I found this tank top this morning in my closet. I bought it when I was deep into my weight loss journey. At the time, I was reading and following a bunch of people that I found motivational and inspiring. The Blog of Impossible Things was one of them, and Joel Runyon, the author, was making shirts and tanks to fuel his next “impossible” project.
The advice I received from Joel every Tuesday and Thursday via email was pretty priceless. Like me, Joel had found himself overweight, out-of-shape, and feeling a little hopeless. To boot, he had a dead end job (despite his college degree) that paid 11 bucks an hour. Now, you might think think he would have started working harder on looking for a better job. Instead, he started focusing on himself and transforming his body to get in better shape. It was one thing he could control when he felt lots of other things were out of his control.
Joel’s story really resonated with me. I felt like I had a lot of things under control, but there was one thing I couldn’t control. I couldn’t figure out how to lose weight, move better, and feel more confident in my body. Sure, I had a LOT of the puzzle pieces figured out- I’d been at the “diet game” for over a decade- but the outcomes just weren’t…coming.
What I didn’t want to acknowledge at the time was that a big part of that had absolutely nothing to do with my health and fitness habits that I had been working on. It had almost everything to do with what was going on in between my ears and the story that I told myself.
When I began to exercise regularly and train for my first triathlon, things began to change for me. I went from the girl who hid in her basement and did the mandatory 20 minute elliptical session to the girl who lurked in the back of the exercise class. I moved my way forward to the front of the class over time, and found friends and supporters in the class and in my community. I gained confidence in my physical abilities, and that expanded to all parts of my life.
My newfound confidence pushed me to ask for help in organizing a local fundraiser for the non-profit at which I worked. The response was literally overwhelming. The event was called “Paint the Town Red” and while the experience was terrifying, the result was amazing. Literally a huge chunk of the town showed up in 30 degree weather to watch an outdoor fashion show and raise money for this tiny non-profit. When I got up to speak at it, I was 20 pounds lighter than when I had started planning for the event 5 months earlier. Why? Because those little things I had been doing for my health and fitness were starting to add up. More importantly, willing myself not to fail at this one event drove my courage and confidence that I could do new things through the roof. I actually just bought a flex belt from http://livetofitness.com/, and I have already noticed a huge difference in my stomach.
So, I quit a job that I wasn’t happy doing.
And I went all in on trying to make my ideal job a “thing”.
I lost more weight.
People noticed that I was being confident and assertive and gave me more roles and responsibilities.
I lost even more weight and got to a place where I felt strong, comfortable, and confident in my body.
Eventually, I was asked to do my boss’ job when she left to take another faculty position. I thought, “This is it! I’ve made it!“. I worked tirelessly for about 3 months. One night, staring at the florescent lights at 9 PM after trying to decipher another incorrectly completed I-9 form from an adjunct instructor, I realized I hadn’t made it at all. What might have been someone’s dream job wasn’t mine. And so I told the amazing people that were part of my team that I wanted to go back to teaching.
And I hatched a plan to start on a new thing- becoming a personal trainer. The rest is pretty much history (for another story anyways).
My old self- the successful teacher who was overweight, funny, smart, and sarcastic- probably wouldn’t recognize me now. If I had said to myself, “This is who I will be in 10 years” ten years ago, “then” me would have spit her coffee out and laughed in “now” me’s face.
Because I had set limits on who I thought that I could be. On just “how good” of a teacher I was and the positions I “deserved”. On what I was going to be able to achieve in my life. Whether or not I knew that I did this is besides the point. I did it. I stayed in my box because the box was safe and sensible and it didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary was in store for me.
Getting back into physical training, becoming fit, and eventually losing weight changed all of that for me. I’ve broken down lots of tiny and huge walls with my fitness. Funny enough, the ones that seem tiny on the outside- moving to the front of the group exercise class- were HUGE compared to the ones that seem huge on the outside- like swimming the Strait of Mackinac last summer.
Fitness is my keystone habit. Everything amazing in my life I have attracted or worked for as a result of my initial actions around getting fit. I went from being a person who believed that she only deserved so much out of life to a person who truly believes in the possibilities.
Most days when I get out of bed, I try to get doing something active right off the bat. When I’m finished, I feel like it’s the moment in The Wizard of Oz when the movie goes from black-and-white to color. It’s a whole new world, and I am ready to soak it in and shape the rest of my day.
So when I talk to people about their habits, I have truly deep respect for simple changes and their profound impact. I know that making fitness a part of my life has had the most wide-ranging impact for me and my future. Your “thing” doesn’t have to be fitness. But it needs to be something. So what makes you get out of bed and start living in Technicolor?
It was an honor and a joy to walk the beach with my grandson, Kilian (who is too old to share his age or I reveal mine…lol)
Dreaming, planning, seeing, feeling & visualizing your future really works. I am having this experience because it all started first in my mind, over 2 years ago. I did not know then “how” it would happen, just that it was “what” I wanted. And I was very clear on my “why”.
When my unique, intelligent and “old soul” grandson visited during that experience… well, it truly became a “Moment That Matters.” A forever memory burned into my brain. I guess I’ll have to paint it!
Thanks to Kristin, the best daughter and woman I know, for taking the time and energy to make the trip and put the finishing touches on my “Thoughts Become Things” event. It was priceless!
