As a child, I loved to go on adventures. My brother, friends, and I would explore all of the nooks and crannies of our neighborhood - the woods, new construction, and old homes that looked as if they had been hit by a tornado in the 1960’s. We never knew what we would find, and there was always something new. It was exhilarating, and exciting. We would sit in trees all day long, or head to the pond to discover what life existed there. Those were wonderfully, spontaneous days that lasted forever.
We eagerly and endlessly explored our world.
My family was from overseas, so our vacations would be exploring the US, as well as visiting relatives in faraway lands. These trips were always an adventure. New scents, sounds, tastes, perspectives, and feelings. There seemed to be a never-ending supply of adventure in my childhood. In a way it was idyllic, and I always felt safe and cared for by my family.
When I started exploring the world on my own as a teenager, things changed. Although my home life was stable and calm, I did not have the same experience outside of my home and at school. I did not feel safe, and seemed to often put myself into situations that were less than ideal. My parents were somewhat naive to what I was doing, and although they had some restrictions on my brother and I, we had a lot of freedom. I experimented with cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, and boys. I wanted to experience life, and life had a lot to offer. I remember making a decision when I was in 8th grade to focus on my social life as opposed to my schoolwork. I had always done well in school and had friends, yet for some reason thought I had to choose one or the other. My grades steadily declined as my search for the next adventure steadily increased.
Slowly, I lost myself, and became disconnected from the young girl who used to play outside all day, barefoot. I sought thrills, and was constantly worrying about whether or not people liked me.
When I think back to those teenage years, they seem dark. I didn’t know who I could trust, and couldn’t trust myself. Looking back now, I do think there were some angels looking out for me. I did some pretty dangerous and reckless things.
In college, I wasn’t as wild and crazy as in high school, but I did continue my drinking and drug experimentation. I was attracted to people who were smoking a lot of pot and doing hallucinogenic drugs; they became my friends. Talk about adventure! I floated through college, like I floated through high school, doing just what I needed to get by. I had no idea what I actually wanted to “do”.
After graduating from college, I was still looking for my next thrill, and had no thoughts about a “real” career or working 9 to 5. My parents helped me financially through college, and continued to fund me after I graduated. I was privileged, and more concerned about doing what felt right in my heart than making money. Luckily, I was in a position to do that.
Soon after graduating, a friend from Boulder, CO called me to offer his newly empty room. I knew I wanted to get out of Michigan. Colorado seemed as good a place as any to end up, so I went. After working a few temp jobs, I enrolled in massage school, and around the same time began practicing yoga. Ahhh!
Both of these worlds were so comforting to me. I slowly began to find my way once again. Yoga helped ground me into my body.
I had been so in my head that my awareness of my body was little to none.
Similarly, massage helped me get in my body, yet in a totally different way. I learned how to use what I have, and control my own energy. I received 10 sessions of structural integration which improved my relationship to my body drastically. I came back into my body. I became more of myself. I stopped smoking pot, I stopped doing drugs, I still drank a little. I was reminded how to enjoy life without enhancing it through artificial means.
When I moved back to Michigan, I enrolled in school for psychology. My exploration continued. I knew that to be an effective therapist, I had to work through my own baggage. I was compelled to begin my own therapy, and committed to psychoanalysis. For 6 ½ years I would lie on the couch, 4 or 5 days a week, free-associating with my therapist. When I first began the process, I was consumed with anxiety.
I questioned myself, constantly. In some ways, I was radically free to be me, but in other ways, I was overly guarded and disconnected to who I truly was. I was unloading all my self-perceptions, and learning to live from my soul.
The process of being heard and acknowledged was incredibly healing. I rewrote the story of my life. Instead of blaming and shaming myself and others, I took responsibility for who and where I was. I stopped being a perfectionist, and started accepting myself - flaws and all. I no longer thought that I had to have all of the answers, so I stopped pretending like I did. I reconnected to my values, and unapologetically became more of myself.
Yoga, meditation, clean eating, & therapy - these are the tools I’ve used to come back to myself. In hindsight, I realize we often have to lose our way to discover what we’re really made of.
Unconditional self-love and acceptance are an inside job. No amount of thrill seeking or searching can give you inner peace, vitality, and joy you’re craving.
I’ve combined everything I’ve learned - from yoga, to holistic health coaching, and psychotherapy - to help women regain a connection to their health, inner wisdom, and innate power.
Here are 3 simple tips I share with my clients to help them discover their dreams, and recreate their reality:
Know that the core of your being is pure light, love, and joy. Whether you feel it now or not, it’s true. Many of us grow up with a lot of shame, guilt, resentment, and regret. This causes us to hide and diminish parts of us we may see as “unlovable.” Know you, in your entirety, are perfect and whole. Follow your heart. Your desire is divine direction.
Breathe into what is. Once or twice a day, sit quietly, and follow your breath through your body. Inhale. Exhale. This is meditation, and can be done anywhere or anytime, even in the midst of chaos. Whenever an uncomfortable feeling arises, breathe into it. Ask what it is trying to tell you.
Say mantras in the morning, in the evening, and anytime you remember to do them. Say what is true for you. They change for me depending on what is going on in my life and business. Right now, in the morning I say, “The light of the Divine is within in me and guides all that I do for the highest good of all. And, so it is.” Each evening before bed, I give gratitude for the Divine light, and all it does.