This is a story about how my life got flipped upside down…
For those of you who don’t know me yet, here’s the short-short version. I’m from Texas originally. I married a New Yorker. I now live in Tucson. I jump on a plane every chance I get. I love yoga and trained in India as a teacher. I have studied engineering. I lived in Mexico for 6 years. I’ve planned over 108 weddings. I have fallen in love with mindfulness, if that’s even possible!
So how exactly did I start on this wild and wonderful journey of personal and relationship coaching?
Just sit right there, and I’ll tell ya how I became the person I am today.
Of course, all the good altruistic stuff that any coach will tell you applies to me too. Wanting to help people and share my knowledge for the benefit of others was definitely a driving factor.
But really, at the start, it was all about me and what I was going through that propelled me towards this path…
Even though I’ve always had a passion for learning, growing, and studying relationships and the people in them, there was a very clear “AHA moment” in my life where the inner journey began for me. I can totally still remember it today.
It was at the end of a third not-so-happy ending of a relationship that I began to realize that perhaps neither they (the ex-partners) nor the circumstances were the cause of the relationship’s demise.
As I analyzed the situation, I noticed they were three very different relationships, with three very different guys – WILDLY DIFFERENT!
- The first guy was super young and manipulative with a penchant for lying (be it known – he’s now a very upstanding person, husband and father).
- The 2nd guy – an amazing person, super sweet, just wanted to be loved and was brutally honest.
- The 3rd, well, he was Latin. Need I say more? 😉
When I saw this truth, I noticed that the only common factor in each relationship was ME! So, I then had to ask myself, if it’s not the guy, and it’s not the circumstance, what is it that I am doing to get me to that same place of feeling lost, lonely, insecure, and so needy within the relationship? Because that’s where I ended up with each of them. I could have been standing right next to “him” and yet felt soooo far away and disconnected – yearning for the slightest touch or gesture of reassurance that I was still loved.
Then, when it ended, I would feel like a HUGE weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I could be “me” again – that confident, independent, lively, fun and funny gal those boyfriends had first fallen for. It was the same cycle every time a relationship would last longer than 3 months.
Recognizing this cycle and pattern of mine was the biggest, scariest gift I’ve even been given. It was such an eye opener! And that’s where it all began…
Sometimes You Have to Lose Yourself to Find Yourself
I think the biggest thing that many women can relate to is how I completely lost my sense of self.
I was baffled how I could be so strong, confident, and independent while not in a relationship, and then as soon as there was an inkling of reciprocated interest from the guy, I’d lose it. Tell me if any of this sounds familiar:
- I would be consumed by thoughts of him and a complete desire to just want to be with him.
- My day would be amazing if he called or texted and suck if he didn’t. I would drop everything I had planned if he did call to hang out.
- I needed the affirmation from him to feel loved, special, and worthy.
- I would be questioning everything. Are we spending too much time together? Should I call? Am I calling too much? Does he really like me?
- I would hold on to my true feelings because I felt that if I let them out, I would lose control. Control of what, I’m not sure, but that was definitely the sensation. I somehow weirdly thought if I didn’t show all my cards I had more power. So not true as I came to learn!
- I was so sure that one guy didn’t really care about me and that he was just lying with the sweet things he said that I never appreciated his genuine feelings for me – so sad because I never got to fully enjoy receiving those things from him. Plus, because I had such low self-confidence, I couldn’t dare tell him how much I truly liked him. What a missed opportunity, but of course, a super valuable, great learning moment.
- I could play it cool enough for a while, but then eventually I was so afraid of doing the wrong thing that I would do nothing. I had no strong opinion or thoughts – I was unconsciously so afraid of rejection that I was numb and paralyzed. I would give in so easily, thinking that if I said no, he wouldn’t like me any more, he would think I was a difficult, high maintenance girlfriend and on and on went the negative self-talk.
What a no-fun way to live and be in a partnership! No wonder they retreated, and I pursued.
What it came down to and what I eventually came to know was that I didn’t have a strong enough sense of self to be confident in who I was. I may have seemed like the picture of confidence on the outside, but deep down inside, I basically had no respect for myself. So when faced with the many challenges the relationships presented, I had no foundation to hold on to and I caved. I lost that confidence they had fallen for and thus our cycle began.
The Journey to Me
As I was just scratching the surface of getting to know ME, I was introduced to yoga and mindfulness practices, which catapulted me into greater self-awareness. I was able to start making some conscious, confident decisions that guided me on my happiness journey.
I started studying non-violent communication, read A New Earth by the amazing Eckhart Tolle and a bunch of other books, and took a 10 day mindfulness meditation retreat.
I started paying attention to my actions and intentions, especially to the crazy mental chatter in my brain. I was getting to know me and building the confidence to stay true to that person through any situation, even getting involved with a boy, and not crumbling into my old patterns!
All this self-learning was manifesting itself into a healthier, happier me.
Time to Help Others
When I started consciously choosing my steps, words, actions and which feelings to give importance to, that’s when I changed my patterns and started gaining the confidence and self-love I needed to be in a healthy, loving relationship.
Those relationship related epiphanies guided me along my path toward coaching. I knew that I was not alone – I needed to pass on this profound experience and revelation with others, to help them find their center, stay true to themselves, create amazing conscious partnerships and heal their lives. I felt like I had a found a secret and wanted to share it with the world!
Plus, there was so much trial and error involved in finding the right books and the right tools. I knew that what I discovered would make it so much easier for others.
I trained with iPEC and was amazed by the similarities the program shares with the mindfulness training I had done. It all came full circle, and I am so happy to be a certified life and relationship coach, as well as a certified practitioner for the Energy Awareness assessment.
Onwards and Upwards
So with each and every individual or couple I coach, I am brought back to my first experiences with self-awareness. I remember what it was like to realize what was truly going on in my life. It was scary and challenging and fun and hard and enlightening.
And I can say without a doubt in my mind that it was all worth it. If I can act as a catalyst for your personal journey of self-love and discovery, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
How is your journey?