Hi! I’m Nikki!

It’s been a wild year and I wanted to take a moment re-introduce myself!

I went from a full-time employee desperately wanting to create a side hustle so I could leave work to a full-fledged entrepreneur with no idea what to do, to a podcast host, a consultant, a public speaker and a coach all in 12 months!!!

Not only has my day-to-day life changed completely, but who I am has shifted from lost and confused with no direction to living completely intentionally.

I meditate regularly. I journal. I listen to inspiring podcasts and I read motivational books daily.

I love to talk to other women entrepreneurs who decided to live a life they desired not the one they were told they were supposed to live.

I love to coach aspiring women entrepreneurs to live a life with joy and fulfillment.

I love working with non-profits to help them with fundraising, events, and marketing so that they can grow their mission.

I believe working moms are a powerful force to be reckoned with and our voice is getting louder and louder.

One year ago my desire was to be able to pick my kids up from school at 3pm, volunteer in their school, travel here and there for work, and do work that brings me joy!

Today I can say I am doing all of that!!!!

I have 2 boys, ages 6 & 3.

My husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage in 2018.

Typically you can find me working at home in my yoga pants, at my local Barre3 studio or chilling at home watching Netflix!

I offer free 1:1 strategy calls for aspiring women entrepreneurs.

I offer free 30 minute consult calls for non-profits looking for help with fundraising, events and marketing.

Just want to learn more listen to the podcast, Stepping Up: Become who you are meant to be on iTunes, Spotify and pretty much anywhere podcasts can be found!

Did you know that things that happened in our past can shape who we are?

Did you also know that you change how those situations affected you?

You either are completely lost or think I’m absolutely crazy, so let me explain.

When I was in junior high I ran track, and I qualified for the championship race. What this means is that I ran a certain time that allowed me to compete in the championship.

Well, I ran that time once, and my fear of not being able to do it again kept from competing.

I told my parents how scared I was of running the race, and they gave me permission to not go to the race.

In hindsight, I can see now that they gave me permission to not push myself and to be ok with mediocrity.

This theme of being ok with things just as they are runs rampant throughout my life.

In school I could’ve applied myself more and received better grades, but I was satisfied with the grades I was getting.

In sports I was ok with how I was performing and didn’t see a need to push myself.

In my career I took the jobs that came to me, did what I was told and quietly would complain about the work.

As much as I was ok with this mediocre life, deep down I had a lot of questions. I wasn’t fully satisfied with a satisfactory life.

Yet, I had suppressed this urge for me for so long that I didn’t even know how to access it as an adult.

Fast forward to becoming a mom, and my drive just went through the roof.

My frustration with the way working moms are treated, and how being a mom isn’t accepted in the world just added fuel to the fire.

My actions started small with fighting for myself by proposing to work from home on both maternity leaves. Then to realizing that as a working mom I wasn’t respected in my office. It was looked down upon when I needed to leave early and pick up a sick kid, or I turned down a work trip to attend an event with my son.

My mind was whirling with questions!

I was beyond frustrated!!

So what did I do?

I started to looking for a new way to live my life.

To live life on my terms.

I learned that I’m not ok with mediocrity and it was time to change my story!

It was time to stand up for myself!

It was time to bring a voice to working moms everywhere!

I started to recognize that there is a better way to live life.

By listening to podcasts and reading books by people who were doing what I wanted, I started to see the possibilities.

These people gave me hope and permission to go after my dreams.

With this confidence and new voice I was able to take back all the years I thought mediocrity was the way of the world.

To see that it’s ok to be in the spotlight.

It’s ok to give a voice to the voiceless!

It’s ok to be who I want to be even if it means upsetting other people, especially those closest to me.

It’s ok to change who I was for the first 3 decades of my life, and become someone else.

This change did not happen overnight, but over the last few years I’ve been given permission time and time again to stand my ground.

I’ve learned valuable lessons along the way, that I take with me on this journey of life.

I no longer live in a world that if something is scary to back away.

I no longer live in a way that says avoiding frustration is ok.

Is there a story you are telling yourself?

Is there a fear that is holding you back?

What it is?

Recognize it. Write it down.

How would you prefer to live life?

Then start following people who are doing what you want.

Listen to their stories, read their books, and listen to their podcasts.

Fill your head with what you want out of life, rather than what you can’t have.

Just because you have lived one way for years, doesn’t mean you can’t shift or pivot. Because I’m living proof to say that you can!!!

