Just a few years ago I felt like I was dying. I felt like my life was over. Life felt like a crushing ton of bricks on my back. I was depressed. I was constantly ill with a wide variety of illnesses. I had gained more than 70 pounds on my 5 foot 2-inch frame. I continually asked myself “is this all there is?” because I couldn’t believe that I had accomplished all of my goals, and yet I still felt miserable.
My life looked great on paper. I had recently graduated with my Ph.D. in counseling psychology. I was a practicing psychologist at a big 12 university. I had what I thought was my dream job. I was engaged, and we owned a house together. I had fulfilled the life script that we’re all told we should want in life. I got educated, got a good job, was going to get married. And yet, I was miserable.
Dramatic changes have altered my life in the most outstanding way.
My life now is so amazing that it makes me cry with gratitude. My life is now beyond what I thought was possible!
Some would say that my life turned upside-down, but that’s not accurate. My life is finally right-side-up for the first time. I’m happy beyond words.
I would like to share with you how I found my way out of misery.
The first big change I made was to leave my job as a psychologist. I convinced myself that this was because I wanted to heal my health. I would get stomach aches every morning before work. What felt even worse was that I felt like I was on permanent bitch mode while at work. I came in every morning with a chip on my shoulder, feeling as though everyone was in my way. And everything agitated me. If you and I were friends, you’d know that this isn’t the type of person I am. I am usually a happy-go-lucky person. I’m usually optimistic, bright, and cheery. My behavior was a real departure from the woman that I knew I was. I felt that woman slipping away from me in so many ways. So the first big move I made was to shake up my career, and I started to work from home.
About six months later, I still didn’t feel like myself. I didn’t feel free to be myself. After traveling back home to visit friends and family, I decided that something needed to change in my intimate relationship. When I returned home from my trip, I started to ask for my needs to be met. I realized that I had silenced my needs years before including what would make me happy. I took my muzzle off and stopped holding back. I was honest about what would make me happy and started to ask for it. I stopped being afraid of conflict and let go of my worry about whether people liked me or not. Through this process, my ex and I discovered that we wouldn’t be able to live happily together after all.
I left a month later.
I left the home we had shared together for nearly five years. I left the city I had lived in for ten years. The beginning of one of the greatest adventures of my life began.
I moved to a city where I knew only a few people. I decided to start following my calling of becoming a personal coach. See, as much as practicing psychology had felt like a drain, being a coach felt like a shot of adrenaline. I help people see their potential. I help them acknowledge the divinity and majesty of their heart and soul. I help them peel back the layers of who they feel they were “supposed to” be to reveal their real authenticity underneath. This is what makes my soul happy.
Everything in my life has turned around. I’ve lost more than 50 pounds. My health has been restored. I haven’t been sick in almost two years. I feel daily awe and gratitude about how blessed I am and how much I finally love myself, my life, and everyone else. I feel like my life has expanded to the point where I’m finally recognizing that I am love. At my core. And so are you.
I still find myself peeling back the layers of crap from my past. Stripping off layers of rules that I thought I had to live by. Expectations about who I’m allowed to be or how I can live my life, have been pared. I’m still finding little crevices of my life where I had forced myself to live small for so long that I had forgotten about what I really longed for and what I really wanted.
Life is Freedom once you take off the muzzle and blindfold. There are no rules. There are no standards that you need to follow to be an “acceptable” person. As long as you have a good heart, and you don’t hurt anyone you should feel free to live however the hell you want to. To do whatever makes YOU happy. To follow the joy, passion, and love in your life, that’s tailor-made for you.
I think life is a constant discovery of how we can strip back those layers to become more authentic. To be more loving and more embracing of others, we need to accept responsibility for ourselves and our choices. Only then are we truly free to go on grand adventures and follow the desires that we have locked in the attic of our hearts years ago.
I’m about to set forth on the path to one of my greatest dreams and what will be another great adventure of my life. I’ve realized that city living isn’t for me. I’ve always wanted to live somewhere where shoes are optional, where I can tend an organic garden, slow down, and focus more on building experiences and joy than on earning money or gathering things. Where I can free my heart and soul to be as wild and outrageous as they want to be. A place where I can show up exactly as I am, all the time.
I’m about to move somewhere I’ve always wanted to live. Somewhere that thrills me so much that I’m just squealing inside. I can’t say too much yet until the details are all set.