When I was a teenager, my mom and I used to head up American Fork Canyon every morning to hike the trail to Timpanogos Cave. Some of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life occurred on the face of that mountain. It was there I learned to listen to my Father in Heaven (I’d always been very good at talking AT Him).

These early morning adventures are among my most treasured memories with my mother. However, one experience stands high above the rest.

I may have a stronger build than Mom, but boy does that woman have endurance. She can go and go and go and go and go. But when you’re 16 years old, you’re supposed to be faster, stronger, and more fit than your old lady mom. I was none of the above. And it was INFURIATING.

On this particular day, I was determined not to finish in her shadow. As we approached the final stretch of the trail, 3 steep switchbacks (by far the steepest of the entire climb), I opened the throttle. I literally sprinted the remaining distance to the top of the mountain.

VICTORY!

But the sense of accomplishment very quickly gave way to absolute terror. I reached for my throat, desperately gasping for air.

None came.

I panicked. I began to feel dizzy. Thankfully, I was coherent enough to lower myself to the ground in order to avoid falling over the edge. The harder I tried to gasp for breath, the more frantic I became. I could not breathe. I was horrified, certain I was going to die. A few other hikers had gathered around, but that detail is foggy. I don’t remember what they said, if anything, or what they did, if anything. I just remember them being there, and I remember sensing their sincere concern for me. The next thing I clearly remember was my mom trotting up over the top of the trail. The moment she saw me, she rushed to my side.

All she did was place her hand on my back.

Immediately, I took a long, deep breath. And another, and another. . .

I was safe. My mom was there.

________________________________________________________________________

For the last year and a half I have been heavily involved in The Making Things Happen Intensive. This is work I believe in. It is rich and fulfilling. It has made me a better person in every way.

And . . . it’s time to say goodbye.

As much as I love this work, the girls (Gina, Lara, Em) and the remarkable alum, the reality is this: God has been knocking on my heart for some time now, and just like I learned during those mornings on the trail, all those years ago, I need to remember to listen.

(Yes, I’m licking my son’s face. Believe me, the punk had it coming.)

As it relates to my professional life, this may be a big, bad business decision (and by “may be” I mean “most certainly is”).

Yes, I am afraid. There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty ahead. But I am absolutely certain that I am being called home, and I am thus absolutely certain that I will NEVER live to regret this decision. . . as difficult as it has been to make.


As much as I hate saying “goodbye” to something I love so very, very much, I am also saying “hello.” I’m saying “hello” to something I love even more.

Clearly the last 5 years haven’t exactly been easy on my family. It’s important to remember that not only did my boys lose their brother, they also lost their uncle. . . who had lived with (or very near) them for the entirety of their lives. Their sense of loss has been tremendous, beyond anything I could have ever imagined would be our reality. They still struggle daily from the remnants of this devastation. . . and though I firmly believe that they will eventually heal, I also believe that they will continue to struggle for some time to come.

They need me. Here. To wrap my arms around them and echo my mother before me.

“You’re safe. Mommy is here.”

All photos in this post courtesy of G.

PS- I love you Lara, Gina and Emily. Your response to all of this has been nothing less than as gracious and supportive as everything I have come to expect from each of you. You are remarkable. Exceptional. The best friends I ever could have dreamed up in my very wildest of imaginings. I’ll always, ALWAYS, be your biggest supporter and your number one fan.

PPS- All, happiest of Mother’s Days, by the way.

Today I did something that I’ve been really afraid to do. I finally found the courage to be decisive, and I took the leap. Happy Leap Day by the way! The decision I made is a risk, a calculated risk, but a real risk, nonetheless. I weighed the alternatives, got clear about my overarching goals for myself, my family and my business, and I jumped. Only time will tell if God gives me wings, but one thing is completely clear: I’d rather risk it all than succumb to fear and be doomed to a world filled with surface level living. Right?! Of course right.

I’ve been thinking a lot about balance and overall happiness of late. I’m realizing, for the millionth time, that happy habits truly do a happy heart make. Perhaps that should read, “intentional living truly does a happy heart make,” because I’m learning, and relearning, that truth over and over (and over) again as well.

These things WORK for me, so be sure to check out my MTH Tumblr post: 5 Tips To A Happier You.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

xo!

N

Hi friends!

Tomorrow, Thursday (March 1) is the last day to purchase seats for the MTH East Coast Tour at a discounted rate. I want to extend my personal invitation to you to come, and be a part of this powerful day with us! Ready for change? Ready to make big things happen in your life? I’d love to begin this journey with you in May!

Founded on the idea that you have the choice to change your life. The Making Things Happen Intensive is about personal evolution, and here is my personal invitation to you:

Register for New York, North Carolina, Atlanta, Boston, or Washington DC here.

