Austin Adventures, Part 4: Finding a tribe for support, bliss and earning my happy, a never-ending journey

On my last full day in Austin, I wanted to get out and experience some hiking and since I’d already planned to write a feature story for Travel Pulse about “10 Outdoor-Inspired Austin Activities” it was necessary, even if it was only 30 degrees. As I walked along the pathway at Zilker Park, I started to realize how cold and tired I was, and even the cup of coffee I drank on the way over to the park from the Airbnb hadn’t kept me warm anymore. I walked for miles and miles, trying to find “the shot” that I thought would make a perfect trail/hiking photo.

Zilker Park 5

This is part four in my “Austin Adventures” series, check out Part 3, 2, and 1 for more on how I spent my time in Texas!

But I kept trying, and wasn’t happy or satisfied, and began to get a bit grumpy. I also was freezing, my toes were cold and I’d left gloves in the car. I wandered around the park for so long that I almost forgot which direction my car was and finally got back on track after seeing some construction that reminded me how to get back to my car. I got back and warmed up with more coffee and celebrated my journey as a win because I’d gotten up at 6 AM and was done with a 10-mile hike by 9AM when people were heading to work. I also knew that I had some good shots, like the one below, and sometimes I just need to trust that the photos I create are “the shot” and worry less about validation.


Over this past year, I’d been listening to a podcast called Earn Your Happy and on that podcast, the topic of validation, approval-seeking, and acceptance are some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned. The show’s host, Lori Harder, inspires me and I enjoy listening to her interview guests who were struggling with the same kind of challenges I continue to work through this year.  I’m learning to be happy right now, instead of thinking “I’ll be happy when…” and her podcast has helped me with that concept.

When she launched her book tour I wished I was in one of the big cities she had mentioned (LA, NY, Chicago). It wasn’t until her second tour that she added the city of Austin, and the tour date coincided with the week I’d be in Texas! I was able to extend my trip long enough to attend the book signing. I knew that I wanted to meet this amazing and inspiring woman who helps women like myself create a “tribe” of women working to reach their full potential.

Bliss Lori Harder

“Follow your bliss.” It’s not, “Find your bliss and live there.” It’s [about] the following, the evolution, the growth from the never-ending journey. There is no Destination Bliss. – Lori Harder

I recently read A Tribe Called Bliss over the past two weeks, and as I write this the day before Christmas Eve, I thought it would be a great time to share my gratitude and gifts that I’ve learned as well as a bit about what’s in this book.

I think this book is a great way to create an “Action Plan” for life, building a network of close, supportive, driven leaders to give each member accountability, respect, and a space to be heard. I can personally relate to wanting to be heard, and struggling with connecting with others on a deeper level. It was just recently that I met another “tribe” while traveling to Denver, which I wrote about on the blog.

“Our thoughts create the world we live in.” – Lori Harder

I’ve been working through some of the key components of this book and continue to dive into self-care, challenging my self-limiting beliefs, and being flexible in my expectations and understanding. Being kind to myself and realizing that it’s taken a lifetime to have the mindset and experiences I currently have, so to change and modify my deep-rooted beliefs will take work and time. I have worked to reach out to friends when I’m struggling, something I hadn’t done in the past.

My old story was creeping back as the holidays approached and I knew that I needed to work towards my discomfort zone. This journey I was on to make better choices was proving to be incredibly hard. At times in the past month, I’ve felt a bit crazy and stressed. I’ve binged on everything sweet as well as Netflix reruns because of my zombie’s brain after arriving home from work. I’ve been cramming in workouts and trying to refresh my resume, and felt exhausted and frankly just not good enough. So I give up. And then start again, over and over again. Every day.

“The question isn’t if you’re meant for an epic life, it’s when will you accept that you ARE? You are mean to experience miracles daily. Once you step out of that suffocating fear closet, then when you commit to the love, and earth angles show up in droves, get ready!” – Lori Harder

The problem isn’t my choices, it’s my mindset. The idea that “I’m not good enough” is still living in and taking up valuable real estate in my head. As I work to get clear on my intentions, values, and goals, my choices become easier, and I realize that I can make these changes, and do the things that will take me towards my amazing self. And I can let go of the old story and move past that comfort zone that I’m used to snuggling in, and get my sweet butt out into the crazy, cold, amazing, scary world, that will be the ultimate way to live my best life.

Just going to Austin was an example of this year’s steps towards travel and getting out of my comfort zone, staying and navigating a town I didn’t know, and no one I knew there to guide me, I found my way. And I will find my way in life, with my tribe(s) by my side.

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