Monthly Archives: May 2018

#00008: PTSD Has Been Brought Up In My Life On More Than One Occasion

From everything I’ve read about Soldier’s Best Friend, it is a terrific organization. 

Here’s their mission:

Soldier’s Best Friend provides U.S. military veterans living with combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with Service or Therapeutic Companion Dogs, most of which are rescued from local shelters. The veteran and dog train together to build a trusting relationship that saves two lives at once and inspires countless others.

We are devoted to helping our veterans living with combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). We also want to help the pet overpopulation problem.

One of my biggest dreams is to become financially sophisticated enough to consistently donate a yet-to-be-determined percentage of my revenues to five awesome non-profits. This will be one of those non-profits.

While both of our pups (Raja and Loki) are and were rescues from the local humane society, I cannot honestly say I have any sort of military background. Growing up in a small town of less than 2,500, a number of people from my area served and two of the best died – one in 2012 and another in 2017.

The primary reason I want to support this organization though – aside from the always obvious supporting of the troops and saving dogs – is that PTSD has been brought up in my personal life on more than one occasion.

Now, it never crossed my own mind that I had ever experienced any sort of event that would result in the phrase PTSD being used to describe my state. I’m the one in my childhood family who is always “fine” and “okay”.

However, I did once have a boyfriend intimidate the hell out of me with a hunting rifle (I believe it was a hunting rifle – I still don’t know what I should about guns).

And, I did, as a child, watch my maternal grandmother (Grandma Hill) battle, to the death, with breast cancer. I legit wrote a book about this in the fifth grade. The book was titled “Sisu: Strong-Willed One”.

Apparently these experiences left some diagnosable damages. Or at least one of them did, according to a psychologist I saw several times. Surprised the daylights out of me — I didn’t know PTSD existed outside of war and other “stereotypical” PTSD-causing hideousness.

Maybe I read too much into my conversation with said psychologist. I’ve never seen our official session notes. But she did say that my breaking down in crocodile tears and being too choked up to talk in her office 20+ years following my Grandma Hill’s death was not a “normal reaction”. And, “Had I heard of PTSD?”

Yes, of course I had heard of PTSD. But wasn’t it normal to deeply mourn a person for the rest of your life when someone you love dies tragically?

Turns out, it’s not Dad.

And then she wanted to rewire my brain using noninvasive electrical stimulation. And then I tried to keep an open mind, read through some flyers and online sites, managed two more talk-only sessions, and then stopped seeing her because I couldn’t shake the idea that what she was suggesting was old school shock therapy via modern technology. To be honest, I don’t even like taking headache medicine. So this proposed course of treatment was just way too much and way too fast for me.

So, between that whole haunting bag to unpack and then me turning into a totally different and shut-down person anytime I perceived any male even remotely behaving aggressively towards me… I knew I had some inner work to do.

And that is really one of the main reasons I find value in working on the front-lines (a.k.a. directly with customers) at a bank. Most days, I’ll talk to at least 35 customers, of all ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic status from everywhere around the United States. And because I now no longer have any type of aggressive males in my life, the only place I encounter that type of personality is over the phone at work. Which is where I first became conscious of my own behavior – because all of those calls are recorded – and some of those calls get listened to in coaching sessions with one’s manager – and sometimes you get to listen to yourself become a totally different person – and then you spend a good several nights figuring out and obsessing over WHAT in the WORLD is the root cause of MY weirdo behavior. My Dad was never aggressive towards us, my husband has never been in a physical fight or shown any signs of aggression, I don’t have any brothers and my brothers-in-law and cousins are harmless. So who in the WORLD was the aggressive guy in my life?

And then it dawned on me.

That day on the back porch.

And then so many other experiences in my life started making so much more sense.






And then…

… gratitude.


… sweet forgiveness.

And finally:


Sara Hefty, Ages 10 – 36

#00007: Thank You Bolton Refuge For Becoming Stronger


Here’s my comment on Bolton Refuge House: They need more funding.

