Hello there amazing person! Thanks for dropping by to check out my thoughts on life!
Today is the first day I’ve had a chunk of time to collect my thoughts about this last season of my life. This blogging (aka writing out my inward thoughts) journey I’ve been on recently brought me to a women’s self development conference in LA this last weekend, Rise. It’s the dream of Rachel Hollis (check her out here—> Rachel Hollis) and the most inspiring part of going was being in a room full of hundreds of women all hungry for more.
Last fall Joseph and I had a “define the relationship” talk about his work. Although he was working a 8-5 job he had also been developing his personal business (check out WebChamps if you are curious! Web Champs) on the side. Joseph was waking up early, working on WebChamps, going to the 8-5 job, coming home and having 2 hrs of family time (dinner/play/bedtime) then as soon as the kids went to sleep he was back at his computer till almost 2 every morning. For months.
We both realized something had to give. I actually hate that phrase because it is so passive- what we had to do was actively choose what we wanted. If we didn’t make a choice on purpose then it meant we were allowing chance to make a choice for us. We wanted to be purposeful about our lives and we were faced with a decision:
1) play it safe, take it easy, rely on a steady income with good benefits (but making money for someone else’s company), and living our lives looking forward to the freedom retirement offers, OR
2) take a risk, choose a possibly unsteady income, work and live for our own family, enjoy the freedom working for yourself offers even though it’s not guaranteed to succeed.
Guess what we chose?
We decided to bet on ourselves and go all in. Everyone asked us “Are you nervous? Are you scared? And we could honestly say we were more nervous and scared to stay in the same place. And now we are millionaires.
We are thousandaires, hundredaires for sure. We are making it happen, and learning along the way.
Joseph has really been leading the way in all of this. Starting his own business is not the improvement, it’s the evidence of the decisions he’s made to improve his life.
Self-Awareness: Long ago he found out about Your One Degree and encouraged me to take the course with him. It is all about learning who you are, what things you do that give you energy (the greens), what things that you can tolerate for a little while (the yellows), and what things you really dislike doing that actually suck the life out of you (the reds). It also encourages you to orient (or reorient) your life around what gives you life, what you value and what give you energy. I probably need to go through this again!
Self-Investment: He has consistently searched for continuing education to benefit him personally and professionally. A few examples if you’d like to check them out: Tony Robbins for personal stuff (personal) and Brendon Burchard (personal/professional) as well as James Schramko (business).
All of this has led to Self-Action: I don’t know if this is a thing or not but guess what it is because I just made it a thing: Changes made from awareness and investment, leading to quitting the 8-5 and starting his business. Check out Joseph’s podcast “This Changes Everything” for more on what he his learning while growing his business→ “>This Changes Everything Podcast
This is all great and I truly have been with Joseph in all of this, but to be completely honest, I felt like everything was for him. I couldn’t find my place in all of this other than feeling sacrificial, a stay-at-home mom keeping house so Joseph could pursue his dreams. I thought eventually we would make enough money for me to pay for someone to clean my house and the kids would eventually be old enough to go to school full time and THEN I could pursue my dreams (whatever “my dreams” might be because I haven’t really felt like I had the time to figure them out since my life changed so dramatically since having kids and quitting my job).
It was difficult for me to understand self-development outside a professional setting. When I was a nurse it was easy to recognize- I took all the elective education classes my hospital had to offer, I was trained for every single specialty available for my area of the hospital. I even cross-trained to different specialities so I could work in the ICU and the ER. I pursued even further education getting my masters, and any possible further professional development pathways are still clear to me.
But I am not there anymore and I want something different now and I have struggled giving myself permission to explore that fully. I have felt the weight of self-sacrifice and have allowed myself to sink under it. In the last few months Joseph has been telling me (in his own words) that self development is for me too and that I need to find people doing it and get around them, but even still I felt hesitant because I didn’t feel like I had a good reason – I am not working, nothing I do is making us money, etc. I felt hesitant to invest in my personal self for these reasons and more (which I will write more about another time) but I am finally beginning to realize that self development is for me too.
