MY HURRICANE IRMA EXPERIENCE + 3 STEPS TO CUTTING THROUGH THE CHAOS & GETTING YOUR LIFE BACK ON TRACK!
By: Heather Hooke
Hey trubeautys! I’ve been a bit MIA on social media for awhile due to Hurricane Irma, both from a loss of power mixed with – honestly – the need to unplug, relax, & restore energetically. This whole experience has been such a whirlwind for everyone effected. As I’ve been focused on connecting with people one-on-one these past few weeks, I’ve realized that many people are feeling very similar and have been in a bit of a “fog”, since the whole thing happened.
First, let me start by saying my family, our home, and I are perfectly safe (our home had minimal damage… some debris and trees down but that’s about it, thank God)! Words can’t express how grateful I am that our family, our home, and our community are safe & how much your personal messages were during the process. I feel so bad for those in the Caribbean islands and those in Texas still being effected by the recent Hurricanes (ugh, so sad). After experiencing the unpredictability of this scary storm first hand, not only does it shake you, but your ‘tru’ character, humanity & how you handle fear (fight, flight or freeze) are very much tested. Regardless of the universal – and understandable – fear that was being spread at the time of the event, I gotta tell you, it was so inspiring to see that even through the worst of circumstances and “survival of the fittest” mentality, people are truly are good! I’ve always believed this with all my heart & it was so nice to have that reiterated first hand.
Rewind a bit… before all this went down, I was actually away on a business trip. I was at doTERRA’s International Convention with my entire team. I was beyond excited to be there, not only for the whole experience that others had raved about in past years, but this year I was GOLD Rank! Meaning this year I was going to get the chance to walk on-stage in front of thousands of people celebrating my hard work, along with other like-minded business professionals, who I had the up-most respect for. While many people have attended in the past, I never felt called to do so, but this year was my year and I couldn’t wait!
While I have been on multiple business trips in the past when I worked for Bare Escentuals Cosmetics and NORDSTROM as a Lead Business Manager, Professional Makeup Artist, and Personal Beauty Stylist, this trip was special (and a little scary). Not only was this my very first “official” trubeautyMOVEMENT business trip, since starting my own business (yay for profit margins!), but it was also my very first time away from our daughter who was 13 months old and husband. So, to say this trip was a big deal was the understatement of the year (shout out to all my mama followers out there, who really get the significance of what this means)!
I became extremely anxious right before I was about to leave, wondering if I could really do this trip and be away that long as a mommy. All the insecurities that come from being a modern, ambitous woman in today’s world started to seep in and I remember being extremely nervous; “Was I choosing career life and success over family?” I thought. Of course not, but it’s amazing what fear can do to the mind, when you push your limits to grow. Then, I remembered one of my favorite quotes… “On The other Side of Fear Lies Freedom.” – JB Glossinger. I began to recognize that all my thoughts were being fear based clouding my better judgement and that yes, I CAN have it all because I’m a modern, ambitious woman in today’s society! I began to do a little self-talk along with opening up to my husband, as I always do during insecure times, and realized that by chasing after my wildest dreams and living in alignment with the highest version of myself, I am inspiring other women to do the same, while automatically showing our daughter she can too! When I started thinking in this way, I started to get excited and the same trip went from last minute dread to an exciting adventure! This really proved the power of the mind and how we can shape our reality to being more positive with a little shift in perspective and support from others! So, I did what any logical woman would do… I went shopping. I had a few exchanges with the “Return By” date expiring while I was gone and had a few must-have’s on my list… along with some just plain “wants” too! Then before you knew it, I took an UBER to the airport early in the morning before anyone was awake and flew across the country to Utah (my old stomping ground from college) to be picked up by my Best Friend from childhood, Carley!
