The other day I met with one of my favorite people from my corporate days. As we were catching up, she was like, "Um, I don't think people know this is what you're doing now. Why don't you write an update blog?" Of course, this was a fantastic idea. So thanks to T, here is part 1 of my update.
As I reviewed part 4 of my exit story this morning, the date of that post struck me. I didn't know it at the time, but my newly established professional life was about to get rocked in many ways. So let me tell you what's been happening since I last updated you.
In late September, I went to Las Vegas for back to back events. The first event was relevant to my coaching business, and the second was for my network marketing business. I had very much been looking forward to the trip. I had the opportunity to meet and network with many new and like-minded people, and I was getting the chance to finally meet members of my network marketing team I had never met in person before. It turns out that week was pivotal for me, although I didn't realize it until a little later.
After the first event ended, I had moved from one hotel to the next, preparing for a couple of days of down time before event #2. I was exhausted from 3 packed days and had been debating whether to walk around a bit and get some air, or hole up in my room, watch a movie and get some sleep. The latter option sounded fantastic to me, so I let my husband know I was in my room for the night and went to bed.
That was the night of the mass shooting at Mandalay Bay, which I could see from my hotel room window.
I had no idea what was happening, of course. The intercom in the hotel came on a couple of times and people were directed to stay in their rooms, but I figured someone had lost a little too much money at a table in the casino, was losing it, and it was a safety precaution to keep people out of the fray. When I woke up at 6 am Pacific time, I had dozens of messages on my phone. The first of which was an alarming "Please tell me you're okay." Still having no idea what had happened, I turned on the TV, put on the news, and went into shock.
I can't tell you what a surreal and heartbreaking experience it was to be there. All I wanted was to get on the first plane home. I felt desperate for my children. I was devastated, as were so many there and across the country, at this senseless act that robbed people of their lives at what was supposed to be a fun event. It felt like nothing was sacred. It was bizarre to be on the strip and see it almost desolate. People weren't out in full force the first couple of days. There were police EVERYWHERE. But by day 3, things seemed pretty normal. The second event went on as planned, people came into the city to have fun as planned, and life went on. As it should be, because fear should never rule the way we live. But internally, I wasn't ready. I didn't feel like having fun. I didn't want to be there. It was like sensory overload, a complete mismatch between how I felt inside and the environment that surrounded me on the outside.
I hung in there, met my amazing team members, did a fun photo shoot, and returned home at the end of the week, incredibly grateful to be home safely and to see my family again. I had my first public speaking opportunity at the end of October, so I put my head down and got to preparing for that. I've presented many, many times in my life. It was a key part of what I did in my corporate role, but this was so different. It was the first time I was going to present my own content, and I was so nervous.
That first speaking event changed my life.
For the first time ever in a presentation, I got to be 100% me. I told my story, shared my thoughts on how to process where you are, where you want to be, what stops people and how to start moving forward. I talked about our programming, the patterns we get stuck in, the role of our egos and fear in keeping us stuck. And I had the attention of every single person in the room. People wanted to talk to me afterwards. I got messages from people I hadn't met directly who said they were there and wanted to thank me for saying words that they needed to hear at that particular point in their lives.
It was incredibly humbling. It felt like the final number in a combination lock had clicked into place. I knew then and there that I had found my purpose. I had suspected it was my calling when I left my job, but at that moment Certainty walked in, cool and calm as can be, sat down, crossed its legs, checked out its nails, looked at me and said "Yep."
That trip to Las Vegas was pivotal to my preparation for that day. Some part of me felt like I owed it myself and the people who lost their lives to put myself out there full on, because they would never get that chance. And I have no guarantees, either; none of us do. And it wasn't just about me anymore. The fact that people said my words helped them meant I had no right to keep them to myself.
That day triggered a series of opportunities and events that have been nearly stunning to me. The speed of the forward momentum is exhilarating (and I can't wait to share in a future post how everyone can create and find this kind of momentum!), and not without it's nerves. The irony is that all of this forward motion has been largely hidden from my public life. I stopped posting on Instagram and Facebook. I didn't realize until T reminded me that my feed continued to grow as I was tagged by others, but most of those posts are related to the network marketing business, and it made it seem as if that has been my focus. It hasn't, not because it's not an awesome company or group of people, but it's not aligned with *my* true purpose.
And so, true confession: I don't like social media. I never have. Part of why I joined the network marketing business was to get better at it, to see if being better at it would make me feel differently. It definitely got easier, but not natural for me, as it is for so many of the amazing people I've met through that business. And after Vegas and my first talk, I decided in order to really be true to myself and what I intend to create in my life, I needed to drop focus on that and continue creating in-person connections, which does energize me and come naturally.
But now it's time to become visible again, in the balanced way that works best for me. I have so many exciting things to share about what I'm doing now and what's coming next...Part 2 of my update coming very soon!
Photo credit: Naomi Read Photography