You Do Not Have to be Ellen DeGeneres to Be Inspiring

Foreward: Guys for the record, I adore Ellen.

With my recent “little” changes in life (i.e. leaving a corporate job to start my own business), I am constantly humbled by the support I am receiving. I know I have said it like a thousand times but it needs to be said. Not to toot my own horn but to remind us ALL of a few really key, mind blowing things. Ok mind blowing may be an exaggeration. Let’s say reverberating then.

Someone I have come to know through Facebook sent me a very endearing message. While this is not someone I have met in “real life”, I do believe in the power of connecting with people even if it’s in cyber space somewhere.  Anyways, he reached out to me today to tell me this:

Doesn’t mean much to you but I’m proud of you. Happy to see you chasing your dreams. Honored to call you a friend.

Ok so first things first… I do not think we should EVER diminish the value that our words have on someone else. We under estimate the power or impact we can have on someone else just by taking 4.3 seconds to type a genuine message. (Which also is the case with messages that are mean spirited. Pick your words carefully).

When we speak from the heart, the message is heard loud and clear. If I just got a generic message like “good luck in your endeavors” then yeah perhaps I would not have thought much of it. For anyone to take the time, even if it takes 4.3 seconds to do, it’s still 4.3 seconds that someone took to send love and support. Which I don’t care who you are, like me, you need it.

Which also leads me to my next point.  When you have news, share it. I know for many of us, we are private (as am I with certain topics and details). But it’s like there’s this idea of shared energy or something. When you are excited, happy, unstoppable, that is what you are putting out there and so that is what you get back. Energy is infectious and when you have things happening, I say share share share! The love and support you will receive in return will only manifest your dreams and ideas that much faster. I can tell you the more people I share my plans and accomplishments and hopes and desires with, the more open I feel. And so it is no wonder I am getting validation from the most unexpected people telling ME I am an inspiration.

Which leads me to my next point. I have to say, being told I am inspiring has a whole lot of pressure attached to it. Knowing I am a person of interest (guys I am kidding. My ego is not that big)… Seriously though, knowing that my choices and actions are inspiring anyone humbles me like nothing I have ever experienced. The pressure kicks in because I do have fears which are scary to be exposing. Like what if I do not pass my Personal Training certification after posting about it for 3 months?  Or what if I launch a business that that flops? How is that inspiring?

The thing is though, I do have those thoughts for like a split second (which yeah happens more than just from time to time), I have to remind myself that like the idea of shared energy, if I keep fearing it, I am putting it out to the universe that I will fail. Which is NOT an option. So I instead shift my thinking to I WILL  pass my certification (which will not just happen by luck. I will be putting in the time studying and getting prepared). My coaching business will be successful, fulfilling, magical and inspiring. It is all about mindset. There is no room for negative thinking.

I also am realizing from my friend’s message today that the idea of being inspiring is not about being perfect. Being inspiring means being real. It’s being honest. It’s being human. It’s ok to have triumphs and it is also ok to fall. Nobody is perfect and being inspired by anyone that is seemingly perfect is just disappointment waiting to happen. I am not pretending that I know exactly what I am doing. I know what I may do today. I do not even know literally what I am doing tomorrow. This is why I am inspiring people. I am truly taking a road to a destination that is somewhat lucid yet there is literally no playbook or road map to get me there. I am trusting in myself and timing and the universe to guide me. I put on my big girl pants every day (well except the days I need my neighbor to come over and kill a water bug for me) and I just do.  That is why people find me to be inspiring.

And another thing about that. We all have the ability to do what I am doing. I am no different than you. In fact, I am probably very much like you. It took me years and a whole lot of stress and anxiety to get to a point where I accepted that I needed to make a change in a really big way. It is just getting to that point that is separating me from you or anyone else. As my niece would say, I am being brave. You can too.

 

 

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Sometimes You Just Need a Kick in the Butt From the Universe

I have been waiting a long time to write this. Actually, I have been waiting a long time to post this. I have been writing this far before I even knew this post would be a thing. Because I have been manifesting for this to happen. I have been 100% believing that it would. I just did not know when. Or how. 

I am leaving my corporate job.

 

Microphone drop.

