I’m a classic first-born, people pleasing, overachiever. Captain of the safety patrols at age 10, Captain of the flagline at age 16 (the same year I started flying airplanes), and Captain at my first airline before the age of 30. I spent the next 14 years “living the dream” as a pilot for a major airline.
In 2014 my husband and I decided to sell our house, he quit his job, and we planned a yearlong trip around the world with my 8-year-old son. The day before we left for our trip I found out I was pregnant with twins. Our year long trip turned into a few months, most of which I spent in a state of shock.
Instead of exploring sacred sites in places like Cambodia and Australia, I quit my job and stayed home with my babies. At the age of 43, my "perfect" life turned upside down. Undiagnosed post-partum depression (and a little post-pilot depression), made it easy to feel like my life was spinning out of control.
I knew from my mindfulness training with Mindful Schools, that focusing on the past or future creates depression and anxiety. As a Reiki master and intuitive body worker, I knew the importance of removing emotional blocks before they start to create “dis-ease.” I had an arsenal of essential oils to use for physical and emotional relief. My intuition told me I needed to let go of the way my life was "supposed to be," and surrender into the “as-is." I had all the tools I needed to get me through this time, but I didn’t always use them. Sometimes choosing to be a victim felt easier than surrendering.
Of all the things I’ve let go of in the past 3 years, the title of pilot was the hardest. I used to love when people would ask me, “What do you do?” I could answer in one word, and with that one word someone knew who I was and what I did. They trusted me, admired me, and were surprised by me.
I’ve tried on many new titles since I retired “pilot,” but none of them have felt exactly right. When someone asks me what I do now, I often unintentionally freeze and give my best “deer in the headlights” impression. Mindfulness facilitator or motivational storyteller are a good start. Visionary, alchemist, or medicine woman are more on target and they certainly surprise people, but I can’t own them openly yet in a crowd full of strangers without feeling weird or pompous. (Although I think I just did.)
I’ve managed to find one golden thread that runs through everything I do that ties it all together, and from now on I think I’ll just say this -
I help people stop freaking out. Better said, I help you stop freaking out so your kids don’t think that freaking out is normal.
Did you know that our kids regulate their nervous system to ours? It was this thought that finally got my attention and turned my life around. The constant drive to find more hours in the day to do more and be more was unsustainable and exhausting. Slowing down and being present wasn't an option, it was a necessity for sanity. My kids don't like me when I'm crazy. I don't like me when I'm crazy.
Freaking out is optional. It's all ok. It might sound scary. You might not know where to start. That's ok, I'm here to guide you.
Native Americans believe that each choice we make affects seven generations. If you're overwhelmed, stressed or fearful, it's not just affecting you. By taking the time to stop the madness and stabilize your own nervous system, you're not just helping you, you're helping everyone around you. Is it time to make a different choice?