Shared Wisdom – From Hopelessness To Inspired Visionary

 Shared Wisdom Guest Post Featuring Linda Joy

I am so excited to introduce you to a dear friend of mine today. Linda Joy has such a loving heart, and she is passionate about empowering others to live fully and authentically. In her article below, she shares one of the most pivotal moments in her life. While at her lowest point, Linda discovered that she held the power to become who she had always desired to be. Please read on to learn more about my beautiful friend. I am beyond grateful that she’s a part of my life, and I know that after reading this, you will see why I love her so much.

Her free Inspired Living Secrets teleseries begins tomorrow with the amazing Marci Shimoff! Keep reading for details on how you can participate!

The Day My Heart Opened Up

I drove along the tree-lined streets of a quiet neighborhood with all the windows down letting the spring air caress my face. The smell of fresh cut grass tickled my nose. Through the windshield, my tear-filled eyes beheld the bluest of skies while I pounded the steering wheel with rage.

In the Spring of 1991, I was going through one of the most painful, but transformative, periods of my life. I was in the throes of healing from long buried childhood trauma that had resurfaced. I was a single mom with a beautiful six-year old daughter; this pain was robbing me of being completely present with her.

With sobs racking my body, I pulled the car over and attempted to compose myself.  So many intense emotions ripped through me at once, I felt like I was splitting open. I was angry—angry about what had happened to me. There was an immense sadness for a childhood lost—stolen from me. And, again, anger that because of a childhood betrayal; I would never know who I was meant to be. I was disappointed with my own lack of strength to pull myself out of the pain. The emotional pain ran deep. I feared I would not find my way out—as I had done in the past. This time, despair was taking me prisoner dragging me into its depths.

I had never been one to turn to a higher power or believe that one was even available for me to turn to.  But that day, 21 years ago, I didn’t know what else to do, where else to turn. I remember shaking my fist at the heavens and yelling at the blue sky. I let it all out, all the while hoping there really was someone up there that could hear me.

If there was a God, he was going to get an earful.  I let out 29 years of pain, anguish and shame with no holds barred. More than an hour later, sitting there in my tear-soaked cotton t-shirt, I was emotionally and physically spent. I was empty.

Touched by Grace

What happened next still blows my mind. The memory is still so vivid to me – as if it happened just yesterday. Everything became very still. The breeze stopped. I couldn’t hear the sound of lawnmowers in the distance. I was acutely aware of my heart beating and my labored breath. I basked in a deep peace – something I had never experienced.  This moment held an indescribably intensity that I can still feel but am at a loss to describe.

And then, I heard It:  A stern, but gentle and loving whisper that would transform my life, heal my heart and allow me to begin a dance with my authentic self.

The experiences of your childhood do not erase the core of who you are.  It has been there all along but you have chosen not to see it and to focus on the pain. You hold the power to become who you desire to be at any time. The power is yours – you’ve had it all along. You can CHOOSE to be who you want to be. Who do you want to be at the deepest core of your being?

Epiphany!  Not only was my mind suddenly and clearly grasping this concept, but my heart was filled with pure hope – a feeling I hadn’t experienced in a long, long time. The wisdom I heard that day seemed so simplistic but my heart resonated with truth – an inner knowing. Sitting in the car that day, I never for one moment questioned the wisdom I heard.

I can choose!  What?  I have a CHOICE about this pain, my life, my feelings and my heartache.

What do I want for myself?

A beautiful surge of energy coursed through me. Was this Hope I was feeling?  I began ransacking my car, searching through the French fries tucked in the seat’s crevices to find a pen.  Paper, paper – I need paper. Thoughts were coming fast and furious.  A coffee-stained Dunkin Donuts®  napkin was all I could find.  I began writing furiously:

  • I want to be loving.
  • I want to feel deserving.
  • I want to radiate love.
  • I want to be kind and trusting and filled with hope.
  • I want to experience true joy.
  • I want to know inner peace.
  • I want to experience self-love.
  • I want to make a difference in the world.
  • I want to forgive.

The list filled both sides of the napkin with the deepest desires of my heart. Up until that day, I had never allowed myself to believe that any of those feelings were even possible for me. Now, out of the blue, I was made to see that anything was possible and I had just been given the key to attain it.

An Awakened Heart

That spring day was the day I took back my life. For many years, that napkin never left me. Tattered, torn and finally unreadable it was my symbol of hope and transformation. That day began my journey to reclaim my authentic self, the self that had always been there but had been covered up by the pain and despair that I chose to carry.

