I have a confession to make. I am SLOW to change. And I mean painfully slow to change. I have also been very afraid to send this email…wondering what people will think. I am in my tenth year of having my own business and my fifteenth year in the health and nutrition industry. I have been through it all and heard it all and have talked about poop WAY more than I could have ever imagined for only being in my 30s. I have worked with thousands of people and made it through the creation of 2 cookbooks (thanks to Kate) and a DVD set. My best friend and assistant Kate has stood with me through every recipe fail and kitchen frustration with grace and patience. Some people refer to the gut as their second brain – well Kate is for sure my second brain. It has been a blessing to be on this journey together over the years and I couldn’t have done it without her.
Around this time about 2 years ago, when Milo was just a few months old, I was admittedly scrolling through FB too much while nursing and came across a video by International Justice Mission (IJM) called SuperMaarko. IJM does amazing work and is the largest anti-slavery organization in the world. I pressed play on the video and feel like ever since that moment, my life has forever changed. I wept then and even as I type this newsletter after just watching it for the 10th time, new tears stream down my face and my heart is broken all over again. As hard as it is watching that video, I want my heart to be broken – not in a way that leaves me paralyzed – but in a way that leads to action.
Prior to watching the video, I had been exposed to modern day slavery through an art gallery exhibit I stumbled upon in Sonoma, California by Lisa Kristine. Her pictures were what first moved me to tears and exposed me to the reality that there are over 27 million people in slavery today across the world, even right in our own backyards. So even though I had an idea of what was going on, something broke in me that day I watched the video of Maarko and his little sister imprisoned in cybersex trafficking. A few months later my dear friend Kirsten Tucci invited me to participate in something called Dressember, an international movement of women wearing dresses and men wearing ties to raise money and awareness to fight modern day slavery. Most of the money raised goes to IJM – the very organization that helped rescue Maarko. I was all in and wanted to do SOMETHING to fight back against this horrible injustice.
If you know me, you know that if I am going to do something and fully commit, then I am also going to spend time researching so I can be an educated advocate. So that is what I did; I researched a TON and one of the things I learned is that in many other countries, the number one reason why people are trafficked is because of poverty. If they don’t have an income, many are easily tricked into false promises of a better life. Simply having a job and an education for their children can change a family for generations. Dressember raises money to rescue and rehabilitate people that are already trapped, but I started wondering how I could take it one step further so I could also help with the prevention side of this issue as well…similar to what I’ve focused on with nutrition over the years. If people have a long-term healthy lifestyle – not some quick fix fad that will last momentarily – then they will be much less likely to experience illness later in life.
The documentary Poverty, Inc. highlights the best way to fight poverty today is through job creation. If you give people a dignified job then they will be able to take care of their family and the likelihood of trafficking goes down significantly. So when I was invited to an online Trades of Hope party almost two years ago, the question of how I could work on this issue from the prevention side was answered. Trades of Hope fights poverty through dignified job creation providing fair trade wages, even working with trafficking survivors both across the world and right here in the USA.
Even though I say I am slow to change, I did understand that I was getting a strong “nudge” from God to start working with Trades of Hope. I fought this nudge at first because I was thinking, “I already have a business; I can’t do both things.” And then, “I have a master’s degree in nutrition…Why in the world am I even considering this?” But something changed in me when I watched that video of SuperMaarko and I knew God was changing the path of my business. So for the last year and a half, I have worked with Trades of Hope and have grown a team of other like-minded women that want to do something about fighting poverty right where they are at. Because of my YES to Trades of Hope, women and men have dignified jobs, children are going to school, mamas are keeping their babies and having safe births, girls are getting to school on new bikes that keep them safe, a slum in India has a well for the first time and families have nutrition and a sustainable income through chickens and fruit trees. I have been able to meet the beautiful artisans we partner with from across the globe through my travels this past year, and am super excited to share about them with you in upcoming posts.
The bottom line here is that my business is changing. I still have a passion for people to eat healthy and take care of their bodies, however I feel like I have covered all the basics you need to know through Nutrition 101 and my cookbooks. What I’ve learned after working with so many people over the years is that so much of the disease (lack of peace) happening in our bodies does not come from what we are eating – WHICH IS NOT PERMISSION TO EAT CRAP – but more from what we are thinking. In other words, the mind-body-connection has become very REAL to me over the years.
So where exactly is my business going? I LOVE speaking and coaching women on how to change their mindset in order to get rid of the lies they’ve been believing about themselves so they can walk in freedom. But the honest truth is that while I coach my clients not to live in fear, here I’ve been not listening to my own advice. I have been dragging my feet and living in fear of letting go of something that I put so much blood, sweat and tears into. Having thoughts like, “What will people think of me?”
I always say what you focus on grows, so as I focus on GROWING my Trades of Hope and life coaching businesses, this means that it is time to let go of my nutrition consulting business. Can I just say how GOOD it feels to say that? In my upcoming newsletters, I’ll be sharing how my travels to Haiti and South Asia have changed my life, how I finally let go of my fears and how what I learned along the way can help you change your mind so you can change your health. Thanks for sticking with me on this journey!