Yesterday, I went out to brunch with a dear friend of mine. She taught me a new phrase which I had never heard before, kissing the frog. She explained that in some professional environments, this phrase is used to reflect the act of buckling down to do the unappealing, daunting tasks first to reap the greatest benefits and gain tremendous momentum. That conversational exchange had my wheels spinning for hours, because something inside me was sparked and I found myself very curious to figure out what inspiration was underneath all of the chaotic to-do list repeating its rhythm in my head lately. I realized that this phrase connected with me in a way that wasn’t expressed originally.

Personally, kissing the frog isn’t about making great strides in one’s professional life, or tackling the messiest of tasks first. Kissing the frog symbolizes with blazing accuracy what happens when we take something “ugly” that comes up in our lives and make the most of it. Sure, buckling down to push myself to do things I have not wanted to has helped me to propel in ways that I didn’t think I would. When I go ahead and do things anyway despite feeling resistance, I find myself meeting some of the greatest people in my community, or making significant and authentic connections I didn’t know was on the other side of the wall of resistance. However, kissing the frog is so much more than that. Time-tested and true, whenever I find myself facing life’s “ugly” or unexpected messes, I look for the beauty in the experience. I look for what’s underneath the slimy, bumpy exterior of the frustration, pain, or guilt that arises as an involuntary and primitive experience to some of life’s experiences. When I look for the beauty in it (reflection), and embrace or kiss it anyway (action), life has a magical way of transforming before my eyes.

Life’s journey is so much about kissing the frog. It’s not the end result that’s so valuable (because, seriously – happily ever after? I’d rather be happily ever now), but the journey and process that is. It’s the jackpot that we all look for. We’re meant to struggle. And to win, or master, life. True magic is found in courage, boldness, persistence, and resilience in action. Life isn’t about the prince. Or the monotony of happily ever after. The answer we’re really after, is the process. The hero’s journey.

What does your hero’s journey look like so far? Write it down. Write it as a comment below, or in your journal if you’re not ready to share. If this brings up some anxiety or paralysis, reach out to me. Let’s work together to rewrite your hero’s journey.