blog retreats

Dream Into Action: Commitment and a Tiny Acorn

This morning, as I got to work, I reached into my coat pocket and found a tiny acorn. Every time I reach in and find the little acorn, it surprises me, even though it’s been in my pocket for five years.

Five years ago, I was on a business trip to Monnett, Missouri to configure a banking core product (I know, so exciting, such is the world of financial services). I joked that it was the second business trip I’d ever been on, and both had been to uneventful places; first Salt Lake City, and now Monnet, Missouri. When I look back, though, both places and both trips were life changing for me.

It was December, and it was COLD, and crisp, and the company we were visiting had a lovely park-like campus out on the middle of a vast wide prairie (and in all honesty, I love the prairie, have had a fascination with it since I was five.). I strolled around the campus, missing my very young son, missing my home, wondering what the hell I was doing in the Southwest corner of Missouri, what I was doing configuring a banking core … why? what the heck? was this what my life was supposed to be? trips with bad food, lumpy beds, not much sleep and doing work I didn’t really care about?

I picked up a tiny acorn and I put it in my pocket, knowing that it would remind me of this cold, windy day, far away from home, looking out over a small lake, it would remind me that there was a time when I had a good job, a stable job, where I was valued, but I dreamed of something else. More time with my family. Work that mattered to me. I did not know what that thing was, what I was searching for, but I knew I had to go in search of it. This was the beginning, the commitment, the start, the figurative planting of the seed on my heart.


On that same trip, I got a call from a colleague, looking to hire a marketing manager on her team, and it seemed like work that I might enjoy. I took that job, and then a total of 3 more jobs over 2 years because nothing felt right, felt like home, felt like I was following my purpose. In the midst of that job jumping, the acorn remained. It went to New York with me (my only ‘exciting’ business trip), it’s traveled, it’s continued to remind me of a promise I made to myself, urging me on each time my hand finds it in my left coat pocket.

And yet that commitment still surprises me, still. Much as I am surprised by the acorn,  I amaze myself when I stay up late, when I push through the hard stuff to get to what matters, when I change everything because Plan A didn’t work, and Plan B didn’t do much better. Plan C still has a chance. I am surprised when other people start to see my dream, and show or tell me they believe it in, too. When they say yes to Plan C because they have an acorn of their own they’re growing, and they hope with all their hearts we can grow a forest of dream trees together. This is connection, community.


That’s what happens when you commit, when you go all in, when you start to fight for that purpose that was welling up inside, refusing to be ignored, even on the coldest and windiest days, in the most improbable of places.

When you say yes, when you pick up that acorn, your whole life changes.

And if you know about that yearning, about that searching, and you’re ready for that change, I’m here. I know 9 other women who believe in you and the transformation you want to make, and we all want to help you with the first step on your journey. Let us help you surprise yourself, and bring your dream to life.

Click here to register for the Dream Into Action online retreat running November 13-15, 2015. Use the code DREAM5 to get $5 off.


You Might Also Like

  • Claire
    November 7, 2015 at 6:08 am

    I love this post and your acorn metaphor 🙂 It’s great that you are offering support to others x

    • Paula
      November 9, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      Hi Claire – thank you and thank you for stopping by!

  • Stacey
    November 7, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    I love that you still have that acorn. There is nothing better than feeling like you are exactly where you are suppose to be.

    • Paula
      November 9, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      Hi Stacey 🙂 It’s hard to really feel and believe that we are right where we should be 🙂 Thank you for stopping by – I love your blog’s name!

  • Cynthia @craftoflaughter
    November 8, 2015 at 5:39 am

    I love this story! I hope you have your acorn for years to come!

  • lexie
    November 8, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Thank you for the reminder. Saying yes is so hard sometimes. I love that you have the acorn as a reminder. Such a great idea. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Paula
      November 9, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Lexie, it’s funny how hard it is to say both “yes” and “no.” Thank you for stopping by!

  • Christine
    November 8, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Such a powerful message! It can be so frightening sometimes to chase those dreams but so fulfilling! That’s what I did when I started my blog and it’s been the greatest ride yet!

    • Paula
      November 9, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      Christine, I totally agree. I’ve found the blogging community to be so welcoming and amazing! So glad to have met you!

  • Mar
    November 8, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Love everything about this! Sometimes we need a little reminder to chase our dreams. I need to find an acorn!

    • Paula
      November 9, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      Hi Mar, I think keeping an acorn in your pocket is a great way to remind yourself to stay focused. 🙂 Good luck with all of your dreams!

  • Becca
    November 8, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Sometimes perseverance is all one needs! Love your metaphor.

    • Paula
      November 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Hi Becca – yes, perseverance is often the key 🙂

  • Ourfamilyworld
    November 9, 2015 at 12:16 am

    I love this story, you are such an inspiration. I would love to join the retreat. I will check this out.

    • Paula
      November 9, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Thank you for stopping by!

  • Addie K Martin
    November 11, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I can imagine you, like the acorn, transforming into a lovely, majestic tree. 🙂 What a good thing to keep around! 🙂

  • Jaclyn
    November 17, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Paula, I loved reading this. I’m feeling the same way in my life right now as you did when you picked up that acorn. I may have to do the same.

    • Paula
      November 20, 2015 at 12:20 am

      Hi Jaclyn – thank you!! I love finding that acorn in my pocket to remind me of where I’ve been. 🙂