When I was 18 years old, I was recruited into the U.S. Navy, one of the best things that ever happened to me as I was on a risky path of addiction and self-defeating behavior. The Navy was a very challenging profession to be a part of, but I loved being a part of it and spent my next 22 years serving my country, seeing the world, and creating deep and lasting friendships.

My biggest challenge was that I was gay and being gay in the service back then was a crime so I learned, along with my fellow gay counterparts, to stay hidden.

After I retired, I came to the painful realization that hiding was now a part of who I was and where I thought I would be free, I was far from free. Although my family and close friends were aware of and embraced my sexual orientation, I braced for impact every time I came out to someone new. Unfortunately, my story isn’t unusual; even today when there is more acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community than ever before.

It’s been a long journey to reclaim my life and be free, mostly from the behaviors that I had learned to stay hidden. I’ve walked through my healing process and believe that we all hide and that the process in which we do so is Universal. You hide. I hide. We all hide. The ways that each of us do it is the variable, and that is where the awareness and healing must come in to reclaim our lives and be free.

I’ve been in the health and wellness profession now for 15 years. Right from the start, I noticed that most of my clients were trying to fix their “outsides,” while their “insides” were not only in deep trouble, but were being neglected . This lack of emotional self-awareness almost always led to subconscious self-sabotage.

This is why I dove into advanced studies of the human psyche, learning more about emotional, subconscious, and mind/body-related issues. I received my Bachelors and Masters in Psychology (Counseling), and became a certified Advanced Holistic Coach. I also spent 18 months serving in a veterans treatment center as a therapist intern, directly working with our homeless and addicted veterans, my family in struggle.

I’ve experienced some devastating consequences for hiding and am currently writing a book about that journey. I am also working with a small amount clients as an Emotional Holistic Coach.

We all have the power within us to create the world we want, but it has to start with each of us finding and then sharing the things that we hide about ourselves. Then and only then can we learn to practice non-judgment, acceptance and compassion for ourselves and others.

Because the world-Everything-you seek is already within you.

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