There are moments that are still haunting me in my life, although they are becoming less and less. These are moments I am not incredibly proud of but there have by far contributed to my own personal growth.
The distance in time helps but there are still moments of shame, guilt, and even embarrassment.
It wasn’t a great time in my life, the relationship I was in was falling apart for many various reasons and I was still heavily into self-loathing and self-destruction. Even though I had young children to care for.
I went out to a party and that’s it. I don’t remember anything after that, except for brief moments sitting in a cop car and then waking up behind bars as I was released.
There has been a war within of taking responsibility for myself and my actions while realizing that my drink was spiked. And perhaps it wasn’t but that’s not the point of this post.
The point is, I was drunk and got behind the wheel and had to deal with the consequences.
For the first time in my life, I had to look at myself.
I had to acknowledge that what I was doing was not serving me or my kids.
I had to see that how I was showing up in this world was fully my responsibility.
I needed to take accountability for my actions.
And it was hard and painful.
For the first time in my life, I saw I was playing the victim.
The victim because I was born to parents who were not equipped to raise me.
The victim because I grew up in foster care and no one wanted or loved me.
The victim that if no one thought I was good enough, I didn’t deserve to love myself.
As I began looking at myself at the age of 26, who had endured so much, I was able to make sense of my own behavior. It felt like the fog has finally lifted and that it was time for me to step out of the shadow.
I was embarrassed that I allowed it to get out of control.
I was ashamed that I seemed to have followed my parent’s footsteps.
I was riddled with guilt for slamming the truck into a house with a family in it.
How could I allow this to happen?
Going through all the motions after the restricted license, the required education class and therapy I know that I balanced on the edge between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction.
And truly, there is no excuse.
But there is no reason for me to continue to beat myself up over it.
It’s been 16 years.
16 years of venturing out into the light.
16 years of turning my life around.
16 years of becoming who I have always been.
There are still moments where I shake my head in disbelief and say, “How could I?” but it happened exactly when it needed to happen.
It happened so that I could wake the hell up.
I needed to unravel and become completely undone.
And in the process, I learned to be gentle with myself, to acknowledge we don’t know what we don’t know but to be open to the opportunity to step into awareness for ourselves.
Since that day, I look at every event and every experience and see what the relationship is between past and present. And there is always a relationship. Don’t believe me? Keep a diary of the events and behaviors in your current life and think back when this behavior showed up before. What was the event? How do you feel?
I drank because I wanted to fit in, needed to courage to speak and because I hated myself. But I didn’t know these things. I didn’t know that is why I was drinking so heavily all the time.
I needed to learn to be okay with my past, to love myself exactly the way I am flawed and all and I needed to know that I could always depend on me.
But more than anything else, I needed to forgive.
Forgive my parents.
Forgive my foster parents.
Forgive all the other people.
Forgive the events that happened to me beyond my control.
Forgive the events that were completely in my control.
It is the time that I no longer feel ashamed over this event or embarrassed.
We all do some stupid things at times, some bigger than others.
But they are not the end of the world.
There are however lessons to be learned and grow from.
I am no longer hanging my head in shame but rather acknowledge the incredible awareness that happened because of the event.
And at this moment in time, I want you to know that no matter what stupid thing you have done, you are okay – right here, right now. Don’t beat yourself up over it because you will miss out on so many things that are truly good in your life.
I love you!
The journey of healing is hard, interesting and a powerful one.
It’s taken me more years than I’d like to admit to looking at my upbringing in foster care in a positive light.
But I am incredibly excited to finally can look back and not feel ashamed because the reality is there is so much better I have learned that has played a key role in how I approach life and business.
Taking Risk – Now this has come with good and bad experiences but one thing I have learned is to not be afraid of taking a risk.
Strategizing – This has been playing a role in my survival. Learning this skill has proven to be one of the most profound lessons.
I am in charge – I control how I show up when I show up and the actions I take. Creating the life, I want, is up to me and the past does not hold any dark clouds over me.
How all of this serve me now:
It’s really amazing what appears to be so small at times, really has the most profound impact. Because I am willing to take a risk, I have started businesses, close them when they fell out of alignment and changed course as needed. I have written books
I have written books to share my story risking judgment and ridicule.
I have taken a risk in agreeing to my son’s liver transplant even though there are a lot of risks involved and lifelong medical care.
Taking risks is the cornerstone of being an entrepreneur. It’s like laying everything on the line because your vision and mission are so much bigger than who you are.
The ability to strategize allows me to see how to connect the dots from the big vision, working backward to the point where I am now. I am a visionary, the kind of person that dreams big can see that bigger picture and my mind just channels all the pathways to make it happen.
It’s the thing that I rely on when I hit a stumbling block and feeling the frustration because it will ask me to take a step back and reevaluate the strategy and come up with a new plan.
And because I am in control, I can decide which step is the best one and the next one. I can choose to follow the initial strategy or make a change.
This life is a journey and so is your business. It isn’t easy no matter what your past but if you can look at your childhood from a different perspective can make all the difference in the world.
Lessons are always to be learned and it’s important to reflect and acknowledge them.
Last week, I took the day off.
No social media, no content creation for blog posts or courses. Nothing.
And it was the most incredible fun day I have had in quite some time.
It was a day in the waves, playing in the sand and eating dinner at sunset.
But there are amazing lessons I learned:
Taking time off is vital for memories and recharging.
The memories I have made with my family can’t be replaced. My family is as much as part of the life I am experiencing and it doesn’t need to involve work all the time. Getting away together just for a day brought joy and fun for all of us.
Inspiration will hit when you are not trying so hard
One of the challenges is to come up with new content, new ideas and all the things we do in running our business – to achieve the life we want. While being disconnected from my email and Facebook, I had three new inspirations and ideas plus new content for the blog.
