Tuesday, January 23, 2018

You'll start happening too...

“I know so well that look on your face,
but there’s something lucky about this place.
There’s something good coming for you and me,
there’s something good coming there has to be…” Tom Petty

I sit here writing this blog, the first I’ve written in a long time, from the couch of my house in Arvada. I could just as easily be writing it from Bozeman, Montana. You see, in November my husband received a job offer in Montana. I remember the exact spot where I was when he called to tell me the news. I have the photo I was taking at the moment on my Instagram. My heart skipped a beat. I was excited, scared, happy and sad all in one moment. Thoughts about having to rent our house out, what we would do with the goats and chickens, how we would afford a place in Bozeman and how I’d run my business all flooded my mind at once. How could I leave the place I’d called home for almost 14 years and start over?
Photo by Lisa Pummel Photography

He ultimately turned the job down. We never told a lot of people about this because, well, it never came to light. There was an opportunity to move and we decided not to take it. We said no and that ended up being the right answer for us.
Saying no to moving has led to a lot of “yes” and opportunity in my life here. I almost feel as though if we are going to stay here then I really need to dig my heels into this state. I started putting together some winter daycation hikes to keep Yogi Magee Expeditions going through the snowy months. While my turn out the first two hikes wasn’t as many as I had hoped, I kept going out and adventuring. I said yes to friends who wanted to get out and about during the week. I figured the photos alone would sustain my social media presence. This, in turn, has led to people reaching out to me personally to take them on adventures.
Photo by Colorado Kate Photography

Getting paid to hike and take photos. That’s a dream that I had ever since I started hiking 14ers in 2010 when I’d see my friends faces as they reached the top of the mountain. I don’t want to hike people up big mountains anymore, but I do want to get people outdoors. Not everyone can afford a 5 night retreat with me but everyone deserves the chance to escape for the day. One women signed up for my Galentine’s Day Hike next month with the caption that “It’s time to stop saying I want to meet other outdoorsy women and just do it.” I never thought I’d be the person to create a safe space for women to meet others outside the yoga studio. A hobby turned to a passion turned to a business.
The first time anyone paid me to take them on an adventure

I can’t believe Instagram has become my platform to make all this happen.

I said yes to going on a retreat from a girl named Sara who reached out to me on Instagram. When she contacted me, I didn’t know who she was or even what the retreat was about, but I knew I had to go. Never in a million years would I pick a women’s wellness retreat for myself, but this seemed like a good idea. The menu was vegan and plant based, I’d be driving up solo (my choice), and I didn’t know anyone else going. Yet, I knew in my heart, it was time to take advantage of these opportunities floating into my orbit. You can't grow and evolve sitting on the couch or just hiking solo. The retreat turned out to be just what I needed to kick start 2018. The year prior to this was rough for me and most of it was due to circumstances I brought upon myself with horrible choices and bad habits. I don’t want to be the person I was in the past and the only way to do that is to acknowledge the man in the mirror (so to speak) and change.

Photo Credit The Hiking Mermaid

Attending someone else’s retreat also allowed me to experience what it’s like to be on the other side of these events. I looked for the girls that had come solo and made friends with them. I know it can be terrifying to attend an event alone because I was the girl who never went to camp unless my sister went with me. I always had a built in best friend. I grew up not having to do anything alone. When I’d go to parties in college where the friend I came with ditched me, I’d call my sister and leave a long-winded voicemail just to have someone to talk to. For this retreat I allowed myself to be awkward and vulnerable and laugh and shut up and listen. The only way for me to grow as a person, and retreat leader myself, is to take the chance to be on the other side. I’m so grateful for Sara reaching out to me and allowing me to take up space at her event. I can’t wait to pay that kindness forward.

Photo Credit The Hiking Mermaid

So where am I now as I stand in 2018? I’ve been in talks with a few investors who want to join forces and help take my business to the next level. We’ve been looking at properties to buy for our own retreat center. What that looks like and how that will all shake out, I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s the first step in me being able to have a place to bring Yogi Magee Expeditions hOMe. I’ve always wanted to move to the mountains and that’s a step I’m ready to say YES to in the future. I also want to be able to provide retreat spots for free for those who need it most. I don’t know the first thing about setting up a scholarship foundation, but I do know it would be nice if I could afford to have more than just one person attend my retreats that needs me. I’ve had people cancel their spots on my retreats due to death in the family or illness and I’ve had others looking for my retreats after experiencing a loss only to find them sold out. To be able to offer someone, in their time of need, a place to heal….well that would make everything I’m doing in life worth doing.

It’s amazing how saying no can lead to some big yes moments. My husband knew that uprooting our lives here wouldn’t benefit any of us and I’m forever grateful he took it upon himself to say no. He’s the one who introduced me to hiking in Colorado. He’s the one who approves all my crazy ideas and retreats and, often, he’s the one at the events doing the hard task of cooking and taking photos. He’s the person who stays at home with our daughter while I’m out leading Daycations or week-long retreats and he fully supports my dreams of opening a retreat center and taking this business from a hobby to a full time gig. At the Fearless & Fit Retreat one of the speakers talked about following your nudges. She said, “a nudge never comes without a net” and I’ll never forget how that resonated with me. So here’s to following more nudges this year.

As my favorite Dr. Seuss quote says, “When things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew. Just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”

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