I first heard about Rachel because of a podcast she did with Jen Hatmaker. She wrote a book called, “Girl, Wash Your Face” and it is all about how she stopped believing specific lies she had previously believed about herself. I immediately ordered the book because I had recently begun making a 2-columned list in my journal titled “What I used to believe and what I believe now.” It is uncanny how similar many of the chapters in her book and my list are. I read her book and she wrote out in detail many of the issues I have been working through and it helped me to know that someone out there has felt similarly but has also worked through it and grown.
So here’s a cool story: I got the book on a Monday and finished it by Friday. Of course I looked up Rachel Hollis’s social media stuff this week and find out she is putting on a conference called Rise happening on my birthday weekend. Of course I thought it would be amazing to go and of course I thought I have no good excuse to spend the money to go so I fold that desire and tuck it deep inside. I mentioned reading reading the book to Joseph but never told him who wrote it and never mentioned the conference. Saturday night I have a dream that I am lying down, stuck underneath some sort of rock, and Rachel Hollis walks over and helps get me unstuck. I tell Joseph the dream and tell him that the woman who wrote the book helped me get unstuck. That afternoon we are talking and he says “Hey, I found a conference I think you should go to so you can be around people who are wanting more for their lives- it’s called Rise.” Friends, he had NO IDEA it was connected to Rachel or the book I was reading or anything like that, plus it was on my birthday weekend! I needed this type of sign to give myself permission to untuck and unfold that desire and allow myself to go.
So, did I hear anything earth shattering or new? No. But, everything I heard was presented in a way where I finally allowed myself to really listen to it, not for someone else, or for the theoretical professional me “when I get a job,” but just for me. I saw women, wives and mothers, allowing themselves to invest in their dreams. I actually allowed myself to say what this means for me, for areas of my life that I had deemed unworthy or even frivolous. Over the next few weeks I am going to hone in on some desires I didn’t allow myself to really pursue and I hope my life can be an open book for anyone else who might want those same things. For example:
I want to consistently eat healthier. I eat way too many sweets as my go-to for “treating myself” or “feeling good” and I don’t want to treat my body like that any more. I am 35 now and when I overeat sweets my joints ache and I don’t feel good past the moment. No more.
I want to dress better. Too often I don’t dress for my body shape, waiting to lose weight or tone up before actually buying and wearing something I love how I look in now. I also am afraid I will draw too much attention to myself and would prefer to blend in than face scrutiny. I love bright lipstick but rarely wear it for this reason. This will be changing. 😉
I want to write a book. I have been saying I want to do this for a few years but so far I stick to what feels safe- blog posts that don’t fully develop thoughts and ideas I have but are enough for me to say “well, I kinda tried.” Trying isn’t doing. I will write a book.
I want to speak. I want to talk to people who are in the places I have been before and give them hope and connection and truth. I can remember being in 6th grade and thinking “Future Elisabeth, remember how I feel right now (insecure and alone) so you can come back and help someone in 6th grade feel better about themselves.” (For those of you who haven’t read any of my stuff before, I have this whole thing about talking to my future self and past self- you will need to get use to this because this has been my MO since 4th grade. I may be crazy but at least I’m consistent!). I will keep the promise to my past self and remember where I have been and speak to whoever is there listening.
I want to be a better parent. Joseph and I are committed to non-punitive while non-permissive parenting and we have so much to learn. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and trying to figure it out myself I want to continue learning and reaching out to trusted research-based professionals (Kyle Wester and Conscious Discipline)
I want to rise from where I am now. I want so much more, and I want more than I have been able to honestly admit to myself than ever before, and it was so refreshing to be around a group of women (Special shout out to my roomies Sam, Tori, & Kady who knew me for less than 24 hours and still celebrated my birthday as if we were family!) who were able to admit this to themselves this last weekend.
What do you want that has been hard to admit to yourself? Do you feel worth investing in personally, not just professionally? What excuses do you feel are holding you back? Does any of this resonate with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Till next time,