The story of a crossroads, divine intervention, and an audacious dream.
WHO IS HOPE FLANSBURG?
Author and Self-care and Wellness Educator, Hope Flansburg teaches people about the affects of stress on our overall health — emotional, physical and spiritual health. She educates women on how stress affects how we show up in the world, how we show up in relationships, how we show up ourselves. She incorporates self-care, tools, tips, tricks to make it realistic reachable and functional, but also intertwines the social and emotional awareness of stress and self-care into her romance novels.
Relationship and connection with others are really important, but also how we feel about ourselves, what we’ve been through, trauma, loss, grief — all of those kinds of things that break us — impact our relationships with ourselves, others, and higher power.
WHAT TO DO WHEN LIFE FALLS APART AROUND YOU
Early in 2020, Hope’s business was thriving with live retreats. But when COVID hit, like many other businesses, she had to cancel her in-person retreats and events.
From the time she became a mother, she knew she didn’t want to do life on her own without a higher power. For her, that higher power is a God. Over the years, it became a relationship she realized she needed to take with her in everything that she does in life, whether it was parenting, in her marriage, her business or her friendships.
Like any relationship, it’s something that she’s had to prioritize and work at. Both her relationship with herself and God are super powerful aspects to how she does life. So during that rocky early season of COVID, that’s where her intentions and mind were centered. Having to begin a different path with her business, she knew she could not figure this out alone – she needed God walking beside her on this.
WELCOMING DIVINE INTERVENTION
Amid this rocky season, I was preparing to launch my book, Dare to Decide. I asked Hope to be the emcee for my global book launch event. She enthusiastically said yes! and began reading the book.
Little did she realize it but this was going to propel her forward.
So many people wrestle with the quandary of life direction:
What is my purpose? What am I supposed to be doing?
There has to be more than just this, I want fulfillment.
I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing but I’m not feeling really fulfilled in it.
The book Dare to Decide is a conversational journey around the confusion that so many people have when they’re daring to make a significant decision or daring to make transitions at a crossroads in life. This is the conversation Hope immersed herself in as she read the book.
During our interview, Hope reflected on that first time she started reading the book:
“My husband and I were feeling very grateful that he had job stability, even though ideally it’s not the job that we necessarily wanted to stay in. When crisis hit, and people were losing their jobs and life was really tragically shifting for them, we still had job stability, so we kind of had to look at that. We had to look at what was happening with my business and events being canceled, budget cuts in my other job, things like that and where that was going to take us.
So Emily asked me to be her emcee and I’m like, oh yeah I’m gonna read this book it’s gonna be great.
Emily is a beautiful writer. She’s a talented writer. So for her to not only have the gift of writing the way that she does, and then putting her heart and passion to help others as a coach, into this book, I mean it is beautifully done. I can’t even think of another word to describe it better but it is just soul punching in the most powerful ways.
So I’m reading this book and I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is not only touching my heart with the words that Emily uses! The phrases, the connection with people, and her heartfelt stories, all of these great things, were touching my heart. It was almost like she was speaking my language.
I was like, oh my gosh I have thought that so many times! Oh my gosh, that’s exactly how I feel! Oh my gosh, that’s one of my morals and values that I’ve been bringing into my life but sometimes in life we can get off track. Reality hits hard sometimes snd we need that support to get us back on track with what we’re meant to do and where we’re meant to be.”
INCUBATING AN AUDACIOUS DREAM
Fourteen years ago, Hope and her husband Sky started talking about an audacious dream.
They wanted to live on water and they wanted to live in the mountains. Her husband is big in hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and arrowhead hunting. Hope was a yoga and fitness instructor at the time. He would go off on his male hunting trips, but Hope would stay home with kids.
One day, Sky said, “Wouldn’t it be really cool if we had a place where husbands could go hunting and fishing but they could bring their wives and you could do your thing with them? Since the wives didn’t really want to hunt, the men to go together hunting and fishing, and the women could get their self-care.”
As it usually does, life took them on this journey, along paths, and they left the dream on the sidelines, unsure what to do about it. FIve years ago, Sky and Hope became empty-nesters. Four years ago, Hope opened up Hope for Health Wellness and started collaborating and holding the events. She earned her certification as a Wellness Educator.
They continued to talk about wanting to live on the water, wanting a little getaway where people could come to a small little event center.
THEY DARED TO DECIDE TO LIVE THEIR AUDACIOUS DREAM
A month after the Dare to Decide book launch, Hope’s husband came to her.
