Finding myself amidst struggle

I’m one of six children and grew up in a home, where despite my parents best efforts, love was not easily displayed and deep loneliness was the resident emotion in our home. Due to my need to be seen and loved, I acted out and found myself punished more often than not. Leaving me angry and resentful. Feeling unloved and unseen lead to deep self hatred and feelings of unworthiness which lead me, at the age of fourteen down a path of drugs, sex and abuse. A path that took me many years to escape.

After surviving two rapes and escaping an abusive relationship, I went to work building a new life for myself. I stopped seeking comfort in drugs and alcohol and I secured a job at Starbucks. Despite not finishing high school, I worked hard and  managed to move  my way up into leadership for the company. By all accounts, I was thriving. I found love, was married and together we made two beautiful babies. Life was idyllic….. Or so I thought.

Because I hadn’t really learned to deal with the emotional trauma I experienced as a child and teenager, I started falling back into old patterns of behavior. I picked up drinking again, first a glass of wine a week, then every few days and finally….. Every night. To combat drinking, and to empower myself after having been raped, I took up boxing and found a new passion, fitness. I worked hard and managed to get my body in great physical shape. Things were coming together when out of the blue, I was in a major car accident landing me bed ridden for five weeks, unable to train by body,  hold or hug my babies. Not good for someone who battles with depression. Needless to say, I fell into a deep state of depression and after months of struggling to make it through my days, I was let go from Starbucks. A massive blow given I had worked my ass off for the company for thirteen years.

"Holding on too tightly to anything can create disharmony in your life."

"It is better to let go with love, holding onto the knowledge that your soul will know peace."

Death became my savior

Despite still navigating depression, I rallied myself and sought employment at Nordstrom. Because I had been a leader for so long, I was happy to take a sales position and focus on doing what I do best, connect with people. Due to my skills and work ethic, I was quickly promoted and found myself once again climbing the corporate ladder. Moving from store to store building connections and empowering people. I really did love what I did.

This said, the darkness of my childhood and past experience lingered and I found myself, once again leaning into alcohol as a means to cope. As my drinking progressed, my relationships with my husband and children declined. Our house became a classic example of being in fight or flight mode. Every little thing would set me off and as a result, my children were terrified of me. While I give myself grace, I also must acknowledge that these years were not my finest moments.

The catalyst for my change happened when  I got a call no one wants to get. My sister, a severe alcoholic herself, died as a result of her addiction. Despite my state of shock, I knew that this could have just as easily been me. Talk about a wake up call. In the weeks after her death, as I walked around aimlessly trying to make sense of it all, I made a promise to myself and to her. I would once and for all do the work necessary to heal my trauma and then help heal my family. And that’s just what I did. I started by trusting my instinct and taking a leadership role in a startup cannabis company. A role where I could create the environment and culture, something I am very passionate about. I then made the difficult decision to leave my husband. While he is an incredible man, I had outgrown him and knew that if I stayed, I would not reach my fullest potential. This was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Deciding to leave someone you love so deeply in order to love yourself more.

Working on becoming MY version of me

I also went to work on myself. Having studied psychology, theology and stoicism on and off since I was fourteen, I had a pretty good idea of where I needed to start. I went deep and started to do the shadow work. I honored what came up, was gentle with myself and slowly but surely, I started loving myself. While the process was difficult, the results, beyond what I could have hoped for.

The work I did to heal myself unexpectedly prepared me to navigate difficult emotions that came up when covid hit. I easily and calmly managed my days as I watched fear strike the hearts of many. It became increasingly obvious to me that my employees and society at large did not have the skills needed to cope with a pandemic. I watch in horror as co-workers, one after another fall apart, be crippled by the weight of fear and  start isolating themselves from the world, leaving me thinking, there has got to be something I can do. It was then that I decided to step away from my career and go into the business of helping people navigate their own mental health. My mission was to hold space for people to share their truth, empower them to take control of their mind and support them as they reclaim their authentic self and start living life rather than being afraid of it.

While the road has not been easy, it has been the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences of my life. Continuing to step into my power while helping others do the same. Not only did I launch my own business, but in the process I was hired on as CEO of a cannabis training company, a dream title for a woman who didn’t finish 10th grade. And while I ultimately decided that the CEO of my own life suits me better than the CEO of a company owned by another person, I take pride in the fact that I was able to accomplish one of my dreams.

