Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's not about me...

"I believe we are here to learn and grow, and to become so abundant in belief in ourselves that we finally tap into the full potential of the greatness that is within us and share that greatness with the world." -
Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge.

If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would be here sharing hope with 100s of people, I would have laughed at you. I thought it was "one of those things". Was so wrong and was living selfishly. Glad I humbled myself, opened my heart to what this really was and became coachable. I know now, it has nothing to do with me. My yes is tied to so many other lives and families, putting down my ego has allowed me to be the light for others! As uncomfortable as it was and still is to step out of my comfort zone, I know that the more times I do it the more people that I will be able to help. I believe that rooted in every human being is the desire to make a positive difference, we want to leave a legacy, change the world. Yet most of us miss the fact that we all do make a difference. 

Our lives are our messages and regardless of if we actively try to or not, our choices affect millions of others. And some how we connivence ourselves that settling, not growing, not learning, not fulfilling our true potential only effects us and our family. That's not true at all. You are either bringing people down around you or you are lifting them up, there is no human life that does not make an impact. Could I turn back, settle for a "safe" job, start watching TV instead of attending these events or reading books, stop caring about how to become excellent at what I do, stop putting myself in uncomfortable situations to learn and grow, party all weekend... sure I could. I'm not saying that I choose the right things all the time, but I know in my heart that I am fighting to be better every single day I'm on this planet. 

I talk to people all the time who "are fine", shrink their dreams to match their circumstance, and think that I'm crazy... then complain about not having time, money and/or health, they bring everyone around them down with their negative mindset, not even realizing that they are creating a negative ripple effect that will reach millions. Or even worse, they promote mediocrity, excuses and "this is the way things are" mentality, giving others permission to do the same. They blame the system instead of accepting responsibility, thinking that they are the only ones suffering. 

I choose to live differently, I choose to promote greatness. I'm not saying its going to be easy at all, I'm saying it's going to be worth it. If you are not already, I challenge you to start promoting greatness in yourself and in whatever you choose to do. Watch what happens. A life fueled by passion and purpose will set the world on fire. 

Like the majority, I use to live in autopilot and was on a path to go to the grave with dreams in my heart. Luckily for me, someone cared enough to share a gift of hope for a better future, belief that I could chase my dreams and that I was a champion. That is why I do this, I'm a dealer in hope. It's not about me anymore, its about the millions of people that need to hear this message like I did 5 years ago. I thank God everyday that my life was interrupted.  

I work on myself harder than anything else because I know reaching my full potential is the best thing that I could do for the world. I'm in no way perfect and fight slipping back into my old ways on a daily basis. I constantly have to remind myself, It's not about me, it's about the millions of lives that will be impacted because I was here.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

If you don't have anything nice to say...

I'm pretty sure everyone can finish that sentence.

I find it very interesting that people waste so much time and energy bashing the things they do not agree with, instead of focusing on promoting what they do agree with. Especially online. People get behind their computer screens and forget that on the other side are real people. I'm not here to be the moral police, I'm not here to judge, I beleive we will all face our own judgement one day.  I do, however, want to make an observation. Doesn't it just make sense to promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate? I mean, even if you have been hurt or offended... it just does not make any sense to me that we should retaliate with more negativity. Right?  If only it were that easy.

I realize that if you are going to do anything that is out of the norm, you will most definitely get criticized unjustly. I also learned that forgiveness and kindness are the best ways to deal with any criticism.

I use to care a lot about what others thought of me. Then I learned that they criticize because they don't understand. I choose to forgive people that bash what I do because I know that they truly just don't understand it. Forgiveness is a really easy thing to do and it doesn't have to be earned or deserved by the person you give it to. Its actually a gift to yourself. I spent a lot of time replaying hurtful things that were said and done to me in the past. I let it hold me back. I let it slow me down. I wasted lots of energy on it. Now I choose to forgive and move on. Treat everyone with respect and kindness regardless of how they choose to act. That gives me power. And Power in the right hands is a great thing! I control my thoughts, my actions and my destiny.

