My story is half Heroine’s Journey, half Artist’s Journey but it is 100% all mine!
All good stories have three main features: setting, plot, and characters.
The setting for my story spans across two countries on opposite sides of the world: South Africa – my country of birth, and the United States of America – my adopted home.
The main plot of my story is one of Rebirth and Realignment. But like any good story, there are also a few subplots of which I have become a master storyteller. Feel free to ask me more, but in summary:
Overcoming the Monster
My monsters were an abusive ex, high crime, and a narcissistic mother. I’ve learned not to flinch when there is a gun in my face, that I don’t mind the cold when I run outside in my nightie trying to scare off burglars, and that self-esteem breaks quicker than any bone broken by someone you love. But also, that I’ll do anything to protect myself, my pets, and what is mine in this world, even if it means just setting strong and healthy boundaries.
Voyage and Return
My time as a foreign high school student in foster care in America where my foster mother locked the kitchen door as punishment, leading me to have an eating disorder. And then having her throw my suitcases out of that house on a cold and snowy Christmas Eve, and having to shamefully return to my family in South Africa.
This plot makes a comeback a few years later as the countries were reversed, and I found myself alone in my twenties trying to embrace life in the Rainbow Nation of post-apartheid South Africa.
That one time I was almost arrested in Lisbon, Portugal, for trying to use a pay phone. And that time I nearly jumped out of my skin when our GPS suddenly asked us ‘Are you afraid of werewolves?’ as we were driving through the pacific northwest just after midnight.
The death of my own personal hero: my dad. And the death of my best friend and my discovery of another friend’s gruesome suicide. More tragedy in my life involved receiving the diagnoses of Unexplained Infertility and Dysautonomia = there’s nothing quite like knowing that PTSD has wreaked havoc on your body.
But the worst tragedy was suffering a chemical inhalation injury while working for the world’s largest online retailer that led to a lawsuit, Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS), and learning not only how to breathe again, but how to remove toxic elements and relationships from my life.
Rags to Riches
When my father and I moved to the USA we lived in a tent in different State parks and campgrounds. Even though my dad was working, we didn’t have enough money to get an apartment. So while we saved we lived in the tent, enjoyed the beauty and ugliness of Mother Nature (living in a tent when a hurricane comes through is not fun), and surviving on just $5 per week for food and groceries for both of us. After a few months we had saved up enough money to get an apartment which we furnished by adopting the great American custom of dumpster diving. With the apartment furnished with the basics, my mother and brother were finally able to join us in our new American home.
Fast forward about 10 years, newly married and the economy tanks which spurs me into starting a pet care company in which I did everything from pet-sitting and dog-walking to hosting barkmitvas and pet adoption parties. I provided animal Reiki services and created an animal telepathic communication course for pet parents.
When the economy tanked again my new husband and I found ourselves without jobs and our savings quickly disappearing. So out of necessity, we decided to follow our passion to see the country and to make art every day. We became leather artisans and lived full time on the road in a converted 28-foot box truck with our inventory, minimal belongings, and 6 pets. We sold our handmade goods at various festivals and fairs across the USA. Now we are successfully selling them through the world’s largest online retailer. Today my success now includes being a soul guide, transformational retreat leader, and a life and business coach for spiritually creative entrepreneurs.
My 28 year, $40,000+, legal journey to become a US citizen, that includes this South African beach bum learning to navigate snow in ‘Winter’s Favorite Town’ in America, going back to college, being separated from my family for years because I aged out of the immigration system by just 3 days effectively becoming a ‘forgotten immigrant’ statistic, and finally getting the helping hand of a US Senator.
Now that I’ve told you all about the plots, allow me to introduce you to this story’s main character – me!
I’m a down-to-earth, head-in-the-clouds, heart-on-my-sleeve, extroverted introvert, that sometimes confuses cupcakes for muffins.
My personal transformation has taken me around the world and taught me the importance of Perseverance, Hope, and Unconditional Love. Through my process of self-discovery and understanding where I came from, recognizing my authentic self and what my soul’s purpose is, I have learned to truly breathe, to trust that the Universe will always have my back, and that cupcakes really are muffins that believed in miracles.
I am passionate about helping people to keep on breathing no matter how hard life gets. I am here to remind you to come up for air so you can breathe life back into your soul/passion/purpose/relationship/business.