Recently, I’ve been taking a social innovations class at BYU-I where we are encouraged to keep a journal of what we learn each week. Welcome to entry 9 of said journal. I’ll be using Joseph Campbell’s theory of The Hero’s Journey as a framework for my posts, each week will be a different stage. I hope you like it!
2012-10-23 16.34.02

One of my dance classes that I taught to hymns and other Christ centered music. These girls were amazing, and they came into it with no dance experience whatsoever and shined.

On the Ordeal

Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear.  Out of the moment of death comes a new life.”’s_journey.htm

I buried a dream this week. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I had to say goodbye to something that I had hoped, planned, and prepared for, for so very long. I went down to visit my home town the other day, with the idea of assessing it’s needs and if a program I had been preparing to start there for years would fill those needs. I had daydreamed, and hoped, and imagined, and I was finally able to get down there and possibly start putting things in motion. When I arrived, I wanted to cry. As I entered my home-and what would have been the facilities used for the program-tears welled up in my eyes and I didn’t know if I would be able to bring myself to return to school for the last few weeks of the semester. For the first few nights I slept with so much peace and joy in my heart.


A facebook post I posted the next morning.


Cheer team, back when it wasn’t thought of as cool but we did it anyways to support the town.

However, it soon became clear that even though thetown needed and wanted and were even asking for what I was hoping to provide, I wouldn’t be able to provide it. For one reason, some of them didn’t want it from me. Every mother knows that as their children grow, they transform from needing and readily accepting her help, to needing something but wanting to get it for themselves even when they are still not quite ready, to eventually becoming independent. These were the growing pains I was experiencing. I looked at the impacts I had tried to make before I had to move away, and they had grown to a large scale…but they had become warped.

It hurt for me to think that my influence was now making an impact for bad rather than an impact for good, and I wasn’t allowed to do anything to change it. I had left too soon, and so the project was left incomplete. I wanted to cry. As someone was talking about a way to fix it, a way that I was fully prepared to do being the only one with the skills to do that particular part of the solution, it was made clear that I wasn’t wanted.



Taken at one of the seminars I hosted for free about individual worth for the girls in the town.

This hurt. This hurt a lot. I went home, and the next morning we received an offer to buy the facilities. After praying, we felt it was the right thing to do. I traveled back to Utah, then back to Idaho feeling like I would never be able to recover from this heartbreak. It was much like losing a good friend of mine before their time, only I didn’t have the comfort of knowing that friend was in a better and happier place. I saw the struggle, and wasn’t allowed to help.


Teaching my first dance class in the studio we built. Ages 3-4

Now, many people would say “don’t give up” or “if you just keep pushing then you will be able to accomplish this.” The thing is, these are people, people that I love. I’m not going to impede on their free-agency and force my help on them. Instead, I will watch and pray, and like the mother with her child will watch as they grow in independence. I may not have a place in my home town anymore, in fact after struggling with this for the past three years I’m beginning to understand that I will probably never go back. All the same, I felt such a release from that past in my life, with the release of that dream I was freed to do the things that I have felt prompted that I need to do as of late. Even though my heart still aches, and I had prepared so much only to what felt like fail, I was able to be reborn in my own purpose. Often times, in this stage of the Hero’s journey, our hero’s face death and in a way die and are reborn. They don’t always win this battle, often times it’s a draw or a loss. It’s a learning experience that allows them to move forward into the next phase of their journey with the necessary grit and mindset and purpose.






A recycling program I set up at one of the girls camps. By recycling you entered into a drawing for fashionable items made out of cleaned recycled materials.


Girls putting their names in for the raffle. The more they recycled the more entries they got!

On Class
Something that was mentioned in class by brother Gwilliam is that most of the greatest change makers in our time are introverts. They are people that wouldn’t necessarily be comfortable being major icons and advocates of change, out in the public. I’m sure when each of them started out they had doubts about their own abilities much like our hero’s did. They had to push themselves to use their gifts that come with being introverted to infect our extroverted world with love, and hope, and help. I believe it was their gentleness, and their understanding of others that lead them, and gave them the crucial skills they needed to make a difference. In class we also had a guest speaker from Rising Star Outreach. He said “Hopefully what we’re inspiring people to do is to see others the way God sees them.” I think that a powerful gift that can come naturally to some introverts is the ability to see beauty in people and in the world. Sometimes, you have to look really hard, but it’s there. I believe if we act from a place of seeing the beauty, we will create more beauty in the world.



2011-10-20 20.36.19

Taken after I planned and created a program that was implemented in a stake wide young women’s Night of Excellence.


What role does a full social business have in creating a better world?
I feel like, a full social business essentially takes on the responsibility, and stands up and says “I will help, I will take ownership over the world and it’s pains, and I will commit to creating solutions for these problems.

Why is it important that social business and traditional business not only co-exist but cooperate?
I feel like as humans we have this strange compulsion to stick each other in little boxes and command them not to expand beyond those boundaries. When I try to understand this, I wonder if it’s a way of self protecting. We are extraordinarily afraid of the unknown and unpredictable. Human beings are extremely unpredictable. We have an amazing capacity for change, and growth, and happy surprises. We are powerful, and we are scared of our own power. So we limit opportunities of connecting with-and helping-each other because we are afraid of getting hurt. I feel like this is the problem that we sometimes face in regards to social business and traditional business. It’s easy for us to put them each in their little boxes and tell them not to escape. Instead, we need each other. If social business and traditional business could band together the impact we could make for good would be unimaginable. There are few things more powerful than supporting, and advocating for, and loving our fellow men. As traditional and social businesses I believe we should be proud of each other, we should encourage each other, we should create friendships almost as if these categories are friends of their own.