I Lost My Marriage, My Career & My Identity: How I Found My Way Back To A Life I Love

Written by Kristen Campbell
I Lost My Marriage, My Career & My Identity: How I Found My Way Back To A Life I Love

Photo by Mosuno

For three years following my divorce I floundered through life aimlessly, searching for dreams and joy that continued to elude me. In a desperate attempt to pay off old debts and build some sense of financial security for me and my rescue pup, I had gone from gluten-free blogging to working for an investment bank. I didn’t recognize myself or my life.

I was 32 and it felt like I was starting over—only this time I had massive failures in business, marriage, and finances behind me. I was in doubt of my every move and envious of Elizabeth Gilbert's graceful commitment to her craft as a writer despite the unraveling of her romantic and personal life. I hadn’t a clue of who I was or what I was meant to do, which made it hard to commit to anything.

My new job paid well, allowing me to pay off the debts I took from my marriage. And while returning to corporate America was quite jolting, I was surprised at how much good I seemed capable of doing in a job that involved actual in-person interactions.

But my pursuit of a conscious lifestyle never changed.

I stretched the rules of corporate dress as far as they could go and never left home without crystal bracelets vibing up my every move (and handily hiding my tattoos). I studied textbooks on essential oils, gridded with charged crystals, and practiced yoga and affirmations. In my off-hours, I attempted to relaunch my natural skin care line, complete with crystal-charged, chakra-strengthening serums. But deep down, my heart no longer believed in the dreams of my past. It took years before I was capable of believing I could actually achieve my dreams again—before I finally knew where I was heading. And in the end, it was yoga that led me there.

When my marriage crumbled, I left North Carolina with a lot of doubt and very little self-esteem. I felt weak and worn. The powerful poses involved in Hatha yoga and in Houston’s local Pralaya style helped me rebuild the strength I'd lost. I practiced inversions, held poses, and built the muscles (both physical and emotional) I needed to push through loneliness and depression.

When the mind is stuck, the body needs to move. As I grew into my body's potential, I rediscovered the power of my heart and mind.

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How can you find your yogic happy place?

Yin yoga led me to Acu-Yoga, Acu-Yoga to Pralaya, and finally, after finding a special peace in the uniqueness of Pralaya, my explorations led me to Kundalini yoga. And through Kundalini, I found myself.

I’m not all that good at inversions, and packed classes of Lulu-clad athletes terrify me. But the weirder, more esoteric a practice is, the braver I feel. Kundalini yoga's heavy reliance on mantras and breath work immediately engaged me. And since yoga's fundamental purpose is to connect us to the divine, it wasn’t long before my dreams starting bubbling to the surface once again—and eventually, my conscious mind stopped bursting them with self-criticism.

These days, yoga is by no means a niche practice. It's everywhere. I actually practice yoga most often at home, through YouTube, RamaTV, mbg classes, and YogaGlo. The accessibility allowed me to dabble in different styles and discover Kundalini yoga, despite my hectic work schedule.

I took some private lessons to build a strong foundation for my at-home practice, and eventually, I delved into an eight-month teacher training program in Kundalini. These days, I have a different day-job in an industry that feels more in line with who I am. But my practice is still a huge part of who I am. It was the path that brought me back to myself. And what I discovered about myself along that path is now the undercurrent of everything I do and every choice I make. I discovered the essence of my purpose through yoga—my inner truth. And my commitment to that inner truth gives me the strength to face whatever comes my way: I am a teacher.

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