Create the life you want, and step up to become who you are meant to be!!!

One of my priorities as a parent is foster my children’s natural interests and skills.

I want to ensure I’m encouraging my children to always explore, keep their minds open, and follow their own interests.

My oldest is about to turn 6 and from a very young age, probably around 2, we knew he had a natural skill for building and creating.

I remember him getting a train set for Christmas and he sat there putting the track together, taking them apart and putting them together again.

He sat in this space fully concentrating on the task at hand for quite a while.

Last year when he was in pre-k, his teacher commented to me, very strongly, that he is good with numbers. It was the first time, someone other than me or my husband saw this in him.

Before that we thought we were just being overly proud parents when it came to his knowledge of numbers and his love for building.

Just a few months ago my husband got him a lego truck that could be made into 3 different trucks.

Well, after working together to build it once, my son then went ahead and followed the pictures to disassemble and reassemble the truck to make all 3 kinds.

Legit my mind was blown!!

Now just a week before he turns six, he receives a circuit board. In less than 2 hours he was going through the instruction manual, found one he wanted to build, and built it without asking a single question or having anyone offer help.

He has continued to build boards, take them apart, and build another.

Again, my mind is so blown!!

I don’t operate in that realm of my brain so watching him is just amazing to me!!!

A few years ago on a business trip I found myself sitting next to a young man who was an engineer for a railroad company. We talked the entire flight and I remember telling him how my son has a natural interest in building and is very good with numbers.

Before we landed I asked him how he felt I could best nurture this interest in my son. He said to make sure we continue to challenge him. If he his naturally skilled then he could get bored easily.

As I continue to watch him, and his brother, naturally gravitate to the toys and activities that they enjoy the most I’m amazed at two things:

  1. How different they are, and
  2. How when they find something they enjoy the can do whatever that activity it is for hours, and with such concentration.

Our youngest is 3 ½ (FYI that ½ is very important, lol), and he very much follows his older brother. Yet, it is clear how different they are from each other.

He is still discovering what he enjoys, but he is much more active. He needs more stimulation and more movement. He cannot sit still and just do a puzzle for hours.

Figuring out how to foster these two different kids is a challenge for sure, but one I’m determined to make a priority.

Everyone, every couple, every parent needs to take a vacation without their children!!

I say this after taking a 7 day vacation with my husband without our children!!!

Whenever I told people what we were doing, they always looked at me with such excitement and sometimes jealousy saying things like “That’s so awesome!”, “Enjoy yourselves”, “You’re so lucky”.

We’ve been married almost 10 years, and even before we got married my husband had been telling me about Estes Park in Colorado. He told me about how beautiful it was and about the amazing the views after the hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. He had been about 3 times with his friends already, and we made a vow that for our 10 year anniversary he would take me there and show me all around.

Well, ten years went a lot more quickly than I imagined and our trip has come and gone. While bittersweet to say that it’s over, it was the most amazing vacation of my life. Yes, he was right the views were amazing, although for our trip we had to deal with smoky skies from the California wildfires – who would’ve thought that would be an issue so far away?! In all honesty the views, in my opinion, were still pretty darn incredible. This only makes me look forward to our next trip out there because this means it’ll be even better than the first. Yes, that’s right, I too have fallen in love with the town of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

If you don’t know where Estes Park is then the easiest way is to tell you that it’s the same town as the famous Stanley Hotel where The Shining was filmed and yes we visited the hotel, and no we saw no ghosts.

We were ready!

The only other times we’ve been away from our kids overnight have been 3 other times and always for weddings. There it wasn’t time we got to relax and be with each other. It was always very hectic, we were running around and usually traveling about an hour or so away.

This vacation was truly a true treat for us. We had 7 whole days to be together!!!

To some an entire week without their kids may sound daunting and yes, fear crept in a few times, but I worked through it because nothing was going to keep me from enjoying this trip with my husband. We needed it, our marriage needed it and even our kids needed it.

We talked about our kids a lot! They were spending the week with my parents, which mean they also got lots of time with their cousins who live just a few minutes away. I got so many pictures of all the fun things they got to do like the zoo, the pool, and the parks. Although the number of pictures dwindled as the week went on. I think you can imagine way, lol!

We would stop and look at their pictures, laugh at things they say and talk about them. So yes, we missed them, but never to the point of regretting the trip. When the 7 days was up while we were sad to leave, we were also ready to go home.

