So I’m sitting in an intention circle in the middle of Londolozi Game Reserve and it’s my turn to set an intention. I think, God, I suck at this! Everyone else always has these amazing-sounding intentions are mine are always like, “Er… floss more?” You would then be as surprised as I was when this popped out of my mouth: “I want to live the wild life with faith and passion.” Boom. Huh?? Whoa, that sounds kind of major. So I quickly set out to forget I said it. But then, as the life I knew proceeded to unravel around me, the lovely women who were with me that day would remind me:
Them: “Remember that intention you set Bridge?”
Them: “You know, the one to live the wild life with faith and passion? It’s happening! You’re doing it!”
At that point I felt like I asked the universe for more than I could handle, I was getting a divorce, navigating a new relationship, and getting shaken to my very foundation. I definitely didn’t feel like being a “life coach!” with all kinds of “life coachy!” things going on. I spent a lot of time curled up in a ball. And in therapy. Yet oddly, I felt some peace. I went on some adventures. And eventually, people started to say I was glowing. Slowly, I started to let myself be happy. My life felt more expansive. Mostly because I was living more here in the moment, instead of there—being anywhere but here. I embraced those shadowy parts of myself I used to hate: that sometimes I’m needy, I really want to be loved, and I by far don’t always have my shit together. Instead of pushing all of this away and trying to be together, I acknowledged and loved that little girl who was scared and needed me to provide her with love, reassurance, worthiness, and stability. I realized that self-love is about meeting my needs, even when that feels hard and scary. I realized that happiness is embarking on the adventure and then fully savoring and enjoying the journey—because everything cool happens right in this moment, along the way.
I’m called to do this work because I spent many years as a disembodied head chasing the next high. Whether it was drugs, food, material things or experiences, I was always looking for the next hit. I felt broken inside. I was disconnected from my feelings and myself. I was seeking something. I tried to think my way forward instead of feeling. I tried to conform and not rock the boat. This pretty much felt like crap. Sort of a vague, unsettled, restless kind of crap.
And yet, I wanted. I wanted to be fulfilled. Deep down I always believed I could have it all. That I didn’t have to compromise to have what I wanted. That I could have my heart’s desires, even though my mind constantly told me I couldn’t, that I would be disappointed. I wanted to feel deeply. Experience life fully. Work playfully. I wanted to love completely and be loved.
I learned (am still learning every day) that I am not broken. That I do not need to be fixed. I learned that while changing my thinking provides the foundation for changing my life, it’s opening up to the full range of feelings that rockets me into completely new dimensions of the wild life. I learned that I don’t have to have my shit together. I learned that loving my shadow—those parts that I hated in myself—is the real key to self-love. I learned that there’s something to all that inner child business after all. I learned that being real and willing trumps looking good and knowing it all. I learned that I will probably always resist this knowledge and be re-learning it. And that’s totally ok.
I still struggle. And I’m happier than I’ve ever been. It’s more accurate to say I’m more peaceful than I’ve ever been. Happiness is just a part of the ocean of emotions (Hey! It rhymes!) and it ebbs and flows like all others. Peace is bedrock.
I’d like to share everything I’m learning with you. Because I believe with all my being, that’s what I’m supposed to do.
What do I do?
I am a Life Coach.
I fully own that title. I was born to lead and mentor people. I’m damn proud of what I do. The way I help people connect with themselves, peel away the layers of what’s not working, and start living their own version of the wild life. That’s a pretty cool gig in my book.
No, I am not a crystal-wearing, sage-burning, Universe-invoking, spirit-guide-channeling believer in the power of presence. Oh wait, I am! I’m also grounded, irreverent, and reverent, funny, saucy, and am not really into flowy clothing. (If you are, I’m sure your flowy duds are totally you. It’s just not me. I’m a jeans and t-shirt girl all the way.)
I have an amazing gig running Martha Beck’s company that tends to keep me busy. Yet I am also called to help you realize that you aren’t broken either. That you are a spiritual being. (Even the most cynical of you—yeah YOU—spiritual being baby, all the way.) That you can experience the fullness of life—all the lows and the highs—and that’s what we’re all here to do. That’s the wild life. We each have a contract with this life; things we signed up to learn and do. I want to help you discover what your contract is and embark on the adventure of your lifetime. Your “Hero’s Saga”. I will help you understand that just because you don’t feel happy all the time does not mean you are broken. Instead, you can find peace in knowing that your sadness/fear/anger/angst is as much a part of life as your joy/enthusiasm/delight/amazement/friskiness/optimism/playfulness. Living the wild life with faith and passion opens the door to the magic that’s still around every corner—the magic you thought you lost along with your favorite blankie.
Here’s the thing. I’m walking the path with you and figuring it out as I move forward, too. Right now I don’t know how my “coaching with people” will look. What I know for sure is that I’m compelled to build this website that feels like “me” and share with you what I’m learning through a series of ongoing conversations. I know that by creating this place, sharing my lessons and living the questions, more will unfold. That’s always the way it works. This is my way of living what I teach—living it to give it as Martha Beck says.
I know I’m going to do fun things here. And get real. Really real. And share what I’m learning. I sincerely hope you’ll come along for the ride. Right now, that means being part of the conversation, whether you are an active participant or simply thinking about how you’d like to be living more of your own wild life. There will be more later. Count on it.
Some people have described my coaching style as tough and tender. I don’t know about the tough part, but I do believe that helping you uncover your truth without sugarcoating is the best possible thing I can do as your coach. It is a tender thing, this uncovering of the truth, and so compassion, humor, and respect are integral to the process. I believe there’s nothing wrong with you. The work I do is about helping you find your deep rightness, not battling your wrongness.
I’m proud to be a Master Certified Martha Beck Life Coach, I’m also proud to be an endorsed Mind-Body Coach under the tutelage of one of my besties, Abigail Steidley. I’m also CEO of Martha Beck Inc. Seriously, I have the best job(s) in the world.
In my spare time, I love to visit beautiful places. I get outside whenever I can, spend time laughing with friends and family, and am trying to life-coach my dog Scruffy into barking less. The problem is, she doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with her. Damn, she’s right again.