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Entrepreneur, ESFJ, and Certified Life Coach

My entire life has been a trip, but I can draw a line in my personal history where I stepped into consciousness and realized I had a choice in my life. I finally took responsibility for myself & my actions. This may seem obvious, but for me, I was living by someone else's rules: more specifically, my parents & society. I love my parents, but as an anxious person, there was always an undercurrent of never being enough: a fear of not being liked or being wrong, which in turn, drove a lot of my decision-making towards doing the right thing, being “liked,” and “meeting expectations". And guess what? I did all this and still felt anxious and unfilled.

Enter Dr. Eriksen, Professor at Providence College and boundary pusher extraordinaire. Dr. Eriksen was the first person who encouraged me to look at whose expectations I was meeting, what it meant to do the right thing, and acknowledge that if doing those things wasn’t achieving the results or feelings I wanted, then I had the choice to live differently.

So HOW did I start this journey? First, by examining all the “rules” of life that were not serving me, and learning to reorient myself to the world. ​

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This is where Dr. Eriksen’s work on purpose, helped me to begin to rebuild and reorient. I started to answer the essential questions about my past, present, and future: Who and what has influenced who I've become? What self-limiting beliefs do I buy into? What is important to me? What impact do I want to have in the world?  Who and what do I care about?  How should this dictate my actions? 

Answering these questions created an awareness about my values so I could begin to make conscious choices that were in line with my purpose. It feels strange to write that because these values and desires were not new. I always knew what would make me fulfilled, but somewhere along the line I decided that a more “effective” way to live was to suppress my inner voice in favor of the “rule book”. Essentially I thought I could manipulate life, by following the rule book I was guaranteed “acceptance,” ensured “success,” and “reduced conflict”. BUT the only person being manipulated was me! By inherently resisting my own desires, I experienced even greater tension, depression, anxiety and emptiness.

I began to make choices aligned with my purpose. My first experiment in this new way of living was a career change. With probably a bit of naïve confidence, I told the head of Human Resources that I wanted to move into that space, which I was passionate about, but was having trouble navigating in that direction. This was another experiment in vocalizing my inner truth and being vulnerable. When I landed my first job in HR, I was sure this was the answer to all my problems. I had solved the equation: when career = purpose = success— not quite. I still did not fully understand that this new approach was not a solution or a destination it was a way of being and relating differently in each moment to both myself and others.

With each new experience I was experimenting with a new way of being. Reflecting on this now, I see that in the early stages of this journey, as I was just beginning this practice of tuning into myself and building the listening skills, I often needed to hit the bottom and physically experience tension and suffering, and use this as an indicator to make a change. I was developing awareness and could hear the faint internal conversation but I chose to ignore it until I no longer could. As I continue to deepen my practice, I hope to heighten my awareness and ability to listen to myself, so I can identify when I have gone astray from my purpose, and act in choice in the present moment. To get to a place of truly trusting myself and my voice.

Life is always unfolding and there is no “solution” – what Dr. Eriksen taught me were ways of being, ways to live differently, and an appreciation for self-exploration.

After 7 years of experimentation, with plenty of error, I have continued to refine my purpose. Most recently I obtained my life coaching certification so I can guide people on their own journey, so they can have a similar awakening in life which has so profoundly changed my story...

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