My Caricature By: Alison Loyd

My Caricature By: Alison Loyd

My school does a huge Art Day in the Spring and it’s amazing! This year we had painters, a potter, a whole cafeteria of activities for the kids, even a bagpiper and Vincent Van Gogh showed up! What was really amazing though was how one drawing could remind me of a very important lesson I learned in The Journey Training.

One of the artists was a caricaturist. If you’ve never seen a caricature, it’s a cartoon-like drawing that magnifies the most obvious features of the person or subject. I had one done years ago and was excited to have another. The teacher was the subject and the students got to watch. Despite my eagerness, I knew what the artist would pick up on because I remembered it being distinct from my last one. I knew when he finished, I would see a very large forehead and striking jaw. I’m self-conscious about this, but wanted to participate anyway. To involve my kids more, I had them tell the artist what I liked. One said coffee and another said football.

Then came the unveiling. Sure enough, he did a great job! I had a coffee cup and yes – a large forehead and jaw.

As I said, I predicted it, so it was an easier pill to swallow. I struggle with self-image issues, but my experiences with The Journey Training continue to teach me I don’t have to live there. We all have parts of us that are striking. It may be a jaw or large thighs. It may be a tall height or type of hair. It may be a bad temper or the tendency to hide behind happiness.

Those characteristics don’t define us. They just reveal aspects of ourselves that we are giving off. People may notice my chin, but that doesn’t make me ugly. People may see that I’m trying to be happy even when things aren’t good. It’s not bad, it’s just an experience.

The Journey Training gave me the freedom to receive and embrace feedback. It’s like a caricature, but this one can draw you into a better life!


Things Unseen

Things Unseen

Have you ever thought everything’s going just fine, and then…BAM! You realize that you’ve been blind to things unseen? I have. It’s hard for us to realize that there are things that we just don’t have the ability to see without help. Yet we walk through life, often thinking we see it all and know exactly what’s going on. This attitude can be the very thing that is holding you back from your dreams!


When I was a music major in college, I took recording and sound engineering classes. The equipment we had back then pales in comparison to what’s available today, but the concepts are the same. I learned that the human ear can hear frequencies between about 20 hertz and 20,000 hertz. So I asked the question: are there frequencies beyond these limits? And if so, how would we know?

Well, you cannot hear 10 hertz, but I promise you can feel it! If you want your bass to really move the audience, get speakers that can handle sounds at 10 hertz. You won’t hear it, but you’ll know it is there! On the same level, what about above 20,000 hertz? Well, blow a dog whistle and see if you can hear it. You can’t, but a dog can. A dog can hear between 60 hertz and 44,000 hertz – twice as high as we can hear! And if you think that’s something, a porpoise can hear up to 150,000 hertz! I wonder what that sounds like, don’t you?

Our vision

We see our own lives and actions from our own perspectives. It is almost impossible to see it otherwise. I was in an interview with two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Gina Kolata with the New York Times last week when she asked, “When you were gaining the weight, when did you first realize how big you were?” Well, it was when I could see myself from a different perspective when I first really knew. I saw myself on video from the neck down – we often focus on our face when we see pictures – and I was shocked. It was then I knew how bad things were and something had to change.

You see, our lives and habits change a little bit at a time. We gain a pound a week, not 10 pounds a week. We become closed off by choosing to avoid others one time, then twice, and so on. What we do every day becomes normal, so those unhealthy changes – those things that are holding you back from being all that you can be – happen slowly and become our new normal. We need a different perspective.


We all hate it, but we all need it. If you want to know how you are really doing, ask for some feedback. You might not like what you hear, but it may give you the information you need to better yourself. We are all sending off frequencies we cannot hear, but some of the people in our lives hear them loud and clear! So ask for feedback – a different perspective – and then weigh it carefully. As my friend Tennie McCarty said to me, “You place feedback right up here on your shoulder and see if it weighs heavily on you. If it does, take it to heart and use it for your improvement. If it doesn’t, let it roll off your back and leave it behind.”

I sent a text out to everyone I knew a while back and asked, “What is my greatest strength and greatest weakness?” The most common strength I got was determination. The most common weakness was impatience. I’ve since worked on my patience, and while I’m not perfect, I’m a lot better than I used to be – thanks to that feedback!

You never know, the feedback someone gives you might be the reason you keep bombing those interviews, or why people keep you at a distance. You might not intend to be sending off those frequencies, but maybe they’re the very thing that you are sending off. The only way to know is by asking. And after you hear the feedback, say to the person you asked, “Thank you for caring enough about me to be honest.”

In The Journey Training, I see people come into their Threshold weekend sending off many negative frequencies. By the end of their weekend, I see them standing taller, smiling more, and sending off frequencies that are much more serving to them. Perhaps you’ve encountered a recent Journey graduate and thought, “What has happened to them? They seem so happy and energized!” Well, the same can happen to you, my friend. Just go to The Journey training and sign up for the next Threshold class and begin to see those things you’ve been missing!

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