Once upon a time, at least several years ago by now, I attempted to reach out to this organization, twice.

The first time was after I learned someone near and dear to me was being physically abused by her then-boyfriend. I was looking for a safe place for her to stay, even though she did not live in the area. I was also looking to find resources to educate myself on how I could actually be of help to her during this time. I had one conversation with what I assume was an intern and learned that at this time no resources were currently available for either myself or my near and dear one.

The second time I reached out to them was to learn how I could do a fundraiser for them. Multiple messages were left, yet no response. I assume the lack of response was due to the limited resources of the organization at the time and the need to prioritize service to the women coming through the door.

I am pleased to learn that since my attempts to reach out all those years ago, the organization has added a donations button in the upper right corner of its new website, has become more inclusive, and has organized support groups.

Perhaps they always had these things. Either way they’ve made it much easier to participate and find support. I’m relieved to know that no one else will have to have the same experience I did and that we all now have a stronger ally in compassion and unconditional acceptance.

Thank you for becoming stronger Bolton Refuge. Your important work makes all the difference. xoxo

Learn more about Bolton Refuge.

#00006: Forgiving The Family’s Shadow (with audio!)

A few things to have ready before you listen to this audio recording: pen, paper, Kleenex

Once you hit the play button, close your eyes and just LISTEN. Soak it in. Trust that I’ll cue you when to use the pen and paper. You’ll have time. Kleenex as you wish.

Lastly, before we have a listen, you’ll note that this recording sat quiet for 4.5 years and is now the sixth blog post item on Get More rather than the first.

Okay, now you’re ready.

Go for play.

Sara Hefty, Age 32.

Our Facebook Group is here.

#00005: Meet The Carlsons a.k.a. My Childhood Family

I’ve been told I should write books – as in more than one – about my experiences with these folks.

Hefty Wedding - Carlson Family - July 28 2007

One day I imagine I will; they’re interesting and surprising.

You’ll see.

For now though we will do what I’ve been advised to do in the book Crucial Conversations, which is when emotions run high, start with the facts and present yourself from there.

Introductions then. From left to right we have my sister, Nikki, myself, my Dad (Mark) and my Mom (Jane).

Photography: [ V ] IMAGERY + DESIGN

Location: Lake Wissota Golf & Events

Flowers: Brent Douglas Flowers

Dresses: David’s Bridal

Hair: Estilo Salon

Date: July 28, 2007.

Sara Hefty, Age 25.

#00004: Two Quick Definitions of Sisu

Here I just wanted to introduce you to the idea of sisu.

Pronounced see-so or sis-oo, it’s tattooed there on my arm. In my maternal grandma’s handwriting. It’s the only tattoo I have – the artist said it would be like a 10-minute cat scratch. He was right. Leviticus Tattoo in Minneapolis, if you’re curious.

Sisu is a Finnish word that doesn’t have a direct translation in English.

I think of it as “strong willed one” and “strength of will, determination, perseverance against all odds” namely because those were the first written down definitions of it I ever saw.

Recently and wonderfully it’s become studied by positive psychology researchers and so the definition has expanded.

Regardless, my 100% Finnish Grandpa always said my 100% Polish Grandma had lots of sisu. Much more on that later. But for now, enjoy this new addition to your vocabulary.

Sara Hefty, Age 31.

Photography by Molly Marie Photography.

And here’s my non-professional real-life freshly-inked selfie from March 30, 2012:


#00003: The Truly Truest True Version of You

Meet Sara Hefty of Get More

Venice Beach, 2012.

Photograph by Wendy K. Yalom.

Inspiration from Carey Peters.

Styled by … I have forgotten her name but not her influence… or how I won her over… but that is a story for another time… like a time when I make the time to track down her name.

Dress, earrings and bangle borrowed from Spotlight Sister D.

Hair and makeup were done professionally by an amazing team out of a repurposed warehouse on the boardwalk.