PS... if you are getting bashed, CONGRATULATIONS!!! You're standing for something and because of it you will rise above the mediocrity of the crowd. Forgive them. Set yourself Free. And follow your heart!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Childhood Memories

Isn't it strange that no matter how old we get, our childhood memories are the ones that remain so clear and continue to shape us? I was blessed with a wonderful childhood and am so grateful for those memories. 

Now as a parent, I am in charge of creating those for my children. That is our purpose. Our why. We fought hard to create a life that makes us happy, gives us choices and freedom.  

For us that meant both time freedom and financial freedom. Because stressed unhappy parents do not equal happy childhood memories. The path we were on 5 years ago, lead us to a lot of debt, fighting and very little hope for the future. There is a longer, more painful version of that story, but we'll keep it positive here. We changed course, found a path that would get us to freedom. It was a decision and a commitment to do so against a lot of adversity. We aren't completely free yet, but we are so close and our future is filled with hope and excitement! A lot of people do not understand, but that does not matter to us! We know what we are fighting for! 

There is no way we are turning back now, no way we are not going to both be home to raise them, no way we are saying no to the childhood memories our children deserve!  I don't know what freedom and happiness looks like for you, but if you don't have it now, don't you dare say you don't have choices. Everyone has choices. And regardless of what happened to you or where you find yourself now you have the choice to change. That is a truth.  Find your purpose and fight for it, it's not easy, not at all, but it's so worth it! 

Today alone was worth 5yrs of fighting for it! We were both there for swim lessons when Avery put his head under for the first time and blew bubbles! He looked up with a proud smile and was able to say "Mommy, Daddy did you see me?"  

Or later after lunch, Daddy and Mommy could tuck them both in for naps. Our kids won't know that having two stay at home parents is not normal. The won't know that having parents that don't fight over finances or end up getting divorced because time and/or money debt crumbled their marriage, isn't normal. No, their normal will be happy parents, that believed in chasing dreams, that believed in the entrepreneurism, choices and freedom. 

Those are the memories I'm fighting for!  It's not about the money, its never been about the money to us.  It's about the choices, freedom and piece of mind that wealth provides so that we are able to create an amazing childhood that will shape our children for the rest of their lives. 

We only get one shot at this, one shot at life, one shot and being a parent. One shot to create a childhood for those babies! We don't plan on settling for anything less than what we are capable of giving. 

I will forever be grateful that AdvoCare came into our lives when it did!  It has provided us the opportunity to fully chase our dreams and to pass that on to others that are looking for the same thing. Not to mention, that I am a better wife, mother, business owner and leader in my community!  The personal growth that has been encouraged from the leaders in this company has been incredible. So much value has been added to my life from saying yes to this!  We don't sell vitamins, "we are dealers in hope", heard that on a leadership call last night. Thank you Bob Ferngren! Thank you for your "YES"  And thank you for dealing some hope to us before we even knew we needed it! 

We can never repay you but we will continue to pay it forward to others that are willing to participate in their own rescue! Together with the team of "hope dealers" we are locking arms with, we will change a lot of childhood memories for the children of this wonderful country! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Embrace the Struggle

When I was 2 years old, I was involved in a lawn mower accident that cut off the majority of my right foot and it was the best thing that ever happened to me!  When it first happened, my parents were told that they would most likely be amputating my my entire foot. The medical technology at that time wouldn't allow the doctors to reattach all the tiny parts of my 2 year old foot. As I was being life flighted, the doctors found a plastic surgeon (his name is Dr. George Picha) that was willing to try a new technique to save my foot. It was an experiment that my parents felt the benefits outweighed the risk. I'm sure glad they took that risk! After the first surgery that saved my foot, I was in the hospital for months as they monitored and scraped off the scab on my foot every day so that the blood would continue to flow. I had multiple surgeries over the next couple of years, one in second grade that amputated the middle toe because it failed to regain proper blood flow and the bone died.

The doctors told my parents that I would be very lucky to ever have normal balance back again, things like walking without a limp would be difficult. They thought that getting me into something like gymnastics would help but wouldn't completely correct the problem. They did that.  I sure wish the doctors could see me now! haha!

