The Calling

In recent months, I’ve been called to explore a new and different direction in my coaching practice. Don’t get me wrong, I love to help people uncover their path and will continue to do so.  But I have received several “hits” that there is more to do. I need to dig deeper, connect to some of my old wounds, and use those experiences to help others.  Sure, I’ve touched on some of the trauma I endured in my 20s and even in my 40s, but truth be told, I’ve known for a while that I was only scratching the surface.

In a world where we’re having to wear physical masks, I’m aware, more than ever, that I have to remove the last of the unseen masks and reveal some deeper truths. There’s a reason I had to learn certain lessons and now those reasons are being revealed to me.

We’ve heard expressions such as “she lost her voice” or “he lost his power.”  But I don’t believe you lose your voice or your power. It may feel lost because it’s so deeply enshrouded in layers of dense memories and trauma.  But underneath the murky sludge is a beautiful, perfect, inner flame, just waiting to be revealed. It took me a long time to learn that the amount of crap a person takes is in direct proportion to their self-worth.  Once the scale tips past the point of what you’ll accept, only then will you leave a bad situation. At least that’s how it unfolded for me.  I stayed in bad relationships and toxic job situations way longer than what was healthy.

Part of it came down to my people-pleasing personality. I was always nice. But was I? That’s what people thought. In reality, it was a coping strategy. Be nice, don’t make waves, don’t make a fuss.  It’s no wonder that years later while watching the movie “Frozen,” I connected to Elsa’s character.  I felt a twinge in my heart when her father told her to “conceal, don’t feel.” I learned from an early age to make everyone else’s life easier, to make them feel better. Yet, the more I did this, the worse I would feel. It’s not as if I were respected or loved more. Under the surface, under this “nice” façade, was rage—rage at myself for allowing people to walk on me, rage at those who took advantage of my “niceness.”  Everyone took generous helpings, of what I was freely offering, leaving my plate empty.

If you have people in your personal and professional life who treat you like crap, why is that?

Yes, we teach people how to treat us. But it goes deeper than that. Why do we teach what we teach? What’s the payoff (because there’s ALWAYS a payoff)?  Look around.  If you have people in your personal and professional life who treat you like crap, why is that? This isn’t about “blaming the victim,” but we have to start asking questions. I had been aware of what was happening, but it wasn’t until the ripe age of 51 that I questioned why it was happening.  What was my part in the equation? What patterns had I carried over from childhood? What wounds had been covered up long ago but were still festering under the surface?

I thought I had already dealt with my “stuff.’ But I needed additional healing.  I needed to dig up the dirt, even though I didn’t want to. I had to see it to clean it. I had created a persona that was put together. It had taken years to build her and I was rather attached to her. But that persona wasn’t real. It was not me and all the Divine that I truly am. It was a shell. It was the façade of a house on a movie lot—no real rooms, or depth or running water—a 2-dimensional structure. If I wanted people to see the real house with all its many rooms with flaws, dust, and clutter, I was going to have to demolish the façade. I was going to have to be vulnerable and let people see ME.

Once I decided that I had to learn about myself, I hired my coach-a man who was more like a spiritual guide. I cried many times in those early sessions and felt my words caught in my throat. This is common for people who have stifled their voice. Years of not speaking your truth, not giving yourself permission to scream, “HERE I AM IN ALL MY POWER AND YOU CAN’T HURT ME!” starts a flood. Once the voice is unleashed, it’s as if the dam breaks. That might look like choking sobs or it might look like a jolt of energy as, once again, you connect to your power. Out of the shadows, the internal flame now exposed, can grow bigger and brighter.

One of my superpowers has always been to make others feel good. The shadow side of that is that I could make them feel bad just as easily—not even meaning to.

I can be blunt. So, in the beginning, after my dam broke, I wanted to get everything I had been holding in, out. I would bring up injustice wherever I noticed it. I could tell I was rubbing people the wrong way. “So what?” I thought. “They will hear me!” Mama Bear was out of her cage! Gradually I learned to harness this power, but not bury it.  It’s a balance.