I could tell you more about our trip and likely bore you to death with hiking stories, instead I’ll just tell you why I believe all parents need to take a childless vacation.

You deserve it!

You work so hard every single day caring for other people, you deserve even just a few days of thinking about nobody else but each other. This was probably the best part and I didn’t even realize how much this was affecting me until a few days into our vacation when my mom said it to me on the phone. Even though we were hiking and waking up early I was so relaxed because all I had to do was worry about myself.

That’s it! Just one simple reason. I could come up with a fancy list of 10 reasons, but honestly this is it. You deserve a vacation whether you travel thousands of miles to go hiking, or you go to the beach for a long week and just lay around, or you take a cruise. Whatever kind of vacation you enjoy take it and go without the kids. Rekindle your marriage, remember how to be alone and how to take care of each other.

Don’t wait until your marriage is falling apart to take time together, because by then it could be too late. Take the time now. Young kids take up so much of your time and energy that we forget how to just be alone. It took me a good 24 hours to actually relax because I just didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t know how to not take care of other people. I didn’t know how to just worry about me. When I finally did settle in, it was game on and I took in every ounce of that time away.

If money is an issue, start saving now! I made the decision to leave work just 3 months before our trip and yes, it wasn’t easy making this vacation work, but I wasn’t going to let anything stop us from going on it. We financed some of it and used our tax return for some of it. This vacation was an investment in ourselves and our marriage. It was worth it!!!

Sit down with your partner, set a date (or a time of year) and start planning now even if it’s years before your vacation. Even just knowing it’s coming can be good for you. Like I said we had this planned for 10 years, and in the 6 months leading up to it we spent so much time planning together. We had to figure out not only the dates and logistics, but we would sit down after the kids were in bed and look at cabins and my husband, always the scheduler, had planned our hikes for each day. It gives you something to look forward and boy did we look forward to this trip!

I hope this inspires you to talk to your partner and start thinking about how and where you would go on vacation without kids. Even more than just talk about it start planning it because you deserve it!!!!

Shout Outs

This blog wouldn’t be complete without the appropriate shout outs to the grandparents who kindly took care of our children (human and fur) while we were away. Without them this vacation never would have happened and we are so grateful for your willingness to open up your lives and spend one exhausted week taking care of your grandkids for us. We love you and we thank you!! Also, don’t worry we don’t plan on doing this every year, lol!

Listening to my intuition has served me well, even in the face of fear.

You know those butterflies you get in your stomach when something is about to happen, like a first kiss or going on an interview. Those little flutters deep inside your belly are intuition, it’s your gut telling you something.

Do you ever get those flutters looking at pictures, or thinking about an upcoming event? Even just the thought of doing something can bring them on.

Our gut is the place where we make the best decisions, it’s our body’s way of saying what you are doing is right. It’s like the cheering section at a stadium doing the wave. They are doing it just for you!!

Most times, and most people tend to ignore this feeling as if it’s nothing to be concerned with, it’s just nerves. I want to challenge that thinking and tell you that’s it’s something to listen to and really explore.

My intuition told me I was going to leave my job months before it happened. My intuition told me things were going to go awry and drastically changing my life would be the best decision I ever made. What’s interesting is that I could have chosen to ignore this gut feeling, to ignore my intuition. By doing so I would have stayed where I was, continued to be miserable and unhappy.

I could have easily come up with every excuse in the book to not make the decision I made, and trust me I’ve heard it from plenty of people. Not in a negative way, but in a way “wow I can’t believe you did that” and “that is so risky”. I could’ve told myself that it wasn’t possible, questioned what I would do, or say that I’d wait until my business was making enough money than I would leave work.

You know what, in my gut I knew that wasn’t going to work. If I was going to do this I had to make a big move. If you watch Survivor you’ll understand that in order to have a chance at winning the game you eventually have to make a big move. If you are the person that just skirts into the final three by tagging along someone else you don’t get any credit for the decisions made. You didn’t make a big move. Leaving my job with a steady paycheck was my million dollar move.

I don’t for a second regret the decision I made, and I don’t have a plan B. This is it and it’s going to work. It’s going to work because my intuition, my gut, my heart are all telling me it is.

Our intuition is an incredible thing, and if we just stop and listen to it we will make the best decisions possible to stay on the path we are meant to be on in this life. Unfortunately most people don’t take the time to listen to their intuition, they don’t take the time to sit and be still.

