The two most important things I learned from my father, I learned at a young age –
1. Love your work and make it count.
I was 5 and it was early Saturday morning when fire began to rage across the lot from our building. It was my dad’s day off, but being a New York City firefighter he went to help. I didn’t want him to go. I was scared. I ran to the window to watch him as he joined in to fight the fire, which I could now see burning in three stories. After my dad came home that night and all was well, I began to ask myself –
What will I be when I grow up? Would I be brave enough to do something I love? Even at 5, I understood that my dad did work that served others and made a positive difference on the planet. I wanted that too.
A few years later my father found his faith. He actually changed his religion. He chose a fundamentalist path and this rocked our family. For the next 9 years until college, I was often angry and confused. However, while outwardly complying with principles and rules laid down for me that I was told I had to accept as true, I began to navigate my internal world, seeking for my truth.
I sought answers to the deeper questions – Why am I here? Do I have a purpose to fulfill? What does spirituality mean to me?
So, the second most important thing I learned from my dad was –
2. Get good with God.
For me this means –
Live an Authentic, purposeful life
Forgive and continue to awaken to Love
Partner with Spirit in every way and in every day
My mother gave me the gifts of adventure, freedom, joy and unconditional loving – gifts I learned were available to me regardless of my outer circumstances.
She taught me that I could BE ANYTHING, maybe even do anything, as long as I kept my vision alive, my heart strong, and went for it.
With her support, I was the first girl in my Little League – only 2 years after the Supreme Court upheld a ruling to allow girls to play. She made sure that I could attend the best schools, from Montessori to Muhlenberg – and she did it on her teacher’s assistant salary and later her secretary’s.
Mom created a world of adventure – both the imaginary and the real thing. When it came to costumes, if I could dream it she could make it. And they were spectacular. We’d head to the country for a treasure hunt or catch the ferry to the city for an exhilarating day. Even when there was no money, she’d cook up something wonderful. Later she’d backpack through Europe with me and enjoy countless trips to our beloved New Orleans. She would support my move to California and believe in me 100% that I’d make it making movies – the first of my 3 extraordinary careers.
In California, I quickly forged pathways in my career. I made groundbreaking films in Lithuania and Prague and produced and developed over a thousand hours of media for clients including HBO, Showtime, Fox, Universal, Hearst and Viacom. I co-created a think-tank for Viacom, called Lightbulb – where I served as Executive Producer and Vice President of Creative Development. Here, I sourced and produced content for our company and cultivated young professional careers.
10 years later, on paper, I had a great career (the one I thought I wanted) with a promising future. I called Beverly Hills home and I had already traveled the globe extensively for both business and pleasure.
But at 32 there was a gnawing sense of lack of fulfillment for me – as if I wasn’t really living my best life. There had to be something more. I also felt an underlying sense of “not enoughness” – in my career and in my relationships – with others and mostly with myself.
The Turning Point
I was willing to ignore this quiet voice inside until two things happened –
Mom got cancer and 9-11. Mom was fine and my dad was retired from the fire department, but both events brought forward for the first time, my parents’ mortality and my own.
I determined that NOW was the time to put a stake in the ground for my life and living it the best way possible. I had a lot of work to do on the inside – if I was to figure out how to authentically be me, and how to create and live a truly extraordinary, purposeful and joy-filled life. One thing I knew for sure was that I had just started to scratch the surface of learning about my Self.
The Stake in the Ground for My Self
It was then that I enrolled in the University of Santa Monica’s Master’s Program in Spiritual Psychology. I delved into a radically progressive experiential graduate program where I became aware of the many limiting beliefs I held about myself and others and how these judgments shaped my outlook and my experiences. I began to take full responsibility for my life as I explored the possibility that all of my experiences were for me – for my own learning and growth. I also discovered that I could more consciously co-create my life.
As I applied the principles and practices of spiritual psychology, these internal barriers began to dissolve, and my world changed.
On the inner, I healed my relationship with my dad. I gave love and compassion to the scared and angry teen inside of me that did the best she could at the time. I learned that the most effective use of my head was in service to my heart. As a result of this transformative work, a deep connection to my Self and my purpose emerged.
On the outer, I successfully transitioned out of my 12-year career in TV. Along the way, I worked for a leading professional services firm where I coached and placed talent in Fortune 500 companies. Later, I served as Sales Manager for a global business-consulting firm, where we helped organizations transform their culture and their teams.
Doing Work I Love
In my second year of graduate school I launched my coaching practice. I had realized that my best and most rewarding work in all of my professional experiences was coaching others. Whether it was getting the best out of my crews, or nurturing others’ careers, or even pitching TV, they all required coaching.
While my coaching work grew, another labor of love opportunity came forward. I accepted an offer from my alma mater, USM, to serve on the admissions team. I’d soon learn that I was to experience the most valuable growth in my professional career. I was mentored by extraordinary and conscious leaders and held to the highest standards. I was also required to put into practice all that I had learned in my 3-year master’s program.
For the next eight years, I interviewed, deeply listened to and coached thousands of prospective students from diverse industries, backgrounds and ages (18 to 82), inspiring them into purposeful, aligned action at major choice points in their lives.
I was responsible for meeting enrollment goals for the University, and I gained a profound depth of experience in enrollment and sales—the kind that’s anchored in service. I also became an accomplished speaker as the spokesperson for the University, leading all live events. And when I was promoted to Director of Admissions, I was challenged to truly lead with excellence.
In addition to my work at the University I continued to nurture my coaching career. I completed USM’s Soul-Centered Professional Coaching Program, became a Dale Carnegie graduate and continued training with my coaches – some of the best on the planet. Then two things occurred.
Dreams Collide: Going Global as Coach + New Orleans
In 2012 the calling to take my own work as a life and business coach out into my world grew, and my long-standing dream to live in New Orleans came front and center. My own coach helped me to see that it was time to take the leap, that the rewards could be great, and that postponing these dreams was of higher risk than the fear I had of completing the 20 years of the life that I had created in Los Angeles.
I remembered the courage and conviction of my father and the life-loving, creative, adventurer that is my mother, and once again I heeded the calling of my heart. I got into bold, Co-creative action and it all came forward better than I had envisioned.
My individual and business clients are now global – in four continents and seven countries, across industries and diverse cultures. I am blessed to be in powerful partnership with extraordinary men and women forging the path for them to live more expansive, courageous and authentic lives. I get to live, dance and dream here full-time in New Orleans. The learning and growth continues – and I’m all in because I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Today I can say that I love my life, it’s filled with purpose and joy and I am deeply grateful for it all.
If you want to find out more and explore whether working together would support you, contact me and we will schedule a conversation.