Have you ever felt a calling from somewhere deep within telling you there must be more to life?
Today, I have a life I love:
My life is filled with deeply meaningful work where I am making a difference in people's lives. I live in a magical cottage amidst the wine vineyards in Sonoma County, I have a partner I have been in love with for the last five years, and I have created loving friendships with women I could have only dreamed of knowing one day. My life is filled with a sense of aliveness and gratitude.
But 7 years ago, my life looked completely different.
I was living in New York City, and I felt lost. I was stressed out and exhausted and was applying to jobs working 40+ hours a week in front of a computer. I started developing acne, jaw tension, clenching, and chronic pain in my body. On top of that, I was terribly scared to express myself. I would avoid speaking up at all costs.
I was terriFied of using my voice.
Anytime I would try to speak up in class or in a group, I would feel my body shut down and I would struggle to find the words to speak.
I hid behind the computer, where I felt safe.
This only made the headaches and pain in my body worse...so I turned to doctors for help. Their only solution was to give me pills.
I began to see: our society is so quick to numb out our pain instead of asking, “What lies at the root of the problem? What needs to change in our life?"
I remember going to a party one night, looking for an authentic connection, but all I found was small talk and people drinking beer. I left the party early and took the subway home.
On the subway I was sitting across from a woman wearing a subway worker's uniform. She was slumped in her seat looking exhausted. In that moment I felt so depressed.
I thought, "Why do we have to work these jobs we hate 40+ hours a week? Just to pay the rent? Just to pay off debt? What's the meaning of all of this?"
I got home that night and cried. I knew I couldn't live a life like this anymore. Something needed to change.
Luckily around this time I found yoga.
I remember being in one of my very first yoga classes, in pigeon pose. I felt the familiar pain in my hip. Usually I would push it away and ignore it, but this time, I listened and breathed.
I stopped trying to fix myself or my life and for the first time allowed myself to just be.
I was present with the pain, and after a few minutes it began to release. From then on, I stopped numbing myself out with food, alcohol, drugs, shopping or sugar and started going to yoga.
As I went deeper into the pain, I asked, “What needs to change in my life?” That was when I uncovered my intuition, my body’s wisdom.
In savasana, I saw visions of San Francisco.
I asked myself, “Could I just move to California?”
I was about to graduate from college, and it was the first time in my life, no one was telling me what to do. At first I was resistant to the idea, but it kept coming back to me.
I realized, facing this fear was the exact step I needed to take to GROW.
I listened to the call to adventure and began my heroine's journey.
I found a sublet on craigslist, bought a one-way ticket and moved to the west coast.
Ten days after living in SF a man walked up to me in a park and said, “I don’t know why I feel the need to tell you this, but I am going to meet a saint this weekend, and I think you are supposed to go.”
I listened. I found myself in a beautiful wooden temple full with flowers, music and the scents of incense and chai. The saint on the stage was Amma, an Indian guru who travels around the world giving people hugs. It was here that I began to see my spirituality as a celebration.
Now that I was reconnected to my body's wisdom I felt the call to become a yoga teacher and travel to India. After completing my certification at Yandara Yoga Institute, I went to India and Amma’s ashram was the first place I went.
As I listened to my intuition and took courageous steps to change my life, the chronic pain, the acne, and the fear of self-expression slowly began to fall away.
After arriving back in the states, I was ready to share my gifts, but I knew I needed support. I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a coach and worked with numerous mentors such as Nancy Weiser, Nisha Moodley, Marie Forleo, and KC Baker to reach more people with my story.
My mission now is to support women to create a foundation of love within and for themselves, to live beyond their fears, and truly share their greatest gifts with the world.
I've found one of the best ways to support women to rise is through telling their stories.
I believe we each have a divine gift to share in this life.
Are you fully honoring yours?
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