I want you to know you can heal and make meaning from your perceived mistakes and the things that on the surface don’t seem to make sense; a deeper understanding, healing and moving forward is always possible. The key is this: rather than avoiding, dulling or escaping the darkness, you need to embrace it.
I believe we need to give our dark moments just as much attention, compassion and love as we give our lighter moments. Why? Because we can’t have light without dark; we can’t appreciate the stars and the moon without contrast against the ink-like nights. While the dark seems mysterious and sometimes evil, this doesn’t have to be true. By shifting our perspectives, the dark can help us see clearly and experience the world in a more meaningful way. It can move us to confront our fears so we can overcome them.
In life, we experience a lot of darkness: grief, loss of self, trauma. Oftentimes we then act in ways that don’t serve the best version of ourselves, or we even sabotage our own efforts. We then harbor shame and self-judgment, resulting in more unhealthy actions and inactions – and a feeling of being stuck.
A few years ago, I experienced a Dark Night of the Soul – a term I never knew existed until it rocked my world. The unexpected loss of my job triggered a time of deep spiritual depression and reflection. Without my usual heavy workload combined with a drive for external validation to distract me (yes, I was a workaholic), I was left to see reality with fresh eyes: my life was consumed with self-worth issues and I’d let important relationships with my husband, mom, friends and myself fade into the background.
My Dark Night brought on positive experiences too – receiving signs and synchronicities from the universe, adopting a dog (My whole life I had been afraid of dogs!), breaking into tough conversations with my husband. All these experiences and more showed me I’d been trapped in my own limiting beliefs. Trapped by impostor syndrome, trapped by a severe lack of self-acceptance and self-confidence. And because I turned my back to these restricting beliefs and let them fester, they began to poorly influence my emotions and disrupt my life without me realizing the full extent.
My Dark Night drew open the curtains and revealed my truth: I was in dire need of internal renovation, a complete makeover that would shed years of self-sabotaging ego. Washing away ego wasn’t a “one and done” process; it’d taken many up and down moments to learn how my ego had negatively controlled my thoughts and actions. But I didn’t give up. I didn’t run from the pain or try to escape the darkness. I had my fair share of detours and mishaps, but we are human. We can always find our way back to growth which is what I did.
I welcomed my Dark Night and because of that, my Dark Night helped me find my foundation: My true self from which I could rebuild and start fresh.
Using my intuitive skills combined with years of experience supporting others’ life journeys as a life coach and business professor, I help those who are ready to explore their darkness, learn from it and then carefully release it so they can step into their new selves, into their light, into their true selves.
Drawing upon my academic, professional and personal experiences, I support you by:
-Creating a space of nonjudgement
-Meeting you where you are in your journey with acceptance and a growth mentality
-Building a custom plan for you in exploring, learning and releasing your darkness
For formal credentials, I’m a writer, but you already knew that.
In addition, I’m a tenure track business instructor at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida. I’m also a part-time Human Resources Lecturer at Northeastern University in Boston Massachusetts. As a business professor, I not only teach on subjects of management and HR, but I work directly with my students as a guide and teammate in helping them understand the crucial need for passion, integrity and confidence along their path of study. I use my experience in mentoring students to shape my relationships with clients.
Before transitioning to higher education, I spent 10+ years in corporate settings practicing human resources and operations in leadership roles in both Fortune 500 and family-owned companies. This experience gave me the skills and confidence to coach others in the competitive world of business: understanding what it takes to be successful in today’s demanding and ever-evolving world.
I maintain a small intimate list of life coaching clients. In this role, my number one priority is the growth of my clients. I am a helping hand; I provide you the tools and encouragement needed to pull through moments of darkness or discouragement and regain your true sense of self.
On the practitioner-academic side, I hold a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree from the University of South Florida. I also hold a BSBA, MBA, a MS in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) and several certificates including a Myers Briggs (MBTI) certified professional designation.
On the spiritual side, I’m Integrated Energy Therapy (IET) 1 certified and I’m Reiki 1 & 2 certified.
Whether you’re a student, reading my work, working with me as a life coaching client or attending one of my speaking engagements/workshops, expect tough love, compassion, intelligence, quick wit, spiritual guidance and a dose of sarcasm – Hey, we can’t take ourselves too seriously, right?
Like you, I’ve experienced a lot in my life. I now know that adversities were put in my path so that I could empathize, heal, learn and grow: all so that I could help you in doing the same.
Some dark experiences that have undoubtedly shaped me include:
-Being raised by neglectful parents: an alcoholic dad and mentally unwell mother
-Getting kicked out of school in the 8th grade for selling my mother’s painkillers
-Starting at the age of 12, giving away my body and heart to people that didn’t best serve me
-Smoking cigarettes at 13, quitting during pregnancy only to restart after my son’s birth
-My dad passing after a heavy night of smoking and drinking
-Losing my job unexpectedly which triggered my Dark Night of the Soul
These experiences and many others caused a range of emotions, actions and inactions: Impostor syndrome, self-sabotage, infidelity, grief, not speaking up, acting out.
Although I had begun my healing journey in my mid-twenties, taking the time to earn my GED and first-generation bachelor’s degree, quitting smoking, opening myself up to the joys and love associated with marriage, parenting, forgiving and change, I wasn’t as grounded or as healed as I thought.
Back then, I’d spend so much time on work that I’d miss important events with family; sometimes my obsessive need for validation overshadowed the fact that I actually needed to step away and take a deep breath. I’d be too wrapped up in ego to realize I was wasting lots of my time on work and filling a need for acceptance from others, when I should have redirected my energy toward the maintenance and growth of my relationships with my family, my close friends and – most importantly – myself.
In my early thirties my Dark Night came into my life. For months it was my companion as I faced so many uncertainties and new, uncharted experiences. My Dark Night pulled me from a life I’d worked hard to build and shape, pulled off the blinders to reveal that the life I had created was not serving me.
My Dark Night grabbed me at my shoulders, turned me around and gave me a soft push forward: my new path would come as long as I walked through my dark moments and worked through my limiting beliefs that had been attached for so long.
Today, because of the hard work I’ve put in, I’m living life for ME. I’m not proving anything to anyone. I’m not living in doubt (Well okay, maybe some but not nearly as intense as a few years ago). I’m in flow with my intuition and the universe. I’ve made peace with the things and people of my past that needed understanding and grace, including myself.
I hope you see yourself in me so that you know you’re not alone; so that you know you have an ally along your journey. And I hope there are pieces of me that you don’t see in yourself so that you can expand your empathy and love for the things you don’t yet know or understand; so that you grow your awareness of what it means to be human.
Fun for me is attending a spiritual development class, going on a long walk, reading a book or being anywhere my amazing family is. Ron and I have been married for 15 years and together, we care for our 14 year old son Aaron, our 11 year old niece Amy, our 3 year old yellow lab Charlie and Nicee (who isn’t very nice) who is about 13. We’re from just north of Boston and now, thanks to my Dark Night and following the signs and synchronicities of the universe, we live in the Tampa Bay area.