My Crazy F**ked Up Life Story.

My Crazy F**ked Up Life Story.

Can you tell me more about your journey? How did you get to where you are?

I got this beautiful message in my Facebook inbox this week from a girl wanting to know how I got here. I sat on this message for two days totally stumped on how to answer her.

How the hell did I get here?

It’s not that I don’t know, it’s just that responding and answering this in a short couple of sentences in messenger seems almost impossible to me. I have been through so much in my life. Even though I am life coach and business coach today – it took me a very long time to get here. And to tell the story of how it all happened I knew I was going to need way more than just a couple of text messages. I needed a full on blog post. So here it is. Everything you need to know:

My Crazy F**ked Up Life Story of How I Got Here

Like most light workers, I was born into this world feeling like I didn’t fit in. I always felt older than everyone around me and it made it really hard to deeply connect and form friendships. But also like most light workers, I had a series of really terrible and tough experiences that for a shot time left me jaded. Looking back I believe all of those hardships were put there in my life for a reason: So I could learn, grow, heal, and then eventually coach. So no wonder that’s where I am.

Let me take you back to where it all started.

My Crazy Childhood.

I started to feel out of place at a really young age. I had terrible bullies during grade school – mostly boys – who picked on me for being ugly, chubby, and as an italian girl – a little extra hairy. I felt so alone. (read my bully post if you want to know more)

I spent most of my days at recess sitting in the piano room alone writing music and brainstorming my big girl dreams in a journal. Looking back, that was kind of an early stage sign of my passion about writing. I had such an unhealthy body image back then, but this time in my life was also the start of my unhealthy relationship with men. I wanted desperately to have a boyfriend who could make me feel pretty and safe. I started pouring my attention and energy into trying to attract a boy and getting him to like me. When it didn’t work in my private tiny little Catholic School, I found a boy outside of that environment who took an interest in me.

His Name was Mike. He was 17 and I was 13, which of course has some big red flags. I was naive and inexperienced. He was aggressive and had been around the block a few times. He wasn’t good news. One night I was babysitting my sisters, he broke into my house with six of his friends and attacked me. When he left I was bruised, in tears, and robbed of my stereo and jewelry. I pretended like it never happened.

Teenage Fog.

Pretending something big, traumatic and very adult didn’t happen in my life wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I went through high school and actually didn’t ever feel anything come up surrounding the assault. I wouldn’t consider it a suppressed memory, since I knew it had happened, but the emotions weren’t there. At least not usually. When they surfaced or got triggered from time to time, I would drink or cut my arms to feel something other than the past experience I had. I forced myself to live in fog. It was almost like I watched something happen in my past rather than actually having experienced it. Emotional detachment at it’s best.

Raped on Campus.

My freshman year of College I was raped by someone I knew. It was nearing Easter Vacation when it happened, and it turned my world BLACK. Everything I experienced as a young 13 year old girl started to surface, and the trauma consumed me. I suddenly developed severe emotional issues. I couldn’t sleep. I was taking drugs and using alcohol aggressively to cope with the heavy overwhelmingly painful feelings I was experiencing. I developed manic tendencies and became extremely reckless in my decision making. Part of me wanted to die. All of me wanted to forget. So I tried to. (see this post)

Overdose.

I attempted to kill myself and ended up in the hospital. When I woke after about 10 hours or so of being unconscious, the man who rapped me sat by my bedside with a teddy bear. I always wondered if he was feeling remorseful in that moment seeing me there near death, or if he was trying to keep me from telling the doctors what had led me to this decision to try and end my life. Surprisingly, I was sent home. When I tried a second time, I was mandated into an inpatient treatment program. I left college and spent weeks in a psychiatric ward.

Diagnosis.

Bipolar Disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder. Anxiety. Depression. These were words I would hear for the next seven years as Doctors tried to find the medication cocktail that worked. I was numbing my body from experiencing and dealing with what had happened, and it was exploding out of me in the form of mental illness. I wanted it to go away. Pills did that. My mental illness was the problem  – not my life – right?

Finding Husband.

