Freedom

The word freedom is a rather loaded word. It means something different to everyone. My freedom is paddling whenever I want, being able to give whatever I want without it destroying my bank account, and being present when one of my family and friends wants me to be there no matter what.   And travel. There will be lots of travel. To me, you can’t put a price on any of those items.

This is a pic of my crazy cousins, and their significant others, kids, etc at my cousin's wedding. I am so lucky to have them.

This is a pic of my crazy cousins, and their significant others, kids, etc at my cousin’s wedding. I am so lucky to have them.

Your freedom may be different. The key is to be able to actually EXECUTE that freedom.

There is also the third reality. The burnt out and/or overworked mentality. This is by the far the saddest, and in my opinion the hardest to get out. This is where you either work a bazillion hours and get a really great paycheck. Or you are working a bazillion hours just to make ends meet. I have been in the latter of those two. Many of you know this, but for those that don’t, I used to work two different jobs about 60-70 hours a week. In those years I made under $30,000 for BOTH. I got my W-2’s back and said, “Really? That’s it. There’s got to be another way.” It feels like there isn’t though. You become disheartened, depressed, and just resigned to the fact that this is all your life is going to be. You are really just surviving another day, week until the next paycheck. When you breathe a sigh of relief, and said thank the universe it’s payday. You lose your drive, dream, and eventually the ability to hope for something better. You believe that this is how it is going to be from now on. You become resigned to mediocrity.

Except it doesn’t have to be this way.

If you are in this particular mindset, there is a way to find your freedom. My way might be different from your way; however, I can say with conviction as long as you work your lever to freedom, you will get there. The last three years I have had a lot of absolutely amazing things happen, but I have also had some of the worst possibly scenarios come into my life during that time. Here’s the difference between now and seven years ago. I have a choice.   I got the opportunity to spend time with my elderly Nana and go to the hospital for both my Dad and my Uncle when it was necessary. I literally would walk out of my job saying I have to take care of my family now. I am very grateful and very blessed that my “regular” job I get to do that. Family always comes first.

The nicer part was because of my network marketing health and wellness business, my paycheck didn’t suffer to the point where I couldn’t pay my bills. I earned that time. I earned that freedom. It is like anything else, it takes work and sacrifice.

My question is what is your freedom worth?  Think about it.  This is not a hypothetical question.  Take some time and develop it.

Fear of Success and Codependence

 Codependence

I have steadily been moving towards independence, and took a big step towards it by finally moving into my own place. It is exhilarating, scary, and necessary. My whole life I have been enabled and codependent, mostly without me knowing it.   This has lead to some unhealthy and self-destructive habits that I have been slowly working my through to be the best version of myself. I have written about the personal growth aspect of the journey repeatedly.

The Battle

I have never shied away from it. The necessary pain of personal growth until recently. I didn’t know why until yesterday. The last vestiges of codependence are attempting to adhere a strangle hold on my road to greatness, and they are powerful, deeply entrenched, and are not going away without a fight. It is possibly my hardest personal growth battle to date. My will, grit, and determination are even greater.

decisions regret

I don’t think I have ever been more scared to continue on my path to greatness, to success. I will beat this. I will conquer the doubt, frustration, and little nagging voice that says “no you can’t”. I have to. It is past that, I deserve to.

It is bigger than me. It always has been. It is just more real now that it ever has been. The fear of success, and the lingering doubt has been crippling as of late. What if I am not good enough, what if I am not the leader everyone expects me to be, what if blah blah.

Belief

It’s all bullshit, of course. Some of the biggest leaders in Arbonne believe in me, and it’s been a long time since I have felt this uncertain about myself. This is how I know I am close to a breakthrough. The closer one gets to the breakthrough, the more the universe challenges you to see how much you want it. I deserve to get out of my own head not for the last time, but certainly one of the most important to date. I am at the critical junction where my fear of being noticed and success have come to a head. This is my pinnacle moment where I can aspire and reach greatness, or I can shirk into the background. The latter is not really an option. It would be so much easier, but I am never one to take the easy way out. Bring on the pain, I’ve got this. Finally. Yes, I realize I have said this numerous times. And every time it has been true in different aspects of my life’s journey.

New Reality

This poem reflects about my current evolution of moving into my own place for the first time.  Enjoy 🙂

 

New Reality

sometimes
Revisiting
your

Previous
life

Causes

Reflection
Emotion
Pain

like tonight.

I came
back for
an evening.

the
Range
of

Emotions
are

Staggering
and

Perplexing.

It
feels

Foreign.

it’s now
Just a

place.

not a

home.

but
familiar.

What I
think it
may be
like for
amnesia
Victims.

Lost,
Open,
Vulnerable,
Afraid

also

Free.

I am no
longer

Shackled

by
my
Surroundings

I
Embrace

Love

Immerse

myself in
Them.

Blank

Slate
has a

completely
Different

Meaning
to me.

Another
Life,

Chapter,

Being,

Self.

 

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.

 

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.

Buried

The
amount
of
pain
in
discovery,
healing
is
related
to
how
deeply
buried
the
Pain
is.

