My journey of growth conclusion: Gratitude is where it starts.

Karen gratitude journal 5

One of the most important tools that I have learned about and applied to my life is Gratitude.  If you feel like life is pretty crappy, don’t go into victim and blame mentality.  Turn to gratitude instead.  When you turn to gratitude you will find that life is pretty great. Gratitude is where it all starts.  It is so SIMPLE and so POWERFUL.    There are so many ways to use gratitude. I will share one of the ways in the following experience that I had in December.

I had been on a tempo since October.  My comfort zone was stretched to the max; well at least it felt like it was.  I’m sure it could have stretched some more.  It was nice to have some down time after I returned home from the zone event.  I had a lot on my mind.  I wanted to be pro-active and problem solve to find a way to pay for my programs.  When I signed up for HeartCore Endurance I said that I could give up my van.  I wasn’t that attached to it in the first place.  I was thankful I had the van, but I was willing to let go of it so I could have something better.  That’s what the law of sacrifice is, giving up something good for something better.  Some other ideas that came to mind were: teaching another workshop, seeing if the credit limit could be raised on our credit card, applying for a personal loan and looking for a job.  Matt and I called about the credit card limit.  The customer care person got the info and said we would know in 6-7 business days to see if we qualified or not.

A few days later I was sitting on the coach reading with my girls.  I had seen some messages from Matt’s work about needing extra coverage.  It was at a time when he would be awake.  Awesome!  I brought it up to him and he checked.  I thought he would for sure take it.  We could use the extra money.  He came out of the office and was heading outside and I asked him if he took the shifts.  He told me no.  I asked him why?  He said something about it would just cause problems.  He didn’t say anything else about it and went outside to the garage to work on a Christmas gift he was making.

I felt really irritated.  I took it as he didn’t care to do what it takes.  I felt that he was leaving it all up to me, that it was all on my shoulders.  I was going to have to do it alone.  I kept reading with the girls, but my mind wasn’t all there.  I was fuming inside.  Matt came back inside with the mail, and handed it to me.  I finished reading with the girls and opened the envelope from Chase bank.  I was really hoping that this was the reply about our credit limit.  Oh it was a reply all right, just not the kind of reply I wanted.  We didn’t qualify.  My heart sunk.  I tried not to panic and freak out.

I got off the couch and went into the office, sat down and started looking for jobs.  I couldn’t focus.  I needed help.  I sent Allyson a text asking her if she was available to talk.  She text me back that she wasn’t.  She asked me if I was in crisis mode.  I sent her a reply back saying on the verge of going into crisis.  She said she would call me as soon as she was finished.  I got my coat and shoes on, grabbed my purse and car keys, and went to the garage.  All I could say to Matt before I got into the van was that we were denied on the credit limit.

It seemed like Matt didn’t care.  It really hurt and I felt alone.  I didn’t know how I was going to take on an extra job and do everything else.  I was trying to stay in control of my emotions.  I decided to try talking to the manager at Reams to see if they were hiring at all.  I was in and out like the blink of the eye.  They weren’t hiring.  I made it to the van and the tears started streaming down my face.  I had officially hit crisis mode.  I couldn’t breathe.  Who was going to hire me?  I wasn’t qualified to do anything.  I felt worthless.  I panicked; I had to find a job of some sort.  I got myself to stop crying enough to where I could drive again.  I decided to try WinCo Foods.  Shortly before getting to WinCo I decided that I was going to sit in the parking lot and let my tears dry and work on calming down.  I wasn’t in any condition to go and try to apply for a job.  Turns out that wouldn’t be happening either because just as I pulled into the parking lot Allyson called me back.

I answered her call and tried not to cry, but that is what I do when I’m upset.  I cry.  I told her about what had happened.  I noticed as I told her my hands started to tingle.  Allyson only had a short time to talk.  It was her husband’s birthday and they had plans for that night.  I understood.  Allyson told me she was putting me on a loop of sending my energy what it needed throughout the night.  She wanted me to go home and make a list of all the things I was grateful for now in the moment.  She wanted me to do my restorative yoga.  Take time for me to get myself vibrating higher.

I was still pretty emotional when I hung up with her.  My hands were still tingly.  I was feeling a little light headed. It was so hard to breathe.  I for sure was heading straight home.  I was in no condition to talk anyone especially a manager.  I hoped that I would make it home ok.  I drove and tried to breathe.  When I pulled into the driveway and opened the garage and saw Matt sitting in the garage I was filled with dread.  I really didn’t want to talk to him for fear that I would blow up at him.  I pulled in and parked.  I closed my eyes and leaned my head back.

Shortly after doing that Matt tried to open my door.  It was locked and so he knocked on my window.  I opened the door and he asked me if I was alright.  I told him no, I wasn’t alright.  I asked him why he turned down overtime when it was at a time he could work.  Why would it cause problems?  He then told me that he wouldn’t be able to do it because he had no Taser gun training.  I asked him why he didn’t just say so.  I told him the way he said no and just walked outside, really showed me that he didn’t care and that it really was all on my shoulders.  I told him we needed to get all of the hours that we could get.  I told him that we were in this together.  He may just have to work without a day off.  I might just have to work without a day off.  I told him it wouldn’t be permanent.  We needed to be willing to stay in action and do what it takes.

By the time Matt and I were done talking my hands had stopped tingling, I could breathe deep, and I wasn’t light headed.  I felt calmer.  While I prepared a quick dinner, I thought of things I was thankful for in the moment to keep my mind from spiraling down.  After dinner I got my notebook and I started listing things I was thankful for in the moment.  Within minutes of writing what I was thankful for I noticed that I felt calmer and that everything would be ok.

Gratitude is a practice.  You keep getting better at it the more you apply it in your life.  I have been writing in a gratitude journal every night for the past 3 years.  I write 5 or more things that I am thankful for each night.  Doing this always brings a happy feeling right before I shut my eyes to go to sleep.

When you feel yourself starting to spiral downwards take action!  Grab a pen and paper and start listing all the things for which you are grateful for in that very moment.  You can even say out loud or think it in your mind what you’re thankful for.  It could be as simple as saying I’m thankful that I have food in my fridge, or that I’m thankful that my kids and husband gave me the greatest hug.    By listing what you’re thankful for you will raise your vibration and attract more positive into your life.  You will see just how blessed you really are.  I’ve had so many opportunities to practice my gratitude. I’m happy to say that it works every time.  I’m so thankful to Allyson for teaching me gratitude and how to apply it in my life.   Choose to be grateful no matter what!


My journey of growth part 16: The Zone is back, part 3 of 3

The zone 3

It was the last day of the zone event.  Shanda talked about accession plans.  She chose someone from the audience and created an accession plan for them to show the rest of audience how they work.  It was very cool!  After talking about the accession plan Shanda had her staff hand everyone in the audience and envelope that was sealed shut with a sticker that said Do not open.  She had us open them.  She was offering her Pace Club Program for a much discounted price.  This was the only day to get the deal.

What is Pace Club?  Profit Acceleration Club for Entrepreneurs.  In this program you learn how to list build. You learn how to pace yourself using tempo and endurance, and you learn how to master your sales.  This would be so good for me, but I didn’t feel like I was ready for it.  I still wasn’t sure what my business was yet.  I wasn’t sure I could handle a third coaching program.  I also had told Matt I wouldn’t sign up for anything else.  I put the envelope away in my backpack.  I wasn’t ready for pace club.  Shanda dismissed us for break.  I enjoyed the break talking with Carol.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Allyson was challenging us to eat lunch with someone we didn’t know.  I swear all of these challenges were going to do me in.  After coming back from our break we had 2 guest speakers: Susan Evans, and Jimbo Marshall.  You can check the following links out for more information about Susan and Jimbo:

Susan and Jimbo talked about how to use video properly to get your message across to the world.  Video gets you seen, heard, and known.  Video is very powerful.  Watching a minute of video = reading 1.8 million words.  An example that they used for this was ALS ice challenge.  That went viral and had an effect on people.  I enjoyed their presentation and what they had to say, but didn’t have any intention of signing up for Hell Yeah Studios services.  I wasn’t there yet in business.