Sara Hefty, age 31.

Carey once told me that she had a vision of me. This was during one of our coaching calls – she the coach, me the client. It was a phone session during a group coaching. And what she said to me is that she had a vision of waves washing over me and washing away all of the things that…

… I’m having a hard time recalling her exact words…


… washing away all of the junk and baggage around me… yet, I stood strong, firm, grounded and deeply-rooted to my truth, to my history, to myself.

In that vision, after the waves rolled out, I was standing strong, as myself.

Without baggage.

And that’s what this picture represents. Me. Becoming Myself.

Meet Sara Hefty of Get More

True, the clothes, the accessories, the lashes are not mine; however, it was my voice that day which brought us into the water. For that experience. For that real-life representation of a coach’s mind’s eye vision.

And that’s why this picture was taken. So I would have something to refer back to and consider and remember: That the possibility is always there to become myself. To be myself. In real life. In my daily life. Every day.

And it is for you as well.

Just sit with that for awhile.

The possibility is always there for you to become yourself.

The possibility IS always there for you to become yourself.

My coach could see something ahead for me that I could not see for myself.

And even though others had to style and provide for me. (The best clothes I brought to the shoot were pilling, dog-haired, threadbare. Representations of my baggage, if you will.) Others could see me as myself. And they wanted me to try to do the same. Not only did they want me to try to see me as myself… they supported me through every part of the “see-yourself-as-yourself” process. Photography and people can be magical like that. Or as damaging as they come. So choose your people – and your photographer – carefully.

That said, when you take someone whose been playing small in order to be accepted by others her entire life and then put her into an environment of unlimited support with encouragement of self-expression with no risk of loss of love, all of the sudden life becomes a very safe space. A space where you can be yourself. And be loved, and be seen and be empowered as the truly truest true version of you.

To the possibility of yourself.

#00002: Everything Ends And That’s Okay

Like my obsession with gold sequins and The Roaring 1920s…

… everything ends and that’s okay.

Just let that sink in:

Everything ends AND that’s okay.

It’s really useful, primarily because it’s soooooooo relieving to know and be told that it’s okay – as opposed to completely devastating and soul-crushing – for things to end.

Relationships, jobs, gold sequin and The Roaring 1920s obsessions, family expectations…

… everything ends

… and that’s okay.

Especially when the thing that’s ending is our excuses for not being where we want to be at in life.

#00001: The First Blog Post: A Promise

Might as well pick up where we left off, right?

Five years ago this November, I organized and hosted The Get More Nourished Night Out at The Florian Gardens in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.


It was a successful 150+ guest event with 30+ booths, a sit-down dinner and roster of speakers – some much less awkward than others. And by successful I mean when all the hustle was said and done, the event broke-even (financially speaking). But I was tired of the feast-and-famine of entrepreneurship and several months later went back to work full-time for “The Man”. And I have been ever since.

Truth be told, doing so generally gnaws at my insides. Except for those bright spots where, even in Corporate, thee transformative “AHA MOMENT” occurs. Sometimes it happens in my nightly analysis of day-to-day tasks, but more so when I’m off-the-clock listening to professional development speakers share their hard-won pearls of wisdom and vetted resilience strategies on a recorded webinar. These are the employee-access-only moments that convince me to stay – along with the consistent (albeit never-enough) paycheck and the grand illusion of a freedom-winning enjoyable promotion just still out of…



… reach. 

That aside, I have kept all of my materials. And, as it happens, my scaredy-cat perfectionist tendencies. Today, we’re saying goodbye to the latter. And diving in. Finally.

Because I refuse to break a promise to one of my original coaching clients. “Promise me you won’t stop coaching.” We were sitting together, across the coaching table from one another, in my original office in Banbury Place. She was wrapping up her final session with me. We had coached together for three, four years. I had changed her life and she had changed mine. As all in-person, long-term, client-work does.

Here’s to keeping promises.

