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A very vulnerable love letter to myself and reason why you should write one too!

I’m a DREAMER and I love this about myself.

My whole life I’ve had big dreams. When I was a little girl, I would ask for outlandish gifts every year for Christmas like a dolphin, a spider monkey and a seahorse.

I was obsessed with “oldies”…. that’s the 50’s/60’s for all you millennials ;) and really loved the Beach Boys. California themes running deep in their music made me want to be a California girl.

I dreamt of living on the Pacific ocean, driving a Pepto-Bismol pink Cadillac convertible or a powder blue 57 Chevy down Route 66. I dreamt of true love and always had a vision of myself on stage somewhere, doing something great.

When I think about who I am at my core, before all the programming and cultural influencing, I remember feeling so bright and full of possibility. I remember singing and dancing all around my childhood home.

Of course there were many hard years and a lot of people who have been successful at, or have tried, to dim my fire. I still dance with days of feeling great about myself and my life and then struggle with comparison and feelings of not being enough. I’m not married yet, don’t own a home and have an ungodly amount of student debt that really gets the best of me many times.

But as I reflect on my 36 years of life, and think about what I want to acknowledge in this love letter to myself, I feel very proud that there has always been one constant: I have never stopped working hard.

At 10, I was babysitting. 12 working as a shampoo girl at a local hair salon. 15, working as a hostess at a restaurant. 16, got two more jobs, one as a receptionist at a beauty salon and one as a waitress. I worked 3 jobs in college, all while being a full time, straight A (with some B’s) student. I worked every holiday break and summer break. I had a full time job out of college and worked weekends and nights at one of the Chicago Cubs rooftops.

I landed a dream job in my twenties working in cultural exchange and traveling all over the world. I was promoted to manage this company after less than 2 years and years later realized my life’s purpose - my ikigai - was to work in holistic healthcare. And that’s when naturopathic medicine and I found each other.

With absolutely no medical or science background, I started my prerequisite courses. I went to night school, while continuing to work full-time, and did all of my pre-med courses accelerated in one year.

Then came 5 years of medical. Which at times was the most soul crushing experience of my life. And also the most beautiful transformative gift. I barely passed my first year. But after learning the language and foundations, I went on to get straight A’s.

I’m 1.5 years out and less than one year in practice. I had a baby sometime in there too and somehow managed to keep the same partner for 9 years despite this crazy wild ride I’ve taken him on.

I started my own practice, despite most people saying it would be impossible to have a cash-based practice in Portland, where there are NDs on every corner who take insurance. But I’ve always known this was how I wanted my practice to be. Separate from the insurance system so I can spend my time with my patients giving them what they need, not what I need to do to get paid.

I believed in myself and knew it’s not just about being a naturopathic doctor, it’s about who I am as a person. I trusted I could set myself apart, and I’m doing it. I now have patients and clients all over the world, and they are healing and I am healing myself as well after years of probably pushing it a little too hard.

But this is who I am. I am meant to do big work in this world and I’ve always known this. It’s no surprise I’m a generator in human design. I truly love being productive and active. I love traveling (have been to 35 countries now), and I want to continue to have a big, big life.

Today I am sharing this because I want to practice what I preach to my patients: SELF-LOVE.

I tell my patients to write down what they love about themselves and what they have accomplished because it is IMPORTANT that, first and foremost, we love ourselves. On this Valentine’s Day I am writing a love letter to myself. Giving myself permission to feel proud of all I have accomplished. My strengths and my light. And I hope you can do the same for yourself as well, without JUDGEMENT.

The world would be a much brighter place if we were all allowed to shine, just as we are meant to, without the insecurities and judgements of others raining on our parades.

No valentine, no sweat. You are whole just as you are and truly, what the world needs, is for you to embrace yourself and show up authentically and fully. YOU BELONG.

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