I quickly learned that not everyone was going to resonate with the new me, or rather the real me. I had to find my tribe, forgive those that hurt me.  I had to forgive the ones who only loved the façade. As I became comfortable standing in my power, the “noise” fell away. Now I get to do deeper work with members of my tribe and I can’t wait to help them unmoor their true selves from the docks of playing small. I’ve also learned that my purpose isn’t fixed and my path isn’t linear.  By accepting the call, I can’t go wrong—whatever that call may be.  Time to raise my voice, but this time not from a place of rage. This time the voice bubbling up is one of power, hope, and healing.


Carol Campos
Carol Campos
Like many, I struggled for years wondering what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I had been working in the corporate world for over 20 years, most recently in a leadership role with a Fortune 5 company. Although I was consistently recognized and promoted throughout my career, I somehow knew that I was meant to do something different. I felt stuck in a life that didn’t fit, yet I had created it. What was my purpose? I had no idea. Finally, I left my corporate job and made the leap into the unknown. After doing months of self-discovery work (actually, play!), reconnecting to my higher wisdom, and re-remembering who I was at my core, I realized I didn’t have to fix myself. I also realized that I didn’t have to worry about “finding my purpose.” What I found was that I’m multi-passionate and didn’t want to be boxed into one thing. I didn’t HAVE to be boxed into one thing. I started a podcast and a blog where I explored the human experience—including my own beautiful, messy, but perfect road. This blog later became my column on BizCatalyst 360°. I became a mentor and a wayshower for others. I became a consultant to help improve company culture and improve client relationships. These are things I couldn’t have imagined a few years ago. But as often is the case, the Universe had an even bigger plan for me than I had for myself. My Soul knew what I would be doing long before I did, and I’m grateful that I followed the Divine map that was laid out before me! I love traveling, exploring new cultures, being in nature, and helping people on their own paths. I hold a B.A. in Communications from Hofstra University. I live in Massachusetts with my rambunctious and hilarious cats, Petey, and Emmett.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your inspiring piece. I love how even when we break through and everything becomes so much more clear, we still have more to learn and room to grow. “Gradually I learned to harness this power, but not bury it. It’s a balance.” It also resonated deeply that it’s not just you who are uncomfortable with change, it is everyone else who knows you for who you are to them. Some people can adapt to you changing, others not so much. Best wishes for your continued evolution over the next year. Really good stuff!

  2. Welcome and congratulations.
    Each of us needs to bring out our inner voice and make it clear to the world. He needs to turn up the volume of his emotions.
    The moment we are able to become for ourselves the guide we have always wanted to have at our side, the doors open before us and everything in our life turns into an exciting adventure.
    If we look at our existence as an opportunity to end suffering, as an opportunity to embrace and heal all that may have happened in the past, our attention shifts. It passes from controlling the surrounding world to letting oneself go to the flow of life, that is, being present to oneself moment by moment, with joy, serenity, spontaneity and passion.

  3. Thank you Carol.
    I just really love this so very powerful inspiring share.
    It really touches me when people get their power back and open their heart and soul for healing.
    The moment people decide to get their power back, amazing, the awakening is so strong!

    I moderate a online group of women, who have been sexually abused as a child or teenager.
    And now grown up, no matter what age, they need healing.
    Helping women to stand again in their power is so grateful work.
    Thank you!

  4. Carol,

    Wonderful to see you on this amazing forum of like-minded people; kind people.

    This is such a soul-seeking, heart-lifting article. Ultimately you use your life’s experience to help others. You have a natural and spontaneous empathy and this comes across like a shining light. To quote you:

    ”By accepting the call, I can’t go wrong—whatever that call may be. Time to raise my voice, but this time not from a place of rage. This time the voice bubbling up is one of power, hope, and healing.” Beautifully imaginative words.