The scars have almost disappeared, but visually my right foot is missing a toe, other toes are curled in (apparently they were trying to push out the dead toe while I was growing) and is a whole 4 sizes smaller than the left foot. I remember a few times growing up being really sad that my foot didn't look the same as the other kids and that I couldn't wear cute shoes like the other girls. My parents were quick to remind me how lucky I was to be able to walk, be in gymnastics, run, be alive, have a foot... actually they use to call in my "special" foot. I started introducing myself like... "Hi my name is Shanna, I have 9 toes" I thought it was cool and made me special.

By the time I got to my senior year in high school, I was the varsity captain of the football cheerleading team, captain of the diving team and active in gymnastics, track and fast pitch softball. You would never know that I was even involved in an accident. BUT what most people didn't know was that I was in a lot of pain, I had spine issues and early arthritis in my hip and knee. I cried a lot of nights after diving competitions or games where I cheered because I was in so much pain...We spent a lot of time at specialist offices trying to come up with a solution. Most of them wanted to prescribe me pain meds to manage it or told me to pull back from my physical activities. Both of those were not an option for me. I knew at 18yrs old I didn't want to be on pain meds for the rest of my life. I also knew that not being active was not a solution for me. Honestly, the fact that they told me to slow down drove me to want to push myself further.

We finally found an awesome chiropractor that showed me how to manage my pain naturally... without having to scale back on my activities. I learned what shoes to wear, what exercises and stretches I could do to strengthen the right muscles. I still struggle with pain and body image issues from time to time, but for the most part, at the age of 30, I don't ever think about my 4 toed foot. But the lessons I have learned because of it,  have become a part of me.

This is the first time I'm writing out my thoughts on this experience and its pretty obvious to me that my character is a direct reflection of going through a struggle like this early on in my life. When I say it was the best thing that happened to me, I really mean it. I would not be who I am with all 10 toes. It built me into the person I am today. It would have been really easy to use the pain, blame my circumstance, say no thanks I "can't" or make exceptions because of my foot. I had a lot of excuses to choose from, it would have been really easy... but I chose not to use them. I chose to go through the struggle and came out the other side a different person.

At the time, I had no idea that I was choosing to go through the struggle, I just knew in my heart pain meds and quitting what I loved were not the answer, so I kept looking. I know now when I face obstacles that going through is always the best path. Every challenge I face is an opportunity to grow, learn, and become who I am meant to be. I embrace the struggle. I look for struggle. I say yes to things when I'm unsure. I don't quit when it gets tough. I don't make excuses.... or I'm quick to call myself when I do.

In reality, there are a lot of other situations that people are going through that are way worse than mine. There is always someone worse off than you. I know that. I also gained perspective and a grateful heart. I cherish my body and the physical abilities that I have. Walking. Running. Weightlifting. Playing with my children. I will never ever take for granted the ability to be alive, healthy and physically active. When I don't want to go workout and start making excuses in my head,  I quickly remind myself how lucky I am to be able to walk. You can use that too, if you are having a hard time motivating yourself to workout. Or when I want to procrastinate and not do the uncomfortable things that drive my business forward, I remind myself how lucky I am to be alive today. I am alive and that could all end tomorrow... Gets me in action every single time, go through the struggle and stop avoiding it.

So many times I hear people say or that voice in my head say, "I can't do that because.... I don't have time, I don't have money, I'm not that outgoing, I'm not athletic, I don't know the right people, I don't know anyone, I don't have a good family, I'm not sales person, I don't have motivation, I don't have support, I have kids, I don't have kids, I don't have the right clothes, I'm not in good enough shape, I can't talk like that... you see what I'm getting at? All excuses, they may be very real, very true and legitimate excuses. But they are excuses.

