Ambition and Small-Minded People

To be successful you must have a few things as your core beliefs to achieve long-lasting success. I believe those things to be integrity, ambition, and stickability to never quit. I am lucky to have a reservoir of all those traits, and admittedly sometimes those traits get buried underneath stories that no longer served me. The more dangerous aspect of being successful, though is you become a target. Often it is those closest to you. They tend to be jealous, narcissistic, and fear-based human beings who only know how to deal with success-minded people by hurting them. I am calling it the small-minded syndrome.

As I rose to the levels of leadership, I had wonderful mentors who offered council on how to grow and implement strategies to continue the platform of success. Along my journey of self-discovery and greatness, I had various and sometimes close members of my family say very hurtful and occasionally devastating proclamations. Such as, “this will never work”; “you are never here when we need you”, and my personal favorite, “you’ll never move out” with a sneer and scoff. They wanted to keep me “small” because their life is small. They were unable to make the commitment to make their small, unfulfilling existence into something they could truly be proud of. They resented not being able to be courageous in their life; therefore aimed to keep me small in mine.

The little jabs that are seemingly innocent at first, when reflected upon become glaringly obvious a level of manipulation and belittling. It took me a long time to realize that what my friends and family were saying was not only debilitating to me, but to them. It is a directly reflection of how they value their lives and themselves when they bring people down with sometimes seemingly innocuous comments. They might even perceive themselves as being funny, which I have written about here. I am realizing that the people verbalizing to inflict wounds are not usually bad people. I believe that most people love and express themselves in the best way they know how, and sometimes that way is royally fraked.

They are people in society who do not have a life of their own, so they must tear down others to feel better about their small life. This is not to say that it doesn’t hurt just as deep. Because It Does. Holy hell it does. There are some people who know just what buttons and emotions to press to sustain massive internal damage that leaves us wrecked for days. It can continue to hurt for some time after the initial barrage after you realize the hell you’ve endured, and it can last for years. They say forgiveness is really a gift to yourself, but I have a hard time forgiving those who have deeply hurt the ones closest to me. To be honest, I do not think I’ve ever fully processed the people who have hurt me the most. I am not sure I want to.

There are times in my life where I felt untouchable and kicked ass in every aspect of my life. When anyone tells me I can’t do something, I take that as a personal affront and avenge to prove them wrong. And I do, almost every time. It often comes at a cost, though. It’s a cost I will gladly pay. You find out who really loves you and wants you to succeed. And who wants to keep you small and on their level of comfort. This is when small-minded people feel threatened the most, about when you are ready to have a mindset shift. It is also the time when the disparaging and denigration is at a peak. I have come to the conclusion that this is a defense mechanism, and it saddens me. It still hurts like hell when someone close to you assaults you with words. The person who wrote, “sticks and stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was an idiot of epic proportions. I would much rather have someone throw a stone at me than words that penetrate and sometimes break my soul open. Cuts bleed, scab, then heal and fall off. Words though? They penetrate and can become a black hole of self-doubt, pain, and anger. They can fracture families and leave a permanent rift that will never be healed. Words become thoughts, thoughts become actions, and actions can have devastating results. Verbal abuse leaves a much longer affect on the soul and harder to remedy on one’s psyche than physical.

that is pain

Any kind of abuse obviously is traumatic, but one is more sinister because it is much easier to hide from a physical and psychological aspect.   It often takes place through self-delusion and denial brought on by low self-esteem from being broken in the past. These pieces are often buried deep, and sometimes we think we have gotten past them. This is where small-minded people are so insidious. Because they are usually weaved into your life, and sometimes pretty intricately. And they know us. The clinically narcissistic ones use that knowledge to inflict the worst kind of psychological pain.

Everyone is a work in progress. I have hurt those I love, and some of them deeply. The difference is I am willing to apologize, and learn how to corrective action so I don’t hurt them again. Small-minded people have no desire to better themselves because that would take effort and a commitment to go outside their comfort zone. They would much rather tear others down instead. I am working towards accepting and almost feeling pity for those with small-minded syndrome. Except the hurt goes deep, and I’ve got a long way to go for that mindset switch to occur.



