Turning my mess into my message is something I have heard over and over about how to give-back and deeply serve people in this lifetime. It’s something I have DEEPLY longed-for: to serve and be served by a deep purpose that transforms both the people being served, myself, and the planet.

The truth was, the more I wanted it the more I proved to myself I wasn’t truly ready. It’s always felt like an obligation mixed with a deep longing that I couldn’t make sense of and tried to force. Truth also was, I just wasn’t ready. I had to go through my journey to get to a point where I had endured a certain level of healing and understanding to be able to truly provide value and help people in this area.

I finally let go of this need to help people transform their trauma, especially while I was still transforming mine. Over time, I would get an intuitive hit here and there. One morning I woke up and was receiving clear, potent messages that were not of my mental fabrication but that came from source saying, “The next ‘title’ you’ll be working with is ‘Trauma Prevention’.” I got so damn inspired and excited, but I let it go again. It wasn’t time to take action. I was just being left inspirational bread crumbs, and I just had to trust and keep walking my path of transforming personal trauma.

That was about 7 months ago.

Then I woke up yesterday, laid on my couch like I have been for the past month to do my Wim Hof Breathing, and began the practice. I was transported back to a diving meet at a school in Cheshire, CT. I was a senior in high school. I was there in real-time. I was being shown how to heal this experience that took place 11 years ago. I was also incredibly anxious and dis-regulated during diving and gymnastics. I wanted so badly to do well, but my body always confused me with how flighty and anxious it felt, and my mind always got in the way with intrusive, catastrophic thoughts.

To get through, I had to will my way, hold my breath and hope for the best. It was exhausting and defeating and confusing. During this breathing session, I was being guided to send what I have learned about breathing back to my 18-year-old self at that diving meet and to envision myself using the breathing techniques to remain conscious and control my body.

Then, I realized something so BIG: I always blamed how shitty I felt during diving and gymnastics on the sport. I hated how I felt so I thought I hated what I was doing. But I DIDN’T HAVE THE TOOLS to understand or manage the mental health challenges I was experiencing.

Trauma and mental illness tricked me into thinking I hated what I was doing when really, I hated how I felt.

This is what my experiences have been leading me to: To realize all along, that I didn’t hate gymnastics, I didn’t hate diving, I have never hated business and entrepreneurship or my life. What I actually hated was how awful I felt for so long while living with intense mental illness and complex PTSD and was just so happening to engage in those things. How I wanted nothing more than to be successful and realize the potential I had as a gymnast, diver, and entrepreneur.

I always knew I was more than just what my coaches and fellow athletes/kids referred to as a “head case” and a ‘waste of talent’. I always knew there were deeper issues I was experiencing. And I eventually came to realize I was surrounded by unaware, unequipped, clueless adults that had no idea how to recognize and assist with an athlete/student/person dealing with complex trauma and mental illness.

I realized in this moment, that this was how I am meant to serve. To serve go-getters and achievers in sports and business and life that have intense mental illness and complex trauma affects that hold them back from realizing their greatest potential and deepest goals and dreams. And who often confuse complex trauma effects and mental illness with inadequacy to realizing these very dreams and goals, when their perceived inadequacy is not at all the case.

This was the moment, and it felt so HUGE. Expansive. Like a deep calling and like something major clicked into place. No obligation to serve or give back, but a like, oh fuck. This is what needs to be talked about. Trauma and mental health – informed go-getting.

An hour later I was sitting at my favorite bagel shop in Philly and began writing out WHO I am serving, WHAT the problem is. And I’m going to share that here word-for-word:

Who am I Serving?

  • GO-GETTERS
    • Entrepreneurs
    • Business Owners
    • Athletes
    • Anyone motivated to be someone and do big things in this lifetime

What is the Problem?

Trauma/complex trauma and mental illness get in the way of what go-getters are trying to create; creating confusion and chaos that what they are doing is the problem when it’s how they feel. Go-getters and high achievers that are experiencing complex trauma effects and mental illness need trauma-informed information and tools the tools in regards to entrepreneurship and sports to work with these challenges while still being able to realize their dreams and potential.

What Will Be Offered and Discussed?

Trauma-informed business, entrepreneurship, and sports. How trauma and mental health challenges present for go-getters so they can become more aware of what’s going on in their bodies and environment. Tools to develop awareness & mental health skills, minimize distress, and remain on the path to your highest goals, dreams, and visions for your life while in this process.

Going Deeper

I wrote this in third party language because it was easy for me to describe these experiences in this way, and I am betting that others experience these things as well.

