My Journey of Flourishing my Beauty
I often get asked what it was that sent me on this journey to create Beauty Flourishing, my online membership for women.
In order to tell the story, I have to come from a true place of vulnerability, realizing that I have to allow even the darker parts to be exposed. So, maybe if you feel the same way, you will know that there is hope!
First, there was the light!
My story begins on a warm summer day when I was about 2 to 3 years old and my mom, my aunt, and I were walking along the sidewalk by the apartment building that I grew up in. My mom was on the left side and my aunt on the right holding my hand. Above us the sun was shining brightly, emanating warmth to me as I could simultaneously feel the warmth from the hands of these two women holding me.
The energy coming through as I felt sheltered by them was of complete love for me, and as I looked up and absorbed the energy of the brightly lit sun, I felt this feeling of completely being connected. At that moment there was nothing but a wave of complete love within and around me and I remembered and knew my connection to all that is! I remembered the unconditional love that is always there for us, and being completely held and nurtured as a part of everything in existence! I remembered that there is no disconnect and that there is such a deep love for us. And I remembered my purpose of bringing this love to humanity.
I had a beautiful childhood as all of us in our apartment complex were about the same age and we would play together every day; especially throughout the long summer days when we weren't in school. I also had wonderful best friends all throughout my childhood and teenage years.
The first rough spot in my life would come in the form of my parents’ divorce when I was 11.
My dad moved out, and I learned to become independent very quickly. But what I learned most of all during this time was how easily I could sense when someone was not telling the truth. No matter what they were showing to me on the outside, I could see through it and distinguish the energy patterns rapidly. This wasn't anything I could really put my finger on at the time as I had no awareness of this being anything special; in fact, many times it would be a hindrance when I would feel other people's energy and what they were thinking.
As a teenager I was definitely on a search for finding validation for my experiences, for what I instinctively knew to be true, but this was not accessible in mainstream information. I certainly felt awkward and like I didn't quite belong. This world just did not quite fit, or maybe I just did not really fit in?
In the 80s it was disco times and dancing, and I did discover books on reading cards similar to Tarot, based on an ancient system of using a regular deck of playing cards. So, as I was studying how to divine through using this deck of cards which I had created, I began to do readings as a teenager, even in the disco!
For a long time after my parents’ divorce, it was basically my mom and me taking care of each other with the support of my grandparents as well as the rest of our family. And then one day as I was leaving the disco, a friend of mine introduced me to his friend, Tim, who was a soldier in the Army at the time stationed near my hometown. As I looked in his eyes, I had this remembrance that there was something about him. And even though my mom already had the premonition that gave her the worry that if I got involved with an American soldier that he would take me away from her and I would move to the US, there was no stopping this destiny from happening. And the first time my mom met Tim she knew, as well, that he was right for me when she looked into his kind eyes. Within three years of us meeting, we were married in 1988, and we moved to the US and settled in Tennessee in 1991.
And then the darkness came
Life presents us with opportunities for growth, even if we could never imagine this to be the case in certain moments. There are those times in life where we have to experience the darkest moments in order to shine our light even more brightly. This time came for me in 1994 after my son, Daniel, was born.
Being a new mom far away from family and with my husband Tim working 12-hour shifts as a mechanic at the time...I did experience postpartum depression as I carried so much of the responsibility for my little son. I believe that we all go through low points, and this just happened to be the culprit for me.
Even though my natural state was being a nurturing mom, so deeply in love with my beautiful son, Daniel, and nursing him and attachment parenting, inside I felt depleted and needed support, but I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my deep conflicted feelings with anyone at the time.
Being a new mom was one of the most fulfilling, loving, most beautiful experiences, but yet I was also filled with this underlying feeling of darkness at that time which I couldn't seem to shake. There were many parts of this experience that didn't feel like they came from me, but I wasn't sure at the time how to exactly differentiate what was mine and what came from sources outside of me that were in conflict with my natural state of well-being.
