I started life as a welfare kid in Pine City, a tiny town in Minnesota. We got the government cheese, food stamps and charity toy donations at Christmastime.
Life was less than stable moving from shithole house to shithole house – one that didn’t have an indoor bathroom when we moved in. There was an outhouse.
When I was 11 and my sister was 3, my mom left us alone for a few days (which she did fairly often) and the only thing we had in the refrigerator was half a package of Fun Dog Franks. There wasn’t ketchup or mustard to put on them.
Even when I was a little girl eating cheapo hot dogs, I knew that there was a bigger, brighter life for me outside the confines and limitations of where I started. I had dreams of being a ballerina or a lawyer who drove a hot silver Mercedes.
By a divine miracle, I went to college and somehow managed to figure out all the logistics on my own – including finagling a neighbor kid to give me a ride to college by filling up his tank with gas. I paid for college myself thanks to student loans. I barely graduated. I always worked several jobs and went back home many weekends to bring groceries to my family and to look in on my younger brother and sister. Always my intuition was telling me this was a piece of creating my bigger life.
At college I met my future husband and kind of just fell into that marriage. I thought it was what I was supposed to do next. In my gut I knew it wasn’t the right thing. So much so that I didn’t change my last name because deep down I knew it would be temporary.
The “In It” Years
My mom got breast cancer when I was 25. I was living in Chicago and working at my first job out of college. I moved back to Minnesota to take her to every surgery (there were many), chemo and radiation appointment (there were many, many). I cared for her and my 9-year-old little brother and 6-year-old sister for four years until our free-spirited, kind-hearted mom died.
I continued to raise my brother and sister as a single mom/sister. Around the same time, I started a tech company and worked 80+ hours/week. I was deep in the nonstop pace of running my company and taking care of the kids.
Absolutely everyone and everything else came before me. Even though I was running at break-neck speeds, somewhere in my soul I knew that the investments I was making and experience I was gaining was part of my bigger purpose.
Taking care of myself and living with intention was the last thing on my mind. It sounded like such a load of crap when people would say, “Make sure you’re taking time to take care of yourself.” Yeah. right.
I was too busy for that.
My business continued to grow and I continued to work insane hours. I traveled all the time, all over hell and when I wasn’t, I was rushing kids to soccer games, planning kid birthday parties and going to parent-teacher conferences. That burnout, breakneck pace lasted about eight years.
Cheater + Bully = Cancer
When the kids went off to college, I got married to hubs #2 in a hot minute. Buy me a martini sometime and I’ll tell you some juicy stories about this time in my life. Hint: I felt like Carmela Soprano on more than one occasion.
About a year later, and within a month of each other, I learned that my bully business partner was completely screwing me over by kicking me out of my own company AND that my husband was screwing someone else (I received a very salacious text message meant for her). I found out he was cheating on Christmas night. That was the Christmas he gave me windshield washing fluid as one of a few equally-lousy gifts.
To top it off, I got a call from my doctor saying that I had an abnormal pap. WTF?!? I was terrified of breast cancer because of my mom having it, but not cancer down there. So I got another pap. It, too, was abnormal.
My stress and all this emotional shit was showing up in my body.
I had several procedures including a LEEP which is when an electrical current is passed over the cervix to cut away the tissue. Imagine being open straddled in the stirrups and seeing smoke coming rising and smelling your own burning girl flesh. Or don’t. Yeah don’t do that. It’s awful.
The sample was tested and there were affected cells at the edges of the samples – meaning that the doc did not get it all with the procedure. There was still that cancerous poison inside of me. The doctor told me to “wait” and get re-tested in 6 months. WAIT? F that. I’m not waiting for shit.
Obsessive Self Healing
I completely dedicated myself to figuring this out and healing myself. I realized that my mind and emotions were just as important as my body in this process. This was the start of developing The Beautiful Life Process.
I read everything I could get my hands on. Went to workshops and seminars. Interviewed experts. Started developing a process and a way of healing my body and my life. My journals from this time have the first versions of a few frameworks that we use in The Beautiful Life Academy.
As part of the sacred contract I made with myself during this process, I ditched the cheater who couldn’t keep his dick in his pants and sold my portion of the business to the petty-tyrant business partner (after a year battling in court and that jag running the company and it’s value into the ground).
I started eating freaky healthy including drinking lots of green juice. I exercised at least once a day, sometimes twice. I knew this kind of living was the key to getting my body strong and able to heal itself.
I lost 30 pounds and I was the thinnest I had ever been in my adult life. But it wasn’t about that. It was about getting strong, healthy and fierce.
Most importantly, I healed myself through this process and lifestyle that I had created. My next Pap was clean and there were no cancer cells at all. Hell yes!
I thought I had finally gotten my shit together.