We were dismissed for lunch.  I walked towards Allyson and Carol.  I was going to ignore the challenge to go to lunch with someone I didn’t know.  As I was approaching them, a lady that had been sitting by Carol and Allyson stopped me.  She asked me if I was the one who got up to the mic and asked about fear.  I told her I was.  She congratulated me for getting up there and asking that.  We started talking about fear and that developed into being your authentic self.  Her name is Cyndie and her business is called Feminine Mastery.  She helps you to step into your true self and be ok with who you are.  I had the feeling to ask her if she wanted to go to lunch.  I quickly asked her before I lost my nerve.  She said yes, but that she would have to leave in the middle of it.  She was going to be meeting some other people from the zone at a restaurant close by.

When we walked into the restaurant Cindy took me over to her friends, there were three of them, and introduced me.  Abby, the girl that was in my circle from the team challenge the night before was one of them.  She recognized me and smiled.  She gave me a big hug.  I sat down on the end and Cindy sat by me.  Cindy and Abby were very good at including me.  I felt welcome.  Then Cindy had to leave.  I thanked her and said bye.  I scooted over by Abby.  They asked about me.  I told them that I was working on coming up with a business.  I wanted to help mothers to feel empowered so they could in turn teach their children how to feel empowered.  I told them that I homeschooled my children.  They thought that was cool.  Then the conversation started to slow down.  I looked around the restaurant and all of Shanda’s clients that had a lot of success in their businesses were here.

I started to feel out of my league.  I didn’t like the feeling.  I wanted to leave.  I didn’t know how.  Abby had walked over to another table to talk to someone.  The other 2 ladies were talking with each other.  I instantly felt out of place.  Finally they were done and were leaving.  I followed them.  Maybe they would talk with me on the way back to the hotel.  Nope, they didn’t.  I just started walking in front of them back to the hotel.  I was working through my feelings of inadequacy as I walked faster to get away.  I decided to go up by the doors of the ballroom to wait for the doors to open.  I had the feeling to write about the zone.  I pulled out my notebook and tried to start.

The next thing I know Julie had walked up to me and asked me what I was doing.  I told her I was writing a blog post.  She told me she thought I was signing up for Pace Club.  She let me know the price was going back to normal the following day.  I told her thank you and I knew that and I was ok with that.  She walked away and let me keep writing.  Then the doors to the ballroom opened and I quickly went in and found a seat and continued to write.  I had a lot on my mind and was having a hard time getting it to paper.

The last part of the zone event Shanda had a success panel with her clients who had really popped and had had a lot of success in their businesses.  Julie was on the success panel.  She deserved to be there.  She had worked really hard.  I was happy for her.  It was cool to hear about the successes each of them had had over the year.  It was really inspiring!

Somewhere in the mix of the day Shanda also talked about HeartCore Endurance.  HeartCore Endurance is a program where you train for a 10K or a half marathon depending on your level of beginner, intermediate, or advanced.  In this program you learn how to set and follow through on your goals…every time, how to lose weight, tempo run, and how that principle can take your business to the next level, and the best foods to eat for performance and focus.  Basically training for races helps you to discover what you’re mindset is.  What your pattern is, how you show up.  How you do one thing is how you do everything.  Training for races will help you pop in your business.  Heartcore Endurance spoke to me more than Pace Club did.  I told myself it’s in the future and tucked away the information.

At the last zone event at the end Shanda gave out medals with a message to each person, shook their hand, and got a picture taken with them.  This time she was just shaking hands and getting her picture taken with each person.  When it came my turn to go shake her hand and get my picture taken with her I didn’t hesitate like I did at the last zone.  I walked over smiled at her, shook her hand and said a big thank you for everything.  It felt good to say that!

It was time to say bye to everyone. Melissa’s husband took a picture of Allyson, Melissa, Carol, Katy and I.  As we were talking Melissa’s husband turns to me and asks me if I had signed up for anything.  I told him no.  He was surprised that I hadn’t signed up.  He started talking about me getting up to the mic and asking my question.  He said that he knew either program would help me.  I was really concerned about how Matt would react if I just signed up without talking to him.  I was scared about the next step.  I stepped away from the group and waved to Joshua to come to me, I wanted to ask him a question.  I asked him what his thoughts were when Melissa joined Pace Club.  His answer was that he trusted her.  I liked that he said that.

While I was talking with Joshua, I saw that Nicole was waiting to talk with me.  I thanked him and ended the conversation and walked over to Nicole.  I told her my thoughts on Pace Club and HeartCore Endurance.  I felt pulled to do Endurance.  I started to cry because fear was in my head.  I had fear about what the year would look like.  I had fear about the price.  I had fear about the time it would take.  I had fear that I wouldn’t succeed.  Nicole asked me what it would feel like if I just dropped the ball of fear.  I said I would feel free.  I realized that I had heard this before from Allyson but instead of a ball it was chains.  Allyson said something about us making it harder for ourselves by dragging the chains of fear along.  Why do we choose to hold onto that fear?  We’re so used to that feeling that we forget that we don’t have to live that way.  We can choose to drop the ball of fear or the chains of fear and be free.  She smiled at me.  I had just had an aha moment.

Nicole took my hand and walked with me over to the table to sign up for HeartCore Endurance.  As we stood in line I was still crying.  I told her I wanted to defeat my fears.  Fear had been with me for so long and it had ruled my life.  I have no idea what started me to be so afraid of everything.  Nicole told me something very profound.  She told me that she had been deathly afraid of spiders her whole life.  She had an experience of facing her fear.

Her experience was holding a tarantula in her hand.  She said that when the tarantula was placed in her hand it started freaking out.  Nicole realized that the spider was matching her energy.  She needed to calm down so that the spider would calm down.  She relaxed her hand.  She found that the spider was quivering; it was just as scared as she was.  When she completely relaxed the spider relaxed.  Everything was ok.  She was ok.  Nicole had let go of her fear and decided not to be scared.

Read the full story here:

Nicole told me I could do it.  I wasn’t alone.  It was time for her to go.  I got a picture with her, gave her a hug, and said thank you for helping me and listening to me, and then goodbye.  She left and I filled out the paperwork for Heartcore Endurance.  What had I just done?  I felt a relief that I had signed up.  I wasn’t looking forward to telling Matt.  I wasn’t sure what his reaction was going to be.  I quick text Julie and told her I had signed up for HeartCore Endurance.  She replied back with you just helped yourself.  I hoped so.

The zone 5

Left to right: Katy, Allyson, Melissa, Karen, Carol I love these woman! They’re a comfort and a joy to be around. They inspire me!


The zone 4

Nicole and me. I’m so thankful that I was finally able to meet her in person. I really enjoyed talking with her. I’m thankful that she helped me move through my fear. She inspires me!


The zone 1

Carol and me. I’m so thankful that she makes me smile and laugh. I’m thankful that she always found me when I was struggling. I’m thankful that she listened and helped me. I’m thankful for our friendship. She inspires me!


The zone 2

Allyson and me. I’m thankful that I can call her my soul sister and friend. I’m thankful that she is my coach. I’m thankful that she is always there for me. I’m thankful that she is helping me along my path. She inspires me!