In times like these, I believe we are meant to seek spiritual support. The discomfort of our experience is meant to be a motivating factor in finding solutions. If it had not been postpartum depression that I experienced, it would undoubtedly have been another type of overwhelm that I would have struggled with.
Looking back, I now know that the struggle was FOR ME so that I would seek balance for myself. In finding the balance for myself, I would have more to give to all those whom I love so dearly, and it would prepare me to facilitate healing for women in their struggles to lift themselves out of any dark spaces in their lives.
And the Universe always delivers gifts! Through the La Leche League I had made a friend; her name is Nancy Telford, and she was already a Reiki Master back then. And since I was dedicated to continuously pursuing my spiritual path, I turned to her for sessions.
Experiencing Reiki for the first time was amazing! I could feel a sense of becoming more myself, again, as I was experiencing these waves of relaxation come through me. There was definitely something there that was helping me shift my energy.
My Journey out of the darkness with Reiki
And so began my journey with Reiki, as I continued to see Nancy as a client on a regular basis. Within a couple of months, I noticed that I could handle stress more easily, that I began to have more patience for myself, my circumstances, and everyone around me, and that more joy had returned back to me.
In 1998 my 2nd son, Phillip, was born and two years later, we also started our bakery. I was homeschooling the kids during the day, and spending, on average, 8 to 10 hour-days shaping and baking breads as we were getting the business off the ground.
Even though I was healing and feeling the improvements in my internal state, now there were different challenges that I was faced with - challenges of handling the demands on my time and the exhaustion from the fast pace of our daily life.
I felt nudged to not forget that my need for a release of stress and an outlet for re-energizing myself was important and vital to continuing to maintain balance in these very hectic days.
Because I was already on a spiritual path, I RETURNED to my practice of finding moments of connecting into my true essence to determine what I needed to be well, and it was through all of this that I healed my postpartum depression on my own as I began to understand how energy and vibration works. In that process, I also identified my own voice again, and the darkness finally lifted as I began to embody even more light than I had ever done before.
I knew that this process was profoundly personal and only I could determine what would truly serve me through my pursuit of the light. And I’ve come to know that this is exactly how personal spiritual expansion happens. It is up to each individual to show up for themselves, do the work, and dig more deeply than they ever have, and that is exactly what I knew was necessary for me.
I did have wonderful support from my husband, Tim, throughout this time of my life, but even with his love and support, I knew I had to make time to explore my essence as fully as I could in the desire to fulfill what I needed, and he encouraged that.
So, I really delved into my creativity and continued my spiritual growth going from learning on my own...something I had already been doing through most of my life... to actively seeking out teachers and classes to help me heal and to help me grow. I knew I needed deeper knowledge, guidance, and connection, and I was willing to commit to this path until I began to fully embody my higher purpose.
I began a path of Empowerment
I began with Reiki training until I became a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher in 2005 and a Karuna® Reiki Master/Teacher the following year. From there I would continue this journey of spiritual studies with many different teachers of many spiritual backgrounds and also start working with clients doing Energy Healing sessions.
My guidance always led me to the situations and teachers I was meant to study with as I learned to trust my instincts and honed my skills as a healer.
What I began to realize was that improvements in our lives rely on our VIBRATION and the vibration we hold around us . . . and we CAN learn how to influence that!
In accessing the highest vibrations, we induce a state of inner & outer wellness in a holistic way.
As I internalized all the teachings and grew in my practice to facilitate deep states of healing in others, I found myself bringing together the elements of these varied modalities, but did not yet know quite how to express them outwardly. Throughout, I remained dedicated to regularly flourishing aspects of my own talents, creativity, and things that brought me joy which I believed could be combined for a greater purpose.
Everything in my life was happening simultaneously and parallel to each other: homeschooling my kids, growing our Bakery business with the addition of our Cafe’, studying spirituality on my own and with teachers, seeing clients in my practice for healing sessions, painting, teaching watercolor classes, going to retreats and events, and growing as a photographer as well.
Following my Guidance throughout
It was in April of 2015, at a photography conference called Shutterfest that the path of how to unfold my purpose became clear to me. Even though I had no idea at the time of my attendance how profound this would be for me, I was just following my guidance and went to grow my photography skills.
