2016 Year in Review-it was interesting

2016 was a rollercoaster of the highest highs, and the one of the oddest periods of my adult life. I experienced the amazing achievement of Area Manager in my Arbonne business, and it is a day that I will never, ever forget. The reason for that is because of the sheer inspiration it created in other people. There will be people who become nation before I do because of my journey, and I’m completely okay with that.   I also experienced one of the most profound and amazing experiences I have ever had at the area manager retreat. My face hurt from smiling so much, and I was inspired but also aimless. I understand it doesn’t make sense. It didn’t to me, either.

reflect-and-learn-fave

The Transition
August saw me move into my own place, and that’s where the weirdness started. I was inspired, in activity, but going nowhere. I didn’t believe it. I finally was growing to be an adult, and the comfy backup living plan I had was gone. I fought in my head to figure out why I was struggling so much with this. This should be the pinnacle of my year. The catalyst to growing into my greatness, but it wasn’t. I am growing into that role on a daily basis, but it took some time.

The codependency relationship I had, which I have written about a few times was the culprit. When you are in a codependent relationship of any kind and you get out of it, you start to realize how fucked up your life was. If not, then at least unhealthy.

It is only within the last couple of weeks where I have started to feel like myself again. I am in activity, but it is not only inspired but intentional. Everything in my life has come down to self-worth. I honestly think most people’s issues come down to that issue if you really break it down.

not-what-i-happened

The Break

The codependency break quite frankly sucks, especially when you don’t see it coming. I had no warning; I just expected to keep rocking it. The universe had other plans. The punch you in the face truth from two sides that came to a glaring forefront of change and challenge. It made me face the reality of myself and of my family dynamic. It forced me to realize that I’ve got to get growing to not only be the leaders I know myself to be, but also to lead my family in ways I never wanted to but became necessary.

The Future

The future is always messy. You just have to choose which mess to wade through. Regret or awesomeness are your main choices. Either way, you are going to have to go through your own shit, so it might as well be as short as possible. It will suck. It will be painful. But the pain is short-term, in comparison to the life long pain of what ifs.

Be the Dragon

The Moment

There comes a time in every milestone, progressive moment, and breakthrough where your fear of staying the same outweighs your fear of the unknown. In addition, there is also the moment when you realize that you have to get out of your own way, your own head, and just freaking do it already.  You reach the tipping point of your mediocrity.

I just had the moment that has been building for a while. The catalyst was unexpected. A friend posted a picture of her mom walking six weeks after a stroke. This woman defied odds and doctors by walking, and one of my relatives is an amazing survivor of three strokes in a two month period. In my head I thought, “and what limitation are you suffering from to limit my potential?” Nothing except the most important one of all: my old story that I am not good enough.

Photograph taken by Pete Kreiger. A moment of quiet reflection.

Photograph taken by Pete Kreiger. A moment of quiet reflection in Florida.

Reflection

Last year at this time I was pushed to my brink by forces outside my control, and it got my ass in gear big time. Crisis equals problem to solve, which for me is something I can and do tackle with gusto. I sit here with tears in my eyes, and reflecting on the year that was 2016. Amazing, powerful, emotionally one of the hardest of my life in very different ways than last year.

I am changing and growing. I am getting past the obstacles of the past few months. I am moving towards OWNING my breakthroughs and break them down brick by brick with a sledgehammer. Fear the dragon or be the dragon.

The Demon and Choice

The little things I have been ignoring in my life are like a pile of brush near an ember  on the edge of a forest waiting to be lit. Those little things that I KNEW deep down I had to and deserved change in order to be my best self rose up to become big fiery ball to slay me. The choice becomes yours. Let it slay you, and cower in the fear of your own demons forever in its shadow. Or you rise up and slay your fear with a fury you didn’t know you had. Fear does not like to be challenged, and it will wither like a brushfire with no fuel. It is just waiting on you to grow a set, and slug it like Muhammad Ali on fight night. To take no prisoners. To be the dragon that slays the crouching demon within.

