Pt 1: I was traumatized and almost lost my business

If you’ve been engaged with my work for any stretch of time, you may have noticed that I’ve been weirdly quiet the last year and a lot of my emails have been missing… something. An energy I used to have, but hasn’t been present much since late 2019.

(If you’re newer than that, this may be news to you, and that’s okay! I’m glad you’re here!)

The energy is open-heartedness.

I won’t lie – since the spring of 2019, I’ve been going through a Dark Night of the Soul – also known as a spiritual awakening. Brene Brown calls it a breakdown/breakthrough.

I think I’ll call it “hell”… but with some really helpful lessons? Spiritual work is like that, great until it’s not. Excruciating until it’s not. But always worth it, even when I complain. (I call it motivational complaining, because sometimes you have to emote while in motion haha)

I thought it would be fun to pray in 2019 for something I could feel coming. I felt the energy of some type of huge life change, and it felt like a midlife crisis, which should have been years off (I was only 35, a little early for a midlife crisis, thank you very much).

I prayed for it to come and stop lurking. If it was a thing I had to deal with, I’d rather deal with it sooner rather than later – I’ve always been the “jump before you’re ready” type, and this was no exception.

(This is the kind of prayer the universe LOVES to answer… so a heads up to my fellow “jump first” folks)

Then, within a few months, my now ex-husband told me he’d fallen out of love with me, I bit off too much in my biz and started failing my clients, and then needed surgery….

And then by the time I was recovered from the surgery, it was the year of the pandemic – 2020. My ex and I were trying to figure out how to make things work. I was trying to navigate increasing nerve pain, limited mobility, and a decrease in energy for my work. It was hard, but I was okay. Tired, but okay.

Within the first few days of 2021, my ex asked for a divorce. I was heartbroken and so sad about this ending in my life. But, I had been honest with myself about where we might end up, and I had accepted it. I took the time I needed and was ready to date within a few months. I felt good about how I showed up in the marriage and was doing what I needed to for the divorce.

I thought I was starting to recover, but really, I was just about to finally break for real.

In late April I had a serious cardiac emergency. I had support in place for situations like this and I followed my plan and procedures all the way through, but my emergency contact ghosted me in the middle of the emergency and I had to save my own life.

I was born with a rare heart defect, so I’ve always been mentally prepared for this kind of emergency and I’ve always had at least some structure and emergency plans in place to make sure I’d be okay and to stack the deck in my favor (I like living and that’s not guaranteed with my health).

I drove myself to the hospital with my mom on speaker phone so if I crashed or had a heart attack, she’d know what mile marker I was at and what buildings I’d seen most recently. I got oil for my 20+-year-old car before driving it to the hospital so the engine wouldn’t die and the effort to buy it caused my heart rate to spike to 200+ beats per minute.

At first, it made me angry, but I figured it wasn’t that big of a deal. I can handle myself and I’ll always save my own life if other people aren’t there when I need them.

As the doctors at the ER hooked me up to the defib machine (you know, the one with the paddles where they yell “clear” then electrocute you to make your heart work again?) – in case the treatment they were giving me made my heart stop and it didn’t start again on its own – my emergency contact told me they were available if the doctors had any questions and that I was in their thoughts and prayers.

That did not make me happy, as you may imagine, but I was busy not dying. I stayed focused.

A month later, my cardiologist told me I was lucky I didn’t code then chewed me out for driving myself. (I should have called an ambulance – but didn’t want the bill that comes with it).

She told me I needed to take time off from my business and wait to work until the heart issue was handled, or at least in the process of being handled.

I had no idea how to manage the complexity of a divorce, not having family nearby, the health issues, and navigate the changes in my business.

But being left for dead changed me a lot. I was shattered and traumatized. I had flashbacks of looking outside for the person to show up and never seeing them. I had intrusive thoughts about having to drive myself while describing scenery so the ambulance could find me. I made it to the hospital fine, but I couldn’t lie to myself while I was driving in case the worst-case scenario came to pass.

I was not functional. At all.

I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t show up in my business. I had no idea how to navigate the huge and sudden shift in my mental, physical, and emotional state. I knew I needed to inform people, but what did I really need? I didn’t know. I had no idea what kind of time I was going to need to heal and I felt like I had to know… so it created a catch-22 where I was paralyzed with an inability to communicate my needs.

How can you communicate what you don’t know? I’m used to knowing what I want and need – it’s rare that I don’t. I thought any day my brain would magically supply me with a list of what I needed… it did not.

I let a lot of my clients and customers down those years between it all. That hurts because there’s very little I care about more than my clients and customers, but I couldn’t function. I was not okay.

I let people down.

Everyone reacts to other people’s trauma in their own way. Some of my clients were very sweet and understanding. Others were (understandably) annoyed that what I promised hadn’t been delivered and they were disappointed and hurt that I wasn’t communicating the way they expected and needed.

I’m not now nor have I ever been upset with the clients who wanted refunds, or were hurt/disappointed. That’s part of the work – allowing others to be human and have their whole range of emotions. And this is a business – I work hard to make sure I sell things that are worth far more than I charge, but I also know that if I want to dedicate my life to this work (and I do) then I need to make sure I can eat and pay my bills on time. It’s a sacred energy exchange and it’s about so much more than money or value or any of the normal things that come with a business.

At the same time, I had made promises I couldn’t keep. I had spent 10 years building this business, was it really going to go under this way? Not if I had anything to say about it.

I was not dead and my business hadn’t gone under, and that was the silver lining. I hadn’t lost my home and still had food. I knew I was going to be okay if I could ride it out, but how was I supposed to know how long that would take? I had no energy left to give anyone… I couldn’t even get fully present with myself.

There were so many days when I woke up and just stared off into space all day. I had no idea what to DO with all of this… so I told myself all I had to do was not die and not lose my business and I’d figure it all out when I was recovered enough.

I’m recovered enough now.

It’s been a long road to get here. It’s taken a toll and the price was higher than I imagined.

I was able to refund the folks from last year in late February/early March of this year after going rather aggressively for a business loan to help me through this time.

Thankfully, I got the full amount I asked for.

I could breathe after that. I had a real shot and fixing and healing my business after everything, so I decided to focus on that.

I’ve been showing up behind the scenes to go through the rubble of my business since February. I’ve taken quite a few steps behind the scenes to turn this business into something better and even more wonderful for both myself and you (and everyone who feels called to engage with my work, whether it’s a paid course, a free PDF, or just lurking on insta/facebook)

Keep an eye out for the next update for what I’m doing and shifting to get this (glitter) show on the road again.

There are some seriously fun changes I’ve been making with help… and I really want an email dedicated to it.


Rev. “EA” Kerti

PS – Do I owe you a refund and you haven’t heard from me? I did a line item review a few months ago, so if you are owed something and I missed it, hit me up. I’ll make sure you get your refund or we can work it out another way.

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