At the end of 2014, grief sucker-punched me in the back of the head.
When my very recent ex-boyfriend decided to take his own life as I vacationed with my family for the holidays, loss knocked the wind straight from my body and brought me to my knees. Literally, standing my mom’s garage in the middle of the night while talking to a detective and trying not to wake up everyone with my cries.
I remember that moment clearly because it was the moment I cracked so far open, pieces of me went missing, some of them permanently.
Everything about me, my life, my business, and my path changed in a single instant. In ways I wouldn’t understand for years to come. In ways that would test and challenge me more than anything ever has.
The fact is that, the trauma of this loss broke me — also literally.
Over the following months my brain began deteriorating rapidly. To the point that I couldn’t put my own life story in order, let alone remember what I did the day before. I would sit in front of my computer and just cry because I couldn’t remember half the clients on my list, nor could I remember how to code websites… something I’d been doing well and often for years.
I had PTSD and it was bad.
When I couldn’t handle one more day, I asked a friend and mentor if he could help. We immediately scheduled a healing process, and after two intense and painful hours, I woke up the next day with most of my memory and ability to work back.
During this experience I learned that this particular process worked with the concept of the void. The idea that all of the good stuff we’re seeking exists just beyond this pocket of nothingness… that terrifying space of unknown, darkness, and depth we’re often too afraid to explore, because it can feel like we’re actually dying. It’s by moving through this pocket that we connect with what we’re seeking. Truth, peace, love, purpose, trust, faith, source, and divine wisdom.
I became obsessed with this concept of dropping through the void. Because in my life personally, it’s proved to be EVERYTHING in creating what I desire, healing, finding purpose, knowing who I am and who I’m becoming.
The void is terrifying and magical and the gateway everything amazing.
In addition to discovering a name for this void that I'd actually experienced many times in my life unknowingly, I was introduced to The Hero’s Journey, a narrative pattern created by Joseph Campbell. It consists of twelve core steps and three essential phases that are the basis of every myth, story, book, or movie. The Hero’s Journey also works with this concept of the void — that moment we cross the threshold into the deep underbelly of our journey (or “adventure”), facing death and rebirth, and called to grow in truly challenging and life changing ways.
I began to study this narrative pattern, and again, became utterly obsessed.
The Hero’s Journey began to serve as a framework for how to truly rise up and come back from the most awful, heartbreaking chapter of my life. It was the missing piece I needed to finally choose to pull myself out of the grips of grief, to do the healing work, and to understand the purpose of the path where I was walking.
And not just “everything happens for a reason and one day you’ll see all the good and gifts and blah blah blah...” It was a key that not only served my own healing and recovery, but made clear what was next for me in every area of my life.
It served as a much needed map in a confusing and chaotic time.
Since all of the discoveries and work, I’ve learned so much about what it means to truly rise up and come back from the darkest, hardest chapters of our lives.
And it’s not just about coming back, it’s about what happens once you do, because the journey has altered you.
How do you now navigate your relationships? Your work? Your sense of self? How do you reorient to the world around you in a way that serves your continual growth and honors the person you’ve become in the process? How do you take all that you’ve uncovered and learned, the lessons and the gifts, and integrate them in a lasting way? And how do you actually step into what’s next? The work… the new way of being… the most supportive relationships?
This is the fun and incredibly challenging part.
For me, this was like ending my relationship with a man I had believed the love of my life, pulling down seven years of content and programs from my website, stepping away from all expectation and obligation, and extricating myself from relationships, and experiences that no longer aligned. It was the setting of new boundaries that supported my highest good… whatever that meant in each area of my life, as well as each individual relationship. It was also a heap of untangling around the core patterns, beliefs, and wounds that had been running me since childhood, all so I could clean the slate that was “me” and create a blank canvas for a life. fully ready and able to step into what has been always meant to come next.
At any given time we’re all on a hero’s journey. We can be on journeys inside journeys inside journeys, depending on how we choose to look at things.
The Hero’s Journey is the story arc of your life, of this season of living you’re in, of certain chapters you’ll walk through. Journey Mapping, on the other hand, is my process for how we navigate the journey’s we’re walking. How we make sense of them, find meaning within them, grow because of them.
Journey Mapping is especially important when it comes to rising up and coming back in the aftermath of life’s most challenging chapters… because these are the chapters that strip us bare and feel impossible to survive at times.
Again, this can be because of massively awful and horrible life experiences… or it can be the result of a big life transition… it can also just be a crisis: you’re at a point in your life where you’re not sure who you are anymore, let alone what you want.
Journey Mapping is designed to help navigate this process so that you can become who you’re here to be and start doing the work you’re here to do. It’s about purpose.
Purpose in your life, purpose in your work, purpose in your relationships, and purpose in the path you’re currently walking.
If you'd like to learn more about my Journey Mapping Process and how to begin creating a map of where you are in your own journey, you can get instant access below!
This process has been developed from my own journey, and I've watched it impact the lives of my clients deeply over the last two years. In this training, I'll walk you through the process in detail so you can begin to: