Year of Ask Vol 2: Why and How I Started My Year of Ask Project

I set the date for my 39th birthday party months in advance, at the totally subtle nudge of my partner. It surprised me that I was procrastinating sending out my invites. Like all things I need to do and instead procrastinate, it was in heavy rotation in the back of my mind. For some reason I felt resistant to asking people to celebrate with me.

This picture series is basically all sorts of folks who showed up to celebrate my birthday and helped make it happen in some way. By not asking folks to my birthday party I would have cut myself off from receiving all this love! All pics by my friend McKay.

As others who have December birthdays know, birthday gatherings are met with quite a bit of scheduling competition and to ensure you have robust attendance you have to invite early and remind repetitively. Usually I don’t do either of those things and let whatever happens happen, or I put my birthday party off until January.

I went to a retreat for my new coaching program the first weekend in December, having still not sent out invites to my birthday party. During the retreat I kept working on uncovering my blocks to money. The realization came when I was heading home, noticing the strong resistance to sending out invites with fresh self awareness.

I have been saying for years that asking for help is a sign of strength. But, as with all personal growth, there is always new work to be done in areas I thought I had handled. Having that time at the retreat to really examine myself and how I might be limiting my greatness introduced me to this new growth edge—I needed to open up to asking.

Sometimes, when I have an area of personal growth, I just need to practice. Get in there, feel awkward, cheer for myself and do it anyway. With practice, awkward things feel less awkward. Eventually difficult things become muscle memory and the resistance doesn’t come up as much.

I decided to embark on a Year of Ask. Like Shonda Rhimes and her Year of Yes, I would devote myself to a year of asking. Literally anything that comes up, big or small, that involves asking, I will just do the ask. I love the saying “If you’re not hearing no you’re not asking enough.”

So I started with my birthday party. My ideas for what I wanted to accomplish with my party were mighty. A holiday special for my Facebook Live, a brunch the next day, a Dolly holiday raffle. I knew if I wanted to go hard for my birthday it would require a lot of help since I couldn’t afford a caterer and I needed production help. My heart was telling me “Yes, yes, go hard Bevin!!” but something in me was blocking the execution.

My annual pic with the Zarou family!

The Year of Ask was the permission I needed to push through that block. And a birthday party is a great occasion to practice shameless asking.

Behind the scenes of my Facebook Live Holiday Special, which yes, included a BBQ as a stand-in tripod. My friend Leo provided SO MUCH HELP making this happen because I asked for her help!

I made all the big plans, I wrote up an epic Google RSVP form with about fifteen check boxes of ways folks could help. And it happened, we had enough chairs (thanks Kate and Jennifer!) and the food was fabulous and plentiful. And the pictures are beautiful. Way more people RSVPed than I thought would happen and it turned out Dara had been secretly pre-planning my birthday as a surprise proposal which explained why so many people were available and ready to help.

Keep up with our queer wedding planning on our Wedding Vlog!

So here I am, officially 39, having had probably the best birthday party I’ve ever had, running a pre sale for my first ever workout video for Fat Kid Dance Party, and asking away. Will you support my mission to make the world safe for people to love themselves in any amount? Link to support right here!

I’m excited to share with you how the progress in my Year of Ask is going and would love to hear from you. How have you opened yourself up to asking? What process do you use to feel the fear and do it anyway?

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