Playin’

I’ve
been

Playin’
at

Greatness

for
Over
a
Year.

Struggling
to

understand

Why.

until

Now.

Afraid

of
Who
I was

Becoming.

being
Known,

Rejection

by the
people

I
hold

Closest.

all
Ludicrous.

I’ve been
through

so
much

Worse
and had

Acceptance.

during
the
Dark
bouts

in my

Life.

and
Yet

the

Thought
of

Success

and

Independence

Stunted
me
into

Mediocrity.

I’m
Bigger
than

That.

I
Deserve

to
Thrive

Success
and

Freedom.

I am

Not
Going

to
Back

Down
this

Time.

to

Fear

Judgment,

ultimately

Shame.

for

embodying

my
Whole

Heart.

I
no

Longer
feel

Obliged
to

Hide.

Life
is

Discovered

in the

Discomfort

of
Growth.

it is
There

you

Find
Your

Truth

and

Acceptance

of your

Greater
Self.

Life and Love

I figured out what love is.  It’s taken me 36 years to figure it out, and I’m not letting it go.  It is loving yourself enough to own your identity, and it is the scariest thing I have ever done.  The handful who know me really well and who I’ve confided in know what I am talking about.

personal style

I’ve hidden myself in one form of another since I was around 10.  It was first because being weird in middle and high school is quite honestly just plain brutal, as some people know.  It was much easier to be quiet and meek than smart and bold.  In college, I found myself and surrounded myself with like-minded weird people of the best variety.  It was rare when I was unapologetically me, though.

white party pic

These are some of my favorite people on the planet.  Who helped show me that I was enough.

I reached a point last year where I was on top of the world, so to speak.  There was something missing that I couldn’t quite identify.  I finally figured it out and told my best friend.  She said literally, “thank God.”  It’s the final piece of accepting me.  The final piece of accepting who I am, and loving myself for everything that is me.  It is scary and amazing.  I am ready to do this.  To own myself, and more importantly to love myself on an entirely new level of acceptance.  This is not the forum to announce such things.  If you’ve read through the lines, great.   Just know that I am ready, I am coming, and most importantly, I AM ME.  If you don’t like it, I honestly pity you.  Acceptance is a human trait, and also the cause of the worst travesties of human history have occurred when not allowed.

Persona, Myself, and Reality

I have developed this persona of sports chick meets business casual.  And that’s what it is, a persona.  It has been hard edged and intimidating, which is really not what I had intended.  It was a barrier in a sense for people not to get too close.  The weirdest part?  I didn’t even know I was doing it.  All I need to fulfill that is persona is some straight up killer heels, super spiffy clothes, and then boom.  Intimidation persona complete.

persona4b

The reality is I am a down-to-earth, relatively easy going person who is easy to talk to.  Now, it would be MUCH easier to get the aforementioned clothes than change my style and approach to people.  However, I am not the type of person to take the easy way out.  I am nothing if not true to myself.  It will suck some of the time, and take more personal growth that will most likely be painful.  But I will do it, because that is my truth and my destiny to be that kind of leader in Arbonne.

Becoming Yourself

This year possibly more than any other year has been a year of change, epiphanies, and becoming the person I am truly meant to be.  If there was one thing I thought about myself my entire adult life was that I was always me.  I didn’t put on airs with people.  The odd thing is as you grow into adulthood is sometimes who you are smacks you right in the face.  Like BOOYAH, the past 34 years I was just kidding, this is who you truly are.  And it’s scary.  Despite Facebook and this blog, I really don’t like people knowing the real me.  In the past that has just led to heartbreak and misery.  The keywords in that sentence are the past.  I am sure I will have heartbreak again, but at least this time it’ll be in my truth.

Reality

What is scarier to you:  becoming the person you were meant to be and letting people see you or staying stymied in your old self?  For most of my life the former was infinitely scarier than the latter.  Some people do not want to see the truth, and would rather keep you down than see you blossom into the person you were meant to be.  The people that really love you will accept it right away, and sometimes the people who have known you the longest may take some time to see it or they may not see it at all.

The year of change and epiphanies just keeps getting better, and I am evolving into the person I am meant to be.

Because of Us

Based on the title, this blog entry may not be what you think it’s about. I had a few  conversations about different topics with one of my mentors today, and at one point she stopped and looked at me. She said, “are you okay?” I paused a moment, and said, “yes.  I was just thinking about how different my life is then it was four years ago”.  I looked at her and said, “it’s mostly because of you.”

white party pic

She responded, “well, it’s all because of you, actually.” I retorted, “yes, I did the personal growth work. However, it wouldn’t have happened without you.”  She responded, “it’s because of us, then.”

Relationships are complicated, regardless of what form. Whether it be platonic or romantic, mentor or friend, or personal versus professional. Let me clarify that statement: meaningful relationships are complicated. There are two forms of relationships: the real, genuine do anything for you kind or the convenient kind. Sadly, most of the relationships I have had prior to the past four years have mostly been the latter.  I think that is true for most people.  It is just easier and safer that way.

Mediocre vs Rocking It

Relationships exist for a number of different reasons. Number one reason is to challenge us to be better than we are. Often times, people do not want to do the work to be better than they are. They would much rather be mediocre than rocking it. Quite frankly, rocking it often takes a lot of painful growth, so why not stay mediocre and content? Comfort zone, safety, and mediocrity are where most people live, and that is okay.  Human beings were not created to live a mediocre life, so what if you want something more?

The Change

A good, meaningful relationship, however, will ALWAYS push you to the next level. It involves tough, sometimes hard conversations that neither person wants to have. It involves growing towards your next obstacle instead of away from it. Most importantly, it involves asking the right questions, figuring out solutions, and applying those solutions to life. You cannot apply change to your life without application and action. It just doesn’t work. I am a byproduct of the work on both my business and myself. I take ownership of both. Which type of relationships are you in currently? Take inventory of your life and figure out who challenges you and who placates you. The placators are not doing you any favors, and are in actuality bringing you down.

