Hiding, Settling, and Pushing

For the past year I have been hiding behind my circumstances of injury, PTSD, hurt, depression, and the worst one is self-deceit. I have always been quite open to criticism, so I could power forward and learn. The issue last year is all of my inner circle was going through heavy shit just like I was. They were not in a position to offer constructive criticism because they were trying to survive. Which was okay, I understood that we were all struggling in different, but very challenging obstacles. As my friend put it, we ALL went south for a period of time. I have written about hitting my wall here. Anytime I had hit a wall I went into survival mode, which meant I went into a ball. I was talking with a friend of mine about childhood bullying in general, and snowball fights came up. She said that she hated them. I said, I always thought they were fun. She retorted, “I was always the one being pelted and worried my glasses would break”. I said, “oh I just always went into a ball.” She said, “I just stood there”. I had an epiphany that day about my reaction to internal struggle, and about how when things really get tough I would go into a ball. She said, “it’s time to unfurl. And I’ve been watching you slowly unfurl for 6 years now. It’s time to unfurl and become fully you”.

believeinyourself

From that moment on, I have been steadily and more consciously unfurling myself from the past year of pain, heartache, and being utterly lost. Being lost sucks. Either metaphorically or physically. My life that I had taken so much effort and time to create was slowly being dismantled. The worst part is I was the one who was unconsciously administrating the dismantling. The biggest bitch of it was, I truly didn’t realize how bad it was. Or how much I had internalized my pain that was externalized into confusion. All of these realizations have come about today, and things are starting to click.

For my social marketing business, we are doing a 90 day bootcamp with a training call every Sunday with some of the top leaders in the company. The trainer on the call on Sunday asked, what do you fear the most? I instantly wrote disappointment. And then wrote in big letters FUCK under it. My instant  reaction and consistent fear is not being disappointed, but in disappointing others. It is then when the epiphanies started infiltrating my brain.  Disclaimer:  if you cursing bothers you, I would suggest skipping this entry entirely.

The internal dialogue went something like this:

Me: I thought I conquered that
Inner me (referenced as the niggle from now on): apparently not
Me: Well frak. What am I supposed to do about that?! There’s no book for that. Because I have tackled a lot of things, and I bet that is the underlying cause of a lot of it.
This was later exposed as doubt in therapy, it’s been a heavy week.

When I encounter a problem I can’t solve, I text my coach to ask for guidance. I said something like, “I have an answer to the trainers question and it’s fraking disappointment. I am not sure what to do about it.”

catepillar

My coach says, “It’s a legit fear, and to lean into it and do it.”

I was confused by this and responded, “lean into disappointment?”

My infinitely patient coach says, “no. Lean into the FEAR of disappointment and do it anyway.” After that I got it, and have proceeded to not only kick ass but KILL the niggle. My therapist was resistant to the word kill (she wanted it to have a permanent vacation). I know how insidious that little bastard is, and it needs to die before it infects another human being with its nonsense.

I hit what I call the frak it button, but only part way.  Like a safety on a gun. To clarify, my version of the frak it button is I don’t care WTF people think of me. I do it anyway. This is how I went to the second level of leadership the first time with my social marketing business, and am doing it again now. And it feels SO GOOD to be me again. But that’s a different entry all together.  I am ready to pull the trigger on the frak it button.  Be all in.

After today, I went through something called EFT (look it up of you’re curious) or otherwise called tapping. I went FAR back to where the niggling (saboteur) came from. The emotional imprint originated from an incident so long ago. Except after processing the memory, I discovered that it morphed into disappointment others not so much myself.

THIS is when the epiphany occurred. If you believe that you have disappointed others, especially if you are viewing it from a leadership role, GIVE IT UP. Two reasons, 1) you haven’t and your life’s purpose is bigger than you; 2) any mentor or coach who feels that way isn’t worth your time. Because if your mentors/coaches feel that way, they are making it about them. My experience is that people eventually make themselves known. Carletta Nelson says, “time either exposes you or establishes you.” Which is dead true. I have spent the past year or more trying to figure out my place in this world.   I do apologize for all clichés in this articles, but sometimes there is no other better substitute. They are clichés for a reason.

self-love train

It has been awhile, which is a huge red flag for me, where the lesson caused me utter terror. Because it means I am ready to be the leader so many others leaders believe I am, but more importantly I Believe that to be true.

