“Just do the next right thing, one thing at a time. That’ll take you all the way home.”Glennon Doyle, Love Warrior

When I was a child, there was a small trail from our back yard that led into the woods, down a small hill, to the brook that ran by below. One of my favorite things to do was play by that brook, use sticks to clean out the leaves that had collected so that waterfalls could flow again, and explore in nature all around it. Sitting here writing about that brook takes me right back to being a child, the sound of the water flowing, the sunshine streaming through the tall trees all around, my neighbors and I playing for hours at a time. It was magical.

Just beyond the brook, just on the other side, was a stone wall. It ran for what seemed like miles and I would look at it with curiosity and wonder.  Where did it lead? Who built it? What did they look like? Where did they collect all of the rocks from? How did they know which rock should be placed where to keep it from toppling over?  How long did it take them? What was their story? I had so many questions in my curious little brain.

I would imagine the process, the who, what, where, and when. I wanted to know the history behind it. I found myself thinking about the love and the sweat and the hard work that must have gone into building that wall, stone by stone, one at a time. To this day, when I see a stone wall, I am taken back to my childhood, my time spent exploring in the woods, playing in nature, and discovering magic.

After my talented friend Jaimie of Bayleaf Communications reached out on my behalf, I was connected with Scott Rotondo. In a recent radio interview on  990 WBOB with Scott on his show, The Rotunda, I found myself reflecting back on this journey we call life. As I thought about each step I have taken along the way, I found myself coming back to that stone wall that I wondered at as a child. I found myself realizing that I have in fact built this life, stone by stone, step by step, choice by choice, experience by experience.  

That’s the great thing about this one life we get to live. We get to build it. We get to create our story. Every step we take is leading us somewhere.

When you build a stone wall, each stone has to be placed just so to allow for the next stone to remain steady and so on. Along the way, some teeter and fall and need to be adjusted until they are sturdy, allowing for the next stone to be placed. With love and care, through smiles and tears, wins and challenges, ups and downs, leaps of faith and calculated decisions, I have placed my stones and built this life. I have teetered and fallen and adjusted until I was sturdy enough to keep going. I have continuously taken the step that felt right next. It wasn’t until I took the time to listen back to my interview with Scott, to reflect back on my life, what I have built, and how far I have come, that I realized every single step I have taken was leading me up to the here and now.

Every decision we make has the power to change the trajectory our our lives.

After a twist of events, I made the intentional decision to go to The University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMASS Amherst) instead of The University of Vermont (UVM) for college. At the time, I wasn’t super psyched about it, but it wound up being one of the best decisions I could have made. Through a series of events, that decision led me to Australia for a semester where I formed some of the best friendships and connections I have ever formed in my 40 years on Earth and, it led me to my first career in business at Fidelity Investments.

Where would I be had I gone to UVM?

Fidelity interviewed me on campus at UMASS and offered me a job right out of college. How could I say no to that? I accepted the job and went on to begin my career in business, spending twelve years with the company. I learned to navigate the world of business and I learned that I loved public speaking, something I may never have known had I not been in the position to present and educate individuals both virtually and in person across the United States. I also learned that I needed to listen to my gut and make my move into healthcare.

What if I hadn’t taken that interview at UMASS?

Before my first year had ended at Fidelity, I told my then cube mate Dan that I wanted to be in healthcare. I knew that I had not listened to my gut, something I would become very in tune with doing in the coming years, when pursuing my business career. And so after nine years (yes NINE!) I made the intentional decision to go back to school while working full time at Fidelity and pursue a second degree in Nursing thanks to Rivier University. I completed my BSN the same month that my first child was born and after my maternity leave, I gave my notice and immediately began my second career as a Registered Nurse.

Plot twist if I’ve ever seen one.

