The Path of Inner Alchemy – Transforming Life Experiences into Wisdom
Written by Daniella Schoch
If you had told me 5 years ago that today I would be living on a Mediterranean island, in a whimsical old stone house, doing what I love and making a living out of it – I would have laughed in your face. And probably thought you were a bit cuckoo too. And that’s exactly it. Sometimes we cannot even imagine how wonderful life can be.
My biggest crisis and life transition started in 2010 when I was hit with three accidents within five months. Nothing life threatening (even though the last one could have ended really badly) but bad enough to go through surgery each time followed by complications and more surgeries – five in total. I spent the better part of the next 18 months in hospitals, recovery and away from work fighting for my mobility, and to be honest – my sanity.
Having spent 12 years working as a successful Project Manager in global Financial Services firms, it hit me hard – being forcefully pulled out of my everyday life, my responsibilities and my identity from one day to the next. At the same time I had been feeling stuck in a job that was too good to leave and not good enough to make me happy.
Then, in the summer of 2011, my mum got sick with cancer and passed on within 3 months. I was already questioning everything I believed in professionally. Now I had also lost my biggest champion, my anchor. I felt like I was floating in empty space. I had been sent to a psychiatrist after my third accident – a guy who supposedly specialized in trauma therapy. He was only interested in prescribing anti-depressants. I went to see a behavioral therapist who wanted me to implement healthy routines into my daily life but refused to acknowledge any spiritual relevance to what I was going through. I needed more. Why was this happening to me? Why now? Somewhere along the way I realized I could drive myself crazy asking why. But I couldn’t just go back to my “old life” pretending it made me happy. I had to make all the pain and suffering worthwhile so that something beautiful would come out of it.
I followed what I call the “golden breadcrumbs”. My creativity, passions, whatever inspired me guided me on a different path of healing. I kept praying. And meditating – even if it was only once a week. I never entirely stopped hoping and believing that there was a profund spiritual purpose to what I was going through. Deep inside I knew that one day I would be able to look back on this phase of my life and say: “Wow, those were tough times. But if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They have made me a more courageous, compassionate, authentic and alive human being.”
I wish I could go back and tell myself from 5 years ago that her wish has been granted.