“I freed hundreds of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had only known they were enslaved.” - Harriet Tubman
It wasn’t until 5 years after my husband left our 23-year marriage that I realized I had been enslaved.
I remember standing in our kitchen while we were still married, saying to myself that this was a wonderful life I was living but it wasn’t mine. We had “everything” on the outside but there was a void, a disconnect to what mattered on the inside & I ached for it.
When my was-been (ex-husband) wanted to buy the big home on the acre lot, I was fearful that it would change our focus but he calmly assured me that it would only enhance our lives.
I trusted him to make that decision on our behalf, even though within me I knew the dangers of what could be the underlying motivation. In time, the focus insidiously shifted from investing in the meaningful foundation of our marriage to the outer appearance of how we were perceived.
Monies that were once available to give away or experience a life-changing adventure began to be primarily poured into the home & outward appearances.
Bucket Loads of Stuff
I get it … “everyone” does it, right? But I’m not everyone and he knew that when he married me. I was the adventurous, soulful, truth-
Time & energy was being redirected by the bucket loads to things, stuff & what-nots. Frankly, there is nothing wrong with “stuff” unless it sucks you dry of vibrant life-giving energy & becomes what you live for.
There is nothing wrong with ‘stuff’ unless it sucks you dry of vibrant life-giving energy & becomes what you live for…
The essence of our marriage was being sucked dry & the once heart-felt connection we had experienced was being replaced with harsh expectations, cold connections, bone-chilling distance. However, it was in no way apparent on the outside.
The Odd-Girl Out
Thirsty to make a difference I still found my way to Calcutta, India, and Addis Abba, Ethiopia, to work with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.
I spent months of my life serving & speaking in Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, India & trekking in the wilderness, climbing Kilimanjaro. Each time, I’d return to the palatial home we lived in and felt like the odd-girl out.
Mother Teresa said that you can find Calcutta in every part of the world, wherever you find the lonely, the forgotten. I began a ministry to high school & college-age kids in the urban core and filled that huge home with inner-city kids.
Over the past decade, I started to intensely study yoga, meditation, mindfulness & intertwining these practices to an even deeper level in my life.
With my BS in Occupational Therapy, I received my MA in Leadership from seminary and became an ordained minister. I was raised Catholic, went to a Presbyterian seminary and became an ordained Baptist minister.
I’ve studied Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Christian meditation and became certified as a meditation instructor from the Chopra Institute. After working 1-on-1 with Martha Beck (one of Oprah’s Life Coaches) for three years, I became certified as one of her Life Coaches. I studied and became certified as a Jin Shin Jyutsu (an ancient form of acupressure) practitioner, studied Resonance repatterning and Kundalini Yoga.
Seeking The Deeper Truth
The body, mind and soul are inextricably linked.
I unequivocally believe that there are many currencies that make up being wealthy and that investments in one’s self is the only lasting investment that compounds, hence my studies were/are my most valuable investments.
The currency of energy, enthusiasm, love, family, friends, creativity, health, knowledge, wisdom, compassion, passion and purpose are invaluable. Money is only one currency & the one most highly regarded in our culture.
The currency of energy, enthusiasm, love, family, friends, creativity, health, knowledge, wisdom, compassion, passion and purpose are invaluable.
Left With the Shards
- I had become a single mother
- My best friend died after her eight-year battle with cancer
- My best friend from college committed suicide
- My dad died
- We lost our family home
- The family in which I had invested my hear was nowhere to be found
- The economy crashed
I panicked and secured a full-time job in public television, pushing aside my motivational speaking and life/wellness coaching business. The life I created was obliterated, and with it everything I loved and in which I invested had vanished.
The life I created was obliterated, and with it everything I loved and in which I invested had vanished.
I grieved the loss of what our family would never be and I got stuck in my dark sadness.
Settled for Less
I had somehow begun to believe that as a single mother my life would be less than that of a married woman.
The Most Painful Consequence
I did all I could to avoid the power struggles, but to no avail. This is perhaps the most painful of consequence of divorce My own father told me about his divorce through a note he left on my dresser asking me to tell my mother that he had moved out and wanted a divorce.
My deepest hope was that my kids would never experience the turmoil of a torn family and instead they got it in spades! Dodging, maneuvering, orchestrating…I twisted myself into all sorts of parenting positions to offer relief and protection for my babes with no concern about what it was costing me. I desperately did not want them to experience what I did but no matter what I did, it was impossible. They were crushed and I could not protect them.
Finding Guts and Grit
My first step was to stop buying into the self-limiting belief that, as a single mother, my opportunities were limited.
Crossing the Border
I reconnected with my passion to make a difference with my kids alongside me. This was a significant step in re-embracing my true self.
I was amazed that my energy was revitalized beyond what I had ever experienced in my life.
Embracing Who Your Are
All too often, women in their 50’s can begin to believe that their lives no longer matter.
Don’t settle for less than who you are. Dare to live it.
And, as T.S. Eliot said:
“It’s never too late too be what you might have been.”