Thirteen months after having my first child, I was blessed with motherhood again as I gave birth to my daughter. Having two little ones so close together is all I have ever known. Yes, it was exhausting. Yes, I wanted to rip my hair out at times. No, it wasn’t planned. No, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing half the time…so I did what felt right next. At one point, I was working part time overnights as a Nurse and had also started my own business on the side with ONEHOPE Wine. Everyone thought I was crazy of course, but it all felt so right. Amongst so many other life lessons, being a Mom to two little ones so close in age while working part time and managing my own side business turned me into a master of time management. It also taught me that I thrive when I am in control of my time. Both of these life lessons have carried over into my here and now and always.

What if I had not made these choices along the way?

After more than six years working bedside as a Nurse, I knew it was time for yet another change, but I was unsure what that looked like until my good friend called one day and told me she thought she had an opportunity that would be perfect for me. I believe there are no coincidences in this life so when the Universe delivered, I received with open arms. When I interviewed to work as a Nurse Sourcer, allowing me to combine my business and nursing skills in one space, and I learned that my soon to be manager was a runner, a wine lover, and an all around amazing human, three of my favorite things, I knew I would take yet another intentional leap of faith. And so in my late 30’s, I yet again made the decision to pivot in my career path and do what felt right next.

Thank God I did because, like every single step I had taken previously, it was leading me up to this point. Every stone I have laid, every next step I have taken because it felt right, has been preparing me to spread my wings and fly as a Wellness Coach.

I believe that experience is our greatest teacher. While I am sure I have a lot left to experience, a lot left to learn, and a lot of growth ahead of me, I am also confident in my ability to help others and to impact others lives in a positive way. I have pivoted in my career three times. I have experienced marriage and divorce. I have experienced massive gains and massive losses. I have experienced major debt and financial freedom. I have “sat in the shit”. I have done the work. I have dove in head first to adventures near and far. I have formed relationships with all different types of individuals who have taught me, helped me grow, and made me better. I have worked as a Registered Nurse, providing care for individuals and their families at their worst. I have been blessed to be a Mom, an athlete, a daughter, a friend, and so much more. And I believe I have always been, in some way, a Wellness Coach to those around me. I believe I have been preparing for the here and now for my entire life. Now, I am fully embracing that gift to Coach and openly sharing it with the world. My little loves and I even celebrated my Wellness Coaching business together just recently!

As I partner with my clients through Wellness Coaching, I am continuously in awe of how fulfilling this work is.  Many roles I have held have been rewarding to me, but outside of motherhood, few have been truly fulfilling. Wellness Coaching fills me up. It allows my cup to overflow. It allows me to spread hope and most importantly, positively impact the lives of those around me.

I serve as a guide for my clients. By listening and remaining open, I get the gift of being able to shine a light on opportunities for my clients to make positive changes in their lives, whether that be personally, professionally, or both. I offer a safe space for my clients to speak freely, with no judgement, and to identify those dark spaces that they don’t necessarily want to explore, but need to explore in an effort to effect positive change. I “sit in the shit” with them while they embrace the discomfort, while they do the work. I guide them through that darkness. By working from the inside out, my clients are able to shift their mindset, alter habits that have held them back for too long, build their confidence, explore their very own field of endless possibilities, and blaze their own path once again as they begin to intentionally create this one life they get to live. My clients are DOING the hard work and EXPERIENCING big results. I simply serve as their guide, reminding them to take the step that feels right next, to place their stones one by one, to intentionally create this one life they get to live.

Seeing another human realize their true potential, seeing them “wake up”, seeing them feel empowered and confident and strong again, seeing them put in the work for themself, and seeing the transformation that occurs in doing so, THAT is the biggest gift I could imagine in this life. I get to do this work day in and day out and for THAT, I could not be more grateful.

Like the stone wall I wondered at as a child, our lives are built one decision at a time, one choice at a time, one experience at a time. Every step YOU have taken, every stone YOU have laid, has brought you to this point in time. With love and care, through smiles and tears, wins and challenges, ups and downs, leaps of faith and calculated decisions, you have placed your stones and built your life. You have blazed your path to your here and now.

I speak from experience when I say that you have the power to create your story. You have the power to unlock the magic. It is never too late to start again. It is never too late to do the work. It is never to late to rebuild, to grow, to lay down just one more stone along the way. Imagine where it might lead you.