For the past 18 years or so I have lived with an array of fearful thoughts setting up camp inside my brain. Really……I hate camping and now I have the most destructive thought process roasting marshmallows and making S’mores all while enjoying “Camp Allen.” I mean I love myself some S’mores, but not when you mix in a heavy dose of “you are not good enough” chocolate into the mix.
Part of my transformation along my journey has been learning how to let go of these fearful thoughts and replace them with more loving/positive thoughts. I have been spending a lot of time listening to one of my new favorite speakers, Marianne Williamson, and through her teachings, along with those of some of my mentors, I have started to work on creating a tool box that will hopefully deconstruct Camp Allen and transform it into a luxury condo in downtown Manhattan! Yes…… that is way better than camping and I know that love can live there quiet comfortably. No More Camping!!!!!!!!! No More Camping!!!!
While I was in New York City I had the opportunity to attend one of Marianne Williamson’s live speaking events and to say I was stoked would be a great understatement. Ever since I had found out that she would be in Manhattan speaking on a Tuesday, I knew that this was one of the reasons why I would extend my trip and stay in the Big Apple for a couple extra days. What I didn’t know at the time is that the person I would meet at the event would actually be the one to have a profound impact on my journey. If you haven’t noticed there is a constant theme in my blog posts: I am looking in one direction and the universe continues to throw amazing people in my path that have a lesson for me that I need at that exact moment. Anna Anderson’s message and story is beyond incredible and her lack of fear is not only inspiring, it is quite astounding.
As I sat in a pew inside the gorgeous Marble Collegiate Church, I was joined by Anna Anderson. Anna is beautiful redhead from Sweden, with a unique quirky demeanor. She calls herself weird, but I call it unique and it only adds to her amazing soul. As Marianne was speaking, she would quite often look at me and make fun of me for not being able to sit still (I was having a major case of ADHD that day). She was fighting to not laugh at some of the teachings that Marianne was sharing, as some of the lessons are a little over the top. After spending some time with Anna, I could see how she was a little skeptic of the teachings because fear is not a word that lives in her vocabulary.
After the event I was freezing, us AZ people don’t own coats and the 45 degree temp in New York City was making me act like a little/big baby. I asked Anna where I could find a jacket at 9pm and she directed me to a footlocker several blocks away. I invited her to walk and talk with me and also help me pick out the “coolest” jacket possible. At the time I had no idea how thankful I would be that she would accept my invite and join me on my adventure to get a big wuss a fancy jacket.
As we walked I started to ask her about her life. When did she move to the United States? How did she get into making documentaries? Etc. Her responses gave me brain freeze, similar feeling as chugging a Slurpee from 7-11 to fast, as I was in awe of how someone could go after what she wanted in life with no regard or fear of failure. It was almost as if she had no idea that failure was even possible and the idea of fearing it was something that would never cross her mind.
When Anna was a teenager she decided that she wanted to learn how to dance. She picked up the phone and rang 3 or 4 local dance schools in Sweden and inquired into taking dance lessons. A few days later she gets a call from one of the schools:
Yes, is Anna available? We have a couple openings for teaching positions. Would you be interested?
The school had made a mistake and her name somehow got on a list to be a teacher instead of on a list of new students that had never taken dance lessons before. Her response:
“Yeah, I would love too.”
“What?” I proclaimed loudly. “You didn’t know how to dance did you?”
“No,” she said with no shock on her face.
“How did you teach if you didn’t know anything about dance?”
She went on to explain that she had signed up for beginner classes at another school and took lessons on Monday and the classes she would teach wouldn’t be until Tuesday. Oh yeah, that would give her enough time to become a teacher at a skilled craft, I thought in a skeptic mindset.
“They were young dancers, so I just learned on Monday and then taught on Tuesday what I had learned. It was easy.”
I couldn’t stop laughing and was like geez, she has huge balls (sorry for the reference, but it is the only reference that explains her decision). Just wait the story gets even more crazy. She ends up being an absolutely brilliant dancer and moves to New York City to attend one of the most prestigious dance studios and performed as a professional dancer.
Ok……You can pick your jaw off the ground now. I know right!!!!! Only one word can explain this: Incredible
Anna had applied for a job on a cruise ship. When they called her, in response to her application, they stated that they had an opening in a jewelry section of the cruise ship selling a unique stone. They asked her if she knew anything about the stone and her response was:
“Did you really?” I asked.
She started to laugh: ” I had no idea.”
“Come on!!!!! Are you serious! What happened? I know it is going to be crazy.”
“I took the job and the first day they asked me to give this big presentation to hundreds of guests. I had no idea what I was doing and I ran through what was supposed to be a 45minute presentation in about 5 minutes. After the presentation we went down to the shop and I had massive sales. The people thought I was an expert and they were amazed and the sales were so big that I not only kept the job, I ended up doing really really well. My presentations got longer as I learned more, but at the start I had no clue what I was doing.”
“You know NORMAL (I said like this is a positive word, but it isn’t) would have said no when they called.”
Anna is currently makes documentaries. This is very appealing to me, because I would love to make a documentary someday about my journey or a journey similar where I can share the stories/experiences I have come across via a different median to hopefully inspire and motivate people. When I found out that this is what she did for a career, I just had to ask.
“Did you study this in college?”
By now I am sure you can already guess what her answer is.
“Well, how the heck did you get into it?”
“My first documentary was tracking 4 different cancer patients. They were all doing a non toxin vegan diet & lifestyle. I had a friend who was battling cancer and she was doing something similar and I was very intrigued to what success it would have.”
“So you just decided to make a documentary?” Like this is something that one can pick up and do at the drop of the hat.
“Yes.” Again she was looking at me like I was the weirdo that couldn’t believe that she could just decide she wanted to do this and then do it.
Anna went on to complete her documentary, she is working on another documentary right now, and is also getting contract work to have creative control & PR for a company/mission.
As we approached Foot Locker I begin to ramble:
“I bet if you steal that car right now and drive really fast, you will be a professional race car driver in 6 months.
“Hey look a bike, lets get on and I bet in a year or so you win the Tour De France.”
She gave me a look like I was crazy, but my mind was spinning. This person has no idea how absolutely amazing she is. I have struggled my entire life with fear, so much that I have “Fear is the cause of failed dreams,” tattooed on my damn arm. Anna doesn’t see Fear! She just decides what she wants and she goes after it no matter what obstacle might be standing in her way. She then not only does what she sets out to do, but she becomes a pro/expert at it.
We went into Foot Locker and I found the cheapest jacket that would fit my XXL frame. The one I was going to get, was called “Ugly,” So I elected for the one Anna pointed out. I figured if I put the jacket on, I might become a male model in New York City that goes down the runway wearing Nike Jackets. I mean…… If she put it on and thats what she wanted to do, it would happen. We said goodbye and I asked her if I could call and interview her about her story. She accepted, a bit reluctant, as she said “Who would want to hear my story?” My Answer was an ecstatic:
Make sure to check out Anna’s amazing website LikeAGirlProductions.com On her site you can view her first documentary: “A Case Against Cancer,” submit ideas for projects, and learn more about her current projects. The production company’s mission:
Like a Girl Productions, Inc. supports female documentarians who, in creating awareness through film, highlight important issues in both their communities and worldwide.
This nonprofit was founded in 2014, when the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film wrote that women comprised “17% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 grossing films”(The Celluloid Ceiling). In response, we work to help bridge this vast gender gap and promote women involved in all levels of the film industry.