What Have I Done? The Freedom Seeker and the Temple
I was staring up at the cloudless sky, listening to the waves crashing into the beach. My eyes were sore from crying, my body tired from the walk to the giant sand dunes of Punta Paloma beach. My head was full of visions and aspirations and in my belly a tickle I recognized as excitement.
The last six years had been a rewarding climb up the career ladder at a financial services company. I learned a lot about corporate America, sales, marketing, and even received personal mentorship from the president of the company. With a new title, my own office, and small raise, my boyfriend at the time and I moved into a gorgeous condo on Melville Street, complete with rooftop pool and 360 degree view of downtown Vancouver. From the outside looking in, my life was complete. I had it all, yet every morning I woke up feeling depressed.
I put in the time, no matter how long it took, collected many hours of unpaid overtime because I thought that once I get that promotion my life would get easier. One morning as I was putting myself together, I chose to take a little extra time for myself. It was going to be a long day. First 8 hours at the office followed by another 8 hours of schmoozing with clients. As I arrived about 30 minutes later than usual, I met my boss waiting for me in a power pose and tapping her foot. “Where have you been?” she asked. When I told her that I took some extra time for me considering the 15 hour day ahead of us, she was furious and told me to never let that happen again.
Later that night, when the cab dropped me and my colleague off, I overheard her boss thanking her for staying so late and not to worry about coming into the office the next morning. That was my enough moment. I felt all of my discontent and frustrations with the patriacial system of the corporate world and the unappreciation my boss had shown me erupt inside of me. I desperately needed a taste of REAL freedom. So I quit my “promising” career and traded my heels for Merrells, emptied my savings, and bought a one way ticket to Europe.
It was impulsive and illogical and many people, especially my boss, warned me about leaving great opportunities behind. But my longing for a fresh start, new places and faces was so much deeper than any fear of missing out on the next promotion. For the first time ever, I chose me and I did what my heart wanted.
Walking along this 10km stretch of wide open sand with my sights on reaching the infamous giant dune, I was flooded with emotions. I laughed and I cried, I kicked the sand and I screamed. Being alone as far as the eye could see and moving with the rhythm of the waves, the shell I had carefully crafted each morning before going to work, was cracking and I began to feel like myself again. It was the breakdown for the breakthrough.
Now that the tears were done, I sat there, the ocean creeping up to my toes and then receding. I looked upon Africa and felt a little like the Andalusian shepherd boy, Santiago, in Paulo Paelo’s masterpiece The Alchemist. Only I didn’t venture into the Sahara desert. I came back to Canada with a vision for a beautiful space where people come to rejuvenate and heal in a collective.
Upon my return I immediately registered Lotus Consulting Inc (inspired by the symbolism of how the Lotus has to grow through murky waters to finally bloom on the surface, strongly rooted and yet flexible to withstand current and wind). When I discovered how many millions I would need to create this magical place of pools and saunas, tranquility rooms and medicine tents, I gulped, rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I began by developing new skills and upgrading my resume so that I could have conversations with investors.
But the numbers were simply too big for me to absorb. And so I worked really hard as a business development consultant, traveling all across the Prairies to make my quotas and sales bonuses. I also did a deep dive into personal development. Actually, the more stressful my work became, the more I immersed myself into healing modalities. In the years since, I’ve spent hours in psychologist offices and on councillor couches. I have done sound therapy and constellation healing. I have been to psychics and hypnotherapists, I have done Reiki, EMDR, and other body talk therapy. I have sat with medicine men and I’ve walked on fire. I have talked to goddesses and spoke to my inner child. And all that work led me right back to my vision on the beach in Tarifa.
I was dining alone in Winnipeg on my birthday for the fourth year in a row when I knew I couldn’t ignore the voices of my inner wisdom any longer. I had fallen back into the trap of “when I make it to this, then I’ll be ok.” Burned out from twelve-hour days, neverending emails, airports, tradeshows and sleeping in hotel rooms, I began typing up my letter of resignation.
I know what it’s like to have limits imposed on you. I know how scary it is to leap into something new and unknown. I know what it’s like to have nothing and to have everything and still not feel fulfilled. The temple isn’t about fixing you, the temple is a place of healing. A sanctuary where you can reconnect with your innate feminine wisdom and be a sister to another woman because we can’t do it all alone. The world needs us but we can’t pour from an empty cup!
The Lotus Wellness Temple, for now, is a digital space for women to reconnect with their femininity, their innate wisdom, and other women.
My company Lotus Consulting Inc. continues to help people create thriving lives by identifying their core desires, restoring work life balance, and above all, focusing on self care and wellbeing. All of my work is informed by my deep desire for women to feel valued, beautiful, connected, and free. This is what the temple represents. A beautiful place for women to heal together through mentorship, learning, advocacy, and empowerment.