Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reinventing Myself

When I turned 40 my life was mostly made up of other people’s agendas. My time was spent working with my husband at businesses he started and enjoyed but were far from anything I was passionate about and my children filled the remainder of my time. I looked deep within myself and discovered the real me had disappeared. I was pieces of my friends, family and husband. I didn’t have my own hobbies and I certainly didn’t spend time doing things I liked to do. One day my husband said “What DO you like to do”? I had a hard time answering the question. I hadn’t followed my heart and allowed myself to do fun things of my choosing for so long I truly couldn’t think of what I liked to do.

I decided my life was passing me by and I’d better start living the life and mission I had come to the earth to fulfill. I started going to the library every week. I walked down the rows to see what interested me. It was always fun to see the topics I would come home with. I checked out lots of audio books. I put one in my car, kitchen and one in my bathroom to listen to while getting ready. That year alone I read or listened to 175 nonfiction books. I became a voracious student. I was finding out what I liked, what I got excited about, and even what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

It hit me that my passion was to be a life coach and help others find their passion and become their best selves and I immediately signed up to become a certified coach.

This was the beginning of my new path in life. I was on a high with the possibilities of life. When I heard myself saying things like someday I am going to do this or that, I immediately got on the phone to sign up. I had always wanted to take ballroom dance lessons with my husband. Instead of waiting for him to want to go, I decided to sign up alone. Then I joined Toastmasters, a speaking club and registered for Spanish and computer classes, all things that were on my someday list.

Each one of these was extremely scary to do, especially alone, but the confidence and exhilaration I felt after was like winning a race.

As my excitement and growth was taking off I was compelled to pursue my dreams. I wanted to help other women find the fire and excitement for life that I had found, so I began facilitating women’s retreats and seminars. I no longer listened to that voice in my head that said things like, “What will people think?” or “Who do you think you are?”. It didn’t matter anymore what others thought about me. I was following my heart. I will admit there were many days I would turn on my “power” play list to listen to songs like I’ve Gotta Be Me and It’s My Life. These and other songs gave me the courage to fight through the negativity of others and my own inner critic.

Now I hope to be able to pass along these and the other things that I have learned at my next event, which will be an LDS Young Women’s Conference that my partner Debbie Forrest and I are putting on this summer. It will be a program to empower teenage girls with the confidence and courage to be able to stand by their principles and values as they go through their difficult high school years.

I believe we are here for a reason. Trying new things may be scary but we need to follow our hearts, dare to dream and do the things that are burning within us – fearless of all consequences.


Alisa said...

I so relate to this post! Just this morning I was thinking about how much I relate to Jonah -- I feel like I spent so many years "hiding in the belly of a whale." It is so liberating to be living a life of purpose and passion!

Good luck with your retreat this summer, and all your future retreats, too! Thanks for the inspiration you are!!!

Lizzie said...

I feel like I am on the brink of this, just not sure how to push through. Still figuring out how to pull together the courage to be willing to reinvent and take risks. They come a little at a time, which is good, but I want a parade or a banner to walk through that says "I've arrived!" (Ironic since that is the opposite of reinventing, something that is a constant process.) :) Thanks for sharing your story!

Princess Gerty said...

I love it! You are an inspiration!

wow mom said...

Carla, I couldn't be more proud of you if you were my own sister (which you are spiritually speaking!) I am baby stepping my way to living fully my mission. Coaching helped me so much yet I enjoy it most for personal and family use so far. I'll be following your progress and cheering for you from afar. Keep it up!!!

wow mom said...

You look beautiful Carla and that matches your spirit and heart. I love that you are helping young women with your wisdom, energy and experience!

Johnson said...

Love this post for many reasons!