*waves a hearty hello*
I’m Deb, ass-kicking Courage and Authenticity Coach helping sacred rebels wake up and shake up their true selves to create meaning and impact through their work.
I’m talking about believing in yourself so strongly that the world can’t help but believe in you too!
I’m a Molotov cocktail in Hello Kitty packaging who’s been navigating trauma for the last 30+ years, weaving those truths into commercial fiction for the last 8, coaching visionary women for the last 3, and firing glitter cannons since I realized I actually do like the color pink. I’m known to blend personal development principles with a little bit of woo (energy, intuitive gifts, chakras, auras, and all that jazz!) and a whole lotta love to help you build the courage to be seen on your journey of expression, personal freedom, leadership, and belonging. Your voice needs to be heard!
I’ve snorkeled the Palancar Reef and stood on the pyramids of Teotihuacan. I’ve crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and shed tears at the 9/11 Memorial. And I’ve traversed my own personal dark night of the soul (read: posttraumatic stress disorder) to come out the other side with a few scars, a deeper love of self, and an immovable commitment to live a life true to me.
And now I’m committed to helping you create that for yourself.
(Not the scars part, the self-love and live-true-to-yourself part.)
Best part? You don’t have to wait for someday.
Living Happily EPIC After… RIGHT NOW!
Every day I get to live my Soul Song!!! I get to sleep in-wahoo!!! (What? That’s a big deal to me, hehe. #nojudging) I get to have deep, meaningful conversations with fulfillment seekers and big dreamers, helping them embrace courage and achieve breakthroughs. I get to pursue my passions in writing. I get to speak on podcasts and stages, spreading this message that you can and you will and you are exactly the right person to do this Big Thing!!! I get to attend business retreats and conferences, meeting other amazing women leaders all the time as we engage in both business dialogues and phenomenal, life-affirming conversations.
I get to experience a deep, deep connection with my spouse that has only grown more fulfilling as I’ve traveled this road of following my Soul Song. I get to live reassured that I don’t have to sacrifice relationships and connection to be a powerful woman leader. In fact! My relationships have expanded because of this journey-my tribe swelling to include the best mentors, coaches, peers, and clients a girl could ever ask for!
And, super important to me, I get to travel the world (last year I took 19 trips to 17 different cities) as I live my Happily EPIC After, creating meaning and impact in everything I do.
It’s life exactly as I design it to be, with joy, fulfillment, adventure, and feeling ALIVE… all anchored by my own set of rules.
But it hasn't always been this way...
It used to be a lot, LOT worse.
October 16, 2008.
I lay on the credit union floor, tummy down and fingers pressed against the rough industrial carpet as the gunman closed the door to our office. I was working as an assistant manager at the time-one more job in a long list of disappointments. I’d left my last administrative job to “put up my sails and see where the wind takes me” (actual words I used in my resignation letter), though working in a mom & pop credit union wasn’t exactly what I’d had in mind. It kinda fell into my lap as a temporary job that accidentally turned into a permanent one.
Now, it seemed, as I listened to Mr. Bandana closing the door, that “Assistant Branch Manager” would be my final title.
I couldn’t see him from the ground, but I imagined him locking the door, stepping back over to me, and putting a bullet into my head. Yet no scenes flashed before my eyes. I didn’t even feel panic. (I blame shock.) Instead, as I lay there waiting to die, all I felt was a deep regret that I hadn’t done more with my life.
I would die before I even had the chance to live.
And it was all my fault.
Not because I held the gun or had somehow summoned the Universe to drag a convicted felon on parole into my credit union (I think there is more to the “law of attraction” than 1+1=2), but because, out of all the chances I’d had to taste life—an all-expense-paid “road trip” to France, an Egyptian tour, study abroads, a South African excursion and more—, I’d turned them all down because I didn’t have the time or the funds or the courage to take a risk.
Practical Deb had a path to follow-high school, college, career, marriage, house, kids-and I was still on baby step number two… “pay off debt.”
“Pursue dreams” wasn’t even on the list!
I’d followed all “their” rules. I’d crossed my t’s and dotted my i’s and had the house, the car, the job… but to what end? I wasn’t happy. And now I would be dead.
Wasn’t my life worth more than that? Wasn’t I?
