Happy Wednesday, friends! It’s been about a month since I last made some time to share in this space, so this is my monthly check-in and update on life, career pursuits and philosophical insights.
Life moves quickly, even when we aren’t “ready.”
What does it mean to be ready, anyway? This is a question I ponder periodically because I used to use the excuse of not being ready to do x, y or z. I don’t ask myself if I’m ready for anything anymore because, truthfully, I’m not really ever ready to do new things. However, I can confidently (or sometimes, not so confidently, LOL!) say I’m willing or unwilling to do a thing or things. For example, I don’t know if I was actually “ready” to become a mom, but I was certainly willing. Similarly, my health is currently stable (as far as I know) and I know treatment options like chemo and radiation are on the table for my medical providers, but not for me. It isn’t that I’m not ready to proceed with the standard of care in western medicine; I’m simply unwilling to choose that option.
So, here are some quick updates.
Castro and I celebrated our third year of marriage. He planned a beautiful day trip for us, from booking a private wine tasting at a hilltop vineyard in Napa to securing childcare so we could benefit from alone time. swoon. He’s amazing, I know. I love the way he loves me. It’s so different than how I show love, but it’s so special and I’m grateful we get to do life together. He’s doing his thing and pursuing his passion projects, as well, which helps to fill his cup and really create a new spark of excitement in him. It’s exciting to witness and support him through this time, especially because some of these projects don’t involve me at all. I think having time apart, different interests and hobbies, and semi-separate personal lives afford us the opportunity to still date each other, have fun topics to talk about and learn more about each other through these times of exploration and growth.
Then, we have a life together, which includes raising this little girl, who is absolutely hilarious, gorgeous and smarter/braver/stronger than I could’ve prayed for.
Our little firecracker is talking a ton and is super active. She started gymnastics last week and regularly rides her (pedal-less) bike, like a pro. Would you believe she performs squats on cue? I’m sure, for some, it comes as no shock because she’s our child. LOL! Not only is she a big fan of physical activity, but she also loves singing and dancing. Her current favorite song is ‘Old MacDonald.’ She wakes up singing, “ee-i-ee-i-oh!” and makes the “moo-moo” sound right after. Just picture her beautiful little face moving back/forth as she imitates her cow friends. PRICELESS.
She inspires us to do more for her future.
I think of her when I’m struggling with doubt in my business. Taking CastroStrong to the next level isn’t just about leaving my job in corporate America. To understand what I really need to do day in and out, I had to define success as it pertains to my business, my family and my personal life. I’ve spent a lot of time praying and meditating on what my desired future looks like. Like many, I desire and strive for financial freedom, but that’s just one part of the bigger vision. I want to leave an inheritance for my children and for their children. I’m working on a dream that will allow me to be free of a physical location during the week, spend more time with my family, living free of financial burdens, raising my own children. Before you jump the gun, I’m not pregnant. However, God’s shown me our legacy, so I have to consider everyone, even if we aren’t all together, yet!
So, I’m on this entrepreneur journey…
Wearing the mom, corporate employee and entrepreneur hats is exciting, demanding and tiring. I recently hosted something called The Change Challenge, which was associated with CastroStrong and allowed me to provide more life coach styled guidance. It’s what has always come most natural to me, so I was excited to do this. I started it because I planned to change my daily routine and wanted to do it in a way that allowed me to do it gradually and in a way I could continue to sustain.
My body adapted a few weeks ago and I now have a pretty solid, jam-packed, feel good flow. I now wake up between 4:45-5AM and get ready for my day. I spend some time alone, write in my journal, maybe have some tea and just mentally prep for the day. Angie wakes up around 6AM (she’s Castro’s daughter with her early wake-ups!) and we get her ready for the day before we head out to daycare/work. I work until 4:30PM, hit a workout on my lunch break and meet up with Castro after work to swap Angie and head home. I spend time with Angie and get her ready for bed, before she goes down between 7-8PM. Tuesday-Saturday, I work on business stuff at night until about 9-9:30PM (on a good day!) then meditate, have some tea and hit the sack. Mondays I don’t typically do work for CastroStrong and I disconnect from email and work-related stuff on Sundays.
Does it sound like a lot?
Throughout life, I always thrived with a jam-packed day, probably our mom ALWAYS kept us busy. We played on multiple teams at a time (sometimes multiple sports at a time), hopped from one practice or game to another, got home, did homework (if it wasn’t already done at school), spent time together and went to sleep. Historically, I’ve grown the most and felt my BEST when I had a similar flow in life. I’ll also admit, I mostly abused substances during periods of my life when I had a lot of free time. That’s an entirely different topic to touch on.. one I might talk about on my podcast, Stronger Than You Think. I’ll keep you posted.
So, this new schedule.
A couple months ago, I started speaking with my supervisor about potentially requesting a flexible work assignment. This meant, modifying my schedule so I could work a few long days in exchange for a shorter day, which would allow me to use daytime hours to work on CastroStrong. I didn’t want to create an unbalanced work environment for my time. I truly have so much love for them and would never want my personal pursuits to affect anyone else. My supervisor brought it up in a one-on-one last month and, honestly, I’d forgotten about it, so I was surprised she inquired about it. I was open to it, so we just started the conversation with HR, which then led to a conversation with our regional manager and, unexpectedly, I was pulled into a quick meeting with an approval for 4 longer days and 1 short day. Flash forward to today, I’m currently at a coffee shop in the Bay Area after my weekly short day at work. My to do list isn’t so daunting today, so I’m taking an hour out of my day to write this update.
