Detach from Your Past… Attach to Your Future

I awoke at 3:00 AM. As I lay there in the stillness of the night, a small streak of light came through the window from the streetlight. I gave a long stretch, let out a sigh, and whispered, “Let the journey begin.”  As my feet touched the floor, I had peace in my heart. It wasn’t about where I had been in recent months, but rather I had peace about where my life was headed.

I jumped in the shower, made my coffee, fed the cats, packed the rental car with my luggage, keyed in my destination address to the GPS, left a note for my house sitter, and was on the road at exactly 3:59 AM. As I drove the car Southwest on I-44, there was peace in my heart that I had not felt for quite some time. I had someone close to me accuse me of “running from something,” when in reality, I was running towards something. I was leaving the toxicity in my life behind, while heading forward to create a wonderful life for me and my children.

buryingmypastTwenty-three hours later, I arrived at my first stopping place. As I pulled into the mountains of Sedona, Arizona, I still had peace. It was 6:00 AM on December 31, 2013. I sat on the top of a mountain vortex bundled up with my favorite yoga blanket, sipping a delightful cup of coffee, and watching the sunrise over the Eastern sky. It was beautiful, peaceful, and it represented the dawning of a new day…a day that had been long overdue. As I sat on the top of that red rock mountain, I heard an audible voice say ever so clearly, “Detach from your past so that you can attach to your future.”  Upon hearing those words, I had a chill run from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head. It felt like a vacuum was sucking all stale energy out of my body. Immediately, I knew why God had led me to this mountain…I knew what my day was about to consist of…A funeral would take place before the sunset on that same day, the last day of 2013.

After hours of contemplating and reflecting on pivotal circumstances in my life, I realized that a great and wonderful life was waiting, but God couldn’t deliver it to me until I buried my past. That afternoon while hiking along a ridge, I did something I should have done years ago. I wrote letters to my abusers, and I buried them in a small grave. I spent hours on that mountain writing, reflecting, purging, crying, and screaming. At the end of the day, I found the same peace that I had found while watching the sunrise that morning.

As I woke on January 1, 2014, a new life began. I didn’t look back. I was only looking forward. The entire day was spent with a man by the name of Yogi Blair that I met on my journey. We spent 6 hours hiking through the Vortexes, meditating, talking, and doing yoga on mountain tops. It ranked as one of the most amazing days of my life.

After four days in Sedona, I drove up to the mountains of Ouray, Colorado, where I spent three days receiving great clarity for my future. I stayed in the most amazing Bed and Breakfast, bathed in the hot springs, drank at the brewery every night, sat by a fireplace, wrote chapters for my next book, and walked the snow covered streets of the rustic town that had a 360 degree view of the snow covered mountains.

I left Ouray for the final leg of my journey, which was about to take me back to a place that I had not been in 43 years. I drove through the final night to arrive in a small town in Eastern Kansas. It was somewhere I knew I had to return to in order to move forward. Ever since I opened “The Box” on October 4th (you can read about it here), I knew I had to return to where my abuse started at the age of three. This was the day. As my car pulled into the outskirts of Clay Center, Kansas, I felt my pulse start racing, chills went up my spine, and I felt a cloud of darkness cover my soul. My initial instinct was to turn my car around and race away as fast as I could. However, the strength inside me knew I had to finish this leg of my journey. That day, I did something that was long overdue. I faced my demons for the final time.

These are just the highlights from my incredible spiritual journey. It is is written in much greater detail in my upcoming book trilogy about the story of my life.

What are your demons? What part of your past is holding you from receiving the blessings of your future? Remember, in order to move forward, sometimes we must look in that rearview mirror. I spent decades of my life letting my past define my future. Don’t make the mistake I made. Instead embrace your past, face your demons, bury the hurt, scream out the anger, but most importantly, find peace from within.

How do you get peace? You bless your curses. It might sound odd, but in order to find peace, you have to turn them into blessings. For years, I spent my time hating people, places, and things. Now, I look at them as if I am a third party looking from the outside in. I have been able to detach from them enough to say, “That is not who I am now.”  I find blessings in my child abuse years. Why? Because it molded me into the strong, beautiful, sexy, loving, passionate woman I am today.


Take out a piece of paper and write out the things in your past that keep you from moving forward. Be honest with yourself. For each item it keeps you from moving into your future, write out three blessings for each item. As an example, if you are bitter over a divorce, you might choose three things such as: 1) I am blessed that I have my wonderful children as a result of that union, 2) I am grateful that we got to build a house together, that I still find love and peace in, and 3) We traveled to some wonderful places that I got to experience. It doesn’t matter what the items are, as long as they are true in your heart. You can’t just say the blessings. You must FEEL the blessings.