 

I have put it out there that I want to leave and have been mentally getting myself ready to do that. So getting the push to go has not been scary for me. It’s been liberating. I have known I would leave, I just did not know when or how. When I got the news I am part of a surplus, I felt gratitude and relief. It is so easy (and if we are honest with ourselves, how many of us are feeling this way?) to stay complacent and not act. Because to act is to go into the unknown. It’s to go into something that is seemingly less stable or unpredictable (but let’s be real, how many corporate jobs are truly secure anymore?). I have been dipping my toes in other ponds for a while and now the universe is giving me the push to GO ALL IN.

 

While I have been remarkably and surprisingly cool, calm and collected, when I really think about what I am giving up, I have moments of “what the F am I doing?” My entire career all my job choices have been made on two very basic things: stability and money. I was taught at an early age to never be without them so as soon as they were in my control (aka I started adulting), I made decisions based on that.

 

Yet, every time in my life I have accepted a new job, I always had this knowing feeling it was not right for me. I of course pushed those feelings down as far as I possibly could. Today though, I am at the point in my life where I simply choose to no longer ignore that. It will not serve me going forward.

 

I am a firm believer in timing. I should say that this life changing decision was not one I made on a whim or on a feeling. It has been years in the making. With the help of my spiritual healer, she has taught me to trust in myself, my abilities and the universe. To trust that I would be guided at the right time to make changes, and that until then I need not worry about it or proactively seek out whatever it is I am meant to do. I have spent years working on myself and overcoming my own demons and roadblocks. I have also manifested the shit out of good things to come my way because I have known in my heart of hearts that I was playing a role in my job that was not something I wanted or could sustain.

 

And so the day has come that I am going to start my transition into a new world. A new world of opportunity of positivity and validation. A new world of doing something that I know will have an impact on many people. I am finally being true to who I am and who I want to be. I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up!

 

For decades I have had so much passion for health and fitness. I am one of those people that actually freaking loves to workout (I know, weird huh?) I absolutely love talking about working out and I can’t really understand those people who do not love it. One of the great things about being an Independent Promoter for Pruvit is that it has forced me to broaden my network. Conversations I am having, regardless if people are interested in ketones or not, have lead to being inspired over and over again. There is no shortage of inspiration in this world when you take the time to hear other people’s stories.

 

I feel like ketones are my gateway drug to so to speak. It has given me a taste of that euphoria of helping someone feel all the feels. It has given me a taste of what it would be like to really listen to someone and understand what it is they need, or what they are missing. I am also starting to realize and understand that while I have that drive and grit to workout and to not shy away from it, not everyone does. There are endless valid reasons why people fear it. Or maybe they want it but they do not know where to start. Maybe they feel like a fish out of water at a gym, which I get because I am completely uncomfortable when I step into a Home Depot. And it’s like everyone there KNOWS I do not belong. And so I quickly find what I need (by find, I mean I have to have someone direct me) and then I get the hell out as fast as I possibly can. That’s how people feel about working out I believe if they have any kind of hang up or roadblock.

 

Or maybe someone wants to workout but they are overwhelmed by choices or they do not know what type of workout suits them. So instead of trying them out, they may not do a thing. Which by doing nothing is really doing something. We have choices and there are so many options out there. I want to be that person that helps someone find what they like so that they can make their dreams and goals a reality.

 

I want to help people stay accountable and be that extra support they need to become healthy and fit.

I want to do this because I know how amazing someone can feel if they take action. It is common and very easy to talk about wanting something, but never do it. Then as soon as you do, and you start seeing results, you ask WHY did I wait this long?
Between what I see myself doing and the skills I am fortunate to have learned over my current career are all lining up to make me kick ass at my dreams. I wish I knew what my “job title” is, but that will come as I work more on the business and marketing side of my journey. (Which p.s. I do not see myself being called a health coach. So for all you marketing geniuses, I am open for suggestions as to how to brand myself).

 

I always thought I would transition into a new career when I had every last detail sorted out and not a second sooner, but I am realizing I don’t need that to go all in. In fact, over just these last 3 days of talking to my colleagues about leaving, I am getting even more validation and support that I ever anticipated. I keep waiting for someone to tell me I am crazy or stupid or reckless. But guess what? Nobody has said that. It’s validation that because I am SCREAMING into the universe that I am more than ready to trust it, and that is what I am getting back. Nobody is trying to talk me out of it because it is meant for me to be taking the biggest leap of faith ever. Being open and honest not just with myself but with those I work with, interact with, friends, family, hairdresser, you name it is opening me up even more for what is in my power to have. The universe gives back what we give to it, and that is why I am more than confident in knowing I am making the right choice, the best choice, for myself.

