Out Of Africa – Part 1

A look back at Girl Power For Good’s Evolution
Originally published June 24, 2013

I returned from Africa last week, and I’m going to take the next few blog posts to comment on the experience…because it was too monumental to squeeze into just one. First of all, Africa is beyond words; and now I will try to use words to describe the wordless. The first thing you notice is the people; there are tons of them everywhere. I landed in Johannesburg, which is a big bustling city, and I didn’t feel exactly safe as a woman traveling alone. But when I arrived at the hotel, that all changed. The staff treated me like family. They believe in hiring enough staff to do a proper service in Africa; they didn’t look frazzled or rushed, because one person wasn’t trying to do the job of three. This was a common theme wherever I went. I’m guessing this is due to the millions of people looking for work; all I know is that I was never searching for someone to help me…they were always right there.

The second thing you notice is the light. During our game drives at Londolozi Game Preserve in South Africa, or as I like to call it Heaven on Earth, the light was so golden that it made even point and shoot pictures look majestic.  The expanse of the landscape is awe inspiring: in the daytime, the land rolls on forever, with animals as far as the eye can see, and at night, the sky is so star filled that you begin to lose your sense of separation from the Universe…you lose all sense of not good enough.

I have spent years trying to change that feeling of “not quite right”. All my life, I’ve been searching for a better way, certain that if I just found the right answer, then the cloudy would become clear, and all would be right with the world. What I discovered in Africa is that I’ve been operating under a few misconceptions: 1. there is no one thing or one person who holds the one magic answer that will make everything okay; it’s all within me. I’m just as capable as anyone else, in fact I’m infinitely better equipped, to run my own life and to find my own path. It may not look like anyone else’s path, and that’s okay…because my path is as unique as I am. 2. I don’t need anyone else to support me; I’ve got this. I don’t need approval from someone on high or permission from anyone else to be successful. I don’t need family support or any more degrees or certifications; I just need to follow my instincts and let my own brand of magic blossom. 3. Self-doubt is not working for me; it’s not humble or desirable in any fashion. It’s just a road block on my path to make the world a better place.

During my time at the STAR retreat, the suggestion I was given was to “Lift Off.” That made perfect sense to me. I have everything I need to take my life to the next level. My kids are healthy and happy; I have finished one book, and I have great ideas for my second; I have a speaking platform that is just waiting for me to take it on the road; and I’m physically and mentally healthy enough to rise to any challenge. I can take all the ideas that I’ve been honing since I was 20 and go help some kids and their parents…all  I need to do is lift off. When Martha Beck said those words to me, I had two immediate and opposing thoughts: “Yep, it’s time!” and “How can I lift off without any foundation to push against?” My Essential Self knows it’s ready, but my Social Self is continuing its insistence that I need more support. It says, “I can’t do this alone. If my family can’t see me as a successful author and speaker, then I’ll never get there. Oh woe is me!”

At the STAR, while surrounded by like- minded people who had no pre-conceived notion of my abilities, I discovered that I Am Powerful. This group of highly intelligent and successful people had no problem seeing me as a bestselling author and crowd drawing speaker. In fact, my roomie said, “You need to get over yourself. You have some powerful goods to deliver; now quit this self-doubt and get out there and deliver them!” or something along those lines, except sassier with more colorful words.

All this build-up has a concrete result. I see that I don’t need support from anyone else to push against as I soar. All I need is my own foundation: good nutrition, meditation, daily quiet time to write and reflect, and connecting to my body through exercise, rest and fun. The rest of it will work out, just the way it should. Help will arrive when I need it; it’s already happened, but I thought it was a fluke. It’s not; it’s the Universe lining up to help me deliver my message to women of all ages…We Are Powerful! Africa taught me that, and now it’s my job to go out and spread the word. Houston, we have Lift Off…

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