Deep down I think everyone that uses excuses knows that they have a choice. Or maybe they are waiting for someone to tell them they have one. I'm telling you right now, YOU HAVE A CHIOCE.  Stop choosing to use excuses and embrace the struggle. Lets just be honest here, it really is a lot easier and more convenient to make excuses, to not take responsibility. I know, because I still catch myself doing it. But let me tell you something else, we are not prisoners of our circumstances, you really can do whatever you want to do. You can live an extraordinary life. You can accomplish big goals. You can live the life of your dreams. If you find yourself saying "I can't..." I challenge you to examine where that is coming from. I bet that if you dig deep and take a look in the mirror you will see that you do have the ability to change things. Everyone is going through struggle! Everyone! The difference between the ones that win and the ones that just make it in life are their choices during that struggle. Never let your excuses win, you always have a choice!

PS... I'm not telling you to go out and get everything you want. I'm just making an assumption that you are wanting to do that. People that go out and become successful don't make excuses.

PSS... This is as much a reminder to myself, as it is a written blog for anyone else. I too, very often find myself wanting to make excuses, to turn around and leave the struggle for the safety of mediocrity. Don't do it friend, you are better that! The world needs the person you are becoming!

Monday, April 14, 2014

No Poo

NO Poo! Have you heard of it? I have not washed my hair with shampoo in over 13 months! This picture is what my hair dries like right out of the shower, no styling or products!! Now before you think I'm a crazy crunchy Momma, let me tell you, my hair has never been healthier or easier to manage! My hair used to be oily on top and frizzy towards the ends. I had to blow dry then straighten or curl just to get rid of all the frizz! With my long hair it was about an hour long process. Not to mention all the heat damage I was doing to my hair. 

When I first heard of no poo, I thought it was ridiculous! But, the more I educated myself, the more intrigued I was with the process. I decided to give it a try and can honestly say I really have loved the benefits. Why would you consider this? Well for me it was a way to stop wasting an hour a day fixing my hair. But I also loved the idea of less chemicals, less waste, and utilizing my body's natural oils. When you wash with regular shampoo it strips your hair of all the natural oils. You're hair actually gets oily because it is overproducing to make up for the oil that you stripped, but the oil never gets to the bottom of your hair because you wash it every day. That oil is good for your hair! This made sense to me.  There are different ways to live the no poo lifestyle, I chose the baking soda and apple cider vinegar method: 

Shampoo with baking soda: Mix 1 Tbsp of baking soda to 1 C water. Put the mixture in a bottle or cup (I use our kids shampoo rinse cup) and shake well before applying. After wetting your hair down in the shower, apply the baking soda mixture to your scalp and rub in a circular motion all around – focusing on the scalp, not the rest of your hair. Rinse well.
Then, you “condition” the ends of your hair with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water.
Condition with ACV: Mix 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar with 1-2 cups of water. Either just rinse the ends of your hair with the whole thing, or rinse your entire head with it. However, in the beginning while your scalp is adjusting – too much ACV on your scalp could cause more overproducing of oils.

Tips and Tricks that I learned along the way: 
  • Expect 2-3 weeks of really gross hair as your body catches on to what you are doing. I decided to do this right after my second was born, so I didn't have to leave the house! lol. Headbands and hats work too. 
  • You can still use your styling products. But you may find that you no longer need them. 
  • You can still use conditioner, I occasionally will use it. 
  • Blow dry and style like you normally do, well unless you are like me and don't have to any more! :) 
  • I "wash" my hair every 2-3 days. If I need to I will just rinse with water in between. 

Healthy Easter Round Up

I love Easter! I'm not so crazy about the 10lb chocolate bunnies and bags of jelly beans! With 2 toddlers in the house, we had to use a little creativity to keep it healthy and fun! Here's a list of my favorite ideas from Pinterest research! They won't even miss the traditional sugar-filled treats! 

Healthy Easter Basket Ideas from Living Surrendered
20 Candy-Free Easter Egg Fillers from All things G&D.
Easter Egg Coupons - Free Printable from U Create. 
Cheese and Cracker Chicks from Meet the Dubiens.

eggtastic-crew-1024x682There are lots of fun things you can do with eggs including these cute egg Easter animals from Le Petit Reve.

Lots of fun and healthy Easter food ideas!  The kids will love these!Carrot Patches from Taste and Tell.

