The GPS of Life Took Me Off-Course for a Reason

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Sometimes you get sick from eating something bad or sometimes it’s from a twisty road at night that messes with your equilibrium or maybe it’s because you need to purge some toxicity from your life.

Friday Dec 15th I keynoted the Veteran Business Outreach Center and Department of General Services Small Business Summit in Sacramento. The keynote went well and I hit the road to head toward Eagle Creek Ranch to plan the Elite Motorcycle Mastermind in June.

I plugged in the address to the GPS in my car and headed north. I made a couple of stops but I had snacks in the car so didn’t stop to eat anywhere. One of the snacks was something that needed refrigerating and I kept it in the insulated bag I had brought along. Mistakes number 1 and 2… should have doubled checked the GPS to see where it was taking me and should have thrown out that snack as I think it went bad.

There I was, cruising along up the 5 freeway and handling business on the (hands free) phone. I didn’t pay attention to the turn off in Redding for the 299, which is the road I should have taken. Instead of turning off there, the GPS takes me to this obscure narrow twisty rough mountain road 40 miles north of Redding. As soon as I pull off and get on this road I’m thinking, “where the heck am I?” The GPS says I’m close so I cruise up and around the road. I have a Cadillac SRX. Great car but not 4 wheel drive.

The road is fine despite its narrowness but it is dark now, really dark and I have to go slower. Then I come around a curve and start heading up hill right into a patch of snow. Uh oh. My car doesn’t have the traction to go up the hill in the snowy road. It was not ice yet but was slick. Great, now what, I’m stuck. I get out and try to “MacGyver” my way through it but none of my ingenuous ideas work.

I call my friends at the ranch to tell them I’m stuck. They aren’t there but I leave a message. I spent about half an hour working different ideas with the tools I had but nothing worked. I was only 17 miles from my destination! I sit and wait to see if they will call me back, maybe they will rescue me and pull me out of this mess?

Being the hands on military chic that I am, I can’t sit and wait. I have to take action. After all, I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere on a hill and my car has slid a little too close to the edge for my comfort. I decide to slowly back my way down the hill and manage to get to the non-snowy area and turn around. At this point I decide to head back the way I came. I figure there would be more snow that I would have a problem getting through anyway so chalked it up to a lesson learned about double checking my route etc. There are always lessons in this stuff.

Problem is, I’m now about 60 miles from Redding and then another 75 miles to go the way I should have gone. I don’t realize how far I am until much later but I head back down this road. It’s about this time I start to feel sick. I get out of the twisty road and stop at a Chevron and go to the bathroom. I sit for a while to alleviate the sick feeling. Then I press on only to stop several times to get sick on the side of the road. I stopped at 3 exits to nowhere before I made it to Redding to get sick and 2 more to just clear my head. I get to Redding and head for the 299. It’s about 34 miles to Weaverville on a slight twisty road and then 41 miles on another twisty road to the ranch.

I have no idea how many times I stopped but had to stop numerous times. I was shaking uncontrollably at times because my body had gone through a lot of purging and I was shivering from the cold because I kept rolling the window down to have fresh air to help with the nausea. During one of the stops I was leaning against the steering wheel with my eyes closed and heard a tapping on the window. There was a Highway Patrolman checking to see what was going on. He asked me if I needed an ambulance and I declined. After some conversation he left me to continue the head clearing.

Feeling better I pressed on and stopped again to get sick and then stopped again to rest my head on the steering wheel. Another Highway Patrolman pulled up alongside of me and told me I was about 15 minutes from Weaverville and they had hotels there if I wanted to stay because I was still a good ways from the ranch.


I made it to Weaverville and pulled off in a rest area and got in the back of my car, used one jacked for a pillow and a long coat for a blanket and slept for a bit. Feeling better I got up and pressed on the last 40 miles of the journey. I had to stop a few more times, once more to get sick. Along this road I saw a person in the middle of nowhere with a blingy coat and pulling a rolling suitcase. I had a long conversation with myself about that as it was like 30 degrees out and this was the middle of nowhere. I was sure that was not a “real” person because who would be in the middle of nowhere pulling a suitcase in a long blingy coat in freezing temperatures?