The zone 7

Julie and me. I’m thankful that she is my coach. I’m thankful that she pushes me. I’m thankful that she is helping me on my path. She inspires me!


We gathered our belongings and left the hotel.  We were going to go see the Christmas lights around the San Diego Temple.  I just wanted to be near the Temple.  It makes me feel good.  I needed that.  We headed there and I felt peace while we walked around for a few minutes.  We weren’t able to stay long because it had started to rain.

The zone

The San Diego Temple


We left and went to go eat dinner.  While we were in the restaurant we were talking about HeartCore Endurance and Pace Club.  Allyson said something and I got really quiet and tried not to cry.  I don’t remember what it was that set me off.  I just started to worry.  That night when we got back to Katy’s house we were able to just sit back, talk and relax.  Katy had signed up for pace club and she said something that made me feel better about all of the programs I had signed up for.  Her husband told her that they were just going to look at it as she was going back to school.

I loved that he would say that.  The money that we pay for these programs is like a student loan.  I was learning and bettering myself.  It was my education.  I felt great!  I said a big thank you to Katy.

As we were talking and joking around Carol brought up the incident at the restaurant.  She said what triggered me was the fact that I would be doing this on my own.  I would be traveling alone.  I realized that she was right.  I was so used to having her and Allyson by my side.  That really scared me.  I wasn’t alone I would still have my community.  It just wouldn’t be Allyson and Carol.  I’m so thankful that Carol was paying attention and could bring that to my attention.  I was going to have to let go of that fear.  That night I went to bed thinking about how I would tell Matt.  Would he trust me?  I sure hoped so.

The next morning I flew home with Carol.  Matt and the girls came and picked me up.  We had to make a stop somewhere.  I couldn’t hold back any longer, I had to tell him that I had signed up for another program.  I took his hand and held it.  I asked him if he trusted me.  He told me he did.  I felt some relief hearing that.  Then I told him that I had signed up for HeartCore Endurance.  His eyes widened.  That’s when I enrolled him in my vision.  I brought up the student loan idea and that this was my schooling.  I asked him if he still trusted me.  He said yes.  I gave him a big hug and thanked him for being so understanding and trusting.  It felt good that he was on my side.

It felt great to be home.  I’m going to give myself some self-congratulations for stepping out of my comfort zone and signing up for HeartCore Endurance.  I’m thankful for my Heavenly Father who placed certain people on my path to help me move forward.  I’m thankful that I survived all three days of the zone and that I grew.  I’m thankful that Matt loves me, trusts me and is supporting me through this.  I’m thankful that I was going to get better at getting through and letting go of fear.  I was going to kick fear in the face!

Stay tuned for my journey of growth part 17.

Are you holding a ball of fear or chains of fear?  What will happen if you let it go?  What are you doing to step out of your comfort zone and grow?

My journey of growth part 16: The Zone is back, part 2 of 3

The zone 6

Would I be asking my question today?  I tried not to think about it and worry about it.  Shanda started the day off by talking about rules to success, marketing and money, list building, banner advertising, rules to success.  I checked my phone and saw that I had a text from Julie.  Dread filled my stomach.  I checked it and it said I want you at the mic at least twice today.  Internally I freaked out.  I was trying not to cry.  I felt like I had been pushed into this tight corner and the only way out was to just get up and ask the dang question.  I wasn’t ready.  My question didn’t apply.  Then Shanda put this video clip on:

I was already near tears before I saw this.  This video clip had me bawling.  Shanda asked what would it look like if you didn’t give up? She said you can’t fail unless you quit.  Then it was time for break.  I sat there trying not to cry.  The mind chatter started talking and telling me that I wasn’t good enough.  You can’t even get up and ask your question.  You’re going to fail.

I wanted to go talk to Julie about the question.  I couldn’t find her.  I couldn’t find Allyson or Carol either.  Katy was talking to someone.  I hurried off to the bathroom. I was trying to hide my tears.  I couldn’t breathe.  I had to wait in the line.  I finally saw Carol and Allyson.  Carol saw me and hurried over and asked what was wrong.  I couldn’t speak.  Then Allyson came over and gave me a hug.  She asked if it was the video and if I was being mean to myself.  I nodded my head yes to both questions.  I still wasn’t able to speak.  She told me to breathe.  The tears wouldn’t stop.  Finally a bathroom stall opened up.  I quick went into it and cried until I had had enough.  I said a prayer asking for help to be able to ask my question.

As I came out of the bathroom I saw Carol, she was coming back to check on me.  Carol helped calm me down some more.  I’m so thankful she came and checked on me.  I talked to her for a while.  I told her about the pressure to ask my question and the text about getting up to the mic twice.  I was upset.  Carol was very understanding.  She told me that I would know when it was time to ask the question.  I just wanted to get it done and feel peace again.  While we were talking Melissa saw us and came over.  She saw that I had been crying.  She helped make me feel better.

It was time to go back and sit down.  Shortly after sitting down I received a text.  It was from Allyson.  Her text said, “ so, take a deep breath.  You can do whatever is asked of you.  You can hold more.  Focus on one question at a time.  Sending you what you need.”  I replied back to her saying thanks.  She replied back saying, “ I believe in you so BIG!!! You have so got this.  It’s a done deal.”  Seeing that and reading that made me feel better.

Shanda started talking about her ISOLVE Model, how it works, objections, the 3 most common objections and then it was time for questions.  Without giving it a second thought I hurried and got up. I was the second person in line for the mic on my side, which meant I would be third to ask my question.  Holy crap! What had I just done?  My heart started to pound.  I was shaky.  I wanted to pass out.  I wanted to pee my pants.  That is how real this fear was to me.  It paralyzes me.  I still wasn’t sure how I was going to ask my question.  My mind was telling me to go sit back down.  I couldn’t, I wouldn’t.  I was going to do this.

The 2 people in front of me took forever with their questions.  I looked for Allyson, Julie and Carol, for some support but I couldn’t see them.  Then it was my turn.  I said hi to Shanda.  I introduced myself.  Then I started talking about doing role play with Julie with the ISOLVE model and how I would freeze up.  While I was talking my voice was quiet and quivery.  I was so terrified.  I almost knocked the microphone over.  That embarrassed me.  Then without even thinking I just asked her how do you handle fear?

The whole room went quiet and it felt like things were going in slow motion.  Shanda took a step towards me and she lowered her voice and matched my energy.  I knew the answer before she even answered me.  She said it just takes practice.  Keep practicing and you’ll get better.  I said thank you and went and sat down.  I let out a big sigh of relief.  I did it!  I wasn’t a failure.  Katy leaned over and gave me big congratulations and I said a big thank you in return.  I looked at my phone and I had several messages from Allyson, Julie, and Carol.  It felt good to see a lot of Wahoo’s and so proud of you!  I felt the big smile come onto my face.  Thank you!

After the question and answer time we were able to see the ISOLVE model in action.  Shanda had 2 of her clients come up to role play.  1 of the clients was Julie.  They made the whole thing look so easy.  They did a great job.  Afterwards we were dismissed for lunch.  Katy and I found Allyson and Carol.  For lunch we decided to take a longer walk and go somewhere that had burgers and fries.  After ordering our food Allyson told us she had a challenge for us and that we probably wouldn’t like it.  One of her friends in her mastermind group had noticed that we were always together.  She told Allyson that we needed to split up.  Allyson realized it too which is why she gave us the challenge to find someone we didn’t know and invite them to go eat dinner.