I began filling my life with uplifting, inspirational books and tapes from leading visionaries such as Norman Vincent Peale, Florence Scovel Shinn, Napoleon Hill and Ernest Holmes. They became my virtual mentors.   As the years went by, I added to my transformational tool kit. I soaked up the wisdom of teachers such as Marianne Williamson, Tony Robbins, Debbie Ford, Cheryl Richardson and more.  I absorbed all I could and became a dedicated student of living from the inside out, using my mind and heart to transform my life.

The discovery I made that day – that I could dump the junk that I had been carrying for thirty years and live a life of joy, ease and love – was the first step on an amazing transformational journey that continues to this day. The wisdom and words of the world’s leading visionaries and new-thought authors initiated great change in my life and unknowingly shaped my life’s purpose.

Over 20 years may have passed, but in an instant, I can bring myself back to “the moment” in my car, when I emptied my pain and filled my heart. Today, life has come full circle for me. I am blessed with a daughter who has grown into a wonderful, loving and compassionate woman and mother. For over 17 years I’ve enjoyed and thrived in a healthy, loving relationship with Dana, the man of my dreams who blessed me with a step-son and a grandson. My life is filled with love and I’m humbled by those gifts.

Life Comes Full Circle

Today, I still get soul-giggles of how my life has unfolded.  Led by the calling of my heart, seven years ago I founded Aspire Magazine to provide a FREE heart-centered publication to inspire women to believe in the wisdom within and the possibilities all around them. Today, Aspire is the premiere inspirational magazine for women reaching tens of thousands of women around the world. In fact, many of the authors and visionaries whose books and messages transformed my life have graced the cover of Aspire including Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Debbie Ford and the list goes on.

Continuing in my passionate mission to use my media platform to give women a voice and a venue to be heard, in 2010 I founded Inspired Living Publishing and released two best-selling books. A Juicy, Joyful Life: Inspiration from Women who have Discovered the Sweetness in Life and Embracing Your Authentic Self: Women’s Intimate Stories of Self-Discovery & Transformation featured the raw and at times very intimate stories of women who bravely stepped forward to share their truth with the intent to inspire women around the world.  Each beautiful book reached Amazon best-seller in multiple categories within hours of their release touching women’s hearts around the world.

As I continue to follow my heart I step deeper into serving women and bringing them the best in inspirational, empowering transformational content and in 2011 launched a powerful, global audio interview series – Inspired Living Secrets bringing today’s leading new thought leaders, visionaries and more to my global audience with the intent to inspire them to embrace the truth of who they are. Season Two launches on June 12 and brings our listeners some of today’s leading female visionaries.

Today, when asked why I do what I do I share…

there once was a day when I came very close to giving up on life because of pain so deep. Then through Grace my heart opened and a world of wisdom, love and inspiration came to me through books and visionaries. Each time I release a new issue of Aspire, interview a thought leader or a woman living her truth, launch a new project or support another woman in her dreams – I hold the vision in my heart that I am reaching ONE woman- a woman sitting in her car on a spring day feeling broken and hopeless and about to give up on life.

I envision reaching her with an inspiring message of love to give her something to hold on to, to believe in. Whether it is from a sentence she reads in Aspire, or a message of hope that she hears in our interview series, I envision each project having the power to touch a woman’s life and lead her back to herself. That’s why I do what I do – how can I not?  We’re all here to serve in our own beautiful unique way.

When memory brings me back to that moment, all those years ago, I experience only the beauty of the day, and I rejoice at discovering the power within.


Linda Joy is a best-selling Inspirational Publisher, passionate Speaker and heart-centered Conscious Business Catalyst dedicated to inspiring women to live deeper, more authentic, and inspired lives both personally and professionally. 

Linda believes that when a woman discovers her true passion, believes in herself, and takes inspired action to move forward, that only success can follow. Her hope for every woman is that they realize their true potential, take action to bring it forward and in turn share their unique wisdom with the world. 

