Ok, vulnerable time. I struggle with putting things like this out to people because I have always been a very positive person. But, as I go through experiences and hear from people, it seems as though sharing my personal experiences, being vulnerable, may help someone else, so here I go. The hardest part of this course has been the feelings. They keep saying the FEELINGS are critical and all I have been able to manage are THOUGHTS. Week 4 Master Keys says, “Those who will be guided by the intellect will gain the victory.” I can tell you this is not true. Those who are guided by their “Wise Mind”, which is the intersection of your emotions and logic, will gain the victory. Because I have the intellect, I can go through this whole course, follow the steps, understand logically why each thing is important, but I am currently in a STATE OF PANIC because I cannot attach the FEELINGS to it no matter how hard I try, and without the feelings, this whole thing is for naught, an ineffective waste of time. How do I look at a blue square and get Super Bowl victory excited???
I realize that I obviously still have a ways to go into tapping back into my emotions. About a year and a half ago, after 9 amazing years at my job
with the most incredible supervisors and leadership, I got transferred under the boss from hell, an experience which left me shattered because I’d always been the star employee of every job with wonderful supervisors who mentored and appreciated me. Then, after a year of that, I was so desperate to get out of there, I jumped in with both feet to a business venture that was totally outside my experience because I was quickly successful and I thought it was the answer, but I didn’t have the skills to sustain it, and the business quickly crashed, and I mentally and emotionally crashed with it. I have been a combination of skilled and lucky in my life and because of it, I have not failed at many things, so I wasn’t prepared to handle it, especially already being knocked down, and especially with betting my entire livelihood on it working out. Ironically, the failed business venture is what led me to people who led me to Go90Grow, which in turn led me to the Master Keys Mastermind Alliance, which is teaching me why I am how I am right now and how to change everything….
I have always been a VERY passionate, enthusiastic, driven person, and that year and a half left me numb and not able to get more than mildly interested in anything, even the things I’d previously been passionate about. Without realizing it, I’d shut down and become guarded so I wouldn’t feel all the bad emotions as intensely without realizing, as I was later told, that you can’t turn off just the unpleasant emotions. When you go numb, you also turn off the GOOD emotions, and aren’t able to feel anything very intensely anymore, not sadness, not disappointment, not hope, not joy, not deep love, not excitement, nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I was still able to go out, have fun, laugh, etc., but nothing really, truly SPARKED me anymore. The best way I can describe it is living life in the median…you’re not really putting your heart and soul INTO anything, but you’re not really stepping OUT of anything and moving on, either. You are kind of just emotionally and mentally standing in the middle of life, not really sure which direction to go next. This is NOT ME! I have always been the most positive person. One of my biggest life mottos is “If you can’t change your circumstances, change your attitude”, and I had LIVED DEEPLY with that motto through some tough times, but I had gotten in too deep for too long, and try as I may, none of my “look on the bright side” thoughts were sustainable.
I have been working to correct this, and I thought I had. This course is showing me that I really haven’t. I realize now that, after 2 years of feeling like this, my body has become addicted to the feelings of fear, failure, insecurity, and self-doubt, feelings I had never in my life truly experienced before for an extended period of time where I couldn’t pull out of them. This was different! And the webinar this week helped me finally understand WHY this time, I couldn’t just mentally put a positive spin on things and move on like I always had in the past. It explains why I can logically THINK about feeling unbridled joy and pride, but not FEEL it for my assignments! It explains why I can have a great mental day, feel really confident and feel like I was on track again, and then be mysteriously plagued by fear and self-doubt again the next day, or even the next hour! I couldn’t figure out how to consistently beat these feelings! Well, it turns out, as I learned in class this week, my BODY has changed through these past couple years to become CHEMICALLY ADDICTED to FEELINGS, but instead of the feelings I WANT, it is craving and creating situations that reinforce fear, disappointment in myself, doubt, and insecurity…feelings that break my heart and frustrate me. I feel like I have spent 2 years grieving over the loss of the me I used to be and can’t figure out how to be again, and now I know why, and now I have to fight HARD to change it BACK! And fight I AM, because MKMMA is giving me the tools to go to BATTLE….
