I am a graduate of Integrative Nutrition (October 2016), where I studied to become a certified Health Coach. Studying at IIN was on my radar for longer than I would care to admit (errrmmm around 7 years!) but unfortunately, I never found myself in a position, or let´s just say that I never prioritised myself, to be able to dedicate myself fully to the programme. It was not until nearing the end of 2015 that I finally received my nod from the universe to take the plunge…fast forward a few months, and I soon found myself living in Rio de Janeiro (a dream come true!), finally with the ability to pursue my passions and well into my own Journey of Self Discovery. I cannot tell you how liberating it feels! I am finally free, feeling more myself than ever and the happiest that I have ever been. But it wasn´t always this way…
For most of my life I did exactly what I was supposed to do. I played by the rules, worked hard, got good grades in school, and before long found myself drowning in a finance career that made me miserable. But don´t get me wrong. My life wasn´t horrible! I was still incredibly blessed and was surrounded by so many amazing people, but to me, it felt like I was living a lie. It was inauthentic to who I really am and my soul´s purpose. My sole purpose for my career was money driven, and even though I was the cookie cutter idea of society´s version of a ´success´ and had everything that I wanted and needed (well on my way to living the ¨American Dream¨), I felt empty inside. I partied too hard and definitely didn´t respect and love myself the way that I should have. I ate poorly (the easiest combat to a high stressed job, chocolate makes everything better!), exercised infrequently (that´s what happens when you sit at a desk for 12 hours a day!), and really had no idea of who I was and what my purpose in life was. I was paralysed when it came making any kind of decision. I didn´t know how to listen to myself and my intuition and always relied on the counsel of my family and a close circle friends for their weigh in on just about everything (even when part of me knew that their advice wasn´t always in line with what I really wanted). I felt like I was a hot mess…
Then one day, out of the blue somewhere during 2012, something inside me shifted and I made a monumental vow to myself that changed my life. I was no longer going to play the game. I wanted to write my own rules. I decided that I was no longer going to be a passenger in my life and that I was going to live it my way. I was going to get out of the rat race and pursue my passions (ugh, whatever they are?! I could hardly decide what I wanted to eat for lunch most days, let alone what my real passions were!). At the time I had absolutely no idea how I was going to get out and where the road would lead me (or would it even work?!) but I didn´t care. I saw where my life was headed and every fibre of my being was in revolt. I knew I needed change. And a big one at that!
At first, I didn´t know where to begin to plan this transition. The thought of radically altering the cushy lifestyle that I had been so accustomed to was incredibly daunting. I didn´t know where I wanted to live, what my passions were (seriously, how can you find a career that you love if you don´t even know what you love? And is it even possible to be passionate about your career? Or just another pipe dream…), or where I was going. I have always been a lover of travel, so figured that I was best served to start there. The perfect beginning chapter for this transition. I was overworked, exhausted, mentally and emotionally drained, and in desperate need of some fresh air and revitalisation. I needed space and time. If I was going to get anywhere in discovering the real me, I needed peace and a clear head. I didn´t know much, but what I did know, was that I was definitely not in a state to make any decisions that would be in line with who I really am. How can you if you don´t really know who you are in the first place?!
So there was my (sort-of) plan; get away and let´s just see where it takes me…my first real attempt at putting my full faith in the universe and trusting that it will lead me exactly where I need to be in order to grow…
With my ¨non-plan¨ plan set, I was beyond excited. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to, I couldn´t quite press play yet. My finances weren´t ready, and being the savvy accountant that I was, I knew that I needed to get them in check. After all, I did want a bit of security. For two years, I slaved away, tirelessly working, cutting back, saving, downsizing my lifestyle in every way in order to save for my travel nest egg. Before I knew it, that glorious day came, and I was finally in a position to quit my job to commence the most EPIC round the world adventure. A journey which surpassed every single expectation imaginable and ended up radically transforming from what began as a photo snapping and sightseeing extravaganza, to the most revolutionary and spiritually enlightening quest of my life. I have been taken to places and experienced things that I could never in my wildest dreams have dreamed of and met people who in an instant have had (and who still continue to have) a profound impact on my life, and are some of my greatest and most inspiring teachers. The spiritual journey is not the easiest path. You are constantly challenged, confronted with your deepest fears, and all of your own perceived blocks and limitations are brought to the forefront for your acknowledgement, love and acceptance. It´s a tremendous amount of work; definitely a journey, and not a destination. But what an incredible blessing it is to be on the road to discover the true essence of who you are.
And while the country-hopping is over (for now), and I am currently calling Rio home (for now), the adventure still, and always will continue. Life is so beautiful!
Thank you for being YOU!