Linda’s credits her ‘Feminine Conscious Business Model’ and it’s 5 success and life principles with bringing her multi-media brands to a global audience of 10,000 women in the first 90 days alone and that was two years ago. Today, Linda’s inspirational multi-media publishing brands reach a global platform of women who truly connect with authentic, heart centered marketing messages and business owners.  The proven success of her powerful collaborative model gives women conscious business owners of all sizes and budgets an opportunity to be seen by a global audience.  Linda works with a limited number of one-on-one clients in bringing their authentic message to women around the world. To learn more about working with Linda go to

Linda is launching the FREE Inspired Living Secrets: Living Full Out in Life & in Business teleseminar on Tuesday, June 12th! It includes 24 female inspirational revolutionaries, who will bring you the wisdom, inspiration and resources to live full out in life and in business.

Imagine… discovering the secrets of living full out from some of today’s leading luminaries including…Marci Shimoff, Crystal Andrus, Rev. Charlene Proctor and Kristine Carlson and 19 other visionary women.

Click here to view all the Inspirational Revolutionaries!

Linda is on a mission to inspire you to live full out. No more excuses – no more playing small – no more old stories – the time is now for you to embrace the truth of who you are, step into your full power and share your gifts with the world. The world needs YOU to shine your light!

Are you ready to live full out?

Join her for 12 weeks of pure inspiration and wisdom.  Every Tuesday and Thursday at 12pm ET over the next 12 weeks you’ll enjoy live interviews with these 24 extraordinary women. (Can’t make it live? No worries, just register and we’ll send you the replay link.)

The 24 inspirational luminaries are leaders in the fields of personal & spiritual development, positive psychology, self-empowerment, natural health and each of them is passionately dedicated to empowering you to live full out in life and in business.

Don’t miss this powerful and F*R*E*E opportunity to discover the secrets of living full out in every area of your life from some of today’s leading inspirational revolutionaries!
Click here to sign up! ==> INSPIRED LIVING SECRETS


Shared Wisdom – From Hopelessness To Inspired Visionary — 44 Comments

  1. Linda, thank you so very much for sharing your story in such a powerful and authentic way! Your account of that experience is so poignant that I felt like I was right there observing like a fly on your windshield. Most of all, thank you for inspiring us to remember that it’s always our choice on where to focus our energy: the grievance story of the past or the passionate life we can live every moment of every day! Thank you for your generous sharing!
    Alice Chan recently posted..Walking Each Other HomeMy Profile

    • Ann, you got it! The choice is ours to make. Up until that very day I had been ‘choosing’ the story of pain, suffering and victim-hood. Up until that moment I truly didn’t know I had a ‘choice’ of how to feel – and then I was touched by Grace. I begin focusing on the story I wanted to create -instead of the one that had been written for me. My deepest desire is that all women experience their own moment of Grace and realize that they already have all they need and they can access it by turning inward.
      Linda Joy recently posted..Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude: Waking up to What We Have!My Profile

  2. Thank you Linda for such open and honest sharing. When we share with such understanding and awareness our own journey…it reminds us all to trust in this wonderful journey (even through times where challenges often feel overwhelming). I always feel gratitude for such honesty …its helps us all to remember the biggest picture of living in spirit.

    My thanks and love

    • Nicola, as you know through the beautiful work you do in the world as a renowned Spiritual Psychologist our stories hold only as much power as we give them. On that day, I knew that I had to release the story that was dragging me into the depths of despair – I didn’t know HOW I would do it only that I must do it and the journey began. One step at a time… until I could create and claim a new story. Thank you for being a part of it
      Linda Joy recently posted..Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude: Waking up to What We Have!My Profile

  3. Linda, thank you for sharing your beautiful story. It inspires me, it empowers me, and confirms to me that we all have what it takes to embrace our truth and shine our light in the world. I have enjoyed immensely working with you, the world is waiting for US!

  4. Linda Joy – I love your emails (ASPIRE)! What a pleasure it is to read this post. I love how we have the power to persevere and transcend to a higher place! My favorite is the phrase “soul-giggles” – I am going to borrow this phrase for my next post, if I may. :-)

    Thank you, Jodi. Wonderful to be here.
    Vidya Sury recently posted..Whichever Way I See ItMy Profile

  5. Linda is a shining model to all of us who have been in or circle back around again into the “dark night” of the soul. She has brought so much hope and inspiration to so many women on her journey and is one of my favorite examples of a woman who is utterly fearless and vibrantly courageous. It’s an honor to know her – and to call her friend. Thank you Linda for understanding so thoroughly the power of sharing our stories for healing and tranformation!
    Amethyst Wyldfyre recently posted..Acknowledging the “Paws” That Awakens – #3My Profile

    • Amethyst -stories have such power! I know that in reading the inspiring, uplifting and intimate stories of others has been a big part of my healing journey. Their stories gave of hope & transformation gave me strength thru my darkest days (and still do.)

