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Unleash Your Inner Hero

Change must first come from within...

It’s as though you are walking along a straight, narrow, clear path. You are just okay with the direction you are heading, and you are just okay with existing…
All of a sudden, it starts storming and you can’t see two feet in front of you. You were too blasé to realize the dark, threatening clouds were moving in. 
So now you are drenched, unprepared, and the path you could see just a moment ago has given way, and is now a sloppy mess of mud and debris. 
You want to give up, turn back and run away out of fear of the unknown. If you continue ahead, you are facing the storm straight-on, and if you turn around, you will go back to the comfort of just existing.
You are at a crossroad and your decision will be based on impulse, reaction, and what you see with your eyes. Or will it be based on what you know to be true, that “this too shall pass” or what your heart is telling you?
I have been there many times and in the beginning my “fight or flight” response would kick in and I would always turn back and give up. I never believed in myself enough to brave the storm. There was a time when I literally had a full-on panic attack while driving through a storm in South Dakota… and those panic attacks did not only occur there. Anytime stress, toxic people, or financial burdens would become a part of my path, I would overreact and it would get the best of me. I became physically ill, and would constantly question myself, and worry about what people thought of me. 
The moment that everything changed was on a cold March day, the day before my son’s first birthday. We were super late for a doctor’s appointment and there was a flash freeze on the roads, so my stress was at max level by the time we got to the hospital. On our way home, we met a barricade and I was so frustrated because it meant I had to turn around and find an alternate route, thus making us late for getting back to town. 
By the time we got back to town, my kids were ready for much-needed naps, and I had to take them to my business because of course, as a self-employed owner, I did not have the luxury of a full maternity leave. 
A few minutes after arriving at my studio location, a family friend called me. He happened to be a police officer and he was looking for my husband. He informed me that my father-in-law had been in a car accident and was on life support at the hospital. I found out that the barricade my kids and I had just turned around at, was the location where the accident had occurred. 
Everything, and I mean everything was put into perspective at that moment. If we had been on time, if we had been on that same road, if we had been… 
After 16 days on life support, my amazing, generous, kind, and supportive father-in-law Larry passed away. We were supposed to have celebrated my son’s first birthday, and Larry’s birthday was shortly after, so we were supposed to celebrate that as well. They were supposed to have been in Florida, and my husband and I were supposed to have taken the kids to New Zealand. We were supposed to be together, as a family, sharing travel stories and photos of adventure and magical experiences.
Instead, we were in the middle of a treacherous storm and had found ourselves grabbing for any piece of scrap items to hold our ground that was giving away from beneath our feet. 
Everything changed. That first year was a complete blur. Then we put our house up for sale, and it took over 15 months for our house to sell and the pressure had built up so much that I couldn’t function. I randomly came across someone that spoke about affirmations and the power of believing. It was Denise Duffield-Thomas, and it was a dark, stormy night, and the sky was lit up with lightning. I listened to her, repeated what she said, and surrendered myself to the Universe. I emailed her and poured my heart out. I asked to sell our house, to make $40,000 to help pay off debt, and for me to get a “real” job with a pay check.
The next day we had two competing offers on our house, sold it and made $40K. I got offered a job in a field that I loved and was completely different from what I did with my own company, and took the job the same day our store front lease was up for renewal. We moved to our new house the same day that I closed the shop, and it was all very bittersweet. 
Fast forward another year, and the Universe has created alignments that are so incredible, and so powerful that I know now that I have found my purpose. I have faced the storm and now I truly believe that if you put in the effort, you can find your rainbow.
We all have an inner hero, a voice within us, a message to share, and throughout my growing up, I never knew what that was. Through life experiences and a lot of soul-searching, I know now that my Superpower is that I have “Hope.” I have hope for humanity, hope for a healthy planet, and hope for a future filled with love for our children. I also hope that others can look within and discover their own Superpower so that together we can make a positive impact on the world.  xo

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- MARCUS AURELIUS

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