Look at THAT face! This is me as a not-so-tiny baby. I was cheerful, strong, open-minded, & vibrant. This photo captures "Who I Be" as a person before the world got to me. It's my Essence, and when I show up this way I am at my very best. Over time though, I was taught to be less of me. Parents overlooked me because I was so go-lucky and self-sufficient. Some teachers dismissed me because I didn't think the way they did. I had friends who took advantage of me because I had become insecure and began tolerating bad behavior. Throw a few crises and traumas in the mix, and I was showing up in a way that was out of alignment with "Who I Be". Perhaps you can relate?

Life happens. It's unpredictable and uncertain. I used life's happenings as a reason to ignore my essences. Desperate to fit in, I dulled myself. By focusing on the approval of others, my essences got lost and I became someone who was wearing all sorts of masks depending on who I was with. It was an exhausting affair, and eventually, it sucked the life force out of me. I was in a marriage that wasn't working well, in a career I wasn't really excited about, and hanging out with people who didn't want the best for me. Like before, throw in a few crises and traumas into the mix, and I decided I HAD to get back to my essences. I had to find that Allison in the photo because that is Who I Be.

I have been married for 22 years and have two wonderful kids. In addition, I have served on several Boards of Directors, including being elected to the Oshkosh School Board for 10 years and have served as its Treasurer, Vice President, and President.

In October 2019, I was fortunate enough to be a selected speaker for TedX Oshkosh, where I spoke about not hiding our life’s messes from each other. In addition, I am the author of two published books. The first is “Think Possible: The Light and Dark Side of Never Running Out of Ideas”. This is a book for leaders who think BIG and never run out of ideas, and it explores the seven attributes that make visionary leaders unstoppable. The second, to be released in 2020, is “Unconditional: Learning to Navigate and Reframe Mental Illness - Together” which is for anyone who suffers with mental illness or loves someone who does.

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 Allison Garner

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