There I met one of the instructors, Aaron Nace, the founder of Phearn, whose Photoshop tutorials I had been watching for quite a while in my efforts to learn to edit in Photoshop.
We connected and became friends and a couple months later he invited me to spend two weeks visiting him and his then-fiancée, Katie, in Chicago. Since he already had a large following on YouTube, and had been running a successful Internet business for several years, it was inspiring for me to see how he pursued his passions and shared them with the world. It broadened my horizon to consider new possibilities that I had not even dreamed of up until that moment.
I left Chicago full of inspirations. I didn't yet know how to build that bridge which could connect women from all over the world with the spiritual teachings and modalities I knew and the help they could offer them in their lives. But I did know that I wanted to create an impact through a unified system of healing and teaching spirituality, and the internet could be the platform which would enable me to become a catalyst for empowering others to transform their lives as this system had done for me.
Through my journey of my own healing, I had learned how to uplift others and bring them out of their darkness into the fullness of their light, but how was I going to reach the many more women outside my local circle who could benefit from this?
I had already been making an impact through my Reiki classes, other spiritual classes, and events, as well as in-person sessions. But now that my view had expanded, I knew the nudge from the Universe was too strong to ignore.
Expanding beyond my own vision
And so, as it is with all things, stepping stones are laid out before us in support of our purpose.
I was watching videos on CreativeLive and came across a presenter whom I began to follow. To my delight, shortly thereafter, I saw that he had released his first official version of his signature program for teaching people, like me, how to take our knowledge and create an online business. There is a quote by Rumi which says, “What you seek is seeking you” and I knew that here was my stepping stone and I took my first step with excitement.
From there I began to learn the ins and outs of what it would take to create an online business but I was still taking my time as everything else in life was happening simultaneously. It wasn’t until the end of 2016, when my friend Casandra passed, that I knew I could not procrastinate any longer.
It became clear to me that I needed to commit to my greater vision of what I was here to do, and her death catapulted me to a level of being in service that I had to fulfill.
I wanted to give to other women what had been missing in my life, and that I wished I’d had when I needed it, because these things would have made my life so much easier: to not feel isolated, to know that I’m supported in a sisterhood, and to have someone that I trusted who could guide me in my spiritual growth and expansion.
And so in November 2017, I made the commitment to myself to be ‘all in’ on my vision of an online membership for women called Beauty Flourishing, so that women would have a spiritual home in which they could learn, expand, be creative again, be nurtured, find themselves and shine their brightest light.
I opened the membership on January 14th of 2018 and have had the honor over this past year to grow my tribe, this beautiful sisterhood of incredible women from all over the world.
Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, asks the very provocative question, “Are you engineering your life small to avoid vulnerability and shame?” and this is something that I had to consider about myself so I could release any patterns which were holding me back from being a teacher and guide for women that I am meant to be.
Throughout this year I have grown by leaps and bounds as I released limiting thoughts and boundaries that I still felt within me. I have allowed myself to be vulnerable as I was putting myself out there to be in service for the greater good of all and have embraced my own expansion. With this, my network of friends and colleagues in the online space and my team of wonderful people supporting this vision with me has expanded as well!
My path has truly been one of flourishing my own beauty from the remembrance of the light that is always accessible to us even through the darkest moments.
What I know for sure is that we are always guided towards the light and that everything does strive toward the light. We all carry so much beauty inside of us and the time to fully allow it to shine is always now.
My goal with sharing this very personal story has been to inspire you to reach for your highest light, knowing that it is not only possible but your birthright.
Tomorrow, Monday, 4 February 2019, I am opening my online membership Beauty Flourishing once again, creating a larger container for many more like-minded women to join this thriving community as they expand on their individual paths of spiritual growth, and I can't wait to facilitate transformations in these women's lives!
If you have been seeking, then please know that there is a home for you, one you can tap into anytime, anywhere, and you are welcomed!
Click on the picture below to learn more!