My Sacred Contract

This is a very rough draft of the introduction to the book I’m writing on a realistic, trauma informed approach to manifesting.

Enjoy 🙂

The Catalyst

My dad died unexpectedly in December of 2010.

Thankfully, he had a heart attack while doing something he loved–riding his motorcycle–and likely died quickly enough to not really know what was happening before he crashed in Livingston, TX. His death was complicated emotionally, like all death is.

I was asked just  a few months before, “if your dad died today, would you have anything else you wished you’d said to him?” My parents had been divorced for years at this point, and the question was in response to an attempt to connect with him more emotionally and consistently, and realizing that he wasn’t available for that. I felt complete and content to love him from a distance.

So when he died, I grieved his death, but by then I’d grieved hiss loss multiple times already. When he left, when he relapsed, when I realized we’d never be close. So the biggest grief I felt when he died was knowing that the chance was gone forever and finally, that I’d ever have the kind of relationship with a dad that I wanted.

But his death sparked something in me

The year my dad died, I was in the middle of a four year long sobriety journey. I did the whole sha-bang: 12 step meetings, working with a sponsor, sponsoring others, treating the “big book” of alcoholics anonymous like my new manual for life. When my dad died, I clung to the rooms of AA for dear life to maintain my sobriety. There were days I’d go to four or more meetings, and as people started to get to know me, and see me and recognize me, those rooms felt more like home than ever.

I met a guy in recovery a few weeks before my dad died. I noticed “Matt” right away because the first time I saw him was at a 6:30 AM meeting that was full of people thirty years older than us. As someone who was my age, carrying an acoustic guitar, and who was also extremely HOT, he stood out. We connected right away and we both loved art and music. I fell for Matt hard and fast, but my sponsor at the time saw red flags at how intensely I felt for him, and encouraged me to go “no contact”. This meant I was to cut him off completely, no text, no calls, and to avoid him if I saw him in person.

I grieved this decision, but decided to follow through with “no contact” anyway, desperate to heal myself and feel better, and thinking that recovery was the answer.

And when my dad died, I got a major case of the “fuck its”.

Matt was the first person I called after I heard the news, and he was an immense comfort to me. We created art together, wrote songs together.

I also gave myself permission to finally start creating distance with the toxic church I’d been overly involved in for over ten years. That’s a story for another book, or maybe another chapter. We’ll find out soon.

And at some point during all of this, I started painting with craft acrylic paint on canvas and wood. I used rich jewel tones to express my feelings about 12-step recovery, confused spirituality, insecurity, sensuality. I depicted myself with orange and teal hair and I still see myself that way today.

This dive into painting unexpectedly launched my entrepreneurial journey in 2011.

It feels like so long ago that I don’t remember exactly how it started. I just remember that I was painting almost every day, and got the idea to show the paintings and sell them. I even found a studio to photograph my work and digitize it so I could create professional giclee prints to scale what I was selling. I started participating in “ghetto art shows” where anyone could pay $25 for a week, and put a bunch of art on a wall in someone’s rented house, and try to get sales every month.

My interest in painting and selling, along with my desire to share more about my original music led me to start my first blog (which I sold in 2020 when the blog went semi-viral in an unexpected direction that I wasn’t interested in).

The start of my blog propelled me from being an executive assistant into a career in website development and marketing. I was unqualified but learned quickly, and it was the first time in my life I found something I was interested in enough to do for a living.

I became a marketer. And I was good at it.

My dad’s death was a catalyst for so much change in my life. I gave myself permission to finally start leaning into, just a little, what I actually wanted.

Who did I want to date if no one was telling me who I could and couldn’t date? What would God look like to me if no one was forcing me into a belief system? What would my life look like when no one was telling me what to do? What could my career look like if I believed in myself?

The most painful thing

My relationship with Matt was intense and comforting, and quickly turned painful and chaotic. My sponsor’s intuition was right and Matt broke up with me so he could start drinking again and doing meth without impacting my sobriety. Our breakup was excruciating.

