Last November, I went back to Peru for my grandmother’s 80th birthday. It was my first time back in over a year, and it was a full two weeks of mostly family, but also a short but sweet visit back to Casa and the kids.
As usual, leaving Peru was very hard, but that time it felt even harder. I really felt like I was leaving behind where I was supposed to be…when I got back I had a very clear message that I needed to go back – not just to visit, but to begin building a life there. Ever since I can remember, I have dreamed of having a life in both worlds; a lifestyle that allowed me to divide my time between Peru and the states. My trip to Peru 3 years ago planted a very big seed, and I came back from that trip being very clear about the 3 things I needed in order to make my dream happen: acquire my citizenship, finish my college degree, and build a virtual business that I could run from anywhere in the world…Check, check, and pretty much check ;-)
Obviously it is not easy to think about leaving my life here in the states…I have a beautiful life, wonderful friends and family, and lots of things I would be leaving behind.
Was I being irresponsible?
Was I just trying to see the grass as greener?
Was I making a mistake?
I talked about it with many of my closest friends and family, and in the process, came to realize that my calling to Peru is indeed a very grounded one. While there are always risks involved with any big change or move – there are undeniable opportunities for me in Peru, on every level. I started seeing how much has been lining up for me there over the past few years. I then decided that I would make it happen within the year, and not stress about when and how, but just to set the intention and let it go…
The past few months have been an amazing time of self reflection and inspiration. Beautiful people and resources have shown up for me in big and small ways…the signs are everywhere :-) I began working with a dear friend and colleague, Anne Martin, who is a Marcia Weider certified Dream Coach, “Reinvention Specialist”, and was finishing her certification in a performance coaching program. She offered me 3 months of complimentary coaching, which I enthusiastically accepted. What an amazing gift! Anne was such a wonderful mentor and guide through a process of rediscovering my dreams, and the vision that I have for my life. She walked me through a process of revisiting what I had dreamed of as a little girl, all of the little blocks and negative experiences along my journey that had made my vision a bit blurry over the years, and to tune into what I was feeling NOW. She helped me to create a vision for the life I wanted to manifest as of today, one that incorporates all of the pieces of me and who I want to become. I created an essence statement: “I AM EMPOWERMENT”. That one little exercise shifted how I began to see myself in my life and business, and how I wanted to show up from here on out. I saw how that related to all of the roles in my life that were the most meaningful to me – coaching little girls in basketball, working with the kids at Casa De Milagros, and teaching my clients how to be more successful. I love helping people see their true potential!!!
This time has also been incredibly fruitful professionally, as the process of creativity and reinvention began to show up in my business as well. My other friend and colleague, Tammi Spruill of Fruition Branding has been an invaluable source of inspiration and support as I set out to redefine my business from the inside out, and bring more of “me” into it. She holds such a wonderful, safe space for creativity and helping you develop the foundations of your business from a creative perspective. The work I did with Tammi helped me figure out how I wanted my business to look and feel to people, and what I wanted it to represent. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tammi. ;-)
Little by little I felt myself moving closer and closer to Peru…I knew it was about to happen, but until now, I also knew I couldn’t make any firm decisions quite yet. I just kept meditating, journaling, talking to friends & family, focusing on being present, surrendering, trusting, and allowing the universe to guide me where I was supposed to be…
About a month ago, mi amigo Carsten officially offered me the role of Executive Director of Beyond Volunteering, and I accepted! In a nutshell, Beyond Volunteering helps source volunteers from all over the world, place them where they will be most suited to their interests and skills, do all of the coordination in Peru, and takes care of them when they arrive so that they have a safe, rewarding and mutually fulfilling experience. My job is to help raise awareness of BV, grow their online presence to reach more people, and generally make the whole project more successful by helping both the non profits in Peru find more quality volunteers, and by assuring that the volunteers going to Peru have more positive, meaningful experiences. I couldn’t ask for a more rewarding project, and I am thrilled to be on board. :-)
Pretty much that same week, I started getting back in touch with the directors of Casa De Milagros. Without going into too many details, the situation over the past month has become very dire as the Casa has lost not only their interim directors and leadership team, but also their primary source of funding. They have approximately 3 months worth of funds left and no certainty as to what will happen after that. I have been asked to come down and do what I can to help rebuild Casa, raise funds, develop a work/volunteer program, and create a sustainable organization once and for all. I have my work cut out for me…but I am ready…;-)
This was the final “sign” that I need to be in Peru right now…I am following my heart, and trying to stay as grounded as possible while being open to the path that is unfolding. This is a major practice in TRUST! ;-) I am allowing for the evolution of my life and business, and even though it might feel like a bit of a shift in priorities, I realize that this is exactly what I have envisioned my entire life! I always pictured myself doing meaningful work in Peru, and empowering those in need. I feel so blessed to have that opportunity present itself now…and I say YES!
