Today we’d like to introduce you to Arden Leigh.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Arden. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I moved to LA in 2014 with the goal of re-sensitizing. I had started my band Arden and the Wolves and had published my book The New Rules Of Attraction while still in New York, but while I felt I was doing everything right in theory, my life still wasn’t feeling great to me and I was constantly seeking ways to gain control over my mental health, which I thought was the problem.
When I moved to LA I set the intention of reconnecting to my intuition and starting the process of beginning to feel my body again, which was completely desensitized due to cycles upon cycles of trauma that I didn’t seem to be able to break out of. I began a practice to help focus and ground me, even if it was just as simple as being mindful of my intentions enough to write them down, and I focused deeply on my mood and what brought me happiness vs what was causing negativity.
This simple step started me on a path of rapid awakening, where I realized that I could hack the reality I was creating for myself by consciously shifting my beliefs and where I focused my energy. And once I started I couldn’t stop. This is nowhere more obvious than in my band because I deliberately shifted a belief that having a band was only ever going to be a social vanity pursuit and that no one ever makes it in the music industry.
In releasing the limitations I’d unconsciously set for myself in order to avoid disappointment and in embracing the idea of taking myself seriously as an artist, I suddenly called in more success in a matter of months than I’d been able to do for years beforehand. What changed? I didn’t have a label or outside support handing me a career. I just shifted myself in a way I hadn’t been able to access before.
Once I had shifted my mental health and my music, I started wondering what else I could shift. It takes time and bandwidth so I try to tackle issues one at a time, but it’s absolutely possible and I’m so looking forward to expanding my creative power into other areas. Right now I’m working on shifting my beliefs around business, and after that, I’m probably going to start looking at travel.
I then launched Sacred Sirens, a platform to be able to offer this same kind of coaching for others. Currently, I’m offering an 8-week course beginning in July called The Re-Patterning Project that is geared toward teaching others the skill sets of mindfulness, intention-setting, and soul-level detective work that have given me access to things like happiness, creatorship, and infinite possibility that seemed so impossible just five years ago.
For me, the journey has been about illuminating my blind spots and scouring them for resources to create. It’s an incredible vantage point, truly. I feel like I’m living on an entirely different planet with so much more cool stuff on it than I ever saw before.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Of course, there were struggles. Overcoming trauma is one of the most difficult obstacles possible, because trauma affects our perception of the world, and because nobody is going to fix that perception for us but ourselves. It’s also weirdly one of the easiest obstacles possible because nobody else can do it for you but you, so you are the only person whose participation is necessary.
Trauma is inherently unfair. Something happens to us that is not our fault, and then it imprints itself upon us and continues to haunt us, and in most cases the persons or institutions that traumatized us just get to go on as they were before, leaving us in a hellhole of anger, pain, and rage. Oftentimes we get stuck feeling that until justice is served to our oppressors, we can’t escape. But unfortunately, that belief just further imprisons us, making our freedom reliant on the very people who hurt us in the first place, giving them even more of our power.
It’s an enormously difficult hump to get over because too often the idea of taking responsibility for our own happiness can come across like victim-blaming. And that’s a problem because we need to separate those things. If someone comes along and vandalizes your house, that wasn’t your fault. That was 100% the fault of the person who vandalized it. But unfortunately it’s your house and it’s unlikely you’re going to get the vandal to do the cleanup for you. And if you don’t clean it up, then, according to the broken windows theory, more people are going to come along and mess up your house even further.
There is a test called the Adverse Childhood Experiences test that rates a participant based on how many deeply traumatic experiences they had growing up – and unsurprisingly, the higher that number, the more likely that person is to become an alcoholic, an addict, or even to suffer multiple counts of sexual assault as an adult. When I read that, it suddenly clicked for me that I was still living in the house that had been vandalized when I was a kid, and I hadn’t bothered to fix it. I was a human broken windows theory unto myself, and people were still coming along and breaking me.
So I worked hard to remove myself from toxic environments, cut out people in my life who were hurting me, and establish new boundaries. It turns out this is what is meant by not letting your past define you – those words sound nice and pretty, but I had to actually rewire my mind in the present to make that happen, or else the past was going to keep repeating because I hadn’t actually made any changes. I had to quantum leap into the version of myself who was completely free from her past.
I wouldn’t say it was easy, because there were times that I felt like I was walking blindly in the dark, fueled onward by the slightest glimmer of hope. But having reached the other side, I can say that it is absolutely possible.
And in retrospect, by releasing an album (Who Can You Trust, released this February) that detailed my trauma healing process, I guess I really made people pay attention to my pain, which was all I wanted back when I was in my hellhole of rage. I’m not sure I was conscious of it at the time but I can’t believe I healed my trauma in part by recording an album that made all the cool kids at the music blogs have to look at the abuse/assault epidemic that affected me. I must have been so mad! It’s like I wasn’t really finished until I got be witnessed until the whole indie music scene saw and understood what I’d been through.
But I created the means for that witnessing by calling my creative power back, and honestly, after the reviews poured in in support of me and the work of healing I’d created, I felt super done with it. I’m so ready to create from a place of happiness now.
But the first thing it takes is that willingness to stand up out of the mud and realize that nobody’s going to rescue you but you. And that part sucks. Once you take that first step though, it’s freedom.
Please tell us about Sacred Sirens / Arden and the Wolves.
My work at Sacred Sirens is where I get to teach others how to do what I do. I offer one-on-one coaching and group courses, and I love being able to work with people who are super ready to make a big shift in their lives. Our entire collective is making huge shifts on all fronts, and so there is so much healing that is possible now, so much empowerment that we can now step into. It’s so the right time for this work. We all serve better when we show up at our most empowered.
I’m most excited about The Re-Patterning Project coming up in July where I get to teach the process I underwent to heal my trauma and reprogram my beliefs to better serve me. I can’t wait to geek out with everyone, there is so much possibility that’s ahead and I can’t wait to see everyone when it starts to click for them.
And of course, there’s my band Arden and the Wolves, which at this point is a vehicle for the same messages but where I get to be much more colorful and creative in delivering them. I love the idea of rewriting my entire world by crafting a song or an album and then getting to show my students how it all works together. I think just being a coach can sometimes feel like a weird vertiginous infinite Quaker Oats box paradox – coaches coaching coaches coaching coaches, like a bizarre pyramid scheme where the only evidence of your success is the thing you’re already selling.
That’s weird to me. And let’s face it, I want to prove to my students that the skills I teach can manifest your dream life, so I turned myself into a rockstar. Secretly I think more coaches would be rock stars if they could!
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I could always say that I wish I had begun my healing process sooner, that I wish I hadn’t let it get so bad before I realized the way out, but the truth is I have an advantage now over others in my field in that I know how bad it can get. I’ve known suffering and anguish that has made me not only contemplate suicide but maintain it for years as a backup plan. I’ve been to the darkest corners of the patriarchy and I’ve been close to my demise more than once.
So when I see people who haven’t experienced the same kind of pain, I know they’re also likely underequipped to be able to hold space for others who have. You can only show the way out of a place you’ve already been. So I don’t regret it, because I get it.
- The Re-Patterning Project Basic Package: $497
- The Re-Patterning Project Plus Package: $797
- The Re-Patterning Project VIP Package: $997
- Website: sacredsirens.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/ardensirens
- Facebook: facebook.com/arden.leigh
- Twitter: twitter.com/ardensirens
- Other: twitter.com/ardenwolves instagram.com/ardenandthewolves facebook.com/ardenandthewolves
Aaron Mann, Jessie Rand, Whiskey Shotz