MEET DANA CHILDS
Almost a decade ago, when I sold all my belongings and bought a one-way ticket to India, I didn’t know I was answering the cries of my heart. I only knew that what I was doing wasn’t working.
For a long time, I was busy doing the things people expected me to do. Climbing the ladders valued by everyone else. I went to college on a full scholarship, and taught school for seven years before getting my Master’s in Leadership and Education and landing a corporate job in finance. In an attempt to quiet my vacant heart, I began to scramble up the ladder, working sixty to eighty hours a week, aiming for more money, and thinking I could buy my happiness…
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It didn’t work.
The higher I climbed up the ladder, and the more surrounded by things, the unhappier I became.
I was unfulfilled.
I didn’t want my life.
I had climbed the ladder society valued, only to discover that it was the wrong ladder for me. I felt sad and lost.
I desperately wanted to feel better, but I didn’t know how. I felt stuck.
I wasn’t connected to my heart at all.
I needed options, so I made a list of the ones that seemed practical. By the time I was at number 10, I was tired and out of ideas, so I just scribbled down “Sell the house, quit my job, and travel the world.”
Then I called my Dad and said, “I’m coming home to visit you because I have some options I want to run past you.” Dad’s always been my safe space and the voice of reason. Which is why I knew he’d laugh at number 10.
He didn’t. He said it sounded like a good idea.
I argued that it didn’t make any sense. After all, I had everything everybody thinks they want.
“Yes, but are you happy?” he asked. What he then said altered the course of my life.
“It’s all just stuff,” he said. “When you read the last option, your eyes lit up. You should do it. It’s just stuff. Sell the stuff. Go see all this world has to offer. And if you come back and you really want the stuff, buy it back. You deserve to live a life that makes your eyes light up.”
And I did it. I followed my heart as it led me from my unhappy life. I won’t lie. It was scary! I sold my home, gave away most of the things in it, quit my job, sold my car, packed a backpack, and bought a one-way ticket to India.
I didn’t know I was answering my heart’s calling. I only knew that I felt desperate for change. I had the recognition that material things weren’t making me happy. They couldn’t. I felt desperate to escape who I had become and anxious to discover who I was.
Two months after the conversation with my Dad, I stood on the beach in Mamallapuram, a small beach town on the West Coast of India and listened to a man named Searavan tell me about the day he lost his nine-year-old nephew. December 26, 2004. The day of the deadliest and most destructive tsunami in recorded history.
Searavan watched the ocean sweep his nephew out to sea. He was not fast enough to save him. He said the scariest thing about the tsunami was not just the wave of water coming at you. It was what was coming at you in the waves – the things the ocean already claimed: washing machines, cars, boats, mangled rooftops.
This man faced the real possibility that he could drown in a wave of things.
He found his nephew’s dead body lying on the beach after the second wave.
I didn’t bother to say, “I almost drowned in things too.” It didn’t seem appropriate. So, I simply connected to his heart and touched his emotions as well as my own.
Searavan’s story of profound loss allowed me connection to another beautiful soul and placed me in the awareness of the grace that saved me from drowning in despair and things. I was grateful to have a choice and proud of myself for making the courageous decision to honor that relentless pull to seek for more. Searavan’s story was a lesson on how short life is. So, I vowed to learn more than simply how to hear my heart. I vowed to learn how to honor it.
As I continued to travel around the world for a year and a half, I learned a lot of things. I learned how to drive a motorbike – of course not before wrecking it in an open sewer. Oh yes. The hero’s journey isn’t all glory. I was living in Bali, and this really attractive Australian surfer guy was teaching me to drive a motorbike. The first time I tried, I drove it straight into the open sewer. Yup.
Shorts. Tank top. Flip Flops. Sewage.
I learned that when a volcano explodes, and the lava starts flowing, it smells like sulfur. I learned that after a volcano explodes, it rains mud. I learned that when people’s homes are burned down, often what they need first are toiletries. I learned how to make the best Chai tea. I learned how to ride an elephant and how to kickbox Muay Thai style. I learned how to knock someone out with my elbow, how to recognize a past life connection, and how to giggle at The Divine. I learned how to build a water catchment so a village can survive a drought, how to hold a space for the grieving, and how to dive under the waves so the ocean doesn’t knock you down. I learned that maggots taste disgusting. For real.
But the beauty of what I really learned was how to connect to my own heart which in turn connected me to the heart of humanity. I learned how to honor the emotions that drive decisions and to ask the powerful questions – the questions that hold the keys to the heart: What do I love? What am I passionate about? What gets me going? What makes my body Sing Electric? What do I believe?
When I started my adventure, I could never have imagined the outcome.
But because I did not know how it would all turn out, my only solution was to follow the callings of my deepest inner voice.
My hope for you is that you brave the depths of your own heart so that you can honor the calling of your existence. My hope for you is that you love the ladder you choose to climb.
What Dana Does
Dana Childs is an intuitive and energy healer. She offers executive leadership consultations, energy healing consultations, and couples consultations.
Dana provides insights and tips on both personal and professional wellness and well-being for national publications and is sought after by school systems and international organizations to lead executive retreats and to speak on varied topics including Energy Resonance at Work, Creativity and Inspiration, How to Be Happy at Work, Using Intuition at Work, Relationship Building in the Workplace, Women’s Empowerment, Gender Balance in the Workplace, Creating Boundaries, and many others. She works with celebrities and top executives to aid them in their search for fulfillment in their professional and private lives.
INTUITIVE INSIGHTS: Guidance for Your Spiritual Growth
Dana holds a degree in psychology which allows her to delve deeply into the human aspect of what motivates and inspires individuals and to cut through to the base human emotions that may subconsciously drive decisions, desires, and actions. She obtained a Master’s in Educational Administration & Leadership and is recognized by the Indian Board of Alternative Medicine as a Holistic Medical Doctor. She enjoys inspiring leaders, speaking about pretty much anything, and teaching intuitive, energy, and relationship skills in addition to her private practice.
She combines her knowledge with her intuition to help individuals balance mind, body, soul, and relationships. She pulls from her rich experience of world travel and in-depth study of numerous healing arts including:
Energy Medicine • Holistic Medicine • Shamanic Healing • Mediumship • Spiritual Healing • Reiki • Color Therapy • Pranayama • Crystal Healing • Regression • Yoga Teacher Training • Thai Yoga • Meditation
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