On April 13th, I turned 41. I had a wonderful day - breakfast was made for me by my sweetie and his children, who later took me on an outing to Chimney Rock and we got to enjoy gorgeous views and a hike to an impressive waterfall. We met up with my parents and went out for a yummy Indian dinner and ended the festivities with the tradition of having strawberries on my birthday (started when my twin sister and I were children).
My birthday makes me reflect on where I am in my life. I can honestly say that I am probably the healthiest and happiest I have been in a long time, maybe ever. And, lest you think my life is all daisies and roses, let me paint a brief picture for you of how I got here. Hint: It took tenacity, humility, hard work, and vision.
Four years ago I was in a very unhappy marriage which had drained my financial reserves as well as my feelings of self-worth. Every day was a slog and my nervous system was on over-drive. I had such horrible anxiety. I couldn't sleep. I had an abnormal pap, which led to a colposcopy, which led to me being told I was a tiny step away from having cervical cancer. I was scared. I dreamed of going to Ayurveda School but was told “we can’t afford that.” I looked in the mirror every day and said, “I hate my life.” I cried a lot.
One day, after being threatened one too many times by my husband, I left. I simply walked out with one bag of my belongings. I felt like I had to in order to save my life.
I fell apart. I felt like a failure. I feared my family would disown me, my friends would give up on me, and I would feel shame and grief for the rest of my life.
Luckily none of those fears manifested. Friends and family rallied to help me rebuild my life, self-worth, and purpose. I resolved to rebuild my life. I envisioned a future where I would be proud of who I am and be of service to others in rebuilding their health and vitality.
Since that day I walked out in 2015, I have steadily and persistently rebuilt my life, investing in myself, and reconnecting with people I love. I went to Ayurveda School and dove into creating a successful private practice. I did a lot of therapy. My self-esteem slowly increased. With focus and attention on self-care, my health issues eventually resolved. I bought a house in 2016. I started going to the gym frequently in the winter of 2017 to build stamina, strength, and better brain chemistry. I traveled to England, Finland, Cuba, and Mexico. I invested in business training and launched the Vitality Circle in the summer of 2018. I stopped eating sugar which decreased my anxiety. I bought a Prius V in late 2018 after driving my grandmother’s 1996 Camry for many years. And, next week I leave for Spain to visit my twin sister, Molly, and her family who have been living there since last August.
I would have been less successful with this rebuilding of my life without dear friends and family who helped me remember who I was, encouraged me to dig deeper into my life purpose, and believed in my evolution. Connection to others is what makes the hard times manageable and the sweet times so fabulous.
Why do I share these intimate details of my life with you? There are two reasons: One is that I want to encourage those of you who feel stuck or defeated in your life right now. Things can, and will, change for the better if you choose that as your future vision and are willing to make changes. Two, it may be easy to idealize my life when you simply see me in yoga class, meet me at a workshop, or get this newsletter once a week. I am an example of health, happiness, vitality, and wellbeing not because I got the lucky number in the lottery of life, but because I have been through some real sh*t and allowed it to make me stronger. I have worked hard and focused on my goals to arrive at this place. Because I have been in the gutter myself, I have a lot of compassion and energy to share with those who find themselves at a low points in their lives.