Typically I would write a little introduction about the guest post I am hostessing. However, there is really no intro that would do this post justice. Please read on to learn more about tis amazing couple and their harrowing story.
TURNING A HORRIFIC, LIFE-CHANGING NIGHTMARE INTO PASSION FOR HELPING PEOPLE LIVE BETTER LIVES
Karin & Sergio's Story
Everything seemed to be going beautifully for me: I had put behind me a disastrous first marriage to an abusive con man and now had a wonderful, handsome business partner and fiancé named Sergio (from Spain), two delightful young daughters and two great bonus kids (Sergio's children), and a successful executive recruiting business in Europe. We were working hard and growing our business, getting ready to expand in several countries and had finally just moved into our dream home. I had already come a long way in rebuilding my life and was so ready to take the next quantum leap. Little did I know that leap was going to be off a major cliff and down into the darkest, toughest time of my life.
Life changed 180 degrees in a minute. One day in 2006, Sergio and I were at the San Diego airport, waiting to catch a flight home after an empowering and energizing weeklong workshop with our business mentor, international business coach John Assaraf, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Not having had any contact with my first husband in years, I was not aware that he'd be accused of fraud in Mexico. A U.S. Marshal told me, “You have to come with me,” and I spent the next 3 ¾ years in the jail, also accused of fraud in Mexico, before my case was dismissed and all charges were cleared. In fact, by the end of this unbelievable odyssey, I had been jailed in a San Diego facility longer than any woman in its history.
I was very scared my life was in danger. As I fought extradition to Mexico, I knew it would be disastrous to give in to the fear and despair. Back in Sweden, Sergio ran our business and took care of my daughters, and the two of us fought a roller coaster legal battle involving two countries and several lawyers.
Meanwhile, I had to find ways to stay positive. Sergio and I got married in a jailhouse ceremony, conducted in Swedish, under the noses of unsuspecting guards (a fellow inmate gifted me with a Snickers' bar wedding cake and a card written on a Tootsie Roll wrapper, a gesture I much appreciated). Armed with Yoga for Dummies from the prison library, I began leading yoga classes on the roof for my fellow inmates, and learned from them how to make tamales from warm water and crushed corn chips in a bag.
I found strength as I and the other mothers encouraged each other to talk about our children and our hopes for them. I worked at turning fear into a solid belief that “today is the day I go home” even as I endured strip searches, sudden pat downs and head counts, and separation from the man I love and my little girls for nearly four years. I had a “book angel” friend who led me to writings that helped me claim my power to master my thoughts and beliefs. I was not going to let the uncertainty and deprivation cause me to become resentful or depressed, even though there were days when my fear and sadness threatened to overwhelm me.
I never stopped believing in the possibilities of what any of us can create for ourselves. I felt blessed that I had watched the Law of Attraction movie, The Secret, the week before I was arrested and that I had my own experience of attracting my dream home to know that these concepts do work.
My trust in the angels that surround us and support us is stronger now than ever. The way I see it, horrible as this nightmare was, it was an opportunity for me to do the deep soul-searching and growth that we all say we're going to get around to some day when we can find the time. Now I want to inspire others with my story of finding courage and hope during those dark times in our lives.
I can summarize the happy ending: The cases against me were all dismissed in two countries (a huge miracle in itself) and I was able to return home where Sergio, our children and I are healing from this traumatic experience.
We've started this new business—Inspiring Your Very Best—to help people through coaching and mentoring to break through the bars that have kept them imprisoned for too long. Even though I did have the physical bars surrounding me, I found ways to free my mind and my heart. There are so many people who feel just as imprisoned and also want to feel free, who want to find that inner strength and courage…and confidence to know they can handle whatever tough challenges come their way.
We are also spreading Joy in the world through an incredible series of picture books that I wrote for my daughters while incarcerated. A little girl named Joy helped my daughters to understand universal lessons that empowered them. You can meet Joy and get a free ebook at www.BringingJoyToTheWorld.com . I have made a conscious choice to focus on inspiration and joy after so many years of being immersed in negativity.
Still, I had to believe that everything was happening for a higher reason in order to get through this ordeal and now my life's work will be teaching people the things I learned to not only survive, but to THRIVE. We have a big vision of helping millions of people become aware of the spiritual journey we are all on and knowing that all things that happen in our lives help us to learn and grow.
I want to share this story because it will help you understand my need, my desire, to work with positive and inspiring things, to be with like minded people, to use this experience to make a positive difference in the world. Every day I had to make a conscious choice between love and fear.
I chose love and it eventually won—as it always will.
So whatever the tough transitions are going on in your life, know that they are a part of your path. I believe we must learn to honor the experiences, to recognize the growth it gives us, to discover the strength and courage we have within ourselves, and to know that we have our own unique talents to give back to the world. My goal is to help as many people as possible get through those tough times and learn how to create their Dream Life. It is possible! You just have to make that choice and take the right actions to get there. And along the way, you will inspire others as well. Inspiration helps us become the biggest version of ourselves! That's why Sergio and I are all about Inspiring Your Very Best and Bringing Joy To The World!
Live Inspired and Joyfully!
Karin Volo, an expert in personal development, is known as a Dream Life Mentor and Tough Transition Specialist. Karin is the transformational author of the Bringing Joy series. Her passion is enhancing people's lives by inspiring and teaching strategies to thrive through tough times, live joyfully, and create their dream lives.