Butterfly TransformationTruth be told… without exception, every person who finds their way to this page holds a certain power inside them. What you may not understand is there is a defined process of owning and honoring your personal and creative power, known as empowerment. This gift is not something anyone else can share with you; it is one you must decide to accept from within.

I believe empowerment is one of the greatest gifts – primarily because it is accompanied by being self-responsible – where you know, with no uncertainty you can be completely in charge of the reality you create, and can do so – confidently and effectively. Don’t let this frighten you; it does not mean you become responsible for all experiences that happen in your life, but most certainly, your own inner experiences. My own story is a case in point.

Let’s face it; we’ve all been hit by the unexpected and ill-timed curve balls that life throws our way. Although I’d faced my share of curve balls, nothing could have prepared me for what transpired in the months following January 21, 2014 – the day I went in for arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum in my left shoulder. I knew ahead of time that this procedure could take anywhere from six months to a year or more to fully rehabilitate, but I was determined to beat the odds… and I was wrong! I was informed when I awoke that there was much more damage in the joint than that which had been previously seen on an MRI and that a comprehensive open shoulder reconstruction had taken place instead.

Against my surgeon’s recommendations, I made the effort with my arm in a sling and pinned to my chest to return to work on “light duty” only two weeks after surgery… and I was wrong… again! Within hours of being up and out the door, my body let me know that it was definitely too soon to be back. I managed to struggle through the day, holding back the tears I desperately needed to shed. By the time I got to the car, the tears were flowing freely down my face; my body was in extreme discomfort and my mind was riddled with anxiety. Unsure of how long it would take for me to get back to the profession I really loved working in with special education students, I let the tears flow. After composing myself and reaching out to my family and friends for their advice, I made arrangements that day to remain out on a medical leave of absence for the next month.

The next four weeks were the most mentally and emotionally challenging… unable to fully take care of myself, work, workout, or go out due to the brutal New England winter weather, I found small “projects” to keep myself busy. It still wasn’t enough. From time to time I found myself fighting off the fears of insecurity that kept creeping into my mind… certainly not an easy feat, but I managed. About a month later I started physical therapy. I felt scared and excited at the same time when I arrived at the physical therapy office. As the therapist went to bend my elbow, I winced in agony! On a scale of 1-10… I’d say my discomfort level hit the 100 mark without question! At least another recommended 6 months of this bloody hell! How was I going to do this and go back to work at the same time? Once again, the insecurities crept in… What if I couldn’t go back to work? What if I was forced to remain home for the next several months? How would I pay my bills? What if I didn’t heal? What if I did heal? What if… what if… what it? Every insecurity and fear ran through my mind…. and then… it hit me! From deep within, a gentle voice whispered to me, “Lisa, take care of yourself… you need time to rest, to heal, to repair. You need this time for yourself. Everything will work out. It will be okay.”

I applied for a non-paid medical leave of absence for the remainder of the academic year, which thankfully, I was granted. I also made arrangements to curb my spending and to ask for financial help from my family. Although the basics had been covered, I still needed a purpose… that is something to live for other than to “just wake-up” every day, do physical therapy, and be alone with my own thoughts and insecurities.

Although I have continued to work daily, both in physical and aquatic therapy to rehabilitate my shoulder, I have finally found my life “purpose” again. Now… it’s your turn!  Just as I took ownership and responsibility for managing certain obstacles that cropped up in my life, I reclaimed my personal power and created the life of my dreams. No, it wasn’t easy at first, but I refused to be a victim.  Now, I’m on a mission to empower you, the heart-centered online entrepreneur, to build the life and business of your dreams! Whether you are struggling to take the next step or don’t even know which step you need to take, I’m The Confidence Coach and Online Visibility Expert  who will guide you every step of the way.

Lisa Marie Pepe