Today’s post is a bit of a personal one.
Whether you’ve been following along with my work for years or we’ve just been connected this week, I figure its time to get raw and real with you and tell you the story of how I found my calling and how I got to where I am as a women’s health coach, while also giving credit to my mentors, and hopefully inspiring you to find mentors of your own – whether that’s me, or someone else who has positively influenced your life.
Even though our stories might not be similar, I believe as women we all share a common bond…
And that is to live authentically, live a life on purpose, and be a part of community. (Periods aren’t the only thing we have in common!)
There have been some amazing health warriors who have all played a supporting role in my coaching journey. Dr. Sara Gottfried, Dr. Jessica Drummond, Dr. Libby Weaver, Chris Kresser (the lone guy!), Dr. Nat Kringoudis and Dr. Aviva Romm to name a few!
Let’s rewind back to 2009, when all of this started for me.
I had just moved from Florida to New York City so I could enroll at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, to finally pursue this dream of helping people. I know, a little vague, but I was on a mission to change women’s lives – I just wasn’t sure exactly what that was going to look like. I think the bravery of being in my 20’s with nothing to lose and everything to gain was at play.
I was soooo determined to make this happen, and simultaneously soooo lost. Let me explain…
There is this thing called “Saturn Return”. Ever heard of it? No big deal if you haven’t, it’s not exactly mainstream, and I had never heard the term before becoming immersed in the woo woo wellness world.
Anyway, it’s this astrological phenomenon that happens in our mid to late 20’s that can be likened to a quarter life crisis – where you suddenly start questioning all that you’ve been doing, and in many cases decide that your current trajectory is not the one you actually want to be on.
The reason it is called a Saturn Return is because the planet Saturn takes approximately 29.5 years to orbit the sun, and return to the exact position it was in when you were born.
So, I was in the thick of my own Saturn Return when I up and moved to NYC with no plan and no job, but this indescribable desire to make huge shifts in my life. And girl, that is what I did.
Within the following year I completed IIN, I separated from my husband of seven years, I made an entirely new set of friends, I reconnected with the love of my life who I had known since I was 18, I transitioned out of my freelance commercial production career, and stepped into health coaching.
It was like Saturn Return on crack.
You and I both know that even small life changes can be terrifying, so you can imagine how insane this was for me. Looking back, I’d say 2010 brought me to my knees. It was the year that broke me open in countless ways.
I survived though. And I might even say I thrived. Because that’s what we women do right? This quote by Elizabeth Gilbert about sums it up…
Pushing through & the (s)heroes I encountered along the way
Thankfully things began to work out. I ever so slowly put myself out there and started getting clients. I remember how petrified I was of being seen, because when people see you, they can criticize you. Because for real, your life’s work equals your entire identity and putting that all on the line is scary stuff. Haters gonna hate, but I pushed through.
By early 2012 I was lucky enough to score the opportunity to do a one year training program with Dr. Sara Gottfried, a genius Harvard-trained integrative OBGYN who also happens to be hip and hilarious. Her course instilled the confidence I so desperately needed to really take my business to the next level, and I will be forever grateful for her one-of-a-kind wisdom and humor.
Then Dr. Jessica Drummond established the Integrative Women’s Health Institute and offered me a free spot in her one year women’s health coach certification program. (OMG what the____?!). I jumped at the chance to participate, and was blown away by all the cutting edge information in the course. It served me well over the coming years, and further helped me solidify my growth. I even got to speak at her first live event last month.
In late 2015 I enrolled in Chris Kresser’s ADAPT training program. I legitimately stalked his website leading up to the launch of this program, only to find out it wasn’t open to health coaches. 🙁
Of course that wasn’t going to stop me – I made my case, and they let me in! This program challenged me on a whole new level, and there were a number of occasions where I had no idea what the heck they were even talking about! I still haven’t completely finished the coursework, but it has given me a ton of new knowledge, and I’m so glad I was persistent in my efforts to get accepted into the program.
Behind every successful woman is a tribe of sisters
I mentioned some other people at the beginning of this post, who have all helped shape my career, even though some of them are literally on the other side of the planet.
I remember watching Dr. Libby’s TED Talk almost three years ago and then furiously typing out a blog post ode to her, because I was so immediately in love with her message! I even said something about wanting to make out with her. Haha! And would ya know, she reached out to me shortly after, we became friends, and met up a few times in NYC when she was here for work!
Nat Kringoudis contacted me over four years ago, and we immediately hit it off. We’ve been friends ever since, and now host a podcast together called The Period Party. We’ve recorded over 80 episodes and it’s been downloaded nearly 500,000 times! And we finally met IRL in 2016 when she visited the US for the first time.
Aviva Romm and I met in 2015, and also had an immediate soul sister connection. She is a legend in the field of women’s health and midwifery. I legit stalked this woman (notice a trend here? You gotta be tenacious when it comes to getting what you want in this life), and followed her work religiously! And she’ll be guest teaching on my upcoming Fix Your Period Apprenticeship Program as well, along with a number of other ladies I just mentioned. Woohoo!
So what’s the point of me sharing all this with you?
Well, first I think it is important to recognize those who came before me, and whose work allows me to do what I do.
Women supporting women is a big deal for me because I know how crucial it is that we all help one another – especially when it comes to our own health and living a fulfilling, abundant life.
And second, I’ve got two pieces of advice that I want you to take away from my story…
#1 If you think you have a higher calling, my advice is this: Don’t overthink it, just focus on what you want to say and do in this moment, and the people who are meant to hear your message will hear it.
There is no roadmap – you just have to start and you’ll figure out the rest as you go. Trust me when I tell you that there is NO right moment to start anything in life. Sure, there are better moments than others – I’m a Virgo and a planner so I get this – but there is no better time than NOW. I promise 🙂
#2 Mentors and teachers come in many forms. And they will show up at the exact right times on the journey. Seize the opportunity to build relationships with them.
I was at an event last week and this woman on stage was telling a story about meeting Oprah, and actually getting her producer’s phone number. Oprah really liked her and wanted to have her on her show. She subsequently LOST the phone number. Not kidding. I’m pretty sure when she said that the entire audience let out an audible gasp. The regret in her voice was palpable. My advice? DON’T lose Oprah’s phone number! Well, don’t lose anyone’s phone number, because you never know who will have a major influence in your life and on your business.
Today, I might be that influence/mentor/catalyst for you.
If you’re feeling the fire to make a difference,check out my free 3-part video series: Heal the World, One Woman at a Time: Inside secrets to being a successful women’s health coach !