Lessons About Change from an Old Butterfly

 

In all aspects, my life is a perfect example of how living life by chance can be magical and very fulfilling. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. I had this big dream of owning my own marine park and living life in a beautiful marine setting surrounded by sea animals. I always knew I was going to feel free and live life in the driver's seat and I was most certain that it would look exactly as I expected (hilarious, I know). When I was 17, I applied to Hawaii Pacific University and, to my (and my parents) surprise, I was accepted! I remember my mother bargaining with me that if I waited one year to attend HPU that she would pay my expenses to move out and get an apartment with my older brother until then. I agreed. Two months later, I was onto the next thing and decided to move to Disney World. I spent four months as an intern at Disney and met a girl whom I later moved to the suburbs of Chicago to live with. And because God works in mysteriously awesome ways, I scored the most amazing opportunity to attend and graduate from Columbia College Chicago, one of our country's top dance programs. I could go on and on. My life continues with story after story of unique experiences that are a great reminder of the power of following your intuition.

 

Truth be told, all of my favorite experiences in life have happened by accidentally stumbling upon them… meaning, without planning. However, as I grew up, floating through life without preparation became more and more challenging. As a single mother especially. I needed to figure out how to keep my electricity on each month and how to manage the juggle of working full time and being present mentally, emotionally, and physically for my son. The monotony of the daily grind went against every fiber of my being. Planning for the future felt impossible. Looking back I now realize these were some of my most difficult years yet I was learning so much about follow-through and perseverance. Not really a characteristic that I came by naturally. I realize now, how hungry those experiences made me. Hungry to feel free again, to live with purpose, and to lead people to do the same. A drive that has become my life’s work.

 

At Summit, I get to work with people who are ready to initiate change in their lives. We focus on food to help people achieve goals centered around weight loss and optimal health. What people quickly realize is that the program is not really about food. It's so much bigger than that. We use food as a vehicle to a conversation that can be difficult to measure or sometimes even comprehend until you experience it personally. This is my absolute favorite part about what we do and it's quite literally almost impossible to explain.

 

Today I am a very different person than I was a decade ago. Part of me is sad to say that I am no longer a butterfly. Some days I grieve the loss of the invigorating sense of roaming free but most days I am grateful to have been that girl and am deeply satisfied with whom I’ve become. It’s in this becoming that I’ve discovered a new sense of freedom. A freedom that lives in the security of purpose. It’s true when I say that my day's work is to help people break free from limitations from themselves, from food, from dysfunction. The more I do so, the more I realize that it's in doing so that I am set free in return.