Overachiever is my middle name. Well, it may as well have been. A straight-A student with insatiable curiosity and boundless determination, I sure did love me those gold stars. And my drive for success was paired with a deep desire to serve the world. But how? A sensitive soul with an open heart, I’d lay awake wondering, “How can I make a difference? How can I do better, be better, and have more fun along the way?”
The first glimmer of an answer came during college. To be more precise, it was during my Psychology 101 class at Duke University while we were learning about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The moment I saw self-actualization at the top of the pyramid, I tingled with delight. That’s IT! That’s what I want to do with my life … self-actualize! Why not aim high?
If only it was that easy to achieve my full potential—this unknown, undefined capacity dressed as a destination. I soon discovered that no traditional path would lead me to that level of satisfaction or contribution. Had I found a corporate ladder with a guarantee of self-actualization at the top, I would have happily climbed it. But a ladder like that is a myth. As is the belief that anyone can know better than you what is “right” for your life. Know thyself is the name of the game. My own journey of self-discovery and fulfillment has been nonlinear, confusing, thrilling, and unspeakably rewarding.
I have successfully reinvented myself several times. Or perhaps it hasn’t been “reinventing” so much as it’s been continually learning and evolving—immersing myself fully in each job and each phase of my life until I felt complete and ready to move on. Then I’d bring my new skills and wisdom to the next job or role or chapter, where I’d proceed to create and grow more.
After raising millions of dollars for social change and environmental protection, I went on to consult for mission-driven organizations and leaders. I loved creating and hosting a live radio show about passion and joy in work and life. Through vibrant interviews and intimate conversations, I connected listeners worldwide with people who make great things happen through film, books, media, business, and social action. Whether I was interviewing an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, New York Times bestselling author, or spiritual luminary, we dove deep into the meat and juice of life.
I have coached business owners, entrepreneurs, and writers, and and I have coauthored several books about personal growth, professional development, and spirituality. The book I wrote with Buddhist monk Venerable Bhante Sujatha, Sitting on the Toolbox: Buddha’s Wisdom for a Joyful Life, won a Nautilus Award.
But that’s just the professional side of the coin. Personally, I have navigated marriage, motherhood, divorce, single parenting, raising two amazing young men, beating cancer, dating at midlife, co-creating a fantastic relationship with a true partner, and now, empty nesting. I haven’t gone it alone. Throughout my own challenges and transitions, I have read, meditated, cried, laughed, danced, and grieved. I have turned to friends and family, therapists and coaches. I have muddled along at times and soared at others. Slowly but surely, I have searched my soul and done unflinching inner work.
I am having more fun than ever in my ongoing quest to self-actualize and contribute to others and the world. These days I coach accomplished, dynamic people who are motivated to step fully into their greatness. Dare I say, I have never felt more on purpose. I am energized and inspired. I would love the same for you.
If you want to elevate your life or business and step fully into your greatness—let’s have a conversation.