For forty-five years, I supported others. It seemed more important to be helping them, regardless of what that meant for me. On the outside, I had it all – a good education, a long marriage, a successful career, financial freedom and plenty of friends – so what was wrong? Inside, I was a mess. My mind raced at night, as I made mental notes of what I had to do the next day or what I should have said earlier. I needed a glass of wine or a pill to relax. It seems I was on automatic pilot, always searching for the next project, the next vacation, house or job. It felt like I was skating across life, instead of being in it. Weeks, months and years seemed to rush by.
Gratefully, in 2008, my eyes were forced open. Within a six month period, I experienced four major life losses. Suddenly everything became clear. I understood what had been missing in my life: my presence. This was a scary time for me. How could I have been so “absent”? And what was I supposed to do now? It took some time, but slowly, gently and quietly I’ve tiptoed back into life. And now there’s no turning back. Today, I am truly living.
I can now see the importance of my varied background, which has brought me both joy and heartache. Owning a small retail business gave me the opportunity to get closer to community. Spending time in executive boardrooms exposed me to corporate challenges. World travel adds to my understanding of human nature. Hospice patients help me see the grace in surrender. Spending time in nature teaches me to move with the natural flow of life, rather than argue with circumstance. And those life losses? I’d still be skating if they hadn’t occurred.
To compliment my bachelor’s degree in science and my life experiences, I’ve received advanced training in stress management and food as medicine from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, a grief counseling certification from the Grief Recovery Institute and accreditation in plant-based nutrition from eCornell’s T. Colin Campbell Foundation. But to be honest, no formal education is as important to me as the people I meet – whether it be in a workshop or in a check out line.
Join me in speaking engagements, workshops or retreats. Hear stories about everyday people who have inspired me to do this work. I’ll point out ways to recognize your life purpose. You’ll learn how to shift your perspective, live with grace, shed new light on worries and physical ailments. You can, like I did, re-engage in life. You can find peace and enjoy living again, no matter what is going on around you.