As with any great story of change and inspiration, it doesn't really begin until the heroine has hit rock bottom.
I was raised as a spoiled child. Not that I got everything I ever wanted, but my Momma loved me SO much that she tried to protect me from everything. And with most spoiled children, I took advantage. I never had to experience defeat. I never had to be held accountable. I was never responsible for my mistakes, my bills, my education or my own arrogance. My mother loved me too much and took on all those burdens herself, and I let her.
As I grew into adulthood, I had no idea how to take care of myself financially or emotionally.
Finally ( and thankfully), I had gone too far. I lost everything and my mother allowed it to happen. It was the most painful lesson I have ever had to live through- probably for us both. But I can honestly say, it was the best thing that could have happened to me and everyone around me.
They say when you hit rock bottom, all you can do is look up. And after I got through the angry, hateful, it's-everybody-else's-fault phases, I looked up.
And He was there. Looking down, smiling at me, arms out-stretched, waiting to forgive me and encouraging me to forgive myself. I abused love and it was taken away from me. Then God used love to save me. It changed my world.
Love saved me...
I switched from my self-depriciating addictions to finding out about self-love. Which was completely depleted. I was completely dependent on others to give me the love I so desperately craved. I had to realize that no one on the outside could fix that.
I had to change or I wasn't going to make it. Yes, it means exactly how it sounds. I was THAT close to calling it quits. Many believe that once you get "saved" that magically, your life is bliss. When in reality, that is when the work really begins. You have to look hard in the mirror and face down those demons before you can really make that change and accept the love and information God is trying to send you. Not an easy task and quite painful. I looked into that mirror and was ashamed at what I saw. I didn't think I deserved a spot on this earth. God showed me otherwise.
Beauty for ashes...
I totally immersed myself in God and everything I could get my hands on to give me reason to love myself and that got me to believe that I was worth a second chance.
I dove into everything. Not only the self-love, but also the practical real-life stuff that would hold me accountable. I read motivation, self-help, Christian literature, financial planning, goal setting... I bought tapes and CD's of the greatest minds... It was total immersion.
After losing everything and slowly gaining back my relationships with family, cutting off every source of negativity, and discovering a natural talent for educating, I followed through the doors God was opening for me.
I started writing.
I had so much inside me that I wanted to share that could maybe help others either going through what I had, or even better, catch them before they sank as low. I wrote and wrote and wrote whatever was on my heart but did not share it with anyone. It wasn't time yet, as I was still healing.
Finally~ fiction was to be my first introduction to the world. The first door was finally opened for me to share my work. It was soon after, my true calling was revealed to me. I feel that my true "gift", my "superpower" as some call it, is to make information (education) fun and retainable through workshops. Anyone can read a book- but it's not until that information touches your heart that a transformation can take place.
Workshops. Making information fun to learn and impactful so it stays with you. Short bursts of fun while deep learning takes place.
I don't think there's enough love in the world. I don't mean the "everyone hold hands" or the "free love, man" or the "how YOU doin'" kinds of love, but... if decisions could be made from a place of love and self-worth, then we could make happier, more sound decisions and those types of decisions leave less room for regret. I have created the Leading With Love series which starts out with books, and then, workbooks, workshops and group coaching. These will hopefully create a movement to give you permission to live happier, healthier lives by becoming an example of how to love others. Leading With Love... it just sounds happy, doesn't it?
It's said that we seek out in others what we lack in our lives. It was true in my case. My struggle was relationships. I did not love myself and tried to fill that gaping hole with love from others. Perhaps that's why you are here with me today, as it is your struggle too? As you'll see my study is still heavily based in relationships. How we relate to one another. How we connect. How love can be ribboned-through everything we do. And if we have no one... how can we still find happiness in loving ourselves? Leading With Love is a culmination of my studies thus far.
Learn. Do. Teach.
The skeletal framework of the Leading With Love movement was born, although it has taken several (SEVERAL) years for it to come together. It's preliminary release was encouraging, but it's not quite where I want it to be. (If this is going to be my life's work- what I am remembered for- it had better be as close to perfect as possible!)
In addition to my relational coaching, there is still so many things that I feel moved to do. I still write fiction. I still write blogs and articles and create on-line workshops on all kinds of subjects. But here is what is commanding my attention at the moment. (In fact it has for a while, I just didn't know how it was going to surface!) I'm trying to tap into the on-line course space. I just haven't discovered the right combination with self-learning and coaching. When I do, you'll be the first to know!
I couldn't have gotten here, to be able to help so many, if I hadn't gone through my own dark valley. I hope to save others from the self-inflicted pain that I endured, and I believe the projects mentioned are my vehicle to do exactly that. I have so much love to give and have been guided to understand that the best way for me to give love to others is to teach.
This is my story. It is real. It is who I am and how I got here. Knowing these things about me will hopefully allow my history to help you in your future.
And yes, if you were wondering, the relationship with my Momma has been restored and she has become my very best friend. And while she still tries to rescue me when I trip and fall, MOST of the time I can keep her rescue limited to band-aids and mercurochrome and not the entire hospital visit! I love her with all my heart and admire the strength it took for her to allow the "tough love" to take it's course to mold me into a better person.
I have lived and loved and lost and suffered... and learned a lot. The research and knowledge I have acquired is far more than I could have ever achieved from a University PhD. My education comes from the trenches, focused learning and research, real world case studies and working with real people with real issues. My purpose is to share what I have learned either through my fiction or non-fiction from a sincere heart. And maybe together, we can create happy, fulfilling lives that will shine for all to see making others wonder where we got that inner-shine!
So, what can I do to help you on your journey to a happier place?