I’m just a regular person who grew up on the outskirts of New Orleans in the 70's. Despite many successes, I also experienced a constant barrage of events that were not allowing me to get a leg up. Think of those lists - The Top Most Stressful Life Events. Imagine several of them happening all at once and several times in a row spanning 15 or so years. Many people have experienced what I have and while everything is relative, everything is not relative. We are everyday people.
Signature Story to sell you on my business? Nah.
The marketing gurus of the world want you to pick one though. Something gripping that others can relate to and latch on to. Something inspiring and motivational so that you can see that you, too, can attain something seemingly so far out of reach. It makes sense. It often works. But I didn’t have a near-death experience. I don’t have just one story. I have many - just like you.
Experiencing several of the Top Stressful Events (via the American Institute of Stress) is, I suppose, quite a story in and of itself. It leans opposite of luck and a hair shy of insanity.
Despite many successes, a lengthy time frame consisting of a constant barrage of events that weren’t allowing me to get leg up, made me feel unsuccessful, unsupported and in a downward spiral of WTF. A tangled web of small and large traumas, unexplainable happenings, and several from the classic stress lists that we all encounter at some point. While the list varies from source to source the most published are:
Death of a loved one
Break up of family
Period of homelessness
These happenings and the copious amounts of stress they cause can eventually express themselves in our bodies and minds in various ways including chronic pain, depression, IBS, cancer, weight gain, skin issues, and many more. After all, much dis-ease today is now proving to be born ultimately out of stress and related factors.
Over and over I would get a leg up, and then out of nowhere get hit from behind - both literally and figuratively. I had a solid upbringing. With it also came patriarchy plus other interesting components of a New Orleanian Catholic rearing in the Deep South, all residing deep in my cells. Combined with the endless chain of events brought stress I was unknowingly suppressing that took me to an unbalanced place. While I was a life-long athlete and visually healthy, mentally stable and emotionally competent, strange and mysterious things were happening within my body gradually alerting me of imbalance.
Sure, we are all responsible for our realities and absolutely must own what is ours, but not everyone is handed the same degree of challenge. Everything is relative. And everything is not relative.
I was conscious of what I wanted. I was clear in relationships of all kinds. I was committed and hard working to a fault. I was pretty impeccable with my word. I was raised to respect others first and foremost. I built successful businesses. I bought a home. I moved all over the country. I was pretty much 100% self-made since pretty young compared to peers throughout my life. I knew my value, I knew my worth, I knew many of my truths. And was pretty aware of my weak areas. But was unknowingly living in a state of exhaustion and could not get ahead.
As time went on I became equally exhausted of people telling me to “just be positive”.
Boy have we in wellness spent eons being sick of the naive and quite frankly shallow inspirational quotes within our industry. While we know a lot of times optimism can secede toughness, we also now know, according to Sarah David, PhD, that regarding people in pain, poverty, or disempowerment at any level, being in denial and telling them to “get a better attitude” is not the way.
Why? Because this is the easy way out. This is being in denial. In this, there is no societal responsibility whatsoever. This translates over to taking care of Mother Earth, too. Some people have more luck. Some people don’t. Being in denial is convenient. This awesome article in Scientific American on luck supports the same line of thought: The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized.
So while taking a more positive outlook makes total sense, it is beyond challenging to hear this when one has spent years utilizing the classics of shifting physiology, changing thoughts and language, and becoming highly aware of focus and where attention lies, just for starters, while simultaneously continually being dealt a more challenging hand.
Some people also have trauma. I recently learned after diving deep for the last 15+ years to reconcile my mysterious imbalance, including working with some pretty insane healers (who, yes, helped immensely), that I still have deeply rooted trauma within the area of the brain responsible for emotions – where we house emotional trauma. This leads me to believe that batting a pillow and screaming might not always complete the job. Owning this information was what I feel was one of the final pieces of moving through a huge puzzle, and assisted me in not being so hard on myself after countless friends and family, often from very different backgrounds, telling me to “just be positive” and not to be a victim, as well as other condescending and curt comments. Most of those people? Yep, had to cut em loose.
What I do know is that being seen and being heard from day one matters. Seems so obvious, right? At the root of most dis-ease and addiction, lies this lack. Most people who have experienced this lack have imbalance, playing out as deficient (example: the addict) or in excess (example: the narcissist), both of which can also be horrifically intertwined. (Another conversation.)
While, I’m just a regular person without one signature story such as [-[insert big life-changing trauma here-]. I do have long list of happenings that anyone reading this could relate to. I’m glad a couple people stuck around through the entire journey. And I’m grateful my folks had me figure out a lot on my own and that I did it all mostly solo – physically, mentally, emotionally. It has made all of the accomplishments as well as gifts received that much sweeter.
Another much greater conversation that I want to come back to another time is that there is a massive planetary wounding of the feminine. Especially within business. This is not the attitude of a victim. It is also not an area anyone can be in denial of anymore - despite the statistics being on paper for quite a while now. I still cannot believe how many people have tried to convince me otherwise over the years. Yet we find ourselves in another uprising, this time with much more vigor. We know our value. We know our worth. We know our truths. We recognize this imbalance. We will not stand for it any longer. This, too, is part of my story. Is it part of yours?
So people ask, how did you get from where you were to where you are? How do you elevate from where you are now to where you want to be?
At this point, I have honed some tools and techniques and I would be honored to provide guidance and support. It takes a little bit of vulnerability, a lot of courage, some commitment and dedication. If that sounds good to you, I would love to hear from you.
My early days of living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming were so much more about making amazing adventures happen paired with humility, grace, and not even telling your friends what ridiculously fun and insane outing occurred unless they happened to ask what you had done in the mountains that day. Back then, downplay was the way. This was long before social media, of course. Humility, grace, and unsung heroes were revered. Anyone bragging or even just listing their “wins” were disregarded. There is even a tribe from that era whose motto is: Swift. silent, and deep.
Borrowing from that, this is the way of the peaceful warrior. Nothing to hide and nothing to prove. As everyday people, we drop in, we do the inner and outer work, we surpass the hand dealt, we do “epic shit”, live well, travel well, share what we learn openly without ownership, with authenticity and grace, taking ourselves from where we are now to where we want to be.
Regardless of your success, there will always be more challenges and there is always someplace further to go. There is a lot going on in the world and we need you now. Let's make it happen. Let's Après.
Image Credit: R&B: From Doo Wop to Hip Hop. Includes the hit song "Everyday People" by Sly & The Family Stone