The business trip was absolutely incredibly in every way! I flew in early and attended advanced trainings from top Success Coaches, like Brad Yates (tapwithbrad.com), who worked with “The Secret” cast, teaching advanced trainings on EFT Emotional Freedom Techniques (“Tapping”) and Presidential Diamonds, the highest rank with doTERRA, like Jessie Reimers (getafreshstart.com.au). My team and I had the most incredible airBNB that had this eclectic, Buddha theme (see pics). To further take advantage of this self empowerment escape, every morning one of my team members, Andria, and I would wake before sunrise to do our mediations, workout, gratitude journal, and self care! It was more like a wellness retreat and good times with girlfriends than it was a work convention, which only reiterated why I love doTERRA so much and why it’s wellness products and lifestyle are in alignment with my trubeautyMOVEMENT. Then, all of a sudden… Hurricane Irma.
It was like I went from Cloud 9 on, on top of the world, in alignment with my lavender Chakra (the highest version of myself), then all of a sudden jolted into my red Chakra with Irma (all about survival-mode). The contrast was very strange to experience in such a short period of time and very surreal to say the least. As my husband and I were watching the news and looking at flight options as Irma grew to a Category 5 Hurricane with unpredictable effects in our area, we started to realize if I didn’t get on the next available flight home I may not be able to fly home for days or even weeks, depending on the damage. I remember taking the beach cruiser from our airBNB on Friday morning to a local coffee shop before dawn, sipping my soy latte “to stay”, while sitting inside (verses the day before when I sat outside) and something was different. It was hard to put my finger on it, but the energy was off. What was just yesterday the dream-like, artsy, early morning coffee shop crowd all of a sudden seemed dark and almost eerie. Even the art on the wall inside, which I didn’t notice the day before, was a bit freaky and weirdly looked like a beach-front community we lived fighting a Hurricane (no joke, I took a picture see below, super weird). The whole situation was very odd.
Listening to my intuition and knowing that we were a few hours ahead of the east coast, I called my husband right away and told him to get me on the next flight out! I wanted to be with my husband, daughter and our cat, Zen, and I didn’t care what career or self-help events were going on. It was a clear choice and it just wasn’t worth it. By leaving early, I wasn’t going to be able to walk the stage as I originally planned, but that’s okay. There’s always next time when I will be an even higher rank to celebrate! I started to think about it and rather than feel sorry for myself like I could have, I realized the power of the mind again and came to understand that I had learned all I was supposed to during my trip and it was time to go home. Not only did every aspect of my trip exceed my expectations, I learned the the key lessons I was supposed to learn: the power of facing my fears both going on the trip and heading home early; the power of self care in the morning to nourish my soul; and that above all family has and always will be the most important thing of all!!! It felt like I was being tested and had to make a choice between career/ego/the group and family/self care/being independent. I had decided and it felt right.
If you are friends with me personally on Facebook, you saw my Facebook LIVE from doTERRA Convention before I took a LYFT to the airport to fly out, letting everyone know the situation and that we were okay. Flights were delayed and I went from a 51 min layover to a 10 min layover and almost missed my flight, but with a little faith (and some cardio lol) I made it! Fewf! I ended up landing home at 1am and my hubby was there to pick me up. Ahhh, it felt good to be home! Many of my team members ended up having to stay on the west coast or fly to different states for another week, while I ended up getting one of the last flights back and I was so grateful!
The next day (Saturday before the storm hit) was nuts. We, along with our friends, family and community were thrown in not only survival but action-mode. From making sure all cars had full gas to gallons of water being stored (water was sold-out at every local store, so we got giant juice gallons and filled them with water from our fridge and froze water in baggys). We stalked-up on non-perishable foods, trying to be as healthy as possible, choosing turkey jerky, almonds, natural cheddar popcorn, lUNA Bars, and cookies – I mean, it can’t ALL be healthy lol! We brought in every outdoor plant, furniture, wreaths, chimes, childproof fences, you name it! I even packed a “911 EMERGENCY BAG” just in case we could only grab one thing; it was in my new doTERRA backpack I had just received at Convention with 2-3 days of survival water, food, First Aid Kit, flash light, and essential oils (yup, they were really in there peeps. When you understand what they can do for you, you will understand why)! Guys, it was the weirdest feeling, but from what the news was telling us we needed to be prepared for days without food, water, power, or emergency help.