I urge to take just a few minutes every day to just sit still, to write, to take a quiet walk. Put your phone on airplane mode and just be still. At first it will be hard, but if you continue to do this every day and create a consistent habit you will tap into your intuition. Then once you’ve tapped in just start listening and then start taking action.

The more you sit in silence, the easier will become to listen to your intuition. It will also become easier to realize when you are swaying in the wrong direction, and course correct.

No longer ignore those gut feelings, because that is you being guided in the direction you were meant to go. Lean in, listen and act!!!

Network marketing gets a bad rap. One that for a long time I believed in as well. That is until I joined a company with a product I believed in and wanted to share to people.

The big lesson I’m learning is that it’s not for everyone!

Network marketing, multi-level marketing, direct sales, whatever you call it has a place in our world and for many people, the ones willing to do the work, it provides them with a sustainable and profitable career. It allows you to work from home, create your own schedule, provide a passive residual income and your success is based on your effort.

All sounds great right? Then why do so many people have such a negative reaction to this model of business?

Most likely because they’ve had a poor experience. Either they are bombarded by friends asking them to buy their products or host a party, or they signed up with difference expectations and realized it wasn’t as easy as they thought. Or, you feel like everyone you know is part of a MLM and all you see on Facebook is posts about their products. I may have blocked a few people because I was annoyed by their endless posting of the same thing over and over again. I was also asked repeatedly to join a certain business from one person and each time I said no she would reach out again anyway. This same person also reached out to a friend of mine that she doesn’t even know and sent her a message asking her to join her mom’s challenge. That’s not the worst of it…my friend isn’t a mom!!! I was infuriated when I found that out! At least do some research before just contacting people you don’t know!!!

Because of this negative experience I avoided any idea presented to me about joining any network marketing business. Yes, I supported my friends in their endeavors for various businesses but that’s as far as I went.

My Introduction to Network Marketing

I was eventually introduced to a product that me and my family were in need of. This wasn’t a bag or nail wraps or make-up (all of which I purchased and still use some of these products), it is whole food nutrition. My kids and I just got over being sick for pretty much an entire month and I would have done anything to keep us healthy. When I heard a pediatrician talk about balancing the immune system my ears perked up immediately. I had a problem and this product was my solution.

I got the products, but once again I avoided the business. Then once we started seeing our own results and I continued to learn more about the products and the company, I shared it with a friend of mine. It was scary to do that because I knew it was network marketing and I wasn’t even a part of the business yet. I immediately referred my friend to the person who shared it with me. Yet, again avoiding the business. I was happy to give referrals but didn’t want to get involved.

I don’t recall how it all happened next but I did eventually sign up for the business with no intentions of really “working” it. I saw that I could get commission on our products and if I have a few friends order than there’s a little extra cash for me.

During all of this time my desire to have my own business and be an entrepreneur kept pulling at me. I had been working with a business coach to build a fitness/running coaching business, but it wasn’t sitting right with me. I eventually dropped the business and the coach but still wanted something more.

I then turned to my network marketing company and explained to those above me my concerns. Out of options I decided to jump into it and a few months later attended my first conference.

That conference opened my eyes wide to all the possibilities this business can offer. Over 7,000 people in one room all coming together for the same mission and supporting each other along the way blew my mind!

Then came the connections with the others on my team. People I never met in person but had been talking to and seen on video chats became immediate friends. It was as though we’ve always known each other.

At that conference I decided to stick with it and at the time I was going all in. I saw women and men changing their lives and their family’s lives through financial freedom and time freedom. Wives working hard to reach the top level and earn health benefits so their husbands could retire early. Husbands and wives working together in this business showing their children the possibilities! I saw recent college grads create a stable income right out of the gate avoiding the corporate world all together.

So many stories of inspiration and hope!!! I drank the kool-aid and I mean all of it….chugged it down!!!! LOL

What’s next for me in network marketing

Finally the New Year comes and I really start diving into personal development and begin seeing myself walking away from my full-time job. What I was doing was still unclear to me, and because of that I leaned into the network marketing business but for some reason it wasn’t fully resonating with me.

I was being pulled in another direction, yet I still didn’t want to let go of network marketing.

Skipping a few months ahead and lots of drama, I did eventually quit my job and started my own consulting business. Long story here but a feeling in my gut is telling me to start my own business, something that’s just mine. So I did!

Now the big question has been what to do with my network marketing business?

