When I began my life’s journey I had no idea where I would end up. My beginnings were less than auspicious and from an early age I felt disenfranchised. I lived with searing self-hatred and crippling fears until my mid-forties when I finally discovered why. Despite these debilitations I was driven by two things, to be “free” and to go “home”. Even though, for many years, I didn’t understand what these inner fires meant I followed their clues none-the-less. Along the way, like most women, I played many roles and wore many hats…eldest child, teen bride, divorcee, single mom, corporate executive, incest survivor, healer, writer, grandmother and entrepreneur to name a few.
It wasn’t until my thirties when I was diagnosed with two life-threatening illnesses that I began to closely examine myself and my life. Self-love led this quest, all the while fed by my relentless desires of freedom and home. Through self-love I not only came to understand and accept who I really am but also healed the wounds that I endured through years of abuse from others and myself. Painfully, step-by-step, as I explored my own needs, I also learned to honor them. Over time I came to understand what it truly means to be me and, as importantly, what it means to be a woman breaking me out of the box I had been confined to. This quest has impacted every aspect of my life, opened and shut many doors, revealed many truths and eventually brought me to loving myself enough inside so that it showed outside… my SHINE.
Today, if you ask who I am, I can lovingly say that I am ME—soul intuitive writer, mentor, aspiring filmmaker and free-spirit. I have worked with women for over 22 years helping them love themselves and in the process understand their innate power as women–what I “see” as their SHINE. They say, “you teach best what you most need to learn,” and I can attest to that. My heart has been continually cracked open by my client’s journeys and I am forever grateful to have traveled with them. Not only have I learned more and more about the transformative power of self-love but I have also learned some of my deepest lessons about trust, vulnerability, forgiveness and letting go.
All of these were challenged often and there were times I wasn’t sure I would see my way through. But several years ago, when I was in a state of flux in every area of my life, my grandmother, Sophia, came to me in a dream and told me to “SHINE, SHINE, SHINE.” When I woke up, I could see my future, understood the greater purpose of my life’s journey as well as the healing work I had been doing with others. Out of that dream, in 2009, The SHINE Factor was born to help women of all ages, cultures and backgrounds evolve through self-love into their SHINE and provide a safe forum, support, and tools to explore and live their greatness.
I have often said that I have lived a lifetime for each of my years, which at the moment would mean sixty-five. I am grateful I have lived long enough to discover that my “home” is my SHINE and to be free to live it. Self-love is at the heart of it all and has become my friend and most powerful ally. It is my joy and passion to create a safe and sacred forum through MeLove Letters so that we can all help one another love ourselves and then SHINE it on the world.
A Few Things I Love About Being Me
- I’m a romantic Sagittarian and will always believe in happily ever after.
- My first license plate said SPLASH. Now it says SHINEON. They mean the same thing…to show up everyday full volume, loving yourself, being all that you are!
- I have two grown children who not only gave me reason to live but also loved me long before I learned to love myself. Everyday I cherish that they chose me to be their mother.
- Cooking on the barbie makes me ever so happy but anything green is at the top of my food chain.
- When I was 42, on a chiropractor’s table, I had my first memories of sexual abuse. I danced with joy afterwards as everything in my life suddenly made sense.
- I channeled the SHINE Cards in 2009 and then a year later created a guidebook for them with my daughter, Kim. Published in 2011, they make me smile because they make women smile about themselves.
- I fulfilled my dream to learn to horseback ride when I was 52 and rescued an Arabian gelding who I named, Peter Pan. He died in my arms six years ago. I just started riding again.
- I published my first book, Self-Love, The Crown Jewel in 2000 and am writing the sequel, Born To SHINE, which is due out the end of 2012.
- A few places on my bucket list are: Greece, Africa, Capri, Galapagos and Bali. I love adventures!
- I have five tattoos…all discreet (well kinda)…all have a story.
- I married three totally wrong guys but learning to love myself helped me figure out why. Now I’m ready for the real deal!!
- I meditate every morning before I get out of bed. My spiritual life is deep and feeds every aspect of my life.
- One of the most poignant moments of my life was helping my daughter give birth to my grandson. His presence on this earth fills my heart daily.
- I am passionate about my frisbee dog, Harley, my blue-eyed cat, Snowflake, movie matinees, the color purple, train whistles, pinot grigio, wind chimes, contagious laughter, long walks and longer books.
- I am a wonder junkie and live in awe of mother earth’s natural beauty. I can never get enough. My favorite season is spring and I am a hard-core tree hugger.
- I love talent, have a sixth sense for it and LOVE to foster it in others.
- I have done many things to find my true voice and strengthen it…even singing lessons. OMG!
- I’m still a cheesehead even though in an act of self-love I gave it up along with gluten and soy! Ouch!
- I’ve done some really dumb things in my life and I don’t regret one of them!
- I’ve been accused of wearing rose-colored glasses. Yes, and you are invited to join me anytime.
- I’m loyal to a fault and if I give you my word you can count on it.
- I was born in the east but in my heart I’ve always been a cowgirl. So I drive like a New Yorker but call Colorado home.