As daylight diminished, my husband and I were exhausted. I started to get worried and looked at him and said, “Babe, are we being smart here? Where is the best place to be if this gets as big as they say?” I filmed another quick Facebook LIVE looking at our options. Ultimately, we agreed as inconvenient as it may have been, the Hurricane safe public shelters that were built for such an occurrence really were the safest of all our options for our daughter. While leaving our home to be amongst thousands of people with no AC, if the power went out, with a 1 year old didn’t exactly sound like a walk in the park, we decided being a little uncomfortable for a few days for safety is just plain smart. So, that’s exactly what we did.
As you scroll through the images you will get a feel of our shelter experience. To say it was intense is the understatement of the century… we were 3 people and a cat amongst over 2,000 people, over 500 dogs & over 250 cats all cramped into a tiny middle school. I’m not going to lie, the sanitary conditions were really bad (I desperately needed my new doTERRA On Guard Sanitizing Spray they announced at Convention!) but you know what, I’m so happy we went. We met and connected with some incredible people with diverse background and beliefs. When I was helping one fellow mother ease her 1 year old son’s tummy ache with doTERRA’s DigestZEN oil in a rollerball, she later comforted me in the middle of the night when both our kiddos would not sleep and we were exhausted, making me laugh and reminding me not take the events so seriously. Ultimately as we shared a classroom with that family along with many others, Melissa made a little friend with her son, Xander, and we found out they were only 10 days apart! The experience was not only extremely humbling, as I looked past the initial set-up, I was in awe at how kind and understanding perfect strangers were to one-another overall and to us when our daughter was crying from the storm keeping everyone up at 3:30am, with no where to go (all doors were on lock-down due to the storm). The message was mere humanity… sure, you get some rough one’s every now and then, but overall people are kind, people are good and we all want the same things – to be healthy, happy and allow our family to be the same.
After all was said and done, as many of you saw on the news, the Category 5 Hurricane began to unravel and slow down as it passed through the islands coming towards the mainland. While the storm still had major damage, it ended up being more of a Category 2 or even 1 by the time it hit our area. Our manifesting prayers, positive thinking, visualizations, deep belief and gratitude paid off!!! When we finally got word we could leave the shelter, standing in the hot, urine-smelling, line in the dark school hallway to get our cat (I told you it was rough sanitary conditions and I’m not exaggerating). I still don’t know if it was human or cat urine and I don’t think I want to know lol. We were hot, sweaty, and exhausted on every level. “How did we get here?”, I thought. As we said goodbye and good luck to those we met, we drove home seeing power cables down, fences blown away, giant trees on the ground, street signs down, and debris everywhere; it felt like a movie scene. As we finally turn into our neighborhood and ultimately onto our street, we see that although our neighbor had a tree down in our yard and there was some giant depris all over, our home, itself, was safe overall and we were so grateful!
As we walked in the front door, I threw away the one pair of shoes I wore at the shelter and literally spent 2 hours cleaning and sanitizing everything we brought. That’s how bad it was. We all showered and although it was hot and there was no power, we were so happy to be back in our beautiful home and saw things very differently. Ensuring our daughter’s safety, we did everything we could to keep her cool, with cool moist towels on her neck, etc. We did our best to get settled. With no power, it’s funny how your body seems to re-set and once the sun goes down you want to do nothing more than sleep. So that’s what we did… sleep. We woke with the sun and slept at dusk returning back to the place of self-care, survival and family, but allowing our anxiety to ease a bit now that Irma was over.