But it was just another excruciating breakup of many I had. My dad left my mom when I was fourteen years old, and my boyfriend at the time cheated on me just a few months later. I cemented my belief that all men are liars and cheaters, and constantly felt like I was being ripped to shreds in agony every time I dated someone. When I was seventeen I felt chronic intense anxiety for months after a breakup. I would drive by his house and wonder whose car was there, or where he was if his car was gone, terrified I would see him with someone but unable to stop myself.

Then, I got really clear in 2011 on what I wanted out of dating and relationships. I worked with a mentor, went to group therapy, and then met my husband.

My husband: stable, nurturing, secure. He had an impact on me I wasn’t expecting, which was helping me feel calm and sane, and increasing my belief in myself. I became much more ambitious in my career as a result and got my first full time marketing position in 2013.

I always assumed that dating and relationships would be the most painful part of my existence, forever. It’s amazing how dating a secure attached man changed that so quickly. I tried to catch him in a lie, or abandoning me somehow, and he never did.

We’ve been married since 2015.

When money became the thing

The first time I remember consciously worrying about money was when I was about seven years old. We moved from one neighborhood in Houston to another, and I must have been able to sense my parents’ stress, because I was worried enough to ask my mom, “How much did it cost to move?” She answered a number that felt astronomical.

I remember comparing our house to my friends’, or wanting to live in certain neighborhoods by the water. I felt envious of one of my classmates who always wore beautiful, frilly dresses.

We were a perfectly middle class, maybe lower middle class family, family by the way. My parents were frugal, but we went out to dinner once a week or so. My sister, mom and I would go to Ross a few times each summer and try on tons of clothes. We cared about prices, but still bought things we wanted and not just needed. My mom seemed annoyed and uptight when I needed unexpected school supplies, but we always bought them.

Where did this money anxiety come from, then?

I’m sure it came from my parents, and messages from the world, but why did my parents have money anxiety if we had everything we needed? I carried this worry about money with me through the years. My sister and I started hourly work when we were fourteen, and we loved earning money.

As we got closer to high school graduation , I knew there was no way I would consider college. My brother graduated early and did a program where he could work part time and finish high school the rest of the time. My sister moved to Galveston to move with my dad and get a massage therapy license.

Then something changed, as things tend to do.

In highschool I found a church on my own to become involved in. I played in the band for two services every Sunday, came to rehearsal twice a week, and attended the Youth Group. When I was seventeen I went on my first ever mission trip, and then when I graduated high school, instead of going to college like everyone else, I went on one of many mission trips to Mexico and then Kenya.

All the traveling I was doing made me realize I was a natural at linguistics and learning other languages. And at the time, I loved going on mission trips. I thought my calling was to become a professional linguist and translate the Bible into unwritten languages through Wicliff Bible Translators.

Just one problem: in order to join them, I had to have a college degree.

It was in Kenya where I met a fellow aspiring missionary and optometrist. I told him about my dream to become a bible translator, and my fear of student loans and the cost of college in general. He let me know he had over $80,000 in student loans and for some reason, that comforted me.

That was when I decided I would go to college.

I only needed a few thousand dollars in student loans, and I worked part time and then full time to keep up with expenses and minimize loans.

Even then, I constantly worried about money, feared I wouldn’t have enough, and felt poor.

My husband made close to six figures, but all I could do was focus on his debt. I excelled in my marketing career, but often took jobs that lowballed the salary and promised I’d work my way up.

I now see so clearly how I kept myself small because I believed that’s all I could be.

That belief alone was enough to impact my reality, and it was painful to unravel.

My Sacred Contract

Carolyn Myss, bestselling author of the Anatomy of the spirit, wrote a book called Sacred Contracts. She found that when people don’t understand their purpose in life the result can be depression, anxiety, fatigue, and even physical illness.

Our Sacred Contracts are the reason why we are here, and they are unique to all of us as individuals. In coming to terms with our Sacred Contracts, we awaken our full potential and shine meaning on our existence.

I’ve seen it in myself, and also with clients: most of us have an “achilles heel”struggle that sharpens us like an ax throughout our whole life. We have many struggles, of course, but one or a few that are our biggest burdens to carry, and also bring the biggest lessons.

I thought mine would be relationships, because I learned so much and experienced so much pain.

I had no idea it would be about mindset, and learning how to be an intentional creator of my reality.

That’s what this book is about. a

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