Yep we didn’t like hearing that.  I think we all sent her some negative darts with our eyes.  Great another challenge, could I do it?  Maybe Allyson was just joking.  Time passed so quickly, we had to hurry and eat or else we would be late.  We made it back just in time for the doors to the ballroom to be opened up.  As we were walking in someone grabbed my arm.  I stopped and turned to whoever had grabbed my arm.  It was a girl and she thanked me for getting up to the mic and saying what I had said.  It really helped her.  I was completely shocked.  I really didn’t think me getting up to the mic would impact anybody.  I told her thank you and then walked into the ballroom and found a seat.

Shanda had us do an exercise.  It was a team exercise.  We were to get into groups and come up with a plan to have people donate to a cause.  I was so confused.  Katy was confused. Our group was confused.  A lot of people were confused at what the heck we were supposed to be doing.  Shanda didn’t give us a lot of information of what we were supposed to do.  All I’m going to say was that our group had a hard time with the exercise.  When we found out that the exercise was a real donation for Robyn Benincasa’s Project Athena we kind of panicked.  One of the ladies in our group actually got up and bailed on us leaving us hanging.  The 3 of us left in the group would donate form our own wallets.  Katy was our spokesman and all she said was that we raised $25.  I’m so thankful that she did that for us.  I was so thankful when that exercise was finished.  Then it was time to break for dinner.

Katy let me know that she was going to go out in the hall and find someone to go to dinner with.  Aw crap!  The challenge was for real.  After Katy left I looked up and I saw the girl that grabbed my arm.  What were the chances that she would be sitting in front of me?  I took that as a sign and I worked up my courage and walked over to her.  I said hi to her and introduced myself, and asked what her business was.  She introduced herself and told me her name was Lissa, and her business was called Pillow Talk.  She helps people talk about sex.  Awesome!  We talked for 5 minutes or so and then I was able to ask her if she wanted to go to dinner and talk more.  She said she would love to.  Sweet!

So we were going to meet up with her boyfriend and her dance partner at a restaurant.  It was raining buckets and the restaurant that we were eating at was one of the only places around that served food she could eat.  I was pretty drenched by the time we got to the restaurant.  I was actually doing pretty well, I wasn’t completely freaked out.  Lissa and I were able to talk for a little bit.  I told her about what I was trying to do with a business.  Then her boyfriend and friend showed up.  I felt a little nervous, but handled it.  I was able to talk with them as well.  The conversation flowed smoothly, at least it seemed that way to me.

Then at one point Lissa and I were talking to each other.  I don’t remember what we were talking about, but I started to cry.  She reached over and grabbed my hand to console me.  She was very sweet and made me feel better.  I wish I could remember what we were talking about.  Anyways I really enjoyed meeting each of them and appreciated that they would let me join them for dinner.

It was still raining buckets when we left the restaurant.  I was even more soaked when we got back to the hotel.  Lissa and I talked for a little while longer in the ballroom area and then I needed to go find a seat.  The last part of the evening was about to start.  I told her thank you for talking with me and letting me join them for dinner.

Shanda had us move into another room for the last part of the evening.  She was going to have us do another teamwork activity.  We all moved into the other room and we were to split up into groups of 10 people.  I met up with Allyson, Carol, Katy, Melissa (from the last zone event, Allyson’s client, ran the turkey run with her) and her family.  Then we were split apart from each other to complete other group’s circles.  I ended up being in the same group as Nicole and India (both are private clients of Julie),Lissa’s dance partner.  I wish I could remember his name.  There was another girl in the circle who took me under her wing.  She was so sweet.  Her name was Abby.  The rest of the group was super nice as well.

Each group was given a package of ribbon.  It was placed on the floor in the middle of the circle.  We were all to hold hands.  Shanda explained that we were going to all be holding this long piece of ribbon with both hands.  We couldn’t let go of it in any way or the whole team would be disqualified.  The first group that sat down at the end of the challenge, each person in the group would vote for the person who they thought was the team leader.  The person that received the most votes in the group as team leader would get to promote their business for 15 minutes at the next zone event.  That was a huge deal.  A lot of people wanted that.  I wasn’t so sure.  I wasn’t going to blow it for the group though.  I wasn’t going to let go.  I would do my best.

Then Shanda started giving instructions of what to do. She started saying things like the person with blue eyes pick up the ribbon and unwrap it.  Everyone grab hold of the ribbon.  The person with the longest hair walks under the part of the ribbon of the person with the shortest hair.  You get it right?  The point was to get all tangled up and untangled without letting go of the ribbon.  I was so not good at strategy and puzzles, seeing where we needed to untangle.  I hope that makes sense.  Anyways someone in our group suggested that we untangle as we go.  I didn’t feel good about that plan.  Shanda had given specific instructions and I felt that this wouldn’t go along with what she said.  I didn’t speak up about it though.  I just went along with what the group was doing.  I definitely wasn’t the team leader.

Near the end of the challenge Shanda stopped giving instructions and people started to untangle.  Some of the other groups were doing what we were doing and we were pretty close to being the first group to sit down.  Shanda said the groups who untangled as they went didn’t qualify to win.  I wished that I had spoken up.  I didn’t beat myself up about it though.  That was improvement for me.

The night came to a close.  I was ready to get back to Katy’s house and change into dry pajamas. I was ready to relax.  The night ended with talking and laughing with Allyson and Carol.  Katy had gone to bed.  The laughing and talking was good for my soul.  It made me so happy.  I had survived day 2 of the zone.

I’m going to give myself self-congratulations for stepping out of my comfort zone to ask my question, to go to dinner with someone I didn’t’ know, for working in team exercises when that isn’t something that I enjoy.  I’m so thankful that I put effort into doing my best and doing what was asked of me.  I’m thankful that Heavenly Father put people that could help me on my path and that he answered my prayer.

Stay tuned for my journey of growth part 16: The Zone is back part 3 of 3.

How do you handle fear?  What is life throwing at you to get you to step out of your comfort zone and face your fears?   How are you growing?  I would love to hear about you!  Comment below!

My journey of growth part 16: The Zone is back, part 1 of 3

The zone is back

Back near the end of August I received an email from Allyson.  The subject line was: want to go to San Diego with me?  San Diego could only mean one thing; The Zone Event was back… Dun dun dun…NOOOO!  Fear immediately took over.  I started reminiscing about the last zone event and how hard it was for me.  Yes, there were a lot of good things that came from the zone, but still I reacted out of fear and said no.

The following week in my session with Julie she invited me to the zone as well.  I told her no too.  Then I was talking with Allyson again, the subject of the zone came up.  She didn’t want me making a decision out of fear.  The bottom line was that she was able to clear my false beliefs and help me walk through the fear again.  Before I knew it I was signed up.  I was bound and determined to see what I could learn this time around.  At least this time I had some kind of business in mind to start.

I had a new challenge put on my shoulders by Julie.  She wanted me to ask Shanda a question.  The anxiety hit my stomach hard and the mind chatter started going strong.  What?  I can’t do that!  Are you crazy?  Ask a question in front of room full of 200+ people? That’s suicide!  I was so scared.  I did commit to asking a Shanda a question.  I told Allyson about it one night while we were at gymnastics.  She totally agreed with Julie and said it would be good for me.  She was challenging me to ask the question too? She was part of the conspiracy.  Trader!  What are coaches for?  They push you to do the scary things.  I’m thankful that I had them.

What question was I going to ask Shanda?  I stewed and stewed over it.  I just wanted the zone to be here already so I could get it over with.  I had 3 months to work through the fear.  The Zone was being held December 1st – 3rd.  I felt like I had a heavy load to work through.  I was indeed growing my container to hold more.  I was training for a 10K.  I was going to Disneyland.  I was holding a 3 day workshop.  I was going to the zone.  I wanted to follow through with my commitments.  Thankfully I could go to my Heavenly Father in prayer and ask for his help.  I could go to my coaches and ask for their help.  I had, energy work, body-mind coaching, essential oils, yoga, and gratitude to help me keep moving forward.

