Facing death taught me how to Live
Let's get to know each other!
In this video, you’ll learn more about me, my story, and how I transformed my life, escaping a toxic marriage and overcoming lifelong struggles with codependency and people-pleasing.
How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you become a Women's Empowerment Coach?
To answer this question, it’s probably best that I share with you a defining moment, and a resulting “compelling story”, that brought me to where I am today – coaching my clients on exactly how to jumpstart your life after a breakup or a breakdown. My coaching programs show you the power of stepping into your greatness by taking radical accountability for all areas of your life so you can have true inner-harmony, financial abundance, and the freedom to boldly create your life on your terms. You will learn the tools and techniques on how to make difficult decisions with ease, grace and love for yourself.
That defining moment happened in my life on the afternoon of August 22, 2019, as I was sitting nervously in my doctor’s office waiting to find out what I already knew deep inside….
I had breast cancer.
At that moment my immediate thoughts were of my children.
“This can’t be happening,” I thought. “Cancer? No! Not me! I need more time!” I was too young to die!
I knew I had not been living an authentic life, even though from the outside everything looked great! I had the kids, the husband, a successful career, a 4,000 square-foot house in the Foothills, luxury cars, I went on fabulous vacations, etc. But the truth is I felt hollow and empty inside. I was only just starting to get to know, love and accept myself when life threw me another curve ball.
I thought, “I am a young, active, healthy woman. Why is this happening to me? Did I manifest this?” I thought I was going to die… looking back I see that it took facing death to discover how much I wanted to live.
I started delving into the possibility that I could finally become the woman I desperately longed to be. I can now say that cancer was a gift to me.
on again, off again
The Never-Ending Emotional Roller Coaster
Let me back up here a little. Eight months prior to this I had experienced every major life event apart form birth and death. I filed for divorce on December 31, 2018. Two months later I started a highly visible new leadership role with an industry-leading organization.
The following April, I bought a home on my own, renovated it, left the house I shared with my husband and moved in with my two children. Later that month, my husband went into alcoholism recovery in a last ditch effort to save our marriage. It worked for a while and I postponed the divorce. However, in early August I followed through with ending it. One week later, my kids started new schools which came with its own set of challenges. All of this led up to my breast cancer diagnosis at the end of the month.
Okay, God! I thought,
"You have my complete attention!"
My marriage was a train wreck from the beginning.
I knew this was true, but I was knee deep in codependency and love addiction – which means I was convinced I could help him become the man he wanted to be. I thought I could rescue him from his self-destructive patterns, not realizing I was enabling them and taking them on myself. This is what happens when we are deeply unconscious.
Pain is meant to wake us up.
Before I met and fell in love with him, I was vibrant, hopeful, and excited about my future. I had just ended a 14 year marriage, but I had not given myself enough time to heal. In retrospect, I see this made me extremely vulnerable to getting tangled up with a borderline/narcissist.
Our two-year courtship was on again, off again, as it is with anyone with this personality type. If you have been involved with a narcissist, borderline and/or alcoholic will know what I mean when I say he was a true Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde. I called him “The Puppy Wolf” because he would behave as a sweet puppy during the day, but at night, behind closed doors he was a raging alcoholic… like an angry, blood-thirsty wolf. And I was his target – his emotional punching bag. Then, when I would react after getting pushed to my breaking point, I would get blamed and shamed for blowing up.
Eventually I came to realize that the relationship was a mirror for me to see my childhood (and to ultimately have compassion for his struggle, too). Hurting people hurt people.
CYCLES OF DRAMA
Dancing with Wolves
As much as I wanted to blame him, the truth is… I chose him because I did not know any better. I had never heard of narcissistic abuse. I was completely addicted to him. I knew it was a toxic relationship, but I felt powerless to end the cycles of drama.
Still, I refused to let the marriage go. I did not want two failed marriages. On some level, I knew this couldn’t be all there was to life.
However, my marriage forced me to look and acknowledge the same patterns repeating themselves. I was desperate to get off of my dark path which was filled with bottles of wine and all night scream-fests.
I had to do something different.
I found a therapist and started exploring why I found myself in this situation. The Aha moment came when she asked me the question, “What is it about him that you are so attracted to?” My immediate response was “ he makes me feel like I am at home”. She then pointed out to me, “You know that you grew up in a dysfunctional, abusive home…so you are attracted to the dysfunction and chaos he brings. Is that what you want for your life?”
At that moment, I felt completely numb, as though I had been hit by a freight train. My stomach dropped and I said, “Wait, what? How did I not see this before?” Then came the anger. The fire and rage washed over me, wave after wave. I blamed her for not telling me sooner. Three years of therapy – surely she had seen it all along? I blamed him. I blamed my first husband. I blamed my parents… I blamed any and everyone I could think of refusing to take accountability for my own choices. Eventually, the terror set in. I was gripped by fear as I now knew I had to do something about it.
THE END OF DENIAL
What do you do when you can't unsee the truth?
I wish I could say that is where the story ended. I wish I had walked out of my therapist’s office and gleefully skipped to divorce court. However, we both know life doesn’t work that way… Instead, I fell into a deep depression. Each day became another set of 24 hours to drag myself through. Do you know that feeling? I had been in survival mode all along, but I covered it up with moments of partying and fun. I began grieving as if someone had died. I didn’t want to have that life anymore. Little by little, I came out of the fog. I became willing to consider that there may be a different path for me. I began researching information on Adult Children of Alcoholics.
Up to that point, I decided my childhood had not impacted me. But the more I studied, the more I learned about denial and repeating patterns of self-sabotage. I finally adopted a mantra to help me maintain hope: “I have choices. I have options beyond mere survival.” So I cleaned up my past, got a new vision for my life, and started teaching women like me how they can do the same: I watched their self-respect and confidence grow, too! I have since made a commitment to dedicate the rest of my professional life to helping other women learn how to love and accept themselves, and discover their own hidden power!
Awakening to A Brand New Life
Today, I partner with women to guide them through the Four Pillars of Transformation: Aligning with their core values, Creating a new vision for their future, Integrating their past, present, and future; and Cultivating a regret-free life of inner-harmony! Following my own spiritual awakening, the clarity & transformation I experienced inspired me to create Unleash Your Hidden Power™ .
This program is offered both as a group coaching experience as well as a more in-depth 3 to 6 month one-on-one coaching program. This coaching program is designed for women who are ready to commit to creating a new life. They have already accepted the fact that their past is impacting their lives today and they’ve reached a point of no return. They know what hasn’t been working for them, and now they are ready to be guided towards a new, higher vision of themselves and their future – with a step-by-step action plan. They’re ready to transform uncertainty, fear, and frustration into confidence, joy, and fulfillment!
I believe we are already whole and complete. The question is to what degree have we realized our wholeness. Many of us spend our entire lives not knowing who we really are. We learn who we are by learning who we are not. Let’s connect today!