Be in a relationship type where there are “because of us” moments and growth pattern.  It truly changes everything, and as with anything worthwhile, it starts and ends with you.

Heroes and Pedestals

I wrote this friends of mine, and it was asked that I share it.  I agree I haven’t written here consistently lately, and thank you to all of my followers both new and old for sticking with me.   I’M BACK.

Heroes
are
Iconic.

Above
Everyone,
above
Reproach.

Maybe that’s
why I
Never
had
One.

there Are
People
I
Aspire
to be
Like

except

They have
Always
been
People.

Real.

Heroes

are just
like
Us.

They still

Feel

Hurt

Grieve.

they

Often
do
it

Alone.

Self-
imposed

isolation.

for
Us.

and

some of
Us

see
Heroes
as
Us.

We
Love them
and
their
“flawed”
selves
as
They
Are.

People.

because
They
are
Us

in a
Different
period of
Time.

What’s Your Superpower?

I went to see a speaker tonight named Cornell Thomas, and I had a number of takeaways. The biggest one for me was when started asking my friend about her superpower. Everyone has a superpower that is unique to them, and it’s our life purpose to figure out what that is and to serve the world. His analogy (Cornell’s) was when you don’t use your superpower, it would be like Superman walking to rescue a puppy instead of flying.

Stolen from the interwebs

So what is your superpower? Mine is listening to others, assessing a problem, and applying a solution in a logical and analytical matter. I have known that I was a good listener for quite awhile, and I’ve become aware of my ability to solve other people’s problems. It is something I use quite often at work, with friends, etc. I realized tonight that I could be using it so much more effectively and more powerfully.

Why are we so afraid to identify and use it? It is all about fear, doubt, sense of deserving to be of service (self-deserving), and self-belief. Fear that they think the solution won’t work, and doubt that they will not believe me or that it is possible.   Self-deserving and self-belief are the biggest culprits in holding myself back in most aspects of my life. The self-deserving part is where I deserve to share this gift with people, even if they reject it. The self-belief is my realization that I can change thousands of people’s lives by utilizing my superpower in combination with my story. Not only do I deserve to believe that I will change and impact the world in a real meaningful way by unleashing my superpower, but the rest of the world deserves it as well. I not only have a responsibility to that, but I have an obligation to leave this world better than I came into being.  It’s utterly terrifying, and at the same time, it is one of the most freeing moments I have had.  This is my purpose, this is my life, and it is mine to give.

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 17, Gym 16

I attended pickup volleyball at Central Jersey Volleyball Academy (CJVA) in Flemington, NJ.  It reminded me of everything I loved about sports, and everything I did not like about sports.  I did not like the cliqueness or the pressure when I didn’t feel good enough.  I have always loved the camaraderie, friendship, and community when you met the right people who were laid back and liked to help you get better.

I found both at CJVA.  I got there and was quite excited since I haven’t played volleyball since college, and then it was recreational.  There were mostly young people there, a couple older, and then some kids (aged 13ish).  I started off with the young people, where they were rotating on and off, but then I noticed that there was a court where there was no one waiting.  So, I went over there.  There I found my laid back happy group.  There was a couch, Lynette, Jerry her husband (I think), then me, and on the other side of the court were the three girls she coached there.  I had a blast with them.  I never really felt like an outsider, at the beginning I felt a little sheepish because clearly they were better than me.  I got over that pretty quickly, and was actually improving in my skills by the time we were done.  It’s a great workout, you are running, bumping, diving, and twisting your body in all sorts of ways.

 

kit n kaboodle

my ritual after working out.  Yay to no soreness

We broke up into larger groups again, and the cliqueness returned.  I was over it by that point, and have spent too much time on myself to feel like an outcast.  I saw one of the thirteen year olds I was playing with practicing her skills, so I went to go practice with her.  I saw a lot of myself in her, the shyness, awkwardness of youth, and a slight self-confidence issue.  But she’s tough, and quite good.

I found another purpose for my journey though.  It is to provide a place where kids can play sports without cliques, pressure, or anything like that.  I loved sports growing up, was never very good at them.  As I got older, all those things above infiltrated the sports field.  I felt intimidated, alone, and an outcast.  If I can prevent that for any other kid who loves sports as much as I did, but got pushed out due to their own insecurities, that’s what I’m going to do.

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.

Nature, my life, and grounding

I have always been attracted to nature, and have used to ground me throughout my life.  Be it the woods, water, mucking in a stream, ocean, backpacking, later paddling, you name it, I did it.  So when we literally got all of our winter in one weekend in the northeast  I busted out my snowshoes and communed with nature to settle my ADD mind.  It doesn’t matter how long I’m out in nature, my mind calms and I’m able to focus.

boat sledding II winter 2013-2014

Boat Sledding.  Yes it is as fun as it sounds.

I am currently building my future freedom every day, and sometimes that means short-term sacrifices for long-term, sustainable freedom.  It feels indescribably good to finally know where I’m going in life, and what I am going to do with it.  I’ll get to volunteer and give more than I do now, and I’m changing lives in the process.  Most importantly, my own.

I love what I’m able to do with my life now that I never thought possible, and I’m in love with the fact that I will be able to choose to work very soon because I like it not because I have to.

This is kind of a rambling entry, and I use writing to process things.  So, I apologize if this didn’t make sense, but I needed to write this today because of the various levels of emotions I am feeling today.  Writing and nature are two of my favorite outlets, and that’s what makes this blog so fun.