Age 37: My passion for social responsibility has often percolated into my professional life. I was a lead executive at the agency that helped IKEA bring their tagline “Life Improvement Store” to life. I felt as joyous as a gospel choir while working with IKEA.  IKEA has a strong social responsibility culture. It was the only time in my career that I really felt that my client’s values matched my own.

Age 38: I attend O, The Oprah Magazine’s Live Your Best Life Weekend in New York City. I heard Martha Beck speak for the first time about “10 Roads To Your Best Life”. I realized I was not on my right road. I knew I deserved a better life.

Age 39: I proposed that IKEA work with my mentor, Martha Beck, who happened to be Oprah’s Life Coach. We partnered with O, The Oprah Magazine to bring Martha Beck Life Coaches into the IKEA stores across the country to host life improvement seminars.
I eagerly volunteered to be coached during one of the seminars. I’ll call the coach Valerie.
“Is anyone struggling with a question about their life’s direction?” Valerie said.
The audience giggles.
Yes.” I said.
“Tell me about the situation that you are struggling with.” Valerie said.
“I am deciding between natural childbirth and adoption. I am struggling with bringing a child into the world when there are so many children here already that need someone to love them.” I said.
“On the surface that may seem like a tough decision.” Valerie said.
“It’s been keeping me up at night.”  I said.
“Face me and hold out your arm. I am going to apply resistance to your arm. Push with all of your strength while saying what you think you want.”  Valerie instructed.
“I want to adopt a baby.” I said.
I pushed with everything I had, but I gave so little force that I could have barely tipped over a Weeble. I thought I’d better get back to the gym.
“Now say I want to give birth to a child.” Valerie said.
“I want to give birth to a child.” I said.
I pushed with all my strength again.  I could have put her hand right through a wall with the blunt force I mustered. I was surprised. I had built social rules in my mind that said I should not add to the world’s population. Well, my body had something to show me.
“Our minds are tricky and they often lie. When we truly want something our bodies will never lie. You can use this on any tough decision to know what your heart truly desires.” Valerie said.

Age 41: My daughter, Lucy, is born naturally after the truth that I had learned from my own body sank in. Valerie’s guidance sparked something inside of me that changed my life. I am forever grateful.

Age 43: I have been thinking for a while that I want to do something that will help people. I had been helping my clients for 20 years spend hundreds of millions of dollars pushing products that, with the exception of IKEA, did not match my own values. My work was slow for about 8 weeks. This brought with it 8 hours of daily silence. What a gift! I spent that time writing my memoir. While writing I recalled what happened during my life coach session with Valerie. I was filled with an abundance of gratitude. It hit me that I should learn how to be a life coach! I immediately went online to look up Martha Beck’s Life Coaching Certification program. I saw the price and the time it took to make that dream come true.  The story in my head went something like this. I can’t find the time to go back to school. I can’t find a life coach program I can afford. Then literally moments later I got a call from my HR department. I was granted both the time and the money to make this dream a reality. I tried as hard as I could not to smile while they delivered the news. Notice the times when you are inappropriately smiling. Something magical may be happening to you.

Now: My truth is it’s about Play, not Work. I have a mantra that I love to live by. I DO NOT DO ANYTHING THAT DOESN’T BRING ME JOY! It feels so amazing when I make that statement out loud to my friends, my family and now to you. You might be thinking, how could dropping off the dry cleaning bring you joy? Well, I look for the joy. If I don’t find it, I do something joyful as a reward. It is that simple. What I know for sure is that living this way is a much happier and mostly effortless existence. It is far better than suffering through tasks that feel like work.

Now, I am not suggesting that you quit your soul-sucking job or even have a baby. I am inviting you to start questioning the stories that are in your head. The stories that are stopping you from living your own truth. Are you living your truth or is a story in your head stopping you from seeing the joy in your life? I am inviting you to learn the difference. What I want for you is True Freedom! Apply here if you are ready to start your own journey towards True Freedom.

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