For those of you who know me well, know I have dabbled in a LOT of different industries and have a ton of varied interests, traveled the world, lived in four different countries and have always been on the “search” for my ideal life where I could feel like myself and ultimately, just be happy. This might seem like a simple (or foreign) concept to many, but I truly believe everyone is searching for happiness, whether they want to get a promotion, lose weight, travel or make a million dollars. Why exactly do you want what you want? Probably to feel happy, right? Let me back track…
I am, as many other entrepreneurial women out there, multi-passionate and have a thirst for life and have never settled for average. I grew up in a small town in Norway, with fairly conservative parents who taught me that hard work pays off (and was necessary in order to make money), money was to be respected and didn’t come easy, and that I should focus on getting an education so I could get a good, steady job. I don’t think my parents were different from most and my education was very traditional in that respect. They were simply trying to make sure I would be “safe” and ok in the world. I was taught not to really make a big fuss about myself, be modest and respectful, and was constantly asked “what will they say or think” if I wanted to do something out of the ordinary.
I am still not sure of who ‘they’ were, but felt somewhat imprisoned by these strange creatures out there who just sat there all day long judging me, telling me what I could or shouldn’t do. Other people’s opinions and expectations of me became somehow very central to my thought process, and every decision I made started with asking myself “What will they think”…
“They” supposedly expected me to either become a doctor or a lawyer since I was an A student, to marry a tall, handsome man and have 2.5 children, buy a beautiful home in a nice town with impressive furniture, a cabin in the mountains (where we would go every weekend) and preferably a boat on the fjord, feel ok with the fact that fun would be over when you are married and that now my day would look something like going to work from 9-5, make dinner, read the paper and watch the news and be in bed by 10. And do it all over again until Friday, when we could finally have some “fun”, go for a hike in the mountains and maybe even have a glass of wine or two on Saturday night! Sigh…
Even so, I decided to do something as untraditional as move to the United States to go to college (San Francisco, to be exact) and spend all my money on my education, despite university being practically free in Norway in comparison. This was because I had become aware that the world was big and I wanted to explore it. Nobody really understood what I was doing, but half way expected me to return to Norway when I completed my education. I must have disappointed them, because after having spent my junior year in Paris and completing my senior year in San Francisco, I decided to move to New York to try my luck there in the working world, and 20+ years later, well the rest is history. I’m still in NY.
In New York, I landed in the exciting music industry where I worked for a decade as an international marketing director and traveled all over the world with celebrities, stayed in five star hotels, dined in top restaurants and basically lived la vida loca. When that journey ended, I felt I was done with the jet set life, and decided to pursue my interests in food and wine. I went from making 6 figures to making $10/hr as a cook in a restaurant, which was quite humbling. I told myself it was worth it, because following my dreams and trying to find my true purpose was more important than anything, and that I could always be making that money again. After all, I had proven it to myself.
After just a few months working as a cook and being a cocktail waitress in a restaurant in pursuit of my dreams, I decided started my own catering company, Fork and Glass with my husband. Oh yes- that reminds me: Ever since the age of 18, people back home constantly asked me the same 3 questions: “Aren’t you moving back home to Norway soon”? “When are you getting married”? and “Don’t you want kids”? I felt like an alien sometimes, because no, I didn’t want kids (unless you count four legged ones) and I was in no hurry to get married – but when I did, I made sure it was to a man that was Mexican and shorter than me, just for shock effect (not! lol). And after 20+ years in the U.S. the question “Do you like it there?” seemed kind of redundant and ridiculous. Yes, I sure do, and no, I’m not moving back to Norway.
Maybe it was the rebel in me, but in between all of this I decided to slim down, double my muscles and compete in bodybuilding shows. Instead of getting pregnant, being in a desk job tolerating life, and giving into the story that my body had seen better days since I was now approaching 40 and that’s just how life is, I strutted my stuff in a shimmering bikini and high heels covered in an orange tan. It felt amazing and I was empowered by the fact that if I wanted to look good the only thing I had to do was make a decision to set a goal and put in the work. Much like anything else in life, you just have to make the decision. The rest can be figured out.
While I ran my company and worked my ass off catering (this line of work is not for sissies and I quickly learned doing manual work for 14, sometimes 16 hours a day was not my calling), I was getting my wine education and worked for a small Norwegian luxury vodka brand which was quite fun. Because I was positive, outgoing and interested in networking and learning about new things, life always seemed to be giving me these amazing opportunities which I accepted and learned from. I was most definitely grateful for these chances given to me, but I still hadn’t found what truly lit me up, what would give me the feeling of “ah! THIS is why I’m here in this world”.
So I continued searching. I tried working for a wine importer as a sales consultant, and then moved into retail as a wine buyer for a large wine where I stayed for over 2 years, before I came across the world of coaching through my continuous search for “me”.
