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Day 32 - Family Portrait

Family is a topic I have long explored, something I have honestly spent the better part of my life longing for and something I am treasures to have. When I was little we talked about family along traditional lines, my mother, father, brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. It was all about bloodlines, but family is not so much about blood. Family is about relationships. It is the thing that happens when we share smiles and cries, when we celebrate the little things and hold someone as their world seems to be falling apart. Family is love, it's relationships and it is something we choose. I have been invited a lot of places, today I joined a family for their morning, friends who have loved and supported each other in good times and bad. Today I joined Holly Davis, her youngest son Trace and Teri Paulling and got to hang with their family for a moment.

Teri and Holly are friends, mothers, business owners, badasses and women who have both endured great personal trial and tragedy. THey definitely do life together. Both Holly and Teri are inspiring, there is real warmth there. There are times I think Teri may take a lap around the room and come right back, but she is focused energy. Holly is a soft presence, but very powerful, very strong. You can sit in a room with her and feel it and I honestly lack the words or the skill to describe it fully. These are daring women, they have started their own business, Lowcountry Directory, and have put everything into it. It is their dream, their passion, their life. It lights up their eyes, the thought of its bright future creates goosebumps. They are fighting and grinding, learning and growing. Pursuing your dream is incredibly romantic from the outside, but it is so much more when you are living it. You have to learn everything, motivate yourself, hold onto your dream in the face of doubt and a million other struggles, but you do it. You do it because it's your dream. You wake up at night because you are living your dream, your passion, your truth. You do it because, once you have seen it, you realize you have already crossed a point of no return.

Holly tells me she will not read a book about knowing when to quit. She will decide when it is time to quit herself. Holly is incredibly brave, unimaginably strong.

Teri and I talk about pain, about how it's relative to all people. I tell her a story of one of my young troops who lost his grandmother. It didn't seem like a big deal to me, but it was the first loved one he had lost. He was blessed in that regard, and it hurt him to the core. We talk about respecting people, about celebrating their wins as they seem them, appreciating their pain for what it feels like for them. Teri was a teacher, it shows. She is incredibly wise, very astute, very passionate.

Holly and Teri tell me about their business, about building relationships. We talk about how important it is for you to have people who believe in you, people who invest in you and take a personal stake in seeing you succeed. It sounds like a family, doesn't it?

We laugh and swap stories, talk about our dreams and our tragedies. Trace plays and eats a snack, but you can tell he is absorbing everything. I envy him a bit. He has just absorbed lifetimes of wisdom, lifetimes of knowledge in a couple of hours. That kid is ahead of the game.

What I am touched by most is the fact that I am in Holly's home. I have had people invite me a lot of places, but here is someone's home, their sanctum. When I talk about connecting, about opening up and being authentic, this is as authentic a location as you can have. What an incredible sense of love and courage, to invite someone to your home. It is something I think we underestimate the power of.

As our time winds down I am a bit saddened, but re energized by this connection, by meeting people with all of this passion and knowing I may be able to help them a bit by introducing them to some amazing people who changed my life. They invited me to their home, I invited them to my family.

On my way out, Teri tells me I am stuck with them now. I'm very happy about that.

Favorite Dinosaur and Why: Stegosaurus (Teri) Because of the plates on their back and each one is unique

Favorite DInosaur and Why: T Rex (Holly) Because it's the boss, and Holly is the boss.

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