Type of Decisions

Life is not a series of moments; it’s a series of decisions. I have come to the conclusion that there are three types of decisions. One is deliberate where you choose to go after something in your life. Two is passive, where you let the decision come to you. Three is where the situation determines your decision. The third option may seem like passive, but I beg to differ.

Passive is where you are ambling through life, but situations arise and you ride that flow without participating in it much. Situational decisions are where you make an active decision driven by circumstances where you decide to drive your own your circumstances. If you don’t see the difference, please continue to read.

done-to-me-human

I have always enjoyed puzzles, and life is no different. I have always been good at dealing  with problems and obstacles, regardless if they were mine or someone else’s. I have never been one to panic when faced with an obstacle because it’s an objective problem I can fix. When my car bumper was literally hang by a few pieces of metal, I fixed it with cable ties. When power has gone out, I grabbed my head lamp so we could search hands free. The pragmatic and solution oriented approach to problems have always come easy and natural to me.  It is a situational decision brought on by fear.

Everyone goes through things in their life that are presented as obstacles. Last November life presented me with a series of the biggest obstacles I have ever faced, and I used it to propel me forward. I responded to the situational decision, and I used it to fuel me. I grew more than ever, both in life and personally.  This post is not to brag about that level of growth, for which I am proud of accomplishing and grateful for.  The growth I experienced was driven primarily and instinctively by fear.  It is a small way to grow, however.  I would like to show you a better way to grow without external stimuli.  Fear will push you into greatness only so far.

two-options

This post is what happens when there is no crisis or obstacle, and you still have an all-consuming desire to grow.  When there is no life event that makes you realize that you have been playing small, and you better step up.  It is what happens when you turn from an amateur (in anything) to a professional.  Because your decision and action is not propelled by fear, but it is propelled by love and faith in something bigger than you.

I have heard time and time again in my network marketing business it takes a decision. It takes a shift. Each time I promoted, it was because of an external event. It’s not enough. To be truly better, you deserve to strive to be better when there is no propelling reason to be. This is that moment for me. I have no external struggle happening in my life, but I have not felt this much internal determination to be better than yesterday in quite some time.

Situational decisions will only get you so far before you hit a wall of your belief. If you feel the pull to greatness, be aware that your mindset and soul deserve more than to be pawns in a situational game. Be an active participate in your greatness, and make that decision now to live in a life that is not fear based.

So it Begins

Where do
we Go
from

Here?

I don’t
Know.

This is what
I
Do
know.

Love
trumps hatred.

This is
an
Inflection
Point
for our
Country.

I never
Thought
it would
Come to this.

But it has.

It is
Our
Duty
to show up

Even
Bigger.

Be bigger
than
Hate
and
Repression.

be
Bigger than
Disappointment
and
Anger.

Be the
Light.

Show them
Why
We
Will
Not
Back
Down.

It’s in
our
Blood.

We are
not quitters.

We are
the
Beginning
of a
Revolution.

the
Revolution
of
Love
we
are

Echoing out
to the
World.

This
is
Our
Time.

to
Show
what can be
Done.

It is
our
Responsibility
to show
the world

We are
Better
than

This.

So
it

Begins.

Moving On

The worst part of moving on is realizing that you’ve been a jackass for way too long.  I had been clinging in some odd way to my previous life.  It was like I owed my previous life of co-dependence something.  I don’t, and I won’t any longer.

fear pass, regret not

Being vulnerable is a love-hate relationship with me.  This blog is definitely a part of that journey.  I express myself much better in writing than I do at any other form, so this blog is a major source of release and equal scariness.  I can connect with people on a way I rarely feel comfortable doing.  Real, vulnerable, scary, and it’s all me.  When I am with people in public, even most of my friends, they rarely see any of the above.  Unless my guard is down.

This entry is going to be a bunch of free-thought.   If you don’t follow it, that’s okay.  If you don’t like it, equally okay.  I haven’t been writing as much, which is always a red-flag for me. We are all in a battle for dominance in our own heads.  It is our will that determines whether the ego or our true self wins.

