I work to help others learn about themselves by diving deep into their fears and acknowledging their self-imposed limitations. I am here to help people live full and joyful lives. I am here to help them heal.

I feel prepared for this role, in part, because of my own personal 20-year journey, which continues still, but has allowed me to grow and transform myself and witness growth and transformation in my family. I’ve always been resilient with an added ability to go “outside of myself” and see things for what they are—and connect with the vulnerability. But getting to this place of resilience, self-knowledge, grace, and strength is a process, and so in the spirit of healing and helping, I’d like to share part of my story with you today.

I was born to 17 year-old parents who tried to make it work and struggled through the trying. I have vivid memories of insecurity; a bottle being thrown and shattering on the house sending shards of glass into my mothers leg. That home being robbed when I was age 3. Later in life, there were fist fights between relatives, and other struggles that would surely traumatize any young mind. Luckily there was also love intermixed in these moments of chaos.

My parents let go of that tumultuous relationship when I was age 4. I lived for many years feeling as if I was stuck in between their hurt and immaturity. Then my mom died young – only age 32– leaving me in a private struggle trying to make sense of this loss.

It was not until I had children of my own that I was brought to my knees—stricken with delayed anxiety, sadness, grief and an unbearable loss. I was overwhelmed. Leaning into the unhealthy escape mechanisms of my teen years—alcohol, shopping and blaming everyone else (especially my kids, something is wrong with them) I spent almost seven years going nowhere but deeper into resentment—every day. However, to everyone (except a few close friends and my husband), I looked perfectly sane and competent. I could have been nominated for a Golden Globe!

Going to the gym and running each day were my salvation. However, it was short lived. The endorphins would last only a few hours before I would once again feel inadequate. I then started going to yoga and eventually found mindfulness– first in my work and then for myself.

Mindfulness was the game changer for me. It launched my self-discovery during which I got to know myself and developed enough courage to bust down my own walls and the fortress I had around myself put there to make me look good.

I have realized how I have sacrificed my pleasure. I have realized how I have sacrificed myself in relationships. I have realized how I have taken the beliefs of others and called them as my own even when I knew deeply they were not a good fit. I have acknowledged my need to fill a void with alcohol, material possessions, food, chocolate, candy, exercise, self-help, vitamins, creams and potions. All of the above, left me feeling more empty, more inadequate, more discontented.

Only after I began to live in acceptance of myself exactly as I am did I feel peaceful and content. This is not to say that I don’t fall back into these habits now and again. When I do I acknowledge it with kindness, humility and patience knowing that this is my journey. And now, after 12 years of practicing mindfulness and changing my attitude, beliefs and actions, I am able and excited to help other people on similar journeys.

I invite you to try mindfulness—with me or on your own—but take the first gentle step. You will thank yourself later and begin to know a self-acceptance that only YOU have the power to give yourself.

If you are interested in transforming yourself and want to know more about this opportunity please see my new program.