I was in the top 5% of my high school class, got a full academic scholarship to undergrad at USC- Columbia, majored in psychology & graduated magna cum laude. Then went to grad school at UF- Gainesville to get my Master's in marriage & family counseling. Shadow side: got validation from grades and being “smarter” than others.
Even though I was a good student, I was a total extrovert. I loved being around people and having fun. In college, I started binge drinking on the weekends. I was always cranking up the music, dancing, getting people to play games and drink more. Shadow side- Alcoholism ran in my family & I had no sense of "moderation".
On the surface I looked as though I was primed for success. At age 24, I had just finished grad school with a 4.0 GPA at the #2 University in the country for Counselor Education. But I had a big secret: after 6.5 years of binge drinking almost every weekend, I was addicted to the "partying" lifestyle and met DSM criteria for alcohol abuse.
I tried to cut back on my own and practice “moderation” but I failed miserably multiple times. The low points of my alcohol dependence included: blacking out more frequently, engaging in causal sex with strangers, being violently sick the following day with hangovers and the final blow: getting arrested and charged with a DUI.
I. was. so. ashamed.
But I couldn’t hide it anymore. I finally admitted to myself I was addicted to alcohol.
After my life burned to ashes I’d love to say I immediately turned everything around, healed my shit and rebuilt my life. But that is not my story. As my case awaited court, I waitressed to pay the bills. 5 months later the DUI was dropped and I pled guilty to reckless driving. But I struggled for another 2 years with my drinking. I hit lower and lower bottoms. I desperately tried to climb out of the hole but kept slipping back.
I eventually realized that if I wanted to stop drinking I had to take drastic action. I had to remove myself COMPLETELY from the toxic environment I had created. So, I moved to a new state and lived with a beloved aunt. I deleted Facebook for 2 years. I spent 6 months in my own “rehab” with no job, no social life and for the first time since I was 17, no drinking whatsoever.
Once all the old triggers and social distractions were cut out the self-healing was fast and furious. I journaled for hours everyday. I went on walks in the woods everyday. I did psyche integration work with my “inner party girl.” This was the KEY. That old self, my prominent identity for nearly a decade, had to die. I journeyed into the Underworld to face my shadows. And from this darkness, I excavated gold.
Once I was able to sit with my shadows with loving compassion, they became integrated into my Whole self. I strengthened my connection to the divine, to the Universal Energy of Love, and to my Soul. I was able to embrace my whole story and reconnect with my Truth. From there, I began rebuilding my life and embodying a new self, my highest self, my soul’s authentic expression.
I continued the inner healing work, my mission always being to LIVE MY SOUL’S TRUTH. Then one day, I was finally healthy enough to help others again. I started working as a therapist with at-risk kids. I loved counseling children; providing them with a safe space to talk about the hard stuff, helping them express and control their emotions. It affirmed for me: it is my soul’s calling to help others heal and thrive. But I had a strong yearning for MORE in my career. I knew it would be activated when the time was right.
By committing to my own healing and beginning to embody my Highest Self, I also attracted one of my soul-mates. When I met him, it was instant recognition and inner knowing. My Soul KNEW him. We began a whirlwind romance. It was different than any other relationship I’d had. We were both awake/conscious, willing to look at our egos, triggers, wounds, etc. and committed to our individual souls’ evolution.
At age 32, I gave birth to my 1st child. Becoming a mother made me surrender more deeply than ever before. During pregnancy and childbirth, I had to embrace change and uncertainty on all levels. I continued deep spiritual work, rewriting socially conditioned fears about birth. I had a beautiful, medication-free, intervention-free, water birth at a birth center. But then we struggled immensely with breastfeeding. I had to release my expectations of what I thought it “should” be. I decided to rise up and meet life exactly as it was.
After taking time off work to be home with my infant, it became crystal clear my soul desired to finally act on the career dreams that had been growing in my heart since 2012. It was time to step into my full power as a divine co-creator and offer my gifts to the world, on my terms. I took the leap and went all in. I invested in myself; B-school, pro website designer, renting office space, hiring a mentor... all the things. I began to embody a soul-based entrepreneur, all while being a new first time mom! But it was SO HARD.
Like most soul-preneurs, once you boldly take action on your dreams & began stepping into your next level, everything not in alignment with that will come up to be transmuted. Just 6 months after launching my business, I experienced a miscarriage. My romantic relationship had been crumbling for months & then totally fell apart. Finances were bleak. I wasn't attracting clients fast enough. I'd spent all my inheritance on my business. I had to pivot, regather my resources & do what I needed to do as a newly single mom. But I did not give up on my mission. I was in it for the long haul.
I circled back through the previous archetypes: fraud, fallen hero, hermit. I was so embarrassed my business & relationship had "failed." I was back in the UnderWorld. I began deep inner work again to heal & liberate myself. I wrangled with loss, grief, shame, ego-death. In time, I moved again thru the archetypes: alchemist, phoenix, healer & ultimately back to queen/warrior. I relaunched the business. I showed back up. I began sharing my story, the WHOLE story. I walked my talk. I recommitted to my mission: to heal & liberate, myself first, then help others do the same. I have re-emerged & am ON FIRE to share all I've learned on my UnderWorld Journeys.