A glimpse into

my story

Just like you, my story is still being written.  At times it’s messy and complicated, but it’s also exhilarating and beautiful.  It’s always in process and tends to unveil a new plot twist when I least expect it.

The biggest and most recent twist in my story came in the fall of 2014 when I was told by doctors that I was in acute heart failure and in need of an aortic valve replacement.  I had recently been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and, at the age of 44, it had taken its toll on my body.

It was my wake-up call.  

 

The news came as a huge shock to me as there had been no warning signs and no history of it in my family.  In the days leading up to my surgery, fear and uncertainty was oftentimes unbearable.  Faced with my own mortality, my world was shaken up.  And given a second chance at life, I was changed forever.

I knew I’d been called to a new adventure – to show up to life.

 

The healing period was slow for me – both mentally and physically – and not without its set-backs.  Like so many other times in my life when I’ve been beaten down, hurt, or suffering, I eventually came out of it stronger and more resilient.

I was reminded that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

act I

From a very early age I figured out how to internalize my suffering.  I honestly don’t even remember when it started, but it lasted most of my childhood.  If you had asked those who knew me during my youth they might’ve described me as happy and outgoing.  I was involved in many activities, got decent grades and made friends with many.  My senior year, I was recognized with a leadership award from my school, became captain of the dance team and was nominated for homecoming queen.  To most, it likely appeared that I had it all together.  In reality, I was living a lonely and unhappy double life.

I was following the rules of a society that says women must keep quiet, be pretty and perform well.

 

My step father spent years crafting his manipulation of the parent/child trust and used it regularly to his advantage.  I was paralyzed by fear of judgment, rejection and potentially hurting those that I loved.

I spent over a decade hiding the fact that I was being sexually abused.

 

At the age of 19, I ran into marriage and across country – as far from my past as I could.  I quit college and became a stay at home mom of two.  Motherhood lit a spark in my heart and gave me great joy, yet I often ­battled bouts of depression and post-traumatic stress from suppressed memories of my childhood.  And despite a deep yearning for love and connection, I was unable to find fulfillment in a marital relationship riddled with physical and emotional abuse, infidelity and alcoholism.  I felt lost and very much alone.

My spirit was suffocating and my authentic-self was unable to breathe.

act II

It wasn’t until my early 30’s that my body finally said enough to suffering.  I lost 20 lbs. in 30 days because I couldn’t eat or sleep.  It was time for me to stop hiding and embrace my truth with acceptance and self-love.  I sought counseling, immersed myself in prayer, journaled, and explored my desires and purpose for the future.  As a result, I was able to openly communicate to others about my internal struggles and eventually I was able to make peace with my past.

It was time I got grounded so I could begin to rise up.

 

That’s when I started the transformation to a stronger, healthier, and happier version of myself.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy – in the midst of this process I also went through a divorce after 15 years of marriage and became a single mom.  Life hasn’t been void of conflict or pain, but I’ve learned to view and approach obstacles differently.

Now I see the beauty in the valleys as well as the mountain tops.

 

Sometimes, I still find myself falling into the old ways of the past.  The need for control, perfectionism, internalizing emotions, shame and comparison pop-up regularly on my radar.  But I continue to walk in grace and self-love as best as I can.

Growth is a process, not an event.

act III

Today I am re-married and we have an amazing blended family with four great kids.  I’m looking forward to becoming a doting grandma soon and I couldn’t be more passionate about following my calling to help other women find their authentic voice, embrace change, have courage to pursue their dreams, and discover their purpose.

 

If you ask me what fills me up or keeps me going, I’d tell you…

My coffee in the morning.  Quiet reflection and prayer.  Having my family all together.  A glass of wine and soul-filling girlfriends.  A clean and organized space.  Music and words that speak to me.  A good workout.  Gratitude and taking time to revel in the beauty of nature.

I am an artist at my core and love just about any form of creative expression.  I have a passion for decorating, refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, painting and chalk art with my five year-old.

patina decor
Getting to know more about a person – hearing their story – is what ultimately connects souls and builds relationships.  We may not have forged the same path or suffered through the same adversities, but I believe we’re kindred spirits.  Everyone has a story to tell and each story is as beautiful and unique as our individual fingerprint.

Every story matters.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read mine.
xx,

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