The tee shirt in this 2018 photo says “fierce.”
Two years ago, I wouldn’t have hesitated to put that top into my online shopping cart and add it to my large collection of “message” tee shirts.
At that time, I did feel fierce and unstoppable. I was in the middle of a lot of growth in many areas of my life, and on the cusp of some big changes.
Life was moving fast and I was on a roll.
Flash forward to the early fall of 2018, and I just sat in front of the computer screen staring at the shirt.
Fierce. All caps. And spelled out in rhinestones.
I didn’t feel fierce. In fact, by that time of year, I felt like I’d been through a gauntlet of emotions that were the opposite of “fierce.”
Worry — actually, constant rumination.
Fierce was nowhere to be found in that pile of emotional quicksand.
What happened is what happens to some of us (maybe a lot more of us than we know) that we don’t speak about because people, understandably so, hold onto their privacy and secrets in life. It’s too vulnerable.
In 2018, my life as I knew it, through a series of circumstances that occurred in quick succession, turned upside down.
Medical issues. Career reconstruction. Painful family problems. Heavy financial woes.
So I, a personal development and wellness professional, known for showing up and being motivating, joyful and inspiringly vulnerable, felt like I wanted to hide under the covers and stay there for a very long time.
I was exhausted and didn’t feel like I had a damn thing to say about “living your best life.”
I tried. I really did.
I would show up in fits and starts on social media and try to rally into my “old self.”
Not every day was a bad day or miserable, but I did feel like I had more than my share, for sure.
I kept things afloat, but I had to force myself every single day.
I took to heart some opinions expressed by others and constantly criticized myself in every way — the way I looked, the things I wrote, the way I spoke — down to how my voice sounded, even.
I showed up for my clients whether they were 1:1 or in groups — I wasn’t disingenuous or incapable of helping people — I still worked.
God and the Universe gave me the miracle of some special space in my brain where I could show up and serve my people.
It was like another tank of gas in my brain that was left untouched until I had to step into that therapy room, on a coaching call, a retreat, group, or in my private Facebook community.
I couldn’t transfer it to the rest of my life, though.
I’ve dealt with anxiety most of my life, but last year, the volume was turned way up — even with seemingly benign daily activities.
I was afraid to drive — anywhere — even to my routine spots. I’d arrive at the gym gripping the steering wheel and sweating before I even entered a class.
I told myself I was going to pass out in the middle of exercise classes I’d taken almost every day for 5 years — I even started to skip some of them, which was very uncharacteristic of me.
I unreasonably (and kind of hysterically) mourned the departure of my teenage daughter going onto college and starting her adult life … yet, she was just a junior in high school.
She wasn’t going anywhere for over a year, but one would have thought that the way I sobbed when she went on a spring break trip meant she was moving across the country and would only come home twice a year.
2018 was also the year I was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), which was ultimately a good thing, but stressful, nevertheless.
I didn’t sleep well.
I became depressed and it took my doctor and I almost the entirety of 2018 to find the right combination of prescription medication that helped me feel even-keeled and well, like myself.
I can remember standing at the bar in my neighborhood coffee shop and texting my husband with tears in my eyes in mid-November saying, “this can’t be me at my best — I’m doing everything I can to be as vibrant as I know I can be, and I’m exhausted.”
Until we got my medicine right in December, I experienced everything from a flat affect, to higher levels of anxiety, to feeling like I was going to fall asleep in the middle of the day.
My finely tuned abilities to coach myself and challenge my cognitive falsehoods seemed to wither away.
That was what most of my year was like.
I wasn’t fierce, I told myself.
I was fragile. I was afraid.
But that was a lie.
What I didn’t know at the time was that I was actually more fierce than I’d ever been in my whole life.
I was afraid, but I showed up anyway.
In fact, most of the time, I didn’t hide.
I didn’t fully realize it at the time, but I was doing something — a lot of things, actually — to propel me forward.
Life was a storm last year, but it turns out, though, that I didn’t just survive the storm — I thrived.
We all have those days like a Monday when the alarm doesn’t go off, you’re late for work and the whole day comes unhinged.
Or maybe we have a week where the car breaks down, the AMEX is stolen, and someone charges $377 on it at Target.
But most of the time, things eventually work out.
Mercury can’t always hang out in retrograde, and life eventually morphs into a more even keel.
This story I shared with you about my life in 2018 wasn’t a bad day or a rough week, it was a succession of a lot of those kinds of days that turned into weeks, months and, ultimately a year, where I struggled to find a way not just to survive, but thrive.
I’m talking to those of you who feel like life offers a series of constant smackdowns and you can’t seem to get out of that black hole.
- Maybe it’s a divorce or departure in a relationship.
- Illness or distress — physical or mental.
- The aftermath of the death of someone you care about.
- Painful, burdensome family issues — everything from screaming exchanges to icy estrangements.
- Loss of a career or the soul-sucking job you feel like you can’t escape.
