The Fall of 2013 was probably one of the roughest times of my life. I had just experienced a confusing breakup and was pouring my heart into a job where I felt overworked and under-appreciated. Though I'd had ups-and-downs before, this time I really felt lost.
I looked for answers as hard as I knew how at the time. I visited a therapist, leaned heavily on my friends and even heavier on the party scene every weekends. Nothing seemed to help and each week, I would just go through the same motions. Shortly after the breakup, I remember having an urge to go to church. I had always been hesitant when it came to religion, so this was a big step for me. After several hours of research, I picked a friendly-looking, non-denominational congregation and visited one Sunday. I remember hoping I'd find some sort of solace in that visit. Some sense of confirmation or direction. Truly, I don't even remember what the sermon was about, but I know I spent most of it crying. I hurried out, trying to avoid eye-contact with everyone in my path, but knowing I probably wouldn't be back anytime soon. I remember having this feeling that there was something better. A path where answers were clear and happiness was a given, but I had no idea where to find it.
Though I was struggling to understand how I could heal myself mentally and spiritually, I was truly passionate about self care and (outside from my binge drinking on the weekends), tried to maintain a good routine of self-care. Part of that included working out and regular visits to chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists. In early 2014, just a few days before my 28th birthday, I was able to score a coveted appointment with Dave, a massage therapist in town who was extremely specialized and very difficult to get into. I left the appointment feeling the best I'd felt in years...at least physically and immediately scooped up any available appointment on his schedule. Over the course of my next few sessions, Dave shared his philosophies on life and healing with me. Dave's office was laden with crystals and Native American artifacts, he talked about life and healing in a way I'd never heard about before. His point of view (while very different from anything I'd ever been exposed to before) was refreshing.
During one visit, he offered up the title of a book that he credited with transforming his life, The Power of Intention, by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I recall him saying that as soon as he read it, his life started to change in a tremendous way. I didn't know what to expect, but I desperately wanted such a change. I rushed home and downloaded a copy. While I struggled through some of the thoughts in the book, I read it with a desperately open mind. With each chapter, I filled my journal with notes and positive affirmations, sensing this was the start of something prolific.
Though I prayed every night before bed, I was still uncertain about structured religion. There was something about it that I couldn't wrap my mind around. To be honest, it was slightly scary to me. At the time, I lived in the Bible Belt of the Midwest where religion seemed very exclusive. I constantly received the message that there was a "wrong" or "right" way. In my heart, I felt everyone was worthy of love and acceptance.
While I initially struggled through some of the concepts in The Power of Intention, I was comforted by the decidedly spiritual, yet relaxed tone. I didn't feel like I was being pushed to believe something was "wrong" or "right," I was being taught that there was an infinitely loving and abundant Source. Both the language and the message put me at peace. For once, it was okay to simply trust that there was a higher power watching over me; I felt no pressure to do anything other than be in-sync with Source (though I was, admittedly, still unsure what this entailed fully...but that was okay).
As I look back at the journal I kept while I was reading The Power of Intention, it is filled with beautiful affirmations and reminders. Without me even realizing it, I started to feel better; to feel hopeful. I began following Dr. Dyers work, soaking in his wisdom and peace. I watched episodes of him on Oprah's SuperSoul Sunday, which led me to other spiritual leaders like Marianne Williamson and Gabrielle Bernstein. Though I was by no means transformed overnight, I was on the right path. I resisted changing my behaviors, but I was open to changing my mind and listening to the Universe as opposed to relying on only myself. This openness to listening led me to places I would have never imagined.