I don’t want to let it go, and I know having more than one source of income is a smart decision. Can I do both???

For sometime I didn’t think I could and I was struggling with what to do. As I write this I’m on the train leaving a conference for this company. A conference I debated not going to because I’m not sure where this business is going for me.

But I paid and there was still a pull for me to go. Through the hesitation I went and boy am I glad I did!!! I got inspired again!!

I realized that over the last few weeks I’ve been over complicating things. I’ve been thinking too much of the to-do list and how I’ll never get it done. Instead I need to change my mindset to figure out what I can do with the time I have available. It doesn’t have to take me hours to work on my network marketing business while also growing my consulting business. I can do both!!

It’s about working smarter not harder!!!

I am going to be kind to myself, and celebratig the small wins.

I will take inspired action.

I will share authentically and with passion.

I will not compare myself to others. This is my journey no one else’s.

I will be a leader who leads with passion and purpose.

This is my story and everyone’s story is different.

I started my consulting business for a reason and I continue to stay with my network marketing business for a reason. Wherever they both lead me is unforseen right now, but I am living in the present and doing what feels good right now.

I’m finally ready to lose the weight!!!

Three years ago my second son was born and ever since I have been stuck at the same weight. Unable to shake this last little bit. For most of my life I’ve gone between 125lbs and 135lbs, spending my 20s in that 130-135 range. For reference I’m 5’1” (5’2” according to my license though, lol) and have always been super active. I played sports year round through college, I danced and after college continued to crave movement.

I also grew up without a scale in my home (thank you mom and dad!) so I never knew what I weighed and I also never really cared. It wasn’t something we talked about in our family and since I was always so active I was thin my whole life. I also love to eat and never was even tempted to try and control my food intake. Seriously, I gave up chocolate one Lent and on Easter morning I got a basket of chocolate and my husband told me to never do that again, hahahaha.

This isn’t to say I was super confident about my body, but it is to say that I wouldn’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about it.

Because of all this even the thought of saying “I’m going to lose 20lbs” sounds ridiculous. Yet, for some reason it’s helping me get my motivation. I may not lose 20lbs, and I’m not even going to focus on the number, but I’m finally ready to step up my game a bit. Plus my husband and I are going on a hiking trip in a few weeks and I want to be prepared as much as I can.

If it’s not about the number, why in the world am I even writing this blog?

I’m doing it because over the last three years I haven’t been ready to push myself physically. In the past 8 months I backed off exercise on purpose. I was at a crossroads in my life and even though I was working out my body wasn’t responding. My morning exercise time turned it into meditation and journaling instead. I went from working out 4-5 times a week to 2 at the most. I went from running and high cardio to only Barre3 on the weekends.

Taking that time for me to get clear in my head is what propelled me to make these recent major shifts in my life such as leaving my full-time job to pursue entrepreneurship. Not only did I make this decision, but I made it with faith and confidence.

I’m still meditating and journaling but I got the itch to start moving my body with more high intensity workouts. Breaking a sweat, jumping high, breathing heavy….yup that’s what I need right now. I actually forgot how good those kinds of workouts can make me feel.

Why 20lbs?

Well I went to the doctor recently and the scale read 150lbs, which I wasn’t surprised at because that’s where I’ve been at the last three years.

It’s not about the number, but that number gives me a goal. Whether I reach that number or not is honestly irrelevant.

Instead I will be looking at how my clothes fit, my muscle tone and how I feel. The number is more symbolic than anything.

As I write this I wonder if I’m even explaining it clearly, but in my head it makes sense so I’m going with it!!

FYI – You won’t see progress pictures either because I’m not totally comfortable with them. This is a journey for me and for me alone. Yes I’m sharing my story, but not for the congratulations or the “you look great comments”. I am beautiful the way I look now and no offense I don’t need anyone else to tell me that!! This weight loss journey is about moving my body in a way that makes me feel happy. It’s about being in a clear head space where I can focus more on my body. It’s about being comfortable in my skin and being strong of course…always about being strong!!

Yes, it’s true I gave up about half our family’s income to follow my dreams of being an entrepreneur.

Was it scary? Absolutely!

But you know what, it was the right time. I have done so much work on myself, read books and listened to podcasts about abundance that I know we’ll be better than fine. We’ll be better than we were when I was working full-time. We are going to thrive and be able to do all the things that come with living a financially free life.

How do I know this? Because I do and I trust.

