My Story... So Far

I distinctly remember what my life was like before my mindfulness journey.

I had a great job (on paper) as a management consultant executive. Was dating a guy who I thought might be “the one”. Was going out to happy hour with friends and co-workers regularly. And I always had an amazing trip planned (of course I had to escape the chaos of my day job at least a couple times a year).

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Then, one smoldering Texas August, one of my college friends told me she was going on a “digital detox” retreat. They would be doing yoga, practicing meditation, and hiking in the woods of upstate New York. No cell phones or booze. They hadn't sold all the tickets yet so they were offering last minute half price tickets.

So, I said, sure! I can take off a few days next week and spend some time in upstate New York with one of my best friends… who couldn't use a break! (but really… no wine for 5 days?!).

The retreat was called Soul Camp and it was an immersive long weekend. I got to disconnect from the craziness of the outside world. Connect with my inner world (and some amazing people). And slow down for a few days.

We set an intention at the beginning of the retreat and mine was around love. I was dating a great guy and hoped it would turn into true, lasting love (spoiler alert… it didn’t!).

As the girls I roomed with were talking about exploring new careers, challenges in relationships with their boyfriends or parents, I distinctly remember commenting that “eh, I don't really have anything else I need to work on in my life right now.”

While the retreat was great, at the end of the weekend I wasn't really convinced it was life-changing or that I’d be able to fit this into my schedule a year from now, so I didn’t pre-plan to come again the next year.

Less than one month after I got home, the threads of my life started unraveling.

The “great” guy I was dating ended things over text while I was out of town on a work trip.

I was diagnosed with a pretty serious condition and had to have surgery.

And I realized I hated my job.

I wasn't happy and there was no escaping that fact.

I even got shingles from the stress and ended up taking an 8 month leave of absence. If you’re thinking that sounds crazy, you’re right! It is not normal for someone in their twenties to get shingles!

Clearly my body and intuition had a message for me, but I wasn’t open to hearing it then.

I had an empty feeling that was hidden by all the stress and chaos of the work day.

I was going through the motions because I thought this was just how life was. Yeah, work was sucking the life out of me, but then there were some really good days and I loved the people I worked with.

Sure, I was spending too much time drinking, but I live in Austin, that’s what everyone does!

It was easy to keep myself distracted with dating and great vacations… a way to escape the day to day purpose-less-ness of my life. But I’d come to realize that life doesn't just happen on the weekends, or on vacation… life is happening EVERY moment.

I’ve never been clinically depressed, but I can say that Fall was the closest I have come to it. I have been through some challenges in my life… lost my dad to a long battle with cancer and endured a broken engagement when I was in my 20s. Those were certainly difficult times, but I never felt like my life was completely off track.

I’ve always been a type A / straight A student and “rock star” at work, but I felt stressed, burnt out, and like I was forcing myself to fit into a mold that didn’t sit well with my soul.

I had to figure out what to do next and I’m so grateful that I had a new awareness of potent mindful practices after my first Soul Camp experience. I started devouring every book I could get my hands on around meditation, self-love, energy meridians and chakra clearing, breathwork, and so much more.

I dove head first into my own mindful meditation practice and have not stopped since. And yes, I have gone back to that retreat every year since and worked with some of the most amazing transformation coaches out there.

I learned how to recognize and manage my energy throughout the day. To get into states of flow for maximum productivity. And how to mindfully respond versus react to the chaos of the day, both with work and personally.

Best of all, I learned how to find stillness to hear (and follow) my intuition, which has led me to pursue my true passions.

I left my consulting job for a fulfilling career at another company, because every day it was clearer and clearer to me that this was not what I was put on this Earth to do. I was good at it, sure, but it’s not how I wanted to spend my life.

I had to figure out how to use my creativity more because that is one of my true strengths, though I kept pushing it aside because there was no room for that in my busy life.

I no longer let my job rule me or define me. The time I spend with my friends and family now is truly quality time… not just spent bitching about my day or drinking to avoid my problems.

I spend time doing things that really feed my spirit… which still includes “work”, happy hours with friends, dating, amazing vacations, and working out, and also going to art class, engaging with my local yoga and meditation community, deepening my own practice, and I’ve started a flower crown party business that allows me to spread joy and creativity to others in a way that makes me deeply satisfied.

On paper, a lot of the stuff I’m doing looks the same, but I’m doing it with mindfulness, purpose, self-love, and true joy. Not as a distraction or because I feel like I need to.

There is absolutely no more feeling that I am “going through the motions”. I orchestrate my days and my energy exactly how I intend. I face challenges with a growth mindset and resilience. And I have energy to do more than I even thought was possible.

I’ve seen and know too many people who currently live my “before” scenario, and it hurts my heart.

We DO NOT have to spend our days and weeks just doing what we think we have to do to power through, yo-yoing between being stressed and frazzled, or being too tired or overwhelmed to even make progress.

This is going to be a lifelong journey of mine, but I can truly say I am a different person now than I was then.

If you tap into your true strengths and values, and listen to your intuition just 3% more… purpose, flow, and joy will become the norm in your life.

My mission is to use coaching and mindfulness to support people on their quest to live life with more intention. Live a life that fills them up. And become empowered to reach their full potential.

I help people slow down, get centered, and live lives of their dreams with passionate ease.

So, what’s next for you in this precious, unique life of yours?

I believe we all have a path on this earth and have a soul gift to give to the world, so let’s find yours.

Cheers!
Elizabeth

Elizabeth St. JohnComment