This is an absolutely true story:
One year and two days ago, I found myself walking into church with my 18 month old on a cold Wednesday night. It was 9/11, the days were getting shorter, and I was in need of a change. My husband was working nights and weekends as a bar tender, and I was finding myself further and further away from living the life I had pictured when I was a little girl, the life I had worked so hard for through school and in the last decade of my career. I was just going through the motions. I was going to bed Sunday night, running around all day at work, rushing to get home to my baby girl, spending a couple hours with her, putting her to bed and then getting up again the next day to do it all over again. So that night in church, a kind new friend offered to watch my daughter in the nursery, and for the first time in years, I went to the church service on my own and literally prayed for some sort of answer.
I was searching for a solution. And literally, I was running ideas all through my head. Should I go back to school? Should we pinch pennies so I can stay at home with my (soon to be) 2 girls? Is this stress worth it? Am I living each day to the fullest, or am I becoming more focused on the paycheck than I would like to be? And why on earth am I waking up in tears a couple nights a week, struggling to go back to sleep?
A girl from high school had been posting on Facebook about staying at home with her four kids, and I found myself drawn to the vision she was casting. She talked about health, nutrition, and also about freedom. I kept showing my husband her posts and he encouraged I just reach out to her to learn more. So I did, and exactly one year ago today, we sat over coffee for a few hours.
What I learned was so interesting. I asked a million questions, and I was certainly not walking in blindly; I had done my research. What was she doing? How was she doing it, and most importantly, WHY was she doing it?
When we left coffee, things started to clear up for me. I wasn't sure exactly how, but I knew I had to take that leap of faith and give it a shot. I knew she had come into my life at exactly the time I needed her to, and I knew that if I didn't try, I'd never know the answer. Could I also create this home-based business which would not only give me the freedom to choose, but also the freedom to pay off student loans, relieve my husband from his weekend bar tending schedule, and help us build the life of our dreams? The risk of saying no seemed much bigger than the risk of saying yes.
So, I flew to Phoenix by myself 3 weeks later, roomed with someone I just met, learned all about this opportunity and vehicle to help others achieve health and freedom, and never looked back. As I reflect on this past year, so many astounding things jump out at me, lessons I will take with me always:
- Things are not always as they seem. Do I look like I have it all together? Most of the time, yes. Do I always feel that way? Most of the time, no. Others who read this and know me may be surprised to hear about my struggles. But GUESS WHAT: the only normal people are the people you don't know. Every single person has hopes, dreams, worries and fears.
- Every single person craves connection. So many people walk through life with their blinders on, because they simply don't think they are worthy or that others will care. We've become accustomed to simply going through the motions every single day. There's a reason we call it the "real world." It's not always easy. And there's also a reason Facebook has 1.23 Billion active users (that is like 17% of the world, and consider how many people don't have computer or are under the age of 12). People crave connection. Facebook gives us a form of connection from the comfort of our home on a Friday night, and it's also not as scary because we can hide behind the monitor.
- Happiness does not come from being the smartest, richest, or most successful. Happiness comes from within, from a feeling of contentment and completeness. Happiness comes from living out your purpose and designing your days as you choose. Everyone deserves to feel this exhilarating, freeing form of happiness.
- If something isn't working, change it! I found myself saying, I don't know everything about this new adventure I'm starting, but I know what I've been doing isn't working, so time to switch gears and try something else.
- We each own finding our happiness. I've met people from all over the world this year, people from all walks of life. My mom raised us to believe that we control our emotions, and in the truly happy people I've observed this year, I've noticed one common thread: they all believe that they are ultimately responsible for creating their happiness. People in complete dire situations have turned it around. It is never too late.
- Taking quiet time to meditate, practice yoga, exercise, or be silent is such a healthy practice. There have literally been years where I haven't had a moment of quiet from morning until bedtime. So much of it is just noise: morning radio shows, background music, gossip and chatter with co-workers, phone calls in the car, reality television. We all have 24 hours to spend in a day. Choose how you spend them wisely.
When you find something that works, that you know can work for so many others who are in similar situations, you want to literally SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! It's really that simple. This website was born out of the idea that a life full of passion is absolutely worth every effort. Achievement is nothing if it is not also coupled with joy. My hope is that these words and ideas spark something in you to assess what's going on with you, ask the tough questions, look deep inside yourself, and admit if something needs to change. And if it does, I URGE you to find it. xoxo