Look at God.
This might not seem like such a significant win, but it really is. This is just one step in the direction of creating my desired lifestyle, doing the work I WANT to do and creating a flow that really contributes to the balance I desire. The fact that my job and leadership were and are so supportive of my dreams, even if those dreams would result in my eventual departure from the company, truly speaks volumes about the blessings in my life. These moments, these small wins, are the significant milestones in the journey. They make the journey exciting and help me find ways to continue to be grateful. I really can’t do anything in life without God and the people He’s blessed me with. Even if my work crew isn’t going with me to CastroStrong when I am full-time entrepreneur, they will always be so special to me and, while I’m at my current workplace, I will continue to give my all (in work product, flow and attitude).
There’s always something to be grateful for.
It’s really easy to get caught up in the daily routine and go into auto-pilot. I really refuse to live a mundane life, even if all the pieces are in the process of falling into place. I intentionally create joy in my life and do it by… writing my prayers in my journal daily; listening to/reading the word daily; meditating (the most recent addition to my routine) in the morning and at night; eating and hydrating well (also much more of a priority these days! I’m currently feeling really good eating more of a modified-paleo type routine.. I still have whipped cream some days LOL); getting QUALITY sleep (no more edibles, limiting caffeine, meditating before bed, stretching and praying before sleep!); and doing things I actually enjoy (making time for family/friends/fun, leisure reading – currently reading “Room,” and singing/dancing!).
I know I’m not alone.
I have a great support group, so I never feel isolated. Some of my relationships have shifted, no doubt, as a result of my own internal changes. I was feeling weird about it, at first, but I prayed and journaled about it. In doing so, I identified some limiting beliefs I had to work through and now feel so much more at peace about those shifts. I recognize shifts occur, especially as I change and grow so much. Initially, I thought it was all negative and was mourning the changes I was navigating, but NO MORE. I’m now celebrating these shifts and embracing the new perspective I have, the new dynamic of the relationships in my life and the love I receive, despite the changes in my life. I’m finding a lot of comfort in this uncomfortable space and, even better, finding much healthier, more sustainable ways to cope with the stress and anxiety attached to adulthood, motherhood, entrepreneurship, cancer and being far from family.
Is this too long?
I still struggle with “appealing” to people, sometimes. As a girl and when I grew into a young woman, it was a struggle to “appeal” to the person I was romantically interested in. That’s still somewhat of a challenge because I can be long-winded and find Castro huffing and puffing because he’s ready to move on from the convo/thought. I guess, in my blog space, I can let go of that little insecurity/anxiety. If someone isn’t interested in the many thoughts I have, they wouldn’t bother subscribing to the blog in the first place. LOL! Okay, happy I worked through that.
This is me, pouring out my soul, a little.
I was feeling anxiety about my health, too. Wondering if I’m getting better or worse. Then, I remember when God spoke to me and told me I wouldn’t die of cancer; that instead of cancer, the doctors would discovery a baby, instead. That’s exactly how we learned about Angie. I always remember…HIS VOICE telling me, “I’ll provide.” I questioned Him and He responded with the same two words, “I’ll provide.” I almost want to get it tattooed on me, but I know I don’t need to. The words come to mind when I doubt anything in life.
He provided me with motivation to stop settling in life when I was diagnosed with cancer. He provided (and still provides) me with the finances to manage cancer naturally. He provided a beautiful baby girl, instead of a progression to stage III (I will write a book about this because it’s in my heart and oozing to come out, but it isn’t time yet). He provided me with direction of the form of closed doors (7 rejections from supervisor positions, lateral moves and a job offer that was rescinded when I negotiated the terms). He provided me with vision to create CastroStrong and experience with clients, which allowed me to realize I needed to restructure the business for it to truly align with me and my goals. He provided me with creativity to design a completely new program for busy women who want to improve their mindset, eat better, move more and stress less – Your Pursuit of Fitness is launching soon (stay tuned!). HE provided me with COURAGE to step out on faith, take risks and completely dive into this career I’m creating. Truly, Jehovah Jireh.
My prayer for you is, that you dig deep within yourself to identify your own limiting beliefs, do the work to release them, create a life you LOVE living and share that love and joy with others. Don’t you feel so good after a positive, loving person spends time with you? Don’t you feel good when YOU are that person; the person who brings joy to others and leaves them feeling better than when they found you? I pray you harness your gifts and SHARE them.. don’t keep them! They aren’t for YOU! 🙂
This December, I’m getting baptized. Seven years ago, on Christmas Eve, I came back to God, after five years of stepping away from Him. The shame I felt and carried for so long was heavy and, at times, crippling. I know I’m not perfect, but I know His love is perfect and it continues to heal me. “Now my soul cries out, hallelujah! Praise and honor unto thee.” That is exactly how I feel right now. Thinking about where I was and where I am now sparks intense emotion in me. The greatest feeling is gratitude. On my own, I am a mess. In Him, I am whole, I am beautiful, I am enough.
Happy Wednesday, Friends. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Talk soon!