I grew up in East Los Angeles in a city called Huntington Park. As a child I remember feeling like I was surrounded by grey concrete. It was everywhere. And it was dirty. By the time I was a teenager I felt constricted living in the city. The air felt like it was suffocating me. I knew that I had to leave as soon as I graduated High School. I moved out at the age of 17 and went to college. I never looked back. I knew that I would be OK.
I graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and was living in one of the most beautiful areas in California now. I didn’t want to leave the area so I took on many jobs in order to stay.
However, just ten short years after graduating from High School, I found myself suffocating again… this time in a relationship. I married someone who had a lot of issues involving drugs and alcohol. At the time, I thought that I could fix him but the truth is we can’t fix anyone else, right?
By this time, we had two small children and I had gone back to school to get my teaching credential. I knew deep in my gut that I would be the primary caretaker and breadwinner for my children and I wanted to have a career that would lend itself to that. It wasn’t easy. I was completing my student teaching during the day and taking classes at night.
I did it! I received my teaching credential and was able to start substitute teaching right away. We moved to a ranch where the boys would have lots of room. But we didn’t stop there; we bought chickens, pigs and calves. I thought it important for my boys to know where food comes from.
However, my husband started working out of the country thousands of miles away. He would leave for months at a time. Now, I was raising my boys on my own.
He returned home for a visit one Christmas when the boys were 3 and 5 years old. When we drove him back to the airport, I knew in my gut that we would never see him again and I was right! I went a whole year without a word from him and I finally filed for divorce. I was broken. I felt like a failure.
Even though I was hurting worse than I ever had in my life, and at times I did not want to go on…I did go on… because I’m the mom of two precious boys and I had a classroom of 25 kids that needed me!
I had to move forward. I knew there was more for me to do.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH TEACHING
I fell into teaching third grade and I loved it. It was my passion for more than 20 years. While at Virginia Peterson Elementary School, I found myself bridging education with agriculture and environmental studies. Children love being outdoors and can learn so much through discovery and exploration. I learned through previous experiences that even the toughest of kids can be taught when given opportunity and responsibilities in an outdoor classroom.
I wanted to transform education and inspire other teachers that they could teach outdoors too. I designed, developed and built (with a lot of help) a 5,500 square foot garden. I wrote school-garden curriculum for the State Department of Education and created local after school garden programs and vermicomposting clubs.
Teaching kids about vermicomposting was fun. I created a booklet to teach the students what food scraps they could save at lunchtime to feed to the worms. The food scraps were even weighed for an entire year for a project in order to calculate how much waste was being diverted from the landfill. The community, PTA and other organizations became involved as well. I am proud to say that the garden at Peterson is still thriving today!
My boys had always been my “Why” and teaching gave me a purpose in my life. With my why and purpose in my life, I began thinking about the future.
FOLLOWING MY PASSION
What did my future look like now as a single mom? I wanted to learn about saving and investing money. My friend, Gail, told me about a book called “Start Late, Finish Rich” by David Bach. Wow, did that open my eyes and it was so easy to read and understand. My self discovery of financial education began.
At the same time, salesmen were always coming into the school during our lunches to sell their companies financial products. They said that our pension wasn’t enough and that we should buy what they were selling, but I was wary. They were not providing any education about what they were selling. Instead, their jargon was complicated and very confusing.
Even though I didn’t have a background in financial planning (yet) I knew something was off. I wasn’t going to buy something that I didn’t understand.
I decided that I owed it to myself and my family to get educated about how money and investing work. I wanted to learn not only for myself but for my colleagues as well.
I signed up with a financial services company and started an online course. After a lot of studying, I was fully licensed in six months. I’m a financial advisor now! I started helping my friends and educating as many people as I could.
At this time, my sons had both graduated high school and were living on their own and I had married my best friend, Steve. Steve is a wonderful man and has always supported me in my endeavors.
Over the next 5 years, I worked two jobs and had an intense schedule. But I had a plan and I worked it. I made a plan to transition and I quit teaching in 2015. Some people thought that I was crazy to leave a salaried “good” teaching position for a career that had no guarantees, but I knew better.
It was definitely scary to quit teaching but I had a firm belief in myself, and I knew that I was being led. I was being led to do more and to be more. I was being led to help others.
You see, some other things happened between 2012 and 2015 and I’m going to go into some detail next.
“WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO BETWEEN NOW AND DEAD?”
In 2012, my whole world was turned upside down. My mom passed away. We didn’t know that she was ill until the end and then she was gone in two weeks. I was in shock. She was my rock and my best friend! When something good happened, I called her. When something bad happened, I called her. I felt lonely in a way that I can’t express in words.
She had pre planned her Celebration of Life. Her church was packed as she was loved by many. After her service, one of the pastors told me that he felt that something “big” was going to happen to me in the next year. I felt it, too.