This entry has been a long time coming. I went into a ball to protect myself last spring (literally and figuratively), hit an emotion wall in September, and have been slowly unfurling myself ever since.

It is about trying to have the courage to fulfill my greater purpose. I always knew I would have courage to fill it. I was unsure of the timeframe. I ready to embrace the reality and responsibility of being the leader of this company now.

My greater and life purpose is to teach other people how to build a better life of their own through empowerment, as well as expressing my love of arts while being able to make a bitchin’ income at the same time. My greater purpose is about fulfilling lives, and I am READY to fill that purpose. Bring it on life. I am ready.

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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.

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.

Momentum

A few months ago my mentor in Arbonne had a vision retreat.  I was in the midst of one of a series of life-defining events that catapulted me into rage, determination, and focus like no other.  It was a respite from the craziness that had consumed my life, and I was deeply grateful for the trainings, inspiration, and passion that came from it.

I left there with inspired, determined action that I never believed I could do before.  I didn’t know this would make this much of an impact on me, and spur into action that I never dreamed was possible.  I finally understand momentum.

too positive to be

The definition of momentum according to the Oxford Dictionary is “the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events.” Once you have it, and I have had it on a few different occasions before, it is both scary and exhilarating.  It is exhilarating for obvious reasons.  It is scary because momentum comes with certain expectations, especially if you capitalize on it.  It goes back to my fear of success, which I wrote about before.  It is about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable; going for it and not caring about failing, and most importantly, it is about showing yourself that you can conquer that fear of achievement.

The best part about momentum?  It is Contagious.  I am literally smiling all the time, and I can feel this hum inside of me.  I am full of energy and excitement that threatens to cover everyone with glitter and unicorn dust.  My determination born out of chaos, and the need to be responsible for my own environment has set my soul on fire.  And I’m going to keep going in spite of my fears of success, vulnerability, and change until I get where I want to be.

 

Year in Review

This year has been a roller coaster ride of loss, painful personal growth, healthier lifestyle, recognition, pinnacle achievements in two different passions, many personal revelations, family stuff, and an outstanding blow up in my business.

 

Resolve face

The look of determination

The personal revelations have come from the gauntlet of family events and personal events in my life the past couple of months that have set my soul on fire with focus.  I had written about it before, and the impact on my state of mind and sense of purpose.  The past month I reached the achievement of going into Area Manager in Qualification in my Arbonne business.  I won’t go into what that means here, just know that it’s really important and it means I can build a financial legacy for my family very soon.

A few things happened when this achievement was posted on the ubiquitous Facebook.  My Facebook exploded with people from all over congratulating me; I had people reach out to me privately to congratulate and to tell me how inspired they were, and I was a very humbled, proud person.

This kind of appreciation, love, recognition, and acceptance is not necessarily new for me to receive, especially this past year.  What is new to me is the level of appreciation, gratitude, and just overall sense of happiness and amazement I feel within myself to be receiving all of those things.

This year has been primarily about growing through some very painful (not physical, fortunately) limitations in my life.  Lately, I have realized my self-worth; what an inspiration I am to others, an overall sense of self and what I can give to this world.

It’s an incredibly amazing, gratifying experience to be able to inspire (their words) people I haven’t met yet.  I understand where I am going, I understand what I have to offer, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to get .  Perhaps more importantly, I am not going withhold the belief and gift of inspiration in myself.

Untitled – 10/6/15

Untitled

The
memory
as
vivid
as
a
movie.

I was
completely
Broken.

The Girls
behind me
were
bashing
my seat
with their
Knees.

They asked
Did
I Care?

I said,
blankly,
No.  I
don’t.

It
Didn’t.
Nothing
Did.

It was
the
Start
of the
Wall.

The
Start
of
Isolation.

The
Beginning
of so
many
Destructive,
Protective

habits.

and
they
All
Worked.

until
they
Didn’t.

Isolation,
poverty,
Walls
can
only
last
so
Long.

Before
I
Craved
something
Better.

Connection.

and
Life.