Much Like Rompers, Our Culture Is Embracing Job Changes and Here Is Why

Foreword:   I by no means have researched or solicited stats or professional opinions. It is my own speculation, but I challenge you to disagree! (I am THAT confident in this post).

Back in the day, it was not unusual to have conversations that started with a leading question: “If you were to have a different job than the one you have today, what would it be?” And people would talk and fantasize about all the jobs they could do if it was not for feeling financially strapped or for fear of the unknown or for the fear of starting all over again. Today though, that mindset has shifted significantly. People are not just fantasizing and daydreaming, they are making new realities and lives for themselves. I have conversations like this regularly with friends who have indeed made a big career change or are considering it. (Please note, by “big career change” I do not mean switching from working at Whole Foods to Trader Joe’s or from being a Project Manager to a Scrum Master. I mean like holy- shit- am –I- really- doing -this kinds of switches. Giving up working in finance to sell skincare. Or giving up working as an engineer to be a teacher). With that in mind, the question though that I often think about is: compared to ten, twenty years ago, WHY? Why are we as a society and culture finally embracing and encouraging drastic career changes?

One underlying reason is social media and technology, which has many layers and reasons within itself. Technology has replaced the need to either physically be in the office or in person to get shit done. Back in the day, we had big old clunky desktop computers that we could not access unless we parked our asses at our desks where said computers were lodged. If we had to work late, we were at the office.  If we had work to do for an external client, we often had to be onsite wherever that client was. If we had early calls to make, we had to be in the office. Work was just very office centric.

If we wanted to sell something, it was either old school door- to- door (think Tupperware or Mary Kay makeover parties) or we had to sell from a store. Today, there is a robust virtual presence which enables us to do so much more from really anywhere.

My point is that we have many more liberties thanks to technology in which we can conduct business or work.  What this means is that people are growing out of the traditional working environment. It is inspiring us to discover different ways to work and it also for many of us, is reminding us that more customary desirable jobs used to be in offices, are now well, less desirable. I also recognize as I am beginning my journey of promoting ketones, I do not need much to do that.  I do most of it from my phone in fact. I could be at the pool, at the beach, in Santa Barbara for the day and it will not hinder my business. This is proving to be very enticing indeed, and I completely understand the draw people have to being entrepreneurs and not necessarily being confined to an office.

Social media in itself is an, albeit obvious, reason why people are switching careers. It is far easier to spread our message to the world. Not everything is word of mouth anymore or expensive marketing. We have access to get things out there way faster than we used to be able to. For those who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s (and earlier), remember when we actually MAILED hand written letters to friends? We did not have text messages and long distance calling was expensive (and obviously we had no concept of Facebook or Instagram). Today, you can put a message out with just a few clicks on your phone and reach thousands of people. This makes it so much more expedient for people to market themselves or their businesses. Plus, they get instant feedback which can be the encouragement someone needs to consider changing careers.

Social media also entices people for more than just a marketing perspective. It is enabling us to connect with people we may not know or otherwise have access to. This means we have so much more of an awareness of what other people are up to. Remember your fellow college graduate who worked in finance? Well guess what, you saw her post that she quit Wall Street to become a chef. We see virtually firsthand more and more people who are actually making career changes. Plus another popular trend (that I hope is here to stay) are all the inspiring messages and memes people are posting. All of this is almost like propaganda at its finest (and I mean that in the most positive way. Seriously). It is feeding our souls and minds with ideas, inspiration, and encouragement to stop ignoring those gut feelings of being unsatisfied. Back in the day, it was not as common to hear of people switching careers. People tended to just suck it up and ride it out until they could retire. To deviate was intimidating but today we are inundated with stories of people doing it- and being successful but more importantly, happy. It nourishes ideas and thoughts that people have that had it been twenty, thirty years ago, they would have squashed instantaneously.

On a different note, we no longer live in a world where we are so tied to a job because of things like pensions. They just do not really exist anymore. I am sure all you twenty something’s who have been in the workforce for a few years have virtually no concept of a pension nor are depending on ever seeing one come to fruition. People stayed at the same company for thirty, forty years because they had those pensions. Their pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  The light at the end of the tunnel. They had a very real financial benefit to stay put. With that not being a current reality, people are more likely to switch companies and even careers. There is a sense of freedom that the world is our oyster and it opens our eyes to possibilities. People’s relationships with companies are different. Without the incentive to retire well from there, it has become more common for people to make career changes.

