How rolling off the freeway landed me on my path
I am the founder of The Virtual Global Goddess Fest and producer of The Goddess Fest, a boutique campout in the mountains of San Diego along with being a touring musician/performer. Two years ago I was not this person. I found myself at the bottom of a canyon inside a totaled new Prius after falling asleep at the wheel and rolling off the 56 freeway in San Diego. This was after a late night of partying. I had played a show with my band that night, at which I found my girlfriend at the time kissing another woman. To cover up the emotional rollercoaster I turned to alcohol, my normal saving grace. But on this night everything LITERALLY came crashing down. I had been living a life of a “successful artist” playing shows, teaching, partying, traveling, lots of friends... but on the inside I was seriously struggling with addiction, abusive relationships, numbness, a lifetime of self destructive behavior, and a loss of purpose while I was living my life way of integrity.
Photo above: OH SHIT!
Photo above: Aquilino (bass player) and I at my gig the night of my accident
Let's back track a bit... I grew up in ballet school, and although it was focused on growth and love, dreaming of being a ballerina gave me some pretty intense expectations of myself. The size of my waste, the beauty on my face, and a life dedicated to perfection on all ends. I quickly found myself consistently on the bathroom floor with my severe bulimic eating disorder at the young age of 13, covering it up in any way possible. Fearing my rejection if I ever were to tell anyone that I wasn't naturally this "perfectly" skinny, I never told anyone beside a few close girlfriends who were also struggling with similar battles. By 18 I found myself deathly ill while attending Boston Conservatory as a Dance Major. With no doctors understanding why I was fainting during rehearsals, I faced my first internal battle of self-worth, love and putting my life at risk after not putting my health, love and care first. I had woken up to the fact that I needed to dive back into my spiritual practice and dedicate my life to becoming healthy, internally and externally. And yet, I never spoke out about this battle I had gone through for fear of rejection, not necessarily from the people around me but from myself.
Fast forward to the car accident... As I found myself in the back of a cop car for a DUI and possible charges for the drugs found in my pocket, I honestly couldn't believe that my perfect life that I had been trying to pull off was now exposed in the most raw, ugly, and dark way possible. Wow. How the hell did I get here? How did I let myself go so far? Who am I?
Cold. Tired. Alone. Hungover. I sat there waiting and waiting. Will I ever get out of here?
As we got escorted around the jail in a single file line, plastic orange shoes on my feet, it hit me. This was not my life. No. No. NO!!! I was brought here for such an important reason, there's no way that I would be stuck in here forever. Ah... inhale. Exhale. I finally took a full breath after hours of holding onto it for dear life. So I turned to the woman who was quietly sitting next to me (after being violently loud all night, coming off of some hard drugs) and asked her what her name was. She quietly responded, "Norma". I couldn't believe it. I had just been singing on of my songs, "Norma Lee" that night before at my band's show. A made-up original song about a crazy woman named Norma. I told her about this song and her face lit up, "will you sing it for me?". Without hesitation I fell into the song and began singing, finding my comfort within my voice. A hush came through the room, everyone was listening, small smiles sneaking up on their faces. Even the parol officers leaned back a bit to enjoy the music as the other women in the room began to join in. This is the magic. This is my purpose. THIS IS MY REALITY.
A few minutes later I got let out to begin piecing together my life that had completely got turned inside out. Here we go...
Photo Above: Picking up my car at the towing place the day after being released.
The guys working there came out to shake my hand. They had never seen a car that got totaled as bad as mine and had the driver come in the next day without any scratches or bruises let alone alive. "You've got some serious angels on your side" they told me.
My mother had given me a necklace before my gig, it had a small crystal that "was for communicating to your angels" she told me. When I went to the driver's seat there it was sitting. Another sign that this was no ordinary accident. My mom was the one who took this photo before deciding that she couldn't stand by the car any longer without having a panic or heart attack. This was the first time in my life where I really understood how my actions could affect others lives. I prayed every night after that accident giving thanks that I wasn't diving anyone else, that I didn't hit any other cars, and giving thanks to my guides who were watching me that night.
