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Gift

22 Apr Well wrapped gift

Gifts come in all shapes and sizes, all different times of year. And, like luck to me, it is what you make it. Sometimes a tragic experience can turn into one of the greatest gifts. Or trying to do something nice for someone else backfires and that can be an entirely different lesson.

I had a gift recently that changed my course. And you might laugh, you might stop reading, but it has to be said.

How Beachbody changed my life, even though I’m not an active coach

Have you heard of Beachbody? You’ve probably seen pictures online of girls with bottles raving about some shake and you’ve probably heard of Shaun T and Insanity. That’s all I had heard of. I was working from home and walking or running my dog everyday, but not exactly “active” or “fit”. I was definitely in a rut, physically and emotionally. One gift led to another gift, which led to Helena. A mother of two boys from Hawaii (one of my favorite places). Educated, motivated, fit. And of course, badass. It stirred something in me and I had to get to know her. She had a healthy Facebook business page, she loved working out, she loved figuring out the body in a way nobody else around me would engage in. I found a counterpart in a female I just didn’t think existed. To care about wholeness and well-being on a higher level and be willing to reach out to others to share that positivity and creativity.

I also knew there was some business there. And with my relentless lust for business and knowledge, I dug deeper. Three things happened almost simultaneously as I launched myself into Helen’s world that she invited me into.

  1. I started meditating. SUCCESSFULLY. It was not my first attempt, but having her as an accountability partner changed something. I just GOT IT.
  2. I started working out. On my schedule, consistently, and with immediate results.
  3. I started personal development and reflections. This one was a double edged sword because it shone light on all the things I had been ignoring that I wasn’t happy with. As my eyes opened to my own story and my WHY, I couldn’t keep doing things that made me unhappy. And there were some big things!! Why had I ignored the importance of doing what I wanted to do? To chasing freedom and not working for someone else? Without reflection life can take its course without our say. But we always have a say, period.

I made drastic changes within a few months, and drafted a Happiness Plan, so I never have to feel stuck and cornered again.

So what happened?

I did all my coach training, I was really into it, and the more reflection and personal development I did, I realized there was something greater I needed to do. Something that had been speaking to me for years and now that I was free from being cornered, I could make that happen. I won’t go into detail here because I am still developing this dream and realization. BUT it was Beachbody’s “Decide. Commit. Succeed.” that helped me in my acknowledgement to this point. So I might not be advertising the programs or Shakeology, but I do wonder where I would be had I not been given the gift of Helena and her badass discipline.

They say “Don’t knock something till you’ve tried it”. Since I have food allergies, knowing my body is the most important thing. What works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for the next. My Beachbody experience left me with an open mind and I learned a lot about hormone regulation, work out motivation and discipline, but mostly about myself. Keep an open mind so you can see gifts when the universe provides them.

Well wrapped gift

Why are my posts not all about development and WordPress and marketing?

I am, like you, your partner, your gardener, a dynamic individual with a million stories and thoughts in my past and my future. I wanted a blog to show some of my personality and struggles and movement, to be the dynamic part of this otherwise static portfolio. And hopefully inspire, comfort, or help someone. These posts are not riddled with keyword-rich phrases because I do enough of that for clients. I am a different kind of developer, with communication and people skills and a desire to use my skills for good. Let’s build a culture together, I can’t wait!

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Happiness Plan

24 Mar Actionable steps to find your happiness path

As you might have seen from my posts, I have been on a search. Through personal development and soul searching, I created a rough thing I called my “Happiness Plan”. Let me start from the beginning.

Chain of Events

-Amy gets first “real” job, and is unhappy.
-Amy quits job to move to the mountains with her long term boyfriend and unpopular dog.
-Amy is “full time” for a company she helped start, but quickly loses all of her savings and voice.
-Amy breaks up with her business partner, with nothing but a part time job at a natural and organic food store making sandwiches. And her wonderfully supportive life partner and snowy backdrop.
-Amy has an existential breakdown wondering why she seems to be fleeing from money.
-Amy remembers she is a fighter, and freedom was always the ultimate goal. Every harsh decision she makes is for her ultimate happiness and Ayn Rand remains prominent when she wrote, “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.”

