What does it mean to the best possible you? In my lifetime, it has taken an epic journey for me to realize it’s not about what is on the outside but what is on the inside. From a young age, I was fascinated with fashion. I can still remember my favorite frothy, pink dress tied with a big bow in back that I wore with white tights and white patent Mary Jane’s shoes. My mother said that I insisted on wearing dresses and would rarely give anything else the time of day. And it’s not wonder! I felt beautiful in that dress.
As I grew up and spent time with my grandmother, Zelda Clara Hunter, an amazing person, seamstress and tailor. I would take her remnants and design them in to dresses for my “Barbie” dolls. Eventually, I would beg my grandmother to collaborate with me to sew the outfits inspired by the latest teen fashion magazines. When I finally learned to sew, I became obsessed with making outfits for myself.
Eventually, I went off to college. Coming to Austin, the creative “music capital of the USA”, was an exciting and fun time for me. While earning my Psychology degree from The University of Texas at Austin, I worked almost full-time. Though I was a first generation college student trying to help pay for school, I was more interested in spending my money and time on material for designing clothes to wear out to the various live-music concerts or to dance at the latest clubs. By the grace of God, I managed to stay in school and earn my degree. I like to think that I graduated with style!
Afterwards, I was fortunate with my BA in Psychology to work right away in for a booming Fortune 100 company. Quickly climbing to senior and strategic marketing management roles, I worked around the clock. When I wasn’t working (which was rarely) I followed my other passion: travel! I liked that my career was on the rise and that I could afford to travel. I loved that I met my amazing husband through work (he likes to say we met at a bar.) But, I began to feel something was missing.
I decided because I was crazy about fashion, I should study design. I enrolled in fashion design at the Art Institute in Portland, Oregon. This was a time of bliss. I discovered how much I enjoyed being creative! I was so happy that I decided it was a good time to have children. Blessed with a precious son then a few years later a precious daughter, I became completely focused on my kids. Once again, I put my passion for design on a shelf. I thought that was what I was supposed to do. Though I loved my family, I kept the deep secret of how unfulfilled l felt. I felt a deep since of shame that being a mom was not enough. Then the unthinkable happened: on my 43rd birthday, I found a lump under my arm. I was diagnosed with Stage III, breast cancer. Wow! What went wrong?
This diagnosis was my wake up call. My quest to heal myself took me on an incredible personal journey that helped me to find what was missing. I was missing me! I was this accumulation of everything that I though everyone else wanted me to be and I was no where in sight. Slowly, I began shedding the layers of other’s expectations and discovered my inner light, my connection with God. Aha-ha-ha-ha-haaa! I came alive. Since then, life has never been more amazing.
While I was going through cancer treatment, I kept a journal on CaringBridge. Writing this journal gave me the gifts of joy and inner healing. Through this exercise, my calling came to me: I am an inner light muse. Now, I am working on a book to share the story of that journey. Additionally, I continue my blogging to share my on-going insights and experiences inspired by my inner light.
It is my hope that I can help you to think about your truth, find the liberation to be yourself and pursue your dreams and live your biggest, most amazing self that you are intended to be. This can only happen when you connect to your inner light. Shining your own light not only brings out your true beauty, it makes the world a more beautiful place. Knowing, loving and honoring who you are, these are the keys to true happiness.
These days, I enjoy spending time designing a joyful life with my inner light, practicing meditative prayer, walking, writing, marketing, and volunteering at my children’s school, church and the community to help serve those in need, hanging out in Austin and traveling with my wonderful husband, two precious children, two sweet dogs and cat, and my friends.