My website name says it best… "LIVE AND THRIVE"!
It captures the essence of what I strive to do every day!
It implies going WAY beyond merely "surviving". I try to turn ANY trial or challenge that is thrown at me, into a positive experience by deciding to take the "high ground". I try to make an effort to live a full, abundant, healthy, active life, in ALL areas of my life: spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, social, financial, etc.
I have learned that it doesn't matter where you are right now, you have the power within you to begin TODAY to "LIVE and THRIVE".
Unfortunately, I have experienced plenty of times throughout my life when I wasn't much of a "Live and Thrive" role model. However, through all the ups and downs, I have worked hard to turn many of my weaknesses into strengths. As a result of that hard work, I have received many huge blessings.
One of the many experiences that changed the course of my life began at 3 pm on a clear February day in 2003...
in Salt Lake City. I was 47 years old. It was a drought year with not a lot of snow in the valley or mountains. I had hit rock bottom. Not only was I NOT "living and thriving", but I was barely hanging on to life. I hated someone SO much that it was now starting to consume all of my life and I couldn't take it much longer. I'll call him "Steve".
Steve was one of my son's best friends. He was smart, good looking, physically strong, clever, quick witted, manipulative and loved getting a "rise" from me OFTEN. He would do or say things that he knew would send me soaring in anger. Now I think, as I look back on this, that he was highly entertained by how easily he could get under my skin and drive me crazy. Just imagine being "pecked at" nearly every day for 10 years. Any ONE "pecking" wasn't a big deal, but when you combine this little torture on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly amount, it adds up.
But this story isn't so much about what Steve did or didn't do to me. It's about how I allowed myself to get into a very dark, lonely, tormented place for 10 LONG years, from the time my son was 9 - 19. During this time, I felt completely justified in all my woes and pity. I wanted to tell the entire world how much this young man had wronged me but no one seemed to care or wanted to listen.
At times my anger crossed the line and turned to rage. At one point, I hated him so much that I know if I had a gun, I would have shot him.
After 10 years of enduring this emotional and mental torment, I had built up PLENTY of "hate and anger" poison in my body. I can honestly say that it was toxic!
I couldn't enjoy my life. I couldn't focus on anything else for very long. Everything I did was hard to do. I was angry with my husband. He should have fixed this problem and made me happy, so I thought. Images of Steve dominated my life every hour of the day. When I went to a party or family gathering, I wanted to talk about how much of a menace Steve was in my life. No one wanted to be around me including my kids and husband. They were worn out hearing about "Steve" and would avoid being around me for very long.
I finally hit a low in my life that I wanted to run away from home and just keep driving, but as a mother I couldn't do that. I had immediate obligations and a family that needed my attention. I thought "If I can't run away from home, then I'll go to my favorite restaurant, The Mikado, and I'll eat until I am happy again". Fortunately for me, they were closed since it was between the lunch and dinner hours. What else could I do to relieve my agony! I sat in my car and cried. I felt helpless. I didn't know where I could turn for help. I cried some more. Then I started praying to God for help. I told him I couldn't take it any longer. Please help me get rid of all this negative energy that was destroying my life.
After sitting there alone, for awhile, praying and crying, I remember FOUR words came into my head. It was not an audible voice € just a very specific thought, consisting of FOUR words:
"Go climb that mountain".
Those 4 words would change my life. I knew those words didn't come from me, because my first reaction was "Why didn't I think of that!" I knew exactly which mountain these words were referring to. As I sat in my car, I looked up and straight ahead of me was a majestic mountain… Mt Olympus. Out of all the many trails along the Wasatch Mountain Range, this was the only trailhead I knew about. It was close to my home. But this was not your average "walk in the park" kind of hiking trail. It was a steep, rugged, difficult trail to climb and I was not in any shape to climb it. But I acted immediately on this very specific prompting I had received from God. I broke all the hiking rules. I didn't tell anyone where I was going. I was all a lone. I wasn't a hiker and wasn't wearing good sturdy hiking shoes nor did I have any water or food with me but I was determined to "climb that mountain".