The Next Drama, Trauma, Crisis
Little did I know that I was creating my next crisis. I met a good guy, got engaged to him and was living a “fine” life in our new house near the beach. But inside I was truly miserable because I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of this relationship – and I wasn’t speaking up about it.
From the outside, everything looked great. But I was experiencing a terrible torture inside that I call “comfortable suffering.” It wasn’t a life-threatening situation or overly dramatic, but it was low-level ick most of the time. I felt like I was being smothered and kept small.
I knew there was more for me. I craved to live inspired and expansive! I wanted my own personal version of having it all – and this sure the hell wasn’t it.
Little did I know that my problems were going to showing up in my body yet again. While visiting my brother in Peru, where he was a Peace Corps volunteer, I got wicked sick. I was so sick that when we were in the Andes Mountains, hiking into Machu Picchu, I saw animal constellations skipping and dancing in the night sky thanks to some seriously trippy hallucinations.
When I got back to the US, I was still suffering terribly, but my doctor couldn’t figure out what was going on. She said I probably was just overly tired and had irritable bowel syndrome. Yeah right. My fiancé didn’t believe I was sick either. He told me that it was probably all just in my head. Yeah right.
I finally found a wonderful homeopathic doctor who dug deep enough to find that I had picked up a rare and downright vile parasite in Peru. It was destroying my gut health, thyroid and a few other hormonal functions. I got rid of that bastard parasite after several months of wicked medication and extreme self care.
Strength in Surrendering
I relied on my deepening spirituality to pull me through these months of feeling like I lost control of my body and my life yet again. I called on God, Buddha, Ganesha, Archangel Gabriel and my hands-on healers including an angelic intuitive, a yoga teacher with a potty mouth, a miraculous doctor who cried with me, a downright holy therapist and a transcendent psychic. I experienced a whole new level of surrender and vulnerability. I practiced asking for help.
I gathered the courage to ask for what I wanted in my relationship because I knew that this was a big piece of the healing that needed to happen. What I wanted, however, wasn’t what he wanted. So I honored my self and gave the diamond ring back.
Funny thing: the universe completely affirmed that decision. Our expensive house sold in two days without it even going on the market and I immediately found an amazing work/live loft to make my new home.
I continued to refine The Beautiful Life Process and dedicated myself to using it as my own north star. I had more personal growth and expansion during this period of time than any other time. I could finally connect the dots on why I had gone through all of these extreme life experiences when I was younger.
I continue to practice my life everyday. There are still bumps, but I can honestly say that I’m consciously living happy and inspired. I know what makes me content and feel good – and I mindfully make that part of my days. It’s something that I work on and am purposeful about daily.
I live in a luxe hippie loft just minutes away from the beach in North County San Diego with Lola my pug companion of 13-years. I do hot yoga to loud rock music and dance in Zumba class. I drink wine and giggle with my troop of besties. I travel – most times with a very special guy who treats me like a queen and laughs when I sing along to dirty rap music.
When I look back at how far I’ve come, I feel so grateful for the person I’ve become and the life I live because of who I am. While I started as a welfare kid, I’ve developed into an accomplished, healthy, joyful 43-year old woman.
Though these years of ups and downs, I developed The Beautiful Life Process which was really just for my own use. I needed a structure and a guide for getting myself out of these shitty situations and into a happier place. Nobody taught me how to life a big, joyful life, but ever since I was a little girl, I knew there was some magic part of life that I just hadn’t experienced yet.
Because of this personal journey and all that I learned along the way, it’s my purpose in life to help women ignite their happiness and feel incredibly alive. It’s my mission to help women truly and honestly love themselves and to believe that they are freaking amazing and deserving of their own love.
The strength and energy that comes from you loving yourself propels you into awesome and amazing love lives, relationships with your kids and parents, fulfilling relationships with your girlfriends, success in your career, financial abundance, and a meaningful spiritual connection.
I love helping women who secretly crave way more out of life and who are totally over feeling like they’re just trying to survive another day.
My favorite women to work with are those asking themselves, “Is this all there is out of life?” and “What the hell was I thinking getting myself into this situation?”
They’re questioning their faith, marriage or single-status, family, career and are hella confused about what’s even important in their life.
Very few of us consciously plan and live the life that we deep down really want (I mean, really, who ever showed you how to do this?). Our dreams get buried in the frustration and routine of daily life because the days and years come and go…and life just kind of happens.
I help women break out of their “life-is-fine” state and guide them how to get more genuine happiness out of life without adding another item on their massive to-do list. These shifts can be little or massive. You don’t have to ditch your family, lose 20 pounds or move to Paris to find happiness.
Let’s get you to your own personal happy place, shall we?
My official qualification:
- Bachelors of Science Degree in Communications from St. Cloud State University
- Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
- Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners
- #1 Best-Selling Author
- Finalist Women Who Mean Business Award
- Rising Star Award Nomination including Congressional Recognition
- National Association of Women Business Owners Member