One of my labels is storyteller, and what follows is my story, in brief. I love stories because they’re beautiful vessels for fostering relatability and inspiring transformation in others. As Brené Brown puts it – “One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.”
So, here goes.
My journey down this path began in 1996, a few months after I nearly died by suicide. I was miserable and had just received the most dismal prognosis from my psychiatrist:
“Keep taking this cocktail of mood stabilizers and antidepressants forever and you can continue to live a somewhat normal life.”
That moment was my ultimate rock-bottom. I felt a great sense of despair, as I was without options. I had neither the energy to continue living such a miserable life – one that had consumed me for literally 10 years – nor to end it. I was stuck. BIG TIME.
I was absolutely defeated and had no clue what to do.
Shortly thereafter, something in me surrendered and I heard a voice say: “You are responsible for your own happiness.” Whoa.
That moment changed my life and propelled me down the path of personal accountability and later, deep spiritual exploration.
Then in 1999, this path that I was on encountered a fork thanks to the teachings of the late Indian philosopher and jñāna yogi Jiddu Krishnamurti.
To the right was the path of all things I’d been working so hard to achieve over the past three years. To the left was – in the spirit of my mentor Martha Beck – what I’ll call the wayfinder’s path.
The path of the unknown, the uncertain. The path of the heart, the soul. The path of purpose and intention. The path of love and compassion. The path of spirit and sacredness. The path of integrity and truth. The path of awakening to a higher level of consciousness.
At the fork, I chose left.
And that’s where my journey got really interesting.
It’s where I spent a chunk of two years living in various stages of nomadic homelessness.
It’s where I was invited into sacred Diné and Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota sweat lodges and pipe ceremonies.
It’s where I chose to get arrested to bring awareness to a cultural genocide occuring within the continental US.
It’s where I did things like hop freight trains, hitchhike, and become a salt (union spy).
It’s where I got knocked up, raised my daughter mostly on my own, and went back to college.
It’s where I graduated at the top of my class in economics, completed extensive postgraduate study in applied economics, and earned a masters in public administration and nonprofit management.
It’s where I got recruited by the CIA.
It’s where I gave up a fantastic, highly-coveted job in the Governor of Montana’s budget office to move to the Chicago area so that my daughter could live closer to her father.
It’s where I got sued for custody of my daughter and then – after hitting another rock-bottom – chose the path of integrity and forgiveness over resentment and bitterness.
It’s where I lost two jobs due to “economic conditions,” filed for bankruptcy, and got divorced…all within 14 months.
It’s where I got a fantastic corporate job reporting to executive leadership, where I was well-compensated and working in my “zone of excellence” (a Gay Hendricks reference).
It’s where – despite my successes – I found myself miserable once again.
I wasn’t living my purpose. Somewhere down the path I’d been following was a missed fork.
And now, I had financial responsibilities…I couldn’t just drop out of my current life circumstances like I did back in 1999.
I didn’t know what my purpose was, but it was critically important to me to figure it out. So, I enrolled in my second yoga teacher training program, this one with a divine femine-focused lineage-based trauma-sensitive approach in the hopes of getting closer to the answer that I so desperately sought.
Yoga teacher training didn’t offer the ever-elusive answer to my existential question, but it did bring me to my yoga mentor Adi Shakti’s podcast, and that led me to work with Danish spiritual business coach Maria Saraphina. And while Maria didn’t explicitly lead me to my purpose either, our work together set the stage for me to finally uncover it.
The answer hit me upside the head at some point during my life coach training with Martha Beck (yeah, I did that, too!).
It turns out that my purpose had been in plain sight all along, but I’d failed to recognize it because I was searching for what was effectively a job title.
My purpose is to BE that love, that light that the world so desperately needs. My heart, my soul knew this on some level when I was studying Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teachings back in 1999.
What I’d spent more than 20 years looking for was the expression of my purpose. Until recently, I didn’t consciously realize that the two differed!
It’s now clear to me that my purpose is the same as it was in 1999 and even before that. And, I’ve decided to currently express my purpose through – what to me is sacred – coaching, BEing the change, and facilitating sacred sister circles.
Tomorrow, I may express my purpose differently. The most important thing for now in relation to my purpose is that I keep – as my mentor Martha Beck puts it – both my eagle and mouse vision engaged.
Eagle vision is the BIG picture, the seemingly impossible goal. It reflects the most magnificent expression of my purpose; of BEing the love and light in a way that will ultimately bring some healing to our world.
Mouse vision is the right-in-front-of-my-face picture; it’s taking the next step that shows up on my doorstep. Today, mouse vision may call me to update my website, get coached, or coach. Tomorrow it may mean having a discovery call with a potential client.
So this is a very condensed portion of my story. Even though my life’s details likely differ radically from yours, can you see yourself in my story in some way?
Now, I have a question for you. What is your story?
What is your purpose – your dharma – and how will you ultimately express it (eagle vision)? And, what are you being called to do right now (mouse vision)?
Whatever’s calling you, you can go it alone. Or you can work with a guide. If you suspect that working with a guide who’s been there would better serve you, click here to learn more.