Not to ruin the ending, but I survived.
I fought and clawed and cried my way through post-traumatic stress disorder with all its ac-companying friends: depression, anxiety, high suicidality and panic (yep, it finally hit me).
I even landed myself in a hospital because I didn’t want to stay on this planet anymore. It was a terrifying, difficult decision filled with shame and remorse. “I will never be the same after this,” I thought. “And if people find out, they will never treat me the same either.”
And can I just say, I am SO glad I turned out to be right on the first account and hella wrong on the second!!! Because I LOVE the person that I’ve become and the life that I’ve created as a result of what I learned during my time there. NOT being the same turned out to be a very good thing for me! And I LOVE how people have responded, connecting with my story using it to empower their own.
I still have the journal-green scrapbook paper sprinkled with white daisies hodge-podged to the cover-where Cornelia, my hospital social worker, challenged me to capture and dissect the rules of my childhood. Rules that, if left unchecked, would continue to impact me as a grown adult. (It’s the same for all of us.)
The exercise was simple: Write down each of the main rules I followed, identify its purpose, and capture my emotional reaction.
So a few pages in, somewhere past “100 Faces +1” and “Wellness Recovery Action Plan” but before “How to become your own therapist” is a page titled, “What are the rules I had to follow as a child?” followed by group after group of
It was there beneath reaction-between anger, grief, and sadness-that my greatest insights and discoveries were made.
“I had the right to know why,” I wrote. “You drilled into my head that my voice didn’t mat-ter. No one wants to hear me… Your stupid rule had me suffocating… Now I carry the guilt when I don’t just follow blindly… Why are their needs more important than mine?… Doesn’t God love me too?”
It was the first time I realized that I wasn’t broken. The system was.
It was like inhaling for the first time after being too long under the water-both painful and exhilarating.
Then Cornelia had me turn to a new page.
“What do I write here?” I asked.
“The rules you want to live by now,” she replied.
I stared dumbly. “You mean I get to pick?”
With a trembling hand I wrote, “#1 Live by your own set of rules.”
That was the moment. The moment my life changed. The moment I took control. The mo-ment I chose ME and my life and my dreams.
And I never looked back.
Through the healing process, I learned to define myself, set my own rules, claim what I wanted, and pursue my passions. I learned when to fight, when to nurture, and when to ask for help. I learned to trust my own voice and intuition. I learned to make my dreams non-negotiable and gave myself permission to make them happen today rather than waiting for someday.
And I learned that in being 100% authentic to myself and my dreams (along with pouring love and forgiveness into the world around me), that I empowered others to do the same.
Before the robbery, I’d resigned myself to a life that only partially filled me. I let “okay” be good enough and I told myself I was happy. (Though now I can see I was already dying before that man with his gun even showed up.)
Today though—WOW!!! Because of that choice to invest in myself and my dreams, I am now living a Happily EPIC After where every day surpasses my wildest hopes and expectations!
You deserve a life that fills you...
After all that, how could I keep it to myself? How could I NOT reach out and help others see that what they do, that the gift they have, is needed in our world? How could I stay silent while fear and doubt continued to drown the Soul Songs begging to be freed?
It all goes back to a journal entry from December 24, 2012.
“Death is the escape,” I wrote. “But I don’t really want death. I want more life. I want to travel. I want to see the world. I want to soak in experiences and places and words and life. I want to push that into my novels. I want my novels to sell and for more than just me to believe in the power of my words and characters. I want to speak with people who have faith transitions and to teens who hate life and to victims of abuse and to people changed by trauma and I want to shout, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! Keep going, give yourself what others refuse to or can’t give you. Give yourself a chance. Pick a dream and then make it happen. It’s going to be hard and you’re go-ing to want to give up, maybe every day, but you can make it happen. You can overcome. And when you do, the earth will not be able to contain your shine. I want to change lives. I want to help oth-ers to find the awesome within. I want my life to mean something. I want to mean something.”
I know that’s what you want… to mean something. To create something that is bigger than you. To have your creation move across the Earth, impacting lives until the world cannot contain your shine!!!!!
But how do you do that… how do you run towards your greatness, follow your Soul Song and live your Happily EPIC After when you have fear, past failures, and current mental-gremlin obstacles standing in your way?
I’m here to show you.