- The financial rug being pulled out from under you and experiencing fear and shame about debt. Worrying about stuff like having to sell your house– whether it’s your mind’s poison or a possible outcome.
- Maybe it’s just general exhaustion, fear or helplessness from a combination of those or other things.
You — once a woman of resilience and a positive outlook — begin to feel like you can’t come up for air.
You want so desperately to believe you’re about to turn a corner, but your doubt is like a cloud that follows you no matter what.
You think about stuff like, “Maybe I got my share of good fortune and it’s over. Maybe my dreams and visions were too grand and I’m being brought back down to earth.”
I am here to tell you to trust and believe that you are going to come through this.
You will not be unchanged, but you can find a way to rise and thrive — EVEN when you’re in the eye of the storm.
In the midst of my chaos and despair, I never gave up on the better life that I was going to live on the other side of what I was going through.
In the deluge of sadness, confusion, anxiety and fear, I found ways to live up to the spirit that was within me.
I was a fighter.
I was fierce.
I found my wings.
And that is what I’m here to help you do.
What else happened in 2018 besides that shit storm I described for you?
- I reconfigured a facet of my business and made it into a thriving enterprise within months (versus the years it takes many others in my field to accomplish).
- I became even more devoted to my health. I lovingly and devotedly nurtured my body. I am more fit than I’ve ever been in my whole life and I dropped about 15 lbs. of extra weight that I’d been carrying around for over a year.
- I got a new career opportunity that brings me so much joy and is a complete departure from my main gig. It required courage and confidence that I had to pretend to have until I had it.
- I developed even closer relationships with my friends and family and enjoyed our extraordinary-ordinary life. This was an anchor.
- I created and became devoted to new practices and rituals that gave me peace and fueled my creativity.
- I developed better boundaries with people and honored my wishes around what I expect and what I won’t tolerate.
- I recognize that pain has brought me wisdom. For a while, I thought it made me shrink and hide, but now I know I’m stepping back more, taking things in and making decisions from a much deeper and more thoughtful place than before. I don’t always leap; I discern a little more, and that’s a good thing.
- And that “FIERCE” tee shirt in the photo? I knew I found it for a reason. I knew I was a new kind of a fierce that I hadn’t been in years past. That perfect shirt arrived in the mail just in time for the photo shoot.
A breakdown in your life doesn’t mean your life is broken; it can actually be a doorway into a new era that deepens your knowledge of who you are and why you are here on this earth.
It goes much deeper than that saying, “everything happens for a reason” — people don’t want to hear that shit anyway — especially if someone has died or you’ve had your ass handed to you financially or something like that.
I spent all of last year coaching or counseling people 1:1 and offering a few workshops and retreats, but I didn’t feel like I had anything to offer in terms of a hallmark coaching program like my Body of Work or MOVE And The Way Will Open coaching programs I taught from 2016 – 2018.
When you’re depressed and trying to redefine what you perceive as your broken life, creativity and inspiration feel out of reach.
Now that I’m on the other side of that time of my life, I understand that I am here to guide those who feel like they’ve been in survival mode and want to thrive again.
They want to do something about it, but they need guidance from someone who understands and comes from a place of love, not just a professional issuing directives and tips.
I am that person.
I can help you walk through this period of time and see the light and find your resilience.
I can help you help yourself feel better sooner rather than later.
People who come to me for help usually aren’t doing so because they’re happy. Most women who come to me are in pain. They are struggling.
They tell me they want to work with me because I have revealed that I have known struggle and reveal that in a personal way, but that I also know solutions, resilience and triumph — personally and professionally.
I don’t help women at an arms-length, didactic way — I bring professional, practical magic and love.
In May, I’m bringing that in the form of my eight-week group coaching program called “Wings.”
In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be sharing more about this program and how it can change your life.
Wings will begin on May 1st and has everything you need to get out of survival mode and begin to thrive in your life.
I’ve lived it and my mission is to teach it and help as many people as I can.
You can live anywhere in the world and be a part of this program.
I realized this spring that I’ve been working on Wings in my office and on coaching calls for months. I also observed that my 1:1 clients going through something like this deal with a lot of loneliness.
I knew if I could bring them together and do personal development work that is powerful, meaningful, practical, fun, and helps them feel connected; then that could positively impact their lives even more.
If ANY of this sounds like something you’ve been waiting for, I’m ready to tell you more and invite you into this process.
I’m only offering 10 spots for Wings because I want to keep the program intimate and help everyone in that group create optimal results.
After one mention of it on Facebook last week, I’ve already started an active list of people who are ready to sign up. I want to make sure I offer it to you before that list is full and registration begins.
To learn more about Wings, what the program will include, and how you can register, sign up here to be on the first-to-know list.
When you do, you’ll also get a sweet little gift from me.
Click here to make that happen.
If you’ve been waiting for the cloud to lift …
If you’re wondering how to take the adversity you’re experiencing and create a new life for yourself …
If you want to know contentment and peace …
If you feel lonely and lost …