We’ve all had pivotal moments in our lives, teachers that inspire us, relationships that redefine us, heartbreaks and traumas that steer us through different paths, adventures, pleasures, and the many flavors of life that makes us who we are.
And among these pivotal moments there are instances that are even more special still, events both joyful or painful, that transform us into new people in such a way where we shed our old identities, and embody a completely new energy.
This is a story of such a transformation. The story of how I became the version of me that I am today.
I saw an ad on Facebook for a book called Shift the Field by Darla LeDoux. I clicked it because I liked the book cover, which led me to Darla’s website, and the graphic designer in me was so enamored with the colors and overall design of the website, that I thought - “What the heck. I’ll sign up for this virtual event and see who this Darla person is all about”. The funny thing is, I signed up simply because I liked the design of the website, even though based on the event description I thought this wasn’t really “for me”.
My goodness, was I surprised. I ended up winning a live laser coaching session with Darla where I did a full blown ugly cry in front of well over 100 attendees across the world. Darla cracked me open, uncovering old wounds and beliefs that were affecting my work, my business, my relationships, my health, and my overall way of being. By the end of this 20-30 minute session, I was completely convinced I needed to make a change. Now I just needed to figure out HOW I was gonna transform my life to become someone other than The Busy Bee who had no time for anything other than working 24/7.
The following day, I woke and made a list of small things I could do to start letting go of The Busy Bee me, when I received a phone call that Mamá Elena, my grandmother, died.
My father was distraught and although I had 42 projects I was immediately compelled to travel with him to the Dominican Republic for her funeral.
(And YES, you read that correctly. I had 42 projects and clients I was managing and designing for, all by myself, in my one-person business. It was completely bananas, hence The Busy Bee me, but that’s a story for another day.)
In the Dominican Republic, it is customary to pray for 9 days at the house of the deceased to help their soul get to heaven. We were gathered in a small living room, Catholic rosary beads in hand, surrounded by dozens of large floral arrangements made for special occasions called coronas. While listening to my family cry and pray, I began to think about a candle package design project I should have finished and sent off before hopping on a plane to DR. I began calculating how and I was going to get out of the rural Montellano where Mamá Elena had lived all her life, and make my way to a city with an internet center where I could finish my work. And then suddenly I heard her!
My grandmother’s voice was clear as day as she scolded me “Pssssst. ¡Pon atención!”. At that moment, hearing Mamá Elena all the way from the grave, I realized I was SO BUSY that I wasn’t even grieving properly! Even having traveled from Connecticut to the Dominican Republic, I still wasn’t present!
I thought the coaching event with Darla was transformational, and it was, but this was on another level. Now I not only did I want to make a major lifestyle change, I also understood I had no other choice. I couldn’t continue to be the kind of person who was so disconnected I couldn’t feel the massive loss that was my grandmother’s death.
I shut down the computer in my brain, which is so much harder than powering off my Microsoft Surface Pro, and I carefully crafted her eulogy in which members of the community got to hear about the simple yet impactful life my grandmother led, and the strong yet gentle person she was. It was a somber Mother’s Day service, Sunday, May 30th, 2022, in which we all gathered at the church celebrating the beauty of motherhood, and mourning the departure of Mamá Elena, mother to 11 children, grandmother to many dozens more.
When I returned to Connecticut, I felt different. Sad but also determined. And so I made two giant and bold moves the day after I got back. First, I got a coach and started working with the lovely and incredible Ashlie Woods, and then I called up each of my clients and terminated all of my contracts. Talk about SCARY. I was terrified I would dismantle the business I’d worked so hard to build, but I also knew that until I cleared my plate I would never have enough space to be the ME I wanted to become.
The next 6 months with Ashlie was a period of exploration, looking inward, redefining what I wanted, connecting with new clients (which instantly super boosted my income), spending time at the beach, stillness, and strategic forward action. It was the first time I had ever invested in myself in this way, and although at first I thought it was really expensive, I quickly understood it was worth every single penny. Having a coach made it so much easier for me to organize my thoughts, and more importantly, to trust myself and make decisions from a place of truth, my truth, my soul alignment.
Which brings me to where I am today. As I write this, I am back in the Dominican Republic a year after my grandmother’s passing, lounging on the terrace of my childhood home, and enjoying the second of 7 trips I’ll be taking this year.
I completely revamped my art and design business, only working with a couple people at a time, allowing me to produce even more intentional artistic creations, while giving my clients more care and attention. AND I am officially launching a new business in which I’m helping others navigate their transformation too! In retrospect, I see that my whole life has been leading up to this moment, and I am so grateful for Darla, Ashlie, and other mentors I’ve met along the way for pushing me to be more courageous and authentic.
So what is next for me?
It has been a while since my coaching with Ashile, but I recently had a conversation with her in which I told her that I feel like I am on the edge of something brilliant. She responded by telling me that perhaps that’s just who I am now, someone who lives on the edge, someone who is always stretching and expanding. And I LOVE THAT.
I have other goals that I want to work on, of course, and I aim to always keep learning and surrounding myself with people who inspire me. But for now I am thrilled to continue doing work I am passionate about. I am following my journey of joy and transformation with an open heart, and increasing my capacity to be in delight with myself.
Whether you do it with me as your coach, or with someone else, I highly encourage you to do the same. Invest in yourself, get a coach, be brave, find your truth, and embrace your highest self-expression. You will be so happy that you did.
And so I must ask you…
Are you ready for transformation?