If you’ve been to one of my live presentations then you’ve likely heard the story of how I transitioned from Air Force Instructor Pilot to Green Building Construction Inspector to Developmental Coach, but in the event you are new to me and my work, allow me to introduce myself.
I consider myself to have lived a very blessed life. My parents taught me from my earliest memories to go after what I wanted in life, regardless of the obstacles I encountered along the way. That “programming” has served me very well as I set illogical goal after unattainable goal after impossible goal. It never really occurred to me that I might not hit the mark… I was like NASA – FAILURE WAS NOT AN OPTION.
That’s how I earned Valedictorian of my high school class…
That’s how I got a full scholarship in the Air Force Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech as an Aerospace (and Ocean) Engineering major…
That’s how I got my private pilot’s license in only 3 months…
That’s how I won a coveted pilot’s scholarship and became the first female Air Force Pilot to graduate from Virginia Tech…
That’s how I went on to become an Air Force Instructor Pilot…
I was sure that I would just keep stepping right along the path to the life of my dreams – to be a wife and a mother. BUT, until that happened I would settle for my second place goal – NASA Space Shuttle Pilot.
And then I met Mr. Wonderful.
We got married and had two beautiful little girls – right on schedule – exactly according to my plans (Daughter #1 was even born on her due date… Daughter #2 was 3 days late and I thought the world was ending).
When we separated from the Air Force to raise our family, we moved to Virginia. We built a big beautiful custom home and my husband was hired as a pilot for a commuter airline. I thrilled in being a mom – I loved everything about being a wife and mother. Those roles completed me. My marriage was idyllic. We loved all the same things. We never argued. Our friends looked at us as the model of what a great marriage should be. It was perfect.
Once the girls started pre-school, I created a part-time position at the construction company that had designed and built our home. It was just a few hours a day during school hours, but it kept me busy (there are only so many ways to clean an already clean house) and the interactions with grown-ups, while my husband was away on trips, was very nice.
As time passed, I found myself feeling restless – like something was missing, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what that something was. I had everything I wanted – the family, the home, the cars, the money – but I became more and more anxious. I was discontent (with what I didn’t know) and I was terrified that something would happen to take my “perfect” life away from me. I also felt like a spoiled brat for wanting “more” (again, more of what I didn’t know), for not being able to appreciate and be satisfied with all the good in my life. My husband even confronted me about my attitude, asking me what it was going to take to make me happy. I didn’t know the answer.
Then it happened… We were making Christmas cookies while watching our two young daughters play in the snow. My husband was quiet. He wouldn’t look me in the eye. I asked him what was wrong. He changed the subject. I pressed the issue. He sighed deeply, looked up at me, and told me that he was in love with someone else and that he was leaving me and the girls. Our perfect marriage was over.
I felt my heart break into a million tiny pieces that morning. I begged him to stay, but he left anyway. Ten days later he and all his things were gone. It was as final as if he had died. In fact, the man I married may as well have been dead – it was that final. I cried an ocean of tears and played the last 11 years over and over in my mind trying to see how it had all gone so wrong.
As it was all playing out I didn’t notice the grief transforming into a deep depression. I went through the motions of life – working, taking care of my girls, doing what needed to be done, but inside I was miserable.
And for the next 8 years, I threw the grandest pity party known to man. It impacted my relationships, my health, and everything else about my life.
In 2009, I was approached by a friend to participate in a book study group. I had no interest in it, but he kept badgering me about it until I agreed. The book we were working through was “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. In the beginning, I just sat in the group with my arms folded making my displeasure apparent to everyone in the room. However, I had agreed to read the book, so I did. Week by week, I read more and suddenly my disdain morphed into curiosity.
WHAT IF the things this guy wrote about were true?
I started thinking about how my life had unfolded. I started out with the subconscious programming that anything was possible and that if I wanted something badly enough and went after it with a purpose, I could have it. The military supported that mindset and revealed the power of systems to supercharge the creative process. I suddenly realized that my single-minded focus on a vision had both created my success and destroyed my life. It was the same energy – I had just directed it differently. I decided to embark upon a grand experiment to set my sights on a HUGE goal and then essentially “obsess” on it while blocking as much negativity as I possibly could from entering my awareness.
The results were mind-blowing! My health turned around in a matter of a few months. All the prescription drugs I was taking (including a drug I was told I would need to take every day for the rest of my life) were discontinued. My financial situation improved dramatically. I met my true soulmate. I was happier than I had ever been in my life. It was miraculous!
This epiphany led to a question: WHAT IF I could put this information into a system that other people could use to create their vision for their very best life (and to understand the destructive power of stagnation – not having a goal to strive for – and negative thoughts). The answer to that question is Cheslow Achievement Group. For the past decade, I have been working with individuals, groups, and companies to share the success system that I developed and I have been humbled by the things my clients have achieved.
It’s been an exciting ride, and I’d love to share what I’ve learned along the way with you.