Lots of fun and healthy Easter ideas. The kids will love these!
Lamb Sandwiches from Parents.
6878947740_11c8f851f5Easter Egg Lunch from Kailo Chic.

Lots of fun and healthy Easter food ideas.  The kids will love these!Yogurt Fruit Parfait {with “carrots” made from papaya and kiwi} from Instagram user IdaFrosk.

bunny-pancakesBunny Pancakes from Clean and Scentsible
Easter School Lunch from from Meet the Dubiens.
Lots of fun and healthy Easter food ideas. The kids will love these!Bunny Lunch from Creative Fun Food.

Lots of fun and healthy Easter food ideas.
Carrot Veggie Pizzas from Hungry Happenings.

Lots of fun and healthy Easter food ideas!  The kids will love these!
Easter Bunny Chicken Pot Pies from Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons.

Lots of fun and healthy Easter food ideas.  The kids will love these!Vegetable Carrot from Savvy Mom.

Bunny Egg DishBunny Breakfast from Worth Pinning.

Lots of fun and healthy Easter food ideas.  The kids will love these!
Bento Easter Lunch with Carrot Sandwiches from Meet the Dubiens.

Lots of fun and healthy Easter food ideas.  The kids will love these!Easter Egg Quesadillas from Itsy Bitsy Foodies

kixbirdie8Pineapple Chick from Kix.

Lots of fun and healthy Easter food ideas.  The kids will love these!
And another Fruit Pineapple Chick from Parents.

yogurt2These frozen yogurt dots from Small Fry Blog are a great alternative to jelly beans or other candies.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Living in Auto Pilot

This image came across my Facebook newsfeed today and I couldn't help but think about how fortunate I am to have figured this out early in my adult life. My life was interrupted back in 2009 by a man that introduced me to a company and changed me forever. See at the age of 26, I was already slipping into a life of auto pilot, (reminds me of the movie, Click) living for the weekends, drinking to escape, planning my vacations with more care than my life, same day over and over, not thinking about the future. Actually, every time I thought of the future, I was scared. I was terrified of being average, but at the same time did not have a vehicle to do something amazing. So I stopped thinking about the future all together.

I was desperately praying for something to cross my path. I knew I loved to help people, I knew I loved health and wellness, and I knew I wanted to live a life of abundance,  financially so that I could be free from debt stress and be able to give generously. I also wanted to have total time freedom. That's a pretty tall order, but that was the dream that was placed in my heart! How scary is that? How in the world was I going to chase that dream? At this point in my life, I already did chase my passion of health and wellness... but quickly found out that I pursued my dreams at the expense of my future! I was in time debt and money debt! I kind of gave up and thought that auto pilot, was the grown up life that I was assigned to. After all, who was I to be special and do something extraordinary?

When I was first introduced to my current business, I thought this is exactly what I've been praying for. I also was extremely skeptical but I was desperate for change so I kept researching.  I saw these amazing young leaders building huge teams, living lifestyles that I thought were only reserved for the "lucky" few that were born into money or climbed the corporate ladder to a CEO position or had an idea that took off. But what I also saw was regular people, earning incredible income by helping others. And I saw a way for us to do the same! I was excited and I was ready to share with everyone!! Who wouldn't want to come on this journey too?!

Apparently, a lot of people! haha! We got called a lot of things, most of the people that we thought would support us didn't, people laughed, I'm sure they still are making fun of us, some people watched to see if we would quit.... we did for a little. We let other people's opinions dictate what we were going to do with our lives, just for a little though. Turns out people's opinions don't pay our bills. And since they didn't care when we were drowning in debt and on the verge of alcoholism why would it matter what they thought now that we were on a path to better our future?  We did a lot of things wrong in the beginning, but we knew that quitting was never in the plans for us so we sucked it up and kept pressing forward.  We would do whatever we had to, to see this through. We were committed to a plan that was going to allow us to live a life that only 1% of the world population will ever have the chance to experience.

