Thank you for joining me as I blog my book about The Shero’s Return. The ideas I am about to share came to me during a weekend writing retreat with Tom Bird, the Author’s Oracle. They didn’t come out of thin air. I had been reading everything I could about women at mid-life to help me make sense of what I was feeling. Tom Bird would say that the words that came out of that retreat were whispered in my ear by the spirit of the book that wanted to emerge. The truth is, I was moved to share my experience to see if it could help other women who were going through a dark night of the soul.
If you are reading this, maybe you are at a point in your life when you are questioning where you are and how you got there. Maybe you recently lost a loved one, your kids left the nest, or you got downsized from your job. Maybe you just feel tired and discouraged. Life is not as happy and fulfilling as you once imagined. You wonder what ever happened to your hopes and dreams. You are ready for a change, but you don’t know where to turn. You are feeling stuck, and don’t know how to get out of your rut.
That is where I was just a few years ago. On the surface, my life looked like a great success. After two failed marriages, I was finally in a wonderful relationship. I had achieved a lifelong dream of living on the water. I had a career I loved teaching law at a social justice law school. Everything was looking rosy until I made one big mistake – I ignored my intuition and accepted a promotion that I knew in my heart was wrong for me.
Everyone said, “It’s perfect for you, Laurie — do it!” My heart was drowned out by other voices. Voices of people I loved and respected. Voices of people who were important to me. So I did it. I did it for them. I did it because I believed them. Because they said it was perfect for me. Because they said they needed me.
I did it for the wrong reasons, and I paid the price. I stayed stuck in that job for four years. Worse yet, I stayed stuck in that mindset of pleasing other people, ignoring the voice of my heart.
But gradually the voice of my heart became louder and more insistent. Finally it wound up screaming at me: “Laurie, what are you doing? What happened to your values? What happened to your vow to use your talents to make a difference in the world?”
Only when the crisis reached serious proportions did I realize how far off my true path I’d allowed myself to go. Only when my health began to decline and my inner voice had become unbearable did I begin to take action to correct course.
Long story short, I finally listened to my heart, gave up the promotion and went back to teaching. I founded the Gender Justice Project to carry out my life-long commitment to fighting for women’s rights. And I spent time learning and preparing for an entirely new career.
With the help of some terrific coaches, I was able to reinvent myself – aligning my career with my new vision of the contribution I wanted to make in the world. I realized that I had been following my head while ignoring my heart. That was the beginning of my career as a global coach and retreat leader. Today, I share my passion for travel and transformation through life coaching and leading retreats to some of the most beautiful spiritual sites around the world.
I am writing this book to share what I learned from my experience. I hope my story can spare you from some of the years I spent stuck in a dark place. I hope I can urge you to pay attention to those soft voices in your head before they have to hit you over the head with an illness or catastrophe to make you listen.
I am not here to tell you it will be easy. You may have to give up some things along the way – ways of being that have kept you safe and protected from those who had real or imagined power over your life. You may have to give up pleasing people, supporting them at your own expense, or blaming them for your plight. But I am here to tell you it will be worth it in the end, when you reclaim the power over your own life story.
Join me on the journey! Sign up to make sure you don’t miss a chapter, and I will send you a weekly template to recreate your life story in words, images, and song.