 

It is
Raw,
Visceral.
the
Pain
and
Power
are as
Real
as
any
Break.

It’s
easy
to
Bury
it,
let it
Be.

the
memory
of the
Pain
stays
Hidden.

It’s still
there,

Lurking
in your
subconscious.

Like
a
slow,
suffocating
Cancer
of
your
Spirit.

be
Brave

Reach
into
the
Abyss
of your
soul,
Pull
out
your
Pain.

Expose
it
to
Light,
air,
and
Watch
it
Ignite

into a
Fiery
Whisper
of
Ashes.

Your
Burden
of
Memory,
Pain,
Regret
is

Gone.

Like
ashes
in
the
wind.

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.

Moments and Shifts

Sometimes there are moments that seem like they are still-life, and they are pictured in your mind forever.  Some good, some bad, some just are.

Then there are moments that change your thinking, change your perspective, and ultimately change your life.

I have had so many of these lately that it’s been a bit overwhelming.  My friend calls it “the gauntlet”, and she had run hers a few years ago.  I am running mine now.  It’s a series of life-defining events that are sometimes cataclysmic, but always kind of an emotional do or die situation.

tragedy-strength dalai

This year has been one of the toughest emotionally, but one of the best years of my life.  There’s been loss, heartache, emotional pain, and stress from a variety of sources.  All of that leads me to this.  This moment, my gauntlet.

I am done hiding.  I have hid behind a wall for so long, and I have written about it.  This is different.  It’s visceral.  It’s one of several breakthroughs I have had in the past months, but this is one of the most important.

Because it’s about me.  A lot of the other breakthroughs I’ve had, and the success has been because I wanted to be an integral part of building others up.  Because they deserved it.  It wasn’t because I deserved it.  I didn’t think I deserved that success, but I for damned sure wanted to help them achieve theirs.  To be apart of something greater, and we pulled together as a team and succeeded.

It was amazing to be part of that, and I’ll never forget it.

Now I realize that I DESERVE success, too.  For me, for my team, for my family.  And all of that is okay.  It’s not selfish, it’s not narcissistic, and it’s deserved.  I have worked to grow myself to the person I am today, and it was hard, it was painful, and at times it quite frankly sucked.  The outcome though?  The best thing I have ever done.  To realize I AM worthy of all those things.  Me.  Not for someone else, is my biggest shift to date.  I am quite literally shaking with fear and realization.

Striking Times

This has been my first Mother’s Day without my Nana.  I felt her on Sunday, I did.  However, for some reason, it is hitting more today for the first time in awhile.  There are so many other times where have felt her presence more, and it is beyond random.

It has happened when hiking, walking, paddling, and very occasionally driving.  I will see something, and out of nowhere WHAM there’s Nana.  I am a deeply spiritual person, and a lot of the emotion I express via writing. It just comes out better than if I do it verbally.

My 96-year old Nana receiving a mud mask last summer. Thank you Arbonne for giving me the time with her.

My 96-year old Nana receiving a mud mask last summer. Thank you Arbonne for giving me the time with her.

The time I spent with my Nana before she died was directly related to my business.  It gave me the time freedom to go down to the shore, and give my Nana a facial and spend time during the week.  My flexibility gave me the time I needed to be with my family.  There are two things that matter to me more than other part of my life:  my family and my friends.  You mess with either of them, and you will regret it.

I get struck by these emotions and sentiments at odd times.  Generally when I’m tired, and my guard is down.  I got to have a final conversation with my Nana that others in my family didn’t get to have.  I would have given ANYTHING so they could have had that conversation that they so deserve.

She is with me.  In every heart ache, every barrier broken, every adventure, and every celebration.  She is there, and always will be.

My mission in life right now is that no one else that I know, specifically, has to endure that hurt.  They get to have that option, freedom, and say in their own god*&mn life.  It’s not about me, and it never really was.  But this just got real.

Fear and Success

There are so many intangibles for fear as an adult.  As a kid the intangibles are clear and straight forward for the most part, the dark, monsters, etc.  The one least discussed for adults is the fear of success.  It may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s more prevalent than you may think.

There is a certain sense of responsibility when it comes to success.  Whether it be for other people (management), financially (raise), or even just to yourself, and it can be daunting.  This is especially true if you have low confidence, morale, and general low self-worth.  If people didn’t expect you to achieve highly, and you’ve been told that (hopefully inadvertently) you couldn’t do certain things for whatever reason.  It is a monumental task to mentally overcome that mindset.  To defeat it, you have to force yourself to personally grow, and to grow into BELIEVING you are WORTHY of love and success.  It’s a daily, demanding battle to change that story you have told yourself your entire life.   And it is worth all of the effort to achieve believing in your own self-worth.

anything you want copy 2

It is here that you will feel worthy of success.  It starts and ends with you.  You have to change, you have to want it, and you have to be viligant.  And you will feel free.  There will still be those days where you want to retreat into your “old” story.  Don’t let yourself…fight for your new found freedom.