He said, “You know this dream that we’ve been talking about for several years now? Since I’m working, since we’re on this path and I’m gonna stay in my job, and this is what we’re doing. I think we can make this dream happen.”
In our interview, Hope reflected on the divine timing that summer. “I truly feel because of that book, when he said that, I was like yes, I am ready. We are doing this.I have the competence, and I have the power, and I have the support, and I have God walking along beside me. I know him and I trusted him.
And we’re doing it. You know what, we just took a leap of faith, and we’re doing it. It’s interesting because we’ve kind of manifested this and had this intention and prayed on it for many many years. And once it started, it has spiraled like one thing after another after another. It doesn’t mean there weren’t obstacles that got in the way. When you’re on your path and to be doing the things that you’re supposed to be, you’re going to be tested and there’s going to be challenges. But the signs were so much bigger that this is exactly what we’re supposed to be doing.”
Hope and her husband sold their Colorado home, bought lakefront property in Montana, and are months away from building their home and retreat center!
SELF CARE: INCREASE YOUR CAPACITY FOR YOUR AUDACIOUS DREAM
Since Hope is an expert in self-care, I asked her how she lived out her message while navigating putting their things in storage, purchasing property in another state, coordinating building plans, etc.
Here are her top 3 tips for self-care and increasing your capacity to handle your audacious dream:
1. Get support.
Hope says, “I have several tools and I had several coaches that I go back to. I feel very blessed I’ve had so many wonderful mentors and coaches cross my path that have planted those seeds of support when needed. So they’re little voices in the back of my head.
2. Change your What-If Downies to What If Uppies
How many times do we spend our life on the What If Downey?
What if this happens? What if I get sick? What if you don’t have enough money? What if that thing we don’t want to happen, happens?
Hope says, “One of the tools that I have to be reminded of is where are my thoughts going? It always comes back to my thoughts. So, when I can really sit and be alone, and have the time to reflect, I have to ask myself, where are my thoughts running rampant? And then if I’m constantly “what-iffing” the things I don’t want in my life, I will make a list. And I’ll start “What-iffing” all the things I do want.
What if we have enough money?
What if the time frame is perfect?
What if building costs go down?
What if we get our permits? What if they approve our permits in the perfect time?
What if my ideal clients does cross my path?
What if [that thing that I do want]?”
3. Journal for Thought Source Clarity
Hope says, “It’s really strange, but our minds are very very powerful tools. And what happens if, if we’re focusing on the things that we don’t want, our stress levels are going to skyrocket. Our limbic system hears all these negative thoughts, it goes to our adrenal glands, and our adrenal glands produce more cortisol. That’s one of the things I teach in my wellness classes. Stress spirals constantly where our thoughts are feeding our stress.
When we make a shift on where our thoughts go, it starts feeling calm. It doesn’t mean the circumstances haven’t changed, but we have control of our thoughts instead of letting our thoughts control us.
I have to ask myself, where are my thoughts or my mindset coming from? Am I seeking my answers from fear, which comes from my past experiences, maybe things that haven’t gone so well? Or am I seeking my answers from a higher power? Where am I pulling my energy from?
Then I’ll just start journaling. When I journal that really helps me separate if my thoughts are coming from their past experiences were from seeking my answers from my higher power which is faith and trust.
4. Ask for Support
Yep, it’s so important, we said it twice. We’re human. We all get off track, even when we know what to do. And when we get in a funk, and our thoughts start dragging us down, having supportive people around you who will remind you of the tools you have is HUGE!
That’s why Chapter 23 on finding your Dare Friends is included in Dare to Decide. For so long, I (Emily) waited for others to “discover” me, to call me out, to choose me. In a sense, it’s waiting to be rescued. But you don’t need to wait for that. You have tools and resources within your control that you can utilize, and your support network can help remind you of that. The first step is recognizing what support you might need — before you even need it, if possible. It won’t all come from one relationships, it will come from little pieces here and there. When you realize how you need support, you recognize it when you see it. You can learn how to ask for it, or position yourself to receive it so you can keep propelling forward, as well as make the most of where you are now.
IT’S YOUR TURN TO DARE TO DECIDE!
It is time for a major shift in your life? Do you sense change is brewing, and you want to position yourself to be ready to transition powerfully and elegantly?
You can get started by reading Dare to Decide: Discovering Peace, Clarity and Courage at Life’s Crossroads, available at Amazon in Canada or US — or order it wherever you usually order books. You can read the first chapter FREE at daretodecide.ca.
Then, join the Dare to Decide book club! Find more info on the next one and sign up at https://daretodecide.ca/experiences.