And to losing the 60.8 pounds of gnawed insides gained during these five years of hiding away from the world.

Too honest? Oh ladies, we’re just getting started.  

A Really Weird Fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters because Brian Wouldn’t “Let Me” Shave My Head for Anything Less Than $5,000…

I’m raising $100 for Big Brothers Big Sisters in the next 24 hours.

Why? Because their “Bowl for Kids Sake” event is happening on Friday, May 4, and I’m currently thee slacker on our team who hasn’t raised her money, honey.

$105 of $100 raised
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Donation Total: $5.00

So, here’s the game plan:

  • Every $5 you donate, you get to choose an ingredient for what might be a really gross smoothie. That I will drink. During a Facebook Live. And then post for all eternity. For the children.

  • Now, that ingredient you choose, it gets added to the “Liquid Meal Wheel” (along with your name in obvious recognition of you being a generous human). Like so (but waaay bigger):

Here’s the ingredient list so far:

peanut butter






wasabi paste

red cabbage



vanilla ice cream

Tabasco sauce


Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce

caramel sauce

For every $20 raised, the wheel will be spun and an ingredient will be selected for thee smoothie.

  • So far, I’ve donated $5 and choose peanut butter to help get Raja (our dog) one step closer to enjoying an empty peanut butter jar.

  • Brian (my husband) decided to go with a $10 donation to “set the tone” and choose one “nice” ingredient – raspberries… and one “funky” ingredient – Clamato.

  • We had an anonymous donation come in for $25 with the following ingredients: blueberries, pineapple, ginger, Wasabi paste, red cabbage…

  • And the lovely Emma Grace Heaton – a self-proclaimed “softie” – choose strawberries and mango! <3

  • Then Christina Sterling came along and was like, “What would cut through that Wasabi paste best?” And after pondering coffee, lit up when she decided on vanilla ice cream.

  • Next, Diana Determan’s donation arrived and, after some convincing it was totally encouraged to choose a “funky” ingredient, she went with TABASCO SAUCE!!! lol!

  • The goal is to raise at least $100. By Friday. May 4. At 8:00 p.m. (Because that’s my team’s bowling time.)

  • Donations are accepted by Debit Card and Credit Card. You’ll select “PayPal” (and you don’t even have to have a PayPal account!). It’ll walk you right on through, easy peasy lemon squeezy. Trust.

  • If you’ll be seeing me in person in the next 24 hours, feel free to hand me cash. Trust.

  • And if anyone happens to donate $5,000… I will shave my head. For the children.

  • To donate, type in the dollar amount you want to give below, fill in the form and hit “Donate Now”. It’ll guide you through the rest (without having to sign up for PayPal). Pinky promise.

$105 of $100 raised
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Donation Total: $5.00

Next steps: You’ll click on the “Donate Now” button above. Then a new page will load and you’ll select “donate with credit or debit card”. Next, it’ll take you to a page that says “donate to”, which is 100% correct. Those funds will go into my PayPal account and I’ll get them zapped over to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The Back Story:

That time I totally meant to paint and sell a second 16″ x 20″ canvas to raise money for a good cause… and I never made it passed the “gesso” part…



The fundraising event, Bowl for Kids’ Sake, is in less than 48 hours. And I committed to raising $100. As of a few hours ago, I had exactly nothing figured out, except an idea to shave my head. Based on the title of this blog post you can see discussions were had.

And now we’re here:

Liquid Meal Wheel:
A Really Weird Fundraiser for BBBS

You know you want to see an ingredient with your name on the wheel… when it’s waaay bigger…

Donate right here by typing in the dollar amount you want to give, fill in the form and hit “Donate Now”. It’ll guide you through the rest (without having to sign up for PayPal). Pinky promise.

$105 of $100 raised
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Donation Total: $5.00

Thanks for being awesome!

And, after you donate, be sure to come back to this post and type your ingredient(s) in the comments section. Or I’ll just choose something “nice” for myself…