Let me tell you a little about myself... I am a Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor and the founder of GratefulOM. I have studied mindfulness most of my life, but became certified for my professional business. I have over thirty-five years of marketing and management experience in Fortune 500 corporations. It was this high-demand work that led me to get more serious about my study. With experience and training combined, I bring a multi-faceted view that includes 5,000-year-old proven traditions, as well as new and emerging techniques.
I am now living my Love It Life, and I am so grateful. I have great friends and family. I travel for pleasure at least six weeks out of the year. I have a wonderful home I am proud of, and I take very good care of myself. I created this business, and I work with amazing people and do amazing things. I get to help others – which allows me to be who I am and do what I love! How cool is that?
Chopra Center Certified Instructor
Natura Institute Certified Mindfulness Master Practitioner
BUT IT WASN'T ALWAYS THIS WAY
At the last company I worked for, I had been advancing at a comfortable pace. Suddenly, I was doing everything wrong. Literally. It was like someone flipped a switch. My company decided to focus opportunities on recent college graduates, therefore virtually eliminating advancement for anybody else. I stood by and watched these new grads be chosen for opportunities that many of us had worked for years to earn. At the same time, the company started doing away with perks and promises they had made, such as health insurance being eliminated for certain employees.
I HAD A LOT GOING ON
My mother, who I was very close to, died. Two months later, while I was grieving, I was asked to take on more responsibility in the company. I went from an individual producer to managing multiple departments. It was a job I did not want but was given no choice. I was reminded I was lucky to have a job. (Have you heard that before?) I was thrown into a new position overseeing three highly procedural departments with a staff that was unmotivated. I had very little or no support from my management team. Any “help” from them was punitive. (As we all know, this is not an effective method.)
So, I was still grieving my Mom’s death. I was put in a work role with no support or even direction. And then my Dad who was very sick came to live with me. As you can imagine, my stress skyrocketed. I was working longer hours, doing everything and anything I could think of to manage it all. I was not doing well. The stress was taking me over, and I was about to burst. My blood pressure got so out of control I had to start taking medication, and I was experiencing numerous stress related heart abnormalities. The fear that I was going to have a heart attack or stroke added further to my stress. I was having trouble concentrating and unable to focus.
I WAS BEGINNING TO THINK I WAS CRAZY
I was afraid to take empowering steps because any mistake was met with shame and punishment. I was paralyzed from the fear of making an incorrect decision. Asking for help seemed like a sign of weakness, inexperience or disqualification. I could not let them think I was unfit for the job.
Stress from work was definitely affecting my home life. I had no interest in developing relationships with other people or going out with my friends. I stayed home, and I drank more than I should. I was going through a 750-milliliter bottle of whiskey a week. I was self-medicating to be able to sleep. After my father came to live with me, I worked all day and took care of him all night. I felt like a failure at work and a failure at home. (Have you ever felt like a failure?)
Then I lost my Dad. I couldn’t take it, and I did not want to live. In a matter of months, I was mourning the deaths of both my parents – who were my world. Life and work both sucked severely.
AND THEN THE FINAL STRAW
My boss pulled me into his office and started talking to me about how my team was horrible and I was horrible. He was even threatening demotion. As I sat there listening to him, something inside me snapped, and I said no. This is not what is true. This is not who I am. I do not have to be here. What am I trying to prove and to whom? I thought silently, “Why am I killing myself to prove my worth? I am worthy. I know it, and I am not doing this anymore.”
Although I did not quit that day, it was the day I made the plan. I met with my banker and my financial advisor and had physical check-ups. I began taking steps to turn my life around, including attending Oprah’s “Live Your Best Life” tour event in Atlanta. It was there that I fully began my journey, and because of this, I was able to find the strength to move from my pain to actually living my own best life.
IT DID NOT HAPPEN OVER NIGHT
I was able to find clarity and strength to move away from a place of powerlessness and toward one of strength – recognizing I GET TO CHOOSE WHAT MY LIFE LOOKS LIKE, and I HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE IT HAPPEN! It breaks my heart when I think of people suffering the way I did, when I think of all the individuals that feel trapped and hopeless. When I think of how close I came to breaking, it makes me angry because I know, as I did then, it does not have to be that way. I was thrilled the day I took my life back. I walked into my boss’s office and told him I was leaving.
I WISH I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW
Simply put, I was incredibly stressed. I’m certain Mindfulness and Meditation could have made a difference. My circumstances could have been managed much more positively. That is why I am so passionate about sharing these gifts for the benefit of others. GratefulOM offers tools, techniques and strategies to help you find happiness and success in every situation. We can all craft a life on our own terms. Stressing less and living more!