My theme for July was RESET and I can confidently say I did exactly that. I reset my goals for the year and even my 40 Before 40 list. But that was just the beginning.

This month I hit the reset button on nearly every aspect of my life, including my writing and blogging life, and I learned 3 important lessons along the way.

When you feel the fear and do it any way, things get less scary.

I was afraid July would be a terrible month.  In case you’re new around here, earlier this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’ve been undergoing chemotherapy since the beginning of May. My treatments started as bi-weekly but shifted to weekly this month. Because of this, I thought I’d be too sick, tired, and weak to do anything.

But I had to feel the fear and face this month anyway.

And the month turned out to be more productive than I could have ever imagined. I blogged more than I have all year. I was able to stay on top of my freelance writing assignments. I hosted a virtual critique session, mindset workshop, coaching session and virtual write-ins for the women of the See Jane Write Collective. I began helping The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham plan for its upcoming virtual fundraiser and I redesigned the See Jane Write website.

The redesign just reinforced this idea that if you feel the fear and do it any way, things get less scary. I put off redesigning my site for three years out of fear that it would be too hard. But it wasn’t. In fact, it was fun!

I’m ready to fearlessly face the rest of this year.

When you pray for growth, be prepared for pruning.

My cancer diagnosis has been the greatest test of my faith I’ve ever faced. And some days it’s a test I fail. Somedays I ask God, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” Somedays I’m so mad we’re not even on speaking terms.

Recently, I remembered that my word for 2020 was GROWTH. It’s only the end of July and this year has stripped so much from me. Sometimes I feel 2020 has taken everything from my hair to my hustle.

But this month, I realized that when you pray for growth you must be prepared for pruning. I choose to believe that sometimes when it seems everything is falling apart, things are actually falling into place.

So, I’m working to reset my relationship with God through prayer journaling. As I am writing my way through cancer, I’m also trying to write my way back to God.

Writer’s block begins in the body.

I have almost always felt a link between the body and creativity. I feel creativity in my bones. My best ideas come to me when I’m engaged in movement. That’s why when I first read John Lee’s book Writing from the Body his declaration that “writer’s block begins in the body” resonated with me.

My body must be free for my writing to be whole. So, this month I made a commitment to prioritize self-care. And I made a promise to myself that I would embrace my age and never believe that I’m too old to blog.

As I prepare for a new month, I will carry these lessons with me into August and go all-in with making this month awesome in spite of all that says it should not be.

What lessons did you learn this month?