Post Edited to Include:

MTH 2012 Scholarship opportunity just announced! Head on over!!!

Will you regret it when you’re 80?

My husband, Richie, is a thousand times smarter than I am. When I’m up against a big decision and go to him seeking advice, he always turns things right back around on my own sense of intuition. He maintains that NO ONE knows what’s best for me better than I do. (PS. The same is true of each of you).  “Natalie, will you regret it when you’re 80?” he asks (with a wickedly obnoxious little grin).

Allow me to explain.

I recently found myself on a chartered boat in the middle of the Carribbean Sea. Knowing I might never be in this place again, knowing that this opportunity was likely once in a lifetime for me, knowing that were I NOT to jump, I WOULD look back and regret it when I was 80, I stood up, and I dove in.

Are you on the edge of the boat? Is opportunity knocking but you can’t seem to bring yourself to jump? Afraid the water’s cold? Afraid of what might be lurking beneath the surface? Afraid you might drown?!

I get it.

Jump anyway. Or. . .  be prepared to regret it when you’re 80.

I love the opportunity to look into people’s lives and provide heartfelt feedback and loving direction. I don’t have all the answers—not even close—but as I respond to your questions, I get the tremendous blessing of watching you soar, not to mention the treasured gift of self reflection and the beautiful byproduct of personal development. Because of this, I’m genuinely falling in love with Formspring. Here’s an example from today’s feed that illustrates this fear to JUMP. (Nope, you’re not alone. Not by a long shot.)

Question:

Ok, so WHY am I scared of success? Why am I nervous to be as awesome as I know I can be??? Why do people sabatoge amazing opportunities?? I have the potential to be great. Things are all lined up for awesomeness… I’m just afraid to take that step.

My response:

Not knowing your specific goals or challenges, I think it’s best for me to simply answer from my realm of experience.

I personally get really afraid of success because I know the amount of work it’s going to require. I crave simplicity, I crave clarity, I crave a calm, uneventful life. . . and I KNOW that the kind of success that is available to me (and to each of us) requires a lot of STINKING.HARD.WORK. Stretching, growing, risking: all things that success requires, come along with a fair amount of chaos, unpredictability, and confusion. It’s hard for me emotionally to knowingly opt in to all that is required for big change— big success.

I also fear failure. I really fear getting lazy and not being willing to consistently put in the hard work required to make big things happen in my life. It is possible to do and become ANYTHING. Even as a mother, I can have balance and success between my work and family life, but it takes A LOT of commitment, A LOT of consistency, and A.LOT.OF.EFFORT. The reality of everything can be vastly overwhelming to me (often to the point of damming me up completely).

A good way I’ve found to combat these feelings is to say to myself: “Will I regret it when I’m 80?” This material is 100% Richie’s. He’s so much smarter than I am. If I look at my goals and I say, “When I’m 80, looking back on my life, will I regret not putting in the hard work to achieve a, b or c?” If the answer is “yes” then I put on my hard hat and I get to work, no matter the cost. If the answer is “no,” then I reevaluate my goals.

The reality is, you have EVERYTHING you need to be successful. You have every resource, every ounce of strength, every minute of time you need. Each of us has EVERYTHING we need—right in this very moment. I really do believe that. We just have to have the complete confidence that we are on the right path. Once you’re sure, take courage, put on your hard hat, and have faith in yourself. You’re SO much greater, SO much more capable than you know!

Now, let me ask YOU:

Will YOU regret it when you’re 80?

Will you regret not following through on that nagging hunch? Will you regret not getting in touch with your authentic self? Will you regret not risking it all to go for that amazing dream? Will you regret spending your life in a job that doesn’t play to your unique strengths (a job you hate)? Will you regret not fighting hard for the success of the most important relationships in your life? Will you regret not giving your all to be genuinely HAPPY?

Will you regret not embracing your fears and jumping anyway?

JUMP! Your life is waiting.

Above: a quote from my brilliant Momma, Annie Link.

Hello friends!

At least once a week, I’ll be blogging over on our Making Things Happen Tumblr Page.

For those of you who are new to the blog, I just wanted to take a beat to introduce you to Making Things Happen and the lovely ladies I work with there: Lara Casey, Emily Ley, and Gina Zeidler. These are three of my dearest friends and some of the biggest inspirations in my life. They’re sure to inspire you, too.

What started just over a year ago as a vacation on a whim, has transformed into the very axis of my personal and professional life. MTH fires me up. The content keeps me inspired, the community keeps me accountable, and it gives ME the tools to get out there and make big change in my own life (and in the world around me).

Counting my blessings once again. Thank you Lara, Em and G for seeing that spark in my soul— for taking me in to your business, your hearts, your lives.

Check out my post from today: Overcoming the Gravity of Resistance.

Have a good weekend!

xo,

N

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