My forbidden life is how I finally came home to myself.
The detour away from authenticity started at age 15; as I navigated the rough waters of high school, academics, peer acceptance, and first love.
The resultant heartbreak, academic success and constant striving left me hazed and confused. After college, I got a “great job” and attempted to decorate my first cubicle in apartment therapy style splendor. But, the gray walls and tacked up sales tracker just didn’t mesh with my aesthetic. This disconnect, paired with nightly commute crying jags, were sure signs that my life was off track. Commission checks and increasing “success” amplified my confusion. My clients loved me and my closet was full of Banana Republic and J.Crew perfection; why wasn’t I happier?
What filled my heart & what filled my bank account seemed to diverge.
At this point, I’d felt lost for almost a decade (if not longer). Coming home to myself seemed impossible.
I couldn’t figure out why I seemed to live just outside of happiness.
I’d always been a good girl, so why didn’t I feel better?
I thought a change in circumstances would shift things.
So, my college boyfriend and I got engaged. We moved to San Diego – where it’s always 72 and sunny and you’re an asshole if you’re not ecstatic. We bought a house and got married. My “happily ever after” came complete with a white picket fence and a golden retriever. We could walk to the beach in 5 minutes. And still, my heart was breaking.
I changed jobs… multiple times. I tried entrepreneurship once and fell flat on my face, racking up considerable debt. Got another job, once again had money in the bank and fast tracked myself into the land of upward mobility and Pottery Barn. I got fit. I dyed my hair. I pretty much tried and had it all. And still, my heart was breaking.
Slowly, the wake up call whispered. Perhaps, the problem wasn’t my circumstances.
Maybe, the problem was me.
I’d been looking in my wallet for what I could only find by searching within. I rebooted a long-defunct meditation practice and started reading juicy fiction to feed my starving soul. I realized that I was the center of my discontent, and in order to find my way home, I was going to need to ::gulp:: take responsibility for my choices and emotions.
No longer blaming my then-husband for our financial burdens and for my lack of joy & juice was eye-opening and painful. Amid the exploration and resultant clarity, I discovered that my marriage wasn’t the right partnership for me, that my career needed to change direction (again), and that in order to leave the legacy I strive to leave for my son – that I was going to have to start living a life authentic. A forbidden life.
I was going to have to f*ck my own paradigms, burn everything I knew to be true, and see what remained standing when the smoke cleared.
What was left in the ashes?
My potentially autistic son and I holding hands, standing in an empty apartment; in a new neighborhood, with an amicable divorce underway, a lover in Peru, and only my favorite possessions strewn in boxes on the floor. In that moment, I’d never been happier.
After all this, I now intimately understand that in order to get the life you want, you have to be willing to destroy the life you have(paraphrased from Joseph Campbell).
These days, I use my decade of corporate sales, marketing, and branding experience (paired with intuition and a ruthless pursuit of truth and beauty) to assess what isn’t working for individuals and companies large & small. I can clearly see what needs to change, what’s being arbitrarily forbidden, and where the empty spaces lie between them (you) and their (your) desires.
I have created extensive video & written content and developed branding for many successful on- and offline businesses. My writing on Social Marketing strategy has appeared on sites including ProBlogger and Social Media Examiner. I was an audience selection speaker at World Domination Summit in 2012, chosen from a pool of over 200 applicants. Watch a highlight reel from my talk on Sex, Money, and Politics: Why Forbidden Fruit Will Save the World.
Call me a paradigm f*cker, a metamorphosis maven, a corporate empath, a lifestyle architect… I don’t care for titles. What I do care about is that our world be rebuilt with a legion of compassionate citizens who are living from their heart centers.
I want to teach my son that being true to yourself pays.
I want to show him that there is a whole different set of rules to live by – that it’s not just about achievement, houses, rote education, and 2.5 kids…
As humans, we have been given the gifts of consciousness and compassion. My purpose is to unleash an army where these are the weapons of choice. Where we instigate change by saying no to fear and yes to love. Where we wildly pursue our right life, the life of our choosing, a life outside the lines…
A forbidden life.
Will you join my corps? There are many ways to rebuild paradigms, and I need your help. The world needs your help. Find your forbidden life, bite into it, and taste the delicious juice of truth as it runs down your chin and inspires the masses.
Changing the world doesn’t take brains. It takes guts.
It starts with you.
Note: Many of the photos on this site were taken by the very talented Karen Christensen of The Legacy Boutique. Hire her, she rocks!