I made it to my destination at 1:30am. I left Sacramento at 2:30pm. It took me 9 hours to get there. I should have made it in 4. My wonderful friend helped me get my luggage inside. I had some hot tea then after a couple hours of conversation went to sleep and woke up the next morning feeling much better.

A few reflections; I realize what I did was not smart on many levels. You don’t always make the best decisions when your head isn’t clear. When I was driving I was alert but just felt sick to my stomach the whole time so had to keep stopping to let that pass. I should have checked the GPS to see what route it was taking me on because it was going the shortest route, which wasn’t necessarily the safest route. Maybe I should have stopped somewhere and had someone come get me or stayed at a hotel. However, my eye was on the mission and I couldn’t quit. The mission was “get to the ranch.” Must be my military mindset that kept me focused on that. Anything less than that was mission failure.

While this may seem like a simple case of food poisoning and altitude sickness I think it also had to do with purging the toxicity of the headspace I had been in the previous week where I felt really down on myself for several things in my business and personal life. My go to space is usually on beating myself up and I get in a defeated mode in my thinking because I get worried about the future. We all have our stuff and I’m being transparent about mine. Worry is one of my big things I have to knock down often and usually do it with gratitude and focus on faith and being of service but that doesn’t always work.

Evil knows where to attack each one of us to take us down and we have to recognize that and always be on the defensive. When I’m not, I get attacked and sometimes that attack takes me off my game. It’s the “inner game” that we have to play to win. I’m sure you have your inner game things that get to you too. For some it’s thoughts, other’s it’s substances or food, video games, TV, laziness or whatever it is. We all have those things that come in to take us out of what we are here on earth to do. Some people lose the battle with their stuff and it takes them out for good. That’s why having a support system, coach or counselor, someone to help you work through that. Go to support groups and be with like minded people so you don’t feel alone or do something to stop isolating.

During all my stops I was leaning against something and talking to God, asking for his help. I told him “I need you God, please help me.” That wasn’t about that situation as much as it was about my life. I’ve been feeling like I’ve been in a space of failure lately and not sure how to turn it around.

Interestingly enough I had thought I had lost a lot of my tenacity and ability to persevere through difficult situations. I proved myself wrong on that aspect as it took a lot of tenacity to get myself safely out of the snow situation and to keep going when I felt like giving up in the midst of being sick. I had to drive close to 200 miles as sick as I was and could have stopped at any time but my tenacious spirit kept me going to my destination. That’s reality and that’s who I am and I’m proud of myself for not giving up.

I am sure I let go of a lot of toxic thinking that has weighted me down because my thoughts are much clearer now and I’m motivated to keep moving forward and continue to have faith that it’s working out to my highest good. I feel different, like something was released and it took getting sick to get it out of my body.

I recently heard someone talk of people like me who are called to be “for the world” and having to give of ourselves to others. That is my calling to be there to help people through their situations with examples of my own experiences and my knowledge and ability to teach and share with people to make you a better version of who you are.

I wasn’t going to share about this at all as I originally thought it was only a simple sickness but I think these things go much deeper, especially since I feel different in my thoughts and belief about myself today then I did a couple days ago.

I woke up this morning and felt like someone needed to read this. We are in the height of the holiday season and this is a tough time for many especially with all the disasters that have taken peoples homes and uprooted their lives. One of my best friends just lost her mother yesterday and my uncle passed away a few months ago. This is not a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year for many and if it’s not for you, my heart goes out to you. Please email me and I will add you to my prayer list for whatever you are struggling with today or get on my schedule for a Confidence Booster Call. I been through many tragedies in my life and I’m smiling from the inside out most days. Let me help you get there too. The Power is in The Work, you do The Work, you will have The Power.

I know God is on my side and trust by faith that I am exactly where I’m suppose to be. I am a Dynamic, Powerful and Tenacious world leader!





P.S.  Want to get help on how you can master negotiation, build confidence or be a better speaker?  Sign up for a FREE Confidence Booster Call and let me help you figure that out.  Get on my schedule here:

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at

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