      In fact, Anthropologist Robin Ridington proposes that “stories are a spirit net.” From the moment a life experience occurs it becomes a part of our essence (spirit net); eventually, through storytelling, that experience is sent down as part of history, passed from generation to generation. Powerful isn’t it?

      Thank you Amethyst for your guidance & support over the years – we have witnessed such transformation in each other-honored to share the journey with you.
      Linda Joy recently posted..Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude: Waking up to What We Have!My Profile

  6. Linda, what a powerful, compelling, and beautifully written story. I could feel the wave of peace come over you as you described it. It is quite an experience once you know how to tap into your higher power and then can do it on a regular basis. You are such an inspiration to so many, and I’m so grateful to have been inspired by you.

    Big Hugs and Lots of Love
    Stacy = – )
    Stacy Corrigan recently posted..Law of Attraction in ActionMy Profile

  7. Linda,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. This revealed a layer of your beautiful soul that I had not learned of until now. Sharing your own personal journey from trauma to transformation will help so many others who struggle with energy from the past that holds them in a “stuck” pattern.

    You are an inspiration to all who know you and all who read your publication. I am honored to call you a friend and colleague and blessed to know your beautiful soul.

    Thank you for sharing with such honesty. So many people paint the perfect picture when we have all experienced times where we question it all. Having the strength and faith to move through it vital (and sharing the journey so important).

    Write on!~

    Lisa Manyon
    Lisa Manyon recently posted..Life has a way of happening when you’re making other plans…My Profile

    • Lisa thanks so much for stopping by to share your love.
      For the first 30 years of my life I was one of those “people who painted the perfect picture” when sharing my life and experiences. In doing so I discovered three powerful life lessons
      1) I was only hiding the truth from myself (others weren’t fooled)
      2) the more I hid MY truth the more lost I became.
      3) and as we take the steps to owning our truth,forgiving ourselves and others and releasing the false masks we’ve accumulated to that point – MAGIC HAPPENS.

      PS. We are never “THERE” ! As spiritual beings our journey is similar to a spiral – ever evolving. Every layer we remove reveals another waiting to be healed.

      In sharing my story my greatest wish is that every women who is going through the spiral of self-discovery remembers this truth: She has within her the power to heal, transform, break-through and evolve.
      Linda Joy recently posted..Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude: Waking up to What We Have!My Profile

  8. Linda,
    I so appreciate you using your life as a testimony to inspire the lives of women. We often think we have to have some kind of magical power to transforms lives however you bravely show us the way by sharing your truth and using your story to inspire. Thanks for being you and I am proud to call you friend!

    Keep inspiring women worldwide!

  9. Thank you so much Linda for your life changing work and for sharing your story of transformation. From feeling lost and broken to the surrender of release leading to transformation has fuelled your life’s mission. There is such empowerment and beauty in your experience. I believe that this knowledge is essential for women throughout their life journey. Your story gives hope to women to enter life’s challenges with hope and courage. Your story reminds me of the power of faith and inner wisdom. When a women taps into her passion miracles happen.
    Warmly, Keira

    • Keira, thank you for such a beautiful message not only to me but to all women. Love your quote “When a women taps into her passion miracles happen.” I’ll have to share that one because it is so true. When we are in alignment with our purpose and our passion -doors open, synchronicity abounds and yes, miracles happen. Thank YOU Keira for the work you are doing in the world as a wellness coach.
      Linda Joy recently posted..Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude: Waking up to What We Have!My Profile

  10. Beautiful, Linda. Thanks so much for sharing your heart-opening epiphany with us all. As we watch feminine leaders step forward to shine their lights in our awakening world, it’s inspiring and empowering to see how they got there! Your surrender to Divine support and the truth of your being is an invitation to us all! Here’s to naming and claiming the love that we are!
    Jennifer Alhasa recently posted..Free Intuitive Readings!My Profile

    • Hello Jennifer
      Yes so true Jennifer. When heart-centered, spirit-led feminine leaders like YOU my friend share their truth, shine their light and step into their authentic power – the world will be transformed. Like you I love witnessing, supporting and shining a light on these women who are bravely stepping through their fears to heed the calling of their soul – and believe me I know it’s not easy. So love to YOU my friend for being one of those women!
      Linda Joy recently posted..Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude: Waking up to What We Have!My Profile