I left that university, came home, and spent the next years of my life trying to feel safe. I enrolled in a local collage, and spent the rest of my college years burying myself in school work, and I found an older man to keep me safe. We got engaged. I got a job working for a National News Broadcast. I did all of this while ignoring my trauma and popping pills to treat my mental illness. About a few months after we were married – I found out he was a series liar and a drug addict. Our relationship turned abusive. Why is this happening to me? I kept asking. The universe kept sending me trial because I wasn’t facing my shit and was trying to run from it instead. So when we got married and he turned out to be a heavily addicted drug addict – I think it was the universe’s little love note to me that I needed to stop running.

Rock Bottom and Alone.

When the world hands you a bunch of chaos, you have two choices. You can sit there and say, “yup, this is me and my life sucks,” and sort of conform to the idea that everything will always be horrible. (This is what most people do.) But what many don’t realize is that you have a second choice: You can do the work and fight for what you deserve. Walking away from my unhealthy marriage left me at rock bottom again – a place that I was very familiar with. Having been there so many times before, It was almost felt like that was where I was supposed to be – as if to say, rock bottom was just how life was always going to be.

I was labeled with a mental illness, had a serious of traumatic experiences in my laundry list of accomplishments, and I was broke, Who will love me now? was the big impending fear-based question. What I didn’t realize back then was that I needed to love myself first if I was ever going to get someone to treat me with love.

Rock bottom was only familiar because I wasn’t facing any of my bull shit or doing any of the work around my trauma. And I kept falling into Rock Bottom because I was never actually facing my shit. I was just trying to run from it hoping that one day I would run so far that it would be gone. It never goes away. No matter how fast you run.

Returning Home.

Over the next five years I started to change. I was ready. And even though i didn’t know how exactly to make that happen, I knew that not knowing how was okay. The universe would show me the way so long as I was ready. So I decided to jump. Slowly, I started to shed the old me. I made a list of all of my bad habits and decided to start shedding them one by one.

Smoking Cigarettes
Drinking Hard Liquor
Drinking Wine
Drinking anything I can get my hands on
Prescription antipsychotics
Prescription anxiety pills
Prescription pills just for fun

I decided that if I was going to work through all my bullshit I needed to do it in full authentic feeling – I Couldn’t be numbering myself. So my slow transition into sobriety begun. I spent a great deal of time shedding the negative -since there was so much of it in my life. When that was done, I had room to replace and repair what was left with positive love and emotional education. I went to the bookstore and started studying on my personal development journey. During my down time at work in my corporate job, I would study Tony Robbins, Gabby Bernstein and Wayne Dyer.

I lost everything in my life. And I lost it multiple times. The process of finding my way back to who I truly was meant to be took me a long time – I spent five years trying to fix and repair my life after all of this. But in the process of losing myself, I gained so much more: I was able to become the person I was meant to be.

Here’s what happened – in the process of finding my authentic higher self,  I realized my old life no longer served me anymore. Suddenly my job and my career felt so inauthentic. I was screaming in my soul feeling like I was ready to leave and unleash a new me. I had to walk away from my corporate world. I was ready to branch out. I just had no idea what was next.

My coach now told me this quote I remember in times like this: “When you find your authentic truth, everything around you that is inauthentic falls apart.” It is so true.

When you shed your old self and you start to heal, something magical happens – your intuition starts to speak to you. And here, in this case, my intuition and higher self were screaming “leave your job.” — your inner voice sometimes doesnt seem like it makes much sense. I was living in Manhattan and had a steady income at the time – walking away from my job seemed to make no sense at all. I ignore the urge for a while, but it got to a point that I couldn’t NOT listen. I had to jump. And so I did. ( I wrote about it here.)

Vulnerability.

At first, I had a great deal of healing to do when I walked away from my job. It was kind of the final last straw of shedding my old self – the one final thing I needed to let go of. But as exciting as that shift was, it still hurt. I felt like a failure. I felt like a fraud. I felt like I had given up on a passion for my corporate job – a passion that once was very much alive. I was sad to walk away but at the same time I knew it was right. My soul was calling me for something bigger. The minute I started to listen – everything changed.

