how i escaped the wildfire


lisa fabrega

On the left, me at the vet at 7:30 am & on the right, in a smoke mask sitting in my car doing phone calls.

On Monday I had to rush one of my dogs to the vet at 7:30 am and pay an unexpected $300 bill because she had somehow scratched her cornea. My day was so packed with client calls, it was the only time I had to take her before I had to be back at 9 am to let the cleaning ladies in and jump on the phone. I barely had time for a shower. I finished my day at 6:30 pm and at 7:00 pm my entire neighborhood lost electricity.

A large wildfire had started in my town and damaged the electrical poles. I knew I wasn’t going to get much sleep that night. It’s impossible to sleep when you’re waiting for a possible emergency evacuation notice. So, by candlelight, I tossed and turned all night, waking up every few hours to make sure I hadn’t missed a “get out now” text, and trying to preserve the dying battery on my phone.

The next morning with no more than a few hours of sleep under my belt, I woke up at 6am, packed a bag full of clothes and toiletries, dressed to meet my personal trainer at the gym, then loaded up my dogs in the car, dropped them off at daycare and drove over to work out with my trainer.  

Still, no power at my home. Which for me also means… no water. So I finished my workout, then got showered and dressed at the gym. The smoke from the fire was now blanketing the whole town, making it hard to breathe as ash fell on my car windshield. 

No power at my home means no internet. And no internet for me means I can’t work at home, nor conduct phone calls. I live on a mountain, so there’s not much cell signal up here.

I had several VERY important calls that day, but there was no way I was going to miss them. Besides, I was still in no danger. So now I had to figure out where I was going to go to work today. Most co-working spaces are downtown, where the smoke inhalation is bad. So I couldn’t go there.

I decide to drive to the post office in the furthest town away from the smoke and conduct ALL of my phone calls from my car that day. In between calls, I ran into shops for lunch and bathroom breaks and then back into my car for the next call. A few hours later, halfway through my calls, the smoke made its way to the area I’m in. I put my smoke mask on, knowing there was no escaping the smoke now, and I got on my next call: a VIP day with a woman all the way in Bali.

I finished my day at 5pm. But then I had to drive to the next town to buy a generator. The power company said it had “no idea” when power would be back. I have FIVE people on their way to my house for the holiday weekend. It’s my first time hosting them. And now they’re about to arrive to a smoke-filled town in crisis, no water, and no electricity. A generator might at least allow them to plug their phones in…

I arrived home at 7:00 pm after plunking down another unplanned $700 for a generator and all the cables (and I’ve never used a generator in my life, so now I had to figure out how to install this thing) and picking up my dogs from doggy daycare.

As I drove up the hill to my home, I saw lights twinkling in the crevices of the canyon. Could it be? The power was back on!!! A few hours later, rain on the skylight in my room woke me up. Ahhh. Relief. The fire was out. The power was back on. Things were back to “normal.”

No, but seriously… why am I telling you all of this?

There’s a quote my friend Lena West said to me recently: “When you’re committed, you do what it takes and you FIND the way. When it’s just “interesting” to you, you find an excuse.”


I have also said similar things over the years to y’all here. And I know sometimes people get their feelings hurt when I say it or have a big ol’ “but” in reply…But I’ve never found more truth in that statement when it comes to seeing who moves forward in their lives and who stays stuck.

How do I know this is true? Oh, I’ve only just watched THOUSANDS of women for the last 10 years commit to their goals and go for it, creating AMAZING, out-of-this-world lives, careers and businesses. 

And I’ve also watched hundreds just find their goals “interesting” and quit or struggle for years through the same problem over and over again.  Always complaining of being too overwhelmed with their daily lives and schedules to do anything.

Just last week I spoke with a woman who was in such deep pain over being stuck in her life, but in the end, she still chose to go back to the same patterns. She told me she “lacked the courage to make the decision.” The truth is, her true calling was not important enough to her yet. It was just “interesting.”  When you’re committed, you do it, even if you’re afraid. Period.

You are either committed or you aren’t.

I’ve had a woman fly with her 3-month-old baby across the United States to attend a VIP day in my home because she was COMMITTED to her purpose and her business. I’ve had a participant in one of my programs go through chemo and still show up for our calls. That’s commitment.

These last two days reflected back to me how much I’ve personally grown in my capacity to show up for my work, even when it’s hard. I bet you MOST of my clients who spoke with me the day I had a smoke mask on my face and was sitting in my car had no idea I was not sitting at home comfortably. 

I’m not bragging. I don’t have some “special stamina” that others don’t. Nope. I’ve had to DO THE HARD WORK, just like you. I’ve had to build my capacity just like you. Life has handed me my ass on a platter many, many times in the last decade of running this business. 

