How to make a decision (+ I’m going to BlogHer LA)

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We’re presented with many opportunities every day. Most of them we don’t even notice, some we don’t care about and a few we contemplate.

“I don’t know what to do. Should I say yes or no?”

That’s usually when fear and doubt steps in and turns the decision-making process into an agonizing one.

I get an abundance of opportunities each day to filter through. I used to be plagued with indecision and fear until I learned how to make the right decisions.

Sometimes it’s an instant jump out of my seat, “hell yes!” Other times, it’s a “no thank you. Delete” and sometimes it’s a “Whoa I’m not sure. I really want to do this, but is it a good choice for the long run?”

When I received the email that we’d been selected as a Voices of the Year Honouree in the Eye Candy division for the BlogHer conference in LA next week, I filed it in the “I reaaallly want to do this, but it’s better that I sit on it for awhile and see what my gut says.”

Sometimes our gut can’t give a definite answer if it hasn’t had time to collect data and analyse. Sometimes if you throw out those fear-based excuses: “I don’t have the money, I don’t have the time. I can’t leave the kids” it’s best to give yourself a few days to sit with the choice and decide whether that is in fact truth or fear.

Should I go to LA for the BlogHer conference?

Kakadu National Park - a natural wonder of Australia. Click inside to see the others!

I submitted this photo for the competition because I absolutely love this moment captured on our Australia road trip.

It tells a story for the person looking at it, but it tells a richer one for me. I know what I was feeling in that moment: intense gratitude, awe, power, love and connection – all the reasons I travel.

That moment still lives within me every day. It’s where I go in my meditation space to sit quietly on those rocks and swim and gaze out into timelessness. I love Gunlom Falls and I knew it was a photo that would be noticed. It holds way too much power not to be.

But, I thought we’d be in the US at the time the BlogHer conference was on in LA so it would be an easy , “Sure I can come to receive the award, to learn at the conference, and meet new and amazing people.”

That decision is a little harder when you live 7182 miles away over the largest ocean in the world.

“It’s too expensive to go all that way (doubt and fear). I don’t want to leave the kids for that long (guilt) I bloody hate flying to LA. It’s such a long flight for such a short time and the jetlag is horrible (fear and unwillingness to get uncomfortable and sacrifice)”

So I sat with it for a few days. Opening up the conference page to see if I really wanted to go. Reading reviews. Asking friends. All of that pointless because I knew what I really wanted, I was just allowing those above fears to speak.

Own your truth

“What do you really want Caroline?”

I owned my answer:

I really want to go. This is an opportunity I don’t want to say no to. I know it was meant to be. The Universe is opening a door that I asked help opening

I can’t say no.

It was a deep knowing within me that this was something that was intended for me, and despite the hassle of the flight, the expense, and the decision to leave the girls, I just could not say no to it.

I have no idea what’s going to come from the BlogHer conference. It could be a total flop and I gain nothing from it, but based upon life’s patterns and the intensity of my feelings,  I know it’s one of those turning points for me.

I share this with you to give you an insight into the process I go through when making decisions, which can be a struggle for many people. The fear of getting it wrong often cripples us. But, the answers are so easy to find. They lie within you. No one else can make the decisions for you, and if you learn to tune into your own inner voice – to what is important to you and WHY – you’ll never get it wrong.

How liberating is that?

To know that you’re always in control and you can figure it out. It just takes a bit of time, a bit of introspection, a bit of peering into your heart, and a belief that you can overcome any obstacles to make it happen.

Why is going to BlogHer a good decision

BlogHer LA

First, dig deep into the why. If the purpose and clear is strong, the decision is a Yes Ma’am.

I’m a woo woo girl. Many of you know that. Some people don’t like it – they bitch about me in forums about it! Ha! She who laughs last laughs hardest.

I love being a woo woo girl. It makes life magical and mystical, which helps keep me tapped into awe, love and joy. It’s one of the most powerful ways to manifest and something we talk a lot about in my Money Mindfulness program

It’s one of the reasons my life has been one long travel adventure going into it’s 20th chapter. (in years that is) When we’re surrounded by such vile hatred and destruction in our world, the magical mysticism is what keeps me sane and believing in goodness.

That travel photo has so much spiritual mojo attached to it, I knew that in its selecting for that honourable award, it was opening the door for me to go. If it were any other photo, I may not have felt the same way.

The magic is at work. Don’t say no to the magic.

It’s everything I’ve been asking for

I don’t set S.M.A.R.T. goals. I’m loving reading James Altucher’s The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth  at the moment as he believes the same as me – goals cause heartbreak.

