I grew up in the Pacific Northwest among the mountains, trees, and rivers in a log cabin my parents built. I had a happy childhood full of adventure, exploring the valley on my horse, ski racing, camping, backpacking, and rock climbing. My real joy was ballet and I dreamed of traveling the world.
We moved to Southern California just before my freshman year in high school. “Where are all the trees?!” Although everyone talked, dressed, and looked differently, I quickly found my tribe at the local ballet studio and in student government. A born organizer and lover of big parties, I championed homecoming floats, school dances, senior ditch days, cruises, and every possible activity where music, dancing, and fun are the main event. I still love a big party!
During my senior year in college I studied abroad in Chile for a semester, traveled up and down the country for weeks, and discovered the joy of salsa dancing. With an honors degree in International Affairs & Economics under my belt, I spent several years working in DC promoting international trade and Latin American economic integration. I also enjoyed many hours mountain biking, practicing my salsa dancing and rock-climbing skills, and hiking with friends from around the world.
On a mission to change the world, I enjoyed life to the fullest.
I earned an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School and an MA with honors in International Studies & Portuguese from The Lauder Institute at U Penn. Both summers in grad school I studied and worked in Brazil, exploring from north to south (and learning how to samba!) I also met my man at Wharton. We got married the summer after graduation and immediately moved to London to start management consulting jobs.
Life was grand, just like I'd planned...
My marriage started to fall apart soon after arriving in London, and my beautiful son was born 8 months later. Not exactly how I'd planned, but there ya have it.
Two years later, my beautiful daughter was born. I chose to give up a lucrative career and be a stay-at-home mom. Determined to make my marriage work, I did everything I could to find peace and happiness, yet found myself constantly on edge and unable to manage the tension.
I wondered where I'd gone wrong.
On my daughter’s 11-month birthday, ashamed, guilt-ridden, and feeling like a failure, I summoned the strength and courage to finally listen to my little voice and made the life-altering, heart-breaking decision to leave my marriage.
After a not-so-pretty year-long divorce, I moved with my kids to Southern California and started life over again. Ignoring my own needs, my energy was focused on getting my children settled and finding purpose in my family's small retail business.
I fell into a major funk and had no idea why. After all, I had my life back, right? A friend who's a life coach made me name four personal goals for myself. I looked like a deer caught in the headlights - I had no idea what to say and realized I hadn’t thought of myself in YEARS. Bingo!
I took a photography class (even though when I signed up I didn’t own a camera), joined a salsa dancing team, and fulfilled a lifelong dream of traveling to Italy.
Remembering who I am, what lights me up, and giving myself permission to do things that I enjoy brought me out of the fog and funk.
Even though I'd bought a house and a car, created a side gig as a Zumba instructor, co-founded a non-profit, and my family's business was flourishing, I felt like a failure once again - I hadn't found a husband, a dad for my kids. I believed they were ruined for life without a man in the house, and it was all my fault. I invested in books, therapy, workshops. I journaled, shifted my mindset, and did the work to get unstuck. I realized that I'm enough. I learned gratitude and acceptance for who I am. And I learned to relax.
Miraculously, life became peaceful and I found my joy again.
Suddenly and unexpectedly, the man I thought I would marry called off our engagement. Literally overnight, my life as I'd planned it was over. Devastated and heart broken, I revisited my journals from my first journey back to joy, which took six years. I remembered the tools I'd learned and practiced them daily.
I chose gratitude. I chose to learn and grow. I chose to see this loss as an opportunity to re-define my future. What do I really want for me? Within six weeks I was fine! More than fine, actually. I was over the moon happy!
I finally gave myself permission to pursue my secret desire to coach others how to live their best lives, no matter what. I discovered the CIJ Clarity Catalyst masters degree course in mindfulness and emotional intelligence from Stanford University and immediately knew I wanted to teach this life-changing course on personal transformation.
I learned how to get past fear and procrastination, how to get out of my own way.
I completed my training to be a certified CIJ Catalyst Coach and haven't looked back since.
(And do you know what happened to my family’s retail business? Our growth rate quadrupled! You heard that right - quadrupled!)
When you are living your purpose and wake up every morning with joy and excitement for the day ahead, every part of your life transforms for the better, like alchemy.
It’s not rocket science, but it does take specific tools, discipline, accountability, and action. Not every day will be peachy. That's why we call it a “practice.”
And practice makes perfect.
If I can do it, so can you.
Come with me. Let me show you how…