So I am in this course, and I am working to attach PASSIONATE EMOTION, and those cylinders aren’t currently firing. Mark talked in the webinar about how you think of a very sad time and, while you can remember being sad, you can’t truly FEEL the sadness in that same way anymore years later, while if you think about a HAPPY time, you can feel
it just as intensely. I found that curious because right now, I feel the opposite. I still can’t watch videos or look at pictures of the last days before I put my first competition dog to sleep or I will likely start crying. But tapping in to the remembrance of the sheer joy of experiences in my life? Haven’t really been able to do that! And it scares the heck out of me because if I can’t do that, I can’t change it! But, here’s the good part of my old blueprint, I am one determined individual when I decide to make something happen, and I WILL figure out how to make this happen, and MKMMA has given me hope and a plan, and those are powerful things. I want nothing more than to come out the other side of this course not just the awesome me that I loved from pre-2 years ago, but even BETTER, because I have bigger things I want to accomplish now that I have opened myself up to limitless opportunities. When I saw the trailer videos for MKMMA, I KNEW it was meant to be, because I was READY to get ME back, and this seemed like it was just the help I needed to do that. I can’t even describe the relief I felt finally seeing my name on the class roster because if it weren’t for this, I didn’t know where else to turn next, and I was terrified and desperately looking for the answer. I have not been disappointed.
So, this blog is about tapping into some of the GREAT things I have done where I was MOST PROUD and MOST EXCITED. I may not be able to feel that level of excitement yet, and certainly not yet when I am looking at red circles and green triangles, but I am going to keep reliving these things in my mind over and over and keep working my BUTT off to FEEL them again. Right now, I can think of a few good times logically, and remember that they were cool experiences I enjoyed a lot at the time, but I don’t FEEL any of them. I am hoping that by taking some time to put this together, with some pictures, descriptions, and videos, by the end of this little exercise, I WILL FEEL about them again, and then have a BUFFET OF GREAT FEELINGS to choose from! And then I can start connecting them and FEELING about my chore/services, FEELING about my Definite Major Purpose, and FEELING about my Personal Pivotal Needs. Because until I can get this right, nothing else is going to matter.
Feelings now: “yeah, that was pretty cool I guess.”
Feelings soon: “OMG!!!! IT WAS FREAKING AWESOME!!!!”
I have no doubts I will get there, because “I can be what I will to be”, and I will to be a person with all the PASSION and CONFIDENCE I used to have, and MORE!
So here, for me to keep referring back to, are a list of some of the AWESOME things that I will FEEL awesome about again, and then tap into the AWESOME of everything else!!! This was ME, this IS me, and I will be an even BETTER me than I was and am here before the end of this course!
To date, since the pilot program in 2008, the program has helped approximately 120 kids and dogs, teaching the dogs skills and relationships to help them get adopted while teaching the kids life lessons on communication, patience, trust, and more. A big part of my Definite Major Purpose is expanding this program to schools and building it big enough to hire people to reach more kids. The program was scheduled to start and fell through at the last minute 3 years in a row, but on the fourth year, it finally happened, because I had a clear mental picture of what I wanted, and NOTHING was going to keep me from it. The first graduation was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, a HIGH LIKE I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE, and some of the kids speaking about their experiences at graduation are in this video below. Every graduation is just an INCREDIBLE experience and powerful in ways I can’t even describe. To tap back into the feelings about this, I am going to watch this video at least once a week and pull out the kids’ graduation speeches and reread through all of them, a few at a time, to appreciate just how much passion THEY put into it.