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Mentors, Belief, and Reflection


I have been fortunate enough to have many mentors throughout my life. The first one I ever had was Carter Blankenship, and he taught me most of what I know about shoes and a little about workwear. He passed away two weeks ago. He was one of the first people to ever believe in me, and he called me his protégé. He looked out for me, taught me certain tricks of the trade with people, and he was proud of me. Always.

word cloud - mentorship

I have been thinking about him periodically in the past few months, and how much I wanted to get in contact with him. I just didn’t know how. When I find out he passed away, it hit me like a two-foot wave in the ocean. I felt a sense of loss and shock that I hadn’t felt since my Nana passed away. I am not comparing the two; please do not misunderstand me.


His family had a celebration of life ceremony today that I went to. Truth be told, I really didn’t want to go. I knew I needed to go, I owed him that much. I didn’t really know how much the man had meant to me until today when I was headed there. The emotions were like the waves during an outgoing storm at the ocean. Violent, but subdued. Periodic but all-consuming. It was a tough ending to a tough week.

Ocean Fury taken in October 2015 by Alexis Krukovsky. (c)

I hadn’t met his family, except once in passing years ago, but he talked about them consistently. He was always proud of them, as well.   I looked for people who may be able to help direct me to the family members to introduce myself. The first person I met was Bridget, and is an old family friend. A very lovely, no-nonsense woman who was helping to clean up, and she introduced me to Melissa (his daughter) and later Adrienne his wife. Adrienne knew exactly who I was as soon as I said my name. I was slightly taken aback by this because I hadn’t seen Carter in at least seven years, and probably closer to ten. He talked about me to his family, which he didn’t do often apparently.  He also called me his protégé to his family.  It was one of several moments of gratitude and humbled pride.  I spent several years getting to work with and learn from him, but still.


Some of us went back to the house to help bring in everything, and to relax. There were stories upon stories, laughter, and bonding. From what I knew about Carter, it was exactly what he would have wanted. Laid-back, relaxed, and people having a good time while remembering the man we all loved. He was always a bit of a trickster, and helping to carry everything back to the house was his way of getting me there.

I went not knowing what to expect, and left with a lighter sense of spirit. I also left with new friends, and a deep down belief that he was proud of me. Even still after all these years. I am not sure what the point of this entry was other than a sense of gratitude of the people I have and have had in my life.

Gut Punch

Occasionally there is something in my life that delivers the ultimate gut punch.  My mentor made a video that freaking set myself on fire, again.  I am not going to lie, the past month or so, while doing what I should be doing, and I wasn’t going for it 100%.  I didn’t know why, and I honestly didn’t even know I was playing small until a few days.  Now I know why.  Sometimes leaders are jackasses too; it happens.

My “old self” was keeping me down, and it’s evolved into being super sneaky that way.  I used to be able to identify quite readily when my old-self was creeping in and taking over my confidence.  It seems to have evolved into something that sneaks in for a brief period of time, then retreats, but the tiny seed of doubt is left there.  This will be stopping as of right.

beauty in the cocoon

There are many things that are crippling, but a major one that people don’t think about is judgment.  Your choices in the past are just that, in the past.  They have help create who you are today, but they do not define your future success or failures.  The only thing judgment provides is guilt, a poverty mindset, responsibility dodging, and possibly depression.  Judgment is the lame person’s version of strategy, because it is the easier way out.  If you take judgment out of your decisions and detach emotions from the outcome, you will be astonished by how much better you feel about your accomplishments and your life.   The fear of judgment and failure is gone, and only rationality remain.  I didn’t know how well this entry would go with my previous, but they really do complement each other quite nicely.

When trying to achieve a goal something that is helpful is strategy as to why.  Notice I said why, and not how.  If you know and understand the WHY, you will get to the how.  For some reason, this is just how our mind seems to work.  Big or small, fast or slow, strategy and why will beat how every time.  The how is small ball; it is the version of yourself in a chicken coop eating grain from a metal tube.  The Why is yourself as a free-range chicken eating whatever you want to in the big, open world of freedom.  You choose which version to be.


