But I spent a lot of time believing what the world taught me instead.
It all started when I was 5 years old. My father discovered my ability to read energy. I could easily guess (on the first try) what any family member was thinking when we played games like “Guess what animal I’m thinking of” or “What number or color is in my mind right now“.
However, he couldn’t explain it and so I was left with the message “that’s not something you should share or be proud of”.
So, I tucked the most truest part of me away. So often in childhood I heard “you’re too sensitive” or “too much”– being an empath was something to hide.
I spent a lot of time trying not to be myself and instead, be what my family wanted— quiet, well-behaved, successful in school and detached from my emotions.
I became a perfectionist and a people-pleaser.
And, I became a secret keeper.
My family’s secrets.
Addiction. Alcholism. Co-dependency. Sexual assault and rape. Suicide. Mental Illness. Emotional neglect. Physical and emotional abuse.
Some of these traumas I experienced first hand– some were experiences I navigated through the experience of others.
They were generational patterns and cycles that were quietly killing the souls of so many around me— including myself. But from the outside, most people never knew— we were good at keeping up appearances, really good.
By the time I was in my 30s, I was weighed down by an extra 100+ lbs. on my body, estranged from my friends and family, teetering on personal financial ruin, grappling with health issues and no less — suffocating in a marriage that felt more like an anchor tying me to my misery than helping me climb my way out.
With all of these things— an epic meltdown was knocking at my heart’s door—I hesitated because I was afraid of what was on the other side.
12 years ago, I surrendered to the mother of all meltdowns.
Health. Relationship. Work. Family. Spirtuality.
I leaned in to mess – and messes (not everything happened simultaneously).
I found my way home to me– by allowing the breakdowns to break me open.
So, people always ask me “what exactly did I do?”
I took the contents of my life and dumped it upside down, just like they were one of those fancy designer bags weighing 20+ lbs and shook the bag empty.
I poured all of my energy into navigating the meltdowns in front of me.
I asked heart-wrenching questions (and did a lot of crying).
I confronted my pain and my traumas– with the support of many incredible people (like coaches, counselors and energy workers).
I walked through the financial messiness, navigated a divorce and created well-being practices for me and my body.
I got comfortable being alone and lonely.
I discovered stillness. (It is possible to quiet the racing thoughts in your head.)
I worked on my mindset– challenging the shoulds, have-tos and coping mechanisms that I had unknowingly brought from childhood into my now. Things like numbing out with food when faced with uncomfortable feelings. Looking for the ‘right’ way from people, books and degrees.
I broke rules— rules that no longer fit me. Rules that were governed by fear, not love. Rules like “you have to work 60+ hours to be successful” or “a diet is the only way to manage your body“.
I fell in love again.
First and foremost with myself.
I discovered and leaned in to my life’s purpose.
I found my own very powerful voice.
I re-connected to my magical, intuitive gifts.
I left a job to follow fun and flow– and life on my amazing terms.
Twelve years later, my life looks entirely different.
I live in a space that honors feeling all the feels — snuggling up to my fears and moving with them (instead of letting them keep me from my soul’s desires).
It’s scary and exhilarating all swirled together in a fantastic adventure.
I realized that my life went from the idea of great– to actually being great.
I stopped faking happiness and learned I could create it for real (and that doesn’t mean my life isn’t without its bumps and yet, I wake up most every day feeling like I won the life lottery).
The best part of my story? What I learned has become a powerful process to help you navigate your life and create your joy.
If nothing else after reading this, ask yourself this . . . if you woke up 12 years’ from now living the exact same life, would you be saying to yourself “YES!!!!” or “NOOOOOOOO”?
I would love to hear the answer to that question.