OH MY GOODNESS the past week has been a whirlwind, and I’m finally stealing a quiet moment this morning to breathe, reflect, and process everything that’s happening! Life is moving so fast. This past Sunday night Ben and I flew back into chilly, rainy Chicago after four nights in paradise at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun with 3,000 other Beachbody coaches and their families, and I will never be the same. I feel like my entire life has been rocked from the inside out, and I’m completely overwhelmed with gratitude.
If you’ve been following my posts on Instagram and Facebook lately you’ve probably been wondering how the heck we were able to go on an all expenses paid trip to a luxury resort (and yeah, it was incredibly surreal), so here’s how it happened. The Clif Notes version, if you will.
When I signed up to be a coach last year, I was at a point of inner desperation in my life, my own personal version of "rock bottom." I knew I had so much more to offer the world, but I was struggling and felt stuck. Every day I woke up with a ball of anxiety and dread in my stomach, hating the fact that I had to put on a uniform and go out and deal with responsibilities that didn't align with who I wanted to be.
I KNEW there was more to life than endless stress and an uncertain future, and even though I had no idea what I was doing or if coaching would be the answer to my problems, I decided to take a chance and figure it out along the way, because deep down under all the self hatred and "you'll never be enough" voices I felt like I was worth more. So I took a big leap of faith, followed my intuition, and signed up to coach when I bought the 21 Day Fix. I started to host one or two online accountability challenges every month for courageous and beautiful women who wanted to do the program with me. Where did these random women come from? Instagram, Facebook, my friends, co-workers, it’s amazing how many people come out of the woodwork when you start getting excited about something that’s made a hugely positive impact on your life.
Thanks to the support and trust of all those incredible client-friends, by the end of 2014 I had earned a free trip to Cancun for myself and a guest!
It’s called the Success Club Trip, an annual vacation that Beachbody hosts for coaches who achieve a certain level of growth in their businesses. One of my favorite parts of the company is how the emphasis is on living from your values, and success is defined by how many other lives you can change. We are recognized and rewarded with unforgettable experiences like this trip, a chance to unplug, spend time with our families, and connect with other coaches. Since I’m not really motivated by shiny rewards and fancy trips, I went into the experience with an open mind. It was the second major Beachbody live event I’ve attended, and the first one for Ben, and while I knew it would be fun, I had no idea what to expect.
Well, it was magical. I don’t even know where to start.
We arrived at this gorgeous resort, and were welcomed with open arms by a community of people just like us. Unbelievable. Almost the entire resort was taken over by Beachbody, including 25 other members of my upline team. So think of the most positive and happy person you know in your life--you know, the person who is almost annoying because they’re so positive--and then imagine being surrounded by THOUSANDS of people just like that, who are all feeling just as humbled and grateful as you, and who are excited to meet you and hear your story.
The memories include walking into our room complete with a king size bed, stocked mini bar, espresso maker, Jacuzzi, and a balcony overlooking the ocean. Hearing the waves every morning, feeling the warm wind, waking up early to watch the sunrise, working out live with Shaun T and Autumn Calabrese, endless fresh fruit and strawberry margaritas, laying out and talking with the girls on my team, sharing our stories and lives, just soaking in every single moment. Parties, fireworks, music, a Brazilian steakhouse dinner, making friendships with people we will grow up and grow old with. The experiences were all life changing in and of themselves, but most of all I will always remember how I felt.
It’s hard for me to put the feeling into words. The feeling of being completely and wholeheartedly accepted by thousands of strangers who are family. Complete acceptance, welcoming, belonging, community, the sense of being a vital piece of a movement that is so much bigger than you can ever comprehend. Authenticity, openness, love, positivity.
Then I realized there’s already a word that encompasses everything, and it’s been with me always. It’s one of my greatest values, and what I’ve named my very own team.
Limitless, unbounded joy.
Light and love and the freedom to be myself.
