As human beings, we never stop growing.

It is totally up to us if that growth is a positive growth or a negative growth.  Whether we like it or not, we are constantly in a state of change.  We’re living, breathing organisms that are in constant flux.  We can choose to fertilize that growth with positive energy or stagnate it with negative energy, either way, it’s our choice and no one else’s.

There is so much negative energy in the world today that we have to be very deliberate about who and what we surround ourselves with.

This journey for Sandy and I is about so much more than traveling around in an RV and seeing new things and meeting new people.  Sure, that’s all part of it, but it’s so much deeper than that.  It’s about freedom.  It’s about liberation.  It’s about a spiritual awaking.  It’s also about leaving a toxic atmosphere.  All of those things and more are what led to us embarking on this journey.

We made a deliberate choice to leave a toxic atmosphere and surround ourselves with like-minded, positive energy people who feed our souls and help them to grow and nurture.

This past weekend, we were able to attend the Growth Now Summit Live.  Which was an event hosted by our good friend, Justin Schenck.  Justin and I have known each other for many years.  He served on the board of the nonprofit organization that I had founded back in Berks County.  We have been guests on each other’s podcasts.  But most of all, he is a dear friend who shares the philosophy of giving back first.

Sandy and I had really been looking forward to attending the event, however, leading up to it, we had some doubts as whether we’d be able to go.  Sandy’s sister, Cheryl was in declining health and we knew that she couldn’t be left alone.  Cheryl, who sadly passed away on Tuesday wanted no parts of hearing about us missing this event.  Almost as if she knew how much we would need it.  As I had mentioned in my tribute blog to her yesterday, she insisted that we go and made sure that her son Matthew would be home for the weekend to care for her.

As soon as we arrived, you could feel the positive energy in the air.  We said hello to Justin and Lauren and were able to see some old friends who we didn’t realize would be at the event.

From the very beginning, we knew that we were in a special place with special people.  I think that’s one of the most important things when it comes to personal growth – who you surround yourself with.  You can’t surround yourself with negative energy and expect to get positive growth out of it.  It’s like the old saying, “Garbage in – garbage out.”

During Justin’s talk at the event, he spoke a lot about community.  Reiterating what I just wrote about and how important it is to place yourself into a positive community.  This is something that I’ve written about many times since this journey started.  Sandy and I had embraced our old community for 30 years, giving our blood, sweat, and tears to it.  Unfortunately, the political leadership in our old community lacked vision and was very comfortable with status quo.  Many people and groups over the years tried to create positive change, but were often times discouraged or even outright suppressed by those in power.  It was toxic and unhealthy and helped lead Sandy and I to make the decision to remove ourselves from it.  It certainly wasn’t the only factor, but it was part of the equation.  I continue to pray for new leadership that has the community’s best interest at heart because it is a wonderful community with wonderful people and deserves so much better than what the current leadership has given it.

Since we started this journey, we have embraced and have been embraced by, the RV community.  It is a community like no other.  A bunch of nomads who call nowhere and everywhere their home.  Willing to help and lend a hand to anyone who needs it.  We come together, go our separate ways, follow each other’s travels, cheer each other on, and send each condolence when needed.  We cherish our moments together and have truly embraced living in the moment.

The people we met at the Growth Now Summit were very much like the RV community, just without the wheels.  It was a group that wasn’t in competition with each other, but truly wanted everyone else in the room to win as much they were winning.  It was special indeed.  Knowing that we’d be removed from our RV community by being stationary until September, this was the type of connection that we needed.  It was a breath of fresh air to say the least.

I think that the need for real human connection in the world is greater now than it’s ever been.  It’s something that was stripped from us throughout the pandemic.  It’s also been something that has been faked for decades.  Many businesses nowadays are based on transactions as opposed to relationships.  The entrepreneurs gathered at the Growth Now Summit were people who based the foundation of their business success on relationships as opposed to transactions.  Something else that is slowly being stripped away from us as small businesses struggle to complete in what is a growing global market.  All of my success in the business world was based on relationships.  It was great to be surrounded by other like-minded people who believed in the same philosophy.  People who were more focused on their impact as opposed to their profit margin.

Community is so important to our well-being.  It can truly make or break you.  You have to be intentional about who you’re surrounding yourself with on a daily basis.  You have to be courageous enough to walk away from toxic relationships and negative energy.  The damage that is done, the longer that you stay in those relationships can take years to repair.

Be deliberate about finding a community that is positive, supportive, and cheers you on when you win.

Putting yourself in a Growth Community will feed your mind, body, and soul.

That’s what we’ve done with the RV Community and that’s we did at the Growth Now Summit Live.