We all have a money story that guides our actions and our thoughts when it comes to our finances. Whether it’s a constant story of debt, taking out loans, never having enough, living paycheck to paycheck, anger towards those who do have money, wondering why you can never catch a break and always blaming someone else for your misfortune.

Do any of these sound familiar to you? I bet a few of them do because many are things I used to say to myself. I still find myself falling into these traps, but I’m recognizing now when I am and working to change my own money story.

Yes, I took a huge risk just cutting off half of our income and so did my husband. He has supported me in all my endeavors and this one is definitely the most risky, but it also has the most opportunity.

I’m starting this new chapter into entrepreneurship with one client and that one client is giving me the win I need to get started, to realize for myself and for others that this lifestyle is not just doable, but even better than working for someone else.

As much as it started with a win, it also started with me entering into fear.

Today is Friday, and just one-week ago I packed up my office and left work for the last time. On Monday I was updating our budget and realized that even with this one client we are in the red by a few hundred dollars and that’s before we spend any money on extras outside of our regular bills. While I’m trying to live in this place of abundance, it is difficult. I spent earlier this week enjoying being home, but also struggling with how to live in abundance but looking at a budget that was in the red.

I went into my tool box and started with simply thinking positively, saying to myself that everything will be ok. I tried to visualize paying off the credit card bill I accumulated paying ahead for things like doctors appointments and a business coach. Even with these tools I was still holding onto this fear of “What have I done? This has to work out.” I could feel myself panicking, not outwardly, but in my gut I could feel myself tensing up being super nervous.

Then on Tuesday morning I did some journaling and just wrote out what I was feeling and let the words just flow. I allowed myself to sit in the fear, to recognize and not push it away. It helped, but I was still struggling with how do I live in abundance but also look at a budget and know there are things we can’t do because the money isn’t there yet.

I brought this up to my business coach and she told me to rephrase the “I can’t afford” with “This isn’t a priority right now.” Hmmmmm…..ok I think I can try that. I continued to sit with that and went back to visualization of really being in the moment of being financially free.

On Wednesday morning I was doing my visualization again and found myself clenching my hands over my chest. I had just listened to a podcast by Dan Mason on money myths and his last tip was about letting go. Then the instant I realized I was clenching I realized I wasn’t letting go. I wasn’t giving up my fear, I was holding onto it instead.

With my eyes closed I released my hands and held them out in front of me with my palms facing away from me. I felt this energy flow through my body and out my hands. It was me releasing my fear, taking my intention of being financially free and sending it out into the world. What I want is not in my control. I must release it to the world and take the small action steps to get there without worrying about the how or the when, but trusting that it will happen.

This is manifestation, and I did this exact thing a few months ago when I found myself holding on so tightly to the idea of leaving work in May to be an entrepreneur and getting my summer with my boys. I kept wondering how to make it possible, but finally I remember just giving up saying to myself “this might not happen as I want, and that’s ok.” Then I went about my life as if it weren’t going to happen and just kept making small steps forward.

Then all of these things started to happen in my life that led me to leaving work, and now here I am home with my boys enjoying our summer together. If I did it then, then I can do it now.

Elsa had it right, it’s time to let it go!!!

Holding back tears in a public place because you don’t want people to know your upset, or ask questions.

Really excited about something and just want to scream and dance but can’t because people will think you’re crazy.

Super angry at your spouse but just give them the evil eye because you can’t have an argument in public for fear of what others will think.

Seeing a theme here?

Showing emotions in public is something we fear. We worry about what other people will think. Whether we’re sad, happy or angry we don’t want to show it. Then when we see someone who is showing strong emotions in public we ignore or walk away.

Why is this? Why is showing emotion so shameful?

The other day something happened that I was clearly upset about it in a public place. It was nearly impossible to hide it, but I definitely tried. I was embarrassed to be so upset over this thing. I’m learning that feeling these emotions and expressing them is good for you. There I was at a crossroads of wanting to just run away to my car and cry, but also wanting to sit with these emotions.

To be more specific I was at my Barre3 studio, and was auditioning to be an instructor….again. This was my last shot to get it right and start training to be certified at the end of July. Unfortunately I was just not ready. This is something I truly want and something I know I can do, but more than that it’s something I feel I’m meant to do. When it didn’t go the way I was expecting I was disappointed in myself.

What happened? What am I doing wrong? Can I fix this? Will this ever happen for me?

