Hi, my name is Jody England. On behalf of my dear friend and partner in BuzZen, Kim Yardlay, I want to thank you so much for visiting our website. To be in a position to truly better the lives of women is an awesome responsibility. In our journey to create BuzZen and since its launch, both Kim and I are routinely asked how we came about creating the concept and program. The truth is that BuzZen found us as much as we found it.
While the path I took may be different than yours, you and I are bound by what I’m sure is a very similar destination. For me it was to break free of what was keeping me from living my fullest potential. It was about finding meaning to those nagging questions that I could no longer brush aside, and about finding fulfillment and joy in a life that had come to feel empty. While I didn’t know it at the time, my journey to BuzZen was driven by a burning desire to reclaim the parts of me that had become lost and forgotten.
The Classic Overachiever
You’ve heard the term countless times. Overachiever. For many this means success. For me, it ultimately meant overworked, overextended and overwhelmed. But l don’t want to get ahead of myself.
I was born in a small farming community in northwest Ohio. I had a loving family and a very traditional childhood. I was taught that people should work hard, treat others with respect and do their best at whatever activity they were involved in. My parents encouraged me to excel and I did. Always seeking new ways to shine and stand out, I developed a strong drive toward success and money from an early age. This inner drive blossomed in high school and carried over into graduate school. The work, work, work and success, success, success mindset I had honed and perfected, served me well in the professional world.
I became a successful mental health therapist after achieving my masters degree in social work. I was truly committed to helping empower women and families. Meanwhile, I worked 2 full time jobs to make enough money to buy a house and got married to a wonderful man along the way. Like so many people, I wasn’t overly happy, yet I wasn’t overly unhappy. Work consumed me and I didn’t bother to stop the merry-go-round to actually consider if my life was joyful or if it needed something else. You see, I always had this thought that once I “arrived,” I would achieve and live a truly fulfilled, happy life. I was in a rut and didn’t know it…yet.
A Change of Scenery
Shortly after my husband and I were married, he made a career change into the insurance industry. While I was genuinely blessed to help the families and women I was counseling, the feeling of burnout and overwhelm had settled in. Suddenly and unexpectedly I was laid off from my therapist position and that seemed like a great time to try out something different. Since I had not been completely fulfilled there, I thought it must have been the profession, so surely a change to the business sector would bring all that I had been missing (but couldn’t put my finger on…).
I left my career as a therapist and dove into the insurance business with the same tenacity and focus as I had done with just about everything else up to that point in my life. The financial return was greater than anything I had earned before but it came with a price. The work was significantly time consuming and it was not uncommon for my husband and I to routinely spend as much as 70 to 80 hours per week grinding out the work to build our insurance business. We had intentionally decided to wait to have kids and instead filled our waking moments working…and working…and working. We had a great marriage and enjoyed the quality time we spent together. Our career in the insurance industry was fulfilling but was becoming increasingly more stressful. I was promoted to a Sales Manager and we became a fully two career household. With the big promotion and more financial freedom than we had ever experienced, I still wasn’t fulfilled. Aha, I thought! This must be why people have children. That is what we need to complete our circle. So, we started our family and everything changed.
No More Auto-Pilot
We had two children 15 months apart. For the first time in my life, I was forced to come off of auto pilot and I was lost. From the moment I learned I was pregnant I had always envisioned myself as the ultimate working mom. I mean, I could have it all, without sacrificing anything, right? Let me say that insurance was never my passion but it provided a comfortable life style. It didn’t take me long to realize that working 70 to 80 hours a week was a thing of the past.
Although I cut back my hours considerably, I soon began questioning everything around me. Eventually, the questions started to probe deeper and deeper. Why am I here? What is my purpose? How can I work and be a good mother? What do I want to teach my children? What is my spirituality? Is this all there is?
Eventually, the questions grew louder and the necessity for answers become too much to simply ignore. But I didn’t know what those answers were, and I found myself unable to get past the quagmire of doubt and distress that I had tumbled into. I was functioning in a daily depression. For the first time in my life, I had lost my way.