I didn’t know what was next. All I knew is that I loved to write – and I was going to learn how to do it authentically in a way that allowed me to share my stories and make a difference in the world. A few weeks after I had quit my job, I was sitting in my apartment brainstorming website names for whatever big thing I was about to do (I had no idea what it was going to be.)

I sat there googling and looking around my apartment for things that represented me that I could somehow translate into a brand name. “I love journals dot com?” or how about “this color blue I’m obsessed with really rocks dot com?” Ugh I felt ridiculous. And then, there it was, right in front of me on the beautiful poster that I had been carrying around with me for years.

It all made sense. So I did it. When I started my website I had no intention of being a life coach. But through my spirituality I told the universe I would be ready to receive whatever it sent me. And boy was it sending me the signs I was ready to coach. As I shared my stories and started opening up on the blog, an outpour of people started to follow. Rock bottom wasn’t such a lonely place after all. In fact, so many people were there too, trying to get out, trying to figure out how to fix their life. And here I was having done just that, and they wanted to learn how to do it too.

Now my business – which started as just a safe space and blog for women who were struggling has turned into something much more incredible.

What is Perfection is note just a blog anymore.

It’s a transformation resource for women.

The Brand New Me Course teaches women how to have their own massive life transformations in 12 weeks.

Broken to Beautiful is a 30 day program that helps women heal through their breakups of unhealthy relationships

The Self Love Method Program shows women how to become life coaches and get certified in my coaching method.

My 1:1 Coaching 6 Month Program has helped so many women through their transformations in a private sacred space.

The WIP Tribe Facebook Community is a safe space for women to come together and grow during their healing journey.

It started with one small decision to listen to my heart.

Here’s the lesson here. Wherever you are right now is not where you have to be. You have the power to change anything in your life. If your soul is calling you to lead others – go do it. If your heart is begging you to heal yourself – go spend time and money working on that. Take your self love journey seriously. Do not ever compromise your worth.

Today I am happier and more full than ever before. I have an amazing wonderful future husband who supports and encourages me every step of the way. I have a beautiful purpose and a fully raw and open heart that doesn’t feel hurt anymore. I feel truly amazing and blessed to have gone on this journey and be where I am today. Had I not been through the trauma – I wouldn’t be able to do what I am doing now – so remember – your life and your journey has a purpose. Listen to your calling and follow your heart.

xoxox

Pua’s Story.

Pua’s Story.

Did you see my post on Facebook yesterday? Our family grew by one! Yes, yesterday, Matt and I adopted a little piggly wiggly and we named her Pua! (Yes. From Moana.) We are absolutely in love with the little girl. She is such a hand full – more so than a dog. It actually feels like we have a new born baby on our hands! (Don’t get insulted moms – I don’t have babies and I’m sure its even more stressful) But yes. This little baby is two weeks or so old and needs a ton of TLC.

Okay.. so you all want to know right? How did it happen? Well, here it is.

The Story of Pua

Every Sunday morning, Matt and I have a tradition: We go to the store and get two scratch off tickets, and then we go and have a nice delicious breakfast at this diner right by our house that we love. I usually get a veggie wrap with some kind of side while he orders a different thing every time (he is setting a goal to try everything on the menu at least once.) “What do you want to do today?” I asked. “I don’t know. I would kind of like to drive around and check out some new streets, that’s always fun.” (We are seriously old people.)

We moved to this town in January, and so every once in a while we like to go exploring. There isn’t much to see around here – it’s very quiet. Just a couple of little old school towns and general stores – it’s a very relaxed way of living. There are a lot of farmers in the area, and we really enjoy just letting the road take us to new places.

So we hit the road. About a half an hour or so into our drive we saw a sign: “Piglets for sale, $75.”

“Matt! We can get a pig and name it PUA! From Moana!!!!” I got so excited.

He agreed that we would look, but we wouldn’t make any decisions until  we asked the farmer a bunch of questions.

“We’ll have a sidebar and decide.”

Okay I said. I agreed, all smiles.

