Nearly four years ago I was on a path that was seemingly clear. I was a wife, mother, and professional singer. On a Sunday afternoon in February 2012, I received a phone call that would give a newfound perspective on every action I would take moving forward: my only brother had died of a drug overdose. That moment turned my world upside down ... or was it, in retrospect, finally turned right side up?
As my parents and I prepared for my brother's funeral, I found myself called to service. My brother's life had been filled with great turmoil, and it was challenging to discuss his life without it being clouded by his struggle with the disease of addiction. I had been estranged from my brother for the 5-years prior, so I found myself taken aback by my own words when I offered to give the eulogy at his funeral. Here I was volunteering to honor his life without even so much as a clue as to what I would say. But that was the point, it wasn't about me - it was about him. So I heeded the call.
Although it was grief that led me to it, I began my personal transformation journey then and there. I gave myself permission to question, contemplate, challenge, explore, and reexamine the status-quo. I began letting go of the things I believed I should be doing, and started focusing on designing a life that could and would help others. "How else can I use my voice?" became something akin to a daily mantra, a question that I would grapple with until the summer of 2015, when I lived my way into the answer.