The Beginning

My life has been a series of transitions, as I think most people’s are.  For me, I found myself in college.  I didn’t have to be invisible anymore in college.  I agree this is often a theme on my blog, but it’s an important one.  I was actually for the first comfortable with myself and other people.  High school were not the best years of my life, it was full of years of hiding and pretending I was okay.  It was also were I had way better relationships with my teachers than with my peers.

Next transition was home from college.  I was back to being self-conscious and apologizing all the time when I got my first “professional” job.  There are many amazing things that came from that first job, but the best was being fired.  It led to a series of things that brought me to my friend Jenny.  Who introduced me to Arbonne, the best decision I have ever made in my entire life.

The Middle

The transition into entrepreneur was much longer than I thought it should have been.   The amazing thing about being in network marketing and entrepreneur enterprise in general is there is no time table.  I have finally taking control of most of my life, and it’s the best thing I could have ever hoped it to be.  There are more transitions to go, but this one was where I knew I could kick ass and change lives at the same time.

And yet, I still had not yet let go of my co-dependency.  I still lived under a roof that was both freeing and oppressive.  It was weird and it was not a home anymore.  I finally broke that cord in August.

personal style

Adulthood

I didn’t realize I hadn’t moved on from that until this week.  I have my apartment set up with the major things:  bed, kitchen table, kitchen stuff, and internet.  What I don’t have is a way to have people there.  Which would make it permanent.

I don’t think I truly realized what I big step that was until a few days ago.  This is truly my space.  It is no one else’s.  It is scary, amazing, and truly inspiring.  I will be free from the co-dependency when I realize that I am doing this.  That this space is mine.  I created it, decorated it, and am living in it like an adult.

Moving on is painful and necessary.  This is another step into a journey of greatness.  As usual, my head gets in the way of my progress.  It’s not even my head, it’s my ego playing to my insecurities.  We are all in a battle in our own minds for dominance.  It always depends who wins the war, not the battle.  I will win this war at any cost.  Because I deserve better and so does every one else in my life.  It starts and ends with you.

Hiding and Discovery

The only thing I really wanted out of life was to be invisible. I was damned good at it, until I wasn’t. Over the course of the past couple of years I have become anything but invisible. Whether you realize it or not, people watch you. For me, it’s weird to not only be noticed, but also recognized for being myself. Most of the time, it’s amazing and I am always so grateful that I have created the life I have. There are times I still struggle with it, mostly during transitions and self-doubt. This has been a hell of a transition period for a number of reasons.

Realization Uncovered

The odd thing about being invisible and hidden is when it comes truly time to what you are looking for and want, you don’t know what it is. And even if you know what it is, it scares you beyond just about anything you’ve ever done before.

Why? Because it’s finally the real you. It’s not the goofy pretend extrovert; it’s not the aloof woman made of steel, and it’s not even the meek, self-conscious introvert. It Is You. And people knowing you, the real you, is the most daunting thing you’ve ever done. The most daunting, exposing, scariest thing I have ever done.

It is so much easier to hide; to be the person that everyone expects you to be, or to be the go to person for whatever than be truly you.

me training 2-1-16

Expectation

I have not been truly myself since I was a kid. I was always trying to live up (unknowingly) to the expectation, the image, and later try to cover up the vulnerability of what is me. I buried by myself for so long that the real me was incredibly painful and difficult to unearth.   It is like an archaeology dig. Where the past is buried so deep and so painstakingly preserved, it is difficult to unearth without destroying the very being you are trying to make whole.

The End

It’s a misnomer. There is never an end to discovering yourself and your own potential. There is only the willingness to dive into the personal change, gratitude, and submission that there are those who know how to achieve greatness and you must accept and “bow” to their knowledge and expertise. Only then will you truly grow, learn, and become yourself. Regardless of how scary and terrifying that is.

Being vulnerable sucks. It just does. It is also necessary in order to grow to your greatness. Find a mentor. Grow. Be. Do.

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.