Have you ever gone on a trip with a group of other people (you may or may not have known them before) that breaks you free from your normal bubble and routine and immerses you in an experience so powerful that it ends up shifting your perspective, the way you view yourself, and maybe the entire trajectory of your life itself?
You are rocked to your core, you feel AWAKENED, you can't help but ugly cry when it's all over because you have to return to reality, the magic is over, and nothing in your world will ever be the same.
But it is the same. YOU are the one who is different.
These trips might immerse you in a foreign culture on the other side of the world. Or they might be a short weekend somewhere close to home. You might go into the trip KNOWING it will change your life, or it might take you completely by surprise.
I've experienced a few of these kinds of trips, and I'm starting to recognize a pattern: I feel completely comfortable with the people I'm with, comfortable and safe enough to be MYSELF without holding back, because I know I'm accepted and I belong.
-My high school exchange trip to Germany.
-My campus ministries mission trip to Biloxi, MS the spring after Katrina.
-The seemingly inconsequential summer weekend after my freshman year of college where I returned to campus to help with freshman registration and ended up meeting a guy named Ben.
-The seven weeks I spent snowed in at Holden Village in the winter of 2008.
-This past Labor Day weekend where I went up to northern Wisconsin with a couple girlfriends I met on Instagram, of all places.
This past weekend is going to be added to that list. I flew to Dallas for my first live Beachbody event, a training conference hosted by my upline organization. Yup, basically a fitness cult convention, hahaha. But it changed my life. It shook me to my core and made me really look at what I'm doing with this opportunity. On the outside, it's just another network marketing thing like Jamberry Nails, Mary Kay, or that fancy mascara that I am thisclose to buying because I am a mascara addict and my translucent lashes need all the help they can get. There are even tons of other health supplement companies that sell magic shakes and pills and vitamins that promise to give you the same results that the stuff I “sell” does.
But Team Beachbody is SO SO SO different. The word Team comes in front of the brand because that’s what it’s all about—a sense of belonging and acceptance by a group of the most positive, values-driven, enthusiastic people helpers you’d ever find, who are all committed to making a difference in the lives of the people we love as well as complete strangers. The focus is on helping people achieve the types of accomplishments that seem too huge, personal, and scary to even dream about. What is something that YOU reallyreallyreally want, but you think it would be impossible to do or achieve? Get out of debt? Find a job that 100% satisfies and fulfills you and makes you excited to wake up in the morning? Run a half marathon? Run a mile? Feel good about yourself and squash the little voice in the mirror that tells you you’ll never be pretty enough/never be smart enough/never be skinny enough/never be good enough to get what you truly want? Instead of squashing that dream and telling yourself you'll never make it...why don't you face your fears and embrace what you want out of life? You are worthy of happiness! YOU ARE ENOUGH.
How you view yourself is how you view the world. Think about what it means to lose 10, 50, 100 pounds. You aren't just physically different—you’re an entirely new person! I have a friend who has to accept that she can't define herself as the “fat girl” anymore. She is literally a brand new person on the inside and out, and she's using her experiences to inspire other women to create a new, stronger, more confident identity too.
I’m helping women (including myself) realize that there is more to life than a thankless, stressful job that sucks our energy and joy and that we are WORTHY of taking control of our own success and happiness. How amazing would it feel to be able to redefine your entire life based around your core truths and values? To create a reality that YOU design to perfectly fit your unique strengths and talents?
For years I felt like I didn’t “deserve” the level of “success” that my best friends were achieving straight out of school. Steady jobs, good paychecks, they are even buying houses now, what the heck! I felt trapped, I felt worthless, I felt like I didn’t have control over my life and was just waiting for a magical opportunity to present itself but I was too scared to go out there and make it happen because I had zero self confidence in myself. I felt like no one wanted to hire me because I was never good enough or fit XYZ qualifications.
It was an ugly, vicious, bitter cycle and I was becoming a version of myself that I absolutely hated to see, because I knew that I was meant to be as happy as the little girl in fourth grade who dreamed of becoming an Olympic gymnast and designed a wedding magazine with her best friends. What happens between childhood and adulthood that strips us of our joy and makes us so bitter and cynical?
Do you even know where you're headed? Do you even like the direction you're going, or do you have this deep, suppressed, desperate anxiety that there’s something MORE out there if you could only figure out what it is? Do you know for certain that something has to change, but you don't know what to do about it so you’re just going to keep chugging along with the status quo because it’s “safe” and “secure”?
WAKE UP. Face your life.
Surround yourself with people who are successful, people who lift you up, people who share your values and vision, people who are true and real and raw and messy but who embrace themselves anyway and empower you to do the same.
The name of my little team of coaches is Inspire Joy because my deepest desire is to empower women to find their joy and share it with the world, to help them realize their own self worth and feel beautiful in their own skin. To live their truth.
Would I ever have guessed in my wildest dreams that I'd end up being a network marketing professional? Um, hellllllls no. Laughable! Yeah go ahead and laugh and think that I'm crazy. I have degrees in Biology and Geography, I've published an academic paper on forest fires, I thought I wanted to become a pediatrician for most of my life, I am an introvert and I will always detest sleazy pushy salespeople and the heartless profit-driven corporate world. But I've also always known that I am meant to help others, I'm meant to be creative, I love being constantly challenged, I have an insatiable desire to learn new things, empathy and intuition are my strengths, and most of all I know deep down that I'm MADE to be happy and light up the lives of the people I love.
And here I am. And it is amazing. I can finally be true to myself, and by simply embracing who I am and what I struggle with and what makes me happy, I'm making a massive, rippling impact in the lives of women who are just like me, who share my struggles and my joys. My drive has a direction and I finally feel legitimate. I've been a bystander and a lurker and a sponge for years, while I struggle to find a "job" and figure out my "career" and freak about the future, what will happen, where we'll live, what to do after we have kids, well now the answer is so clear and obvious and staring me in the face.
Here's the secret: stop trying to fit society's mold or traditional definition of success. Stop trying to be perfect. Just be YOURSELF.
Be brave, be daring, be vulnerable, stop hiding, get out in the ring, wake up early, carve out time to have FUN and spend time with the people who matter the most, connect with strangers and turn them into friends, redefine your comfort zone, take lots of selfies along the way, open yourself up, and watch miracles happen.
This is just the beginning!