And I get it. It is really hard financially to walk away from a stable job and a stable income to follow our hearts. But it can be done because of how different our world and cultures are today

Another reason I truly believe that is attributing to people following their hearts and their passion is the exposure to all the different possibilities that are out there. I remember career day when I was in high school, and it featured the usual stars: an accountant, a teacher, a doctor, a finance guy and a police officer. All fine and respectable jobs of course.  But what about all the other careers that are out there? What about Yoga Instructors? Life Coaches? Business Analysts? Architects? It is not that they did not exist (I mean come on, I am not THAT old!) There was just much less exposure. Networking was much more in person and by chance.

Today though, there is just so much more exposure due to social media and the internet. People have more information at their fingertips at any given moment. (Not like when I was 16 having to do any kind of research on microfiche. Don’t know it? Google it!)  It is why people more so today than yesterday are switching jobs. They are reassessing career decision they made as 21 year olds because they have had more exposure to the crazy wonderful breadth of professions and opportunities out here.

Ok so I feel as if I am only scratching the surface. I am sure if I were to either dig more within or actually research online, any one of these points could be a blog post in itself.  So having said that, I want to leave you with only one more reason why people are making career changes as above all else, it is the most inspiring.

I truly believe as a society, we are becoming more spiritual and I mean this in the purest form. When I say spiritual, I think of it as like we are taking better care of ourselves when it comes to our mind and mental health. Not just physically. Remember walking past that little tiny section in Barnes and Noble for “Self Help”? It would be embarrassing to be caught perusing that. Weren’t those books for all the weirdos who just couldn’t get their shit together? Today though, whether we realize it or not, we often browse the self-help section, figuratively speaking of course. We are meditating more, taking yoga classes (ok well everyone but me is taking yoga). We go to healers. We go to therapy. We go to shamans. We talk about our feelings. We find all these incredible people and mediums who are not just telling us how to “cope’ with stress and suck it up; stay at those jobs we do not like. They are teaching us to follow our hearts and find our purpose in life. They are encouraging us to make changes, and let go of what we know. Move towards the unknown and trust. We give up foods that are bad for us. We give up relationships that are toxic. We now give up careers and jobs that we find our hearts are no longer in.

 

Asking Questions With Heart Behind Them

As a society, we have become so habitual and robotic in what we ask conversationally in social ­­situations. We ask really open ended questions, perhaps to allow the respondent freedom in how they answer, but I really suspect it is because we have gotten to be, well, rather shit at personalizing our questions.

Whenever I am in a ­­situation, for example, where I see someone for the first time in ages, I never know how to answer a very basic, universal question: “What’s new?” Let’s see. A nephew was born. I was promoted. I had some upgrades done in my kitchen. I got new a heating and air conditioning unit. I PR’ed my squat clean. I went to Bali. I went to Malaysia. I went to Mexico. I went to Guatemala. I have managed to keep a house plant alive for the last 6 months. I have been growing a lot spiritually. I started collecting vintage tea cups. I took a writing class. Oh? You were just asking, am I well and not in distress?

One of my biggest triggers is feeling like I am being asked questions off a checklist, like there is no heart behind them. It’s just an obligatory, polite adult thing to do.

“How’s work?”

“Same old. Stressful”

Check (Find the checkmark!!!)

“How’s your condo?”

“It’s good.”

Check.

“How’s CrossFit?”

“it’s awesome.”

Check.

When it comes to work, I am appreciative for my career and all that it teaches me about who I am and the leader that I strive to be. If you ask me about work, ask me because you want to know those things more so than you care about learning that my title changed to Associate Director. If you ask me about my condo, ask me because you want to know how fulfilled it makes me to be able to be a homeowner as a single woman, that it is something I acquired all on my own. Ask me because you have respect that I did it without financial help from family or a man. You should care more about that than the new lighting I had installed. If you ask me about CrossFit, ask me because you really respect that I have such a passion in life. Ask me how my journey has been now that I am injury free. Ask me about CrossFit because you are in admiration that I can get my ass out of bed every morning to grind hard. Don’t ask me because it’s just this “thing” I do.

