Growing up, I feel like people who knew who I was would probably describe me as a positive, optimistic person. I was always smiling and laughing; one of my nicknames in high school was Perma Grin. But underneath that mask, as the ones who know me well know, I was a negative hot mess. Having identity crisis after identity crisis, dealing with puberty/hormones along with emerging depression and anxiety, turning to drugs and alcohol to get attention and numb my crazy feelings, becoming promiscuous searching for something that was missing, never really feeling as if I fit anywhere. I loved my family, I loved my close friends, I didn’t have enemies and hung out with people in all groups, but I just didn’t feel like I belonged to anything. Coming from a large family where the majority are super intelligent, super talented, and really cool on top of all that, I felt like a black sheep. In my mind, all I did was put myself down, discourage myself, and let’s be honest, HATE myself. And in return, I never really excelled at anything, I was always in trouble, I didn’t apply myself in school, so college wasn’t a big thing for me. As my siblings worked their asses off and became very successful, I floundered and thought that this was it.
After dropping out of college and beauty school (cue “Grease” lyrics), I finally went to work for my mom’s mortgage company. I was good at what I did; I had been working in an office since I was old enough to answer the phones and transfer calls responsibly. And slowly, I started learning the business, thanks to some awesome coworkers. My manager always encouraged me to apply myself and start accomplishing some goals. She took me under her wing and I became a loan processor and loan officer. My other coworker, who I still work with today on anything mortgage related, was a really cool guy who did Bikram Yoga and was a master networker and could talk to ANYONE. These two lit a bit of a fire in me, and I finally started to see that I could be good at something. At one of our meetings, we watched “The Secret”. I absolutely LOVED it! I bought a copy of the movie, bought the book, and started visualizing the things that I wanted out of my life. I showed it to all my friends, who brushed me off, probably thought I was a bit crazy. But I knew there was something there. Unfortunately, once again, I let the negative of what other people thought kind of get in my head, and I fell back into my usual hum drum. The market crashed and things got pretty crappy for us in the business. The Reno office closed and I went back to being a receptionist in the Carson office. I was BORED…but we just weren’t as busy anymore.
One afternoon, I was watching Oprah, and she was announcing her book club book, A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. I had tried reading Eckhart before, and it is some serious stuff, very hard to understand when you aren’t in a good place. But, she claimed it would change my life, and I am a firm believer in all things Oprah! So I bought the book and signed up for the web classes that went along with it! Thank goodness there were the classes, or I would not have made it! Oprah did such a good job dissecting each chapter and interviewing Eckhart and having him explain what he meant in his writing. This was the first time I had been introduced to the concept of living in the present! When you are living in the past, you are depressed. When you are worried about the future, you have anxiety. What was I dealing with? Depression and anxiety! AHA!!!!! I tried really hard to start catching myself and my thoughts and redirecting my thoughts to be more positive, in the moment thoughts. It was awesome!
My adult journey has been a pretty winding path…college, beauty school, working for my mom, working for the state (for 1 day, I could not hang), being a nanny for my cousin and best friend, and going back to school again for culinary (which I thought would be my thing, but it wasn’t), and finally, finding out I was pregnant and knowing I wanted to be a stay at home mom. My son was born and I can’t even describe the feeling of having a child. The best way I can even try to put it into words is that your heart is now beating outside of your chest in someone else. But along with new baby happiness came post partum depression and my anxiety shot through the roof. So, throughout all these little paths, I was back and forth in being positive or being negative. When I was positive, good things happened. I could see it, but I was lost in my brain and felt like I had no control over my mom guilt, anxiety, and so many thoughts that scared the crap out of me. I finally got it under control with my medication, and things were beginning to look up. I also realized that I may not be cut out to be at home, I needed something to do, I needed adult interaction or I was going to go (even more) crazy!
Enter Arbonne. Now, I don’t want every blog to be about Arbonne, but it has been such a force in my life that it’s hard to not talk about it. So, I will talk more about the personal growth that I experienced when I started my business and throughout my 5+ years. I remember going to my first team meeting, petrified of meeting new people and talking to strangers. My sponsor introduced me to my now, RVP (Regional Vice President), and this woman hugged me and made this eye contact where it felt like she could see into my soul (we laugh about it now, because everyone knows that look from her). Everyone kept hugging me and asking me questions and being so friendly…what had I gotten myself into? Who are these people? Is this some kind of cult? Is this real? By the end of the meeting, I was completely blown away with how these women worked and supported each other. I had never seen anything like it, and it felt really good. As I worked my business and started to earn recognition, I was hooked! I went to my first conference, called GTC, and was surrounded by 14,000 of these people! It was positivety GALORE! The speakers and trainers were FANTASTIC, and I met so many amazing people from all over the world. I made lifelong friends and dove deep into thinking about my life and what I wanted it to look like. I had never really done that before, I was just going with the routine, getting through day by day, not really thinking about impacting others or creating an amazing life that I didn’t need a vacation from. It was so eye opening and so life changing. But also hard, because when you come home and you try to explain it to the people you love, they all think you have lost your marbles a bit, and you get a lot of negative thrown at you. But I’m so glad that I just kept going. I knew I had finally found something that was ME. I didn’t listen to the dream-stealers, who are all now pretty big supporters of mine, if not clients ha ha!