Now, for this happiness plan.
In order to create a legitimate and trackable search for a meaningful career, I drafted up certain things, which we will get to. Then, as if the Universe heard my plea and saw all my hard work and determination, a job at the food store I was making sandwiches and burritos at opened up. I was actually interviewing a woman about Sandwich Supervisor position opening up in a few months. But she mentions this job, her old job, and my soul cried a little. It was a vocation I had barely spoken out loud to others, for fear it was such a fragile dream it would shatter before I could realize why I even cared about such a thing. An HR position. Not an admin or social media position I had been frantically applying to in order to find meaning and a stable paycheck. A Human Resource job that combined my anthropology passion and computer skills I had fought so hard for. I had to have it.

And so I applied, with little hope but serious determination. I would be myself, I would bring my A-game (aka beige resume paper in a little plastic presentation binder and my Angela from The Office interview outfit). I mentioned this Happiness Plan discovery in the interview, and how the HR position matched almost everything (nothing is perfect, not even our dream jobs our souls call for), and it piqued their interest. Everyone loved it and I think it was a reason why I got the job. In the official email send out of me receiving the position, the manager of the store included a bio and it mentioned the happiness plan. A lot of people started approaching me about it, asking what it is, how I did it, how they can get it. It made me realize that everyone truly is on their own search for happiness and meaningfulness, and we all feel sad or a lack of happiness on some level.

Main Points of the Happiness Path

  • Gratitude. You’ve probably read it, but happiness is gratitude. It is looking at what you have now and being happy with what you have. Which is closely tied to the next point:
  • Stop putting happiness on the other side of success. Seriously. Don’t say, “I’ll be happy when I make X salary” or “Life will have meaning when I’m in X relationship.” It doesn’t work that way. Happiness is a state of being, not a life achievement.
  • Get ready for work. You might reach an AHA moment, but it will be after dozens of hours of work and personal development and acceptance.
  • It only gets better. Everything is a lesson and a chance for you to grow.
  • I think health is really important. If you hydrate, exercise, think about what you eat, you increase your baseline, your minimal operating state. Coming from someone who has suffered food / other allergies and from a bad skin condition most of her adult life (and a good chunk of childhood), the longer and more often you make positive change, the stronger and healthier you feel. Don’t give up.

What I did

I first reflected on my WHY. Why do you want a meaningful career, relationship, diet, hobby, whatever it is you feel you are lacking? My answer was freedom. I want freedom to own a boat one day, to not be forced to live in a bad or dirty situation, to not have my creativity stifled and be put into a box by others. To use my college degree despite all the people who told me it was a waste of money. Why do you want happiness? Why do you CHOOSE happiness?

Then, I thought about exactly what I wanted to PUT IN to a dream job. Everything from work days to communication to uninterrupted work (I’m a hustler, it’s hard for me to zone in on one job or project). And then, what do I want to GET OUT. Compensation, a sense of accomplishment, gratitude.

Get specific!!!!!!

Finally, I created a web, kind of like you had to make in middle school for coming up with story plots. In the center, I wrote “Work Environment”, because environment and surroundings are important. On each of the rays coming out of the center, I wrote what I desired. Some examples are:

“great, smart people.”

“healthy encouraged.”

“inspired, progressive space.”

“bosses earn respect.”

“workers earn money.”

“clean, plants.”

Pretty simple, right? Well writing it down and defining it puts it out to the Universe and helps you take actionable steps to achieving your dream ___________, and putting you on your happiness path.

Why are my posts not all about development and WordPress and marketing?

