I hope you are asking yourself, "why should I invest my valuable time and energy to follow this Train For Life empowerment campaign?" I think it is an important question to ask and pausing to inquire is a great place to start. So, I will help you answer this question by asking you more questions. Are you are interested in changing the course of your life, improving your health and well-being, and finding a greater sense of purpose, peace, and happiness? If you are, I say take a chance and follow this campaign because you deserve to thrive in all areas of your life. However, I will put out a disclaimer: I don’t have the answers, you do, and this campaign is designed to help you find them.
Who in the world doesn’t want to feel healthy, happy, and whole? Since the beginning of time, human beings have been on a quest to find the secret to achieving perfect health and happiness, and history seems to link the two together like the fibers of a tightly woven rope. You can feel healthy and happy independently, but when you experience both, life seems to bring with it a sense of peace and wholeness. Centuries of research have influenced opinion and theory around how to find the ideal balance, but despite the effort, there is still no perfect answer. So, the search continues.
You will be invited to pause and ponder often throughout this campaign and I will start with this question, could becoming more aware of what makes you feel healthy, happy and whole, be a good place to start? Our society teaches us to seek outside of ourselves for answers, satisfaction and fulfillment, which steers us in the wrong direction. What makes us feel healthy, happy and whole requires us to turn inward for direction and affirmation. Unfortunately, most of us have been ill-equipped and not encouraged to take this self-focused journey. This campaign will invite you to dig deep, to ask yourself powerful questions, to pause often and to trust yourself and the process. You will be encouraged to search inside yourself for the answers you seek; and it is there that you will find them. It is an honor and privilege to share my life’s work with you and I hope this campaign helps you reach a deep state of happiness and satisfaction in your life by feeling emotionally, physically and spiritually healthy, happy and whole. If you only read this post, I hope you will at least consider pausing more. It is in these moments that life slows down, so you have time to notice what it feels like to be awake. What a great place to be.
In Good Health and Happiness,
My Story… the Authentic Truth
Your life’s experience, the people you spend time with along the way, your genetic wiring and the many dimensions of your life impact who you are today. So pausing and journeying backwards is a great way to put your life into perspective.
My Journey Backward and Why I Do What I Do
A few career highlights - I have worked in the health industry for over 25 years and have 15+ years of experience in corporate wellness and population health and organizational change management. I have been fortunate to help organizations institutionalize intervention strategies focused on improving well-being, engagement, and human performance. I have launched 2 health advocacy companies and have held executive positions at several health management companies.
I was part of the launch team for Elegant Bride Magazine and the NFL Carolina Panthers, and I worked in Manhattan for Vogue Magazine during the era that inspired the movie The Devil Wears Prada. I am a three-time National Sport-aerobics Champion, and I have facilitated over 10,000 hours in yoga, meditation, and mindfulness training. I was an ambassador on the first White House National Physical Fitness Day team, co-stared in a kickboxing video with boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard and was an on-air host for News 14 promoting health and total well-being for over 5 years. I am an avid health advocate and I love public speaking and facilitating programs on empowerment, readiness to change, holistic health, and overall well-being in the private, public, and non-profit sector.
In 2015 I launched Empower Health America (EHA), a research and evidence-based engagement and health advocacy company whose vision is “To transform lives, communities, organizations, and the world by encouraging self-study and empowering mindful action.”
So, what motivates me to dedicate my life to helping people thrive and what was the catalyst that inspired me to launch Empower Health America?
I could credit my decision to the decades of research I have conducted in and around health and well-being, but the true motivation came from a deeper place. It was my own life struggles. I am grateful for the many wonderful opportunities and blessing I have experienced in my life time, but I have learned more from the adversity than I have from the successes. Looking at my life you might say what adversity? However, somewhere early on I lost my way. I was the oldest of 5 children with 3 half-brothers and 1 half-sister, my mom was married 3 times and so was my dad. Needless to say, being part of a fractured family, moving constantly, attending 7 different schools growing up and living in environments which provided very little emotional support or stability created a foundation built on quicksand. I made most of my decisions from a place of fear, I became fiercely independent, hyper responsible, an over achiever, self-critical and a person who was eager to play the role of care taker and peacemaker. These traits were a toxic combination for me, which lead to low self-esteem and a hard fought 15 year battle with an eating disorder. I did not like myself or my life for a long time and when I paused to look at my reflection in the mirror my internal dialog was painful to listen too. My story may pale in comparison to most but what we do have in common is we have all dealt with adversity at some point in our lives. Adversity showed up like a brick wall and I couldn’t figure out how to get around it. The sadness remained for a long time, like an airplane circling the runway with no place to land. I did have a ray of hope which I found through exercise. It was my happy place and it seemed to quite the noise in my head which gave me temporary relief from my negative thoughts. However, the healing process didn’t begin until I divorced at age 36 and was introduced to yoga and meditation. I believe they both changed the trajectory of my life. I learned how to pause, to be present in the moment and to feel. Yoga and meditation gave me the hope and confidence to change the way I viewed myself and the world around me. The change process is hard but not impossible. We all have the capacity to make changes in our life and we don’t have to stay stuck in unhealthy patterns of thinking or behavior. I know because it took me a long time to give myself permission to pause long enough to process though the pain, to figure out what was important to me and that I deserved to be healthy, happy and whole. I continue to take hits along the way but it is easier to stay the course because I trust myself. Today I stand in my power because I know my truth; I make intentional decisions that align with my core values. I choose hope instead of fear, love instead of hate, and faith rather than self-reliance. I choose to live from a place of abundance instead of deficiency, to be grateful instead of judgmental, and to hear "yes you can" rather than "no you can’t." My own experiences and challenges have helped me realize that there are many facets of my life that impact my health and happiness. My ability to pause and to stay awake to the things that bring me joy is the way I choose to navigate through life.
When your path has been dark and you find the light you want to help others do the same. This is the reason I do what I do.
I was fortunate to have some amazing people who helped me become the person I am today. Each one of you showed me grace, gave me support and believed in me. Thank you, Oran Perry, Jim Clark, Ben Derrick, Lynn Evans, Pam Hawthorne, Don Addison, Suzanne Bergen, my grandmother Faith who was my rock and my one of a kind mom Billie who has always challenged the status quo and loved life with childlike abandon. I dedicate the Dare to go Deeper reading to all of you and to anyone who needs to hear these words.
Dare To Go Deeper
Dare to go deeper because you can, see your potential because it is possible and believe in yourself because you are powerful.
Practice self-care daily and take intentional pauses throughout the day to connect with your thoughts and feelings. Show yourself and others compassion through your words and actions and learn from the lessons life teaches you. Practice the art of letting go, live boldly, laugh often, and always be true to yourself.
Keep a playful spirit so you can embrace new things freely, an open mind so the doorway to possibilities is always wide and an open heart so you don’t miss an opportunity to love yourself and others.
Live intentionally from a place of gratitude, don’t judge, be curious, align your passion with your purpose and pause often to celebrate this beautiful journey called life.
Find your truth and it will light your path to peace and happiness.
“Light the world up by being uniquely and authentically you.” – Terrie Elizabeth Reeves
Learn how EHA is empowering individuals, leaders, teams, and organizations to THRIVE.