Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy 2 year Anniversary to me!

October 28, 2011.  Two years exactly since the last day of my 'real' job, and the last night I slept in my own bed (In hindsight, it was not the brightest idea to plan both of those events for the same day--- that was a hectic week!!). It's been a truly amazing journey, through which my life's purpose has not only come to light, but has been jumping and dancing and screaming, "Get started on me already"!!!

(ps.. you can read about how I lived 2+ years first rate and jobless: here)

I'm happily engrossed in planning the rest of my life (aka a non-profit company) called The Bloom Woods.  It's not even close to done yet, and I've got a llooooootttttt of hard work ahead of me, but here's a little a snippit to let you know what I've been working on :)

Dr. Nathaniel Branden wrote an incredible book called, "The Power of Self Esteem" in which he insightfully reveals, “If once the challenge was to gain public understanding of the importance of self-esteem, today the danger is that the idea might become trivialized.... and that people will lose understanding of it’s importance.”

Solid, vital, quality information becoming trivialized seems to me one of the biggest problems of our time;  I believe we are in an era of inundation. Countless invaluable resources are readily available: books, manuals, studies, workbooks, gratitude journals (to just state a few).  How to be happy, how to be confident, how to built your courage, how to be healthy, how to love unconditionally, etc, etc etc. A simple glance at the ‘self-help’ section in Barnes and Noble can be harrowing.

Besides the printed info, then we have the tv shows and especially the internet exacerbating the issue tenfold. Not just the websites and workshops and online seminars, but the Ted talks, the videos, advice, the quotes, even some of the cutesy meme’s being put all over Facebook (myself often sharing!).  The ideas and guidance are SO relevant... yet are the messages being drowned by their sheer numbers?  A quick google image search of “positive quotes” comes back with priceless counsel (as well as some terrible advice from teenagers that really shouldn't be armed with photoshop!)...but, I believe people are becoming overwhelmed.   “How come I am still struggling when I know I should be ‘not sweating the small stuff’, ‘enjoying the simple pleasures’, ‘loving myself’, ‘practicing the power of positive thinking’, on and on and on.  We are so lucky to have the counselers, the phycologists, the therapists, the teachers, the life coaches, the natural leaders - and I applaud anyone taking the steps to seek guidance from these. 

Great advice.  But what does it actually mean??

Information is critical and frequent motivation is fruitful, but I also believe without action we can drown. We’re thrown into the ocean without knowing how to swim. Bruce Lee says it well, 

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

One of my strongest, deep-down, catalytic philosophies is that we must DO. We must ACT. We must PRACTICE. It’s common knowledge that if we want to get really good at the guitar, at stitching, at swimming, at playing the piano, we must practice. Natural talent can give a huge advantage, as I have been privy to understand, but that only goes so far if we really want to excel. It’s known that if we want to have a healthy body, we must eat right and exercise consistently. If we want to have a healthy mind, we must use it, challenge it. If we want to have a healthy relationship, we must put forth some serious effort.  It is my profound ambition in life to embody, engage, inspire, and proliferate this message: that we must also practice the traits of the heart, body, and soul:  Compassion, courage, love, connection, empathy, self-respect, authenticity, responsibility, resilience, attitude, honesty, communication, integrity, so on and so forth. 

Dr. Branden mentions that “A disservice is done to people if they are offered ‘feel good’ notions of self-esteem that divorce it from questions of consciousness, responsibility, or moral choice.”   I wholeheartedly agree, and would further the thought by adding, “It is a potentially detrimental deed to present people with powerful wisdom without also endowing them with a practical means of applying it to their life.”

About 22 months ago I first flirted with the idea of opening an ‘adventure retreat’, a 'humanitarian camp'.  It has evolved into a place for adults to experience what I like to describe as “summer camp meets personal growth seminar meets 1-on-1 counseling”.  We’ve all heard of (or maybe were lucky enough to experience) amazing youth camps. The great ones offer not just a rich variety of activities designed to stimulate the imagination, inspire passions, and challenge the skills, but a place to learn integrity, self-confidence, honesty, respect for others, humility, independence, practice decision making, self-expression, team work and group living skills along with exploring (and appreciating) the outdoors and learning to respect individual differences.  Sounds awesome, right? YES- they are.

