How did I get here?
This is a question I have asked myself many times in life.
How did I walk across a stage at UW-Madison, becoming a college student as a young 17-year-old mom?
How did I become an art teacher and co-chair, against all odds?
How did I find myself living in California, something I never intended on doing?
How did I find myself divorced? A single mom of three sons, a partner of betrayal trauma?
How did I find my breath while in the depths of hell and darkness?
How did I slowly climb out of the darkness, stepping into the light?
How did I find myself paddling beside whales and dolphins, 4 miles out to sea on a paddleboard?
How did I find myself on summits of mountains? Climbing alone in the darkness to watch the most epic sunrises imaginable?
How did I become that person who waypoints her way through the tallest and most dangerous peaks in the United States?
How did I ever become a published author with HarperCollins? Me.. a writer?
How did I become a podcast host on iHeart Radio? Really?
How did I become a speaker, landing on the TEDx stage and talking about forgiveness? And since then, launching a speaking career?
How did I become a wilderness first responder, a guide in the mountains, creating life-changing retreats in the Grand Canyon, Alaska, and the San Juan mountains?
How did I become this person?
This person whom others have said, “You are doing what I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the guts or knew how..”
Let me share a secret: I didn’t intend for any of this. None of it.
To me, that is the most beautiful part of life, now looking back.
There is magic in the unexpected.
You see, being a business owner was never in the game of cards I wanted to play. But when you’re dealt a hand like this, you don’t fold. Instead, you take the risk, knowing from your gut that you can build something from this hand.
Whatever is happening in your personal life at this very minute becomes the direction for your professional life. You are missing out on one helluva opportunity to become a better leader, business owner, tapping into your greatest gifts if you are brushing aside what is happening in your personal life, both the wonderful and the difficult.
Here are some tools I’ve learned and used:
>> USE YOUR EXPERIENCES TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS.
We have shared experiences without even realizing it. What are you learning about yourself today? Walking through relationships, parenthood, friendships, marriage, divorce, death.. We experience much of the same at different times in our life. Learning from what we walk through helps us better understand and connect with others.
>> SHARE WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH.
You cannot be true and authentic while holding back. Strength comes through our vulnerability to be seen and heard. This creates a deeper connection within ourselves, and with others.
>> GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR LIFE. EXPLORE POSSIBILITIES.
Stagnation kills innovation. You are the creator of your life. If you aren’t happy, take a risk and make a change. Should it not work out as you thought it would, congratulations! This is simply redirection to something other than what you thought.
>> PLEASE, DON’T KNOW IT ALL.
Life is a classroom. I wrote a post about this today, actually. Check it out here. You are forever the student and teacher. This is how we expand and rise in community. Never stop asking questions. Never stop learning, growing, and teaching others.
>> FALL FORWARD.
Every step you take makes you stronger than your last. Even if you don’t know the direction, movement is key. You will get back on track. Sometimes it takes going a little sideways to get you to your destination. And that is ok. That is what I call “falling forward.”
Keep going, and I promise, you will be asking yourself the same question soon, “How did I get here?”
You are worthy of all of life’s greatest possibilities.
I hope this helps you in your journey moving forward.
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