Moneeka has often been described by people who know her as one of the most joyful people you will ever meet. She personally finds her bliss through helping people live the life of their dreams filled with meaning, purpose and joy. She's dedicated her life to this calling for the past 9 years and says they have been the best years of her life. If you are around her enough, you will often hear her say "I can't believe life just keeps getting better and I'm so grateful that it does."
I feel so blessed to have the life I have today. I am living my bliss. Bliss to me is a deep state of emotional contentment. There is always an underlying feeling of joy, satisfaction and peace.
But, It has not always been that way.
For most of my life, I felt very alone and shy. In school, I was made fun of and tormented. Most of the time I just wanted to hide so no one would hurt me.
When I was 16, a book changed my life.
I was in India for a year on a foreign exchange program and came across the book, Norman Vincent Peale’s “Power of Positive Thinking.” I was magnetized to this book and rushed home to read it.
I discovered how to be strong within myself instead of being a victim to society’s opinions of me. I learned to make my own way and my own decisions.
One experience that changed the course of my life was my college admissions process. My senior year in high school, I was waitlisted to some of my top choice universities. After calling to find out why, I found out a teacher sent a very critical recommendation letter that stated blatant lies about me. I felt betrayed, and belittled. It felt like my future would be destroyed. I could have blamed and stayed angry and lost my ability to rationally deal with the situation. No, I chose differently. I asked another teacher to write a recommendation and sent it off to the top school of my choice. I got in.
It taught me the power of my mind, attitude and taking responsibility for my life.
As I grew up, I was very committed to my own personal growth and became very independent and self-reliant. I got a business degree from Berkley, got a job, and had grand plans to climb the corporate ladder. But soon after graduation, I realized I hated being in the corporate environment. I kept hoping I’d find a job that I was a good fit for. But my energy, ideas, and personality felt caged in a corporate setting and I ached for something different.
Eventually, I left my corporate job to find what I really wanted to do with my life.
My amazing husband was very supportive of me, but friends and family couldn’t really understand what I was doing and criticized me heavily for my decisions. Some even started to call me a “gold digger.” There was this perception that I couldn’t hold a job and was just a “loser” living off my husband.
I felt the daily pain of this criticism but was determined to live my life the way I wanted to live it. But, it didn't work out that way. I started to feel a lifetime of criticism for my decisions begin to paralyze me. I fell into a deep depression. I realized that I had been criticized my entire life for my decisions and this time was no different. No matter how hard I tried, it didn't seem to matter. I felt I was never going to be accepted and I was never going to be successful.
I gave up. The criticism won the battle. I just wanted to pain to end. I couldn't just keep "being positive" anymore. Nothing I did was working. Many times, I thought about the relief of just ending it all.
My depression lasted for over three years. During this time I let go of any hopes of a career. I went on anti-depressants and saw all different kinds of therapists.
I was searching for answers on what was wrong with me and how could I fix it.
The anti-depressants numbed the pain, but after a while I realized that I wasn’t feeling anything. I wasn’t feeling pain, but I wasn’t feeling joy, love, excitement, or any kind of bliss either. I realized that I didn’t want to live my life numbed out. I wanted to feel alive again. I had to find a way to be happy, without the drugs.
I went off the drugs and spent another year basically sleeping, crying, and searching. It was during this time that I dug deep in my soul for answers I needed so desperately.
Then it happened.
I had a session with one of my coaches and something he said set me off into a rage. I was literally sobbing and screaming at him. We spoke for 3 days in a row and I was finally able to look at the lesson he was trying to teach me. At the end of the 3 days, something had snapped inside of me. It was like my identity that was based on the rules and expectations of others, had shattered. I would never be the same again.
I was an open vessel that was ready to be filled with goodness. As they say, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." I was ready.
A whole new group of teachers came to me and helped me understand new ways to make my life better. That was key. It was at this point that I made a decision to live my life the way I wanted to live it, no matter what anyone else said to or about me.
I made a decision to be free, happy, and alive.
And since that day I have developed the tools and skills that allow me to live that way. I've really stuck to my own dreams and not given up on myself no matter what type of criticism I may receive. I've truly created this life that I love.
Now, I am inspired to teach and mentor others to move through their pain and learn how to live a life of boldness, happiness, and peace.
This is what I am dedicating my life to do.