I didn’t want to write this because of my baby’s sweet face. I look at her face and I think that this truth of my past cannot be a scar on her future. If I write it - it’s there. It’s history.
But I’ve been talking about scars lately. Even the very scars that are proof of my motherhood. The shiny shimmer mermaid stretch marks I bear on my belly. Scars are beautiful reminders of the lessons we learn. They turn from a painful mar into a shiny badge.
So this scar of my past… the wounds still feel fresh, but I’m emerging into the healing and shininess that follows.
I’ve been procrastinating on writing this for a few weeks now. It was supposed to be my next Instagram post, so I just stopped posting on Instagram altogether for a few days.
I stopped writing - halted mid stride in the midst of huge inspiration streak.
Then, over the last few days I’ve been getting smacked by the Universe as it pushes me to write this story. A few things happened in the last two days.
I had been clinging onto an excuse that held me back in business which was finally forgiven and released. I had a dream of shedding my old drab coat and putting a new one on that is amazing, shiny, fits PERFECTLY and is mine to run with now.
I’m part of a mastermind where we were encouraged to take a look at our year and exactly what we’ve accomplished… dang it - I had been avoiding this.
Then this morning, it was the act of scrolling through my (literally) 10,000 photos on my phone - which is still bringing me to tears as I write this.
So Here Goes
My word for 2018 was “lucrative.”
Here’s the reality of my 2018: heartbreak, rock-bottom, and one of the hardest years of my life. With the pain also came some of the BEST memories.
Painful memory of 2018:
We had a baby at a time when our lives and our budget couldn’t be less prepared for it. Thank the universe that she’s my fourth child and I’ve learned that the necessities of raising a child are actually very minimal. I didn’t panic and freak out - I had this.
It was my favorite and most empowering childbirth yet. Completely natural, and she was almost born entirely in her waters with the sac bursting at the last minute. She’s a little mermaid born of a fairy. My husband was the most amazing and supportive birthing partner. It is a dreamlike memory.
Even now, as I type this I look down at her face which seems to be in a constant state of amusement, and I am in awe of her presence in my life.
Painful memory of 2018:
The business we invested nearly $100,000 into failed. I had cashed in my retirement, we took out loans, we maxed out our credit, borrowed from family, and we went for it.
This morning as I scrolled through the images on my phone I saw the countless photos of chocolate and videos of my husband chocolate-making that we posted and prayed for someone to see.
I recall the hours of sitting in the shop and holding my breath, just hoping for one of the people walking by would stop in. Every so often a face would be pushed against the window and someone would look, then stroll on by. Entire 12 hour days passed when we had nobody.
I’m not blaming society, the economy or even ourselves. I’m not blaming anybody or anything, but I’m actually CLAIMING the opposite for myself. This failure was one of the biggest successes of my life.
It fucking HURTS… so bad. It hurts every day that I look at my child joyously exclaiming over a box of crayons - and I think about how many boxes of crayons I could have bought with that money we unwisely invested into our rookie business.
We didn’t know what we were doing. We thought we were doing it right, and nobody told us we weren’t, or even if they did - we weren’t listening. But - here’s the silver lining - this MASSIVE failure that has temporarily put us in a state of poverty - is also the thing I’m most proud of.
Weird, huh? But we did something. We had courage. We left an impact. And now that storefront is the location of the first fully vegan restaurant in Buffalo. I’m not sure that would have happened if we hadn’t done what we did. (Vegan is the future, lovelies!)
Furthermore, we LEARNED. We learned a number of huge lessons on our path to more rewarding, sustainable greatness. I learned what I love and what I don’t. I learned what my priorities are. I learned that I’m thoroughly cut out, and more than qualified to be a leader. I learned that I have massive lady-balls and that the only reason I fail is because I haven’t tried hard enough. Every failure is a teaching point.
Painful Memory of 2018
“Lucrative.” My word seems to have failed me as the calendar rolls toward Christmas. I recall this time in 2017 when I was wrapping garage sale “gifts” for my kids and I swore that 2018 would be different.
This year IS different, but it’s definitely not monetarily lucrative, yet (there’s still time!). I have unspeakably valuable gifts, though.
My four beautiful children. Each of them so unique… so brilliant and inspiring. There is no amount of money in the world that I would trade any one of them for. Maybe a day of peace for mama - but never a lifetime without any of them.
In August, around the same time that our chocolate business closed its doors for good, I decided to become a Personal Fitness Trainer. That was a monumental gift for me, because in doing so, I’ve discovered that it’s a profession I couldn’t be more well suited to do. I LOVE EVERY SECOND. I’ve always loved fitness. I’ve always loved empowering women. Fuck yeah. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
So coming back to the point - “lucrative” - this is another painful memory of how I’ve failed 2018, but ever the idealist - I choose to believe that my blessings have come in ways that are far beyond monetary abundance.
So this is my method I talk about in my program of creating the life you want for yourself. I’ve got it in full force for 2019.
19 is my number and has been my number for nearly two decades. Haha - get it? 19 IS nearly two decades.
Prepaving is very close to preparing. Just one letter different actually. :)
Here’s my 2019 prepaving:
…We sit at our gorgeous round table with huge amazing chairs playing a card game with my brother, his wife, and Tim’s brother and wife. We’re having so much fun, and we do this once a month. We’re all talking about my husband’s new vegan snack business as we try the new recipes he’s testing out.
…I’m speaking on stage to a sold out crowd at an epic women’s empowerment event full of women committed to transformation and LIVING THE LIFE OF THEIR DREAMS (I know the feeling babe!). I’m wearing a black glitter jumpsuit and my hair is auburn.
…My kids are around the Christmas tree opening up their gifts that they never thought we would ever be able to afford for them. The kids are looking at me with so much emotion, gratitude and respect for all the days I worked so hard that I couldn’t play with them.
…And the stories go on and on… These are the stories I’m writing out for my very lucrative and abundant 2019. It’s scary to claim. What if I fail again? But what if I don’t try?
The failure with the lessons is my choice every time, until it’s the success. The success is inevitable if I keep learning, right? The success is impossible if I don’t every try.
Which choice are you choosing for yourself?
Whether it’s your business, your health, your lifestyle…
You don’t have to lose a fortune or put on a ton of weight to make your gains and losses. You can skip the pain by learning from others who’ve already been through it. Or you can learn the hard way, like me.
A NEW RECIPE FOR FULFILLMENT TO TRY:
From my (vegan) kitchen to yours:
RECIPE FOR: Using Your Failures As Successes
PREP TIME: Damn - I hope it’s faster for you than it was for me.
COOK TIME: Can’t stop, won’t stop.
pain & loss
Acknowledge your pain. Pretending it never existed won’t get you progress. So, look at it. Feel it. Work through it. And use that shit to your advantage. You’ve learned from your losses. Now, next step.
Maximize on the burning desire you have to succeed. Use that tenacity to drive your inspired action toward the goals of your dreams. Now, next step.
Stop giving yourself reasons why you can’t do things (i.e. excuses), and start capitalizing on the things that are going to be your catalyst. Now, next step.
Be THANKFUL For the the shit that put you where you are. Really. LOVE ON IT. Be aware of the lessons it's taught you and have sincere gratitude for it.
Focus on what you want - and keep focusing on that. Don’t give up. Be relentless. Have no room for things that don’t serve you. Know that your own utopia exists. Now, next step.
Stay up late, wake up early and believe. Have faith.
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