When it comes to superficial conversations, I reserve those for water cooler chat or random encounters I was once insulted when a friend told me I am “particular”, but I then came to take this as a compliment. It reflects that I put thought into my choices, which include who I spend my time with. So if I choose to spend time with someone, right or wrong, I have an expectation to find some common ground and connection. Call me hippy dippy but I am far more fulfilled when I do feel that connection. I do not expect everyone I talk with to take questions to the next level, but at the very least, have sincerity and heart behind conversations. Otherwise, just smile and move on. I am ok with that too.

I want to walk away from conversations feeling entertained, enlightened, inspired, even a bit smarter. I am sure anyone can argue that I do not need to rely on people asking the “right” questions for me to feel connected or validated. I agree to an extent. To me asking questions shows the other person’s interest. I do not want to talk about spirituality to someone whose eyes are dulled with an expression of “please make this conversation end”. I take questions, and the right questions, as an invitation of interest. It does validate to me that people want to know me, they want to understand me and they want to catch up with me. We have all been in situations where we are talking and the other person is “uh huh”ing and “right”-ing without even listening to what you are saying. It’s the same defensive feeling we may get in scenarios where we feel like the other person rather be elsewhere because they are not stimulating conversation.

I realize this blog may make me sound needy or even indignant. So be it. This has been a tough one for me to post (I’ve been sitting on it for days). I know though I am not alone in having these thoughts and as always, I welcome feedback, whether it’s tell me to chill out or to tell me you too have been there.

Walking into 2017 Like…

 

It’s a new year.  Time to set resolutions? No thank you. Time to evaluate the past year and identify what I want to keep, what I want to chuck, and what I want to obtain? Yes please. I believe in setting intentions and goals for the year as opposed to resolving to never do something again or to always do something .(Those are absolutes which prove to be more detrimental than helpful. More on that point in a great post about warnings Amy Purdy gives in regards to resolutions here).  When you take the time to really reflect on what the last year meant for you, it is far more realistic to set the framework for what you want out of the coming year. For me, 2016 was a year of much personal growth and overcoming some big things, all of which I am extremely grateful for. For 2017, I still intend to keep improving. (I mean, we never really should ever stop) while reintroducing a few things that got away from me. I have personal goals for myself (maybe a bit too personal to share at the moment), and I recognize to get them, I am going to have to take 2017 by the horns (so to speak).

I am a total routine person to a fault. I stress about doing things during the week that will interfere with solid sleep. I literally count the hours of sleep I get at night (and I wonder why I am single!)  For 2017, I intend to not beat myself up if I do not stick to my day to day routine 100% of the time. Life is about the unexpected and allowing wiggle room for things that come our way. It is okay if I miss a workout in the morning (I can make it up later in the day).  I do feel like I have a balanced life, but I am open to shaking it up a bit. And by shaking it up, let’s be honest here. Realistically, it is not exactly likely I will be out raging on a Wednesday night, but it is more likely that I will be out at a hockey game or literary event. It is ok if I have a raging Saturday brunch that turns into an all-day event. The errands I have to do that day can wait till another day. I need to cut my routine and myself some slack if I want to have new experiences or just some old fashioned fun and shenanigans.

Speaking of shenanigans, I need to have more of them in 2017. To my point above, my routine has probably meant I have missed out on some fun opportunities. I am no spring chicken but I am also not ready to live the life of a 70 year old. (Actually as I wrote that, I was reminded that most 70 year olds I know are living life with far more zest than I am.) I am going to say “yes” to more invitations. If it sounds fun and appealing, no more silly excuses like, “I can’t hang out with them, I’ll be the oldest person there.” Or “But tomorrow is squat day, I need to be in bed by 9:30”. These are true stories. So get ready, friends. You will be seeing a lot more of me in 2017!

