#00013: On Earning Love; Running Water Runs Deep

Handwritten on Saturday, January 7, 2017

I am 35 years old and born in 1981. I started out in a home that had running water; except in the second house when the pipes froze during a dozen or so wind-whipped winter days in the double-wide manufactured home my parents mortgaged in 1990.

My mother is 70 years old in two weeks and four days. We’re 35 years apart. She grew up in a house without running water. In her fifth year she and her older brother gained indoor plumbing, the next year a television, and the year after that their youngest sister, along with an upstairs so they no longer had to share the living room couch overnight.

My dad grew up in the Carlson Century Farm House, a big farm house that had running water and a creek running through the basement to cool down the milk cans from The Carlson Creamery business back in the day. He’s 30 years older than I, with an older and younger brother, and truly never thought he’d live so long as to be 60. Until five years ago he did.

I assume my sister definitely had running water from the time she was born because she started out more or less in foster homes. My parents started the adoption process before I was around, and adopted Nikki when she was three and I was four. Sight unseen and during the process, I told my parents that I’d be getting a sister with brown hair and brown eyes just like me. To this day, they attribute that spot-on prediction to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I attribute it to eavesdropping on the Lutheran Social Services coordinator and my desire to earn love by being remarkable.

Sound familiar to anyone? Trying to earn love in some way, shape or form? Sometimes we grow up not realizing that love is a gift. Gifts, by definition, are not earned. Gifts are given and gifts are received. Freely. Unconditionally. Without any expectations.




And so it is with love.




A bit of a paradigm shift for some of us.




Am I right?

Mom, Nikki (front), me (back), Dad — Carlson Family Church Directory Picture

Saturday, January 7, 2017’s original blog post draft


#00012: The Hardest Question

The very first thing any coach will ask you is, “What do you want?”




It’s considered the hardest question to answer.

Answering it honestly and with your actual true desires is fundamental to your happiness.

When you know what you – YOU – desire… 

… AND you know that your desires ARE YOUR OWN…

… and not what anyone else – i.e. parents, siblings, significant others, friends, coworkers, etc. – tells or pressures you to desire…

… then you can honestly answer the “What do you want?” question.

This answer can take time.

My advice?




Let it.



If you don’t know what YOUR desires are as of yet, that’s totally okay. You will figure it out.

For me it took 20 years to honestly define my desires. I had to figure out who I was and who I wasn’t.

Obviously, that can take time…




… A lot of time for some of us.




And a whole lot of bravery if your desires happen to not be exactly the same as others near and dear to you.

You can feel like an outsider, like you’re all alone, that NO ONE understand you, that no one is like you, that there isn’t really a group for you, that everyone else has something figured out or that everyone else is settling for mediocrity, that you’re somehow behind where you should be by this point in your life…




… and all of those feelings are very, very human.




And navigable.








They are.








So, here’s what I came up with for my desires, in the order they came through my mind:

  1. Honest Relationships

  2. Mastery ( i.e. one practice 10,000 times)

  3. Simplicity

  4. Happiness

  5. Peacefulness

  6. Fun & Playfulness

  7. Self-Confidence

  8. Artistry

  9. Love

  10. Putting in the Time

  11. Working Hard

  12. Building a Lasting Legacy




The short version of how I figured out my desires is that I was laying in bed, eyes closed, lights off, listening to new age music on Pandora (without ads, thank-you-very-much!) and thinking about what qualities are most important to me, what I respect, what I enjoy and questioning all the while if these answers were really my own or someone else’s.

When I finally looked INWARD, my answers came forward during a two to three hour time span. As each emerged, I added them to a list titled “Honor My Desires” on a page in my journal, so I could see them in the morning after a good night’s sleep.





… as it happens…




… the list above is absolutely of my very own desires.








So, here’s to you my friend…




… looking inward…




… and writing out your list of desires…




… to answer the hardest question…




… What do you want?







To your happiness.


#00011: That Time I Was On NBC & The Real “Secret” To Success IMHO

This, obviously, was a really fun morning! It was super early for me to be in full make-up and little black dress with styled hair…

… but that’s just what you do when you’re passionate about what you’re bringing to the community, right?

So yes, I had my appearance on NBC and that was super amazing. I was there promoting my Get More Nourished Night Out event. And… what this post is actually about is successfully going after something you want, hard work be damned.

I had no real idea of the amount of time involved in bringing the Get More Nourished Night Out to life. I just knew that I wanted to do the event – a celebration on the one year anniversary of working full-time in my business – and I wanted it to be big.

The key to making it come alive wasn’t my passion or drive or management, but the fact that one genuine person firmly believed I could pull it all together and make my vision – my dream if you will – a reality.

And I think that’s the real “secret” to success: to have that one genuine person firmly believe that you can – and will – achieve whatever it is you’re setting out to do. They don’t accept excuses or delays. They simply show up, hear out your idea, say “yes” you need to do that, expect you to be successful, and commit to being there on your big day to help you shine bright.

So with that I’ll leave you here to see a fun picture or two below and watch a 2002 music video and a 2018 movie preview. Then go figure out a way to shine bright, okay?

To your success,
Sara Hefty

P.S. O’Neal Hampton, thank you for being the genuine person who saw my vision of the Get More Nourished Night Out event right from the start, without question.

This picture is from three years prior to the GMNNO at a United States Postal Service event, where I met O’Neal Hampton in person. May 2010.

P.P.S. Thank you to Christina Aguilera for “Fighter” – both in 2002 and more recently in 2018’s “Life of the Party”. I definitely listened to the entire “Stripped” album – on my 2002 CD – in a CD player – following the movie.

As satisfying now as then.

Hit play below and rock out, stat.

Then scroll down to watch the trailer for “Life of the Party”. xoxo #noregrets


#00010: An Early Mock-Up Of Our Long-Standing Current Logo

Originally uploaded to the site on October 5, 2013:

They grow up so fast. Here’s our baby on December 2, 2013:

A very special thanks to the wonderfully talented Ms. Chelsea! As an intern in 2013-2014 for Get More, she worked her artistic and technical talents while utilizing exceptional communication skills to bring our complex logo to life. Five years later and this logo still makes me super happy. xoxo

#00009: These People Are Doing Something About Genocide

I’ve tried for two days to come up with a way to write this post.

United to End Genocide is dedicated to preventing and ending genocide and mass atrocities worldwide by building a powerful, lasting movement of community activists, faith leaders, students, artists, investors and genocide survivors, and all those who believe we must fulfill the promise the world made following the Holocaust: “Never Again!”

My words are insufficient.

Genocide is happening around the world.


Right now.

Let this post be what it is – a wake up call on deep human suffering of enormous magnitude that is happening right now during your lifetime.

Learn more.

#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.