Growing up on the old 101 highway with my mom and four siblings, we did the best we could with almost nothing. Dad wasn’t around. It was the 70s and there was never enough money, but we found adventure in the freedom that came along with growing up back then. Even though we ate rice, eggs and beans every day, shared beds in the living room, and had no phone, heater, or much to wear, we didn’t feel poor.
Donna Summer, The Queen of Disco, blared through our house with lyrics we were too young to understand and Casey Kasem’s top 40 count down played on the radio. We swooned over Leif Garrett and Scott Baio on Teen Beat Magazine, spent Fridays at the Petaluma Roller Rink and danced along with American Band Stand Saturday mornings when our T.V. was working. Our oldest sister gave us feathered haircuts by pulling our manes into tight ponytails at the top of our heads, and hacking them clean off. She also pierced our ears in the back yard with ice cubes, needles sterilized with a match, and halved potatoes. With our shared lip gloss, and Farrah Fawcett hairdos, we karate chopped in the back yard like Charlie’s Angels.
When I was twelve, I came home from school to a house full of packed boxes. My mom had no color in her face and looked lost in a house we could no longer call home. We had been evicted and were all forced to go in different directions. I moved in with friends and cleaned houses after school to earn money. I moved 23 times in the 7 years that would follow. Alone and ashamed of my situation, I exhausted myself with a fake smile and cheerful attitude I forced myself to wear to avoid other people’s questions. My constant incongruence blurred the line between lies and reality.
In high school I worked three jobs to pay rent and to escape my emotions. Fear, oddly enough, was not one of them. I remember taking the Golden Gate Transit bus to San Rafael on Fridays and Saturdays at midnight, so I could shuffle and sort newspapers until dawn. The ink would barely be out of my lungs and hair before I returned again the following weekend. Working helped me vacate a life that had become full of bad decisions, insecurity and anger. My addiction to toxic relationships haunted me. It was the beginning of a long struggle as a workaholic.
I made it through those dark days by reading books like, “Your Erroneous Zones” by Dr. Wayne Dyer, and “The Road Less Traveled” and "People of The Lie" by Dr. M. Scott Peck. Richard Bach and Jane Roberts’ wisdom were never far. Through my own spiritual curriculum, I began to unravel my truths, and finally, I realized I could change the way I thought. Slowly, I experienced a dim light inside my body. Then the light became brighter and brighter, until one day, I became the light, just as we all are in our most authentic state.
Of course I didn’t just fly from point A to point B; in fact, most of the time I crawled in the dark, one bloodied knee step at a time, with eyes too teary to see.
Today I’m married to an adoring guy, and we have two silly tween boys. We share the freedom of time and live a life I never thought I would have the skills to maintain. I’m happy today because I made a decision to change my mind.
This journey is why I’m a Life Coach. I know the road to a meaningful and rewarding life can feel impossible, but I also know it bares the sweetest fruit. I understand what it takes to change thoughts and habits, and that faith has to come before the reward. Our mind needs to bend in unfamiliar and uncomfortable ways before it can experience lasting change. It is also important to address negative emotional patterns and discover that clarity and truth lead us out of the dark, toward a life of our highest ideals. To find our way, sometimes we need a very big flash light.
It is my pleasure, joy and honor to shine the light, like others did for me, and help you create a path that is well lit and authentically yours.
Penny Sisley is a Certified High Performance Coach, an avid Tapper, and a loving student of Paramahansa Yogananda. She enjoys sharing hard earned, inspired wisdom, with anyone seeking a clear mind and a fresh outlook. When she is not at the baseball field rooting her husband and boys on, or volunteering at her sons' schools, you can find her celebrating life with her girlfriends, or hiding in a closet reading a book.