Little and Big Things

There is not much that makes me cry or even tear.  There are a few things that do:  highly emotional events, friends and family support, and nature connection.

I experienced a highly emotional family event in February-my Nana died at 96 years young.  I say young because she was the initial badass, and she remains an inspiration to me this day.  Those that know me, know that I will do anything for my family and friends.

I am going to fast forward to six months ago.  There have been a number of people on my personal growth journey that have been instrumental, and they know who they are.  When my Nana died, of course my blood family came together, but two other families gave me supported that I would not have thought fathomable about a year before.  My Arbonne family and my paddling family, and they were some of the first to reach out to me.  Reading my facebook entries and the condolescenes made this entry crystallize.  This entry has actually strayed far from my original inspiration, and it doesn’t matter.  This is why I write to let stuff out and process.

I lost my way.  I lost sight of the goal.  I even lost my belief that I could do it for a brief period of time.

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.

Everyone gets in those periods.  And most people need a kick in the ass to get them out of it.

I had just such a kick, except it was mostly a kick from myself (yes, I had help).  I re-read a lot of my entries from February and March just now, and said “what the fuck are you doing right now!?  Get your ass in gear, and make Nana proud.”

Except unlike February and March, I realized it’s about making MYSELF proud.  She was already proud of me.  Now, it’s about changing and getting out of my own damn way.

Belonging, Terror, and Love

I have been pondering the past month about the many things that have changed in my life so much in three years.  Since I was in middle school, I have been searching for and also running from belonging to anything outside my family.  I’m fortunate enough to be comfortable with my family, which has always been my rock.  I’ve just expanded it a bit.

I didn’t belong to anything in middle school or high schooI, beyond an environmental club and to a certain extent my church youth group.  Even that was superficial.  I think everyone to some degree goes through bullying in middle and high school, and it affected me greatly-I know I am not unique in those aspects.  It was typical middle and high school tormenting, and it left deep scars of trust issues.  The groups I thought I belonged to, I really didn’t.  I felt awkward, uncomfortable, and painfully self-conscious most of the time.  So I retreated, and built reinforced concrete walls.

It was simple in mind.  Belonging equalled trust that inevitably lead to hurt, which led to me being terrified of letting myself get close enough to feel worthy of belonging.  It was one more thing to lose, one more heartbreak, and it was just easier to cut myself off emotionally.  It was damned effective.

At my community college was the first time in a very long time I felt I belonged somewhere, and it wasn’t superficial.  I found my beloved Garden Club, the Garden Elite.  I am not sure whether it was because some of them were older that I felt more at ease, or just because they were an exceptionally accepting group that made even an awkward newcomer feel welcome.  For whatever reason, I did feel welcome, and more importantly, I let myself feel that I deserved to be included.  As I am writing this, I am realizing what a defining period it was in my life.  I trusted people a little, and it didn’t hurt.  There was just acceptance, love, and I will forever be grateful to them.  I am still in touch with those people today.

Garden Elite 2002. Left to right: Monica, Taylor, me, Lauren, Dustin

Garden Elite 2002. Left to right: Monica, April, me, Lauren, Dustin

After college was a struggle to belong again, and I was back to feeling like I did in high school.  The scarcity mindset had returned, and I wondered if I would ever feel good enough at anything again.  Fast forward to three years ago.  I found friends, a tremendous group of people, and an organization who’s entire philosophy is to empower people.  I feel a true sense of belonging, love, and appreciation I never thought I would ever receive again, or let myself feel like I could let people in without fear.  I found my group, who is a part of my extended family, and to finally feel like I belong somewhere, and that I am worthy of it, is an indescribable feeling of gratitude.  I have surrounded myself with people who love and accept me for me.

Epiphanies and Joy

There is something amazing about Realizing things you thought dictated your life story, and realizing They no longer Matter.

IMG_5795356049180

What a freeing thought that is.
And to embrace and accept it as FACT is even bigger.

To be an adult is to be free.  From what freedom that is for you to choose.

Enjoy.
Live.
Choose.

GO!

P.S.  Everyone has those thoughts.  I don’t care how powerful or your title in life, EVERYONE has those thoughts of imperfection.