My whole life I’ve felt like I need to try to “fit in.” I’ve never felt good enough, I’ve always felt driven to be more, do more, have more. Weigh less, be prettier. I’ve always believed I have to improve or change in order to be accepted by my peers, my co-workers, the people who sit on the other side of the interview table. I’ve been taught that hard work equals success, and that I have to mold myself to fit someone else’s definition, I have to fill an externally defined role.
Well, I am officially DONE with all that crap. I’ve finally convinced myself that I AM ENOUGH, right here, right now, and this trip put everything in perspective.
My new role? To be the best possible version of Anna. Frizzy hair, cellulite, chipped tooth, big nose, vampire white skin and all. I am overly dramatic and emotional, awkward, spazzy, I care too much, I will always be blunt, and I tend to take myself too seriously. But I've embraced all my imperfections because they make me who I am on top of everything I love about myself...my creativity, drive, determination, strength.
It’s super scary, because I can’t hide any longer, I have to open myself up and be super vulnerable, and it’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. But it’s also the most exhilarating. I know that I can inspire others and change lives simply by being myself, and that I can make a living in the process. I can pay the bills, and everything I’ve always wanted to do is happening. This is what Beachbody has offered me.
In Cancun I realized the full magnitude of what we are part of. Beachbody isn't just another network marketing company. It's a MOVEMENT. It's a force. It's a tribe of people who live to serve, who are passionate about making the world a better place by helping one person at a time reach their goals and live happier and healthier lives. On this trip I was surrounded by people who accepted me and welcomed me with open arms, and I didn't have to try to fit in or be someone I'm not.
I am safe. I am here. I am enough.
My mission in life is to be remembered for being a positive and inspiring influence, for helping people find joy in who they are, helping them dream bigger, and empowering them to create freedom to live THEIR purpose, and this trip embodied all of that. So powerful.
When I looked around at all the other coaches, some of whom have been doing this for years and have built entire multimillion dollar empires just by sharing what they’re passionate about, I also saw something bigger. Each individual coach represented their own piece of the movement. Each person has inspired and changed the lives of hundreds if not thousands of other people, and that’s what Beachbody is all about. Sharing your story and inspiring others to dream bigger, to live bolder, to lead happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives.
That feeling was incredibly personal, but it wasn’t my favorite part of the trip.
The best part was being able to share the whole experience with Ben. He has been by my side every step of my journey since I was 19 years old, and he’s been my rock through the rollercoaster ride of the past several years. Coaching is such a massive part of who I am now, but it’s impossible for someone else to share your vision until they feel it too. Being able to hang out in Mexico on a carefree, all inclusive tropical beach with other coaches and their husbands and families, just realizing that we aren’t alone, that we’re part of something SO big and powerful, was life changing.
The second best part? Realizing that this wasn’t a once in a lifetime trip that ends when we go home and back to “reality.” This trip IS our reality now. Literally, because we are going to be able to travel more, but most of all it goes back to that feeling of joy. The most liberating part is knowing that I don’t have to be in Mexico or on vacation to feel that way, because the feeling exists inside of me always. I can trust it because I can trust myself.
I’m learning how to embrace the journey, how to NOT freak out or feel overwhelmed, how to welcome each new day with a feeling of gratitude and excitement. It’s been a long, hard, deep process but over the past several weeks I’ve been feeling one last massive internal shift, and I think this trip officially signified a new beginning. The timing was perfect, since this Sunday is my 28th birthday, and I am going to welcome my new year of life with open arms.
I’m me, it’s all good, I don’t have to struggle or hustle or strive for worthiness. I don’t have to base my sense of value and self worth on external goals or achievements or recognition, and I don't have to feel desperate or broke or financially insecure any longer. I want to live bigger, dream bigger, make shit happen, and help one woman at a time change her life too by embracing who she is meant to be. We are all perfectly imperfect, designed by a Creator who has big plans for us and wants us to be happy.
You are limitless. YOU ARE ENOUGH.