Thinking work would save me I threw myself into familiar territory, only to become increasingly more irritable. In no time at all I became a lousy, grumpy wife and a lousy, grumpy mother. I felt like a tiny ship being swallowed up by massive, unrelenting waves as life just pounded me into submission.
Simply put -- I wanted it all. I wanted to be a career woman and I wanted to make lots of money. I wanted a fabulous house, lots of expensive toys and I wanted an amazing marriage. I wanted to enjoy my children and be present for them. I wanted joy and happiness and abundance. Throughout my life I had experienced them all separately- BUT it now didn’t seem possible to have all of that at once. Did I have to choose between just some of these? Did I have to sacrifice one over the other? And if so, what was it that would be sacrificed? I was in mourning over the loss of my options and my complete and utter lack of control.
The Body Knows what the Mind Refuses to See
As I continued to drift and to participate in work and in a life that didn’t satisfy me, I began to have some serious health problems. I had always been extremely healthy, but now, I had one physical ailment after another. I tried to ignore them and do my thing (you know, “work, work, work”…), but eventually I became completely miserable. I visited one doctor after another searching for the cause. In one year I had four medical procedures, one surgery, and 10 different prescriptions only to finally have my Doctor sit down with me and give me his final diagnosis. He said, “We have ruled out all reasons that could be causing your symptoms except for this – your Type A personality and the level of stress under which you live your life is causing you to be sick. If you want to get rid of the symptoms, you need to de-stress your life.” Hmmmm….. Very interesting.
I took his advice to heart and made a new resolution. During the next year, I would work on nurturing my spirit and “bring more Zen into my life.” (Those were my exact words.) I began my quest for peace and happiness, but I had no idea where to look. I tried lots of options to find out what resonated with me. Then, a few months into my journey, I had lunch with my good friend Kim Yardlay.
One Listen and I Was Hooked
During our lunch I expressed my situation to Kim. She seemed to instantly know what I needed to hear and suggested I listen to a set of CDs from master motivator and real-estate guru Matthew Ferry. I was somewhat interested, and I respected Kim’s perspective so I agreed to listen. I thought the CDs were going to tell me about creating more sales in my business. However, as I listened they began to resonate with so much more. The very questions that had been burdening me for months were starting to become easier to answer.
What I was hearing seemed almost too good to be true. This guy on the CD was talking about working less and making more. He was talking about creating your own reality by using your mind. I was skeptical but I was desperate for a life raft so I decided to give some of the things he was talking about a try. As I began to practice these strategies, my life immediately and profoundly began to change. The changes happened so rapidly and so dramatically that I became addicted. I devoured every CD Matthew Ferry had ever created. But it didn’t stop there. I got my hands on every book and resource he referenced. I even signed up for his Academy of Influence. I was hooked!
BuzZen Is Born
A month or so into my program with Matthew, Kim and I had lunch again. She shared with me how she put to use the same principles I was learning and applied them to one of her group of friends. It was kind of a passing comment at the time and I was happy for Kim that she was able to pass on the same thrill and success to others that she and I had experienced.
A week later as I was lying quietly with my daughter, I was overcome with an idea. Wouldn’t it be great if we could use these principles to teach all women how to create a life that was full of purpose, meaning, and joy? If all women could become aware of the power they possess to do what I was now doing in my life, and what Kim had done in her own life, just think of how that could dramatically and positively change things for women everywhere! I had never been more certain about anything in my life. Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep that night. The next morning I met Kim at her office and excitedly pitched my vision to her. She was in.
From that first day in Kim’s office, BuzZen has taken on a life of its own. Through the power of the principles you will learn in the BuzZen program, we were able to manifest this idea into a tangible, life altering entity in just a mere six months. The process and how it can be leveraged to unfold in your life is detailed in the BuzZen Guide to New Beehaviors and BuzZen program. For now, I just want you to realize this:
Kim and I are just regular women who have developed a process that can immediately open the doors for you to achieve extraordinary results in your life. Perhaps best of all is that you decide what is extraordinary FOR YOU! And then you create it!
I look forward to hearing about the amazing life you create.