Instead, I have a vision I’m working towards. I’m motivated enough by that vision to take the daily steps required to get me to that vision. I like to leave the path to that vision open for serendipitous events and magic. I don’t believe I have to do all the hard work. I believe when your vision is aligned with your values and desires and you have pure intentions to serve, the Universe jumps on board to help you.

You know our heart and soul is pouring into America Unplugged. You know I don’t feel whole unless I’m living in America – even while you’re dealing with the threat of Trump.

I’ve been intending to grow our presence in the US. I’ve been intending to connect more with mothers and the family travel market. I’ve ben intending to grow our social presence. I’ve been intending to get my name out there in America.

Sometimes that’s a part of my story I’m afraid to own.

I come from a tall poppy syndrome culture – where standing out is not a good thing. I know every culture suffers from this in some regard, but in Australia, it’s a huge barrier to overcome and I’ve been torn down many times.

Owning the desire to be and do more often makes me uncomfortable. But unless I own it and move through the discomfort I’ll never have what I want.

I feel like I’ve done all I can in Australia. I’ve hit a barrier and my soul is screaming to keep growing.

It’s telling me, “You don’t belong here anymore. There’s nowhere else for you to reach. The US is where it’s at now. It’s where your growth and future lies”

It’s not a vague “wouldn’t it be nice” dreaming. It’s a pulling and a calling and a knowing.

So this is an opportunity I can’t say no to. It might not go anywhere, but it’s an opportunity. When you walk through those doors it solidifies your intention to the Universe. It says, “I’m bloody serious here. I’m committed. I’m doing what makes me uncomfortable because I believe in this dream and the higher purpose for it.”

And in true woo woo form it, replies, “I hear ya. and I’m going to help you.” The right people and the right opportunities come.

So you see, I can’t say no.

“Craig. We’ve received an award for the BlogHer conference It’s in LA in a month. I want to go and I think it’s a great opportunity for us”

“Oh really. That does sound good. Great for America Unplugged. Let’s make it happen.”

Phew. Effortless. On. Path.

Overcoming the fears

overcoming fears BlogHer conference

What was originally holding you back? In what limiting ways was fear speaking to you as to why you couldn’t?

If you can find a logical plan for them, the decision is a “Hell yes!”

Too expensive

Flights, accommodation, spending money, weak Aussie dollar, saving for America Unplugged. If any fear was going to stop me this was the one that would.

So consider:

How can I make this as cheap as possible? Can I use points? Can I share accommodation?

I can’t believe how cheap the flights are at the moment to the US. I’ve never flown to the US for $1000. Thank you, Universe.

I was tossing up between Qantas and Virgin. The prices were almost the same. I decided to go with Qantas because I have some points accrued with them. In flying to the US, I can accrue even more and our AMEX is attached to Qantas flights so I can earn triple points, which will help us with our flights to the US for the start of America Unplugged.

I’ll make cuts in other areas and take on a few extra freelance writing contracts I was going to say no to. You can always find ways to create the money for what you want. Many of us forget the power that we hold to create our own futures.

I’m super grateful to be in the position to take advantage of this opportunity. It stretches the budget and dings it a bit, but I see it as being an investment in our future and a short-term pain I’m prepared to make.

Always feel grateful for your privileges.

Make an intention to use this privilege as a way to serve well. I wake of a morning with the question, “How can I serve today? Who can I help?” The universe always sends me someone that day I can reach a hand out too.

The long flight and jet lag

Suck it up. That is all. Use the time to rest, read, write and watch movies. Pray for an upgrade. Have the jetlag plan ready. No alcohol, no coffee.

Switch the watch to LA time and try and sleep in their zone on the plane. Earth as soon as you arrive. Don’t fall asleep when you arrive until the evening.

I’m flying in two nights before the conference starts to give my body a chance to adjust. I don’t want to go all that way for BlogHer and be a walking zombie.

The return flight to Australia rarely jetlags me.

Leaving the girls

This is never an easy one. I debated over it for some time. I thought of all the mothers balancing a career with children. It’s never going to be a perfect balance.

So much of my life is spent juggling everything around the family and making decisions that are best for everyone. I feel this time it’s about making a choice that’s best for my vision. I’ve worked hard for it, and as I said, I know this is an important step. I trust in that feeling.

My focus is on making this trip to BlogHer so worthwhile that it helps create a better life for them. Plus, I think it’s important to be a strong role model or your children, particularly for me as I have two girls. I want them growing up seeing their mother working for their dreams and making gigantic leaps. I want them to know their dreams are also important and sacrifice is a part of that.