The Zone Event finally came.  I was ready.  I traveled fine.  I would be with Allyson and Carol.  We were going to be staying with another one of Allyson’s clients Katy who lived in San Diego and would be going to the zone as well.  I was a little nervous about that situation because I didn’t know Katy.  I was thankful that she was so gracious, generous and letting us stay with her.  I was able to move through those feelings of anxiety quicker than I had in the past.  Katy was sweet and I felt safe around her.

The zone was being held at the Hard Rock Hotel.  It had a very different feel to it compared to the last zone event which was held in a Marriot Hotel.  The Marriot had a lighter energy and a cozier atmosphere.  I was expecting to be sitting at tables again, but was surprised to find that there were just chairs set up with 2 aisle ways leaving room for the microphones and people to ask questions into them.  Just seeing the microphones brought on the fear of having to ask a question.  The theme of the zone was overcoming obstacles.  Very fitting, I took that theme to heart.  I had been in the midst of overcoming obstacles.  They were being thrown at me left and right.

Day 1 of the zone Shanda talked about the difference between amateurs and pros, the 4 zones, defining your target for 2015, finding your point of view, the keys to being a pro, team work and problem solving.  I was totally absorbing it all.  We had networking breaks and I didn’t feel the pressure about talking to people like I had at the last zone event.  On the first break I was on my way to the bathroom. I saw Julie and went to tell her hi and talk with her for a minute.  It was great to see her again!  While I was in line for the bathroom I ended up talking to the lady in front of me about her business and my business.  It was a very short conversation, but I didn’t feel bad that it wasn’t longer.  I had actually talked to someone about what I was passionate about and wanted to do.

I came out of the bathroom and I saw one of Julie’s private clients standing outside of the bathroom.  I had never met her in person, but had talked with her on the phone in the group call for Julie’s private clients.  I had seen her picture and instantly recognized her.  She has such pretty red hair.  I debated on going over and officially introducing myself.  That darn mind chatter giving me reasons of why I shouldn’t.  What if I was bothering her?  What if she doesn’t recognize me?  What if she doesn’t want to talk to me?  What is she going to think about me?

I really did want to meet her and so I pushed through that fear and walked over to her.  I said, “Hi Nicole!”  She looked up and she got this big smile on her face and any fear I had melted away.  She had recognized me.  She gave me the biggest hug and said she was wondering when she would be meeting me.  Upon hearing that brought a big smile to my face and made me feel really good inside.  We spent the rest of the break talking.  It was a lot of fun talking with her.  I’m thankful that I took the opportunity to talk with her.

Awhile after we had returned from the break I looked down at my phone at one point and saw that Julie had text.  I instantly knew what the text about.  I thought about not looking, but that would eat at me.  I looked and I was right.  Julie was telling me to get up to the mic and ask a question.  I replied telling her that I was working up the courage to do that.  She replied back saying just get up and do it! I thought in my head, it’s not that easy for me to do.  When I’m ready I’ll do it.  Later I got another text from her that she sent out to all of her clients that came, to get up to the mic and ask a question, and If we didn’t have one to make one up.  I was starting to feel pressure.  I just didn’t feel like it was the time to get up and ask the question in my head.  I didn’t feel like it was relevant.  So I didn’t ask the question on day 1.  I was ok with that.  I didn’t feel like I had failed.  I still had 2 days to ask my question.

On one of the other breaks I was able to go and meet another one of Julie’s private clients.  Her name was India.  I had never talked to her before.  We had talked a little on the group page, but that was it.  I walked up to her and she gave me this look like who are you?  I introduced myself and then the recognition hit her.  She gave me a hug and said she was so happy to meet me.  It was fun to be able to talk to her and nicole for a bit.

I was excited to see who the guest speaker was for the night, because I wanted to sit, listen and be motivated and inspired.  The guest speaker was Robyn Benincasa.  I had never heard of her before.  Here is an about Robyn that I found on the web:

About Robyn

World Champion Eco-Challenge Adventure Racer, CNN Hero, New York Times Bestselling Author, Founder of the 501c3 Project Athena Foundation (Survivors to Athletes!), 3x Guinness World Record Distance Paddler, Proud Owner of 2 Metal ‘Bionic Hips’ and Full Time San Diego Firefighter Robyn Benincasa definitely knows a thing or two about creating Human Synergy—or as Robyn puts it, “that magic that allows groups of ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things together.”

For the last 20 years, she and her teammates have been competing at the front of the pack in the most unique and compelling classrooms on earth–The jungles of Borneo, the Himalayan peaks of Tibet, the rivers of Fiji, the rainforests of Ecuador and the desert of Namibia, studying the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty in Extreme Teamwork and mastering the skills required to inspire a group of semi-exhausted people through a seemingly endless series of checkpoints, in pursuit of a seemingly impossible goal, working against crazy deadlines, in constantly changing conditions and all in pursuit of a huge hairy audacious goal (sounds a lot like your life as a business leader, right?!).

You can check these sights out for more information about Robyn:


Robyn talked on how winning works, adventure racing, and the 8 essential elements of human synergy, team work.  I was so inspired by what she had to say.  I wanted to try harder.  Some things that Robyn said that really stuck with me were: commitment starts when the fun stops, pain is mandatory but suffering is optional, actions are more important than the feelings, believe beyond reason, believe the best in everybody it saves so much trouble.

Day 1 of the zone was complete.  I had survived and I didn’t even cry.  I’m giving myself self-congratulations for that and for stepping out of my comfort zone and coming to the zone.  I’m thankful that I traveled well.  I’m thankful that I handled staying somewhere unfamiliar well.  I’m thankful that I wasn’t hard on myself.  I’m thankful for the people that I was able to meet and talk with. I’m thankful that I was calm for the most part.  I’m thankful that I listened and chose to learn.

Stay tuned for my journey of growth part 16: The zone is back part 2 of 3

Some questions to ask yourself: How are you stretching your comfort zone and growing?  Do you follow-through with your commitments?  Is fear making your choices for you?  What are you doing to recommit to those things which you desire?   If you feel like you would like to share with me comment below.

My journey of growth part 15: Workshop


My comfort zone stretched quite a bit in October.  Julie wanted to move me into monetization.  She wanted me to either come up with a program of my own and have clients or teach a workshop.  Both ideas totally freaked me out.  I wasn’t ready to have clients.  The word workshop really blew my mind.  Workshops are several hours long.  I panicked over the thought of having to speak for several hours in front of people.  She suggested teaching a mini workshop, so breaking it up into 3 different days.  That still sounded like a lot, but sounded doable.

I started to feel like a fraud, inadequate, like I didn’t know enough to teach people.  Julie told me that I knew enough to teach the basics, the foundation.  She helped me to see a clearer picture of what I was to teach.  I was to teach tools and strategies to help people feel empowered, the tools that help me feel empowered, which are essential oils, yoga/breath, and gratitude.  We came up with a plan.  The workshop would be the last 3 Saturdays in November.  I had almost the whole month of October to get this workshop put together, find a location to teach from, and get people signed up for the workshop.

That was very doable, but was I willing to get out of my comfort zone?  I was totally freaking out in my head.  Back in August and September Julie had me do a survey.  That was a piece of cake compared to this.  With that I did it all through text and email.  This I was going to actually have to talk to people over the phone and in person.  I was going to have to sell my workshop.  The goal was to get 10 people signed up.  I already felt the pressure and I hadn’t even started.