For now, I will continue to work with a few of my existing clients so that I can supplement my time there and support myself, without placing a burden on the Casa. However, I know that the task at hand is going to require a lot of my time and energy and realistically may not leave me enough time to take on much client work over the next few months.
So I have put together a fundraising effort to help with my travel and living expenses, and also to purchase some much needed technology equipment for Casa. If you feel compelled to help by donating or helping spread the word – please CLICK HERE.
Also – once again I am looking for a home for my beautiful, adorable, and extremely loveable baby Bonita…so if you know any loving cat people who could use a fluffy pillow for a few months, let me know! ;-)
Love and blessings to you my friends and family – I love you all and can’t wait to share my experiences and developments with Casa & Beyond Volunteering with you very soon…stay tuned! xoxo
I have no delusions of grandeur with this blog, or expectations that any one will read it. ;-) However – for those that do, I hope you will find it an interesting, often funny, and sometimes neurotic perspective on my own journey through this crazy little life.
This past year has been pretty full of self reflection, emotional and physical “work”. In the past couple of years I have worked with a therapist, a holistic nutritionist, a couple of personal trainers, and a life coach. At 28 – that either makes me sound super messed up, or super pro-active ;-) Needless to say I have had many wonderful advisors and wise souls to bounce ideas off of. There has also been a tremendous amount of personal and professional growth through my job, which has helped me build my confidence and discover my true passions. I am starting to figure out how I can use my gifts to be of service in a much deeper way. Perhaps what I am most grateful for are the amazing people I can call community…
The learning, healing and growth has all been wonderful, but lately I have felt a bit overwhelmed. It is a lot to take in, and a lot to constantly hold in the corner of your mind. I feel like I’m kinda missing the big picture – like I need some time to just sit with everything, absorb it, and try to make some sense of it all.
This blog was inspired out of a need to start capturing some of my thoughts, ideas, learning lessons, and support me as I work on achieving my goals. As a true 7 on the Enneagram – I tend to be fascinated by almost anything (seriously) so as soon as I say I want to do one thing, I get distracted and interested in 3 others…This blog will hopefully keep me accountable – to give me a place to record what I am committing to and why. To FOCUS on those key objectives and to track my progress, as I tend to lose motivation if I feel like results are not happening fast enough. It will be interesting to look back on my journey – to see what happens along the way to achieving my wildest dreams.
Yesterday I performed a saging/clearing ceremony in my apartment – never done that before, but felt like it definitely needed to be done. Ever since Stephanie mentioned that she felt a spirit in my place, I have been feeling pretty sketchy. After all the crazy stuff that happened during the Washington D.C. trip, I had an overall sense that there was something really funky going on with my energy field. I did my own little ritual, with some supplies I picked up at the local spiritual store, and finished it off with some personal affirmations and intentions, as well as a personal cleansing with some potion that was supposed to cleanse me of all negative spirits/energy. Hey, as long as you believe it works…Point is – that is another reason why I feel like this is a new beginning for me, I am starting fresh in more ways than one. I am no longer content with letting old negative patterns and self-limiting beliefs hold me back.
Today is a new day, and I commit to creating the life I have always dreamed of – and becoming the person I am destined to become. Here’s to living a vibrant, healthy, fun, passionate and CRAZY life!!