So, I'm about to talk about two things that at first glance, might have nothing to do with each other. But actually, they do. The first is this outfit - a mashup of many things I never thought I would wear, and particularly not together, but for some reason, when I put them together, it didn't seem over the top. Just new, and in many ways, exhilarating for that very reason. 

It's good to try new things. And it's good to put every single thing you have in your entire being into them - not to mention everything you do. This is something I have always done, to an extent, but this past year, something happened that really made me rethink this on a whole new level. 

Yesterday, I said that today I would be sharing a story with you that I have mostly kept to myself for the last few months - I haven't even told some of my friends, because it's a difficult thing to talk about. A few months ago, my nephew, who is actually pretty close to my own age, as he was the son of my oldest sister, passed away in his sleep. He wasn't sick at all and the news came as a crippling shock to my family. When I found out about his passing, I was in the middle of filming at Joyus. The details of that day are still fuzzy to me. Mostly, I remember huddling in the corner of the dressing room, making calls to family, mostly numb, half disbelieving that he had really died.  It's never easy to lose someone in your family, but when that person is young and seemingly healthy, it can be even harder to wrap your head around. 

His little sister, who is one of my favorite people in the entire world, shared something that he had once told to her. And it was this: 

"Do things without anyone's approval, go for it with full force and forget the doubters. It's more satisfying to succeed when everyone is hoping you fail than it is to succeed when everyone knows you'll do it well. Be a surprise, this is the time." - Dane Bollig

She's not the only one that took that quote to heart. In the last year before his death, our family had watched Dane become someone truly amazing, rising above the tide, often against the odds. And even though he died suddenly and unexpectedly, he was living with an awareness that so many people may never even come to. 

While my niece went with a tattoo, I opted for this bracelet, inscribed with his mantra that is now my own, and hers, and that is now so many other people's too. It's a constant reminder to myself to let go of the doubt, to be a surprise, to surprise yourself even, and to seize every moment. You don't know when you will go, but I have made myself a promise to live my life full force ahead. 

Mali Beads was really kind to offer up this same bracelet as a giveaway for you to inscribe with whatever you want. All you have to do is find me on Instagram and follow the giveaway rules that I've posted on the image of this bracelet.

And if you win, maybe have this bracelet inscribed with something that is meaningful to you, something that you can glance down at and be reminded why it is you do what you do. I wear mine almost every day, and I can't tell you how much energy I get from looking at it, and remembering why I wear it. 

Wishing you the best of luck!