Let’s just say I let fear get to me on this one.  I let myself get in the way.  I tried talking to people about it.  They would give me reasons why they couldn’t do it.  The two biggest reasons were either they couldn’t afford it, or they didn’t have enough time.  It was so frustrating to me because they told me what they wanted and I had a solution to help them.  Help was staring them right in the face and they wouldn’t take it.  I knew what I had to offer them would help because it’s helped me.  I understand where they are coming from though because that was me a year ago.

In my sessions with Julie in October we would practice role playing a sales conversation about my workshop.  I am not the biggest fan of role play.  I feel so dumb and uncreative while doing it.  I suck at it!  I would freeze up every time.  I didn’t trust myself to be able to come up with the words to say. Julie would give me tips and answers and I still couldn’t get it right.  I was very hard on myself and felt like a failure.

I went to Disneyland and I honestly didn’t think about the workshop while I was there.  How could I do anything anyways?  I wouldn’t be in a positon to talk to people.  It wouldn’t be fair to my family or me if I did that.  You go on vacation and you don’t bring work with you; period.

After returning home from Disneyland I went and reserved a conference room at the recreation center close to my home.  I started making phone calls, texting and emailing people again.  The first person I talked to I offered my workshop for less money because I didn’t believe in myself.  I didn’t think it was fair that I was only giving them a weeks’ notice. The lady told me that she was interested but would only be able to do the first class because she had plans for the other 2 weeks.  She also said she needed to talk to her husband to see what he thought about it.  Her answer was maybe.  I felt hope in her answer.  I asked her to please let me know ASAP so I could plan accordingly.  She said she would let me know.

I decided to go back to the original price of my workshop.  I felt bad that I didn’t believe in myself enough or value myself enough to offer the original price.  I continued to make phone calls and email. I wasn’t having any luck and then one of my friends replied and said yes to all 3 of my classes.  I was through the roof happy!  I hadn’t heard back from the person that said maybe.  I called her to find out.  Thankfully she answered.  I asked her if she was able to talk to her husband about the workshop.  She told me that she had forgotten.  I felt a little annoyed.  She said she would let me know.  A couple of days went by and I didn’t hear from her.  I dreaded calling her because I felt like I was being pushy and annoying.  She didn’t answer and so I left her a message.  I hate leaving messages and didn’t quite know what to say.  My voice sounded like it was about to cry while I left her a message that I hoped she would understand.

In-between making phone calls I had to put my content together of what I was going to say.  I worried that I didn’t have enough content and that what I had to say wouldn’t even apply to what I was talking about.  I was also still waiting for my friend to pay.  I sent her an email asking if she was still going to be able to come.  She told me maybe.  Then she replied back again and said yes. The night before my first day of the workshop I still hadn’t heard back from the other lady, and then I got an email back from my friend saying she couldn’t go.

I took it very hard and I beat myself up inside.  I went and cried in the bathroom for some time. I got angry and I started to go into blame and victim mentality.  I blamed Allyson and Julie for this. I wouldn’t be teaching a workshop if I had never met them.  I wouldn’t be going through this crappy feeling.  Thankfully I didn’t stay in that energy for very long.  I am thankful that I met Allyson and Julie.  They have helped me tremendously.  I’m glad I am where I am today.

After I had my come apart I saw that I had a voice mail.  It was from the lady I was waiting to hear back from.  She said that she could come if it was still open for her to do so.  I quickly called her back and said yes the workshop was still open to sign up for.  I was so thankful!  I gave her the details of where it would be at and looked forward to teaching her.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I had one person signed up.  I really hoped she showed up.

The next day I headed to the rec center and the mind chatter was running high.  It was telling me to turn around now, that it was a bad idea; you only have 1 person coming who might not even show up, save yourself the embarrassment.  I pushed through those thoughts, but started to have a little bit of anxiety, thankfully not a lot.  I got to the rec center with plenty of time to set up and get myself feeling ready to teach.

It was time for my workshop to start and the lady wasn’t here yet.  I panicked a little.  I sent her a text telling her where I was at and to let the front desk know that she was here for Karen’s workshop.  Five minutes went by and she still hadn’t shown up.  I was trying hard not to choose to get mad.  Then thankfully I heard her voice ask for me.  I let out another sigh of relief and prepared for her to come into the room.

The workshop day 1 went really well.  Everything transitioned smoothly.  I was able to answer her questions.  She seemed excited to look more into trying essential oils for herself and her children.  I left feeling like a success.  I had helped someone on their way.  That felt great!

I went through the same process again the following week with phone calls and emails.  Nobody was answering there phone or replying back to my emails.  I felt that frustration again and was not coming from a place of service at all.  I was so worried about getting 10 people to come.  I was so worried about spending the money on reserving a room and having nobody sign up making it so I lost money.  My mind was all over the place.  Allyson kept reminding me that the point of this workshop was about just doing it and not about the number.  Just do it, then do it again and again and again doing better each time.  That helped me feel better.

One of my cousins was interested in signing up, but then she got sick.  I ended up only having 2 people sign up for my 2 week workshop class which was restorative yoga and breathe.  Allyson was 1 one of them.  I really hesitated asking her because she was my coach and had the gift of being able to clear her own energy.  She was also my friend though and I decided it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t offer my workshop to her.  She could tell me no, it wasn’t my place to make her decision for her.  I’m thankful I asked her and it gave me hope to see that she was really excited and interested to see what I had to teach.

Day 2 came and I was more nervous about this one because I was actually teaching in front of people I knew.  They would see me again.  Everything was going really well.  At one point though I forgot to look at my notes and I jumped ahead in what I was teaching.  I didn’t even realize it until near the end.  I brought up a pose and they both looked at me confused.  Then it hit me that I had skipped a pose.  Other than that mistake it turned out to be a success.

I talked with Allyson afterwards and she said she really enjoyed it.  She told me that I had it in me to be a teacher.  She told me next time to follow my notes and if I forgot something not to mention it because they both had no clue that I had missed something.  It felt great and was such a relief to know that I had shown up and done my best.

Day 3 of my workshop didn’t happen.  I had run out of options.  It was Thanksgiving week.  My 10K race was Thanksgiving morning.  I was making sure I was ready for that and Thanksgiving dinner preparations with my family.  It was such a relief to me when Allyson was onboard with my decision.  I had found through this whole process that I had chosen a really crappy time to do my workshop.  I would be doing things differently the next time.

I’m going to give myself some self-congratulations for stepping out of my comfort zone and teaching a workshop.  I felt like a success because I put effort into it.  I didn’t have 10 people sign up and that was ok.  I’m thankful that God brought this opportunity to me.  I’m thankful that I took the opportunity to teach something that I am passionate about.  I’m thankful that I was able to use my mood lifter essential oils, restorative yoga, and gratitude to help myself through this.  I’m thankful that I had Allyson to clear my energy of false beliefs, and to also give my energy what it needed.  I’m thankful for Julie for coaching me and helping me get ready for my workshop.  Everything worked out in the end.  I’m a success!

Stay tuned for part 16 of my journey of growth.

Do you let yourself get in the way of success?  Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone?  What kinds of things are you doing to step out of your comfort zone and grow?  Comment below!

My journey of growth part 14: Disneyland


We have friends who are Disney fanatics.  They go to Disneyland often.  Back in 2013 they bought season passes and went at least 5 times.  One night as we were hanging out at their house, they brought up that they wanted to do a Disney Vacation of some sort with us.  That would mean I would have to travel and in entered fear.  Matt wanted to do a Disney Cruise.  Our friends were all over that in a heartbeat.  I wasn’t completely sold on the idea.  A cruise just seemed too big and overwhelming to me, it scared me.

