In 1970 a beautiful little girl was born into the world. She had crazy hair and a great smile. She melted the hearts of everyone around her. She was born in the era of hippies and love and peace to two awesome parents who were anything but hippies and far from peaceful. Mandy learned to talk, read and even play violin very early. She is grateful for learning to talk and to read, playing violin is still up for discussion since learning the to play by ear makes the inevitable high school musical somewhat more painful 😉
Her parents worked hard to teach her all sorts of great skills. Because it was the 70s/80s, she learned how to sew and how to cook from scratch. She learned how to garden, how to mow a lawn, and how to change a tire. Her parents taught her to work hard and to always be organized. They taught her other great skills like coding in basic and performing SYSOP duties on a BBS. Yeah, she was a cross between a hippie and an techno geek. She played D&D in high-school (and even has the original board game from TSR that started it all – thanks dad). She was taught to be a problem solver and to approach every situation with a critical mind and look for a unique new solution that was outside the box.
By the time she was an adult, Mandy had forgotten the important things she was taught about love and compassion and had focused on the detail stuff. She focused on order and planning, striving to line up every minute of every day – to plan life to its fullest. She had to have THINGS and forgot to be nice to people. She got the most out of everything she did – but she wasn’t living. She was lucky, though, she had two awesome boys and a 20 year marriage to a good man. And, she had created a career for herself that was a blend of her parents. In her mind, it was perfect – except it wasn’t.
One day, maybe it was when she was closing in on 40, she stopped and took stock. Her life was anything but balanced. She had so many extremes and really no center. Her awesome career kept her traveling and working 60 hour weeks with no room for advancement. Her two beautiful and smart children who were involved in everything under the sun despite the “one extracurricular at a time” rule. They had family sit down dinners every night after her frantic trips to the gym (to keep a figure she only recently got back) and were still not connected as a family. Her relationship with her husband was nonexistent even though they “made a great couple” and looked good to their friends and family.
In essence, everything was a wreck on the inside. She did not live a mindful life. She had told herself awful stories about her childhood that left her feeling unloved and unlovable. She realized that many of her decisions were made to “prove them wrong” instead of because the decisions were right for her. She realized that she really had to take stock and respect the her she wanted to be in the moment.
In 2013 she had a purge year (not by choice) – she got a; new car (old one died), new job (time for a different approach), finalized her divorce (let that good man off to find peace instead of insanity), a new kitchen (because her house blew up – not literally, but the dishwasher hose sure did). It seemed that in every area of her life she was drawing chaos to her with her desire to avoid chaos.
Through the major transitions that ensued, Mandy accidentally began to find her center.
In her new job she found a mentor and a friend that she never expected and a new way of working that allowed her heart to be full without compromising her spirit. In love, she let go of her desire to find the “perfect” man and two short days later realized that the best man for her, perfectly imperfect, had been right in front of her. She let go of mothering her children, painfully forcing them to be their own people and to be accountable for themselves and, in the transition, found two young men who fill her with joy with their new desire to make their own way.
Without even knowing it she began to gently nudge herself to a center, a balance, she had never identified. She saw things that were important and nurtured them. She worked to let go of the things outside her control. In short, she looked around and, with the loving support of the world’s best mentor and friend and the support of the most wonderful man she could have imagined, she reevaluated. She redefined herself. She abandoned stories that she didn’t like and wove new ones around herself. She began to explore everything to see what would benefit her in the here and now.
This site, the book she is working on, and the physical center she hopes to open one day, are a tribute to that journey with the special hope that she can help you find your way as well.