The next day, we woke, put our heads down and got to work. You really see people’s character during times like this and I must say, I was so proud of my husband and how we handled this whole ordeal as a partnership! It definitely brought us closer as a couple, in a way we probably can’t even comprehend. I took care of our daughter (all of our immunity was down and we all started to get a cold, so I had us all doing doTERRA’s Cold & Flu Bomb), while also keeping her cool with no AC + basic mommy duties; my husband, Collin, was incredible and worked hard outside to pickup trees, debris, help others with their broken fences, along with putting back all the furniture, plants, etc we had taken into the garage just a few days before prepping for a Category 5. It was intense. As the days continued and the power finally came back on, we aimed to get our lives back to normal. I remember lots of cleaning, laundry, organizing, being hungry for nourishing food (besides the survival “pantry” food we got last minute). One of the most special days, was a morning where I woke and my husband walked in with a coffee for me; it was no Starbucks (they were not open yet) but it was a coffee to-go from our local grocery store that had finally opened and it felt so special and meant the world to me! We decided to go out, leave our To-Do list behind, and take a walk as a family. As we walked on side-walks surrounded by debris and broken trees, we met some kind neighbors we had never before met. Everyone was outside, cleaning, walking as families and coming together as a community to help one another and get things done! Our neighborhood looked amazing in no-time and once again, the mere humanity of the whole situation shined throughout the chaotic circumstances.
As the coming week came and my doTERRA team and I aimed to get our businesses and our lives back on track, everyone couldn’t help but feel a bit in shock and emotional about the whole situation. While we and our community were overall okay, it’s naive to think the whole experience wasn’t a bit of a trauma for a lot of people. As I spoke to many people both in group situations and one-on-one, I realized it was important as a leader to my doTERRA team who looked to me for guidance and who’s businesses were the last thing on their mind (like me) to coach from my heart. I reminded them of the below 3 topics when it comes to getting your life back on track. Together, one-by-one, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, we all began to make progress, connect, and feel our confidence lift. It was toward the end of the week during one of my doTERRA “Success Check In’s”, one of my leaders, Julie, mentioned how grateful she was to have our tribe to nourish and support her during this time. We all agreed and I told her that is my vision with trubeautyMOVEMENT, to create a sisterhood of “women supporting women” and being real about what we go through and conquering together like the Goddesses we are! It was then that I realized, not everyone who just went through this has that emotional support system and how lonely they must feel. That is what inspired me to write this post – that if it helps just one person reading it or makes one person feel less alone, then it is worth it!
Below you will find the advice I gave my team post Hurricane Irma. Whether it’s Irma or just some other time in your life when you are feeling like a Hot Mess, may this advice make you feel less alone and may our doTERRA “Hot Mess” Blend give you instant gratification re-assuring you that you SO got this!!! Just remember to take things ONE. STEP. AT. A. TIME.
3 STEPS TO CUTTING THROUGH THE CHAOS WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE A HOT MESS (& DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START)
Whether you have just been through an intense experience like I described above or you’re just feeling like things are adding up and a bit overwhelmed in your life, learn to be more patient with yourself and where you’re at. When I say patience, remember to practice patience both physically (especially if you feel worn out physically the way we did) and most important, emotionally. We take on so much emotion when we are juggling a lot and it’s important to allow ourselves to fully feel what is going on deep within and be okay with our feelings so we can move on. Now, this is not to say we should be stuck in our feelings for weeks on-end (that’s just not healthy and can often lead to depression and other mental health issues), but it’s important to accept and come to terms with what happened so you can understand it, process it, interpret it, get closure and move on. A big part of that is taking time for a creative outlet that acts as therapy for you. For me, it’s this very thing, my writing! My writing allows me to process, move through and – hopefully – connect to others so they feel less alone. It allows me to feel fulfilled and creative. This process is important, because when you are in the root chakra (survival mode), creativity allows you to move out of the red chakra into the orange chakra, which is all about creative expression and allows you to move into your happiness and ultimately back to the highest version of who you are! However, you must first practice creativity to transition. This technique can also be helpful if you have loved ones with depression or anxiety issues; while it’s not easy, taking time to re-introduce and encourage those people back to their creative outlet for healing just as you do yourself is important when people feel lost. I don’t care who you are… how good looking, rich, successful, famous, underweight, overweight, kind, rude, happy, sad, popular, lonely – we ALL need a creative outlet and a place to express ourselves. Find yours to get your life & your happiness back on track!
