Have you ever felt stuck while running on empty? It is a dead-end road that utterly drains you. Your energy, joy, and wholeness is taken from you bit by bit and you are left with dark and airless emptiness. Here alone in this miserable hole your heart conforms to its cold surroundings and hardens. You learn to give it to no one. It is locked away to grow invulnerable. It becomes so inaccessible that not even yourself knows your own heart. You become victimized by your own selfishness and continuously lose. You lose to a battle that enslaves your full potential to conquer your own self and grow beyond it. You lose to a battle that would grant you freedom of this lonely lifestyle. You lose to what is keeping you from genuine joy and peace. It is this vicious cycle of lost battles to self where one’s inner fire goes out. You live meaninglessly day by day without passion or purpose. It happened to me.


Two years ago I wanted change. In fact I didn’t just want it. I needed change. I had been losing a battle I didn’t know was mine to win. I was running on empty, forever exhausted, caught in an endless tug-of-war amongst a dozen obligations, and finding my hardening heart was forming to a lower and lower tolerance for any curve ball life threw at me. What happened to the “new me” I was all gung-ho about when I was popping champagne bottles that New Year’s Eve? She certainly was nowhere to be found as I was passed out by 8PM on a Friday night, drained, unmotivated, and uninterested in what used to fill me with joy. The last thing I wanted to do was anything.


It was not until one of these nights when I was facedown in bed, dog-tired, and appearing dead, that I knew I had reached my limit. Deep down I knew I needed something different. I craved it. I yearned for something deep inside me to shift that would bring freedom, revival, and a newfound peaceful spirit. I was not seeking superficial inspiration, warm fuzzy feelings, sugar coated words, flowery fantasies, and unrealistic ultra optimism where one seems to be perched pleasantly on a cloud in this sheltered mindset that life is all sunshine, happiness, and cures to being human. I was not interested in sale pitches on how to be a better person or a checklist on how to live more positively. Quite frankly, those annoy me. (Perhaps it is the mechanical and shallowness of it.) I desired something of deeper value that would fill the depth of me. I desired genuine joy, harmony, energy, and growth. As I lay there wrestling with my frustrated self I finally pushed aside every temptation to blame my interior life on any external circumstances and confronted the uncomfortable truth. The only thing keeping me from experiencing wholeness, rejuvenation, serenity, and a refilled spirit was myself.


And just like that, I chose. I stopped feeding into my pitiful excuses of why I was not at more peace in my life and made up my mind to begin a journey--a strenuous journey that consisted of digging deep into my darkest and not-so-lovely corners of human brokenness and taking ownership. It was about facing my interior battles head on and conquering them. It was about unearthing unhealed wounds and remedying them. It was about rising from victim to victor. It was finding effective solutions to the daily challenges of daring to live in this messy world and initiating self-exploration and development. It was throughout my hilltop triumphs, breakdowns, mistakes, successes, learned experiences, and transformation by taking risk to fully live that opened my eyes to a greater capacity of growth and self-fulfillment. It was a greater and deeper sense of living that had been previously foreign to my heart. I discovered newfound strength, a greater sense of purpose, and that inner fire. I rediscovered authentic joy, and man is it liberating.


I can’t say my life is glamorous or I am anywhere near any degree of excellence, but I am striving for it and do have a lot of fight in me. It is because of this fight that I am no longer running on empty and am living the most joyous I have ever lived. I believe you have fight in you too. If you feel like you’re running on empty, can’t put your finger on the root to why nothing seems to be working out in your favor, have experienced great losses in your life that you never fully recovered from, are numbed from having been hurt one too many times, and quite honestly feel that your fire within you died a long time ago . . . I know one thing about you. You have what it takes to succeed. You have what it takes to ignite that flame and to reclaim that sense of purpose. You have what it takes to rediscover authentic unapologetic joy. You have what it takes to be free of anxiety, depression, and stress. You have what it takes to pick up your pieces of a broken heart and use them to create a beautiful life with meaning. You have what it takes to make yourself new. You have what it takes to make a difference.


Two years ago I challenged myself. This year, I challenge YOU. I challenge you to take a good hard look at yourself and to remind yourself that you are a fighter and that you will not give up on yourself. Not now. Not ever. Someday you are going to look back and be amazed at how far you have come and be grateful that you, too, believed that you had what it took.


I invite YOU to join my journey so that it, too, can help you create congruence within yourself, your relationships, your lifestyle, and in those itty bitty corners of your simple everyday living the way it has for me. I want you to experience that fire within you again and rediscover your JOY. InspireMe is where I will share my solutions of how I rose from victim to victor and where I will “think out loud” upon what has inspired ME in my simple everyday life that empowers me to live a fulfilling one through positive and healthy living. I’m here to connect with anyone who would care to stay awhile and listen in on my thoughts, reflections, and perspectives as I share personal insight to leading a life with meaning, with purpose, and with passion. It is only by conquering ourselves are we truly able to experience freedom. What a life worth living!