My personal adventure began in 1998, when I was going through a challenging time in my life and finally admitted to myself that on some level I had never been truly happy.
Although I changed: husbands (twice), cities (five moves), podiatric practices (three different practices in three different states), and friends (should we go there?), I still had no real joy in my life.
I was so miserable that I felt like I needed to take a leap of faith.
I sold my very successful practice, my boyfriend (just kidding), and my beautiful home. I even closed the surgical residency program I had been directing (yes, that was a pretty big deal — and yes, the medical community thought I was NUTS).
(Truly — it’s hard to feel successful when you’re unhappy in your work and can’t maintain a healthy relationship. No matter what it looks like on the outside to everyone else, it feels like CRAP on the inside.)
The bottom line is that I was a good girl. I followed my parents’ rules, went to college and medical school, and found a nice Jewish guy to marry. But in the end it didn’t work out because I wasn’t being true to myself. I spent all those years educating myself, going in a direction I never wanted to go.
I was frustrated because I felt like I couldn’t do what I wanted to do and was compromising my dream. So I finally walked away from my schooling, a very successful practice, and a phenomenal income to find my heart’s desire. I turned my back on what my family wanted for me even though it had made my parents proud — because it didn’t really make ME feel proud to be living a lie.
Fortunately, during this time I received a copy of don Miguel Ruiz’s NY Times bestselling book (The Four Agreements®) and decided to go on one of his spiritual journeys to the sacred site of Teotihuacán, Mexico. This was my first experience with transformational retreats.
The journey was profound.
After leaving the world of medicine and financial success, I discovered there wasn’t anything outside of myself that needed changing at all. Instead, it was what I believed about myself and my world that needed changing.
That was the first time I realized that my pain stemmed from: my basic lack of self-love, self-trust, creative imagination, and a whole lot of limiting beliefs. As a result of that journey, I became a student of don Miguel — and later, a teacher of this enlightening work that even Oprah was fond of.
This illustrates how powerful that retreat was for me. It actually changed the direction and purpose of my life.
I spent nearly eight years on a transformative spiritual quest with my teacher. At the beginning of my journey, I took a year and a half off to reflect on my life and explore the landscape of my inner world.
It was a rocky, unforgiving place at first (most of us are willing to forgive others before we forgive ourselves). But over time, I gained the skills and tools to shift my own reality (and that of others) — from the inside out. Learning from don Miguel inspired me to write two books on personal growth and consciousness: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Toltec Wisdom and Banish Mind Spam!.
During my time with don Miguel, I was even privileged to design and organize his journeys and retreats.
It was a fantastic opportunity to wander around the world and learn the travel and transformational retreat business — at the same time inspiring me to give birth to both my coaching practice and my travel agency, Journeys of the Spirit® in 2003, and later JOTS® Luxury Travel in 2011. However, after being a Master Toltec Teacher for 10 years, I finally felt that it was time to move on again.
Which brings us to January, 2013, when I did a total re-brand and change of focus in my business.
It was time to focus my energies on what I really love most of all, which is travel and teaching folks how to add lucrative transformational destination retreats to their businesses.
Experiential travel is awe inspiring, soul stirring, heart opening, fun, and above all, life changing.
It’s our passion at Journeys of the Spirit® Luxury Travel and Journeys of the Spirit® Tours to design itineraries that allow us to touch the hearts of others, interact, learn, expand our consciousness, and grow from our connections with other cultures and people.
For us, this is the only way we can truly understand and have compassion for others, and in the end, create a peace-filled world.
Transformational retreats and journeys are one of the elements of an audacious life — and I am SO happy to be able to share that passion with you! I can’t wait to help you design the retreat of your dreams!