What might happen though, when someone leaves that camp at age 18?  When life starts getting more hectic, more serious, with more responsibilities?  We spend the next 10 years trying to find our place in the world, discover who we are, what we want- all the while engulfed in a world of mixed messages. Without meaning to, our parents, peers, friends, and leaders are confusing us: 

Follow your passion...but you have to get a degree.
Don’t settle .... but when are you going to meet someone? 
Eat right... but let's stop at Taco Bell, it's easier.
Love your body... but hey, you should get rid of a few pounds.
Be authentic.. but don’t wear that, it’s out of style.
Think for yourself.... but believe me, I know what I’m talking about.
Say what you mean... but don't say that, you'll sound egotistical.
Don’t judge... but look at that slob over there! 
Accept yourself just as you are... but here have a drink, you are more fun when you are drunk.

Whether or not we got to attend youth camp, whether we were introduced to the heart qualities or not, whether we had amazing parents and social circles, or had an abusive and demeaning childhood, whether we were from poverty or affluence, we all had to go thru our 20’s... and all have faced the susceptibility of being buried beneath the social pressures, media influence, life responsibilities, fear of rejection, desire to fit-in, disenchantment of heartache, loneliness, unfair work environments, and pure cynicism from the overall monotony.  The pain, unfairness of life, and belief that the world revolves around us seems to be driving our evolution, instead of the knowledge and practice that our internal strength, control, and attitude can have colossal change on both the actual external world and our experience of it, and the impressions we leave on the people around us.

We may know the lessons, but we don’t always have the means to practice them, or know how to apply them to our unique situations.  Seeking advice is an amazing step forward, and again, I applaud anyone that is searching. 

This is my life motto :)

The grand reality, the big truth, is that we all have the keys we need already within us. With some support, some love, some encouragement, some guidance, and some tools to apply these qualities to our lives, anyone can find their door to happiness.  I've been consulting with, researching, planning and will eventually be assembling a team of physiologists, wilderness therapists, teachers, adventurers, and people of all kinds who have already found their happy, and are living a life that inspires. 

That is what The Bloom Woods seeks to do.  Inspire. 

I knew I wanted to be an architect at age 12. I always had a gift for seeing raw, ordinary, untouched materials on the ground- and being able to envision the glory of them assembled as a whole into an amazing building. I have that same gift as it translates to people. I can detect raw, pure, genuine hopes and dreams and strengths underneath the weaknesses and insecurities. I see the person they really are, and how a little building, a little support, and a lot of worthwhile effort, persistence, and practice- can bring it all together. 

Every person already holds the keys to their happiness, they just need to believe there IS a door, and if they can't find it, they can build it :).

The ultimate, final goal (which may take a lifetime, but I will achieve) is that The Bloom Woods be able to fund the brightest of the souls that I have the pleasure to meet. The people so great, you just want to be around them! I have met so many of these people already, who have to fight the battle of earning a decent living or being a lighthouse in the world. It shouldn't have to be such a hard choice, and I am inspired by those that have succeeded in managing it. Since there is not nearly enough time in a day to accomplish all I want, it became clear that if I can fund these amazing people, who have an idea with a positive effect on the world, no matter how big or small, I can reach farther into my own mission... 

...That is, to change the world :) 


  1. Thank you so much for sharing! I feel that Bloom Woods is a reality. Now we get to watch it and make it emerge :)

  2. Happy anniversary girl!

  3. Hi Becky. Beautiful thoughts and journey! I was smiling the whole the time I read this... I'm inspired already and love what you've done.

  4. more to comment later but loved it,very bright clear and sunny,i have felt the same confusion you speak of ,too many choices ,and they all seem to have a deadline right now or even yesterday so we fall back on the lowest acceptable choice while we still make up our minds,only the guidance of our heart and intuition can save us but who teaches that these days?. . Bloom woods sounds like more than an idea ,sounds like something needed ,somthing from the heart space.Bless you!!

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