Hey, I'm Petra
and it's my mission to teach you to embrace Adversity and turn your BIGGEST weakness into your greatest STRENGTH!
Of course i didn't wake up and decide that this was my life's work. I had to have my own rock-bottom first.
Raised in a cult known as The Children of God, I was raised to put others first, live by a group mentality, have no access to formal education and ultimately be told that myself and others my age, were being groomed to save the world. No pressure right?
Because these things are never black and white, it both gave me the worst start in life and the best: I had access to countries, people and a beautiful blended sibling group. What it also gave me was brainwashing, intense punishment, and ostracisation if you didn’t adhere to the rules.
I learned to numb my pain and fear.
We all do it. Life becomes difficult, we don’t like our identity, we feel trapped on a certain trajectory, and instead of facing it, we avoid, numb and distract. It’s hard to face up to the real feeling and not cover it up in some way.
It got pretty bad for me when, at 23, I was pregnant and trying to adjust to the real world, the one that no one had prepared me for. I remember waking up one day and wanting the day to end before it had even begun.
I realised then that i had a choice.
I could die now or I could learn everything there was to learn about how to live a good and fulfilled life. Other people seemed to have figured it out, and if I could just understand how they had done it, then maybe I had a chance at happiness too.
So I experimented with every book and technique out there. If I didn’t start with the right hand of cards in life, I would give them to myself.
I asked myself, if I had been dealt the right cards at birth what would be different? I would have an education: so I trained as a psychotherapist and got a Masters degree.
I would be confident: so I learned everything I could about courage. I took every opportunity to practice courage even if I didn't know the outcome.
I wouldn’t have depression: I learned that depression is often code for not living your truth, so I began to believe that I could have the life I wanted and began changing the circumstances to help me get there.
The things that helped me were giving back, mindfulness, therapy, education, a purpose and connection. The opposite of the isolation I made for myself when I felt so ashamed of showing myself in the world. We need to be vulnerable in order to put ourselves out there and connect with others, but it’s the KEY ingredient for tackling shame and freeing ourselves to fully be ourselves in the world.
My life is the complete opposite of where it could have been 10 years ago. When we refuse to numb our feelings and avoid our pain, everything has the chance to come into focus. I feel everything now! I feel sadness but I also feel joy, to the full possibility of the word.
What’s interesting is that now the parts of my life that I detested the most have become my biggest asset. While I may not have had a conventional life I have lived all across the world and worked with hundreds of different people which, without knowing it, was thousands of hours of practice in preparation for my career as a coach, therapist and trainer.
Having cultivated my expertise in adversity, mental health and well-being, I can now look at my rock-bottom with gratitude and teach others to cultivate a life of fulfillment and meaning. Join me on this journey of connection, authenticity, gratitude and growth!