Life Takes You By Surprise: Exploring the Lows and Highs with Laura Nelson

If you told me last year, I would someday be here…I would have laughed in your face.

Desperate Measures, by Peter Kellogg (2017)

I think all of us can agree that 2020 and, so far, 2021, is not what we imagined it would be on January 1 of last year.

These lyrics are from one of my favorite shows I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of; and I was lucky enough to work on Desperate Measures for both of it’s Off-Broadway runs. First, at the York Theatre Company in 2017, and then again in 2018 when it transferred to New World Stages; where I got to work alongside the lovely and amazingly talented Chickadee creator, Tara Llewellyn. This show holds a very special place in my heart, but it was during its 2018 run – not this crazy time of COVID – when things began to change for me.

The first few months of 2018 started out great! I had a fantastic vacation to the Caribbean, moved into an awesome apartment, booked work again on an amazing show (see above), and I was living up the single life in NYC. Like many people, I made a New Year’s resolution to get healthy and workout more. …That didn’t last long! I think I went maybe a month and a half working out, inconsistently mind you, before life got in the way or I found other excuses. “I’m too busy/tired.” “I’m counting my three flights of stairs up to my apartment as my workout today.” “I spent all day running around backstage. That counts as a workout, right?”

Then summer hit and everything started falling apart.

In the span of 10 weeks, I had some health issues that turned out to be precancerous cells, a cousin was shot and killed, an uncle passed away, there was a mass shooting in my college city, I got injured backstage at work and had to miss a few shows, my roommate ended up in the hospital, and my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor; which we later found out was cancerous.

I was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. 

After my cancer scare, and even more so after my dad’s diagnosis, I wanted to actually get healthier. I had seen a friend posting on social media about a 30 day wellness program with a business she was a consultant for, and decided to try it. What did I have to lose?

I’m so glad that I gave it a shot! After a few days, I could already tell a difference – I was sleeping better, I had more energy, my skin was clearing up, and I was less bloated. Two weeks in, I was feeling better than I ever have. I wanted to feel this good all the time, and I wanted to help others feel as good as I was feeling, so I signed up to be a consultant myself! I know what you’re thinking – “oh no, not one of those people…”

Yes, network marketing gets a bad rap and has a lot of preconceived notions around it, but hear me out.

Have you seen a friend post a referral or discount code online? They were using network marketing. Watched a good movie or read an interesting book lately? Found a restaurant or new local coffee shop? Got some new clothes from a brand or store you love? Naturally, you’re going to tell people about it or post about it on social media tagging the brands. I bet that store or restaurant didn’t give you a “thank you” check for your referral. My point is that everyone does network marketing every single day. Unfortunately, not everyone has found out that you can get paid for it. With my business, that’s what I do – I share the products I use and love with my network, but I get compensated for doing so. And I love that I’ve been able to build my business alongside my theatre career. I love that it gives me the flexibility to work wherever I want, whether that was a hotel room on tour last year, or now traveling back and forth from my home to my parent’s home a few times a week to help them while my dad is having more cancer treatment.

That song continues on with:

“But fate has a plan, unimagined by man.

And we must accept it with grace.

You think you know what’s coming.

You think that you are wise.

And then when you’re not looking, life takes you by surprise.

Desperate Measures, by Peter Kellogg (2017)

Summer 2018 did take me by surprise – a lot of surprises. The best surprise was finding this amazing company! Doing the 30 day program not only taught me how to eat healthy, but gave me tools and lessons on how to commit to goals and create good habits. I am a huge believer in this program! I’ve seen how it’s positively changed lives, and helped so many people find a healthier sustainable lifestyle. I am working out again and while I’m still not perfect, I have a more well rounded self care routine now that includes working out, reading and listening to personal growth books, building this business, listening to training videos, and participating in team calls. This business wasn’t something I was looking for, and it wasn’t something I never knew I needed or wanted. Now that I am part of this community, I wouldn’t trade it for the world! It changed not only my health for the better, but everything about this company has positively impacted my life as well.

I hustled hard and quickly promoted to the first of only four levels. Now, I’m very close to being promoted to the second level, and I had three of my biggest months ever in the craziness that was 2020. However, it’s not about the levels, or the gifts, or the white Mercedes. For me, it’s about the company; the culture of the company and the amazing community of men and women supporting each other. We are teachers, fitness instructors, students, grandparents, project managers, physical therapists, dieticians, occupational therapists, choir directors, event planners, actors, hair stylists, nurses, accountants, and so much more. And while we all have many differences, what we have in common is far greater. It’s about community, people, calling out greatness in one another, creating a life of purpose, and having a ton of fun doing it. I love that I get to help people become healthier and switch to products that are good for them and good for the planet. And I love showing people that there is another way and that I get to help people create more in their lives like I have in mine. You won’t hear advice from me unless I’ve tried it myself and it’s worked for me. I won’t recommend products, a program, or a service unless I think it may benefit you as well. My greatest hope is to be of service to you in health, mindset, business or life through my example (failures, successes and everything in between)!

I found this company and these amazing people when I was in one of the lowest points of my life. Even now as I’m writing this, going through another very hard week in my personal life, which closely resembles the summer of 2018, I know I can turn to my team to lift me up or to be a shoulder I can cry on.

Obviously, I didn’t dream of selling nutrition products and personal care/cosmetics when I was a little girl. But this business is a way for me to get closer to my actual dreams. While COVID doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon and, subsequently, my theatre career put on major pause, I’m so grateful that I have my business and community to fall back on. We were made for more. These are my people, and there’s room for you here.

*there are no guarantees. results are different for everyone.

A note from the Editor:

I met Laura working on the Off-Broadway run of “Desperate Measures” at New World Stages in 2018. Her recount of the production is nothing short of what it was; we all felt extremely lucky to be a part of its magic. I vividly remember when Laura started this journey, and it’s wonderful to see that she’s been able to successfully balance a career as a Stage Manager with this opportunity to champion others in their endeavor to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Published by tarallew

Actress, Writer, & latte-loving Manhattanite ✨

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