I know myself, and as much as I do I intend to break my routine this year, I recognize that I do still need boundaries in certain areas so that I do not undo the hard work  I put in. Specifically, I am referring to my old friend, Alcohol. Since I do not believe in setting a goal that has an absolute in it, I will not commit to never drinking. I will commit though to only drinking when I want to. I wrote a post a few months back about dieting and how social expectations play into it (that post here). One thing that I feel just as strongly about, if not more, is that I am accountable for what I put into my body which means I am entirely in the right to not give into societal or social pressures. I am accepting the fact, whether it is neurotic or not, that for the most part, drinking for the sake of drinking makes me feel badly about myself.  I put A LOT of tears and sweat in both in and out of the box. I strive to continuously improve, not reverse or counter all those hours by having too many glasses of wine. I am giving myself continued permission in 2017 to pick and choose when I want those extra alcoholic calories. I also quite frankly cannot bounce back the next day like I used to after drinking, and so for me, drinking becomes like a 24 hour investment. So if I decline to drink, please know it’s my own deal and internal struggle.  Having said that, as I am devoted to reintroducing fun into my life, when I am up for shenanigans, I will have no qualms if they do indeed involve drinking.

My last intention is more of a not-so-subtle ask for help. I absolutely love writing, and I intend to do more of it this year. It brings me a different kind of happiness and gratitude than anything else I do. While my intention is to do more of it, I am on the one hand trusting that the universe will give me opportunities while on the other, I have to proactively go find them as well as self-promote (which is totally awkward and even more so as I am also not-so-subtly incorporating it into this blog!). I am open for any advice or recommendations on the matter.

For me, I am whole- heartedly believing that 2017 is going to be the best year yet. 2015 and 2016 were dark years (not for me individually but on the whole for all of us in the spiritual sense.  I could spend more time on that but I will leave it there…for now). I want to reclaim a lot of things that have gotten away from me while embracing new experiences to come. I am setting my intentions as I know they will be answered.

What are your intentions for 2017?

The Gifts of Lake Atitlan

My day to day life tends to have me feeling like I am rushing off to my next destination, whether it’s to CrossFit or work or to a doctor’s appointment or to meet up with a friend. I always feel like there is somewhere I am supposed to be. I do not know if it is a societal standard or my own self- inflicted standard, but it is as if I am supposed to fill every waking minute with something. (FOMO  anyone?) I will have moments of being at home, just relaxing on a Saturday with a nagging sense like I need to get off my couch and be out and about (even if every fiber of my being just wants to unwind and do NOTHING).

Recently, being on a retreat at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, I was able to really slow down and disengage from most of the world, without guilt I might add.  Two of the biggest lessons that this trip affirmed for me are:

  1. It is life’s simplest pleasures that matter the most.
  2. I have the ability within myself to find happiness and contentment.

By not getting much of a signal on my phone at the lake (I will thank the portal for that!), it really allowed me to enjoy my surroundings and get lost in the moment. Some of my most treasured memories are the moments where I truly appreciated nature. Being immersed in it gave me such a constant feeling of gratification. I appreciated the simplicity of being able to just lay out on the dock, listening to the water rustling and swooshing around me  which magically managed to silence my typically very busy, obsessive brain. To be able to wake up for a sunrise boat ride was happiness a thousand times over. To be able to witness the lake, the mountains and the volcanoes come to life before my very own eyes was indescribable. To watch the sky change from black to a radiant blue with pops of yellow, orange, and pink is something that is forever engrained in my mind.

sunrise.jpg

When you remove all the noise and distractions from the world, you appreciate what is around you allowing yourself to truly be lost in those moments. It definitely helped me be more centered, and I came to understand something important about myself.  At my core, I really do not require much nor am I very fancy. (I will put this disclaimer in: I do not mean to say that I would turn down the finer things in life. I do drive a Lexus and I did buy myself diamond stud earrings… once). I just mean when I reflect on the moments when I feel the most at peace, they have very little, if anything, to do with materialism.

Being in nature is known to have a calming effect on people, so it is no wonder that I fell in love with Guatemala. There were no TVs nor was everyone on their phones 24/7. It was the perfect environment to really unwind and disconnect.  I used much of my free time reading (I had to feed my Outlander addiction).  I  wrote in my journal quite a bit, reflecting on all the unique things I experienced, like the Cacao Ceremony, my reading with a Shaman  and the Mayan Fire Ceremony. I did not walk away from these events but rather adopted them into my being. They gave me so many opportunities to really think about myself and my intentions in life. It gifted me the knowing that there is plenty that comes from within me to bring me happiness without having to rely on much.

For a few of us who were on the retreat, we keep saying that we have not left Guatemala. In our own ways, we each took something with us when we waved good-bye to that gorgeous sapphire lake. I am eternally grateful to Lake Atitlan for enabling me to slow down and regain a sort of calmness and contentment that I have not felt in a long time.