Jodi Chapman is the author of the inspirational blog, Soul Speak; the upcoming book, Coming Back to Life: How an Unlikely Friend Helped Me Reclaim My True Spirit; the Coming Back to Life Ecourse, and the bestselling Soulful Journals series, co-authored with her amazing husband, Dan Teck.
After experiencing a spiritual awakening in October 2010, she went from being a complete skeptic to a believer in miracles and the magic that is always occurring all around us. She now lives her life with love and faith in the driver’s seat, and she hopes to leave a trail of inspiration wherever she goes. She believes that we each have the ability to hear our soul’s whisper and create our best lives.
She lives in southern Oregon with her beautiful best friend/soul mate Dan. They share their lives with four fuzzy kids: a sweet Norwegian Elkhound, Xena, and three wonderful cats: Biddle, Buncom, and Elsie. Learn more at http://www.jodichapman.com
We all experience life challenges that looking back we can see were the catalyst for living a deeper, more authentic life. What has been your greatest personal challenge that you’ve overcome that served as your pivot point to transformation?
Ten years ago, my life looked very different than it does now. I had just gotten divorced, and I was feeling very guilty about hurting my ex-husband. I had just started working at a new job as a technical editor. It was the first job that I ever had that paid well and made it so that I could afford to live on my own. The only catch was that I was working for the Department of Defense. (Not the best place to work for someone who isn’t a big fan of war.) It was right after 9/11 though, and I justified working there because I love my country and wanted to do my part in protecting it. Then the Iraq war started, which made the documents that I was editing much more real. People were dying, and somehow I felt like I was a part of it. This definitely didn’t sit right within my soul, but it felt so good to support myself for the first time. It felt good to be free and independent. But at the same time, my heart hurt and I cried every day.
On August 30th, 2002, I had a dream that I was in a horrible car accident. I dreamed that a white van turned left right in front of me, and I crashed into it at full speed. When I woke up, I felt unsettled, but was so thankful that it was just a dream. I went out to run errands and was on my way home when a white truck pulled out in front of me, and I crashed into it at full speed.
That was the day that changed my life forever.
Over the next two years, physical therapy and doctor visits were part of my weekly routine. Disability checks came in which turned into unemployment checks when they laid me off at my job because I wasn’t able to come back. I moved in with my new boyfriend (now husband), Dan, and I camped out on the couch each day where I stewed in anger about how much my life sucked and how angry I was that I was in constant pain. I was so angry that I had lost my independence. I was so angry that the woman who turned in front of me didn’t even help me at the scene of the accident. I was so angry that she was underinsured, and that my settlement wouldn’t be as much as it should’ve been. I was angry that I could no longer edit because it hurt too much with my neck and arm injuries. Basically, I spent a long while feeling incredibly angry and incredibly sorry for myself.
But this is only part of the story.
I believe that we attract into our life what we believe we are worthy of.
Just before the car accident, I went to see a therapist because I was feeling so guilty about divorcing my husband. I had fallen in love with someone else (Dan), and while nothing physical happened between us until after I ended it, I still carried this guilt. I felt like a failure. I had made a commitment, and I was supposed to honor that. My therapist asked me how long I planned to punish myself for this change of heart. I said (with a completely straight face) 10 years. And I meant it.
Just one month later, the car accident occurred. Last August was my 10-year anniversary of the accident, and just one month after it someone entered my life who showed me how to eliminate my pain completely. Finally, I was free of it. Finally, I was able to release the guilt and the punishment and allow myself to be happy!
I now see the car accident as one of the biggest blessings that has ever occurred in my life. I don’t know how long I would have stayed at my job had I not been taken out of it. I needed that big of a jolt to wake me up and help me to realize how far away from my soul I had gone. It led me to take stock of my life and see how I wasn’t living it the way I wanted to be living it. It led me to exactly where I am today, and that’s definitely something to be grateful for.
Describe the transformational moment or wake-up call when you realized that life change was necessary? For many, it’s a spiritual awakening, an emotional downfall, or a life-altering experience that shakes us awake.
Two years after the accident, my husband and I created a gift business. We loved that it was a way for us to work from home together and create inspirational products. We worked harder than either of us had ever worked before to get it off of the ground. And while we had some success, it wasn’t the level of success that either of us dreamed it would be. And it just seemed so hard – a constant struggle.
