Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Medley.
Hi Leslie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
This question always feels so loaded because I truly believe it all began when my soul chose the life it did from birth until now. That includes every hardship, trial and tribulation that has molded and made me into the healer, leader and HUMAN I am today.
After surviving a stroke at birth and knowing from a very young age, my life was a story of what is possible from being adopted to losing both of my parents and overcoming adversities that led most statically to addiction, homelessness, or a very shut off lonely life. I always KNEW I was meant for so much more in this life. I never knew exactly what that was and I definitely could NOT have predicted I would be living the life I do now but I did know I was a natural-born teacher, leader and meant to share my story in a big way. A way that moves mountains not just in my own life but in a way that becomes a permission slip for others to move the mountains needed to live a liberated, free EPIC, adventurous life. I knew I was meant to be a reference point for what is possible NO matter what cards you are dealt. I always say it isn’t about the cards you are dealt but how you choose to play the game.
For me, that meant changing the strategy in which I play and quite frankly changing up the whole damn game.
For so long, I wanted nothing more than to be ‘normal’ to have normal health, normal parents, a normal family, a normal upbringing. Not only was my life pretty abnormal but I felt a strong burning feeling inside I could never quite describe.
I realize now, I wasn’t normal and now I thank God every day because I realize I am born to stand OUT. To speak up and to build bridges between worlds that normally wouldn’t exist. I am here to defy odds and recreate what ‘normal’ really is. I am here to show women they truly can have it all. Their longing for ‘MORE’ is a sacred gift to be honored, not to be shut down. I am here to hold the flashlight on the path of purpose for so many souls around the world who are ready to shake up the norm, challenge the American Dream and re-create themselves from the inside out. What this requires is that I always go first.
All of these statements have me sound really bold and brave and I am but I also am a recovering people pleaser who like I shared spent almost 30 years doing everything in my power to be accepted, liked, not abandoned again.
Every single time I pave the way, I call myself a bush wacker, literally creating the path as I go, it calls me forward into a level of responsibility and faith you can’t read about in books. I have died to old beliefs and ways of being over and over to allow for God, my mission to take the lead and my people-pleasing, ego, devil, trauma patterns to take the back seat.
I could share stories for days on how these living lessons have shown up in my life but let’s start with one of the biggest leaps of faith I have ever taken. After getting married at a very young age, becoming an Army Wife and finding myself in one of my first callings, Nursing. I had paid my way through nursing school, working full time, living in a new state with a fresh loss of my mother, Figuring it all out one moment at a time. Nursing and the health and wellness field I was working in gave me purpose, it was something outside of myself that I hand created. Those two little letters after my name, RN, I earned, I became, I lived into. And after allll the blood, sweat, tears (if you have even considered getting accepted into nursing school, you know what I mean) a divorce and living on a friend’s futon later, only two years into my really epic nursing career of ICU & trauma nursing. I did the unthinkable. I walked away from it all…
I loved being a nurse, I wore it proudly and still do. I am a healer, a teacher, an advocate. I quickly saw how limited I was by the politics and the way Western Medicine functions in our society as we know it. I wasn’t able to hold the space for healing that I knew I was not only capable of but here to do. I knew the level of healing and growth I was here to do would continue to be limited inside the four walls of a hospital which is when I knew I had to take my work global, into the world, where anything is possible.
About one year into my thriving nursing career, I had the opportunity to backpack around Southeast Asia for five months. To say this trip changed my life forever would be the biggest understatement. I left one person and came back a completely different human. The people, the cultures, the spirituality, the true embodiment of life and community these third world countries possess cracked my heart wide open and shattered every single American belief system I had. I had the privilege of volunteering, teaching English in Vietnam, buying a motorbike and driving across the entire country, I dove deep into the oceans, hiked the Himalayas, lived on islands that came from desktop backgrounds and was continuously humbled by humanity. I came back with the burning question, how??? How can I have this be my life? How can I have the freedom to do as I desire? Playing in my passions regularly, living a life I am completely obsessed with, contributing to the world in the way I know I am meant to??
And pretty much the rest is history. Or at least that’s the way leaders like to write it in books or how they show it in movies. One of the quickest things you will learn about me is I don’t leave out the behind the scenes. The highlight reels are great but my greatest lessons have come from the struggles, the times I have doubted my ability to continue on. The times I had to dive sooo deep into myself and trust God’s plan for my life on a level you read about in the bible but rarely see people embody. For the next year of my life, as I was travel nursing, working as a Burn Intensive Care Unit Nurse, I tried it all. Travel blogging? Wellness coaching? Throwing spaghetti up against the wall and seeing what would stick.
In 2017, I hired my first business coaches and mentors that supported me in extracting my deepest passions to live into my purpose as a first-time business owner and as a person on this planet.
I loved personal development and spiritual growth spaces. I had experienced many trainings, workshops and courses stateside that truly impacted me and my mindset development AND doing what I do best, I saw a lot of gaps. I saw a lack of EXPERIENTIAL learning. Another word that is trendy right now is embodiment.
I saw a lot of people meeting in hotel conference rooms or yoga studios for seminars on how to overcome your fears and take action toward your dreams but little actually living it out.
I decided I wanted to take these spaces, this work INTO the world, into nature, on the court where the BODY can experience the transformation and there is no room for the mind to argue.
In other words, you can learn every step of how to summit a mountain, you can buy the top of line gear, you can receive all of the certifications to do so, you can ‘KNOW’ how to climb the mountain, you can mentally prepare, you can physically prepare but until you actually climb the mountain, you will never truly know what it is like at the summit and what you actually takes YOU to get there.
