The Road to Freedom
A day in late February, 2018
There’s a delicious moment in time… between sleeping and waking…
Only if you wake when you’ve finished sleeping, rather than being torn from sleep by an alarm…
It’s like rising slowly to the surface of the ocean… sounds are muffled, you’re drawn to the surface from natural buoyancy…
You leave it as long as you can before you open your eyes, while you search your mind.
Who am I…
Where am I…
What time is it…
The sounds of the ocean become clear… ah, the beach.
These sheets feel delicious. Mmmmmm
I smile, eyes still closed and roll onto my side, snuggling my head into the feather pillow.
My mind is clear and I know exactly where I am. Mmmmmm
I know exactly what I’m going to see when my eyes open.
My husband’s voice as he comes in from his morning walk.
I open my eyes to the perfect scene. “Yes please….. how did we get this lucky?”
“By working very hard”, as Macca walks out the door towards the kitchen.
I hear the distant clanging of the kettle, water, cups, tea caddy… all in perfect order, in the kitchen of my dreams.
I turn my attention to the view. First Point, Noosa. Through pandanus palms across Noosa Sound to the distant coloured sandhills of Cooloola National Park. Not a building or another person in sight. Only the singing of cicadas breaks through the sounds of water.
The mighty Pacific Ocean with occasional white caps of perfect surf. It’s a north facing break, one of the best places in the world to surf. It’s where I first dragged a long board across the sand at Noosa Beach. You never forget the first time you stand up on a board. The memory of that comes easily, my smile widens and I close my eyes again. Somehow it feels like yesterday. The board was huge and I was a pretzel thin teen in a string bikini that my mother just hated. It makes me laugh out loud. I wriggle to a sitting position, fluffing up the pillows as I go.
The turquoise of the shallow water turns to indigo further into the distance. The gentle crash of the waves as the tide turns below. The sweet tinkling as water recedes through smooth grey pebbles…. paradise.
And this is the day we have a very important visitor. A man I have admired for over a decade. I stretch, “Roaaaarrrrrrrrr!!!”.
And then, “Yippeeee!!!” as I throw the covers back and sit to face the ocean.
“I’m so excited and so nervous!”, I say as my husband returns with two steaming cups. “Me too!”, and we’re smiling and laughing like a couple of kids.
Fast forward three hours.
The buzz of the intercom. My stomach jumps with excitement.
A huge black hummer slides into the garage. (Why do I feel so nervous?)
Probably because I had a lifetime behind the scenes. And today I’m the centre of attention. A final skip through the kitchen to check with the butler. Yep, everything’s ready…. scrumptious snacks, our home looks wonderful.
Wow, Darren Hardy is here! With his assistants, photographer and journo to interview me.
After that, there’ll be some photos, then a lively dinner with the leaders in our organisation. They cannot wait to meet Darren Hardy either.
It’s going to be an i n c r e d i b l e day!!!
Fast forward three months.
We arrived in the Big Apple two days ago.
(Oh New York, how I love thee so!!!)
And we’ve just been picked up from Trump SoHo on Spring Street by the biggest Trump limo imaginable.
It’s a familiar neighbourhood. Only half a dozen blocks from my old ‘home’ 35 years ago. Sometimes the years slip away and I remember those amazing times so well. I remember the night I arrived in New York with a 2 week old baby boy. My firstborn. About to set up the first ever foreign news gathering bureau for an Aussie Network.
What a crazy thing to do with a newborn…. It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.
Walking around my much-loved stamping ground yesterday, I wasn’t surprised to see that my old apartment building had been replaced by a massive new high rise. Prime real estate overlooking the Hudson. It feels like my old life has been replaced too. Back then, I never imagined in my wildest dreams I would get to know the people I know today, and live the life I live today. Never, ever…. I shake my head just thinking about the change in my circumstance. Totally broke and broken, to feeling such joy every day, with wealth and freedom I could never imagine. Complete autonomy.
Life feels surreal right now. Time is weird. It feels like slow motion, and yet the world is flying by at the same time. The atmosphere in this limo is electric. There are 10 of us tucked into the plush leather clinking crystal. I’ve only got water in mine. Gotta keep a clear head for my little speech. We’re all Senior Vice Presidents. We’re all at the top of our game. Six of these amazing women are my closest buddies, as well as being part of our organisation. And we are dressed to the nines!
