When I was 14 years old, I was certain that I was going to become a fashion designer.
In true performer-at-heart form I knew I wasn’t meant to be just any old fashion designer, but a famous one with her signature in lights above a storefront that was unmistakable to passerbys.
Normally when I explain why I do what I do… I start with motherhood. The truth is – this isn’t where my journey started. It began so much earlier.
If you’ve ever had a big, scary dream… I know you can relate to the feeling of letting that dream go. That’s what happened with me and my fashion designer dreams.
Now, this isn’t a sob story about poor-me who gave up on her dreams… no, no… read on.
I attended an art camp at the art institute in Chicago and had my first experience of culture shock and crowds-of-talented-children shock. I grew up in a small town and had no idea what the “big city” would be like. I also had always stood out in school and in everything I did… now I felt like another fish in the sea.
Even when I was awarded one of two scholarships (out of about 80 students) at the end of the weekend… I felt that on some level I didn’t deserve it.
Who was I to become some famous fashion designer?
At the same time in my life I had felt a spiritual hunger… I began seeking for answers to the meaning of my life and who God was. As I questioned and became curious, I stumbled into religion… I didn’t know where else to turn.
This left me with an internal struggle that compounded my fears of living in a big city, being far away from family, and spending $100k on an art degree. I felt like my dreams were shallow and materialistic… how could I ever really help people designing clothes?
I decided that I’d “just” go to business school instead so I could “learn how to run my own business.” What a joke! No one learns how to be an entrepreneur in a classroom any more than they learn how to run sitting down.
The massive number of students in business school in my area left me wondering if I should niche down my degree so that I’d be employable “if I ever needed to use my degree to get a job.” I’m sure reading this you can see how one compromise and sacrifice led to another… they continued to snowball.
I had one – yes ONE – class left of my accounting degree. I decided it was an easy excel class I could test out of and opted not to go back another semester. The kicker? I never finished that class. To this day I still don’t have that degree.
Was it a grand act of flipping the middle finger to something so far out of alignment with who I am… or was it another time I gave up on following through for myself? I believe it was a little bit of both.
In the midst of finishing school, I had also gotten married… at age 19. I’ll never forget my mother’s tears as she feared for me and said, “I just don’t want you to give up on your dreams.”
I assured her I wouldn’t. My soul had spoken, even though it would still take years before I actually understood my own devotion to my dreams.
By 20 I was yearning… passionately… to create something in my life. I craved a sense of purpose and nurturing something beyond myself.
That came in the form of… baby fever.
I was half-way through my first pregnancy on my 21st birthday and by the time I had my 24th birthday I had experienced an unplanned c-section, two miscarriages, a VBAC birth, and a traumatic end to my nursing relationship with my daughter.
I completely lost myself in the chaos and intensity of motherhood. I martyred myself on the altar of being a good mom, good wife, nice girl. Not only had I sacrificed my dreams but I was now sacrificing the very flesh and blood and milk of my body for everyone outside of myself.
Steeped in the messages of who I was intended to be as a woman from the church, society, and family members… I forgot who Steena was. Forgot what I was capable of. Forgot how to create, play, and have pleasure.
It was when I found myself exhausted, drained, and sick of following everyone else’s rules for my life that I finally decided – enough is enough… there’s another way, and I’ll make it myself.
To say that I had an intense initiation would be an understatement. I came into an embodiment of my emotions with a crash. The grief and rage consumed me. My womb, my deep feminine creative center, called me back home. She had given all she could give without replenishment. She was ready to LIVE for herself again.
I could no longer find myself in my children, my husband, my church, my family-in-law, my parents, or my friends. I had to find myself within… where SHE had always been.
Releasing the fear of what others would think of me as a healer, intuitive, psychic, sexual empowerment expert, f-bomb dropper brought the most liberating freedom to my soul.
It took years of work that I’m now able to distill down and use to support other women in times of transition, growth, and remembering who they truly are so that they can speak their truth without hesitation, experience pleasure filling their bodies again, get in touch with the power that is their pussy, and radically change every relationship in their life through empowered communication… including the one they have with themselves.
This is not only the work that I do, it is the revolution that I lead. Women rising up to honor themselves, celebrate each other, and worship as a way of life.