“Even when we have no idea where we are or where we are going, with the right map, we can find our way back to our heart and to our truest self.”
My home page is ever-evolving, just as I am. I love sharing the chronology of my personal growth and self-discovery journey because it illuminates what organically happens when we get to know ourselves better.
When we turn our attention inward and become intimately familiar with the one person we spend the most time with, the one person we are bonded to and in relationship with forever and always, the transformation is life-changing.
We are each the protagonist of our life story….the main character who drives the action, whose fate matters most. We are indeed “involved in” and “central to” the plot of our life story — and most importantly, we are the “emotional heart” of our narratives.
I started my personal growth journey drowning in emotions, fighting them and resisting all that they had to teach me. Nearly six decades of my own emotional neglect and illiteracy erupted into the most profound understanding of myself. So many things that happened in my life that did not make sense, congealed in a way that connects the broken pieces of my story into a puzzle that creates the window to my soul…my most authentic self. To me, it looks just like a stained glass window, with all the jagged edges filled with liquid gold just like Japanese kintsugi.
As I have come to learn, our emotions play the most fundamental role in our human development. It is no wonder that so many of us feel we are navigating life without a compass, without our bearings, without tools. We were never properly educated and taught how to “use” our emotions which are our compass, our bearings, our internal navigational system.
I am no longer drowning in my emotions, I am in relation with my emotions. That is an incredible and life-changing pivot. My emotions are the best inner GPS system for how I want to live my life, how I want to be showing up in the world, what I want to teach my adult children, my grandchildren….and all of you.
It is not necessary to wait for a mid-life unraveling, to hit rock bottom, or to live a life full of anxiety and feeling defeated more than successful. After seven years of investigation and exploration, I’ve discovered a faster track for personal growth work. It begins where we begin….in our childhood. If you are new to my blog, check my 2023 posts on whole brain parenting — and especially the one entitled “Learning What We Need to Teach”.
If you want some relatable life stories about why we want to do personal growth work, by all means check out my earlier blog posts. Long conversations with friends over the years have proven that so many of us have shared similar experiences. We find comfort and healing in the telling of our stories; we become the relational scaffolding that supports our healthy growth and flourishing.
The chronology of this protagonist:
Spring, 2016 — Welcome to my evolving blog about the next chapter of my life as I embark on redefining myself as an independent woman in retirement, living mindfully as I explore the world anew, and finding purpose with a passion.
December, 2021 — I wrote the above welcome statement when I first launched my blog. So many of the resources I turned to back then have deepened their research, intersected with each other’s work and become part of a growing community of integrated resources for self-discovery, personal growth and self-awareness.
Little did I know six years ago how much I would learn about myself, and in turn how that self-discovery would lead me to a growing interest in helping others, especially younger generations. My blog incorporates mindfulness, neuroscience, the enneagram, Brene Brown’s work on courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy — and so much more. At the end of each post, I share recommended resources that support the insights for the theme of that post. It is my hope that my personal stories and the guideposts I’ve discovered, will serve as a helpful map for others on their own unique journey of self-discovery. What I know for sure is that doing this inner work transforms lives in a profound way. Showing up in life as our most authentic selves, free from protective armor and old behavioral patterns, enables us to live with grace and openness, and frees us to share our unique gifts in the best way possible.
Six years ago I stepped out of an unhealthy relationship and into my purpose. Of course it was not a direct route. It was a bumpy road for quite some time and required excavation, exploration and self-examination. I now describe myself as an awareness activist and a researcher of resources for self-discovery and personal growth. My hope is that my website and blogs will help others fill their own toolbox with the resources that support their own growth and well being.
March, 2023 — In recent years, I often told others that I have become an “awareness activist” as a direct result of my personal growth work. A huge transformational pivot for me was becoming more “aware” of how I was truly “showing up” in my daily life and making a commitment to a huge “spring cleaning” of all that I no longer needed or wanted. Not the stuff that was in my closets — the stuff that was in my head, the well-worn behavioral patterns I’d outgrown, all the old narratives that prevented me from flourishing.
I’ve shared in my posts many times how I cobbled all this work together, drawing from so many varied resources and modalities to help me with the purging. I kept thinking that there must be a better, more methodical, way to do this work. It turns out, there is. All the directional arrows have pointed me to childhood.
This year, 2023, you will find that my major focus will help us understand how examining our childhood is truly one of the best portals for cultivating self-awareness and fast-tracking our personal growth work. On January 29th, 2023, I published the first in an ongoing series devoted to childhood and parenting. My work is inspired by Dr. Dan Siegel, author of Whole Brain Child, No Drama Discipline and Mindsight as well as Dr. Bruce Perry, author of Born for Love and What Happened to You.
We got several things wrong in the generations that preceded us. We didn’t know how a child’s brain develops and that lack of knowledge prevented us from helping young brains integrate its full capacities. It would be the equivalent of getting a new laptop and having only minimal functions available to us for a lifetime.
We also did not understand the invaluable role that emotions play in this entire integrated process between body and brain. Our ignorance of the fundamental values of our emotions coupled with our fear of emotions, derailed us from installing them in a healthy, informative, meaningful way. We literally ended up living our lives without heeding any of the factory installed warning lights designed to ensure our basic needs were heard and met. We dismissed and ignored one of the most important components of being human — we are emotional beings, hardwired for connection.
I wrote posts throughout the years of how I saw so many scientific fields, and self help modalities beginning to intersect into this big new space of understanding ourselves, of personal growth and living wholehearted lives. Today those resources have come together, clicking into place like a giant puzzle — integrating so many discoveries and breakthroughs.
It is not surprising that I have witnessed just how much my favorite researchers, teachers, mentors, and neuroscientists have themselves grown and evolved through their work, and they way they integrated what they are learning into their own lives. In fact, it has become commonplace for them to be guests on each other’s podcasts even though their area of expertise would appear to be unrelated. To me, this is one of the most profound and exciting breakthroughs….what once seemed so far apart and unrelated has in fact become “connected and integrated”.
It turns out that how we are showing up in life impacts not only ourselves and our families, it also ripples out into our communities and the globe. We are on the cutting edge of a profound breakthrough for humanity.
It begins where we begin….as children.
We can parent in a much more knowledgeable, connected and empowering way. We can be the generation that breaks generational cycles and ushers in the most transformative new gateways for tapping into our full human potential.
I now view parenthood as an eighteen year apprenticeship for life. I imagine a world where parents have done their inner work, soaked in the new knowledge about brain development and emotions, and begin to proactively “teach” and “pre-load” our children to operate with the fully integrated capacities of their minds, brains and bodies.
The old parenting model sent us into adulthood with limited coping strategies and outgrown behavioral patterns, not to mention a lot of unfilled needs. The contemporary parenting model is an 18 year apprenticeship in emotional awareness and literacy, flexible and resourceful relationship skills, resilience, grit and growth mindset and most importantly a grounded sense of self – self worth, self awareness, core needs and personal values.
I still call myself an “awareness advocate; and now I am also a child and parent advocate.”