Updated: Sep 6
I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my strength come from?
My strength comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121: 1 - 2
Growing up on the Pacific coast just south of San Francisco I was fortunate to have some amazing outdoor spaces to immerse myself in. Hiking, biking, surfing and exploring were all things we loved to do. We sought out adventure and loved the shared community and energy. But above all else I felt immense awe, peace and connection to something great than myself for the first time.
These were formative years that instilled in me a deep respect for nature, but it also sparked a spiritual connection and curiosity.
While I have been Christian most of my life it took me time to learn what faith and spirituality actually felt like or how to connect with it. The time I spent in nature growing up helped to establish that connection for me.
Spending time in nature also helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life. It gives you broader perspective, appreciation and gratitude, joy, and deeper understanding. I find God in nature, and He reaffirms and reconnects me every time. As John Muir once said, "In every walk with nature, one receives far more than they seek." It is my belief that each one of us has a God-given purpose on Earth. And that God wants us to live a life of joy, purpose, adventure and freedom.
A play on the word Sunlight, Sonlight stands for the light that God wants to bring into our lives if we let Him. And through that, the light we can then share with others.
For many years I lived what would be considered a very "successful" life to most people. I had a strong corporate career with a nice salary. But I was actually miserable and felt pretty purposeless. I felt disconnected and had my head down following the path I thought I should follow, not the path that God or my heart wanted me to follow. I felt "successful" in terms of title, prestige and money, but I was empty and found other ways to fill that emptiness. It wasn't until a severe crisis in my life that I decided to have the faith to change direction, pursue my passion and launch this company. This is the Sonlight that God shone into my life when I was at my darkest, lowest point.
In terms of my personal journey, my Dad had a huge impact on me. He was the best man I’ve ever known. WWII combat veteran and amazing father, husband and mentor. He was actually my grandfather who adopted me as an infant after having already raised four grown daughters. He taught me so much, but the lessons that he really wanted me to learn revolved around finding purpose in life, and living with integrity and helping others. He used to call me his Sonlight and the name is also a nod to him.
When I was younger and asked him about what I should do with my life (also interested in how much money I could make doing certain things) he would tell me, “Do what you love, and the money will come”. It took me a long time to fully understand and embrace what he was talking about. I spent many years in the corporate world with big salaries, promotions and most would say a highly successful career. But something was missing. I was missing purpose and found myself seeking it in other ways.
I left the corporate world to pursue my dream of helping others and sharing the proverbial stoke.
I haven’t looked back, and I’ve not been happier or more at peace. I find joy and purpose in helping others live healthier and happier lives. It reciprocally fuels me to strive to be a better, healthier and more loving version of myself, and have as much fun as possible.
Thank you for reading. I invite you to appreciate all the good things you have in your life. Each day is a blessing. How do we want to show up for ourselves and each other?