For many years, I have been passionate about making women feel good about themselves, because I know quite a bit of what it’s like to live on the other side of that line.
For some background, I had a vision while I was in high school: Whatever career I ended up with, I wanted to help women feel beautiful. I even entertained going to beautician school. Little did I know that in a round-about way, that goal was not really about helping others at the time so much as it was about saving myself. I wanted to feel beautiful, and learn how to make myself pretty on the outside, to feel confident and to love myself.
It’s been a long, hard journey. The road I took was fraught with doubt and wrong turns, but that’s the process. The years have taught me many things about how to rid yourself of uncertainty and shame, and embrace love for yourself. The most sacred thing that I discovered over the last decade is that beauty and love for oneself has to come from the inside out. It’s a complete lifestyle change. But here I am today feeling amazing about myself, inside and out, and confident about my future and ready to help women just like me to do the same!
I have so much wisdom I can’t wait to pass on to you, although you hover at your doorway, looking down the road ahead of you. Are you ready to accept support in starting your own soul-searching sojourn?
It’s not easy, it’s not painless. But the journey is worth it. Read about mine.
I spent most of my life feeling not good enough.
I was afraid of myself, afraid of other people, and terrified of mixing the two. It stopped me from doing anything that made my life happy and fulfilling. For example, while I’m not proud of it, I would consistently back out of social engagements with friends through my teens and 20s when there was a possibility of being in a situation where there would be people there that I didn’t know. When friends called to check up on me expecting me to arrive any minute, I simply let the phone ring – and I would sink further and further into depression. I couldn’t force myself to go, and I couldn’t force myself to tell them why. I’m surprised some of those friends are still talking to me today.
I also held a firm belief that I was incapable of caring for myself, never mind anyone or anything else.
For example, it took me until my late 20s to build up the courage to finally move out on my own. And although I was a homeowner at a young age, something I’d always thought was way out of my reach, that pride didn’t last long. I remember one evening sitting on the floor of my new home, bawling my eyes out because I was convinced that the house would fall down around my ears simply because I owned it. I lived in terror, and painfully expected to fail at just about anything.
I also felt the need to constantly blame myself – for everything.
When someone was upset or had a bad day, my immediate reaction was to apologize. I somehow thought my mere existence contributed to their overall negative experiences that day. And when I first adopted my three cats when they were kittens, any sniffle or funny expression they made meant they were on the verge of death – and I would berate myself that I was a horrible pet-owner whose fur-babies would certainly die under my care. I consistently shouldered and assumed guilt for any event or situation.
I lived in a place of self-blame and shame for years.
It’s also no wonder that I ended up in a toxic relationship in my mid-20s. The young man to whom I had attached myself believed everything I did about myself, and treated me accordingly. He consistently said aloud the horrible things I said mentally to myself, giving me the validation I thought I deserved.
I did not feel much better about my career, either. Being a painfully shy introvert, I had mastered the written word rather than the art of conversation. And so I had a dream of being a novelist. When I was denied entry into my chosen MFA program for creative writing, I was crushed. A promotion was offered to me at the same time at the company I worked for – a job I had considered temporary and didn’t love. Devastated that one door had closed and this opportunity had opened, I felt forced to accept. I resigned myself to the fact that I would be stuck with a job I didn’t enjoy for the rest of my life.
I finally got to the point where I realized that I was at a fork in the road, and that I could not keep on living the way I was. I was in a job that was going nowhere and was slowly draining the joy of living out of me. I was attached to a toxic partner that drilled me further and further into the ground emotionally. And I was the heaviest weight I had been in my entire life.
I felt soul-sick. I knew this could not be the life that was meant for me. I needed change. And it had to start from within.
Once I hit rock-bottom at the age of 29 and skidded into depression, I took a serious look at my life. I had to literally start over from the ground-up just finding out who “Lindsey” was: What does she like and what doesn’t she? What does she stand for? What are her values, and who does she want to be? I had spent so many years trying to avoid those answers, afraid that neither I nor the people around me would like the answers. Yet I was shocked I had gone through the majority of my life not knowing these basic facts about myself.
Once I’d addressed these powerful concepts, I finally had a compass to go by. I realized that life was too short to be miserable all of the time. So, I slowly crept toward following my passions. I began to take up hobbies that I had always wanted to learn (and some I had never heard of, too!) that took me out of my comfort zone, as well as into a creative space such as belly dancing, rock-climbing, tai chi, and crochet. I studied reiki and energy work. I joined meet-up groups and went places I had never been with people I had never met before. I took Jim Carey’s role in “Yes Man” to heart and tried saying “yes” to everything! At the same time, I started taking classes on nutrition at a local community college because of a nagging interest I had. I got hooked, and enjoyed putting into practice what I learned.
Among all this tumultuous emotional change, I pursued physical improvements as well. I signed up for my first yoga classes. I also started to take my bike out for rides, which I hadn’t done since I was a kid. It rekindled my love for it. But neither pursuit was easy – I was most definitely out of shape. But as I started to fuel my body better with the right foods and got into a daily practice of exercise, I got stronger. My moods and self-image improved tremendously. Within only a few months, I had felt better than I had for most of my life – and was 20 pounds lighter.
By the end of the year, I finally saw the end of the long tunnel of emotional ups and downs I had been fighting. By year two, I was in a healthy relationship. I had even quit that job I hated and started my second career. By year three, I owned my own business and was helping women just like me.
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Because of my own long personal journey to fulfillment, I know the rigors and dedication of time it takes to get from unhappy to loving my life.
The most important take-away that I learned from those few years of transformation was that wellness and health is not fragmented – neither only physical or solely emotional. Your emotional health can affect every other aspect of your day-to-day existence. Our entire life experience is related when it comes to health: From how we feel about our career, to our relationships, to even our physical environments. Our happiness and self-image is directly dependent on how happy we are in these other realms. We are emotionally complicated beings, with complicated lives. And how we treat our bodies can also be the key to how we feel in our own skins. But if we change even just one thing, it’s going to immediately have a domino effect everywhere else.
That is why my approach to wellness coaching is three-pronged. I start with how my clients feel about themselves. Cleansing yourself of outmoded, negative concepts of yourself is key. Then I also couple this coaching with a complementary physical wellness component, which is also pivotal to self-healing. The better you treat your body with proper physical movement and healthy eating, the better equipped you are to detox emotionally, as well.
The one major component that I lacked during my transformation was having someone there to help guide me through the process. Someone to help me talk through my concerns, support me as I cultivated my identity and my dreams, and keep me accountable in taking steps toward making my goals and dreams a reality. Having a mentor makes change a little easier and less painful to bear. Because you aren’t doing it alone.
That is why I am so passionate to help guide women like you through that personal journey. Change may sound scary, but if you are reading this: You have been ready for a life overhaul for longer than you realize. Make yourself a priority. Act. Contact me today to schedule your Soul Search Breakout Session. Your soul is ready to shine!