I auditioned right before a class I was planning to attend, and I was torn on whether I should stay for class or get out of there. I opted to stay because being in that studio just makes me feel good. It’s a place where I can work out my body, but also get clarity within my mind. This is likely why I want to be an instructor so badly, because I want to help others feel the way I do when I’m in class. Swollen and red eyes, I decided to stay because I knew it would help me feel better.

I was ashamed of being so upset and wanted to put on a strong face that I’d be fine. It was a full class so there were a lot of women walking around. Out of the few women who I ran into before class while sitting in the bathroom or while I was in the studio before class texting my husband and friends, only one woman asked me if I was ok.
Yes, I was embarrassed and didn’t want to talk to anyone, but I appreciated her acknowledgement so much. I kind of wanted to explain myself, but all I could say was “I’m not ok, but I will be. Thank you for asking.”

Then I wondered if I would have said something if I saw a stranger visibly upset before class. Would I have the courage to ask if they were ok?

As much as I’d like to think I would, I honestly think I would have ignored her. Talk about disappointment in myself! Just a few words can be so much to someone and I would have been so uncomfortable in that situation that I wouldn’t have said anything. Geez!!!

How do we change this about our society?

How do we embrace our own emotions?

How do we let others know it’s ok to show emotions?

Unfortunately I don’t have the answer because this is something I’m clearly working on.

I’m starting with myself, with being ok to show my own emotions. It’s also something I am strongly trying to teach my boys. At the ages of 5 and 3 they have very strong emotions and I don’t want to hinder them from showing them at all. I let them cry, I let them yell and get angry.

Especially because I’m raising boys I want them to know it’s ok to cry and it’s not something to be shameful about. I also want them to be comfortable around others when they are upset. When someone is upset in our house we work on first asking if they are ok, then asking what we can do to make it better.

I saw this just today as my 3 year old got hurt and my 5 year old came over and asked if he was ok. Then we all sat on the floor and my 5 year old put his hand on his little brother’s back and rubbed it. Then he said he wanted to be silly to make his little brother happy. If my heart could have exploded with joy it would have right there!

Let’s not hide our emotions, let’s feel them in all their ugliness and all their joy! Don’t hide, don’t run away, don’t scroll on your phone to numb the pain. Feel it, embrace it and then learn from it!

When you see others showing emotion in public whether they are adults or children, give them a smile, ask them if they are ok and acknowledge their emotion. I was appreciate that someone asked if I was ok, I didn’t give her my life story or say what was wrong, but even though I was embarrassed I was thankful that she asked me.

Traveling for work is something I did a handful of times throughout the year. Typically lasting no more than 24 hours but requiring an overnight stay. Today as I sit in my hotel room after my final trip for work it feels funny. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something in me feels different.

In about 3 weeks I’ll be leaving my full-time job to pursue entrepreneurship. I couldn’t be more excited to take on this next adventure, but there is a definite sadness with this final trip. As I did the 3 hour drive here I started to get flutters in my stomach thinking about how I won’t do this again. I’m trying to put into words how I feel, but it’s truly really difficult to do right now.

I’m leaving a job I overall enjoyed, one that gave me meaning and purpose. Years ago as a new college graduate I knew deep down that I would be back at my alma mater. So to be able to serve the alumni for past 4 years has been not only an honor and a privilege, but a dream come true.

Then when I think about the time I’ll be getting back in my life, I know I’m making the right decision. Even though this change feels so right it doesn’t come without a lot of emotion. I want to lean into this emotion, to feel all the feelings and really enjoy the last few weeks in this position.

When I gave my notice a few weeks it was surreal to think about taking on entrepreneurship. I thought a lot about the future, and what’s coming up next. Now that the end is coming up and the last time for things is happening, I’m reflecting back on the last 4 years. I want to reflect, I want to remember and yes I want to cry. It’s going to be sad walking out the door of my building, and driving off campus for the last time as an employee.

Twelve years ago I drove off campus with tears in my eyes because my time as an undergrad was ending and it was the end of a chapter in my life. Soon I’ll drive off campus with tears in my eyes because another chapter here is ending, and new adventure is beginning.

I know what lies ahead is incredible and I’m so blessed for this opportunity. That doesn’t make this move any easier. For the next few weeks I’m going to really be present in my work. To enjoy the mundane and everyday things, the conversations with co-workers, the lunch breaks, the laughs, the phone calls and the emails.