Love you both!
What’s important to remember is that when we feel like this,,, we are at the edge of believing and ready to go to the next level in creating and living a whole-hearted life. Read on.
Happy Little Trees! Much more than three little words!
I am smiling while I write this, for so, so many reasons. After mentioning Bob Ross? on my Fan Page, I received a message from a high school friend who put it quite well.? Dave said, “Loved watching Bob Ross, when he put a ‘little, happy tree’ in a painting? I felt all was right with the world.”
Bob Ross did a lot of things. He made us feel like we could do anything. He painted beautiful oil paintings in 20 minutes. He talked about “happy little trees and happy little clouds”. He told us we could create our own world, exactly as we wanted it, on our canvases. Then, he told us we could do anything we believed we could do…again.
He told us to try. He pointed out that there were no mistakes, only “happy little accidents” that might serve us well if we paid attention to them and sat with them for awhile. He told us we could also just start over if we really didn’t like a color. He told us to love nature, be kind to one another and the “tiny little creatures”. He told us to be patient with ourselves and to be grateful for what we have in our lives.
He taught us to be aware, and attentive, and courageous.
The man was a walking example of Living Your Passion. Like him or not, most people I know get hooked once they see him paint. His words and philosophies moved us as much as his paintings.
Maybe that is why I admired him so much. Creating art that helps people realize their, passion, purpose or dream, is what I love to do. And I try to be at least a bit like him every day…especially on days when I think I can’t do something well enough or forget how fortunate I am! They say that Martha Stewart changed how being a “home-maker” was perceived in our world. I believe Bob Ross did the same thing with painting. He humanized painting and made it seem easier than it is, and sometimes that’s what it takes to begin…to try…to create.
Well, more to come soon. I am going to go put on one of my recording of any one of his?“happy little paintings”, and say thank you to one of my favorite artists.]]>
Moments That Matter,
2. The community that has embraced the InSights philosophy, and who are willing to share positive energy with others.
3. Reading the book Tribes by Seth Godin and realizing that we’ve got an awesome tribe right here, right now.
4. Finding a moment in time to just be.
5. Freshly falling snow, especially when I can stay inside and look at it from this side of the window.
6. Sunny days.
7. Blogs and discussion posts that make me laugh out loud, smile, or learn something new.
8. The silence that happens when my kids turn in for the night.
9. Finding a great new author who has a series of books to get involved with (I’ve got to include the Amazon Kindle with this list).
10. Blogging and discussion posts at 11:00pm because the internet never sleeps! (and apparently neither do I ;o)
What’s on your list?
Totally worth the read – and cheers to this mom for the wise insights. Going to the source and healing – how mature and brave, and not just for parents.
Moments That Matter,
This Mother’s Soothing Reaction to Her Son’s Fit of Rage Can Teach Us All a Lesson in Parenting.
Yep, I am a silent seeker. I can do, think, study and read what matters to me. Priceless. Precious. Perfect. Moments That Matter! Rita]]>
After a 26 year career in education, moving up the ranks from high school teacher to college professor, Tom Hill unexpectedly got the entrepreneurial bug at age 50. Eighteen months later, opportunity met ambition, when a friend led Hill to invest in a RE/MAX Real Estate franchise.
Hill successfully bought, built up and sold RE/MAX franchises over the years, eventually moving to Lake St. Louis in 1994 and bringing on a partner. “In 1994, when I sold 25% because I had the time and money, I began looking at my franchisees,” says Hill. “I was wondering why some figure it out and why others don’t.”
At the same time that Hill was contemplating how success is reached, his own advice on how to achieve goals began to be sought. With his partner running the business, Hill happily shared his expertise, giving up to 60 speeches a year between 1994 and 1999. He also wrote and had his story written in various books. “I started writing Living at the Summit,” he says. “Then I did a workbook to go with the novel. Then Chicken Soup for the Soul approached me to do Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul. Then four years ago I did eight speeches in seven cities in five countries in three weeks. I was approached to have my life written based on that story.”
Now 80 years old, Hill still mentors through his organization, Hill’s Angels. “I now have 36 people, men and women across the country, who have achieved success and want to be significant,” he says.
Hill begins his mentoring process by having each person write down their perfect life six years from the present. Then he turns aspirations into measurable goals. “We explore six areas: spiritual, health, relationships, emotional, professional and financial,” he says. “I help them get on a path. The journey takes time. It’s like losing weight.”
To find results, goals must be measurable, according to Hill. “I give people tools based on their goals,” he says. “I help maintain what’s good, improve the mediocre and then show what you need to get busy in.”
Hill’s overall goal is to help build a vision and then exceed it. “I have a moral obligation to be the best person I can be,” he says. “I want to make a positive difference in every life I come in contact with. Then help each person to build a network to get to opportunities. You must be a learner. One idea well executed can change your life forever.”
What The Mentee Says:
Dr. Hill is willing to meet with and help anyone, whether they are a formal mentee or not. He sets an example for servant leadership. There is no one he isn’t either connected to or can’t get connected to in one phone call because he is the “real deal” with caring for others so doors open. -Jennifer Dodd
ST. LOUIS SMALL BUSINESS MONTHLY / FEBRUARY 2016