Taking time off is a great reminder of why we do what we do
We all start on our journey to create a life that feels good. But feeling good doesn’t always involve work. Being able to eat dinner at sunset, seeing my kiddo amazed at the pigeons (yes pigeons – we too thought it was odd) and feel grateful for being able to do these things and to have those experiences – it’s just good stuff.
Freedom is the ability to take detours
Quite often we avoid detours because that means it may take longer to get where we are trying to go. We decided to take a different way home and it added 2 extra hours to our drive. The ability to handle the challenge without getting too aggravated or too much negativity, that’s growth. And even in the moment, I was feeling myself getting frustrated, I reminded myself that my life is about freedom and that sometimes it means taking detours.
It’s been exactly 1 year today when I became a full-time entrepreneur and while I wasn’t fully disillusioned on that it would be hard work, there were some amazing lessons to learn. Business can be hard and will challenge you in lots of ways.
Here 7 Lessons I learned in my first year in business:
Protecting your mental health is crucial
Coming from a therapy background I knew that my mental health had to be a priority and that self-care was a critical step in this. But when you are on your own so-to-speak, it makes hard to shut off or shut down because you are told to hustle and put yourself out there ALL THE TIME. But the more your hustle and push and neglect your own mental health, the more you are down spiraling and not making any traction with anything. Getting real about time management was super important and making sure that I took time off.
Making the wrong decisions is part of the growth
I invested early on into programs I thought would bring me exactly what I wanted without checking in with my intuition. Thus, making the wrong decision early on supported me in listening to my intuition more and is also one of the things I now share with others in my work. Your intuition knows better than your ego does.
Investing in yourself is important
The only way you grow is by pushing yourself into the unknown and that means investing in yourself. Now investing in yourself looks different for everyone. This can be simply attending workshops, training seminars, hiring a coach, joining a mastermind, reading and taking courses. The importance is that you do invest in yourself. I have taken several programs and courses and hired coaches to help me in areas I needed support.
Teach what you know and go from there
OMG, this one was probably the most challenging. I knew I was a coach but it’s been a crazy journey figuring out what I am teaching. I had an amazing session with someone who reads Akashic Records and it was mind blown. The challenge was however that what the angels told me to teach, I wasn’t ready to teach. So, I had to back to what I knew. And all over sudden things were shifting. Your business will always evolve and it will always change.
Make sure you have fun
When you step into being a boss, we forget to have fun. We think we must work, work and work some more. But as you are scheduling your to-do’s and all the other projects you need to be working on, don’t forget to schedule in fun. Yes, schedule it in because if not you’ll forget and won’t do it and then you wonder why you are burning the hell out.
Do what feels good for you
There are so many resources and so much support out there that tell you what has worked for them. But this doesn’t mean it will work for you, nor that it feels good to you. Hello, intuition! I always allow myself to hear what others are doing but then discern if this truly will work for me. I also will give it a try, like the few times, I jumped onto periscope but then realized that isn’t my thing. Or the time that I was so focused on Facebook that I forgot about my nurturing my blog and all my other projects.
Putting yourself out there is scary as hell
I remember posting my first blog, did my first summit, and landed my first feature on the Huffington Post. It all was scary stuff. But the beauty of all that is that the more you do it the easier it becomes. I am creeping up on my 500th blog post, have done over 10 interviews with ease and continue to find ways to challenge me and grow, like blogging every day and launching my academy. But the desire to succeed and put yourself out there has to be greater than your fear.
It’s been a hell of a first year and I have learned so much about business but also about myself. It’s okay to listen to other people, to try new things but in the end, it comes down to you showing up every single day, even when it feels like shit, but you will be so much better for it.
I always tell people, I have zero regrets.
Some people, believe me, some people look at me funny, while other people try to call bullshit.
I used to have regrets until one day I realized that those are just silly things to hang onto.
Regrets will have you play over the same old story you have been telling yourself. You know the story of
- I am stupid.
- I made a mistake.
- I’m a fool.
- I can’t do anything right.
Yea that story. It will play over and over in your head and you wonder why life is as crappy as it appears.
Instead of hanging on to regrets, look at those events and experiences and see what you can learn from them. Acknowledge the negative parts of the event but also really hone in on the positive of the experience.
Yes, there is always a little of both, but once you know the positive you are creating an awareness that allows you to grow.
I don’t regret leaving a long-term relationship even though the love has never faltered. But I needed to believe in myself, find my own strength and feel 100% secure in who I am.
It provided me with room for growth and expansion that I don’t know would have been possible if I’d stayed in the relationship. Perhaps it would have but it would probably take a tremendous amount of time longer.
I also don’t regret signing the papers that my son needed a liver transplant. Even though I didn’t know all that craziness that would follow.
“Of course, you don’t regret it because everything turned out fine”.
I’ve thought about this for a long time, but I am 100% I wouldn’t regret it no matter what the outcome. And yes, I am grateful it turned out the way it did.
But here’s the thing, regrets are full of “what if’s” and I don’t remember a time in my life where “What if” really served a purpose, except for “What if I was successful” but even then, I am cautious.
Regrets really dampen your confidence and your courage to try again.
Regrets hold you back and retell the story of your failure time and again.
Instead of hanging onto regrets, choose to let them go. See them for valuable teaching moments and decide that every decision you make from here on out, will be the best decision for that given moment.
Because each decision the past was fulfilled and met the same way.
We all do our best in each given moment.
You can’t do more than that.
So, decide right here and right now that you will let go of regret.
Feel the weight lifted off your shoulders and step into your self-awareness so you can acknowledge where you can grow and expand to be the best possible you – always.