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Cultivating Purpose: The Story Behind The Podcast.

You guys! It's actually happening. If you listened to the episode that dropped yesterday then you know that this has been a WHOLE process in the making. After a couple failed podcasts, lots of behind the scenes work, and lots of learning, we are finally here! I wanted to give you a little background of how we got here and the meaning behind the name Cultivating Purpose.

TW: mental health, suicide

A few years ago, I was formally diagnosed with anxiety and depression but I have struggled with both, if I had to guess, since about 12 years old. I remember having panic attacks at around that age and family thinking they were asthma attacks because we didn't know any better. I self harmed as a teenager. I have numbed things with alcohol and partying, but never realized that all those things were signs of the things I was dealing because we never really talked about things like that growing up or into my early 20s.

I lost two friends to suicide fairly close to each other and it affected me deeply. After the first loss, my military friends and I started talking about the importance of bringing our "family" back together and letting each other know that they were not alone. I started getting involved with Veteran organizations and speaking out heavily about the importance of mental health and taking care of yourself. Then the second loss happened and I was devastated. I couldn't believe that another friend felt that was their only choice. As a part of my own healing, I dove deeper into the organizations and devoting time to speaking about Veteran Suicide and hosting events and getting educated about resources and signs, and all the other things. I would talk about the importance of finding your secondary purpose after leaving the military or even after becoming a mother. Your sole purpose in life is not to be one thing. You were meant to have multiple purposes. You were meant to grow and learn and develop. You were not only meant to be a solider and then when you get out of the military life stops. You were not only meant to have babies and then lose yourself in raising those babies. You were not only meant to be one thing. We are multifaceted. We are capable of being more than just a mom, wife, soldier, farmer, etc.

Fast forward to October of last year. Our family was experiencing a lot of hard times. I was working a job that was no longer bringing me joy. I was losing time with my family to try to make a decent living after being laid off for a few months because of COVID. I was losing myself. I wasn't taking my own advice. I had let the demons take over. I was listening to that little voice inside my head tell me that I was not good enough and would never amount to anything. I was letting all the negative thoughts drag me down to a very dark place. One day, I finally told my husband what I was feeling and went back to therapy. He and I started taking steps forward to be stronger together and rebuild our foundation. Even though we were back in a great place and our kiddos were happy and we were back on our feet, I still felt like something was missing. My purpose, our purpose as a family, the things that we dreamed and talked about for years that we had put on the back burner. We needed to find our secondary purpose. That's how The Valencia Ranch, Homemade, and this podcast came into existence. We are cultivating our purpose, our dream. We want to share that process with all of you and we want to highlight and share stories of other women doing the same! We want to show that something beautiful can come from a hard beginning. We want to share the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful because life isn't linear. Life has hills and valleys. It will throw you curve balls. But you can persevere. You are stronger than you think and those dark thoughts in your head cannot control you if you don't let them. Find your support and the things that are capable of pulling you away from those thoughts. Rest. Find your secondary (or tertiary, quaternary, etc.) purpose and cultivate it!

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