Of course it was going to be hard, of course people wouldn't understand, of course all this talk of living an extraordinary life, goal setting and not settling for less would make people uncomfortable. Of course we would have to learn some new skills and become a different people. Of course we would have to make sacrifices, take risks and face uncertainty.

5 years later, all I can say is this;  IT WAS WORTH IT!! Every day I wake up with a driving purpose and every night I go to bed with a satisfaction that I can promise you only feel when you are truly living! Our journey has inspired hundreds to join us, we have started a wave that has positively affected thousands of people and we're just getting started! We're able to give more, we're helping families get out of debt, start businesses, sharing opportunities for mommies and daddies come home from their jobs to raise their children together, we're able to donate our time and volunteer and our local communities are better because of it. Its been incredible to see people on our team transform into leaders, to fight for their future, to become more than they thought they ever could be and to then lead their own teams on the same journey! Its been humbling to be able to have a small part to play in their story! I love people and this has given me the opportunity to connect with and help so many!

Because of the organization we have built to bring products to the marketplace, we're on track to earn a six-figure income this year! That's crazy to me! Shameless plug here: I am in love with the direct sales business model! Where else can a stay at home mom and her husband do that with part time effort? ...without overhead, employees, or a huge investment? I promise, we're regular people. This is not an advertisement for my company, but it is one for direct sales as an industry. I'm not saying its for everyone! Its not, but can we stop calling it a "pyramid",  those are illegal. I'm talking about legitimate direct sales, make sure they are members of the Direct Sales Association.  People that say it doesn't work or that it is scheme are probably just uneducated about what it is we actually do. OR maybe they joined one and treated it like a lottery ticket instead of a business... which happens all the time too. Because its not traditional there is a lot of core values changes that have to happen for people to understand what we truly do. Took me about 4.5years to wrap my mind around what we had our hands on. Its hard to reverse 18plus years of traditional thinking...go to school, get a good job, hope you planned for retirement, retire... The truth is that thinking was not going to get me an extraordinary life, that was going to get me average. As scary as it was to leave the conventional path, AVERAGE was even more terrifying for me.

Are there bad network marketing companies? Yeah there are... do some research if you are thinking of opening a business then treat it like one if you want to be successful!  There are a lot of wonderful companies that have a long history, a good track record, amazing products and lots of happy customers! Are you going to have to work? Absolutely! Is there uncertainty? You bet! But with that comes uncapped potential and a lot of opportunity!

I am not on auto pilot, I'm living with a burning passion to make a difference. Yes it is very challenging at times! Yes I cry... a lot! I doubt myself! I let others get to me. BUT I also know without a shadow of doubt, that dream was placed in my heart on the day I was born and God gave me the opportunity to accept the challenge to follow the tug or turn a blind eye and live in auto pilot. I am glad I accepted the challenge!

Don't ignore that pull on your life! You were created to be extraordinary! You don't have to know all the hows to start listening to your heart! LISTEN! Pay attention! Be open for opportunities when they cross your path! Be curious. Allow yourself to dream, to ask...what if?  Obviously, your dreams are different, your journey will be different. BUT I know that all of us were born with a dream in our heart and purpose for our life! I'm challenging you to believe that and to get out of auto pilot! The world needs more people that are alive!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Oatmeal Protein Muffins

My Kids (ages 2 and 10 months) Love these, my toddler calls them "cookies" shhhhh!! We got a good thing going on here!! haha! They love to help make them too! They are quick easy snacks and travel well for busy schedules! By the way these are also 24 day challenge approved, on refuel days! Enjoy!

Oatmeal Protein Muffins
  • 2 cups of unsweetened applesauce or 4 very ripe bananas smashed
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup of natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (copped dates work really well too)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 2 table spoons of melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed (optional, makes them a little bitter)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In large bowl mix: applesauce or smashed bananas, cinnamon, sea salt, nut butter, chocolate meal replacement shake or muscle gain.
Once all mixed fold in: chopped pecans, cranberries, rolled oats, melted coconut oil, flax seed flour.

Place mixture in muffin tin and bake for 30-35min or until golden brown. Let cool and serve! I keep mine in the refrigerator after I bake them.