Pure madness maybe. Really friggen scary, most definitely. But what it truly comes down too, is working through that fear. I've got to tell you I am completely freaked out. This is maybe the biggest scale in my life that I have ever put myself out there. When I sit back and ask myself "Why the hell am I doing this?" Because right now sitting here typing away, my stomach is in KNOTS!
The only answer I can give to WHY? Because it feels right. It's something I strongly resonate with. For anyone who has ever started their own business, they can surely understand that "gut" feeling. The one that keeps them awake at night, stirs them awake out of a sound sleep, you missed your turn, because you were lost in thought and countless possibilities. You forget to eat, because you are so consumed with your project or mission. It's a drive that goes beyond words. It's embedded into who you are. Your very core values are the center of your action. That's WHY.
So now that I have given you my very own reasoning for putting myself out there, I want to talk about the What??
What I am about? This could get a bit wordy, and maybe even a bit scattered as I try to scribble out my jumbled thoughts...Ahhh, how I love ADD!
I grew up where I never worried about clean clothes, clean house (You could eat off my mothers floors, really!), healthy meals always on the table, I love you said everyday but underneath the illusion was an ugliness that spilled over into my adult hood. I love you, was just words. The actions never matched. I was taught at a young age to pretty much raise myself. There was no guidance, no support, and my parents had no idea who I was, or what I was doing, as long as I wasn't getting into trouble. So for myself and my siblings it was pretty easy to stay under the radar. And that we did. We ran wild so to speak. No one ever checked in to be sure we were doing what we said we were suppose to be doing and that's how it went all through growing up.
Fast forward ~
Life out of high-school. I had a beautiful daughter at 18 and another daughter at 22. I took random classes at the local university, mostly writing and accounting. I didn't finish college because as anyone who has children at a young age will tell you...Being a mom is a full-time job! And since I had no support system I became a stay at home mom, with my high-school sweetheart (yes we eventually married & divorced 20 years later). That life was filled with illusions as well. We lived in a middle class suburb of Portland. Maine's largest city. Life was about what you had, what you drove, how well your children did in school, what your landscaper was doing to your curbside appeal...Really landscaper, I loved playing in the dirt and getting my fingernails filthy dirty, was and still is my therapy! My life was all about being a mom and wife. I didn't focus much on me as a person, or what would happen if life was to deal me a shitty hand. Because you know what, it does. Life isn't within our control, the only part we control is our perception and actions based on those emotions. It's life, it's real and sometimes it gets down right out of control.
My depression and anxiety began to be fueled by life's losses. I lost too many friends, and family all in a short span of time, at relatively young ages. One of life's, IT'S NOT FAIR. And guess what, life went on, as it does but for me I began to sink...really quickly! I ended up drinking way too much, way too often. Cried all the time. Was hibernating. And generally sad beyond expression and didn't know which end was up. My ex's advice. You need help! It sounded harsh at the time, but I was wreck. So I ended up in counseling, worked through so much shit, sobered up for(6 years), then failed, made another mess of my life, back on the wagon we go...Got myself strong enough to get out from under my marriage, changed jobs, moved away from my home town, and settled into living in the country with huge adjustments to overcome! You know there is no store across the street, jobs are 40 minutes away, life isn't about convenience....So what the hell is it about?
The challenges began. My family was never support, I was isolated away from whom I loved the most, my two grown girls! I had so much space but not a clue as to who the hell I was, or what I wanted. Nor did I have any sense of how to go about it. No one ever cared, and really I guess up until my divorce I never gave it much thought either. Bad idea! Don't get married and lose YOU! Advice number 1...Oh, but really I try my darndest to not give advice. But this really is from a huge learning curve. I didn't have a career. I had little money. I lost my house to the ex, because I simply couldn't afford to live in suburbia. I had little college education so to speak of. And to add to it all, I had almost NO support system in place. My parents only added to my chaos, and my family was broken. So what do you do, when you have no money,no career, no "real" education, and no support????
Get really fucking creative! Sell shit. Write stuff. Keep your flip phone, because an Iphone won't get me my own business. You don't go out to eat every week. I don't have TV, I get more stuff done that way, and save a boat load of money. Traveling is kept to exploring my own backyard, with all intent to expand those horizons soon! I've become a minimalist first by necessity, than by choice. Simplicity is my rule, I try my hardest to live by. Less is more! I find ways to entertain myself without the burden of debt. I'm learning more and more each day how to live my life based upon what I value, because when it comes down to it, that really is the bottom line for each of us. What do YOU and I value? Figure that out, and your half way there when it comes to living a life worth living.
Present Day ~
I work for a huge non-profit, in which I believe in the programs they support but sadly I do not believe they have achieved a balance between growth, projection and commitment to their employees and community. And in the last almost 3 years of working for them, I have seen some very hard working, honest, committed folks walk out the door because working here offers very little opportunities, advancement, benefits or even a good moral in which to want to stay. It's been a challenge on a daily basis to continue on with this company and because of that very nature I decided to go ahead with my direction of Coaching. It's been a desire of mine for over 10 years, but nothing pushed me quite like working for this company. I have seen people leave feeling defeated, and most importantly not valued. Every day is a challenge to walk in and not want to walk out within moments, and most of the people who work there feel the same, but like me they are trapped in the vicious cycle of not having money, support, education or opportunities else where.
My vision is to help people to see beyond the conventional methods of achieving personal happiness and financial success. That there are other avenues. There are people out there to help you achieve these goals, but it's only if you are truly sick of living paycheck to paycheck, feeling defeated and exhausted, and you are at the end of your rope, ready to commit and make a change, no matter what it takes....IT CAN BE DONE!
As I finish writing this blog, I am taking deep breathes. Believing my vision, purpose, drive, commitment and passion will push me further in my heart felt commitment to making a change in my own life and those who have a desire to get out of the "conventional rat race" and discover that there are other more aspiring, and beautiful ways to live!
So, I want to wrap this up with two questions.
1) How would your life change, if you were willing to let go of what other folk's perceptions are of you?
2) If your dissatisfied with something in your life, how far are you willing to go to create that change?
I want to leave those two questions for you to ponder until next friday's blog comes out and I would love to see people write down there truest, scariest, honest answers. It's only when you dare to look at your own fears, embrace them, and challenge them that you become stronger. Each time your kill a fear, the next one becomes that much easier..
<3 & ((HUGZ)) Shelley