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It's Time To Fortify the Wetlands

newsletters Jan 21, 2024

Storytime with Kate

You know, picking a word for the year is like following that lady on ig that tells you a new vocabulary word every day. I'm into it.



transitive verb:

:: to make strong 

:: to strengthen and secure (a place, such as a town) by forts or batteries

:: to give physical strength, courage, or endurance to

:: to add mental or moral strength to: encourage

:: to strengthen or enhance by the addition of some substance or ingredient


There’s already a lot for me here. Are you ready for a little brain dump?!


A brain dump is a long run-on sentence that generally doesn’t make much sense by the time I start reading it back. I always start here.

Knowing it’s just a brain dump can feel helpful when you’re trying to process through something with the intention of making a bit of sense about it - because at first, it doesn’t make sense… get all that down on paper. The parts that contradict and the arguments that don’t have a solid conclusion and wouldn’t hold up in debate club. 


The good news is that when you’re in your journal, you’re not in a debate with someone else. It’s just a soft landing place for you. That’s all :)

Anyway, here’s my little brain dump about how I’m feeling about Fortify as something that’ll really be on the tip of my tongue, top of my mind, high heels on my tippies…

my brain goes wild with metaphors and images around how my energy has been leaky and how that's related to breath and... water damage... - a literal slow burnout - and how "fortify" feels like… like, what I’m CAPABLE of you know? bringing the fire back. first i think it’ll require taking inventory of what needs my attention, and then mending the holes, replacing a few rotten pieces of wood, reinforcing the places that need support, and making nourishing meals, plenty of sleep, and being prepared. keeping my people close. staying clear. moving forward with more of ME.

i hope it will feel like trusting myself more. i hope it will feel peaceful. i hope it will feel honest.



in 2023 my word was clarity.

in my hopefulness, I forgot what I was going to have to do first: in order to get clear, I’d have to notice and do something about just how covered I was in the mud.


In noticing new things, or trying to shift your mindset or awareness or habits or whatever, at least in my experience, you never get to shift right to the new thing. First, you have to dig through the stuff that’s already there. 


You want to start moving your body and you haven’t in like, a WHILE?! Ok - yes keep going. In a world that prevents us from movement when movement is VITAL to our wellbeing, I am so proud of you for taking your power back like this. It is so ok if it takes you a period of trial and error to find what you like, who you like, how you like. Take your time. Keep trying new things, new ways, new places. Finding what you like is important. So is giving yourself the time and grace to practice - it takes time to get good at something. And sometimes it takes having some practice under your belt for the thing to feel fun and good and familiar and trustworthy. Consistently moving is the key.


If you’re in a new situation like that try also adding in this: notice something beautiful. Set a little alarm on your phone for the middle of the day and look up, and find something beautiful to look at and notice. No matter where you, there’s SOMETHING beautiful about it. Take that in for a second. Try it now.


If you’re wanting to bring in more confidence into your life, a great place to start is noticing where and with whom you don’t feel all that confident and get curious about that. You already know that you don’t feel confident in at least some way that’s important to you. You can also start noticing where you do already feel confident? Who’s there with you? What are you doing?

And one thing that you don’t ever have to feel bad about is learning, growing, or shifting.

If you’re in the mud, you’re not a bad person for that. We’ve all been there. You are allowed to do things differently for the sake of yourself. Your spide-y senses are nothing other than yours. What are they saying? No, you don’t have to understand them immediately nor do you have to be able to explain them.

If you’re feeling insecure, you are not suddenly an attachment theory data point. We all feel insecure about things and you’re being brave enough to be honest about yours. You’re allowed to ask for reassurance.

If you’re feeling like a burden in your relationships, I’m sorry that anyone has ever made you feel that way. There’s no relationship without you showing up - and there’s no relationship without them showing up. It’s ok to ask your people to meet you at the top of the bridge when you notice that, almost every time, you go over to their side of the bridge. It’s also ok to ask them to come all the way over to your side too. 

If you’re caught in an overthinking spiral, it’s ok to need someone to hold up a mirror to you and just tell you that. Start noticing the friends that see you. That tell you about what you do when you’re in the brain tornado or hide-y hole or mud puddle. We do it together as a reminder that we’re not alone. 


For a long time, my life has felt like a marsh… wetlands.

And while wetlands are extremely important to our earth’s ecosystem, they are under-valued and therefore, under-protected. They generally do need structural support because people are likely to think that a great place to run a highway through or build businesses over are wetlands.

But what they’re meant to provide is a whole lot of nourishment to the entire local ecosystem.

Wetlands, when cared for properly, are part of what fortifies its surrounding areas: water filtration, erosion control, flood control, and habitats. 

So here we are deep in the wetlands.

There's still mud.

But I'm not stuck in it anymore, and I don't dread it when I see it. Instead I recognize that there's a lot of nourishment suspended in the mud.

Thanks to my word from 2023, Clarity, I feel more capable of letting the mud just be, instead of getting sucked in and feeling like I have to clear it out. 

It's time to fortify the wetlands - mutual nourishment, mutual protection, mutual purpose.

I can’t wait to see how it shows up.


What word have you settled on for the year?! I'd love to hear about it.


In honor of our eras, Ruby and I are hosting another free classes, From Not Enough to Owning Your YOU Era on February 21st

Envision a future where you express yourself without hesitation, and act in your own self-interest and self-respect without shame.

We'd love to see you there!

Here's to your YOU era, Kate. 

You're Doing Great,

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