After many months of sobriety while traveling and backpacking through 7 countries, going on tour through the US with my band, and attending Burning Man - I discovered a deeper purpose to my life and I knew that I couldn’t waste any more time.
I returned back home to the US and began the first Goddess Fest along with stepping into my new relationship to myself. I committed to living my message of love and unity daily. My mission became clear, I was still alive on this earth to create a social movement empowering leaders to use the arts to create a positive, global impact. That meant diving into my own arts (music and dance) and using them as a platform to talk about topics of awareness, sustainability, connection and community. Now at the time I really had NO IDEA what this meant or what steps I needed to take to get there, but I knew, I knew deep down that this is what I had to do. And boy was I excited to jump in!
Since you’re reading this now, you may be able to relate to my story of living out of integrity, stress, abuse, and lack of clarity and self-love. I want you to know that you deserve more joy, balance, energy, and love in your life. Since my accident I've dove into my spirituality (my mom had opened these doors by taking me to yoga and meditation classes from a young age) and have combined it with my passion for creativity and the arts that I had been studying for over 20 years (BFA in dance and professionally performing around the US). This is quite the journey, and I know I'm still just starting out, but I'm excited to share my journey with you, starting with this crazy accident that literally turned my life over.
After the song that I sang in jail, it wasn't all just uphill from there. That was only the beginning. I would be faced with even tougher battles right after that: broken hearts, abortion, learning that my long term on and off lover (who I had the abortion with) suddenly had a son on the way, deep depression, sexual abusde countless AA meetings, stranded and hitch hiking my way to loved ones (not the fun hitch hiking because your adventuring, but the FML hitch hiking), inability to feel or love, and what seemed to be the never ending financial battle to survive. You name it, I was there. Like many of us, I needed more than one awakening for me to really get to a place of understanding what I had been doing to myself, as I had been "calling in" most of these experiences myself in one way or another.
Through the years and after deep healing with countless mentors, shamans, ceremonies, books, podcasts and every other tool you can think of - I've found gratitude for ALL these breakdowns and have developed a continuing practice of self love that helped me through these rough patches and turned them into the biggest breakthroughs of my life.
I've got some exciting stuff that will be released in 2018, but for now this is what I've been focusing on...
Come join me and thousands of men and women from around the world for the first rendition of....
hand roll please....
The Virtual Global Goddess Fest!
I've gathered 35 top female leaders from around the world to join The Virtual Global Goddess Fest as our experts. They will be sharing their journeys, battles, and triumphs to help give you inspiration, education, perspective and connection. I am so excited to share this information with the world that I've decided to make it FREE, so anyone with internet has the ability to access it. Just as I was coming out of this crazy time in my life I was given some resources that changed my entire perspective, I feel blessed to have this knowledge close to my heart and I am so excited to share it! Through community, education, growth, and a deep spiritual practice I've been able to find myself - and understand how to continue finding myself as I grow and evolve. I wish the same for every person on this planet.
So please, share it with your friends, family, and loved ones. There are ways to create your dream life. There are practical tools you should know that will drastically help. I'm here to help you find your path as we all continue on our journey of navigation. We don't have to do this alone.
With so much love and gratitude,
P.S. This is my first blog, how'd I do?! Totally feeling nervous to push the publish button... Ok maybe I'll go breathe for a moment before I push publish. Here we go!
P.P.S. I've revised this a thousand times and am still terrified to share. I've been opening to being more vulnerable and I got asked what would be the scariest story that you tell the world and this was it. All of my fears are coming up, and so I know I must share this. I know I'm not alone. Thank you for reading, for being here, holding space to let my story be heard. Ok, really now....here we go!
I'd love to hear how this story has inspired you! Leave a comment below =)