I’ve been, at times, in the darkest and hardest moments of my life. I’ve dealt with having to go no contact with family members, which felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest, yet it was still necessary for my emotional and LIFE health. I’ve felt so lonely when I was transitioning out of bad relationships into new, healthier ones that I felt like I would surely die of loneliness.

And the last two years have been NO piece of cake for me, either. I had to run a business and a team full time, serve clients, do the basic errands of living a life, attend herbalism school… AND do all that during:

  • the murder of my first cousin and attending the funeral, grieving and holding space for family members in the middle of a launch.
  • having to kick out a crazy stalker fan that somehow lied her way into being my housemate.
  • taking over the entire three-bedroom home I was living part-time in so that I could host my retreats here and, in doing so, tripling my rent.
  • dealing with the loss of several friends and a profound betrayal from a close friend that left me reeling for four months and gave me a pulmonary infection. (Lung stuff is always grief stuff.)
  • going through TWO ENTIRE teams as I up-leveled and built the team that COULD handle the excellence of the next level and truly support me and the mission.
  • pivoting some of my offerings so I could expand my community more (this felt like turning around a 100-ton ship while being given only three seconds to do so).
  • stretching my Visibility Capacity by being flown out to speak at several colleagues’ events and finding time in an already packed schedule to appear on more podcasts and publications.
  • making new friendship connections with emotionally healthy and truly supportive people.
  • continuing to heal trauma from childhood physical/emotional abuse which had my nervous system on edge.
  • adopting not one but TWO rescue dogs and helping them restore their wrecked nervous systems.
  • have two six-week stretches that were so busy I wasn’t able to take a single day off (and no, I WASN’T burned out at the end, because, hello, capacity).

This year, in particular, CHALLENGED me in my own Capacity. I consider myself to be a person who NEVER has excuses. I work it out if I’m committed. But when business gets busier, you do end up having more things to do and more things to delegate. And I was tempted like crazy to throw up excuses, complain about how I “needed rest” or stay comfortable where I was.

(I’m not saying you shouldn’t rest. But a lot of times you actually are okay, don’t need to rest, and that’s just your ego throwing up excuses to scare you off from achieving your goals.)

If there’s anything working with women on their capacity (and building my own) has taught me, it’s that there’s never a perfect time to start working on your capacity. There is NEVER a time when things are calm enough for you to start.

Because life isn’t calm. Life happens while you’re building and expanding your business and working towards your goals. It’s always a juggling act.  

And when you expand your capacity, you just get better at juggling, until you don’t feel like you’re “juggling” at all. But this ONLY happens IF YOU PRIORITIZE expanding your capacity.

Ten years ago if you had put me in the situation I was in this past Monday and Tuesday, I would have been emotionally stressed all day long. I would have had a panic attack or whined and complained in my head all day long. I might have been tempted to reschedule calls. I might have felt triggered all day with old PTSD from when I was evacuated five times from my home and mudslides killed many in my neighborhood. 

Instead, at the end of the day, I marveled at how calm and on-task I felt the entire time. I managed to eat well (NOT stress eat), workout with my trainer and take care of business, all while there was a fire raging a few miles away. There was no room in my brain to even for one moment consider stressing. 

Stressing would have been a waste of time and energy. I’d rather give that energy to my mission and to being of service.

I’m committed to my business, my clients, YOU and my capacity to do all of this. And if that means I have to put a damn smoke mask on and sit in my car for six hours to deliver my calls, so be it. That also means I know when to rest, too.

This is the kind of stamina I used to dream of having when I looked at people I admired and wondered “how does she do it all?”

But if we allow our calendars and lives to “overwhelm” us emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually… then that’s like trying to get to the finish line while adding 100lb. weights to your ankles.

Expanding your capacity to NOT feel overwhelmed takes those weights off of your ankles and helps you get to your finish lines faster. You think a “killer online funnel strategy” would have helped me remain as calm and committed as I did this week? NOPE.

So, I’m issuing this little loving challenge to you today.

You’re either committed and you will FIND THE WAY to prioritize expanding your capacity this year. Or you’ll continue to find your deepest calling “interesting” enough to let all the excuses keep you stuck.

Which one are you?

If you’re committed, my hand is reaching out to you to help you across the threshold and to the other side, where all that you desire lies waiting for you to claim it.

If you’re ready to claim your highest vision, leave a comment and let’s see how I can support you. And did you know that I have a NEW program where you can work with me for less than $400 a month?

Leave a comment if you’re committed (not “interested”) and share your current capacity challenges with me. Let’s see how I can help.

In Love and Capacity,