The mind chatter started up.  We won’t be on land, what if the boat sinks like the Titanic?  What if our kids get separated from us?  What if they fall overboard and drown?  I didn’t tell anyone about these thoughts.  I eventually agreed to go on a Disney Cruise.  Then I started thinking about it more.  Why are we doing a cruise when we haven’t even been to Disneyland?  I had been, but Matt and the girls hadn’t.  The last time I went was when I was about 5 years old.  That idea was easier for my mind to wrap around, plus we would be saving some money.

I brought this up with everyone.  I told them that the only way I would go was if we went in a month in the off season because I don’t handle crowds very well. We decided on the first week in November.  Oh good, that gave me some time to get used to the idea.  At our get togethers we would talk about it here and there but nothing ever came of it.  Then our friends went through a nasty divorce.  I thought we were off the hook of going.  Hooray!  Then the beginning of October Matt brings up the subject and says that he still wants to go.  I tried to reason with him, but that didn’t work.  He said that we had been promising the girls that we could go to Disneyland for the last 3 years.  He said we are keeping our promise.  I was so irritated.  I knew he was right.  I didn’t want to give up my control.  Finally I said you take care of the details and we will go.

I honestly thought he wouldn’t follow through with taking care of the details.  He proved me wrong.  Our Disneyland Vacation was set for November 3-8 2014.  I was going to get through this.  I was going to go.  We would be fine.  We wouldn’t get lost.  We wouldn’t get hurt.  Our vehicle would be fine.  The hotel room would be beautiful and not disgusting.  This was going to be a magical experience.  I did a lot of restorative yoga to calm me down and a lot of gratitude to help keep me positive.

We left very early in the morning on November 3.  We had a 10-11 hour drive ahead of us.  We were going to be picking up my Mom from the Long Beach Airport that evening and wanted to be all situated before going to get her.  We made very good time and had no issues getting to our hotel.  Thank you GPS!  We checked into our hotel which was The Camelot Hotel right across the street from Disneyland.  I walked in and was very relieved to see that the room was in good condition and very clean.  I let out a sigh of relief.  I asked Matt again about the continental breakfast.  He said he would go check and see.  He came back and told me they didn’t have continental breakfast.  What???  I had a little freak out! I was totally counting on that to help us save some money.  I was able to calm myself down, but I was still worried about extra costs and spending more money.

Thankfully we were staying in a family suite and it had a kitchen area.  We decided that we would go to a grocery store to buy food for breakfast.  Matt looked up a Walmart that was not too far from the airport.  We could get groceries and then go pick her up.  We followed the GPS to Walmart only it wasn’t a Walmart; it was some grocery market that I had never heard of.  I was a little miffed at that and even more miffed about the grocery prices.  I started going to the dark place in my mind and worried that we were going to go broke.  Later that night I was finally able to come to terms with the breakfast food situation and the cost.  We were fine.  We were safe. It actually turned out to be a good thing that the hotel didn’t have continental breakfast.  It was so much more convenient to have food right there in our hotel room.

We woke up early every morning and ended up being 1st in every line.  We opted out on the magical mornings and went to the opposite park each day, less crowds that way.  I had heard that the magical morning wasn’t very magical anyway.  A big thank you to my Mom who came up with the plan, she was very perceptive and wise! We were completely and utterly exhausted by the time the park closed each night.  We played hard!

Both parks are fun, but in my opinion Disneyland is so much better than California Adventure.  I loved watching my family have fun.  I loved meeting all of the Disney characters.  I couldn’t help but smile and feel happy.  Days 1 and 2 were wonderful!

On our third day at the park we had an incident.  We had spent half of the day at California Adventure and we were getting ready to park hop over to Disneyland.  I just happened to be going through our bag looking for something and realized that we were missing our photo cards.  I started being hard on myself and spiraled down a bit.  We looked and looked.  We asked the workers if they had seen them.  We checked the lost and found.  We never were able to find the cards.

We decided to go and talk to the actual photo pass company and see if they could help us out.  Thankfully they could.  If we could remember the time, location and character they could look it up.  We spent a couple of hours with them looking up the info.  Thankfully we were able to get all but 2 of the characters that we had met recovered.  That was a huge blessing and we were so thankful!

Day 4 was the best day out of all of the days at the park.  We were able to ride all of the rides we had wanted to ride.  We didn’t have long wait times.  Small World was supposed to be closed while we were there because it was being decorated for Christmas.  It opened up because they finished decorating early.  It was so cute!  We got to see Fantasmic from a very good viewpoint.  Fantasmic was only supposed to be showing on Saturday and Sunday.  I’m so thankful and glad that they put it on the schedule of events.  It was a totally amazing show!

Right after the show was done fireworks shot off in another location while they played Christmas music.  The fireworks were all really cool!  Right after the finale artificial snow came out all along the river path.  After that the park was still opened for 2 more hours.  The girls wanted to get there souvenirs.  We decided to go to the shops in Fantasy Land.  I’m so glad we did because Small World was all lit up with Christmas lights.  It was beautiful!  That was the frosting on the cake and really got me excited for the holidays.  I could now see why people become Disney fanatics and go to Disneyland so often.  It is a very magical happy place.  I didn’t want to leave.

I had to face reality though we were heading back home in the morning.  We had one last thing on our agenda before actually heading home.  We were stopping at a beach so our girls could see the ocean and play in it.  We wouldn’t be staying long, but long enough for them to get a taste of what it could be like.

After dropping my mom off at the airport we headed to the closest beach which was Seal Beach.  We parked in the 60 minute parking zone.  We didn’t waste any time.  We looked for seashells, the girls got soaking wet in their clothes, and they even got to sit in an area with a lot of seagulls.  Someone had left some bread and the seagulls were feasting.  McKenzie and Madisynn had a lot of fun feeding them!  It was a lot of fun seeing the girls so happy and having fun.  60 minutes wasn’t long enough.  They weren’t ready to go.  We told them that we would be back.  It wasn’t an empty promise.  We would be coming back.

It was hard coming home.  We left 90 degree weather and came home to 40 degree weather.  We were so exhausted once we returned home.  I felt like we needed a vacation from our vacation.  We did take a couple of days to recover.

I want to give myself some self-congratulations for again stepping outside of my comfort zone and facing my fear of traveling again.  I’m thankful that we made it safely to our destinations.  I’m thankful that I caved and said yes to Disneyland.  I’m thankful that Matt took care of everything in order for us to go.  I’m thankful for yoga and energy work and gratitude for helping me through this experience.  I’m thankful that my Mom was able to come on this vacation.  She brought a smile to my face each day.  It was fun to watch her with her granddaughters.   I’m thankful that I did very well on this trip.  I’m thankful that I only had a few come a parts and that they didn’t last as long as they usually do.  I’m thankful that Matt and the girls were able to jump on the band wagon and say they had been to Disneyland.  I’m thankful that we had fun, it was an amazing time!  Most of all I’m thankful for the magical memories that were created.  I will cherish them always.  I’m looking forward to going back someday soon.

Stay tuned for my journey of growth part 15.

How are you stretching your comfort zone?  Don’t let fear hold you back from doing the things which speak to you.


My journey of growth part13: Turkey Run

Turkey Run 3

One day in September, September 5th to be exact I received an email from Allyson with the subject line: You are invited!  I quickly opened the email to see what I was invited to.  Allyson was starting a booty camp.  The purpose of this camp was to become more active and move your booty specifically training for a 10K race near or on Thanksgiving Day. Allyson expressed that success rates were higher if you had a community around you to keep you motivated, and by attaching a race at the end of the training helps you to stay committed.  She also wanted us to experience the energy at a race.  “The energy is fabulous at races”, says Allyson.