As we crawl through Friday night traffic a few blocks to the Capitale on the Bowery, I look out at familiar streets and close my eyes in silent prayer… (thank you…. thank you… thank you).
Then red carpet, a blur of people, some beautiful familiar faces, handshakes, hugs and kisses, more red carpet, more kissing and the colour pink! The Capitale has been flooded with pink light for a very special edition of Success Magazine. It’s the preview of the bumper June issue, 2018.
There’s a huge section of this magazine called “Women on Top”. We’re all part of that!! All ten of us.
We worked hard. We became students. We surrendered. We faced our demons and crawled through our own personal rubbish dumps… now, we are living!!
We all surrendered to our dreams, to our vision…. to our belief, and most of all, we had faith. Faith in the co-founders, the company, the process, and eventually, ourselves.
We’re ushered to our seats. My husband’s already here and I am so happy to feel his hand in mine. He’s my rock, my foundation, and I love seeing him enjoying the fruits of our labour. It feels so deeply satisfying. He looks years younger tonight. So handsome, so happy and so proud.
I hear my name being called. The massive room vibrates with the sound of clapping… a quick kiss and I make my way to the podium where Darren Hardy is waiting. He greets me like an old friend. The room is glittering. I feel so proud and so humble. I’m tingling with nerves, but my gut feels strangely calm.
DH “Jennifer, it’s fantastic to have you here at our gala preview. You’ve come so far, literally… (laughter) I’ll never forget arriving at your beautiful home in Australia. I’ve never seen such a perfect setting. I know your interview will be an inspiration to many women who are in Network Marketing today. Not just here in the United States or in Australia, but all over the world. Your training makes a difference to all ACN Business Owners globally. (polite clapping… a little too raucous from one area in particular)
Your story is incredible, and we’d all like to hear from you… if there is one concept or idea you can share from the interview we did with you in Australia, what would that be?”
(Just for a moment, I take in the room… scanning faces… it’s like a moment suspended in time and every detail is crystal clear, just like I imagined. My feet are planted firmly behind the podium. I’m feeling the love… )
JP “Thank you Darren, I’m both overwhelmed and thrilled by being chosen to feature in Success Magazine. I’ve been reading your magazines for well over a decade and they’ve been a big part of my personal development.
I particularly remember back in 2014 when ACN was featured for the 9th year in a row in “Success from Home” Magazine.
My husband and I were reading the stories of the top ACN leaders. They all seemed such… regular people!… like us!
We made a decision after reading that magazine, just four years ago, that we wanted to go to the top in ACN, and we decided right then to do whatever it took to be successful. We learned from the best, and we had the best mentors.
We worked a lot on ourselves and accepted that, for things to change, we had to change. We started to believe in ourselves and knew we could achieve. And most of all, we brought great people with us.
We achieved the top position just two years later and Circle of Champions another 12 months after that.
So… just go for it. And keep going with laser-like focus until you’ve made it to where you want to be. If you could feel how wonderful and humbling it is to be standing here right now, you’d work harder than ever. Love what you do and love your journey.
Be the person who always keeps their promises. To yourself and others. And finally…
(I pause and look out through the bright lights to our table)…
Thank you…. Thank you to all our mentors and coaches along the way. My husband has been my number 1 coach, always… thank you my darling for believing in me every single day. (am I actually pounding on the podium?)
In fact, every person who has crossed our path has made a difference in our lives, and now, we are paying it forward to help as many people as we can to achieve their goals and dreams. To achieve their own success…. Just do it!!!”
(an enthusiastic roar erupts as I step down to take my seat… everyone’s clapping, but it’s somehow silent. My eyes are locked on my table. My husband and my dearest friends. This is what it’s all about. Pure love.)
We’re not back for long… the summer house in Christianshavn is being prepared. Tomorrow we fly to Amsterdam to be at the Head Quarters for a day of talks with the Founders and European COC members. (And they call this work?) Then we drive to Copenhagen to begin another glorious summer of back to back adventures.
Back to back summers… is there anything better in this world?
It may not suit the snow bunnies, but it’ll do me just fine thanks.
If you want to work the rest of your life… that’s your business
If not… that’s my business!