I was honored to be featured on the blog "As Told By Women" this past week. When they contacted me last month and asked if I would like to be featured I was so completely excited. It has been a vision in my head to create a platform to share inspiring stories about women and I am so happy that such a platform already exists! 

Life is interesting you know, sometimes you think you have everything figured out and then the next minute you don't know where to go next.

I believe that we never have actually "made" it because the moment we feel that way a curveball is always thrown and we get to continue learning and growing. I am however grateful for the opportunity we always have to pick ourselves up and try again. 

For that very reason I am grateful for these words that I wrote a year ago and submitted as my "story" for "As Told By Women." Sometimes we wish that we could go back in time and tell our past selves something we wish we would have known and sometimes it is our past selves that can reach forward and remind us of something we already know, but have maybe forgotten. It is amazing the wisdom that is found in every single one of us.

I believe our own intuition and guidance from God is the best source any of us have to fully understand what's happening in our lives and where we should go from here. 

I hope these words from past Clarissa will benefit you today because they sure have benefitted me this week. :) 

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There was a point where life was seeming so ROUGH.

Nothing seemed to be working out. Nothing was making me happy. I felt so completely numb and nothing I did was shaking the funk. Even a Carnival Cruise to Mexico didn't snap it. I was searching, grasping, reaching for something, anything, to bring me the joy I so desperately wanted to feel.

That was the breaking point.

One weekend I went to San Diego to participate in what was called a "mindfulness triathlon" which included a 5k, a yoga session, and concluded with meditation. It was a rare rainy day in San Diego and as I began the 5k, I was wet and was feeling particularly heavy. It was hard to put one foot in front of the other, but I pumped on. My music was playing through my headphones and as I was pounding the pavement along the peninsula some words came through that stopped me in my tracks. "and I realized, you have to feel alive, inside." I stopped running, moved over to the side, and burst into tears. It was as if everything I'd been running from for the past three years was hitting me all at once and as the lyrics continued to play, I just soaked it up. It continued, "and all your worries will escape through the door and you'll wake up all alone on the floor, but it's not too late, just rely on me now." (Alive, Gabrielle Aplin)

You have to feel alive. INSIDE.

I had been running from my fears. I had been traveling and learning. Going on trips, having adventures, and acting alive on the outside, while all the while feeling numb and getting more and more frustrated that nothing was bringing me joy. But in that moment the word "inside" jolted me. I realized that I had been numbing myself. For years. I had tried to make others love me, that didn't work. I had tried having massive adventures and running from the pain. That didn't work. I had tried focusing on others and blocking out my own needs. That didn't work.

I was going to have to stop and do work on myself INSIDE. I knew there was no other way.

I went on a month-long road trip to search my soul and at the end of that I decided to quit my soul-sucking job, which was a major risk since I had no savings and no idea what I wanted to do. An opportunity to move to San Francisco came up, and against all odds I seized it.

The next three months changed my life.

Miracles happened (living in San Francisco for less than $300 dollars a month is nothing short of a miracle, believe me). I met people that helped me see what I was capable of, that were actually already living my dream. I had TIME to do the work. I read books. I thought a lot. I wrote. a lot. I cried. Yep, a lot. There were a lot of dark days, and a lot of amazingly bright days as well. I wrote my personal manifesto, created my business plan, and experienced what can happen when you decide to take risks and go after your dreams.

Through my journey I have come alive inside, I am feeling deeply again, loving myself, seizing opportunities, and being vulnerable to developing meaningful relationships.

I had to take risks.
I had to struggle emotionally.
I experienced love, support, and friendship.
I had to experience loss and regret.
I had to get clear on what I wanted and then trust the universe to guide me.
I had to hustle.
I had to have patience and faith to trust the timing.
I had to believe that everything was actually guiding me to where I was supposed to be. I had to let go.

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That move to San Francisco was just the beginning of the transformation, and the following 18 months would bring many more opportunities for experience and growth.

Since then, I have had many more experiences to learn and grow. I completed three semesters of Grad School for Interior Design. I backpacked all over Europe, solo. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and through the battle of that learned how to be even MORE vulnerable. (And I am happy to say I am now cancer free!) Through all of this I have allowed myself to be vulnerable as I have opened my heart to love and friendship again. I have found my voice to stand up for what I believe as I speak my truth. And I have created my own business because I want to help women realize these things too and step into their highest potential and begin living their best life.

I am "glowing" again. And it feels so good.

If you'd like to see the post by "As Told By Women" check out the wonderful stories they have on there here. Women are incredible. We just are. 

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