Besides, I know they’re in safe hands with Craig and will love the Daddy time.

The BlogHer Conference

Downtown Los Angeles
Photo: Dreamstime

BlogHer is the biggest blogging conference for women in the world. I’ve wanted to go to it for many years but the stars never aligned.

I love learning and a conference is a great way to do it. Even though many of the talks are aimed at beginners, all you need is one new insight to make it worthwhile. Sometimes seeing things from a different perspective is all you need. There are a few talks I’m looking forward to learning more about, particularly ones about Snapchat, vlogging, and appreciating your value.

BlogHer is really exciting as there are many parties and opportunities for networking. It’s nice to go to a conference where you don’t really know anyone as you haven’t placed yourself into any limiting cliques yet. This can easily happen when you attend conferences with all your friends so you miss the opportunity to meet new people. When you turn up not knowing anyone, you have endless choice!

If the thought of walking into a room and not knowing anyone scares you, don’t worry it freaks me out too! I suffer from the same social anxieties and am more of an introverted person. But, I have had a lot of experience with this now and have a few tips and tricks I can share in another post.

I will be meeting Erin Bender from Explore with Erin for the first time. She’s been hugely helpful to me offering insights on how BlogHer works. She’s also been given an Eye Candy award.

When I was deep asleep she went ahead and registered me for the Go R’Ving party as she knew it would be important for me and our America Unplugged trip and spaces would fill up before I awoke. How nice is that? I was so impressed with her thoughtfulness to do that for me.

She graciously offered to share a room, which I declined. I rarely get space to myself, so will be lapping up the quiet stillness of my own room. It’s a greater expense, but as someone who’s slightly introverted, I’ll need that to compose my energy and find my groundedness.

Know who you are and make decisions that stay true to that. Otherwise, you end up resentful and bitter and chaos ensues. I’m reading Brene Brown’s Rising Strong at the moment (loving it) and she shares a story of how chaos unfolded for her because she did not stay true to who she was. (btw I read multiple books at once!)

Lunch with Kim Kardashian

BlogHer announced last week that Kim Kardashian will be joining us for lunch on the Friday of the conference. I wanted to head butt the wall. Nooooooo. Why did they have to go and ruin a good conference? It was meant to be Sheryl Crow!

But, I took a step back and removed all judgements – What if she was okay? What if you ignored everything the media says (and perhaps her own social media updates!!) and allow yourself to see her as a person?

I’m working hard lately to practice judging less. Thank you Universe for the opportunity!

So now I’m intrigued, perhaps a little excited even to see her. I mean there’s no doubt she’s pretty savvy business-wise. I might just learn a few things and my intention for going to BlogHer is to learn, grow and connect. Kardashian just might be able to gift that to me. Open hearted living goes a long way.

So I think I might put it on my BlogHer bucket list now to get a selfie with Kim Kardashian – on her accounts of course. Ha ha ha. You can just see me now elbowing everyone out of the way and climbing over people’s backs to be the first!

I am excited to hear Sarah Michelle Gellar speak as well. She’s also had a lot of success building a digital business. We took the girls to Movie World in the school holidays. I was lining up for 40 minutes with Kalyra and her best friend to go on the Scooby Doo ride. The movie was playing and I told Kalyra I was going to see Sarah speak in LA. She looked at me wide-eyed with excitement. I think she’s okay with me going to America without her now.

Downtown LA

I haven’t decided where I’m staying yet. I’m tossing up whether to stay the entire time in Downtown LA where the conference is or maybe spend the first two nights somewhere else. I’m not that fussed on moving much since I’ll only be there for six nights, but I’m not sure if I’ll get bored with Downtown. I’ve never been before so I am excited to explore this hip and happening place of LA.

Maybe it’s just better to stay there because to be honest I’m not a big fan of LA and Santa Monica has always been a bit of a blah disappointment to me. When I go to LA I usually go to Hermosa Beach, it’s the only place I like, but for this short trip maybe not the case.

Even though I don’t like LA, I feel so alive with the thought that I’ll be there on US soil next week. So. Alive.

Tell me what you think in the comments. Can you justify a week in Downtown LA when three of those days ill be taken up with the conference? Anyone else going to BlogHer?

P.S. Follow my BlogHer and LA adventure on Instagram @ytravelblog). It’s where I put most things. A few updates will go on Facebook and Instagram but Snapchat is all the behind the scenes fun stuff. It’s raw and easy to do! The fun starts on Tuesday the 2nd August! And Notes on the Road is where I send the most personal behind the scenes emails.

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How to make a decision. I'm going to BlogHer LA

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