I am, like you, your partner, your gardener, a dynamic individual with a million stories and thoughts in my past and my future. I wanted a blog to show some of my personality and struggles and movement, to be the dynamic part of this otherwise static portfolio. And hopefully inspire, comfort, or help someone. These posts are not riddled with keyword-rich phrases because I do enough of that for clients. I am a different kind of developer, with communication and people skills and a desire to use my skills for good. Let’s build a culture together, I can’t wait!

Search

16 Dec

I am on the search for something. You probably are, too. Whether it is a job search, a personal discovery, a fitness journey, that little thing or change you can make that makes you happy… I’m kind of looking for all of the above!

When things change, it is often a time of search and discovery, of fitting ourselves back into our comfort zone. Maybe it would be better if we stayed out of that comfort zone, though. I am uncomfortable not having a stable income, or feeling like I’m not working as hard as possible toward something. But the last time I was scared after I quit a job, I headed down a path. Now that path is what I am quitting. The search feels never ending, honestly. But I think that I am having to backtrack because I didn’t ask myself the important questions before the last search. Or maybe that was a fine step, because it was critical to get me to this step. See what I’m saying? There are a million paths to take, is there really a right one? I kind of doubt it.

The saying, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” was the phrase our middle school plastered on its walls, as if 12 and 13 year olds really knew what that phrase meant. For younger me, who was sorely disappointed by “B”s, it meant that the “A” isn’t the destination, it’s the learning process and retention that counts. But do I remember anything that I learned those years off the top of my head? I learned girl friends are a hard code to crack, that boys are confusing but fun, I think we learned about the Middle East in seventh grade as well. Okay…

As I continue my search- for health, for a job that fulfills my curiosity and at the same time I am respected and well compensated, for healthy relationships, for a calm and relaxed mindset- I want to revisit WHY I do things, and choose the paths I do. And then let it go. Because we are moving FORWARD, people. Each and every one of us is moving. I hope your search is fruitful.

Why are my posts not all about development and WordPress and marketing?

I am, like you, your partner, your gardener, a dynamic individual with a million stories and thoughts in my past and my future. I wanted a blog to show some of my personality and struggles and movement, to be the dynamic part of this otherwise static portfolio. And hopefully inspire, comfort, or help someone. These posts are not riddled with keyword-rich phrases because I do enough of that for clients. I am a different kind of developer, with communication and people skills and a desire to use my skills for good. Let’s build a culture together, I can’t wait!

Accomplishment

6 Oct

I love this word- “accomplishment” and thinking about the feeling it evokes. I especially love that different people set different standards for accomplishment, because, DUH, everybody’s different. But you know that feeling I’m talking about? At the end of the day, you did your absolute best and your worn down so perfectly that you know you will sleep well that night. It’s earning that ice cream cone after a 5 mile run and it tasting so much sweeter because you set that treat for your hard work and sweat. Looking at your kids, who aren’t serial killers, and knowing you did a good job and all those sleepless nights at the beginning were worth it.

My honest and truthful things that make me feel accomplished:

  • Sore muscles. A good workout, a hard hike, a successful rock climbing mission. Love those worked muscles!
  • House chores. I don’t like doing them, but I love it after I put energy into my house and living space and everything is clean in my sanctuary.
  • $100 paid work. Being an entrepreneur is HARD, but if I was able to get $100 worth of client work done, I feel GOOD!
  • Nourishment. If I had a full day of healthy eating and hydration choices, I feel wonderful.
  • Added to my knowledge library. I love learning new things, and it can make my day when I learned something new.

With that in mind, I should probably hit those marks every day! What makes you feel accomplished, every part of you?

Why are my posts not all about development and WordPress and marketing?

I am, like you, your partner, your gardener, a dynamic individual with a million stories and thoughts in my past and my future. I wanted a blog to show some of my personality and struggles and movement, to be the dynamic part of this otherwise static portfolio. And hopefully inspire, comfort, or help someone. These posts are not riddled with keyword-rich phrases because I do enough of that for clients. I am a different kind of developer, with communication and people skills and a desire to use my skills for good. Let’s build a culture together, I can’t wait!