leila anne

On Courage & New Beginnings


I spent almost my entire life with the nagging feeling of “not-enough.”  While I always had a strong sense of who I was and what I believed, I dimmed my light and played small, afraid to shine too bright or to step into my power.  

I spent years letting fear control my life.  I was afraid of rejection, of failure, of judgment, and of not being good enough. This meant that I never really went after what I wanted in my life. I kind of just floated through life and let things happen to me. Sure, I went away from things I didn’t want, but I never had the courage to go after what I did want, partially because I never even took the time to ask myself what that was!

This all came to a head when one day I realized I was unhappy in every area of my life. On the outside everything looked great, I had a healthy long-term relationship, a good job, a cute apartment.  I met my friends for happy hour after work and took weekend trips with my boyfriend whenever I wanted. But inside I felt suffocated. Nothing felt right, because nothing felt true to me. I was living in a city I didn’t connect with, I knew my boyfriend wasn’t the “the one”, I hated my job and was completely drained by it, and all the weekend trips I was taking were really desperate attempts to escape my daily life or try to find some peace by connecting with nature.  

I knew something had to change. I booked a one-way ticket to Europe and ended up altering the course of my entire life.

I was unhappy in my job, in my living situation, in my relationship, and I decided to do something about it.  I took my savings and booked a one-way ticket to Europe.

Sounds a little crazy, right? Well at the time, I had a couple of close friends living there; one in Spain and one in Germany, so the plan was to go for 4-6 weeks and split my time staying with each of them, and do some traveling on my own (plus some girlfriends decided to join me for a week in Paris because they are just the best!)

That trip ended up altering the course of my entire life.  Something inside me had been telling me to travel, and for the first time in so long, I fully followed my heart. I spent the next month getting space from my life and clarity about who I really was and what I wanted. I opened my eyes to new places and cultures, journaled every day, and took as many photos as I could. It was on this trip that my now husband and I decided to spend our lives together. My heart was opened to the love that I had been searching for my entire life. Something clicked, and suddenly everything made sense. We just knew. I flew home and moved to Germany 2 months later where we would then get engaged, then married, and eventually start our family.  

In my previous life, I would agonize over the task of having to make everything from small to important decisions in my life.  But now, the biggest decisions I ever had to make seemed like no-brainers. For the first time since I could remember I felt clear, and in touch with my intuition. I knew exactly what I wanted, and I made it happen.  My husband and I spent the next few years traveling Europe, and moving cities every year.

Now, life is an adventure that we are creating together. It has been a liberating and empowering experience. It’s still messy and challenging, but it flows freely because everything is in true alignment with who we are and what we want.  

The moral of my story is: trust yourself and let courage lead you.  Get into a practice of getting out of your head and into your heart. Ask yourself, does this support the life I am trying to create? Somewhere inside of you is a vision for your life, and you have the power (and the right!)  to make that vision a reality.

What’s one thing you can do today to get closer to your dreams?

And if you’re feeling at all like anything I mentioned above, know that you’re not alone, know it gets better, and know that you have all the power within you to make positive changes in your life.  

I promise the best is yet to come.

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