One month later I joined a new financial services company. I started to listen to my gut, my instinct and my intuition. I was still teaching and working two careers at this time. Yet, I started on another journey as well. I started on the journey of personal transformation.
I started to question everything! I started to be aware of anything!
The following month, the timing was right, and I invested in a one day retreat in Santa Barbara with a coach that I had heard on the local radio.
It was January 12th, 2013.
He took us on a hike up the Santa Barbara hills and we did an exercise that had us evaluate our lives. Before I knew it, the tears were streaming down my face (and I’m not a crier) and I realized that I had regrets and hurt feelings and I cried some more. Then, the coach took us to the stunning Santa Barbara cemetery. It is located right on the coast. With our backs to the ocean and looking at all of the tombstones, we realized that they all have one thing in common – two dates and a dash in between them. The coach reminded us that a cemetery is a field of forgotten dreams and is filled with regrets for not living one’s dreams. All of those thousands of lost dreams…
Then he reminded us that we are living our “dash” right now. He said, “What are YOU going to do between now and dead?”
I felt it in my gut this time. The tears weren’t coming. Instead, there was a surge of energy in my body and I knew that my life was meant for more! It was almost a feeling of pure panic! I knew that from that moment on I was a changed person. There was no way that I was ready to die without fulfilling my life’s purpose! But, what was it?
I was an elementary teacher. I was teaching many lives. Was that it?
I was in financial services educating and helping people. Was that it?
Was I happy? Did I feel fulfilled? Was I living in joy?
I didn’t know. But I knew that the answer was there somewhere so I started reading books and listening to audios – my personal development journey began! I read and listened to Stephen Covey, Jim Rohn, John Maxwell, Brian Tracey, Tony Robbins, Malcom Gladwell, Darren Hardy, and T. Harv Eker to name a few.
A couple of years later, I participated in a “boot camp” — a mentoring program led by a leader in the financial services industry. I became a mentor in the program and created my own courses along with a colleague.
I mentored and helped a lot of people and thoroughly enjoyed it. I not only taught them business skills but also to believe in themselves. I was getting closer. I could feel it.
MY PERSONAL BREAKTHROUGH
I was good at writing my business plan, setting goals, and figuring out the strategies, systems and processes. I set huge goals for myself as I knew that I was meant for more. I believed in my goals…
But, the truth was that I didn’t believe in me.
I was setting the same goal and not achieving it, and then setting it for the next year and not achieving it. I needed to find out what was going on.
I craved information and learning even more now. I started reading and listening to Bob Proctor, Mary Morrissey, Dr. Joe Dispenza, and Peggy McColl and taking their programs. I started to learn about paradigms and limiting beliefs.
I got to the point where I realized there was something deeper I needed to focus on. I needed to look inward. I didn’t know what I was doing but I found a quiet spot in my house and set my phone timer for five minutes. I called this my “silent practice”. This was the opposite of prayer for me. When you pray, you talk to God, and in my “silent practice” I was listening. And I began on a journey of transformation. This transformation led me to understand who I am and what I’m supposed to do.
Looking on the inside for the answers was the key for me. We tend to all get so busy looking on the outside for conditions or circumstances or for other people to bring us the answer. I now call this “meditation” and I meditate every morning for at least fifteen minutes.
Establishing habits, being efficient and taking inspired action has also been important in my transformation. Some of my daily habits include: meditation, journaling, praying, keeping a gratitude journal, visioning, listening to my life script, listening to videos, reading, exercising and preparation for the next day. It is important to nurture the mind, body and soul!
In January of 2019, I felt a deep calling to take my teaching skills and experiences and use them to help others. To teach others how to trust that they too are meant for something greater, that they can dream again, that they can be, do or have anything they desire, that they can be excited and look forward to each and every day with joy, love and anticipation!
I laid the foundation for my new business and started teaching workshops locally. I was getting amazing feedback from people attending my events.
MY DREAM LIFE / HELPING OTHERS
Today, I am living the life of my dreams. Growing up in East Los Angeles as a child my dream was to live near the beach! And I do. My favorite thing to do is to surf and I get out in the water often. I have a great relationship with my husband. We own a cabin in the mountains and we love to play in the snow! We are able to travel when we want to and can often be found at our place in Baja, Mexico on the Sea of Cortez.
Now, I’m teaching and providing programs to people that want a real transformation and breakthrough in their lives. My mission is to inspire others to live and love their dream life!
I help people just like you to…
- dream again and feel good about wanting more
- gain clarity about and create the life that you would love
- find your center and know that you are abundant, loved and worthy
- break through paradigms that hold you back from what you deserve
- learn how your thoughts and feelings create your results
- balance physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual goals
- be inspired to move forward with what you really want
- be excited and confident about who you really are
If you’re committed to living a life you love, contact me to schedule a time to gain clarity about your next steps.