Have you ever experienced something so profound that you knew it would change your life forever? When I won the Mrs. International Pageant, many people witnessed this as an achievement that would allow me to share my platform on breast cancer awareness, but very few really understood where my real “why” began. Yes, MY WHY… the truth of what my soul desired to experience by competing on the international stage. My journey towards winning the Mrs. International Pageant actually accelerated after my mom lost her battle to breast cancer. From the outside in, you could look at my journey and understand a daughter who wanted to take her power back and help others through education and awareness. However, from the inside out you would have witnessed the transformation of a frightened person who had to learn to alter my mindset from pain to purpose.
Every day after mom passed away, I was faced with new fears. Anxiety created by situations I had never been worried about, yet I absorbed the fear of every situation until it completely rocked my world. Slowly, I could feel my personality and positivity being replaced with anxiety and depression. Me DEPRESSED??? I had never been a depressed person, but the grieve I suffered spiraled my fear and depression out of control. One afternoon I remember telling my husband that I didn’t think I would be able to get through the depression. My entire body ached from just breathing and I was so tired. After spending some time talking to him, he suggested that I try to reach for some hope.
It was at that point where I knew in my soul that competing in a pageant would be my first step out of the darkness. Because I am such a competitive person by nature, I knew I would start eating more, taking care of myself, and pushing my mind out of the place of fear. My mind shifted from why to why not, and in that instant is where God changed my life. By changing my mindset. Source showed me how I could rebuild the walls of my broken spirit one brick at a time. Except this time it would be different. I no longed felt afraid of not winning. For the first time in my entire life, I felt I had the tools to create an empowering outcome that would change my life and help another.
I decided to compete in the Mrs. United States Pageant as my first step back into regaining my power. Although I didn’t win, I was THRILLED to have won the swimsuit competition that year as well as become one of the TOP 10 FINALISTS! This journey was so empowering for me because it allowed me to focus on something I loved rather than keep my attention towards hopelessness and fear. The next year, I decided to compete for Mrs. Texas International, and 3 months after winning that pageant I was crowned Mrs. International.
I believe that behind every success story is a “why” just waiting to be shared. My why seemed simple… I wanted to heal. Looking back now at my journey, my why was more than the healing process. It was a way to create tools and resources that could also help another person who felt as if the world came crushing down on them when they suffered a loss of someone they love. My tool became PRAYER and my resources became the BOOKS and the COACHING through which I teach.
What is your why? When are you going to make the decision to turn it into a why not? We all have suffered pain, but it is through the rising from the ashes where you discover your purpose and empower yourself once again. I challenge you to start today. Your journey begins with a prayer.