5. ONE OF MY LIFE GOALS IS TO SPEAK AT LEAST 3 LANGUAGES FLUENTLY.
It seems like a ridiculous goal since I currently only speak one language fluently, and 2 others really poorly, but hopefully I have lots of years to practice. I think our stories are the most valuable currency in this world and I love communicating with people. I want to listen to people and speak with ease when I travel. I want to hear people’s stories in the language that they know best. I think language makes the world smaller. It builds bridges. It connects us. It helps us relate to each other. And I think that kind of connection makes the world a safer place for all of us.
6. I GREW UP WITH A SINGLE MOTHER.
This experience shaped who I am in ways that I’m understanding more and more as the years pass. I don’t know what it’s like to be a single parent myself, but I do remember what it was like being a child to a single parent. This window helps me shape content and support differently because it gives me a view I wouldn’t otherwise have. The feelings and memories I have as the child of a single mother definitely help me make better work today
7. I HOSTED MY FIRST FUNDRAISER WHEN I WAS 15.
It took me 1 year to plan. I organized over 60 volunteers, curated a lineup of bands, raffles, and food, wrote my first press release, did interviews with all of the local news stations and newspapers, and shaved my head for the first time. The money I raised went to the children’s wing of local cancer hospital, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in my hometown of Buffalo, NY. The goal was to raise money to buy more toys for the kid’s playroom in hopes that a little joy might make the experience of being sick a bit less scary. I also donated my hair to Locks of Love.
Unfortunately, Britney Spears also shaved her head the night before the event. After 1 years of dedicated planning, all of the news coverage introduced my fundraiser by saying things like, “Well, we don’t know why Britney Spears shaved her head, but we do know why one local teen did…” Ayyyy.
8. I FRACTURED MY BACK WHEN I WAS 12.
The jury is still out on what happened here. Specialists at the time said my spine didn’t develop properly in the womb and couldn’t support all of the physical stress of dancing (I was a competitive dancer then, working towards pro). Perhaps that developmental issue had to do with the physical abuse from when I was still in the womb? Or maybe my back broke because I was carrying too much metaphorical weight on my shoulders from all of the abuse I was dealing with. In any event, my L5 was fractured with a bulging disk above and I continued to dance full time with the injury for 6 months. (You can hear me talk more about this too on The Expectful Podcast.)
On the bright side, the process of rehabilitating lead me to yoga, meditation, and ultimately to the tools of healing that set me on the path I walk today. Plus I learned to sew and express my creativity in other visual ways since I couldn’t get on stage anymore.
9. I FOUNDED AND RAN AN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF ENERGY MEDICINE WHEN I WAS 24.
In some ways it was a success, in some ways it was a massive (productive) failure. I built this school in a way that was really unsustainable for myself and ended up burning out after a few years of teaching. I learned a lot in the process, had the honor of witnessing incredible growth in my students, and met some truly phenomenal people along the way. Looking back, I’m so grateful for the experience and the trust that was offered to me by my students. The program I developed was a year long certification program designed to guide students into themselves. We focused on self trust, boundaries, and listening as the foundation for being a practitioner of any form of energy work.