Curious? I invite you to read my story.
Yes, it’s longer than usual. It’s not just a bio crafted for marketing purposes. It’s a window into my life growing into a wise woman, focused forever and always on becoming more and more Sovereign.
My life has been rich, varied, purposeful, playful and joyful. And at times confusing and fairly often challenging. I have nnot settled for good enough, making my soul path (once I got what that was!) and personal evolution my priority.
I’ve been captivated by “consciousness” from an early age. I grew up in a predominantly African-American neighborhood during the Civil Rights era, so perspectives outside that of mainstream America were not new to me.
As a teenager, “Consciousness raising” became a regular practice in my home as my mother (pictured to the right speaking at a NOW Conference) moved from being a 50s style stay-at-home mom to a radical feminist during the 1970s.
I entered adulthood steeped in social justice and political activism. In graduate school chose to focus on African American studies and women’s and gender studies.
My work questioned the assumptions of patriarchal white supremacist scholarship that had marginalized white women and people of color, and to make visible movements for freedom that had not been acknowledged previously.
Dorothy Young Sale, MA
National Board Member of National Organization for Women
When I was 33, I completed my PhD, and moved to New York as the new
Director of the Undergraduate Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Columbia University
During the 1990s, I created a feminist writers group of interacial junior faculty women already writing — and publishing — our first books.
I was a rising academic star on the lecture circuit with several important publications., and a book on its way.
I had accomplished everything I had set out to accomplish. I was a success.
But I was also deeply unhappy, exhausted and getting sick, and I didn’t really know why. I just knew I had to leave. I felt like I was dying inside.
Looking back, I realize I had reached the limit of my social justice consciousness with its struggle and “fighting against” attitude. I wanted to uplift and build, not breakdown and burn.
I needed a new perspective.
During my last year at Columbia, I turned in another direction. My body, my energy and indeed my whole perspective on life had shifted by changing what I eat! So I decided to study food and healing, doing two years of study in 9 months with Joshua Rosenthal, the man who later founded the internationally renowned Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
I thought nutritional counseling would be my next step, but instead I discovered and partnered with a leading-edge network marketing company in the health and wellness industry.
I was captivated by two ideas I learned in this new environment. One was residual income (who knew!), and the other was the metaphysical notion that we create our own reality with what we focus on. This idea challenged my social justice orientation to life, which was more focused on legal and social structure, and turned my world upside down.
Once I grasped it, I very successfully used the tools of visioning and affirmations to build my business. I was rewarded by doubling my income from Columbia in 15 months. Now that caught my attention, and that experience definitely sparked my entrepreneurial spirit!
Around this time I discovered the conscious dance movement, and started dancing 2-3 times a week. I had danced a lot in college and taught dance aerobics in graduate school. I was delighted to discover ways in which movement was being used as a spiritual practice.
Movement-oriented somatic practices enabled me to balance out my overly developed analytical brain with embodiment skills that I continue to use today. I’ve been dancing and practicing embodied movement and healing forms ever since.
I was also fortunate enough to fall in love with a fellow dancer and have a beautiful child at 42.
My passion for spiritual growth also led me into Clarity Breathwork(R), which transformed me deeply from the inside out. With the breath I rooted out core limiting beliefs, released past life trauma, and connected with guides and angelic beings, as well as with my own inner being. I quickly became a Clarity Breathwork practitioner and soon joined my mentors as a trainer, bringing to the professional training program my skills with curriculum development and somatics.
In my pursuit of higher consciousness, I also began to study the corpus of advanced meditation work called “Awakening Your Light Body”. I was so taken with it that within a year I became a teacher of the work. I discovered how to build my body of light, create with energy, and transmit high vibrational states to myself, my students, and the world around me. For a number of years I worked with breathwork clients, helped train breathworkers, and practiced and taught advanced meditation skills. Eventually I knew it was time to move on, but I was unclear of the direction.
Then my husband lost his major client in 2009, and we lost his income overnight. In response to this crisis, I jumped started a business coaching business which I had been considering. I had been good at business ever since my network marketing days, and this felt like the right next step as I was able to bring together so many of the skills I’d developed over the years, and I was able to support people like myself who were dedicated to healing and spiritual growth. Within a year I had created over $200,000 in revenue, and shortly thereafter I developed a half-million-dollar-a-year business with hundreds of clients, mostly in the healing arts, with an international reach.
Yet in 2015 I walked away from that business when I realized that not only was I getting burned out and disillusioned — despite my apparent success — so was my family. The experience of rapid growth and burnout contributed to the dissolution of my marriage and the reconfiguration of my family. Fortunately we’ve recovered, and my former husband and I are cooperatively co-parenting our beautiful teenage daughter.
Since then I’ve been in deep conversation with myself about my life experiences.
In reviewing my past, I’ve noted the times I took on and manifested other people’s versions of success, even though I thought I was creating what I wanted (sigh). I also acknowledge the times I waited too long, refusing the change before me, and life crumbled underneath me like quicksand. Finally I see the places where I moved on in an empowered way once I had learned what I needed to learn from the experience.
Through all of this, my focus has been on identifying and following my soul path.
I have been consistently passionate about developing new skills, shifting my perspective as needed, and being willing to do the inner work required to meet the challenges I’ve experienced.
I voraciously learn and consistently apply what I learn to my experience of daily life. As a result, I’ve become a master of change, moving through several lifetimes of experience in this one life. People who know me well often remark upon the depth and breadth of my experience, knowledge, and expertise.
I now feel a level of mastery with hearing and following my inner guidance, and riding the waves of change and uncertainty alongside discerning and creating my desires that only comes with years of purposeful and well-understood experience.
And I get that my journey is situated inside that of a larger journey of western women emerging from patriarchy and discovering what we really want and need. In turn that journey also lies inside an even larger journey of humanity evolving at this most critical on our planet, when our very survival as a species is at stake.
As I and each of us develop this new form of Sovereignty, we move out of power dynamics of domination and subordination, self judgment and self sacrifice, and harmful forms of competition. In their place, we foster creative, collaborative, and life-giving ways of being that are both new and ancient.
My intention is to continue Becoming Sovereign,
and supporting other women to do
the same, for myself, for all of us.
As you review your own life,
let me ask you:
How are you still living out other people’s version of success and accomplishment?
What empowered choices have you made and where have they led you?
What changes have you already made and which have you resisted or are
What are you longing for but aren’t sure
how to create?