In this episode, I discuss who I am (an endless exercise for me) and why I do this work. I share a few pivotal points in my life, describing how I arrived here, why I feel so moved to do this work, and why I keep showing up for you. I hope there's something you can relate to, find inspiring, or view as an invitation to look inward for yourself.
Today it's just me. I talk about who I am and why I do this work - why I have this podcast to help you bridge your inner and outer worlds, why I hold Sacred and Centered Circles to help women reconnect with their essence, and why I have a private client practice as a Depth Hypnosis and Applied Shamanic Practitioner.
By sharing a few pivotal points in my life that shifted patterns and redirected me to my life’s work - I hope it’ll inspire you to retrieve your scattered parts so you can be whole, feel whole, and move through life whole.
Much gratitude to
Janae MacMaster and the QBR Team (quickbusinessresolutions.com) for providing endless support (and tireless edits) to bring you this podcast.
Clementine Moss designed and recorded the music for Soulful Soundbites. Follow her and experience her magic at @clemthegreat.
Erica Smigielski, creator, producer, and writer, continues to place energetic ‘milk bottles’ through each episode to help those who seek or need a ray of light.
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So, I grew up wanting to please my parents. And, like most kids, they tend to do that. But for me, I really, really wanted to please my father. I would go out of my way to ensure he viewed me positively and avoided his criticism. And unknowingly, this created a pattern that evolved into me being a perfectionist. And there's a bit of my general nature that lens to that, but I realized it was a struggle to express what I wanted or how I felt. Because all I knew was what others told me, what I wanted, or told me how I felt or should feel. So this was my patterning, which traveled with me through adolescence, adulthood, and most of my life. So I sought others for acceptance, approval, friendship, trust, intimacy, and desire. And when I received this, I felt seen, validated, and needed - like I had a purpose. But it was someone else's purpose. Often it was someone else's need that I was fulfilling.
My biggest professional challenge is that I moved through my career as a really good people pleaser. I would please my boss, colleagues, and peers. When I did this, it opened opportunities for me. Working hard to please in one job would open up my next opportunity, role, advancement, or promotion.
But really, what was happening was I was a puppet. I towed the corporate line. I did what was asked of me. I delivered what was needed by whatever deadline I was given. And while that moved me into leadership roles, it also resulted in me having high standards of myself - and not only of myself but of others too. And I was proud of this. After all, that sounded far better than being called a perfectionist. And, God forbid, someone asks me who I am, what I do, or how I work.
In parallel to all this, I also worked in a traditional patriarchal industry where the woman's role was to be supportive, complete what was asked, and bring people together to reach a goal and get them across a particular milestone or to a specific place. All this came naturally to me because I valued myself based on how others viewed me - which further ingrained this pattern I established growing up.
So, I was loyal and a successful corporate soldier in a male-dominated industry. And I only realized all this was happening once a particular event occurred. Actually, it was three significant events. The first event happened when I was leading a team, probably the largest one I had managed, and a gentleman on my team asked for direction on handling the situation. So, I gave him my response that felt right and in alignment with the corporate policy. But he didn't like it. So he went above me to my manager and looked for a different response. And he got it. My manager gave him another direction that completely dismissed and undermined my response to him. And that was the last straw for me. I went into my manager's office, of course, very emotional, and I told him I quit. And I didn't even know where this came from, but I knew I was done.
Thank God my manager at the time was very understanding and said, how about you take a little bit of time off, and let's have you work with someone and figure out what's next. And it was at that point in my career that, for the very first time, I sat down and looked at who I am, what I want, what I'm good at, and what I enjoy doing. And in shamanic terms, it was a huge power retrieval for me and even a soul retrieval of starting to take back some of my power and reconnect with who I was. So that was the first pivotal point in my life.
And the second was also a time in my career when, years later, I saw the writing on the wall of downsizing. So I walked into my manager's office, the executive vice president, for my one-on-one meeting. I suggested leaving the company, establishing myself as a solopreneur, and immediately returning as an independent contractor. To this day, I'm not sure what came over me to do that because, at that point in my life, I didn't have a solid entrepreneurial bone in my body. A week later, we met again, and he said, let's move forward with having you work as a contractor. It was an "Oh shit" moment where I wondered what was happening. What did I say? What do I do next? Yet, when I started to look at that working relationship, I realized it caused a lot of stress for me below the surface. It was a relationship that resembled the ties of my younger self with my father. And that wasn't serving me. At a subconscious level, I had had enough. It was time for me to be independent.
By making this transition, I had to figure out who I am, what value I bring to my work, and what work I do. And to use an earthquake metaphor, this was like the magnitude of a 7.0 earthquake for this cautious, low-risk taker who loves stability. This decision rocked my world. Yet it was 100% what I needed for myself. I needed to be fully independent. I needed to call all the shots, and I needed to make all the decisions for myself. I needed to call the shots and see how they benefited and impacted me, which was exhilarating, overwhelming, and incredibly frightening. But that's what I needed. So it was the second pivotal point in my life where I started to pick up my scattered parts and become even more whole in my work. I was now at the helm, leading my career.
The third pivotal point in my life that I'll share is the day I decided to step into my spiritual path of service and help others find themselves on their own path. And that came about after our twin daughters were born when my hidden spiritual curiosity became so real. I had questions and was accepting nothing less than clean, straightforward answers. I wanted to know why our daughters came as a pair and why they chose us as parents. I wanted to understand why one had a birthmark on her leg. And I found that I behaved as a parent in ways I said I would never do. So I had the motivation to be more curious and follow that spiritual curiosity. And that's when I found myself in the office of a clinical psychologist and depth hypnosis practitioner, and I never looked back.
Through this soulful journey, I experienced profound learnings that there's no way my logical mind could have arrived at. It was clarifying, healing, enlightening, and moving. And because of that, I became a student of this healing modality and this practice. Eventually, I received guidance from my compassionate helping spirits that I worked with that I needed to be of greater service. I needed to put myself out there doing this work to help people elevate and move forward. So I went through all the certifications to feel qualified and seen as an expert.
Today, I'm confident these three momentous instances needed to happen in that order. They needed to be in that sequence to arrive where I am today. And I needed things to get bad in my job to step into my power and started looking inward for wisdom, insights, and guidance. And when I did, there was a shift in my patterning, empowering me to make a pivotal change in my career to do this soulful work. This series of events illuminated my path toward a profound spiritual journey.
The greatest lesson I learned from all this is that by increasing my personal power, I could access my inner wisdom. And that's when I found a pathway to remember what I'm called here to do. That awakening within my consciousness aligned me with my authentic self. I found myself. I discovered myself. I learned how to live with myself and on this Earth - harmoniously.
So that's the flame behind my work and keeps me hitting record. It's also why I am so moved to hold these Sacred and Centered Circles in the business setting to help women reconnect with their divine femininity - their softness, wisdom, and inner knowing for guidance to steer people in a new way. As a collective, we need, now more than ever, that connection to our inner wisdom and divine feminine to help us save the greatest divine feminine - Mother Earth.
So that's my story. That's a peek into who I am while I figure out who I am. But it's more of why I'm doing this work and why I will keep holding my sparkler in life. It's why I keep showing up for you. And I share all of this in hopes that there's something you can relate to, find inspiring or view as an invitation to look inward for yourself. And if it inspires you enough to have a conversation, then let's talk. Find me. Connect with me. I would love to hear your story. I'd love to listen to any parallels you've had in picking up your parts and re-empowering yourself with your form of a power retrieval or a soul retrieval so that you, too, can appear whole. Mm, not appear. You can be whole. You can feel whole. You can move through life whole.
So with that, I see the divine in you.