We had moved into our dream home and believed with all of our heart that the money would come to help us afford this home. We thought that if we set our mind to something, the money would follow. But that didn’t happen. We hadn’t changed our beliefs about ourselves or about money, and so what did happen was our bills increased dramatically, but our income stayed the same. Definitely not a good thing. We were living in a beautiful home, but we were constantly stressed about trying to figure out how to pay for it.
We were renting it with the hopes of buying it once we had saved up enough money. Thankfully, the universe stepped in and helped us get out of our horrible mistake. The house went into foreclosure (the landlords weren’t paying the mortgage), and we ended up leaving and moving into a much smaller, more modest, and more affordable home.
We spent the next few months licking our wounds. That experience had been such a struggle for us – day in and day out, not knowing how we were going to pay our bills. And after years of this, we both just wanted to crawl into bed and stay there until everything was okay again. We were so deflated and emotionally drained.
It was during this low time when I had a dream. In it, a faceless guy held a gun to his head and said that he didn’t believe he would die if he pulled the trigger. He didn’t think any of us ever die. I begged him to put the gun down and tried to get him to listen to me. But he pulled the trigger. And miraculously, he was still alive. There was no blood – only laughing.
When I woke up, I couldn’t get the dream out of my head. I tried to go about my normal routine, but I just wasn’t able to shake it. Later that day, I was on Facebook and found out that my first love shot himself in the head the night before.
This news both took the life out of me and shook my entire foundation. I felt intense sadness for him and was, at the same time, trying to figure out why I had that dream and why I felt so close to him now. It was like I could feel his pain along with my own, which scared me. Before this, I was not open to the other side. I didn’t think about it – and when I did, I dismissed it. I was a skeptic and believed that everything could be explained rationally. Which is what I tried to do for myself. Except signs kept appearing that I could no longer ignore, leading up to him communicating with me. Despite my initial resistance, I finally just gave into it and allowed our conversations to flow.
This experience has changed every single aspect of my life. It woke me up and helped me realize that I wasn’t living fully. It helped me see that I really can break free of my own chains. I really can embrace my time here on Earth.
It truly has been a spiritual awakening that I will forever be grateful for.
After experiencing your personal wake-up call what were the most powerful steps you took to change your life?
It took me an entire year to believe that this spiritual experience that I shared above was actually happening to me. I didn’t have much faith in God or the universe before this, and so I needed proof – lots of it. And each time I received proof, I would need more. It was never enough. So one of the biggest steps that I took to change my life was to trust and have faith in something bigger than myself. I learned that I can’t possibly know everything that’s out there. I couldn’t possibly know the magic that is occurring all around each of us. But what I could do is trust that I am loved, that I live in a loving universe, and that I am always taken care of. And so that’s what I started to do.
I began stepping into the unknown and began listening to my inner voice. I stopped saying no to life and instead said yes. I began embracing it. When opportunities came my way, I stopped shying away from them. I allowed my light to shine. Each time I thought that I was too afraid to move into something that seemed scary, I remembered that I was here – that we are all here – to open up to the possibility, to move through our fears, and to live our purpose rather than be afraid of it.
Like I said above, my life is completely different now than it was just a few years ago. Sometimes I pinch myself when I look at how wonderful it’s become. I now know for a fact that when we are on our path, the gifts and love are never-ending! And no, that doesn’t mean that everything flows perfectly all of the time. What it does mean, though, is that I now know that a greater force is helping to guide me through this journey, and that there are no mistakes – just lessons, growth, and experiences. We can always come back to love, which is always at our core and always all around us. This makes me feel very happy and so very blessed.
Please share a Positive Mental Shift tip that woman can implement today to support them on their journey of transformation and empowerment.
Start saying yes to life.
I spent most of my life living in fear. I said no to so many opportunities because I was afraid of them. I didn’t feel confident enough. I wasn’t sure that I was worthy of them. And each time I turned them down, my light grew dimmer, and I began to shrink away from life.
But I have found the opposite to also be true. When I consciously began to embrace my life, each time I said yes I could feel my inner light growing. I felt stronger and freer and lighter and happier. And what’s really wonderful is that the fear wasn’t as strong anymore. My fear muscle had been so overused for so very long. But once I started building up my confidence muscle, it began to overtake the fear. I began to realize that I really was powerful, and I really could do so much more than I ever imagined.
And that’s what I wish for everyone: to realize how powerful they truly are. To know, without a doubt, that they have the ability to change their lives with one conscious choice at a time. We all do. And we all can create miracles in our lives when we begin to take chances, take leaps, and say yes.
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