My journey began 38 years ago when I lost my mother – she was 32 years young. This heart-breaking reality turned me onto the spiritual path, knowing there was more to this life than just passing the days and following as sheep. As a young adult, I made some choices that made little sense to my family like going to college, living overseas in Barcelona as an au pair (this fueled my love for adventure and travel) and then living in center city. I routinely sought out opportunity, l loved to meet new people even though I would feel a bit shy at first. After returning from Spain, I had a string of jobs that fed my financial needs but not my heart. There was that Sunday night dissonance — the dread. After six years of that, I chose to go back to school and obtained my Master’s in Counseling Psychology. I was on my way to doing what I love. I graduated nine months pregnant with my first.
Let the real adventure begin…
I found myself feeling quite lost and anxious after having three children in just over three years.. I loved taking care of them but found myself stressed by the everyday expectations of life. My priorities were messed up. I was taking the lessons I learned in my own childhood and bringing them into this new family. I had so much unhealthy thinking at the time. This was all I knew (I didn’t even know it was unhealthy), and I had no idea the freedom that can be realized when you release yourself from your conditioning. I was afraid of making mistakes, afraid of saying no to people, I was still scarred by the upbringing of being raised Catholic and the guilt about sex, self-pleasure and not going to church, etc. I was afraid to speak up, afraid to be me, fearing that if I was myself, people would judge me or worse, not like me. Then, ultimately realizing how much I was unfortunately judging everyone else… This is what the ego and an insecure brain does to us. It gossips, it drinks too much, it buys things we don’t need, it fills its’ time with superficial activities, it consistently worries about what people think, it worries that our kids aren’t good enough, it says our kids are hot messes who will never succeed, etc, etc. etc.
About 20 years ago I was introduced to mindfulness and yoga, and it was at this time that the struggle became easier. I took to mindfulness like a fish to water – the idea of living in the moment. I discovered what a life without worry and judgment could be…It was like receiving the key to open the door to my soul. Everything made sense and I just wanted to soak it all in.
For the last 20 years, I have been soaking it in by learning, experiencing, feeling, healing – all with the help of many retreats, teachers, counselors, and mentors along the way. I vowed to help others get through hard times by relying on their inner strength instead of unhealthy or unhelpful coping mechanisms. I learned this through trial, error, asking for help when I needed it, reaching out to trusted professionals and compassion for myself. My life is not perfect by any means, but it is leading to a realization of myself.
- It has taught how to feel without blocking or drowning in my emotions.
- It has taught me how to love without conditions or expectation (especially with my kids)
- It has taught me that loving myself is the greatest gift I can give myself and everyone in my family
- It has taught how to set loving boundaries
- It has taught me how to live in the moment
- It has taught me how to speak my truth
- It has taught me how to let things go of thoughts and actions that don’t serve my higher purpose.
I still have everyday struggles and things I am continually working on healing … my relationship with my dad, extended family, husband and my sensual self. Next blog…more on that.