Complex PTSD and mental illness hold people back from dreams/goals/living the life they want and deserve. They feel awful, crappy, and nothing externally like goals/achievements can make them feel better. They are in so much pain, but simultaneously so motivated to serve, create, reach their goals and build their dreams; but unresolved effects of trauma and mental illness make reaching goals and dreams 100x more challenging, difficult, unrewarding and even pointless.

There is the confusion that what they are doing is what they hate when really, it’s how they feel. With athletes, the lack of tools to manage challenging and overwhelming anxiousness creates aversion to the sport or endeavor. For someone building a business, they may confuse how badly they feel with the business they are building, thus quitting or trying to find something else that will make them feel better. But again, it’s not what we are doing – What we want to do/build/be and accomplish are all valid pursuits. It’s how we feel that confuses us and creates a veil of illusion over our entire lives. Once we understand what is affecting us, how it makes our bodies feel, and how it distorts our mindscape can we begin to take the healing action to manage, calm and settle pains and discomforts; and come to see ourselves, our lives, our dreams/goals/pursuits/desires more clearly.

When we feel better, what we do feels better too. And that’s what this work will be all about.

I was a gymnast who came to hate gymnastics and blame the sport because it made me feel debilitating fear, anxiety, frustration, and confusion. I quit building my dream business many times because my dis-regulated nervous system confused and overwhelmed me so much, I thought it was the business that must be making me feel so bad (so I figured quitting would be my only relief).

I’ve gone to personal development conferences where I would have nervous breakdowns at the goal-setting and future visioning parts because I couldn’t see or feel past the immense pain of my present experience. So I thought I was broken and didn’t have big visions, goals, or dreams for my life. All of these stories were overlaid with the pain of unresolved, misunderstood mental illness and complex PTSD.

I didn’t hate gymnastics.

I wasn’t incapable of building a business without imploding.

Too many times I have thrown in the towel because I was purely confused. I would see other people executing and planning with a semblance of clarity and not having a panic attack or breakdown in the process which always left me wondering, ‘what the HELL is wrong with me?!’.

I didn’t lack big goals, dreams, and killer vision for my life: I lacked the tools to make sense of and heal my traumatized and confused mind/body/soul.

I want to give anyone experiencing these confusing and challenging things the permission to temporarily release pursuits of bigger goals for the pursuit of healing their mind and body. To give themselves time to focus on that. To help them to see that their motivations won’t be lost and they are not lesser because of this. That if anything, your big goals/dreams/visions can feel good and rewarding as you unwind the tangled cord of mental illness and complex trauma. That you do have the time to heal yourself first and then focus on your bigger goals.

That you can also build your dreams without sabotaging them because of your pain by incorporating tools and personal understanding into your strategy for what will work for you/your body at the place you are in your healing process. That you don’t have to kill yourself and force through immense unhealed pain while building your dreams. But that’s also possible too, because I did it. (But it made life so, so, so much harder and more traumatizing than it needed to be…). That you can also build your dreams and heal simultaneously. That your abilities are not f*cked because you feel this way.

I want to give go-getters the tools to heal and feel whole while on the path to their big goals and desires. I don’t want go-getters, dream-builders, and visionaries to give up on these things because their traumatized body and mind trick them out of it. I want to mobilize and facilitate healing for all of the go-getters to realize their potential not just despite their traumatic experiences, but because of them too.

I want to help people realize its never too late to heal and discover who they are and what they want that exists beneath the layers of complex, hard and confusing traumatic experiences. I want people to understand that the often scary, debilitating effects of complex trauma is not a life sentence and that those mornings you long to wake up happy, content, and excited versus sad, scared, and miserable are available to you… if you do the ‘right work’ and walk along the maze-like path of complex trauma and mental health healing.

I thought the day would never come where I would feel happy to wake up. To feel like I can handle my life. I would look at the 5 am clubbers like they had something I could never have: being inspired simply by waking up with the sun and being alone with themselves? LOL yea fucking right. But the day did come. It took quite some time and struggle to get there (okay, not the 5 am part yet…). But I would rather spend 10 years getting to that point versus a lifetime not even trying, and thinking I could never possibly have it. Wasting the possibility of it whatsoever.

So, welcome to your healing journey to your most powerful and determined self. Where your dreams, goals, and visions don’t feel like a burden, but where they become your rewarding reality; with work of course 🙂

Let’s fucking do this!

Transforming Trauma.

Mobilizing a tribe of go-getters to overcome PTSD, transform mental illness, and realize their deepest potential and dreams.

Healing the people and the planet through trauma transformation.

Trauma-Informed go-getting, entrepreneurship, and sports.

Spiritually, alternatively, and traditionally-infused modalities and skills.

I will be creating videos for Youtube, downloadable tools, Instagram posts, and the occasional long-form blog posts and emails. If you want access to the tools which will be sent via email, please get on my email list 🙂

All love, healing, and power,

AA