In Living the Life You Love, I write extensively about what I call my “dark times” and how I found my way out of that abyss. You’ve read about it, and if you’ve ever been to one of my live events, you’ve heard me tell about it. What I haven’t ever shared before is what that time in my life actually looked like—what I looked like back then. Yes, as unpleasant as it is to post this picture, I am, because it really does speak for itself.
This photo was taken almost 20 years ago, right after my then-husband received his Masters degree from a prestigious university. I was happy and proud for him, I really was. I was not, however, very proud or happy for myself. He now had a second degree and I had none. He had a career and I’d thrown mine away when I was still a teenager. I’d talked myself out of my own dreams so I could help him live his. I’d convinced myself that what I wanted didn’t matter and had done what I thought I should. It took a huge toll on me mentally and physically, obviously, just look at my body language in that picture. That is not the posture of a happy woman with self-esteem. Even now, seeing that image—seeing her, seeing who I used to be—makes me sad.
Now, let’s be clear, my situation and condition were not my husband’s fault. Oh, I blamed him, don’t doubt it for a second, but my sad state of affairs was ultimately no one’s fault but my own. I’m the one who chose to quit journalism, quit writing and drop out of college in order to stay married. I’m the one who made the choices that set me up to feel trapped with no way out. I’m the one who swore I was happy when I wasn’t.
This next photo of me paints quite a different picture. This was taken a few years later when my husband and I started our own business and I’d started writing again. Besides, getting back into the adult world and creating a successful business, I was also serving on the executive boards of two nonprofit writers’ organizations, writing novels and winning contests. I was becoming me again.
The two photos on this page don’t even look like the same person, and well, they really aren’t.
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In Living the Life You Love: The No-Nonsense Guide to Total Transformation, I share the ugly truth about what I did and why—and how I started making different choices. It gives you a step-by-step template for turning a life you’re just “getting through” into one you truly love. If you’re ready to step up into your own “after” picture, get the book and get going now!
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Do you feel like you’re in limbo, wishing your life were different, but clueless on what to do about it? Or, can you see the big picture, but can’t figure out how to paint yourself into it? Whether it’s a career, relationship or personal situation, I offer private one-on-one coaching that utilizes a variety of different modalities to break through blocks fast and get you moving forward. In addition to our scheduled sessions (phone or Skype), you’ll have email access to me during the week to work through whatever might come up. I’ll work with you to develop your personal vision for your life and hold you accountable for taking steps to start living it. If you’re ready to do the work, I’m ready to help. Send me an email at paula @ paularenaye . com and I’ll get you an application. It’s time! www.PaulaRenaye.com
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A self-confessed former emotional wreck and utter failure at keeping her life from falling apart, Paula Renaye is now a certified professional coach, tough love media expert, transformational speaker and award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction. Her acclaimed self-transformation book, Living the Life You Love: The No-Nonsense Guide to Total Transformation, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012, calling it “A self-help guide with real-world value and applicability …profound, useful insights and strategies …deeply human, compassionate and supportive.” Living the Life You Love is recommended by mental health, medical, healthcare and other professionals with endorsements such as, “All the benefits of therapy in one book!”