The Possquivel Wedding Report

When my husband and I started planning our wedding, we decided we wanted to do things a little differently.

Everything about it was intended to be a reflection of who we are. We’re big on authenticity and adventure in our daily lives, and saw no reason for our wedding to be any different.

bride and dog after the wedding ceremony

This is the story of how we pulled it off.

First and foremost, we refused to subscribe to the silly notion that wedding planning has to be stressful, and decided to make it fun and laid back instead. It totally worked, AND the end result was even better than we had anticipated!

The most crucial agreement we made, by far, was to be intentional. We wanted the whole experience to be simple, meaningful, and fun.

Here is how we approached the planning.

Six months before the wedding, we started having weekly check-ins. Admittedly, many of these check-ins happened in the hot tub while drinking wine, which definitely set the tone for not taking ourselves too seriously.

Early on, we let go of things being perfect and embraced the idea of them being perfectly imperfect instead. We placed a higher value on our communication and connection than on getting all the details right.

Throughout the planning process, we stuck to our guns and didn’t do anything we didn’t want to do, were willing to break the rules, and made sure to stay true to ourselves and our relationship, regardless of what anyone else had to say.

I decided I would have the most fun if I showed up as a badass bride, which meant staying grounded and calm, being playing and unapologetically me, and seeing it as a creative and fun challenge.

Since community is important to us, we created a Facebook group for our guests, so that our family and friends could meet each other, we could introduce our vendors, and everyone could share their excitement for the upcoming event.

screenshot from wedding facebook group

Here are a few of the highlights from the weekend that stand out to me, either because they felt unique and a bit unconventional, and others were simply SO much fun.

At my bachelorette party, instead of wine tasting, a spa day, or hitting the bars, my sister rented us a house and we had a sleepover, which included a Fierce Goddess ceremony, facilitated by an incredible spiritual teacher. Also, one of my girls brought me a mermaid tail. A MERMAID TAIL! (In case you didn’t know, I am obsessed with mermaids.)

silhouette of bride in mermaid tail

Despite weeks of shitty forecasts practically guaranteeing rain, we insisted on hosting not one, but two outdoor events, much to both our mothers’ chagrin. Friday’s party was in a park by the water, and the ceremony on Saturday was in the backyard of my in-law’s house. Both days, the rain cleared just in time. Thank you, rain gods!

The welcome party on Friday was in lieu of a rehearsal dinner. We had a wood fire pizza oven food truck, beer, and lawn games. And customized beer koozies.

beer koozies at welcome party day before wedding

Here’s an aerial view of the last group of stragglers at the welcome party taken by our friend Conor’s drone (his first day playing with it – not bad!)

We each had five people in our wedding party. But one of my bridesmaids was actually my fabulous, gay bridesman, Graham! He came to the bachelorette sleepover too.

My mom walked me down the aisle. Since my father wasn’t there, but my two stepdads were, I wanted to both honor my father by not putting another man in his place, and also acknowledge my mom for her primary role in my upbringing. It felt so right.

We wrote our own vows for the ceremony, which was led by one of my favorite mentors, who talked about Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine energy, called in the spirit of those who couldn’t be there (including my dad in Sweden), and acknowledged our ancestors.

The only reading during the otherwise short and sweet ritual, was the first three verses of “Nothing Else Matters”. I have to assume most of our guests thought it was just a nice poem until the end when my bridesmaid Nikki, with her sweet British accent, revealed that it was a song by the (heavy metal) band Metallica.

When the DJ announced our arrival at Guaymas, the Mexican restaurant where we held our reception, we walked in to the theme song to Game of Thrones. Our DJ’s response when we asked if he could play it was “anything for the realm.”

The seating arrangements chart listed our guests’ names under tables that were named after countries we plan to visit. The tables themselves? They had only flags.

Given our upcoming travel adventure, we urged guests to please not bring any physical gifts and created a page on Zola, so that they could contribute to our travel adventure if they wished, instead.

Our first dance (which I don’t think anyone saw coming except maybe a few people who knew that I used to do be obsessed with Lindy Hop) was a playful swing dance routine to Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing”.

Our DJ was ridiculous. You can read my Yelp review for him here for the full breakdown of the musical journey he took us on. One of the highlights of the night was when Chris and his dad, Carlos, had a dance off to Silento’s “Watch me” (or “Whip the Nae Nae” as Carlos calls it). Enough said.

Obviously I’m biased, but I seriously think it may have been the most EPIC wedding weekend of all time.

I hope this story inspires you. While it could be read as just a recap of a fun party weekend and the planning leading up to it, it’s really about something much deeper.

It’s about the power of intention. It’s about our ability to stay grounded and aligned with what we value most. And it’s about the importance of clear communication and deep human connection, rather than attachment to details and perfectionism.