If I can, You can

And so here I am, asking you…… Where are you in life right now? Do you wake up with a zest for life, ready to experience the day and live out loud the truest expression of yourself? Or are you crippled by the weight of anxiety, fearful of the future and regretful of the past? If your answer is the ladder, may I lovingly suggest your reach out and connect with me. It would be my great honor to be of service to you and help you on your path of healing and self discovery. If nothing else, you can say you had a really cool conversation with someone whose passion is to see you RISE. Invest in yourself and set up a discovery call. YOU are worth it.

With deep love and gratitude,

Kerri Lewis

My Soul in Writing

Nicole Pope: Evidential Medium

Next on “Who Are You? What’s Your Story?”, Nicole shares her pivot from corporate America to psychic medium work. Today, Nicole is an Evidential Medium, Teacher at the Mediumship Matters Spiritual School, Usui Reiki Master Teacher, Spirit Led Reiki Practioner, and Holy Fire Reiki Practitioner.

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Stop Negative Thinking

We get so caught up in judging ourselves for not taking an action that we made a promise to take, that we don’t take the action.

We need to be constantly reminded that unless we take conscious, consistent action, to rewire our minds, it’s inevitably going to default thinking negatively. Once you catch yourself not following through with the action that you made a commitment to, you just immediately do it. You just do it.

Why is that important? It stops the cycle of negative thinking.
It gives you the ability to celebrate yourself for remembering to do the thing you made a promise to do. Instead of beating yourself up for not following through, you’ve shifted the experience, and now you get to celebrate yourself. And when you do that enough times over and over and over- you rewire your brain to trust yourself.

That’s really what my work is with all my clients, and anybody who I touch and sprinkle love on, even if it’s just one interaction. What I’m trying to teach is that you can save, heal, and take care of yourself. You do not need external anything to take care of yourself. So often, we seek external information or external resources to take care of ourselves. When we’re doing that, we miss the thing right in front of us that can help us in that moment. That is why it’s really, really important to take small actions, stick to them consistently, and then celebrate them over and over and over again. That starts to build up your reserve of trust for yourself.

It’s just gonna take time. It’s just gonna take repeated consistent action. If you follow through on that one small thing, without beating yourself up, every time you forget, and you just take the action in that moment, you will expand kindness and compassion towards yourself. Which inevitably enables you to show up in the world as a kinder and more compassionate person.

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Stephanie Berman Interview: Founder of the Aziza project

Next on “Who Are You? What’s Your Story?”, meet Stephanie Berman, founder and executive director of the Aziza project. This project supports women navigating issues with their gynecological health and raises awareness to educate insurance companies on women’s gynecological diagnoses.

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Uncover Yourself!

People work with me to help them uncover themselves. Because we are all unique. We all have different passions, we all have different motivators, different drives, and different things that are meaningful for us. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we need to operate in a certain way to be deemed a worthy, successful, positive contributor to the world. Those beliefs are all different for everybody. But the reality is, that many of those beliefs don’t serve us or help us experience life joyfully, fulfilled, and with passion and purpose. The only way I believe in which we can live a fulfilled life is when we chase our passions. I have a call to action for all of you. What is your heart calling you to do? What is one small, tiny thing you can do to take action? Whether it’s asking for help, being kind to yourself, giving yourself grace, or holding yourself accountable- you have all the wisdom that you need. You just have to follow it. And I know that you can. Show up for yourself in love and kindness and listen to your heart. It won’t steer you wrong!

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I’m Unstoppable. And So Aren’t You?

Each time we show up from a place of curiosity, and willingness to dig in and learn from the mistakes that we make, we hone our craft, we hone our skills. Eventually, we will excel in whatever area it is that we are focusing our attention on.

Show up for yourself, with hope, resilience, courage, self-love, and an unwavering belief that what you offer to yourself or the world is a worthy cause. Whether it is within a relationship, a job, a community, or to yourself- it is a worthy cause. It can’t NOT work out, it just can’t. The laws of physics and nature, prove that it can’t. It just doesn’t mean it will work out on your time.

It’s okay to have dark moments. It’s okay. But allow them to teach you what you need to learn. Which for me, was to have patience and to trust the process. And then keep it moving so that you can experience the dreams that you’re chasing. Whether it’s a change in thinking, a behavioral change, breaking free from addiction, or growing a global business like myself, whatever you desire to achieve, you will achieve it. It just doesn’t happen the way we want it to. And quite often it brings you to your knees many times over.

Well, I’m unstoppable. And so aren’t you?

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