At 3 or 4 years of age, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I adorably said, "I want to be a doctor, a teacher, and a veterinarian." I've always wanted to help people learn and heal, and so often these go hand-in-hand.
When I was 9, my answer slightly changed: "I want to be a business man and a psychologist." I guess I was walking my vision in.
At 22, I went from working in Information Technology (IT) to searching for a job when the Dot Com bubble burst. I found that job in a retail store selling cellular phones. Well, I didn't do as much selling as customer service. Shocking.
After a rocky year, an abrupt turnaround, and a management promotion, I left for -- wait for it -- massage therapy. "That's more like it!" I moved to a new town and started working in a day spa. Unfortunately, being a massage therapist is hard on your body, and without spoiling a twist coming up in my story, let's just say I wasn't very good at dealing with spa politics.
So I moved back home, took a couple classes at the local Junior College for fun, and realized something: I LOVE EDUCATION. A series of education jobs led me to full-time teaching, and in a Montessori environment. I thought I was set, and everything would just be awesome forever.
After nearly a lifetime of focused personal development, from book-devouring and meditative-introspection to seminars and retreats, something was still off... In my fourth year of full-time teaching, I fell into the deepest, darkest depression of my life. It was like all the color drained from my world. If you'd have pinched me, I'd have told you that what I was experiencing still wasn't real. After a month of pretending that everything was normal, I came to realize that what was "off" was that I had been steadily giving away my personal power, until something inside me had snapped -- instant depression.
Over six months of targeted therapy and enrollment in a self-development course based on Toltec practice, I started to regain my bearings -- I started to return to myself. But the depression had cracked open part of my psyche, and suddenly I found myself open to the idea that so much of what I took for granted as "truth" just wasn't. This break, this fissure in the assumed, was the greatest gift of my depression.
At some point, I turned a corner: my laugh was genuine, I smiled joyously and often -- I felt like I was the master of my life, and more importantly, my mind. It had taken me more than two years of conscious breathing, journaling, and mindset practices before my laugh was actually my unrehearsed spasms of mirth. I had found things funny for over a year, sure, but I just couldn't sincerely laugh anywhere but in my own head. But now, I started breathing into a body and mind that was authentic and fully present. I had adapted and simplified the tools I had learned over a lifetime of exposure and those years of recovery in order to break my painful patterns. I went from surviving to thriving, and everyone around me benefitted, not the least of all, ME.
Somewhere toward the tail-end of the mess of it all, I found myself chatting with a friend about some struggles she was having at work. I sat an listened intuitively, reflected what I understood, challenged her when it made sense to me, and supported her when it didn't. After an hour, she said, "Have you thought about being a life coach?"
And so it was, that after she prodded me to find out how to make it so "RIGHT NOW," I found a coaching program, started applying the techniques and principles of coaching to my teaching job (both students and faculty, as I ended up leading a team of teachers), and eventually embarked on a new, entrepreneurial journey.
So, those are some quick highlights about my path to this moment. If you see yourself in my story, perhaps I can help you break through some of YOUR painful patterns and support you in living a more joyous, fulfilling life.
Hope to see you in a class or webinar.