Dog agility, a passion since 1999 when I saw it on Animal Planet and thought, “My dog could do that!” 2010 was one of the best Nationals I went to! We’d had a really bad run in our best event, and I was devastated and was not doing well getting past it mentally, which was messing up our other runs because, you know, that’s what happens when you keep mentally rehearsing failure. In the first run of this video, the Grand Prix Semifinals, I thought I didn’t have a chance. We were competing against hundreds of the best dogs in the country, many people were professionals and most
with much bigger dogs than mine. Because I thought we didn’t have a chance, I went out there and ran with my subconscious and just FELT the run instead of THINKING about what outcome I wanted. I ran it just for the FEELING of the rush of running full out and just having fun. I was SHOCKED when our time held up and we were #22 out of the top 25 dogs who, out of those hundreds of contenders, made the FINALS! I can’t even describe the BUTTERFLIES and the EXCITEMENT of having that honor! Being out there walking the course with the other finalists, the stadium lights on us, the music pumping, all the people in the stands cheering us on, hearing my name being said by the announcer, having all my friends excitedly tell me congratulations, it was MAGIC! I never thought we had a chance but it just further reinforced what we were capable of if I didn’t let my conscious mind and fear get in the way!
In the other run in this video, it was our Team Finals. I thought we’d blown it for our team having a couple bad runs because I was so nervous, but we barely eeked into the Finals! We were #30 out of close to 200 teams. I came up with a creative baton hand off maneuver to cut off a lot of yardage that NOBODY else did that saved my team several seconds and meant we placed FOURTH in the Finals against some incredible teams with the top handlers in the country. It was so awesome thinking outside the box and trusting my instincts rather than following the crowd and it worked! Making it into TWO FINALS was an UNPARALLELED HIGH in my agility career!
I was shy as a kid and very scared of speaking in front of groups. I can still remember the seriously sweaty armpits when
I had to give a speech in front of the class in my mandatory college speech class! Having to keep the attention of a bunch of kids with ADHD during my Kids-N-K9s classes made me a MUCH better speaker, and consequently, I now not only don’t mind public speaking, I LOVE presenting at professional conferences and have spoken at approximately 5 of them and I have also presented to the Master’s Degree Social Work classes at the university approximately 6 times. My presentation, “K9 Therapy: The Best Therapists Have a Wet Nose”, is always a huge hit! It is super exciting to be in front of the crowd and know that you are doing well because they are all looking at you, asking questions, and participating. I love sharing information with people and am SO PROUD and EXCITED that I have gotten good at doing it in larger settings to share the information with more people!
My friend told me about this new sport called Nosework where they made
a sport out of dogs being trained to search things out. Like drug dogs, but with scents like clove oil instead of marijuana. She told me they were having a show in 6 weeks. I had never done this, but I jumped at the challenge, and trained my tail off (no pun intended) over those 6 weeks, super driven to not just do the show, but to win the show! I was competing against people who had been showing for years in this sport and people who trained detection dogs professionally! We ended up taking 2nd place to a dog who had been competing for years with just SIX WEEKS of training! I was THRILLED and so PROUD! It just reinforced that we could do anything if I gave it 100%!
Some other Nosework highlights that make me SO PROUD…Siryn and I
competed in the first ever South Central Region trial for one of the Nosework venues. People came from thousands of miles away for this trial and it was a very difficult trial. There were 30 dogs competing and Siryn and I took FIRST PLACE High in Trial and I was SOOO EXCITED!
Lastly, Siryn and I were the FIRST ever to complete the Level 2 title in the WHOLE COUNTRY! It is something that can never be duplicated by another team. I was THRILLED and HONORED!
ACADEMY SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
In 2011, my work sent out an email saying that all the kids sentenced to live at the facility had nothing to do over the summer but clean and watch TV and they asked if anyone had any ideas. I took this as a GO BIG OR GO HOME challenge, the perfect opportunity to set up something new that I was PASSIONATE about…educating these kids about options for their lives they didn’t even know existed. In just a few short weeks, with a LOT of brainstorming and a flurry of emails and phone calls coordinating schedules, I had activities set up for the entire summer consisting of tours of various higher education they weren’t being educated about (like trade and technical schools where they could go to school for 7 months and come out making more than me with a Master’s Degree and 10 years experience!), life skills training (like money management, how to get a job, nutrition, and saving money), and recreation and inspiration (a 13-year-old Tae Kwon Do black belt, presentations by other kids who had been where they were and got out and turned their lives around, and some staff sharing their passions from outside their job, like running side businesses and other hobbies).
