There I was, standing alone in the police evidence room, among all the evidence from the worst crimes imaginable, praying, asking God to please give me a sign, because He knows I am that stubborn, that I needed an actual sign on top of all that we were experiencing, and all that already showed me what I needed to do to save our daughters life.
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We had been through the roughest seasons in our lives so far. We had just been told we could start ‘cautiously’ living a normal life again, out of isolation, I was starting my second year of being a stay at home wife and mother, and I felt more lost than ever.
I felt like staying home wasn’t a choice I was given, but rather a hand I was dealt. In order to save our daughters life, I had to completely change mine. And I was struggling. So much had changed, and I didn’t know who I was anymore.
In the past year our 2 year old had fallen ill for 7 months straight, and the medication the doctors gave her broke down her immune system so badly she could no longer be around people, let alone in daycare. We were being told we needed to seclude her or her kidneys could become damaged, which would be life threatening. I had no choice but to leave the workforce and live with her in isolation.
The same month the immunological test results came back, we found out we were expecting another baby.
Within 6 months of learning of our daughters condition and learning we were expecting, I quit work; we sold our home in the city and moved to a new-to-us home in the country; we lost a beloved grandfather; our son struggled with the move and with changing schools; and we welcomed our newborn son into our family a month early after speeding to the hospital and being pulled over by state patrol, and after being at the hospital a chaotic 16 minutes before hearing his first cries.
I had had a year to adjust to our new normal, and I was struggling. I missed working, I missed adult interaction and conversation. I felt that I had lost my sense of purpose. I went from helping people in an extremely fast paced environment to living alone in the country with my young children. My husband was working 70-80hr weeks and I felt alone. Something had to change.
My push towards finding Oola
We celebrated out 10 year wedding anniversary with a trip to Hawaii. We had honeymooned there and fell in love with Kauai. We had been back for our 5 year anniversary and always said we’d return on our 10 year. We planned the trip, and unbeknownst to me, the hubs had planned a vow renewal at sunset for us as well.
A family friend agreed to nanny for us while we were gone, and so for the first time in 5 years we had over a week to ourselves. We recuperated from life itself, and reconnected as a couple. We talked about things we wanted to achieve for us. We hadn’t dreamt for us since having our firstborn 7.5 years ago. Upon realizing that, we decided it was time to make a change. In order to be happy and healthy we needed to take better care of us.
When we returned from our trip I dug out a book I had purchased years before. Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World. I had heard great things about this book and how it had transformed lives of countless people, some who I even knew.
I started reading the book, and I started to realize I was wrong. This season of life I was in, being a stay at home wife and mother, wasn’t a hand I was dealt. It was all part of God’s plan, His purpose for my life. It was a gift in so many ways. I needed to start to embrace this gift from Him, and start to be the best stay at home mom and wife I could be. I needed to dream dreams, set goals, make a plan to achieve them, and go for it. I needed to start living an Oola life, for my family, and for me.
Oola is a concept. It isn’t a 7-step plan, a get-the-good-life-quick plan, or any sort of scheme. Oola is the concept that when you have balance in your life, and you are growing in 7 key areas of your life, you will be able to live the life of your dreams. Oola is a state of awesomeness. It is a conversation. It is a goal. It is a dream. It is the good life.
The 7 key areas are affectionately known by Oola and all those who believe in Oola as the 7 F’s. Faith, Family, Friends, Fun, Field, Finance, and Fitness. The beauty of the natural design of life is that when you are growing in one of these areas, you also tend to find yourself growing in a number of the other areas.
The Oola Guys
Oola is a term originated from Oo-la-la, coined by two regular guys, one of them being from a small town in North Dakota of all places. (I can say that, because I grew up about 40 miles down the road from him, altho we don’t know one another!)
The Oola Seeker is a regular guy who once had it all. A beautiful wife, 5 children, a successful business, a beautiful home… living what most would call ‘the good life.’ Until… he wasn’t. His wife was having an affair with a good friend of his, he was losing his business and home, he was paying monthly in a hotel where most were paying by the hour… He had found the bottom and made a decision that would alter the course of his life forever.
He called the Oola Guru.
The Oola Guru is a guy who had it all, and still does. He has a stable marriage and family life, a successful business, he travels world wide, he has been debt free since being 40 years old, and retired at 42 years old. He was and still is, living ‘the good life.’
These guys at once were living mirror image lives. They defined their goals, were driven to achieve their dreams, and were going down the same path of success. Until they weren’t. So what changed?
After that fateful night that led the Oola Seeker to seek out the Oola Guru, both of their lives changed again (for the better!), in ways I don’t think either could ever fathom.
The concept of Oola was soon born, and a new dream was dreamt by them both, to achieve a new greatness and share the ways of doing so with the world.
How Can Oola Change Your Life?
First you have to take an honest look at your life. The Oola Guys have made this easy on their website OolaLife with what they call the Oola Wheel. You plug in some answers to a quiz and out comes your Oola Wheel, showing where in life you are rockin’ it and where in life you could use some improvement. The key is that you have to be honest about where you are at currently, not where you wish you were or where you’d like to be.
After you take that look at your life, you need to identify what the Oola Guys refer to as Oola Blockers. These are Fear, Guilt, Anger, Self-Sabotage, Laziness, Envy, and Focus. Identifying which of these are in your life is essential to knocking them out so you can achieve your goals and live the life of your dreams.
Speaking of which, another step to achieving the Oola Life is setting goals and dreaming. What do you want to achieve in your life. What do your wildest dreams look like? If you could do anything, be anything, go anywhere, be a part of anything, what would that look like? Dream, and then dream bigger. Imagine the most amazing life you can imagine, and then believe that you can have that. Because you can. You just have to believe, be honest to yourself, break down blockers, and go for it.
There are some things that the Oola Guys identify that they believe will get you to your dream life more quickly, and these things they call Oola Accelerators. They identify them as Gratitude, Love, Discipline, Integrity, Passion, Humility, and Wisdom. These are the good things in life, the good qualities that will propel each and every one of us towards greatness.
Once you have laid all this out, the Oola Guys help you out by preparing a plan and path to get you to your dreams. Start small, and keep knocking out the blockers, incorporating the accelerators, and achieving your goals one at a time. Eventually, you’ll be living the life you dream of.
The Oola Book and Van
The Oola Guys are currently on a mission. They are touring the world in their VW Van collecting stickers with people’s dreams and goals written on them. Their goal is to collect 1 million stickers on that bus. They are 17 layers in and are still collecting!
They wrote their first book Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World 5 years ago. The revised version just came out, and that is what you have a chance to win on my blog’s Facebook page by going here. The revised version includes things they’ve learned from the people they have met while touring the world and spreading the concept of balancing the 7 F’s to achieve your dreams and live the Oola life.
They also wrote a book of inspiration due to all the women they have met during their world tours called Oola for Women. They asked women who have been impacted by Oola to write down their stories to share in their book to inspire other women. The book is amazing, with real stories, from real women, all who have made amazing changes to their lives by following the concept of Oola.
If you are struggling in a season of life, and are looking for a change, looking for inspiration, looking for encouragement… pick up a copy of Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World and you just might find yourself on a path to awesomeness and living the life you dream of!