“Understanding trauma has been a huge part of my journey over the last 10 years, and specifically the last 4 years, after doing extensive training in a mind-body modality called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) which was developed to treat war veterans with PTSD. We all have some level of early childhood trauma, and various traumas that happen throughout our lives, and these experiences shape us in ways that are fundamental to how we show up in our day to day life.
My traumatic experiences started as early as 6 years old. For whatever reason, I wasn’t able to cope with my surroundings and I developed anxiety and obsessive skin picking disorder (a form of self-mutilation) as a way of dealing with my feelings. I felt alone, ashamed and out of control for most of my childhood and teens, and I went through life like a bit of a ghost – either keeping to myself completely or hiding behind a bright and sparkly personality to distract people from the sores I had all over my face and body.
Eventually, I learned to hide my dysfunctions pretty well. I moved into high school, had good grades, and was accepted to one of Canada’s top comprehensive Universities. When I went off to school to start this new chapter, I remembered thinking ‘Finally, this is all in the past and I can move on with my life.’
But my past coping mechanism, low self-esteem, and inability to really live in my body, eventually caught up to me a few years into my new journey. After going to France for a semester abroad, I developed an illness no doctor could diagnose. I spent months and months feeling ill with no prognosis, having test after test to no avail. I was suffering physically and emotionally which eventually lead me down a dark spiral to a deep depression, and later to severe anxiety, burnout and thinking it would be easier if I just wasn’t here anymore.
It was around that time that I learned about a 10-day silent meditation retreat centre just outside of Toronto. On an impulse, I applied to attend and began what is now a decade-long journey to understanding myself, trauma and transformation at a very deep level.
I’ve had many ‘paths’ at this point in my life (and I’m sure will have many more!). Not long after completing my University degree, I landed a great job in education. I knew a month in that it wasn’t for me, but the salary and benefits were so great (and honestly, I didn’t know what else to do for work) that I stayed in it for 6 years.
I was fortunate to have had so many good opportunities during my time in education, but I always felt like something was missing and all throughout my career I dreamed of doing something different. I loved the idea of location-independent work, being creative, and helping people create the lives they know deep down are possible for them. During my career in education, I attended a lot of trainings in both marketing and trauma-informed transformational coaching (Emotional Freedom Techniques) with the intention of one day owning my own business.
It was at the 6-year mark after dealing with burnout and another bout of severe anxiety caused by the stress of my job that I decided to finally make a change. I had no idea what I would do, or how I would get on a different path, I just knew something needed to change. I created a new vision for myself (even though at the time I didn’t even think it was possible) and basically just put one foot in front of the other.
I started by creating a YouTube channel and posting videos every day for a month, and then just went from there. Honestly my first video was me crying on camera about how miserable I was in my life. Not glamorous at all, but it got the ball rolling in a different direction. Those first videos eventually lead to me being hired by a marketing agency as the Marketing Strategist, videographer and Social Media Manager and getting paid to do creative work – something I never thought I’d actually get paid to do!
That career change helped me learn a lot about myself, business and marketing in a different way. About 6-months in, the company closed their doors and I had the opportunity to finally create my own business combining all of my experience, skills, talents, and training in transformational coaching, which is what I’m doing now at www.melissalamoureux.com.
It hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had to give up a lot of ‘creature comforts’ and have the courage to do things that have been scary (time and time again), but it’s all been totally worth it.
All the personal work I’ve done over the years to heal my past, and having the willingness to create a new possibility for myself resulted in me resigning from my job, changing careers (twice), paying off my consumer debt, finally feeling comfortable to show up and share my voice in powerful ways, started a YouTube channel, sold my house, became a minimalist, developed deeper, more aligned friendships, uncovered by intuitive gifts, moved across the country, and created my own authentic business based on love, connection, and generosity.
Thinking about where I’ve been, and literally at times thinking death was knocking at my doorstep, my spirit is tenacious. That and following my own compass. There were many times when the people around me either judged me for always trying to ‘find myself’, or thought I was crazy for being so unconventional (like giving up a great job and selling my house just to name a few). But even though a lot of times I didn’t know how it was all going to turn out or what I would do next, I always trusted that the wise, knowing part of me was leading me in the right direction, and that by trusting and following my impulses, I’d end up where I was supposed to be.
I know I’m here to make a big impact, and that part of my mission here is to share my story in a powerful way. And even though I don’t know what that’s going to look like quite yet, I know I’m on the right track and that whatever happens, it’s going to be awesome.”