Focus is an important skill-set to attain and let’s be honest not everyone has it. In today’s society, it’s not easy either; we are constantly being marketed to and it’s everything from social media apps, to advertisements, to food packaging’s full-time job to distract you. This is where you need to SIMPLIFY. Take whatever you have going on, whatever you need to do, and start to eliminate the things that are not urgent responsibilities or positive creative outlets. Anything unhealthy, toxic, or draining that does not help you to get to where you area going to get your life back on track can go on the back-burner of the time being until you feel more on your game in your world. Then, as your swagger builds, you can add back the extras (and you can unplug and re-priortize again anytime those feelings come back if they do).
List off everything in a chaotic way that is still on your list mentioned above that you need to get done or want to get done to re-center. Then number that list in order of priority. For example, 1 is shower and proper hygiene taking care of yourself, 2 job to pay bills, 3 is laundry, 4 make bed, 5 pay upcoming bill, 6 take time for your creative outlet, 7 is call back that family member you’ve been wanting to connect with. Whatever your list reads, after you number the chaotic list, make a new chronological list so that it lists out everything you need to get done in a clean, pretty organized way that your mind can understand, absorb, and start to believe it’s possible to get it done. Last, chronologicsl ACTION that list to build confidence and feel more in control of your world!
SURPRISE TIP! SEEK COMMUNITY!
Whatever you are experiencing in life, I don’t care how silly or stupid, or awkward, or dumb or embarrassing it is, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! …can I be real here? One of my biggest pet peeves is those Instagramers, you tubers, bloggers etc who only post perfect pictures and perfect captions about their perfect life and never show their real side, their vulnerable side. It’s not real, in fact it’s the exact opposite – it’s FAKE! We Live in a world that is social media obsessed and yet people and studies are reporting that people are more depressed than ever and more isolated than ever. How ironic considering we are all constantly being “social.” I encourage you to seek a real community locally who may share the things you are into (for me I’ve always found yoga communities in all the states I’ve lived have cut through the chaos a bit and helped me find my tribe, but if yoga is not for you, try a Meet Up based on your interests). Also, remember who you follow, where you spend money, what you watch, what you eat, the places you go all supports those people and things. So, be conscious about your choices and be sure to follow people who are positive influences on you, relatable, and inspire you (not discourage you) to live your best life! It always amazes me that people say they get depressed about their life after being on social media and I’m like, “Well, then stop following those people! Seek people who make you feel alive, inspired, relatable and happy!” THAT’S YOUR ‘TRU’ TRIBE! That’s what I want to create with my trubeautyMOVEMENT, a safe, inspired place for all to connect, relate, laugh, cry, feel less alone, and be inspired to live their best life too! Whether it’s me or someone else, just follow those who speak to your heart and unfollow those who only speak to your mind (there’s a difference). I absolutely love my yoga/oily community and my doTERRA team and our tribe of growing goddesses… none of us are perfect and we are all still figuring this life thing out, but what matters is that we support each other along the way. Seek community both in person and online that lifts you up (doesn’t drag you down). You are the company you keep after all. The people you surround yourself (or don’t surround yourself with) have a profound effect on who you are and who you are becoming no matter how strong or independent you are.
ESSENTIAL OILS FOR DISORGANIZATION & CHAOS
doTERRA “Hot Mess” Blend:
- 12 Drop Clary Sage
12 Drops Balance
12 Drops Serenity
12 Drops Peace
12 Drops Console
Fill rest of 10 ML Rollerball with doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil (Carrier Oil)
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Message on any trubeautyMOVEMENT social media (connect from www.trubeautyMOVEMENT.com) or email heather.hooke@trubeautyMOVEMENT.com