Well, we called the number on the sign and before we knew it we were on a piece of farm property, meeting this awesome guy named Ray. He has sheep, Goats, Peacocks and Rabbits. Oh. And Duh. Pigs.

So he took us down into a dark barn where there were rows and rows of pregnant and nursing pigs. They were huge – 600-700 pounds or so! The pigs almost all go off to become meat – some grow up to breed more pigs, so we felt sort of nobel in our cause to at least try to rescue a piglet.

Ray took us up and down a bunch of trows of nursing piglets. He pointed to one bin that had pigs about a week and a half old. Also of them were pretty small, but there was one little quarter sized runt of the group. He picked her up and handed her to me.

“If you want that one you can have her for free because you are going to save her life,” he said. We knew she was ours.

Pua (which also means flower or to emerge or blossom) was way too small compared to her other brothers and sisters and was getting pushed around in the group. She wasn’t getting access to any of the milk and was going to starve to death.

We knew we had to take her home.

Pua is about 3 pounds or so. She was covered in dirt when we got her from all the tumbling around she did getting pushed around by her siblings. I put her in my arms and she instantly fell asleep. We went to the feeder store and got some lambs milk, a bottle, and a book on how to raise pigs.

Right now, we are nursing her 4 times a day from a little bottle. She is really tired and loves to be held. It’s so weird, it’s like she knows we are her mom and dad. I can’t explain it, but she just knows.

Matt is enamored with her I can just tell. He loved feeding her and watching her walk around the house and explore. We are definitely going to have to potty train her though!! (she had a poop in the house and it smelt so bad that Matt actually vomited. No joke.)

But she is so content. Pigs are actually really clean creatures. We have to keep giving her baths though because she had so much junk caked on her face. We don’t know how big she is going got get – A lot of people are asking if she is a miniature pig or a regular pig – So in case you are wondering, there is no such thing as a miniature pig. She is definitely the runt, so she probably will be smaller to some degree but we don’t know. Pigs that are “small” are just pot belly pigs that were malnourished by their owners. We are anticipating having a healthy pig, but we have no idea what that means for her size and stature. So overtime she will get bigger.

As far as where she lives, that all depends on her size. We hope we can keep her in the house, and we will do so for as long as it works best for us. Pigs are really smart creatures -more than dogs, and we plan on house training her just like our other little furry babies. As she grows, we may consider moving her out into the backyard. But for now – for now she is our little house pet. Our third puppy.

Oh… and in case you are wondering – the dogs love Pua.

Zoey is obsessed with her little friend. I think this is the first time Zoey has actually had a friend smaller than her – so she likes it. Last night we had to move zoey’s bed next to Pua’s crate so she could sleep next to her. She gazed at her all night long it was just the cutest thing ever. They are in love.

More updates later from our crazy little house on Caterpillar Hill <3

 

xox, Lauren, Matt, Zoey, Animal, and Pua

What’s New And Exciting Right Now?

What’s New And Exciting Right Now?

It’s been forever since I wrote a blog post that I actually am not sure how to start this! Ahhh I’m so rusty. Things have been absolutely crazy (in a good way) over here at What is Perfection HQ that I have had very little time to brainstorm my blogs, come up with ideas for what to write about, or take any pretty fancy blog photos to put up here on the site!

Lots. Lots. Is. Going. On.  And a lot of it involves Me doing more work on myself.

“The work” As I like to call it, is that inner work of deep soul searching, personal development, meditation, Prayer, self reflection, journaling, and awareness. And it’s the work that matters most!

Sadly, it’s also the area people pay the least attention to. As entrepreneurs, we think we need to spend all this time hustling and working hard for other people, but the reality is, when you focus on looking inward, that is when you actually grow your business the most! I myself have definitely see some major shifts playing in my life since I’ve been looking more inward and shifted my focus away from other people.

I’m also taking time to enjoy my life, appreciate and love the moments I share with my fiancé and basically — I am taking time to just LIVE!