BINGO!! All of a sudden the lights came on and a whole new fire was lit up under me. I quickly realized that I had been coaching my whole life; I was the person all my friends would come to if they needed to talk something through or had a problem or issue, and I loved hearing about their lives and realized that we are all really challenged with the same things in life. And ultimately we all want the same thing: to be happy.
I think the most important reason I have been able to see the big picture now, at age 43, of what I am supposed to be doing with my life; to help women find the courage and confidence to design their dream life DESPITE what background they have and programming they have had in life; is when I made the best decision in my life at age 40: To become a vegan. Might as well stay on the track of being different, right??
I have always been an animal lover, but I didn’t always see the irony of claiming that title in one breath, while eating the ones I claimed to love in the next. I grew up with a dozen cats, chickens, ducks, horses, goats… you name it. But I also loved cheese, meat, eggs and fish.
It wasn’t until my late 30s when my friend started sending me videos of animal cruelty on factory farm, that I started researching and was horrified at what I found out. That this could be hidden from most people was unbelievable . Then what I found even more incredible is that people don’t really want to know, because they have a hard time letting go of the foods they have been so accustomed to. This was me for many years too. Instead of watching the videos or reading the books, I just turned a blind eye and pretended it wasn’t happening.
Until one day when I realized; I’ve spent my whole life trying to find who I am, who I want to be and what I want to do – and ignoring the welfare of beings I supposedly I said I was so fond of, was not in alignment with being a kind, conscious and truth seeking individual.
So I did something ELSE untraditional: I went vegan overnight. Which meant I had to say goodbye to any followers of my Norwegian food blog (I spent a lot of time building that community) who only followed me because of my writings about smoked salmon and brown cheese, I had to get my husband used to the fact that we wouldn’t be eating the same dishes anymore (but we found a happy compromise) and I had to get re-educated on the best way to build muscle on a plant based diet (it’s easy and much healthier, by the way). Instead of seeing problems, I started seeing solutions, which became my mantra for my new life.
So what does becoming vegan have to do with finding your purpose in life? Finding the courage to do what makes you happy and fulfilled, and being honest with yourself, of course. When I turned vegan something happened inside of me – I felt so true to my nature, so clean, uplifted and positive that I know could make ANYTHING happen in my life. What I had seen as a potential huge obstacle, really wasn’t that hard at all, and so many new doors opened up for me that had been shut before.
This is what happens if you allow yourself to believe in yourself and your capabilities of doing what you truly want to do, despite what other people say. How many times have I heard that “I have to be careful, because it can be unhealthy not eating animal foods”, that I’m not getting enough protein, B12, calcium, iron, etc. Well guess what people: I have been a vibrant, healthy and alive individual for the past 3 years I have avoided animal foods – in fact, feeling better than ever before! My point is: follow your truth, listen to your intuition – what your “gut feeling” tells you will never be wrong for you!
Don’t believe the hype. Don’t believe it when people tell you a corporate job is “safe” because you get a steady bi-weekly paycheck, that feeling a bit ‘so so’ about your life is normal, that you have to stay in a relationship that isn’t really making you that happy anymore but is ‘comfortable enough’, that carrying around an extra 20-30 lbs on your frame or feeling aches and pains in your body is to be expected when you are getting older…
Why settle for ‘ok’ when you can have AMAZING?? You only have this one life and you SO deserve it! The world needs YOU and your special talents, give yourself credit for the incredible and very special individual you are! If you don’t quite know what that is for you yet, that’s ok – do what I did, and keep looking! It is SO worth it in the end.
So where on earth would you even get started with this, you might ask? This is why I transitioning from vegan health coaching into life coaching for women just like you… who know that life has more to offer, or more specifically, YOU have more to offer. You have a desire to wake up in the morning and be excited about your day, not dread it. You want to make a difference, feel good, and you want to be able to make good money while having fun at the same time. I get it, believe me.
I am here to help you explore some options for you… Let me get to know you and learn more about your story and we can come up with some ideas together for how you can make yourself happier TODAY. I can give you suggestions based on our talks, and a step-by- step action plan to get you to where you want to be.
Whether that for you is changing your diet to get more energy or lose weight, changing jobs or even starting your own business, or picking up an old interest or hobby of yours that will get you back in touch with who you truly are and what you love doing, give yourself a gift and take a chance on yourself for once, today!!
When I finally got tired of saying “no, I can’t afford it”, or “maybe next year” or “I don’t have time,” while secretly feeling super sad inside, I made the best decision ever: I realized that I only have today, and I invested in a coach and took a massive step towards improving my life.
I can proudly say that this month I’ve made more than double my salary in my old job as a wine buyer, all while working from the comfort of my own home and spending time with my beautiful pup Scooby, and getting the privilege of coaching amazing women around the world, helping them find back to who they are and what they love to do. Best job in the world!!
Schedule a free call with me here to see how I can help: https://calendly.com/sunnyg/60-min-discovery-session
I would love to see you find your true happiness no matter what that looks like to you. Talk soon!! 🙂