One year ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sue Hollis, the author of Riding to Raw, for my friend’s magazine. I was so taken in by her energy on this call, so of course, I wanted to get my hands on the book. I did, and wow. I took one look at it and said, “No way, this book will take me forever to read, it is so thick.” I put it down on the shelf in my office.

Summer finally arrived in Michigan, and I decided I needed something to read. Something different, no professional development. Sue’s book jumped out from the shelf at me. As intimidated as I was, I grabbed it, sat down, opened and read. I read so much I couldn’t place it down.

Riding to Raw became my morning meditation with my coffee and protein bar. Sometimes it was a sentence or two, and others it was a page or more. This morning reading became far more than just conquering a thick book. For two and a half weeks, it became my life.

Now what? I finished the book. I really was missing the routine.

For the past few weeks, I felt my anxiety increase when I was reading, tears came to me as if I was with Sue. I craved nature, mountains, wildlife and the amazing conversations that Sue experienced.

I love mindfulness, the awareness of these feelings and slowing down to ask myself what do I need? I need to surrender and let go of what I cannot control. I must not block myself from what God is truly delivering in the moment.

Let’s be clear here, I am not going to ride a motorcycle for three months through mountains, desert, rain, heat and snow, ice and so much more—no way. But what can I do for me?

I need variety, nature, mountains, hiking, fresh air. How do I bring nature into my life, daily?

I have stepped into a nine-month journey for myself to face me, to slow down, manage the anxiety, and find peace within. My question to myself is how do I continue this walk. I do it by staying grounded, being okay in the moment. (Holy shit, that is so hard.)

Sue was going through a bit of angst when she was nearing the end of her three-month journey, and I was too, nearing the end of the book. A part of me wanted to know what Sue was doing after this journey (crazy, I communicate with her). I wanted to conquer this book (there goes that checklist shit). However, unbeknownst to me, a journey of my own had begun through Sue’s courageous and beautiful words. I had no idea, I was too busy telling myself that the book was too thick, that I’m a slow reader.

Even as I type this my Hag in the Attic is nagging me. Sowing doubts.

I learned so much from reading Sue’s book. GRATITUDE! Staying present, asking for what you need from the Universe, and being clear when you ask.

Yesterday, I went to get another tattoo, and I was sulking because I had to go by myself. I could handle it alone, but it is more fun with someone else. I put on my big girl pants and made my way to the shop even though I wasn’t feeling good.

As I walked toward the shop, a SheHive KeyHolder sister walked out. No coincidences here. Thank you, God, you knew exactly what I needed and more.

The conversation, the time spent, bonding, laughs, support, all so unplanned, was what I truly needed. I felt free and sat in freedom.) It has allowed me to forget and be present without going down the rabbit hole of stress and worry, a place where I really loath to be. It’s dark, cold, and lonely. This is a place where I can breathe (It’s funny that I have to say this. I have been directing people on how to breathe through working out for over thirty years, yet I need reminding—SMH) and reflect on my day without controlling my thoughts.

My intention is to create a masterpiece for the day (thank you, Sue, for this) and then stay open to the gifts that are given to me throughout the day. (Not easy for a recovering anxious perfectionist.

Being present helps me see greatness in myself and others. It allows me to see the small things that lead to huge golden nuggets and that life doesn’t have to be monumental all the time. It is about a breath we take, a leaf that falls and lands, simplicity.

Let go, attachment is suffering. Some days this can be so hard and others it is a flowing masterpiece. I know that I am not perfect, but I practice what I need to teach myself and others.

Grab Sue’s book, I feel you will not be disappointed.

Riding Raw A Journey from Empty to Full, Sue Hollis.