I prefer to work with clients who have undergone really, really tough challenges in life.
Why? Because these are the people who go on to change the world.
The brightest stars I’ve ever known—those musicians who write songs that connect with millions, the leaders of movements who change society, the researcher who discovers a cure—they all have one thing in common: they’ve gone through some super tough shit in life and through it, became exhilarated.
I, myself, have had a tough life.
My life is enchanting and peaceful today for one reason: I survived tough challenges and learned how they each were leading me precisely to the path I was meant to take.
The rugged journey led me to coach others through tough times. More importantly, to help them understand the magic that awaits them—their own unique purpose. The place where they find ease and certainty.
I am akin to the Sherpa who helps others navigate treacherous mountainside because they’ve walked it a million times.
If you happen to find yourself on a slippery slope, utterly exhausted and afraid, you know the feeling my clients often experience. It feels like there are two options: just get it all over with and hurl yourself off the cliff or begin the trek with uncertainty.
I remember the day I made a choice to approach the travails of my life with open arms rather than giving up. After staying in bed for a couple of years because my life was a disaster and I didn’t want to face it, I finally realized that there was no way out except to do the hard work myself.
I had lost primary custody of my children and felt like I could not go on. And it just made me feel worse when well-meaning friends told me that it would all work out with time, or to look on the “bright side.”
While they were right, I felt hopeless and uncertain about how to tackle the tremendous mess before me.
I couldn’t see why or how, but I decided I was willing to go on and for God or the Universe or Whomever, to show me the way up.
And then, unexpectedly, my own personal Sherpas appeared to help me navigate myself back to a safe place.
They came in different forms: the head of a non-profit organization whose children had gone through the same thing, therapists who really helped, self-help books and support groups that guided me.
For months I made my way up that mountain. When I felt alone, I made unlikely friends with and found courage from the little flowers who pushed their way up through rocky crevices.
And found entertainment in the energetic baby mountain goats who glided up and down the steepness with ease.
I stopped and looked around and noticed the beauty on that mountain.
When I finished my journey, I was stronger and more sun-kissed then when I began. My broken bones and my broken heart healed stronger than they were before.
The journey had such a profound effect on my life that I devoted my life to helping others climb their way to the top of their own esoteric mountain.
And things worked out just right with my kids, and we are all very close today.
Of course, the mountain is just a metaphor for my journey, and for yours, if you are facing something that leaves you feeling unable to comprehend.
But you were meant to be powerful, resilient, brilliant.
And you will find your way up that mountain as others show up to guide you.
One day your own sun-kissed face will radiate peace and purpose and the meaning behind it all.
As the accomplished mountaineer and filmmaker once said, “somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.”