As I approached my mid 30’s, I thought I had life figured out. Well, my life, at any rate, which is the one I fret about most often.
At that point I’d been happily married for nearly 15 years, and my relationship was going strong. After spending a decade working gruelling hours in corporate communications and hating every moment of it, I’d finally quit my day job to give all my attention to what, until then, had been a side gig: writing romance novels for Harlequin. I had a beautiful house, a cute cat, and plenty of time to pursue my interests and passions.
Nothing was missing. I was absurdly happy.
And so, my husband and I figured… why not add to all that bliss by finally expanding our family? We’d spent the entirety of our marriage until that point believing we didn’t want children, and when we started talking about possibly changing our minds, we were on the fence. We could have easily gone either way, but I wasn’t getting any younger, so if we were going to do it, this was the time. With tears in our eyes, we agreed to try, and then we left it up to the Universe. A month later, I was pregnant. The Universe wasn’t messing around.
Fast-forward through the next nine months: I had a fabulous pregnancy. Honestly, I adored every minute. I read books on fetal development, on labor and delivery, on parenting. I took childbirth classes. I hired a midwife and a doula. I furnished and decorated a beautiful nursery.
And despite all that, I was 100% unprepared for Kaylee’s arrival. (Why yes, she is named after the mechanic in Firefly!)
In my naive, first-time mama-to-be haze, I thought I’d be able to pen my latest novel while the baby babbled happily beside me. I pictured myself jotting down snippets of dialogue and writing steamy sex scenes while she napped. I thought I’d fire off witty email responses to my literary agent and negotiate contracts during midnight feedings.
Alas, none of those lovely but delusional imaginings came to pass.
Instead, my gorgeous, delightful, fabulous kiddo made her appearance in an ultra-traumatic way. Twenty-seven hours of labor and a slew of complications later, I had a perfect baby… but I lost myself.
In case you think I’m exaggerating, let me assure you, I’m not. Recovering from the physical trauma of her birth took months. And in that time, an unwelcome newcomer also settled in: my intense and pervasive postpartum depression.
While I struggled to figure out how to hoist myself out of bed every day and my life became a monotonous routine characterized by lack of sleep and never-ending crying fits (mine and hers), I lost the ability to write fiction. Frankly, I couldn’t even read a novel for years after Kaylee’s arrival, much less write it. As for romance, well, my idea of a steamy night - in fiction or reality - included getting 4 uninterrupted hours of sleep and not having anyone touch me. In one fell swoop, I lost interest in everything that used to bring me joy: my relationship, writing, crafting, painting, storytelling, being an engaged part of a thriving community of published authors. All of it — gone, seemingly overnight.
All I had left was Kaylee. And she was… magical. Lovely and sweet, opinionated and headstrong, she was the reason I kept finding a way to put one foot in front of the other and face my responsibilities when all I wanted to do was curl up in a corner and call it a day by 8am each morning.
As the physical effects from the delivery healed, the postpartum depression dug in deeper and refused to budge. And with it, the loss of my identity loomed heavy and large.
I had to face the truth that I was no longer the person I had assumed I would forever be: a romance novelist. I wrote difficult emails to my agent and my editors and admitted I was unable to fulfill my obligations. I had to end contracts, return advances, and watch as my career came to a screeching halt.
With the loss of the work that had fulfilled my soul, I was bereft. I couldn’t figure out who I was anymore. I'd become a mom, but I knew I couldn’t build my entire sense of self around that. Eventually, Kaylee would leave, and I couldn’t wait 18 years to figure out what ELSE I was. Besides, I always knew it couldn't be Kaylee’s job to affirm my existence here on this planet. She’s not on this Earth to give me purpose. She has her own destiny, her own life path to figure out, and although I hope to always walk beside her, her journey is not about me.
I realized that finding out who I was - discovering my true identity, my sense of self, the way I defined myself - was up to me and me alone. And that identity couldn’t be based on how others saw me, or the role I played in someone else’s life.
That's when I began the work of unearthing my true self.
I wish I could tell you it was easy. That I read a few books and the answers became clear, but it was so much more intense than that. Yes, I read books - dozens of them. I journaled incessantly, pulled tarot cards, meditated, took up yoga, spent time in nature, talked to a therapist, and did countless other things that all healed my soul and helped lift my depression.
But ultimately, it was the exploration of my own unique blend of spirituality and artistic expression that saved me.
After resisting the pull to a stronger spiritual practice for years, I finally gave in. I learned everything I could about the divine feminine, working with Goddess energy, moon cycles, my own personal feminine cycle, crystals, and energy healing. But I also built sacred creative rituals that included painting, drawing, scrapbooking, making jewelry, and art journaling. And each time I stroked a brush over canvas, or slid a pencil across a piece of paper, I went inward a little deeper, a little more meaningfully, and with a lot more grace, patience, and tenderness.
I gave myself permission to explore my soulful spirituality and my personal creativity in a way I never had before. I launched a scrapbooking YouTube channel and built a thriving community around my passion for crafting and memory keeping. And then, as my interests changed and my focus shifted, I continued allowing myself to grow in ways I never imaged - I returned to grad school for a counselling degree, and I launched my business blending metaphysical approaches with more traditional coaching modalities.
The journey took years, but it led me here. To working with you. To offering you unconditional support when you've reached a life crossroad and could use a little guidance to find your footing on your own authentic path.
- You’ve just said goodbye to your highly-respected career after three decades of soul-withering work, and you have no clue what comes next.
- Your kids have left home, and for the first time in as long as you can remember, you have no one to look after but yourself.
- You’ve just resurfaced on the other side of a painful divorce.
- You’re in a new suburb, city, or country, and you have no idea how to bloom where life planted you.
- You’ve conquered a long battle with illness, and you want to focus on other aspects of yourself again after giving all your attention to your medical needs.
You know the reason you’re here.
And you know best if it’s time to take the next step on your journey.
If you’re ready to initiate your own magical pilgrimage through spiritual self-discovery and fearless self-expression, reach out and let’s talk.
I keep a few slots open in my schedule each week to talk to women just like you. These are in-depth, all-in, no-obligation calls, free in every possible way. I schedule the calls in 1-hour increments for organizational simplicity, but if you need more time, I will never rush you off the phone. In some cases, at the end of our time together, you'll have gotten the clarity you needed and our work together will be complete. Or we may choose to continue working together in a capacity that suits us both.
My only goal is to make sure you’re being seen and heard. You'll get the attentive, impartial ear of someone who can provide a different perspective on where you are and where you’re going. And I get to have a magical, interesting conversation with you, which helps to broaden my knowledge of the world and hone my coaching skills.
Use the form below to book your free private session with me.
NOTE: I am not a licensed therapist, nor do I offer therapy. I do, however, provide guidance, mentorship and transformative coaching to women standing at a major life crossroad and figuring out which way to go. Women just like you.