I drove to the trail head, which was just a few minutes from where I was crying. I got out of my car and started up the mountain. I thought about Forest Gump and how he started walking and kept walking until he could walk no more. That was exactly how I felt! I decided to start hiking until I could hike no more…. Until I had more pain in my legs than I did in my heart.
Fortunately for me, since I hadn't exercised on a regular basis, it didn't take long for me to hit my limit on the mountain. After less than a mile I headed back down the trail and could barely lift my legs to get in the car. I was SO sore and it felt SO good!!!! There was NOW more pain in my legs now than there was in my heart!!! With every step I took on that trail, I was able to dump a boatload of negative energy and leave it there on the mountain.
Because it felt so good, I knew I had to do it again…SOON! A week or so later I still didn't know who to ask and so I hiked again by myself in February and then twice in March. After hiking four times by myself, on that same Mt. Olympus trail, I realized it was not a wise thing to do but I had to keep hiking!
Who could I find to hike with me?
Since I majored in Musical Theater in college (singing, dancing and ACTING) AND I am a natural, born promoter AND at the time I was teaching some Adult Community Education Classes, I decided to become a HIKING GUIDE and offer a "Hiking the Wasatch" Class for the Adult Comm. Ed. Summer Quarter. Five students signed up. These were my first "hiking buddies"! Now that I was their "leader", I seriously began studying and learning all about the closest hiking trails, especially all of the easy ones and as they say, the rest is history!
Seven years later…
I've been hiking every week, YEAR ROUND, with currently more than 1200 hikers on my Outdoor Adventure weekly email list who receive a weekly newsletter from me, I have lead hundreds of hiking groups into the Wasatch Mountains, have hiked more than 700 hikes, walked more than 3000 miles, hiked nationally and internationally, including the Swiss Alps, and most importantly, I now have countless numbers of incredible, loyal Outdoor Adventure friends from all over the world. My 30-year marriage with Dave, is better and stronger than ever and I am blessed to have a great love and friendship with each of my 4 grown children, my son in law and 2 grandchildren. I am physically stronger than I have ever been in my life. I feel younger at 54 than I did at 29.
Best of all, I not only got rid of ALL the anger and hatred I had for "Steve", but was able to go WAY beyond that and actually face him and tell him that I loved him and forgave him. It was because of him that ugly trial in my life that I now have such an abundant life, filled with so many incredible friends and experiences in the mountains. Each relationship I have now, came at a high price. Unfortunately, I had to experience a lot of pain before I could really appreciate the miracle and blessings that have come to me. The art of "Living and thriving" may seem like an overwhelming one. But with a change of attitude, one experience will lead to another, which leads to another….and so on and so on…
Because of my willingness to change and ask God for help, I not only have my own thriving hiking group, but one thing led to another and I started several other groups, one at at time, including...
* Snowshoeing group…
* Then Camping Group…
* Flat Water Kayaking Group….
* National and International Outdoor Adventure Vacation Group….
* Outdoor Dutch Oven Cooking Group
* Downhill Skiing Group
* Community Garden Group
* Healthy Eating Group
* Barter and Trade Group
* And so on....
Nothing can stop you when you are striving to live a healthy, active life and aren't afraid to go to work!
Don't settle for another day of "just surviving"…
LIVE and THRIVE!
It will literally change the direction of your life…
Sheryl McGlochlin is the creator, owner and director of Live and Thrive, LLC (LiveAndThrive.com<http://LiveAndThrive.com>).
She is the author and instructor of her signature class, "Feed a Family of Four on $160 a month" which she has been teaching for nine years.
She has been consistently promoting provident, active, healthy, fugal-living classes, organizes 350+ outdoor adventure events each year, oversees a 3-acre community garden, works as a "provident living and emergency preparedness specialist" in her church and community, is a member of the Salt Lake Tribune's "Money Matter's" panel and has appeared regularly on KSL TV's "Studio 5" program. In July 2010, she was featured in Salt Lake Magazine "Best of 2010".
In addition to raising four children and spending time with her husband, Dave...
being active in outdoor recreation AND eating healthy on a shoestring budget is what she is most passionate about.