Sometimes You Gotta Slow Down to Speed up

For those of us living in fast moving, high tech, always connected cultures, this is not just some hot topic from the mindfulness movement. It’s becoming increasingly urgent for our health and well-being that we remember to unplug, slow down, and quiet our minds.

When we slow down, we create the space and energy needed to not only speed back up (and to do so more intentionally and strategically,) but also to thrive, to grow, to evolve, and to find clarity. That’s exactly what I’m intending to do down here in Costa Rica for the next three weeks.

playa

Recently I’ve felt as though I’m staring into a thick fog, straining my eyes in order to make out something in the distance. It’s as if there is a shift or epiphany of some kind coming, but I can’t quite make out what it looks like or what the message is.

I can feel the essence of it. The intoxicating pull of something I don’t yet understand but can’t deny the strength of. There is clarity there. Focus. Resonance. I suspect it’s related to my business, but it could be something else entirely.

I also know I can’t force it. The harder I look for the answers, the more they escape me. It’s like when you wake up from a vivid dream and can still feel the richness of it, but as soon as you try to bring the specifics of it into consciousness they slip away, out of reach. I have to step back, let the distractions fade away, and trust that the answers will show up when the time is right.

We planned this trip ages ago, since Chris’ family is putting on a reunion of sorts, and we figured we’d head out a few weeks early. (We got engaged a week before leaving, so it became a celebratory trip too.) Yet, the timing feels so appropriate, given my current state of mind. There is nothing but space and time down here in paradise and I am grateful to be here right now. Pura vida!

puravida

It’s so easy to get caught up in the frenetic pace of city life. I think the tendency to rush through one thing and onto the next thing is deeply ingrained in many of us. In my case, I’ve been in crazy mode since leaving my last job in February in order to focus on building my own business full time.

I’ve been hustling like a madman to make ends meet while still being fiercely determined to stay true to myself, honor my values, and be actively creating the business and lifestyle of my dreams. It’s been amazing, and ridiculously challenging. The work is thrilling for me and transformational for my clients. Finding the clients and creating steady income is where the crazy comes in. I’ve experimented a lot, failed a lot, learned a lot, have grown the business slowly but steadily, and I have a loooooong way to go. I’m prepared to buckle down and continue to work hard creating something that is not just aligned with who I am and what I stand for, but that is scalable, sustainable, and successful.

That being said, our bodies and our souls need time to slow down. Not just to replenish, recharge, and relax but also to allow our inner wisdom to emerge. We can give ourselves this gift through regular meditation, vacation, and many other forms of self-care. But how often to we neglect this need? How many of us show up, with the best of intentions, depleted, stressed and confused, because we’ve neglected to slow down, create space for rest and recovery, and do whatever else it is we need in terms of self-care?

Today, I’m sinking into the slower pace of life. I’m working on letting go of expectations and assumptions and practicing the art of being in the moment. Instead of trying hard to find the answers, I’m relaxing into just being with the fog until it clears.

 

Tapping into the Divine Feminine

I love my tomboy tendencies. They’re a huge part of who I am and I embrace them. But lately I’ve been craving more divine feminine in my life too. Being one of the guys is a safe place for me. It’s great, but it’s well within my comfort zone. Stepping more into the divine feminine is out of my comfort zone and therefore also aligned with something I’m working on this year – taking bigger risks.

What I’m longing for is not just femininity for femininity’s sake, but rather tapping into the divine feminine.  To me the divine feminine includes the full spectrum of timeless female energy and can show up in all different shapes and forms, genders, sexualities, etc. The common thread is that it’s really real. It’s deep, vulnerable, mysterious, raw, intuitive, bold, magnetic, compelling, and healing. It draws you in with its irresistible beauty, magic, and power.

divinefeminine

I declared 2014 my year of intentionally tapping into and coaxing out my own divine feminine – kicking and screaming if needed – while also actively seeking it out in other women. Not surprisingly, the universe smiled, nodded, and coughed up a handful of opportunities. Looking back, the first quarter of this year has been all about the feminine for me. Here are some examples.

Joyus

don’t know a damned thing about online shopping. And I’m hardly an expert when it comes to fashion. So, naturally I was caught off guard when online shopping network, Joyus, invited me to be a guest on their talk show. Luckily, it was for a life organization segment and I got to present my simplify, prioritize, clarify philosophy. Being surrounded by fashion and beauty experts definitely put me outside my comfort zone, but I think I managed to be myself and just own it, because most of the feedback I’ve gotten was that I came across as authentic and grounded. The experience strengthened my resolve to start making my own videos (which I’ve been putting off for months because it feels like a big huge scary risk.) Here’s the clip, if you haven’t seen it yet. 

