One of my highest values is freedom
- freedom of choice, freedom from the past conditioning, and freedom to live an authentic life. In short freedom from internal and external limitations.
Spiritual teachers say we learn by contrast and that in order to learn what freedom is, we have to experience the lack of thereof. I hope it’s not universally true, but looking back it indeed has been the case for me.
As I understand it now, based on my upbringing filled with too much isolation, criticism and rejection, I have developed severe stutter, ended up in an emotionally and financially abusive marriage, and struggled for years with speech impediment, low self-worth, and recurring health problems. In my twenties I believed that is something could go wrong it would, and it did. I lived in this state for years, while adjusting to a life in a new country, I came to America to study at a university, and building a corporate career.
Freedom was just a concept not a lived experience.
It all started changing when I left the marriage and had to start from scratch. Shortly after that when the dust settled, and I regained my footing somewhat, I began a journey of healing and inner self-discovery. I wanted to make up for the lost time and was committed to ensuring that my past won’t repeat itself. I realized that I had to take responsibility for my life and the only way to change it for the better was to transform myself.
I got help from coaches and therapists, consumed an inordinate amount of personal growth books and at the same time in the midst of it all I was searching for answers to existential questions such as “Why am I here and what am I here to do?” I was attempting to make sense of my suffering, find meaning in my painful past and transform it into something valuable. I was rebuilding myself and putting myself back together again.
Several years ago while surfing the internet, I stumbled upon an Art Therapy certification program and it instantly resonated with me because even as a child I had a keen interest in psychology and art. Going into it with no expectations whatsoever, after taking the very first class I knew on a visceral level that I found “it.” The program was experiential and truly transformational, I was on my path and continued my studies with a certification in Positive Psychology and coaching training. And I never stopped reading, exploring even further the connection between neuroscience, expressive arts, psychology and spiritual traditions.
I created a toolbox and I used every tool I now teach on myself. I am my own case study.
And I am here to tell you that no matter the level of adversity, pain and suffering it’s possible to transcend your past and not only to heal but to thrive.
It’s been a trial and error, but today I have a successful career in a Fortune 100 company, where I use my knowledge of psychology to design software, lead teams, run meditation program, and write and speak on wellness topics. Me a person whose stutter was so severe I wasn’t able to introduce myself, is giving talks and running workshops in front of hundreds of people.
And of course, I am deeply committed to my coaching practice and working with clients who want to better themselves because I have made it my life’s work to understand human psyche so we are not unconsciously pulled into relationships and situations that don’t serve us. So our past is not directing our future and we are free of our old conditioning. Free of the ties that used to bind us.