A three letter word that has the power to change your world in more ways than you could imagine.
Now you see I’ve said YES before, plenty of times. YES to my mom, my dad and brother and cousins and grandmother and friends and teachers and bosses and anybody else that needed something or asked me to be a part of anything, even when it might not have been conducive for my own well-being. YES was so very easy for me to say that it had almost become automatic. It’s funny how a habit like that happens and you just habitually do it without ever thinking about how it was actually affecting you. So I said YES and of course I always said yes when it had to do with anyone outside of me, but saying yes to myself, well that was a concept I hadn’t fully grasped, that was until this past year.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, so as I reflect on my life before I embarked on my very own year of YES, I officially diagnosed myself as insane. I had to be really honest with myself and really open to see that the life I was leading was full of blame and shame and being a victim to everything that was going wrong in my life.
- I didn’t live with my dad and brother full-time, therefore I don’t know how to interact with men.
- I come from divorce, people are going to judge me.
- I’m not skinny enough to date anyone in South Florida, they won’t find me attractive.
- I treat everybody else so well, yet no one treats me the same in return.
My expectations of everyone else were set so high that they could never reach them, I mean how could they with that running through my mind? All these thoughts, these feelings were consistent, constant, and overwhelming. Every interaction I had with the people I blamed for me not being satisfied with my own life always ended the same – with me crying from complete and utter disappointment, until the day I realized that I couldn’t be living this insane lifestyle anymore and I wanted a change.
It was March 6, 2015 when my year of YES began even though I know it truly happened the moment I agreed to go to this personal development course, as it probably took me 6 months to commit. Regardless, March 6th was the day I entered the door into the unknown, into an experience that scared me half to death, into The Living Course, a three-day weekend course that motivates its participants to identify, address, and manage their own issues so they can live happier lives. (I copy and pasted that from the website :P) While I can’t go into detail what the weekend consisted of as it is a very unique experience, what I can tell you is that I walked out of that room having a clearer understanding that I have a choice in my life. To be a victim to what has happened to me (while all those feelings are valid) or decide to take control of my life. TLC can change your life and it did for me. The very first YES to myself and the shift that happened in my world was unlike anything I had ever known before. This was feeling pretty damn good and I wasn’t about to stop now. I started liking this whole YES to me thing.
My awareness for what was serving me and what I needed began to get clearer but just like with anything new there were moments of challenge and doubt and it took some getting used to walking in these new pair of shoes. I wanted to fall back into what was comfortable, what was safe but I had seen first-hand what happens when you break down the wall that you thought was there to protect you and it was MAGIC.
So therefore my next YES was around the corner. This time it was with this daring soul name Mo Faul. She had come into my life when I had graduated grad school 8 years ago, working as a server at Bonefish Grill before starting my career as a consultant at IBM in Chicago. I still remember that first meeting with Mo. Trying to open a bottle of wine with a corkscrew when it happened to be a screw off cap. From that moment on our friendship grew into a mentorship and I’m forever grateful for the way she have helped shaped my life. I had been searching for meaning and fulfillment for quite some time and when I said YES to Mo and her KickAss Career Course In April 2015 I began to get so much clearer on how I was going to give back to the world.
I develop online classes, I make decent money, but my heart and soul has always been to make a difference. With her course I started to see that the blog I had started with a partner of mine was no longer serving me. There was something more than writing about romantic relationships. I was discovering my power, my confidence, and my self-love and how amazing would it be if I could help other women do the same.
Saying YES to MO allowed me to start getting so specific on my dream and passion that the only thing next for me to do was to actually start doing something about it.
Now I’m not going to sit here and say that it’s all rainbows and unicorns and pixie dust, that’s true in Disney movies. Life is going to challenge you, we all know that. You will be tested over and over again. And there will be circumstances when you probably will feel like you can’t go on, but the BEST part about something like that is you get the choice of how you want to handle it and decide if you are going to let it bring you down or push you to top of the highest mountain. You get a chance to learn all over again.
And for me that challenge in the middle of this whole year of YES was my aunt being diagnosed with terminal cancer. She wasn’t just my aunt. She was one of my best friends, a source of so much love and positivity, a woman who saw the good in everybody and I mean everybody around her. The light that radiated off of her could light up the sky. Watching her die to this disease in just 3 months was one of the most interesting experiences of my life. And you must wonder why interesting. Well because I never experienced something so incredibly sad and so amazingly beautiful in the same moment until then. Sad to have lost one of the most influential and important people in my life but beautiful to have been there to shower her with love and comfort as she took her last breath here on earth. I had a choice. I could let her death weigh me down and blame God for taking her away from my family or I could celebrate the soul that she was and live my life embodying the unconditionally loving spirit that she was. I chose the latter and saying YES for me at this point came even more natural than ever before.
My aunt passed away on August 10, 2015 and I said YES to working with my amazing life coach, Josh Barad on August 25, 2015. I signed a 3-month contract at a pretty nice rate. The only reason I mention this is because I never had the guts to spend this much money before. Sure, I paid for clothes and shoes and purses and other things that made me happy for some time, but this and the personal development course and Mo’s Career Course was me actually making a real and honest investment in myself and I knew it was going to pay off. My dream was no longer going to be a dream, it was going to be a reality. So week after week I worked with Josh, eager to learn, to grow, to embody all that I had been teaching my ladies in my new community. I officially walked away from my partner and began using my website just for my empowerment circle. I began hosting more empower hours for my ladies speaking to them from the most genuine, authentic place in my heart. I started to look at myself with love and compassion and see what a difference I could make to those around me. I even hired the best nutritionist, Julie Rothenberg, because heck why not invest more money in myself, say YES and continue to evolve into the woman I want to be.
Like puzzle pieces fitting perfectly together, my life was unfolding the way I had envisioned it right before my very eyes and when I thought I didn’t have another YES in me, I said YES again except this time it was a HELL YES and it was to taking a trip half way across the world, in December, by myself to meet Josh in Thailand. I had only met him face-to-face once and while the trip was planned, part of the experience was not knowing what it actually entailed.
Scary, YES Nerve wracking, YES! Freaking exciting, HELL YES.
So here was another investment in myself, but you know what….when you declare to the universe what you want, it has a way of making it come to life. I had no idea how I was going to pay for this big of a trip, but somehow, some way I made it happen. I was determined to make it happen. I talked to my bank, my credit card company, my family and when you decide to feel the fear and do it anyway,well it comes true.
As I stepped onto that plane to embark on a 30+ hour trip alone not knowing what the hell I was walking into I began to cry because in that very moment, I knew that when I returned back home I was never going to be the same again.
Sure enough here I stand before you a very different woman. A woman who was scared of the world and what it would possibly do to her and now an empowered siren who embraces the ebb and flow of life. I stand before you as a women’s empowerment coach and motivational speaker determined to share my unconditional love with you and everyone else in the world. A woman who believes that we are the creators of our life. It doesn’t matter what story we came from or what story we were a part of, we get the chance to re-write a new one in this moment, right now. One that inspires us and one the makes us feel alive. My year of yes allowed me to find my voice and discover the strength, passion and perseverance that was tucked away somewhere deep inside. Three little letters, one small world, a life-changing impact
So now I ask you….what will YES do for you?