Allyson was giving those whom she sent the invite to the weekend to decide.  I thought it over.  I had never ran in a race before and taken it seriously.  The last time I ran some kind of dinky race was back when I was a kid.  I wanted to do it.  The only thing holding me back was how much time it would take me away from my family.  I wanted to make sure Matt was ok with it before I said yes.  Matt said I should do it, that it would be good for me.  I let Allyson know before it was too late that I was in on the challenge.

We would be training for almost 90 days and we were going without processed sugar like soda, candy, desserts, etc. for 30 days.  The no sugar thing would be easy; I was more worried about running.  Could I run 6.2 miles?  The most miles I had ever run was 3 miles.  Would my back and knee handle it ok?  The fear was already settling in.  I had already committed, I wasn’t backing out.

I started training the beginning of the week.  I started out with a fast paced walk and slow jog for 20 minutes.  I trained running 3 days a week with yin yoga afterwards and yang yoga the other 3 days, Sundays were my off day.  I got better with my running.  I was able to run farther and faster each time I ran.

The last Saturday in September I woke up at 7 a.m. and immediately the mind chatter started up telling me why I shouldn’t go run.  It’s still raining. You need more sleep.  It’s too cold outside.  You need a break.  I had learned a process called chunking from Allyson who learned it from her coach Shanda.  Chunking it up is taking small steps of action getting you closer to the actual action.  This was my chunking process: I dragged myself out of bed, started a load of laundry, ate some breakfast and changed into my workout clothes.  By this time the weather was nice outside so I made the decision to just go and do my run.

It was a really great run, I was in my groove and didn’t want to quit.  The end of my run was coming up and I considered running longer.  I came to the corner leading to my street and a little Chihuahua was loose, it started to bark and chase me.  I was going to kick it if it didn’t back off.  Then a bigger dog came at me.  I looked up and saw the dog’s owner who told his dog to get back in the yard.  I knew the dog’s owner, so I didn’t think anything would happen.  I kept on running.  The dog didn’t listen and came at me again, this time he sunk his teeth into my left hamstring.  I cried out in pain and stopped immediately grabbing my leg.  It hurt so bad!  The dog’s master immediately came over to me and asked me if I was alright.  He yelled at his dog to get in the yard, he was livid.  He had me go into their house to talk to his wife to see if there was anything they could do for me.  He went and took care of his dog.

At this point I’m breathing heavy from running, but also upset and trying not to cry.  I couldn’t believe the dog had bitten me.  I went into their bathroom to see how bad the bite was.  It wasn’t that bad, but bad enough to draw blood.  My neighbors felt terrible about what had happened.  They each gave me a hug, apologized over and over again, wanted to buy me a new pair of pants and give me a ride home.  I didn’t want to lose it in front of them and say something that I would regret.  I just wanted to get home and take care of myself.  I told them thank you, but that it wasn’t necessary.  I would be ok.  My house was just down the street.

Before heading home I sat on their front porch and pet the dog.  He was very friendly and loving.  Why did he have to bite me?  On my way home I started thinking of all the things I was thankful for from this experience.  One of the biggest was that it could have been so much worse.

When I got home I cleaned my wound really well and bandaged it up.  I was trying not to lose it and go into victim and blame mentality.  I decided to go back outside and get grounded.  I walked around my yard barefoot and stood in the grass for a while just breathing deeply and thinking positive thoughts trying to let it go.  I came back inside when I felt relief.  I told Allyson about it and she cleared my energy from the trauma.

Dog bite on the day it happened.

Dog bite on the day it happened.

My neighbor called and checked up on me later that afternoon.  He was feeling really bad about the whole situation.  He let me know that his dog had all of his shots.  He wouldn’t hesitate to put the dog down if that’s what I wanted to do.  It made me sad to put the dog down.  I didn’t want to think about it.  I told him thank you for checking up on me and let him know that I was ok and that I had had a tetanus shot.  I would keep him updated.  He stopped by the next afternoon with some bandages and to talk with us.  He wanted to pay for the damage on my pants and asked us to keep him updated on the wound if we needed help with medical expenses.  It was very kind of him to offer.

The wound closed up and big bruises formed all over on the back of my leg.

dog bite2

I didn’t let this experience get me down.  This whole experience would have totally unraveled me in the past.  Thank goodness for energy work and yoga.  I got right back into running.  I noticed that I became very paranoid each time I ran.  I was really worried about dogs attacking me.  I started to fear big unfamiliar dogs.  I was on another run and I was really struggling.  It was all I could do to keep going.  I happened to look over and there was a huge dog coming right at me. I let out a scream and halted.  The dog’s master called him back and apologized.  I nodded at her and started to run off.  I was shaking and felt stupid for screaming.  It really freaked me out.

I decided that I was going to start running on my Mom’s treadmill.  She lived 10 minutes from me.  The weather was starting to turn cold and I just felt safer running on her treadmill.  No big dog’s chasing me and biting me.  After that experience with the 2nd big dog my mindset struggled.  I wasn’t showing up and doing my best each time.  I let the mind chatter take over.

Thanksgiving was just around the corner.  I got really nervous.  What if I wasn’t able to finish the race?  What if I had to walk?  What if I couldn’t keep up with the others in my group?  I wanted to show up and do my best.  I got my act together and started completing all of my runs.  My 2 goals were to finish the race, and to run the whole 6.2 miles.  I was going to make it happen!

The day of the race was finally here.  I made sure I got to the rec center early.  Then Allyson, Carol, Melissa and her sister Shilo showed up.  The first 2 steps completed; getting there and meeting up with everyone.  We walked to the start area and shortly after the race began.  We started running once we crossed over the start line.  I had a good pace going.  I had 2 goals which were to finish the race, and to run the whole 6.2 miles.  I was going to make it happen!  I didn’t let it bother me when Allyson passed me and was ahead of me.  I stuck with my pace.  There were a few times when I wanted to stop and walk but I pushed through.

When the area where the finish line came into my sight energy filled my body and I started running faster.  Then the finish line was completely in sight I saw Allyson and she cheered me on as I sprinted to and across the finish line.  I did it!  I completed the race and I ran the whole 6.2 miles.  My finish time was 1 hour 5 minutes and 40 seconds.  Not too shabby!  I waited with Allyson to cheer for Carol, Melissa and Shilo. It felt great to cheer them on.  It was fun to see Carol come running towards the finish line.  Her 2 daughters ran up to her and grabbed her hands and ran with her across the finish line.  Melissa totally inspired me she got sick shortly after the first mile of the race and was puking the whole time.  Shilo stayed by her side.  Their Mom followed behind in the car just in case she couldn’t make it.  Melissa wanted to finish the race and she did.  That is so amazing!

Left to right: Melissa, Shilo, Carol, Allyson, Karen

Booty camp group left to right: Melissa, Shilo, Carol, Allyson, Karen

Me, Carol and her 2 daughters.

Me, Carol and her 2 daughters.

I want to give myself some self-congratulations for continuing to show up and run after getting bitten.  That wasn’t easy.  It really scared me.  I want to give more self-congratulations for going out of my comfort zone and running a race.  I’m so thankful that I took the opportunity to run.  Allyson was right; there is fabulous energy at a race.  I’m thankful that the weather was nice on race day.  I’m thankful that I had a good support group.  I’m thankful that it was complete.

Stay tuned for my journey of growth part 14.

Have you ever had a traumatic experience?  Has it held you back from completing your goal/goals?  Have you pushed through and recommitted to showing up and following through?  Have you ever ran in a race?  How are you stepping out of your comfort zone?  I would love to hear about your experiences!  Please comment below!