Live with passion,

Laurie Calzada
-Author and Motivational Speaker-

A Jar, Golf Balls and Beer… The Keys to Balancing Your Life!

I always love it when someone or something enters my life at exactly the right moment! This week, while listening to my regular radio morning show, they read the following story. I heard this object lesson years ago, but it resonated with me greatly this week due to some major decisions I am about to make in my life.  When I teach life coaching, I focus a lot on Balance of Life and Quality of Life.  I share experiences from my own life where it took me until the age of 40 to understand how to balance my personal and professional life effectively. 

Bottom line… At the end of the day, all that matters is golf balls and beer!  Here is how the story goes:

A professor stood before his philosophy class with some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

Next, the professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes!”

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. “Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things: your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions—things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

“The pebbles are the other things that matter: your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else—the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room to have a couple of beers with a friend.”

The next time you are at a point when things in your life seem too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day seems not enough, remember to concentrate on the largest part of your jar… the golf balls! 

When you are feeling overwhelmed by life, ask yourself, what golf balls did I focus on today?  Write them down.  Then call up a friend and go have a few beers! 

Live with passion,

Laurie Calzada
Author and Motivational Speaker

Where has Chivalry Gone?

Last week, I was travelling to Atlanta. Traditionally, I do not carry on my luggage because of the security hassles.  However, I was meeting someone at my destination, and I had a 2 ½ hour wait for them to arrive.  I could not pass through security to collect my luggage and reenter, so carry on it was!

While boarding a 7:00 AM flight in St. Louis, there were already four men standing in the aisle, chatting about the trip they were taking.  As I arrived at my seat, they stopped talking and wondered if I needed to pass through them to continue down the aisle.  I stated, “Oh, this is my seat here.”  Then, I proceeded to put my laptop case in the seat, lower the handle of my carry on, and lift it.  Immediately, I noticed the bin over my row was already full with these gentlemen’s luggage.  They had not even put it over their corresponding seats, so I turned around looking up and down the aisle.  I had to excuse myself in order to lift it over my head and their heads, so I could slide it into the nearest bin.  During this entire process, not one of them offered any assistance, and more interestingly, they all four stood in the aisle silently and watched me go through this process. 

As I took my seat, I shook my head and thought, “What on earth has happened to our society?” 

While buckling my seat, I giggled aloud as I reflected on a conversation a few months ago that I had with a male friend. I fondly refer to him as Eeyore, and he refers to me as Tigger.  We were out to dinner and Tango dancing, and he had picked me up at my place.  He is a southern gentleman, and a gentleman at that!  As he was opening my car door at the restaurant, I said “Thank you.  It is so nice to have your door opened.”  In his Eeyorish manner, he said, “It is women who killed chivalry in this country.”  Then, we got into a long conversation about it, and I can’t say I disagree with him.  He said you wouldn’t believe the weird looks he gets when he opens a door for a lady, pulls out her chair, pays for a meal, etc.  He told me an example about a woman he took to dinner as a friend, and they had a great conversation.  The next day, he sent her flowers to thank her for a lovely evening, and she was upset.   What?  Really?  OMG!

Therein lies the question, “What has happened to dating, courtship, and chivalry?”  Just last week, I had a female friend challenge me about not wanting “the company of a man.”  I have dozens of male friends of all walks of life: gay and straight, married and single, white collar and blue collar, old and young, short and tall, buff and skinny, etc.  If I need a night out, it only takes a call or two.  As with them, if they need a night out, I am there for them.  To all the single people out there: You don’t have to be on a date to be happy.  You have to be happy to find a good date!   Or course I would love to find my soul mate in life,as would everyone.  However, I don’t need to hunt him town… He will come to me when the time is right. 

To all you men that still believe in treating a woman like a lady, raise your hand PLEASE! 

To all you women out there who don’t like being treated like a lady, sit down and SHUT UP!

To all single people out there, work on yourself before you work on a relationship.  It will only enhance your experience when you find that “someone.”  Don’t just date to date.  Date to find your ultimate mate.

To all married or exclusive couples out there, cherish your relationship.  Treat your loved one with love and respect.  Remember to treat your loved one the way you want to be treated.  If you nag and complain about them, you will only get negative results.  Cherish what made you fall in love with them.

The next time you see a woman trying to lift something, carrying something, or just walking through a door, don’t ask yourself “Should I offer to assist?”  Just do it! You may be the only person to touch her life that day.

The next time a man opens a door, pulls out a chair, sends you flowers, or tells you how lovely you look, say “Thank You!” with great enthusiasm.  Don’t assume he wants something from you.  Assume he is giving something to you!

Remember, you have a choice to leave a fingerprint behind every day.  You choose if it is positive or negative.

Live with passion,

Laurie Calzada
Author and Motivational Speaker