  11. Linda – thank you for sharing such a moving personal story. I love the part where you write about grace. Grace holds such amazing power to change so much. It turns us from the darkness towards the light. All the best to you, Lois
    Lois Hughes recently posted..Let Water Soothe Your SoulMy Profile

  12. Dearest Linda… your post grabbed at my heart strings and moved me to tears. Tears of joy for your strength, your wisdom, your beautiful soul. I wish I had read this 20 years ago… but 20 years ago I could not hear my own soul whispers either… it was only recently that I discovered it IS a choice. To shed all that happened, to know that experiences don’t define you.. your choices do. I am at such a good place in my own life. Inpsired by wonderful women like you. I do hear my soul’s whispers now.. and may have even felt the reverberating joy of those soul giggles. I love that!

    How wonderful it is for you to share something so powerful to help other women as they too step forward on their own journey.

    You are spectacular!

    • Shelley… honored you are here! Love your work and writing -every messages always seems to be the right one for me at that moment and brings me deeper into my own journey. Thank you.!

      Yes, you’re right! That’s the secret -it IS a choice! I believe that when we (as humans) wake up to this truth, embrace it and live it then not only are we transformed as an individual but humanity is also transformed. It begins within!

      It begins with the first step – just acknowledging that the choice is ours to make. That day in car I acknowledged that truth and as the years have unfolded I’ve tried (and yes, many times failed) to live from that new truth. Like you and all those on the journey before us – we just keep taking the next step, fall down, get up, start again.

      I love that you hear your soul’s whispers now.. and I wish you all the soul giggles that you deserve.

      Please know this – your work and journey inspires me -keep on writing, sharing and being YOU! You have truly touched my life!
      Linda Joy recently posted..Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude: Waking up to What We Have!My Profile

  13. Linda , my incredible, amazing beautiful sister.
    You are a gift to the world and I am so proud of the who you are and how you touch the heart and soul of thousands of women across the globe.

    You are an inspiration and I thank God every day that you are my sister.
    You helped me out of my darkest days of grief and despair.
    You gave me the love and support to work through my pain and grief.
    You inspired and encouraged me to trust my inner voice and follow my heart.

    My heart is now full and bursting with love. I am now attracting such positive, loving people into my life and friends and colleagues comment on how I glow with happiness and it because of your love and support and following the path that you gently guided be towards.

    I love you and am so proud of you.

    • Kim, when I saw that you posted here I was brought to tears. For those who read this – Kim is my younger sister.

      Her words touched me deeply! During those darkest years when I seemed to make every wrong turn in life & couldn’t answer why – Kim was always there w/love (sometimes tough-love) and non-judgement. She just allowed my path to unfold even when she wanted so much more for me.

      She stood by as I wounded not only myself -but those I love -and still ‘she loved.”

      So, Kim to hear that who I am today makes you PROUD touches my soul deeply (though I know you are) to see it in words brought me to tears -because for those years you were my light!

      I am honored that my healing brought me to the place that when you needed me most over the last two years of YOUR darkest days of grief and despair that I COULD BE THE LIGHT and give you the same love & support you needed to work through my pain and grief.

      Life has come full circle – now we are BOTH shining our light. Continue to trust your inner voice and follow your heart.
      I love you too!.
      Linda Joy recently posted..Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude: Waking up to What We Have!My Profile

  14. Dear Linda,

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart-opening story with all of us.

    This is a great reminder – and also my biggest takeaway! – that Grace magnificently touches us when we finally “empty our pain and fill our heart.”

    Just like Jodi – and so many others! – I am deeply grateful for your being in my life. Thank you for being the wonderful person that you are!

    Love and blessings,
    Chantal Beaupre recently posted..Putting an End to the Fallacy of MultitaskingMy Profile

  15. As I read your story Linda, I found myself remembering the day I faced the hatred of myself in a session I was having with an amazing Shaman. I had spent nearly 20 years in therapy, working to heal my own childhood traumas, but that day was a major turning point. I had been so ashamed for so long, but that day I was able to forgive and love myself. That shift into self-love opened the door to compassion and non-judgment of myself and others, and it also marked the beginning of a spiritual journey I feel so blessed to be on. Thank you Linda for sharing your story!

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