This is where my signature adventure retreats and experiential learning & embodiment experiences were born. I would witness people having the most profound breakthroughs that carried over in their personal lives from the courage, determination and overcoming of fear it took you to climb the active volcano, to travel to a new place, to physically do what everyone in those personal developments rooms were talking about.
So on April 1st, no joke, 2018. I left my nursing career, packed a backpack yet again, took a leap of faith and left the country to follow the calling on my heart.
I traveled and lived out of a backpack, building my business, a daily devotion of becoming the person that would be living the life I wanted to. Making one courageous, conscious decision at a time, I began laying the bricks down for what became my mission, my vision, my livelihood, my business, my full-time dream life.
After facilitating and guiding over a dozen sold-out international and local adventure transformational retreats, working with souls from all over the globe in 1:1 virtual spaces, group settings. and in my online membership, Spirit Tribe. Now I will say the rest is history.
The revolution of LIBERATION was born. The transformations, the healing that has occurred, the lives that have been touched and continued to be transformed is completely out of my hands now. I simply show up to the mission God placed on my heart in full faith of why I am here. To be the cause of deep soul liberation for those who are ready to change, growth and access their fullest, most unique, wild expression.
As you know, we’re big fans of She Wanders. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I first want to share my launch video of when I launched my new brand and business this year after a devastating crumbling in 2020 when my life partner, business partner left the same week COVID hit the west coast. As everyone was cuddling up with their safest person, I was completely alone in a brand new state, at the time San Diego, watching the life I had consciously created crumble before my very eyes.
Because of all the personal work and awakening I had experienced, I knew the falling away was to be the direct cause of what would come. Of course, I didn’t know exactly what that was but I had been around this block enough times to know what was on the other side is far greater than my current mind and conditioning could even dream up.
I spent most of 2020 alone, deepening my own trauma healing journey and transforming my life in an even bigger way. I knew the new vision for my business would be birthed and for the first time probably ever, I didn’t rush it. I didn’t force it. I allowed myself to become it.
April 1st (no joke), again, three years later, She Wanders was born.
From American Wanderlove, co-created with my previous partner to a new solopreneur releasing my new vision into the world, She Wanders.
Here is the script from the video that you can pull from if you desire:
Three years ago on April 1st, I took a leap of faith,
I did what most people don’t do in their entire lives, I left my rapidly growing career as an ICU nurse to just ‘go for it’ and fulfill the vision I had coming alive in me
A vision where healing wasn’t just physical or linear wasn’t just it wasn’t one way or one size fits all. A vision where women had a safe space to grow and transform and embody the adventure on their hearts. A vision where the norm is re-created, the American Dream is challenged, and the way things are is up for question.
Three years ago, I left everything I knew with one backpack, a whole lot of faith, conviction in my mission and trust in my heart to begin traveling the world full time and building this vision one breath at a time.
I stand here today with a vision I didn’t even know was possible coming out of me. What I now see is the last three years weren’t a failure, a loss or a mistake.
The last three years were my training, my initiation, a three-year-long dress rehearsal for this moment today.
April 1st, no joke, three years later… She Wanders is born
She wanders into herself. She wanders into her internal world where she knows her external world is created from.
She wanders into her imagination, into what’s possible, into breaking up the norm. A way where miracles are normal and the thought that there could be a different way and easier way is a common conversation. A way where ‘we’ takes precedence and ‘I’ takes the back seat.
She wanders into her Adventure, where she discovers her passion, what excites her, what sets her soul on fire. She wanders to discover her purpose. She wanders into relationships that are the greatest mirrors and teachers for her growth. She wanders and goes places she never knew possible because she has the courage and willingness to ‘go there’ to go where the women before her have not gone.
She is fearless, not because fear doesn’t exist but rather because her commitment to growth and her soul’s evolution is far greater than any obstacle, any fear or any discomfort.
She is free to be her because She Wanders.
She is free to be her because she wonders
She is free to be her because she evolves.
She is free to be her because she embodies.
She is free to be her because She Wanders.
Here is the video link: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1brf6mgYzuBcW6b6MQSZH6YcAC3x1kvYP
Leslie helps healing & awakening women integrate deep wounds into embodied wisdom to experience a liberated life. She uniquely integrates the ancient, time-tested teachings of the East, guiding embodiment experiences & experiential learning in a way that disrupts the “norm” and empowers you to create a life your soul came here to live.
Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
You will never feel ready. I still never do each time I reach my next edge, my next courageous leap. The question isn’t about if you are ready, the question is, are you WILLING? Are you willing to go first? Are you willing to learn along the way? Are you willing to look stupid? To be called out? To allow your mission to mold YOU? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to honor the voice of your soul and the message on your heart? Are you willing to let go parts of yourself to unbecome everything you have known to be true to be made, molded into the person that WOULD be ready for this desire?
Trust yourself enough to take the first step and know yourself enough that you can and will overcome anything that arises on your path. You don’t need more evidence of this. Your life is living breathing evidence that you were actually born for this.
Your life is not a waiting room. It is meant to be lived NOW. The person you will become in the process is worth every single struggle, doubt, failure and pain.
You don’t need to ‘find your purpose’ Trust me, she knows where you are. All you need to do is prioritize what sets your soul on fire, even if it makes sense to no one around you. As long as you keep playing in your passions, setting your soul ablaze, One day, you will look up and it will make so much sense it will bring you to your knees, it will change you, it will change others and you will be overwhelmed in gratitude that you had the courage to chose you.
- Here is my gift to you! Free #dailypractice Starter Kit: thelesliemedley.com/create-your-day-for-freedom Free download for your #dailypractice Starter Kit with 21 days of personal loves notes from me to support you on creating your day for freedom with a professionally recorded breathwork meditation audio, fillable PDF morning guide and your own online student portal with app access
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