When Kelly and I first sat down to brainstorm a plan for our featured guests for the GNO this year, she was insistent that we needed a professional home organizer on board to talk about “Spring Cleaning” for April. I obviously agreed, but who? We didn’t either one have her in our networks.
And so the search began.
Starting from scratch, looking for the perfect fit of a woman to entrust with our community is tough. She has to have the confidence, skills, and experience to teach us something valuable. But right alongside that, she must exude the humility and openness to be able to share into the depths of her story. We all have a story, we’re just not all ready to share it. Then I found Tonia.
She was all that and a bag of chips (& salsa, can’t forget the salsa)!
She lives close by, check. We have mutual friends, check. She’s been in business for over 13 years and built a team of strong and fun women beside her (longevity, The Sisterhood), check. She’s written a book (knowledge, discipline, willingness to share it), check. Her content is brilliant and helpful. She’s bright, positive, generous and encouraging on social media, check. Alright, she’s ready for the real test.
The cold call.
When I first reached out to Tonia, she was professional, but open and kind. She’s extremely intelligent, but hilarious and personable. We covered the basics then I told her about The Sisterhood of the Girl’s Night Out. She instantly got it and the conversation took flight. She said, “Oh I’ve got a story! I’d be happy to share it, if it can inspire someone to go after what they’re passionate about.”
And off we went, straight into the depths of her story.
Her story is about how a mama, with a big corporate career, decided to take a good look at the things she enjoyed and was good at; shopping, organizing and yoga. Then gather her girlfriends to brainstorm. Which inevitably gave her to courage to take a leap in the direction of her heart.
The journey she started that day in 2004, led her places she NEVER expected to go.
It broke her heart and took her to the depths. But it was there she found her courage. She stayed open. She kept fighting. She kept doing the next right thing.
The journey made her.
It made her the strong woman, who is able to lead, connect and support others, even in the most chaotic times of their lives. It made her the empathetic friend, who’s walked through deep wounds and is willing to just hold your hand. It made her an understanding mother, who can guide her children because the difficult path is not new. It made her a grateful wife, who knows just exactly how blessed she is.
It made her the perfect sister to not only impart her wisdom on organizing our lives, but to share the story of hers.
The journey is never easy. It’s never what you expect, or hope it will be. But it is making you.
It’s making you who you were meant to be.
Keep doing the next right thing.
to more love,