Six years ago, I was homeless.
At that time, I was a stay-at-home mom to a bright, beautiful 4 year old boy and I had just found out that I was pregnant with baby number two. We were living in a historic neighborhood in downtown Orlando; the one that feels like a lifetime movie (in fact, a few of them were filmed there.) My husband and I were in the process of packing up to move our family into our dream home; the one we used to drive by and daydream about living in. It was in the same neighborhood that we were currently living in but it had the most adorable white picket fence, was right across the street from my son’s favorite park and only a few blocks away from Starbucks and Publix. It was essentially a stay-at-home mom’s version of heaven. I had visions of birthing my second baby at home in that adorable white picket fence house with its original wood floors and dreamy architecture, saw my kids running through the yard with our golden retriever in tow, had all the plans to walk to the grocery story each night and buy fresh food for dinner and had already started a Pinterest board for my big boy’s next birthday party in the park.
Reality, though, wasn’t so picture perfect. As moving day approached, my marriage (which was already on shaky ground) continued to disintegrate. I packed a majority of the house by myself, reserved the U-Haul and made sure that we were prepared for the move. The night before our lease was up, my husband didn’t come home. The next day, moving day, he was still a no show. Finally, a text message came through.
“I’m not coming home. I’m moving into the new house alone.”
Panic set in when I realized that everything I owned was packing into a U-Haul that sat in our driveway and I had no where to take it. I had no money, no job, no education and nowhere to go.
I was rescued by my grandparents who had just moved into a new house leaving their townhouse empty as it was pending sale. I grudgingly left that picturesque, hometown neighborhood in the heart of downtown Orlando to arrive in a rundown retirement community in the middle of nowhere. My U-Haul containing the contents of our three bedroom home with a garage and playroom and storage shed arrived to our teeny tiny two bedroom townhouse and I stood there in the overcrowded living room, surrounded by boxes (and our unexplainably giant furniture) and I cried my eyes out. I pointed at the glass fan in the living room. It was the kind that had the long chain attached to it that was running across the ceiling and down the wall and I kid you not, it was decorated with golden colored fruits, which were also made of glass. It was hideous and I hated it. I pointed at it and I told my mother that I would hang myself from it if I wasn’t 100% convinced that it would cause the entire ceiling to come crashing down around me. This was my rock bottom moment and the years that followed were by far the worst of my life.
But I tell this story not to be seen as a victim, not for sympathy or pity, not to make you hate my ex husband, but because I overcame it. I clawed my way out of that pit and so can you. I rebuilt my life and so can you. I rose from the ashes and so can you. I found a life beyond my wildest dreams and so can you. I tell this story now with pride and with gratitude because those rock bottom moments brought me through hell and on the other side, I found peace. I tell this story now with the intention that it might give just ONE woman hope, inspire ONE woman to keep going, give ONE woman the courage to dream again, to love again, to live again. Please know that if you are hurting, if you are suffering, if you at the end of your rope, if you feel hopeless, helpless or defenseless, I see you. I feel you. I am you. I healed my wounds, I found a better way to live and you can too.
It was through my spiritual practice and lots of therapy that I began to heal my old wounds and fall into alignment with my authentic self. I worked on myself hard. I forgave myself and others. I learned to love myself. I got healthy. I learned to meditate. I became a yoga teacher. I read books. I attended workshops and retreats. I bought a house and remodeled it with my own two hands. I fell in love. I experienced heartbreak. I found my strength. I traveled alone. And most importantly, I tuned in and I listened until the Universe whispered “They are ready for you” and suddenly I knew what I needed to do. I could feel it all way to my core. I am here to share my story, to spread messages of love, hope and healing, to empower women everywhere to step into their light, to be the best moms/daughters/sisters/lovers/friends that they can be and to help them realize their full potential.
I stand today, just one soldier in an entire army of lightworkers across the globe. We are here to start a revolution of love.