I was told years ago, "if you want others to be 'emotionally vulnerable' with you, you need to go first." Fair enough, especially if you don't know me. Life has given me lots of challenges to embrace and overcome on the way to now, just like you. Some have been harder, some have taken longer, and like you, I am a work in progress...
As the oldest of three, my "kid-self" was a tomboy explorer, and definitely a handful for my parents, whether I was wandering off or jumping from rooftop to rooftop. At the core of me is a highly curious deep thinker, with a voracious appetite for learning about whatever interests me. That appetite has taken me in many different directions, for most of my life.
My earliest school memories of struggle and shame at not being able to keep up were 3rd grade. There was no testing or discussion about what could possibly be the problem. So, I did what I had to do to get the work done that year, and throughout the rest of elementary, middle and high school. Unfortunately, my young mind came up with solutions that were not always ones with integrity. I wasn't reading entire books, so I skimmed them for the information I needed to pass my assignments. Certainly not my proudest moments.
College presented new challenges; so many interesting courses for a curious kid like me. It took me 15 years and attending many different undergraduate schools to complete a 4-year degree because I couldn't carry a full academic load, kept changing my major when my interests changed, and the style of teaching wasn't a good fit for me. I still didn't have an explanation for my challenges back then, like I do today. I learn differently than mainstream learners. I have special needs academically, physically, emotionally, and environmentally, not because I am "less than", rather it's just how I was created. Having differences and sensitivities makes my life "high maintenance", which again doesn't make me "less than," just means I need to take care of myself differently than many. I am grateful to know this today, because it allows me to take the extra steps I need to live a great life. It's a small price to pay in the longrun.
My life got derailed for a few years because of drugs, alcohol, codependency, and other behavioral addictions. More to embrace, overcome and integrate into who I am today.
In addition to college courses, I went to school to study interior design, modeling, massage therapy, cranial-sacral therapy, hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic psychology, and neurofeedback. There's that voracious appetite for learning at play.
I worked in the fields of law, medicine, insurance, construction, weight reduction, research and everything else I studied, as well as managed a wellness center and started a sewing business all before I finally got clear and fully committed to my path forward to now. I saw so many options along the way when I wasn't clear about what I valued or where I wanted to go. I hadn't yet learned to live an intentional life; one that I designed to be the best expression of me. One where I could be focused, committed and self-managed; that came when I changed my mindset.
Everyone has a dream tucked away inside just aching to come to life. Most people keep their dreams to themselves, for fear of being laughed at, not taken seriously or some other reason. Your dream is the life you envision for yourself in those quiet moments when you "wish" or "think about" something bigger. For most of my life I kept my dreams small. I felt invisible, insignificant and just wanted to make it through my days. Not much of a life to be excited about. That started to shift when I met and studied with E. James Rohn. I was in awe of his commanding presence when he spoke, and the wisdom he shared. I wanted what he had, but the best I could imagine for me back then was to be the assistant to someone like Jim. After all, invisible and insignificant people don't live a big, bold life. Jim said, "for things to change you have to change." So I got curious about what was wrong with my thinking and I changed it. I didn't want to die with my gifts and dreams still tucked away inside of me.
Fast-forward to now...I am an innovative, passionate adult ADHD expert with decades of experience and successes, whose sole mission is to help you get to where you want to go, whether you have ADHD or not. We all deserve a place in this world, where we can be seen and accepted for who we are; our gifts, our limitations and everything in-between. Peace in the world begins with peace inside each of us. I would be honored to help you focus on what you stand for each day, and to create a loving relationship with your SELF. I am driven to make a positive, significant difference in the lives of others - and that means YOU. Stigma dies out slowly over time, so there may still be those who choose to view you as "dis-abled;" (not able.) However, you can choose to learn to live as the "super-powered" person you are.
Some other highlights along the way to now...
I established the Center's Research Lab to participate in two international research studies, meeting the needs of two distinct populations: adults with severe major depression, iSPOT-D and children and teens with ADHD, iSPOT-A. These two medication studies were conducted to establish the response patterns of commonly prescribed, FDA-approved, antidepressants and stimulant medications, respectively for iSPOT-D and iSPOT-A.
As the ADHD LA meetup organizer since February 2013, I've led a vibrant ADHD support group "family" that has helped transform and even save lives. Every meeting begins with "WINS" or victories for the week. One formerly suicidal group member wrote of this practice: "What I found that first evening saved my life and changed me forever." I'm told I listen and lean into the needs of members so that we learn from each other in the trenches.
I conceived Harness Your ADHD Power to be the first online program in the country to offer long-term instruction geared toward addressing both deeper issues and primary symptoms that adults with ADHD face daily. Adults learn to recognize and use strengths and gifts, compensate for or strengthen weak areas and create tailor-made tools for ongoing success. Some of the vision for this site has been transferred over to ADDventures in Achievement.
I am the Visionary/Founder of ADDventures In Achievement™, an innovative Membership Program for Bright, Creative Adults With Focus, Follow Through & Self-Management Challenges.
I maintain my connections with our community through membership in these organizations.
Values I Live By & A Few Favorite Quotes
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