Since 2002, Sheryl has taught her popular, signature course, “Feed a Family of Four on $160 a Month”.
Hundreds of students, throughout Utah, have learned how to spend less money on groceries while raising the bar when it comes to feeding their families. She teaches how to eat and prepare healthy, high fiber, low fat, nutritious, delicious, quickly prepared meals - all made from scratch!
After years of perfecting her Feed a Family course, in January 2010, while enduring a third layoff with her husband, she developed and refined her course which is now entitled "The 6-3-4 Meal Plan" which means each meal can be prepared in 6 minutes, (prep time, not cooking time), costs $3/meal and serves enough food to feed a family of 4. Regardless of your family size, Sheryl will teach you how to be more successful when it comes to eating healthy!
Teaching this course consistently has blessed her own family immensely and each student who has applied her basic principles.
Over the years, she has received hundreds of opportunities to share her healthy eating, money-saving ideas with those who would listen.
What motivated her to change?
It all began early in her marriage, when her husband, Dave, encouraged her to start making healthier choices in their home-cooked meals by using more whole grains and legumes. He was raised on daily servings of whole grains and legumes in his family.
In addition to eating healthier, she discovered other benefits which made her very eager to tell the world: the FINANCIAL blessings from following her program. "Once you learn the secrets of this program, it becomes a VERY inexpensive way to eat feed your family" she says, which is why she calls her “healthy eating” class “Feed a Family of Four on $160/month”. The economy is forcing people to be more concerned about spending money rather than eating healthy, but the GREAT NEWS... you can easily do BOTH with the "6-3-4" Meal Plan!
In 2007, she organized her first Community Garden Group, which produces an abundance of local, fresh, home grown fruits and vegetables! It has continued to expand into multiple properties, donated by residential home owners around the Salt Lake valley. The work is hard and demanding but extremely rewarding. Not only is she feeding nearly 300 families but she teaches valuable skills on how to grow food for the rest of their lives.
The Mayor of Holladay City, Dennis Webb, is part of her support team and loves her energy and creative ideas on how to help citizens in her community.
"All the trials and hardships are actually great blessings in my life"
"I am actually very grateful for the difficult trials I've had in my life. Over the past 31 years of marriage and raising four children, I became very familiar with financial challenges - some caused by our own poor decisions and some out of our control. Our family of six has endured three layoffs. I learned that a "well-educated husband with honors and a degree in mathematics" can lose his job multiple times, in the high tech, computer software industry due to outsourcing and downsizing.
Early in our marriage, when our four children were young and my husband was working so hard, going to school and work, there were some times when we had $5.00 to feed our family with more than a week left before our next pay check. But even through these difficult times, LIFE WAS GOOD, thanks to living and following some basic principles and lessons I teach in my Feed a Family Classes. I've had many wonderful opportunities to see if I can "walk the walk" and "talk the talk" of what I have been teaching for so many years."
"How I rarely go to a grocery store anymore and when I do, I spent $20 or less...."
"I buy whole grains and legumes in bulk. I know how to preserve, prepare and cook delicious home-cooked meals supplemented with locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables from our gardens. Even though we include a much smaller amount of dairy and meat, you would never know it! Because of this diet, I rarely have a need to go to a grocery store. It has saved our family a significant amount of time and money over the years!"
"Why I am eager to teach others what I have learned"
"I personally know the great feeling of turning a "weakness into a strength". I understand how just ONE layoff can financially devastate a person or family. However, I've learned over the years how to take difficult challenges and turn them into huge blessings and strengths. I am excited and eager to bless the lives of many others who are hurting."
"One more great blessing..."
In addition to teaching, farming and organizing groups, I have had hundreds of opportunities to distribute food to people in need since 1998. Local stores have provided me and my volunteer crew with an abundance of baked goods (breads, bagels, etc.) nearly every day of the week, year round for many years! We love feeding people, no matter where they are. More than just feeding people, I really love TEACHING people how to become more self reliant which empowers them to better feed their families for the rest of their lives!