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Nice to Meet You (my story)...

Forty has been a big year for me. A little over a year ago, in a flash of Divine inspiration, I simply "knew" that I had to launch this coaching practice. That was the beginning of an amazing journey.

I had no idea, when I said "Yes," to that invitation from the Universe, that I'd be embarking on a QUEST that had nothing to do with clinical knowledge or book-keeping or social media.

If I was truly going to help inspire and empower others to "live their best life," I was going to have to begin to live mine. THAT was going to require something that I didn't have a lot of at the time: self love.

But the Universe was there to help me. It provided therapists, books, teachers, friends, classmates (at the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy), colleagues, and clients, who held up a mirror for me. To love myself, I had to know myself. I had to face my fears, claim my strengths, and begin to find my voice.

I'm taking a risk here. I'm betting on the fact that you would rather embark on your own personal wellness journey with a human being by your side, rather than someone who was born with it all figured out (as if that person exists!). You have to be able to trust your coach. You have to feel safe opening up, because you can't begin to improve upon what you aren't willing to look at, and you also have to go down deep to your most precious"why." If I were in your shoes, I'd want to know who I was talking to, and I'm not just referring to professional credentials. If I was being brave enough to launch a mission of self-discovery, actualization, and fulfillment, I'd want the person I chose to walk alongside me to be willing to show up as their authentic self, and I'd certainly want to know that they had lived the experience of walking a similar path...I am and I have.

So here is me, here is the "Amy" you'll be "Asking," and here is my story:

I thought I had a good childhood, but I grew up not knowing much about intimate relationships, because my parents didn't have one. I didn't know how to express my feelings to another person. I didn't know they were important. I kept them inside, or made art, and went to church. I got straight A's, ran cross-country, and volunteered. I tried to put others before myself. I thought it was my job to save my parents' marriage and everyone's souls. I thought that I had to be perfect to be loved. I became a teenager and battled with shame. My body cried out by giving me migraine headaches that raged on for days. I ran away to college. I gave myself away.

I found someone who loved me, but I didn't love me, so I couldn't love him the way a person needs to be loved, and this resulted in us traumatizing one another for years. I gave birth to five beautiful children, while continuing to work full-time, take care of a home, and do my best to support a spouse who struggled with chronic pain and at times severe depression, on and off believing that it was all my fault. I gave birth four times in five years, was constantly either pregnant, nursing, or both, even though I was completely physically, emotionally, and spiritually depleted, because I thought that God wanted me to, and because I did not value myself. I do not regret bringing "my" children into this world (they truly belong to themselves). Each of them is a beautiful, light-filled soul, who is supposed to be here...

but I had a lot of healing to do by the time the youngest could talk...I still do.

According to my hormone testing results, I have developed stage-two adrenal dysfunction. I believe this is likely the result of pushing myself beyond healthy limits for so many years. I have to carefully monitor how much energy I put out, or I can easily become overwhelmed and depressed. I literally have to do restorative self-care and get adequate rest, activity, quality nutrition, adaptogenic herbs & phytonutrients, positive social interaction, creative self-expression, and time in nature to be able to function in my job and as a mom. Sometimes I still fall apart. I drink red wine almost every day. I believe that I probably have poor detoxification capacity, as I'm very sensitive to chemicals, like caffeine. I'm susceptible to infections. I still have trust issues. I don't know everything. I'm far from perfect.

But, I'm learning. I’m learning to be my own best friend. I've learned that this life is my one, precious life on this earth. It is a GIFT that God gave to ME because I am worthy of love. He/She loves me more than I can fathom. I am supposed to be here. I deserve to be happy, though I am allowed to be sad. My top character strengths are GRATITUDE and HOPE. I'm working on setting boundaries and listening to the voice inside that says, "This is not okay for me" or "This is what I need." I am getting braver at saying these words out loud, but I'm not yet where I want to be. l hope that being more authentic is helping me to be a better spouse and a better friend. Even with all of my imperfections, perhaps because of them, because I know I'm loved by a love that is literally as big as the Universe, I have a lot of love to share. I’m the most non-judgemental and forgiving person you’ll ever meet, but I’ll ask you for honesty, because you deserve honesty. I've been told I'm a Master Empathizer. I'm Intuitive. I am a Mother. I am an Artist. I am a Healer.

I'm Amy. I'm my own beautiful work-of-art in-progress. It would be my honor to meet you.

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