This week's interview is with Amy Oestreicher, author, global speaker, actress, arts entrepreneur and Jill-of-all-trades. When we first connected, I was inspired by her TED talk called Follow Your Detour, Find Your Flower, where she shares her story of a succession of unexpected detours in her life starting with her stomach literally exploding right before senior prom.
After each detour in her life, she describes a flower that she picked up along the way - grattitude, identity reimagined, feeling, expression, courage and invincible identity.
Though I can't say my detours have been nearly as dramatic, I can definitely relate to having everything change just as you think you've got everything figured out.
Nine years ago, everything seemed to be going right on track. I had a job I was good at that helped others. I was on the board of a theatre community and I was expecting my first child.
Within the span of a few months, I went through an unexpected divorce with a colicky baby, started a new job that was much more more paperwork than actually working with kids and between everything else going on I just could not maintain my involvement in the theatre, which was my primary social outlet.
But here's the thing...
If I hadn't gotten a divorce, I would have never met my amazing husband who loves me for my quirks not despite them.
If I hadn't had a colicky and now intense child, I would have never learned about over-excitability, which helped not only me, but many others who follow my work come to terms with the gifts to be found in intensity instead toning down or tuning out.
If I hadn't started questioning the meaning of my "day-job" I would have never connected with my true purpose, which is to help gifted and intense women use their gifts effectively in the world.
And if I hadn't lost my primary social connection, I would have never found my way back to my Unitarian Universalist roots where I have found the most amazing community of support for both myself and my son.
In the midst of our detours, we may not see the flowers, but they are planted in the earth waiting to sprout and bloom!
When we experience unexpected detours, it is often helpful to take time out for self-reflection. I created this free Retreat Planner to help you create your own personal self-exploration retreat!