At the end of the Summer of 2015 I found myself feeling extremely stuck and searching for more…..more passion, more connection, more fulfillment, more freedom, more LIFE. I didn’t know where this feeling would lead me but I knew I had to find my way into something more fulfilling that would light me up!!
I began paying more attention to Facebook Ads and looking at coaches and speakers who were showing up on my news-feed. After a few months of searching I stumbled upon a woman who was going to be speaking in my city at an event so I bought a ticket. This event completely transformed my life and helped me to embrace a new path. It led me to sign up for an International Coaching Program and I began to take steps toward my new calling. Shortly after the event and the start of my new coaching program, I started experiencing symptoms which led to my unexpected diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. This news was the last thing I expected and completely turned my life upside down. It left me in deep despair and my belief in my capabilities and future were crushed. I became sad, depressed and began to feel more stuck and discouraged than I ever had before. I knew that I would eventually find my way out of the mess but I wanted to find it so desperately that I lost sight of the immediate possibilities. I wanted to escape my life and thought if I moved my geographic location somehow everything would change.
Around the same time I came across Suzanne Hanna and The Wilderness Walk through the woman I had met at the event that past October – Elena Lipson. I was extremely drawn to the program but was gripped by fear. Luckily Elena and Suzanne convinced me to talk through my decision to move with each of them and we came to the conclusion that before I try to escape to California, I better take some time to focus inward and figure myself out. So I signed up with hope and clear intentions, but I really had no idea how much that one decision would change my life.
As I entered the Wilderness Walk, I was someone who was clinging to control and prided herself on well developed defense mechanisms to ensure that I would not let anyone disappoint or hurt me. I had come out of a very bad relationship a few years prior and between that and other previous relationships, I really didn’t trust anyone at all. I isolated myself and deprived myself out of guilt and shame around past decisions, life choices and perceived failures. I was extremely cold and disconnected from my heart. Because of that, I would have never been able to materialize or even realize my deep rooted dreams of connecting and influencing people who were just as hurt and broken as I was. I was wearing a mask to guard my heart and pretending I had it all together. I also hid physically and was unwilling to accept my flaws and imperfections. Although I have many, the biggest one for me was my thinning hair. I was so uncomfortable and ashamed that I chose to wear a wig.
Through the Wilderness Walk I really dug deep. I trekked through my life, the experiences that had shaped me, and the emotions that had led me into the depths of my own darkness.
During the Wilderness Walk, I confronted my sadness, anger, guilt, and shame. I reconnected with my inner child, my storyteller and so much more. By the time I arrived in Costa Rica I had connected to parts of me that I never existed, the most important one was my heart. I used to be soft, sensitive, compassionate, giving, loving and through life’s hurdles I let fear and shame strangle my heart with barbed wire. I didn’t want people getting close to me, I didn’t want them to see my vulnerability or my sensitivity because I thought that if they did – they would hurt me. What I found was love, support and acceptance. Where I doubted myself I was met with non-judgement and reassurance. My trust in others grew as well as my confidence. These amazing and supportive women always had my back and taught me so many beautiful lessons. They accepted me as I built a healthier self-perception and increased self-worth.
I left Costa Rica confident, happy, thankful, loved and unafraid of anything or anyone. I loved myself despite my perceived flaws. I no longer cared what anyone did or said that might tear me down and I had a new sense of purpose. That sense of purpose was to help other women, embrace themselves despite anything and everything that they or others may perceive as imperfections. To learn that they are more than enough, just as they are, and ways to build the courage to stand for what they believe NO MATTER WHAT.
It’s been just over 6 months since the end of my Wilderness Walk experience but it’s led to an ongoing process that keeps unfolding – one of constant love, growth, courage and vulnerability. My spiritual growth has skyrocketed, my creativity has returned, my passions and interests have drawn me to new groups of people and communities. I now officially have my own business teaching other women how to embrace their inner sparkle so they can ignite self-acceptance into their life and business. I have found my way back to leading my life through love!
I’m so grateful that I said YES to The Wilderness Walk experience. Through this journey I have not only found my way back to my heart – but I have learned deep unwavering self-love and self-trust. I have been able to put the past behind me and step into my own eternal light.
Where are you still hiding?
Walker ~ Costa Rica