strong foundation of ideas and skills to turn to when you need them.
And Content Collaboration is about having a strong team (you + me!) working on your important content, creating a solid base from which to share your ideas.
I'd love to work with you to build strong foundations!
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