People have never seen me stick with anything. Even as a kid, I never stuck with anything. I did so many sports and activities, but only for one round, if I even finished them. So for me to stick with my business for 5+ years, with no end in site, and still be incredibly passionate and fueled by it, shows that I can be serious, I just needed to find my niche! And my niche isn’t just Arbonne…it’s SO much bigger than that! I want to HELP people! I want to teach them about positive thinking, becoming healthy, reaching for their dreams, overcoming their fears, embracing their truth, and sharing their gifts with the world. If you become my client, you are not only well taken care of business wise, I honestly care about YOU! I want to know you, I want to celebrate you, I want to make a difference for you! Some people can’t handle all of that, and that is ok, I am here to meet you where you need me to on your journey. But I will never give up on you and you will always be in the back of my mind, because I can see greatness in people. When someone tells me that I made a little difference in their life, I know that I am doing the right thing with mine. Whether it’s my words, my friendship, my encouragement, my coaching, my products, or my business, just know that YOU are WHY I do what I do!
The last couple of years have been amazing on my journey, but I am not perfect. I deal with my demons every single day. There are days that I can’t force myself out of bed because I am crippled with sadness or anxiety. But those days are becoming fewer, and I have more tools to combat them. Gratitude can always help snap me out of a funk. Listening to some awesome books on Audible helps; my favorites right now are The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein, and Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I also LOVE anything by Brene Brown. I have seen the power that being positive has in my own life and in the lives of others around me and I know that it’s a TRUTH! Energy is so powerful and the universe is always watching and listening. I’m sure some of my friends get a little pissy when they are bitching to me and I turn it into something positive, but I hope that it can make a difference.
I could choose to look at my business journey in a negative light. I don’t have a team (yet), I have lost my DM status a few times, I haven’t made a ton of money, I haven’t earned a trip or my car like I said I was going to in that first year. But I choose to look at it in a different light. This business honestly saved me. It set me on a path of self discovery, of self worth, and self care. I used to constantly think about what everyone thought of me, and now I could give a shit, because I am secure in what I am doing and how I am doing it and the only thoughts that matter are my own. I used to belittle myself because of my weight, which caused me to gain more. Now I give myself grace, love the body I have in all it’s stages, and I am grateful that this body bore me two beautiful children and carries me through each day. And now, I have lost 90 lbs. I used to torture myself with mom guilt, foregoing taking care of myself and giving everything I had (which wasn’t much at the time) to my kids and husband. Now, I schedule time for me into my life, whether it’s a bath and facial after the kids are in bed, or a girls night out with friends, or treating myself to a pedicure, because I know that when I take care of me, I show up better in my family’s life. I used to be terrified of talking to people I didn’t know. Now, I love meeting new people, getting to know them, finding a way to brighten their day or inspire them in some way. I used to be jealous of my successful family, thinking I would never get to their level and I would always be the black sheep. Now, I am so unbelievably proud of each of them and their accomplishments and the lives they are building and the lives they are touching. Comparison is such a thief of joy. Do not compare your life chapters to someone else’s! You will lose every time because their journey is NOT yours!
If you find yourself in the hamster wheel of negative thoughts and negative things happening in your life, I really implore you to start making some changes. Just little things. Start a gratitude journal and write just one thing each night that you are grateful for that day. Start going through your Facebook feed and unfollowing negative people or groups. Add positive pages and people who post positive things on their feed. Find some books that you LOVE, that speak to you and feed your soul. Listen to uplifting podcasts. Watch the movie, “The Secret” or get the book and start studying the Law of Attraction. Implement meditation into your routine, even if it’s for 10 minutes. Take some classes whether it’s something creative or something you have always wanted to learn about. Truly enjoy your time, your moments with those you love whether it’s playing with your children, cuddling and talking with your significant other, talking to your best friend on the phone, or having extended family at events. Really listen to those around you and be present with them. Little by little, things will start switching in your brain, and positive moments will be created in your life. The more you implement it, the more you will get out of it. Start small and let it grow!