Spinsters

As you may have noticed I get pretty fired up about public speaking. Over the holidays, I was asked to be a featured speaker at a Spinsters general meeting. I felt totally confident about my talk but being in a room full of dolled up girls made me hyper aware of how out of touch I’ve been with my own feminine side the past five years while working in fitness. It felt good to just notice this without judging it. As I was standing at the podium at the front of a room with 100+ young women staring back me, I took the opportunity to soak in as much of that uniquely female energy as I could.

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Electric Woman

My good friend Nikki Armytage, whom I’ve written about before, asked me to co-lead a handful of calls with her for Electric Woman this spring. We’ve only just begun this journey and the connections happening in this group of smart and ambitious women are already blowing me away. When you create a sacred space and ask for vulnerability, magic happens. Can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. I suspect I’ll learn a lot from them these next few months. Nikki’s work is going to take the world by storm, by the way. I’m sure of it. Keep an eye out for her book.

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Red Heart Collective

When I was asked by Heather Spurrell, who I’ve been admiring from afar for ages, to be one of the original contributors in her digital magazine I was excited, since Real Women Whole People is very much aligned with everything I stand for. Then, when I saw the names of the other contributors, I was humbled. To be included amongst the likes of Amy Smith of Joy Junkie fame, who is a total badass, and Karen Kimsey-House, co-founder of CTI and one of the pioneers of the coaching industry, felt like a tremendous honor. My piece is called Unleash the Beast and can be found on page 16. Click the image below to hunt it down.

Real Women Whole People

So, my year of tapping into the divine feminine is off to a pretty good start. And I crave lots more. I want more badass women in my life to learn from, grow with, and look up to. I want to see more and more of my own feisty femme come out to play. I want to explore all the mystery and the power that being a woman has to offer and see what happens when I do.

 

 

The Possing Manifesto

I present to you: The Possing Manifesto.

You always have a choice.

Take radical responsibility for every part of your life.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Respect their journey and live yours.

Be present. Be grateful. See the beauty all around you.

Don’t fear your emotions, feel them.

You are a feisty beast. Run wild and be free.

Every day is an adventure. Play hard.

There is nothing more badass than being who you are. Own it.

Stand tall, make good eye contact, and speak up. Your voice matters.

Be courageous. Fail gloriously. Let go of looking good and getting it right.

Clarity and self-awareness are key. Know who you are and what you want.

Prioritize self-care. Put your own oxygen mask on first.

Live on purpose. Seek aliveness.

Create more than you consume.

Invest in the process. Let go of the outcome.

Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Speak your truth.

Ask for help when you need it.

Replace judgment with curiosity. Replace jealousy with inspiration.

Respond intentionally, instead of reacting defensively.

Take bold action. Action creates energy. You can course correct later.

Never assume. Just ask. Keep it simple.

Come from a place of love, compassion, and respect. Always.

Be authentic, vulnerable, and real. Connect genuinely.

Do meaningful work. Work hard but hack life and be smart.

Be a resource. Be helpful. Be kind. Be generous.

You CAN change the world. Go do it.

I wrote this manifesto for The Twenty-One Day Momentum Challenge

My Top 10 Core Values

When I honor my core values I feel grounded, vibrant, and alive. When I don’t honor my core values, I feel imbalanced and uneasy. Sometimes even physically uncomfortable. 

I believe that getting clear on our core values and honoring them is an integral part of the journey to living a happy, fulfilling life. In order to honor our values, of course, we need to know what they are. In an effort to become crystal clear on my own values, I finally compiled a list. 

Here are my top 10 core values (in no particular order) and what they mean to me:

  1. Clarity – know who I am, what I want, what I’m about, and why I’m here
  2. Self awareness – know myself intimately (strengths, weaknesses, passions, quirks)

  3. Authenticity – be unapologetically me, vulnerable, raw, and real and own it completely

  4. Personal freedom – be in charge of my own experience, know I always have a choice

  5. Radical responsibility –  be 100% responsible for my thoughts, actions, and impact

  6. Radical honesty – say what I mean and mean what I say, be direct, and be clear

  7. Respect – let go of judgment, be curious, be compassionate, accept others as they are

  8. Connection – seek out, embrace, create genuine connections with others, soul to soul

  9. Simplicity – let go of what isn’t serving me to create space for what’s most important

  10. Adventure – choose to make my life an adventure every day, spread joy, be playful

This list will continue to evolve as I do. But understanding what I deeply believe guides me to actively create a life aligned with who I am. When I take a wrong turn, I simply refer back to my core values, reevaluate, then course correct.

Through this process, I am learning to 1) quickly recognize when my values are being stepped on,  2) calmly set boundaries and stand up for myself, and 3) be true to myself most, if not all, of the time.