I’ve also been making more memories. Stepping away from work to take breaks and enjoy life was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn as an entrepreneur. This past weekend my Goddaughter and my best friend and I traveled to six flags. WE had an awesome time eating yummy breakfasts, riding awesome scary rollercoasters and laughing so hard in the pool hotel that we nearly cried. It was so fun!

This was the gorgeous view of the park we saw when we took the lift from one side of the park to the other.. We were determined to ride “El Toro,” but once we did I was definitely regretting it. It was the scariest ride ever!

We enjoyed a few drinks in the hotel room from this beautiful “Summer in a Bottle.” Honestly, it was the prettiest bottle I’ve ever seen that I’m actually sad we didn’t keep it!

I also shared my flower routine on my Facebook Page – and so many of you started doing it too! Every Friday I buy myself new flowers to honor all the work I did that week. I make a list in my journal of all the moments I have to be grateful for and I celebrate with my beautiful bouquet! These were my flowers this past Friday.

Oh, and this month in the WIP Tribe Facebook group – I announced the Book of the month- Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell. I am so excited to read this with all of you!

I’ve been doing a lot more personal development lately, like I mentioned before, and I think part of that has to do with my beautiful meditation space being near completion. I love the vibes it gives me to see books on the shelf like this. IT totally lifts me up.

I’m also doing a lot of work with oils, oracle cards and crystals too!

So much is happening for me lately.. and I am truly just so grateful. <3 <3

I tried to Kill Myself Twice…

I tried to Kill Myself Twice…

I was suicidal once. Don’t believe me?
In 2008 I ended up in the hospital after an overdose. Twice.

What would you say if I told you that same year I was raped, diagnosed with a mental illness, and in a psych-ward? Would you be shocked to find that out too?

I also left a drug addicted husband, an unhealthy unhappy career, and some seriously abusive relationships.

If you knew me back then you would have probably said, “That girl won’t amount to anything.”

Because that’s what I used to say about myself.

Back then, that was my narrative: The crazy messed up, never good enough, always miserable never confident girl.

And I thought that was how it would always be.

Boy was I wrong.

Today that girl is gone, and a new woman stands in her place. A woman who is confident, happy, full of love, successful, healed, and recovered. A woman who created the life that once felt so impossible.

The old me might be gone, but I see her in each and every one of my clients.

She is in the woman who feels unhappy in her relationship and needs help healing.

The girl who wants to find happiness and purpose in her life but feels lost and in need of guidance.

The person who just wants to transform their life – live better, be better, serve the world better.

If you are that person out there feeling like your dreams are impossible, I want you to see that no matter where you are right now, you can rewrite your narrative.

Wherever you are right now is not where you have to be.

You can become a totally new you. You can transform your life. You can get out of whatever struggle you face.

You can do it all.

Nothing is impossible.

 

My Eating Disorder and the Valuable Lesson it Taught Me

My Eating Disorder and the Valuable Lesson it Taught Me

I never had a healthy relationship with food. Growing up in a big Italian family, food was always a center of any occasion. It was something we gathered around, something we joined together over. Something we used to celebrate and to show love. But as joyful as it sounds, growing up with a family that was very close, there was something eating away at my soul and separating me from truly celebrating those moments: My Eating Disorder.

lessons-from-a-girl-with-an-eating-disorder

I never really knew I had an eating disorder. I couldn’t tell you how it started, or why it started, but I can tell you the moment I recognized my body as something that was bad and needed to change. I was Seven. Yep… Seven. My friend and I were talking about our new favorite dance classes. I told her I loved my Jazz class, and that Ballet was boring. Offended by my statement, my little seven year old friend told me “Well, you wouldn’t be good at ballet anyway.”

“You have to be able to suck in your stomach,” she said.

I challenged her … showing her I could force in all my breath– sucking in all the air I could muster…. “See! I Can!” I said with a smile. Then she told me what she was trying to say all along. “No. Not like that. I mean… you have to be skinny.”

My Eating Disorder And How it Evolved

Through the years that moment, my body perception haunted me. As I got older, I wasn’t really getting attention from boys like my friends were. I blamed this on my body. And I started to believe that maybe my friend all those years ago was right. After all, I did have a belly… and my mom did tell me to suck in my stomach when she took pictures of me and my sisters. “Maybe my weight is what is holding me back,” I thought.