The feedback from the kids was AMAZING!!! They were so grateful to be exposed to so many new places, things, and ideas and learn all summer long, breaking up the monotony of the daily summer routine. They were so excited to learn about ways they could learn to make a lot of money legally using their talents of being very hands-on learners because most of them struggled severely in the traditional classroom environment. They were also blown away by the money management seminar and said they learned a lot of important information they hadn’t learned at home or in school. They also really loved some of the recreational things, like geocaching, and were excited to have something positive and free they could do for fun when they got out. To hear the kids RAVING over this program I took the initiative to set up and seeing how much the information helped them, information they wouldn’t otherwise have gotten, I felt SO GOOD to be able to feel CREATIVE and to know I exposed them to things that could make a big difference in the outcome of their lives!
It was also great to expose the public to our kids who have a bad reputation because they are incarcerated because to the letter, every place we went said our kids were the best, most respectful and well-behaved groups they had ever had. The kids are amazing with so much potential, they just need some help because they have had rough lives and have been through a LOT! The Summer Enrichment program was such a success that we did it again the following year bigger and better and they have continued to sustain the program even after I no longer worked there.
DOG TRAINING SUPERSTAR
I was lucky enough to build a well before I was thirsty. Over the years, I built my skills as a dog trainer as a hobby, and later as a passion with Kids-N-K9s. I didn’t make enough money at my job, as many government workers experience, so a year before I quit my job, I started working with a company that hires dog trainers as independent contractors. When I’d quit my job and my business failed, I contacted them and asked if I could get more full-time work as a trainer because I really needed some income. The first time I’d worked for them, within a matter of months, they told me I’d become their top board and train specialist in the country. My dog training skills combined with my organization skills and customer service skills were unparalleled in their business. I felt SO GOOD and EXCEPTIONAL hearing that. On top of that, I started getting Yelp reviews, a LOT of them, from clients who were at the end of their rope with their dogs and thought I was a magician with what I could do with their dog in just 1-2 weeks! To literally be publicly called a “miracle worker” made me feel INCREDIBLE, RECOGNIZED, TALENTED, and APPRECIATED, and, of course MIRACULOUS. 😉
Now, though I don’t have it all figured out yet for a long-term plan, I
realized that things happened for a reason. I was content but not challenged at my job any more. I wasn’t making enough to make ends meet and there weren’t any new and creative challenges for me to jump into to really utilize my talents. I was stagnant. When I started doing the dog training from home, I realized that I had two BIG Personal Pivotal Needs (PPNS) that were NOT meet at that job…Autonomy (not having to answer to others about my time) and Liberty (having the financial means to comfortably live the life I wanted)! I was at the top of my pay grade so I was always going to have to work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet if I stayed there, which allowed me little time nor energy to enjoy other things in life besides work, and I want a life outside of work! What I have been through helped me, for the first time, realize that I LOVE working from home, setting my own schedule, coming and going as I want, and having the freedom to work as much or as little as I want depending on how much money I want. I LOVE Autonomy!
I am free now to pursue options that will allow me to meet those NEEDS and so many more, like leaving a bigger, sustainable legacy with the Kids-N-K9s program and challenging myself to continue to grow, overcome, and, as the quote to the right says, no longer settle for merely surviving, but now pursue ways to THRIVE! And thanks to this MKMMA course, and all the work I am doing to CHANGE MY BODY back to LOVING and CRAVING Passionate, Accomplished, Happy, Confident, Enthusiastic, Driven peptides, I am well on my way!!!! And I have to say, I FELT A LOT reminiscing over all these wonderful experiences and it FELT GREAT! I admit I even got choked up and teared up, and I am not one to cry, so I am honestly not sure if they were happy tears because those were so many amazing moments, or sad tears that I have gotten so lost from who I was, or maybe a mixture of both. But I think that’s good, because it means I am FEELING again, and now it’s just a matter of continuing the work to keep going because I am ready to keep rewiring my brain to create many more NEW scenarios to feel this! Bring on the little green triangles and the little red circles. I am ready!
P.S. My mother says all this brain talk is “odd”, but if odd means something different, then bring it on! In all fairness, she also said she hoped I’d meet a special man with a nice family in this class, and I thought I pretty accurately described as a 100% online class, so I guess I’m not going to trust her judgement very much. 😉