Reclaiming the radiant Self
On recovery, choosing healing, and the joyful work of a lifetime
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Twenty years ago this weekend, I met him.
My now-husband, Erick, was visiting my hometown of Seattle. We had connected via match.com (oh, it was the early days of internet dating!), and he had reached out right before I took my profile down (internet dates were bizarre). I took a chance and decided to meet Erick for a coffee.
I had a feeling when he walked in the door of The W hotel that it would be more than coffee, and I was right. Three months after we met, I left everything I knew behind and moved to the middle of nowhere, Idaho, to be with him, and we married six months later. This weekend we are celebrating our meet-a-versary all those years ago, but what I want to tell you is this:
It would not have happened without my recovery.
I don’t talk about it often, but a year before meeting Erick, I had what can only be explained as a divine intervention. Sitting at my kitchen table, reading Pema Chodron, halfway through a case of beer, I panicked because I could not get drunk. Honestly, my life was a mess though I think I put on a good show most days. That night, I looked out my window as the sun set over the Olympic mountains, and my divine team quite sternly showed me that I needed to take a different path, that I was not where I was supposed to be, and that recovering from my addiction to alcohol was of paramount importance.
Within a few weeks, nudged by some supporting synchronicities, I found myself shaking from fear and withdrawl in a Buddhist therapist’s office, committed to abstaining from alcohol and doing the work to heal. Which I did (and have continued) for the last twenty-one years.
Transformation is often born of suffering.
The truths were hard to bear in the first year. Seeing myself, my life, and my choices without the numbing haze of alcohol to soften everything was painful. I often describe my experience in that first year as running through waist-deep mud. All my friends (including my boyfriend) were drinking pals I had to let go of to continue my recovery, so I felt very alone. My therapist and I were doing the hard work of dealing with trauma, my finances were a certified hot mess, and I realized with great shame that I had pursued accounting because I thought it would bring me prestige, but it was not my calling.
By the time Erick and I met, I had made great progress on all fronts and felt quite confident that I was recovered (I hope you, like me, are laughing at this presumption). However, in hindsight, that was simply the first step in my recovery.
Recovery is the joyful work of a lifetime.
I can name the ways Life has continued to intervene and ask me to go deeper with my healing and growth. I would say, too, that addiction was just my first assignment on the path of learning to reclaim my radiant, wisest Self. Things like being a mother, living overseas multiple times, avoiding money, becoming a coach and a business owner, being a single parent for long periods of time during my husband’s deployments, food addiction, and continuing to navigate the lingering impact of trauma - all invitations. Today of all days, I am incredibly grateful for these invitations to come closer to myself and to let myself be seen and known as I am. I would not choose a different path.
Our power is in the choices we make.
I hope that by hearing a sliver of my story, you might be inspired to look back on your challenges and see them as invitations to come home to your most radiant self. Or, should you currently be in the dark valley of challenge, I hope this might provide a light for what is possible. Though I don’t believe anyone asks for or deserves trauma, hardship, and pain I do believe we all have the capacity to be heal better and stronger. As much as I (and perhaps you, too) might rail against the hard realities of life as a human on earth, I have come to know life as an adventure of experiences that can absolutely bring us closer to the radiant and brilliant core of who we are and who we are meant to be.
I invite you to say yes.
Whatever struggle, whatever tension, whatever challenge you face, you can face it. You can heal. You can do this. Say yes to your own care and healing. Say yes to the invitations that life provides to reclaim your most radiant, wise Self. Let it be the joyful journey of your life which will bring more love, more meaning, and more of you into your life and your work.
As a conscious woman in business, are you seeking support on your own healing journey? You may be struggling in your relationship to money, recovery, a sense of enoughness, or you may just feel out of touch with your deepest wisdom. If you are ready for coaching, I have one spot available for a coaching relationship. Let’s chat.