Day 12, Gym 11 Walking with Dad

After so many of years, months, etc of trying to figure out things.  I have figured it out.

There is such a thing as fear based versus caution.  Fear based is based on limited information, fear, and an overall scared mentality.  Caution is based on informed decision making, facts, and pros and cons list.

Having lived this life on fear based thinking and mentality, I get it.  Trust me, I get it ALL of it.   Fear is easier to handle, it’s easier to push away, it’s easier in general.  I’m scared of heights, boom, done.  I’m scared to talk to that person because I’ve been devastated before in the past when opening up to someone BOOM, done.  I’m afraid to do this thing so outside my comfort zone, what if I get ridiculed, embarrassed, and want to hide in a corner?  BOOM, activity over.  People coddle you when you make excuses, hide yourself, and hide under a rock.  They do not coddle you when you make a decision to change your life.

People commiserate over sadness, and make excuses for you.  My friend Keri, said when she broke her foot, that people would say to her, “oh it’s ok you’ve gained such and such weight, you broke your foot.  Let me help you.”  All of that is okay.  But it is so much easier to commiserate than it is to move past your own obstacles, own them, figure out a way to fix the problem, and move on.  This is why people stay where they are for years.

Own your life, your decisions, and be happy with it.  I had a talk with my dad about a few different things tonight as we were walking.  The universe conspires in weird and wonderful ways, and sometimes those ways suck hairy monkey balls.  The best thing that ever happened to me was being fired for forgetting to lock a door, literally.  I was working 60-70s a week between two jobs, and quite honestly, I didn’t see that changing.  I got a promotion at work, and literally two days later was fired.

I had to figure out what the hell I was going to do with myself.  I spent the first month vegging out on TV turning off my brain.  Then I took my first whitewater kayaking class, and started paddling.

However, for the next two out of the three jobs I had were fear based.  Fear that I would lose my job, that I wasn’t good enough, and I put in more hours than ever.  This is really no way to live life.  When my last environmental consulting job, which was the worst in terms of job security than any of the others, ended, I was actually relieved.

Fast forward to the present.  I am working retail at a job I’ve worked since  high school, which is as far from fear based as you could possible get; and I am passionately working my beloved Arbonne business.

I say that I found myself in Arbonne, and it’s true.  I have found so much more than that.  I have found my purpose for being on this planet.  If I can inspire one other tree-hugging hippie paddler, introvert, and outdoor junkie to understand that they can do whatever the hell they want in this life, than what better honor is there than that?

To inspire others to live their dreams, and make them realize that if I can do them, than why the hell not them?  Truly is there any better privilege than that?  No there isn’t.

Yet another big shift.   And I’ve only just begun.

Unconventional Life

My life has not been “conventional.”  I did go to college, it took me awhile to graduate, and it took me a year to find part-time work in my field of interest, environmental science, which became environmental consulting.

I thought I’d spend my life doing it, it’d be my “career.”  That was the point, right?  To settle down, build a life, and stay with the company forever.  Well that little scenario didn’t happen, and I found that I had four employers in the span of 7 years.  I certainly wasn’t happy, and when the temporary position I had ended, I was actually relieved.

So, I went back to the retail job I had since high school, started dogsitting, and started working my Arbonne business.

set of four

I realized a few months ago that I am not meant to live a “conventional” life, and that is a valid life choice.  I have too many passions, outlets, and love for others to have it pigeon-holed into one category for the rest of my life.  I love photography and to write; I am in love with helping people and empowering them, and I am obsessed with teaching paddling to everyone I meet.

This is my path, my destiny, my journey, and I have chosen to live my life this way.  I have also taken responsibility for it, and that has changed everything in my life.  My mindset, my purpose, and my belief in myself have all come from this realization that my life choice is okay.  Better than okay, it is mine.  I own that decision.  It may be messy and chaotic, but I love every minute of it.  I love the flexibility I have in my life, and the time freedom to pursue all the things I am passionate about.

My life choice has led to me to the most amazing, empowering people I could have ever met.  I have the best friends and support system that I never would have fathomed being in my life. I have surrounded myself with people who respect me, and who empower me to be better.