Spiraling Into Self Awareness
Two years ago, my husband and I were spiraling downward with negativity, arguing and not listening to each other. Respect was floating out the door and it was happening fast because we were spending so much time together while going through semi-retirement. I blame it on both of us struggling with our own transitions being under the same roof. Life had changed.
These transitions often trigger old patterns leading to unhealthy dynamics in conflict resolution.
When I saw an ad in a magazine for Soul Camp, an adult sleep-over camp that included yoga, meditation, horseback riding, healthy food, camaraderie, dancing, talent show, shaman around the campfire, life coaching, and many more classes, I decided to get out of the house and work on myself.
Soul Camp was my ticket to getting out of loneliness, isolation and conflict with my husband.
Being with so many other women who are going through similar challenges allowed me to share my vulnerabilities and tap into my passion.
On the last day, I signed up for their next two camps in 2018 that they offered, one in NY and one in CA. A few months later, Soul Camp announced that they would not be offering a Camp in 2019 and they weren’t sure what was going to happen in the future.
I was devastated and asked the founders if they would take me under their wing to run it, to sell it to me, to maybe franchise? They said no, but would support me in my endeavors. That is how Soul Ranch was born.
Living in Jackson Hole as a teenager and an adult, I knew the power of the Tetons would add another dimension to Soul Ranch. The granite in this stretch of the Rocky Mountains gets into your soul, confronts you and gives you space to be alone in your thoughts.
I healed my heart in the Tetons after experiencing childhood trauma, a single mother of a ‘buck the system’ kid, a sister who was murdered and the daughter of ailing parents. It was here that I discovered that I needed countless hours of therapy in my early adulthood and support groups which led me to New York Times bestselling Author and Coach Debbie Ford. It was here that I continue to work on forgiveness.
Confronting my pain leads me to discover that I have a choice. I don’t have to live like a victim. I have a choice to blame all my fuck ups on someone else, or I can rise out of victimhood. I now recognize I have had a pattern of playing the victim until I found enough vulnerability to share my voice, and have forgiveness and compassion for myself. It becomes easier and easier to forgive myself and move on when I recognize my spiraling patterns. When I realize I have a choice to turn my wounds into my strengths, I am able to show up empowered rather than victimized and I find clarity and peace of mind. Now more than ever I am living consciously thanks to years of therapy, coaching with Debbie Ford and Soul Camp.
HOW I GOT HERE
I was a young unmarried mom at 24. Naive and scared, I escaped an abusive relationship with my son’s dad and raised him as a single mom. I had somehow found the courage to leave that relationship. I had a choice.
After a chance meeting with a mentor, I ended up in Hollywood and climbed the ladder as a producer. My son was 12 when I met my current husband. I was lucky to have a partner to lean on when my son got into trouble in middle school and high school. But I still had to make some difficult choices.
My son, now 34, holds some resentment for me as I sent him off when he was 15 for a year to a kids facility in Idaho as I was scared if I didn’t do something, he could, unintentionally, kill himself or someone else because of his carelessness with drugs and alcohol. We have reconciled since, but that was a hard choice.
My Hollywood career was rewarding, but 14-16 hour production days made it extremely hard to balance my work life with my home life. My physical health and mental health suffered. And so did my relationships. I especially regret not spending a lot of my time with my son.
The upside was, it introduced me to traveling the world and that is where my travel bug was born. I LOVE TO travel, and I love road trips! It also allowed me to buy a log cabin in Jackson Hole and return to a place that I love. I have so much respect for my co-workers and working parents all over the world, especially those who do it on their own.
It wasn’t until after my son was grown that I found the time for self-care. I spent five years with self-help coach and New York Times bestselling author Debbie Ford getting certified in life coaching and it was quite satisfying. Being the facilitator, between clients and their dreams made me realize that I was merely a conduit. They did all the work, I just nudged them with important questions.
Graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in 2011 was another empowering experience!! Lots of learning and weight gain! My neighbors loved me and the homework that I would bring home. Cooking is like therapy for me. I love the entire process...menu planning, shopping, prepping, cooking, serving and of course, devouring!
The kitchen is a sanctuary for me, especially when dealing with grief and loss. Sixteen years ago my sister was murdered in Las Vegas and last year I lost my brother after a stroke. I have an older sister, but it is weird having 2 siblings gone. You contemplate mortality.
My 90 and 92 year old mom and dad live in Jackson so I spend a lot of time with them. But it is getting harder as my mom has dementia and it is taking a toll on my dad as her caregiver. They don’t quite understand Soul Ranch, but they sure try!!
I give thanks to them and to you for indulging me in this dream and I hope to share more personal growth with you at Soul Ranch.