I wasn’t incredibly heavy, but I wasn’t skinny like most of my friends either. It was kind of like I was in this middle ground… I was on the edge of fitting in somewhere — I just didn’t know where. And like most teenagers who suffer from an eating disorder, I believed that if I gained control of my weight, I would be able to find my place in life. I would get guys to like me. I would feel more confident. I would finally have everything a teenager girl wants: LOVE.

eating disorder what is perfection

So in an effort to want to find love, I started punishing myself. I cut my calories, kept journals to log every crumb of food that touched my mouth…. and every pound I lost or gained. But the extremes of my lifestyle – eating nothing and starving my body only made my weight bounce up and down from one extreme to another…  all the way into college. Gaining and binge eating, Losing and starving, it was like I was on this rollercoaster of extremes with no middle ground.

When I started to date this guy my first year of college, I felt like I was finally in a place where feeling good about myself was possible. I started to believe that maybe my weight didn’t really matter much. But then, our relationship turned ugly… he didn’t treat me right and totally destroyed my self-esteem.. Things got really unhealthy and abusive really fast. And as a result, life got pretty dark for me after that. I got really depressed because of the way I was being treated and my self-esteem totally fell through into the deep end. I felt out of control of my life being in an abusive relationship. So I decided it was time to switch schools and head back home. And as quickly as my eating disorder had left my mind, it entered back again full force.

I felt the lowest self-worth I ever felt… and thinking that there was something wrong with me that I needed to change, the only way I could feel like I had control over my life was by forcing my body to change… in any way possible.

I starved myself. I purged. I did everything in my control to keep food from entering my life. But my eating disorder was controlling me.  I started loosing my hair. I could feel my spine poking through my shirts. And I was cold… all the time.  I dropped to under 109 pounds, losing more than 70 pounds in four months. Sure my mom wasn’t telling me to suck in my stomach anymore…. but now she was telling me I looked like a skeleton. A ghost of my former self. And even then, I felt like it wasn’t enough. I was never going to be as thin or as beautiful as I needed to find the love I was looking for… because the truth is, I was looking in all the wrong places.

Me Eating Disorder What is Perfection

The Road to Recovering from My Eating Disorder

The road to recovery was long. I gained the weight back and learned how to lose it all over again — this time, the healthy way.

The most important lesson I learned was that my body wasn’t the thing I needed to fix in order to feel good: It was my mind that needed the true repairing.

I started educating myself on emotional eating and discovered principles I now teach in my online courses— Learning to let go of my insecurities about being accomplished or “being good enough,” and learning to actually just go after what I wanted for myself… without the fear that I wasn’t worth it. I started going after my goals in a healthier way.  And I uncovered the emotional compass that led me to set goals that were achievable, goals that were confidence boosting, not destructively unhealthy.

And mainly… most importantly….I started treating my body like something that was a reflection of who I wanted to be — not something that was holding me back from being beautiful.

Slowly, I learned to let go of my eating disorder, and let in love.

 

eating disorder what is perfection

I’ve realized something looking back on those moments where my eating disorder was strongest…

I was fighting to change my body because I believed that the world around me would change if it did.  I thought maybe if I was skinnier I would feel better about who I was by fitting in and getting the attention and love I was seeking. I thought what would follow would be a sense of true beauty that would keep me from ever being harmed or hurt by others.

But why did I think other people were holding the key to my ability to feel good about myself?  Why did I believe changing my body would change the feelings I had toward myself — and my worth? Why couldn’t I just make effort to feel better about who I was in general?

My eating disorder taught me that finding love is about figuring out how to love yourself first. Feeling confident doesn’t come from other people. Feeling beautiful never follows any physical transformation unless you yourself embark on the emotional journey required to get there.

To all the girls out there struggling to find the body they are looking for — the body they think will bring them amazing love, or a larger amount of happiness than they already have…. the key to changing everything, starts within you….