When I was 19 I was at cross roads in my life. I was clinically depressed. I had suicidal idealizations
and I was self-medicating with alcohol and drugs. It’s as if the light had gone out in my eyes and I was escaping the pain of childhood trauma. If I continued down this path I have no doubt that I wouldn’t be alive today. I was given the opportunity for an alternate ending, one that offered a way out of the pain and darkness and a chance of hope. I chose hope and thus began my journey back to my heart.
I never imagined that the journey would take 22 years or the many twists and turns I would encounter along the way, but as I know now, all that I longed for and was searching for was within me all along.
When I set out on this path, I longed for deeper fulfillment, inner peace and purpose and a path (with clear cut directions of course). I wanted the perfect career, the perfect life partner, the beautiful house with the 2.5 kids and a Volvo station wagon to boot!
I held tightly to the belief that once I had found all of those external things, I would enter into a new relationship with myself. A relationship that would allow me to be proud of myself and ultimately love myself in a way that I had not been able to do. Through many years of therapy, self-help groups, gurus and a commitment to spiritual growth, the concept of self-love became something that I was very familiar with. I understood the importance and the concept of it, but couldn’t quite achieve it for myself.
I began the Co-Active Coaching training first in 2004 and felt such resonance with the concepts that I immediately felt my soul become alive to something I hadn’t known existed. I chose to coach and help others with the very thing that had alluded me for so long. If I could support them in their quest for fulfillment perhaps I would obtain it for myself.
It took many years later for me to complete the training and as I did I became more of me, my true authentic self and I started to create the life I had always craved. With newfound relationship skills, I learned how to be in relationship with others and with myself in a very different way. The “others” became easier for me, as I still held firm to the belief that my relationship to myself was contingent to my outside accomplishments…..
Fast forward to March 2017 when I began CTI’s Leadership program. I went in with an open mind but also felt that I had a pretty good grasp of who I was and where my growth opportunities lay. It was shortly after retreat one, where we learned all about our leader within, the power within and self-authorship, that I was laying on a massage table receiving a treatment. I was intentionally sending love to every part of my body that was being massaged and at once I had a visceral knowing that self-love and self-compassion were my starting point to greater fulfillment.
I was filled with such a strong sense of knowing, that at once I wanted to leap off the table and shout from the roof tops that “SELF-LOVE” is the answer. There is no other answer! It all starts with my relationship with myself and from this place of deep self-compassion and acceptance, anything and everything is possible.
It was as if my years of seeking and knowledge landed in me, rather than outside of me…..I realized in the most intense way possible that if I wanted deeper relationships, meaningful work, a clear understanding of my life purpose and path, then self-love had to be my starting point.
CTI’s Leadership program has taken the concepts I have known for many years and brought them into my physical being in a way that has literally changed me and rearranged me. I would like to think that the journey to this life changing answer has finally come to end but I now know that the journey from my heart has only just begun……