I am so beyond thrilled to be launching this brand new interview series, Transformation Inspirations, with the vibrantly inspiring soul that is Ariela Goldstein.
Below, you’ll find Ariela’s story written in her own beautiful and vulnerable words, and then we’ll jump into her stunning interview.
“Raised in an affluent town in the suburbs of New York, I was given every opportunity life could offer. As a young girl I believed that my future was bright and I would one day be a part of something magical.
After my parents divorce, my older brother began to act out violently and suffer from mental illness. I was a very sensitive soul and all I wanted was for everyone to be happy. It was tough growing up in his shadow and our family struggled for many years to support his journey. Feeling left out, I succumbed to anxiety and depression, lost interest in school and turned to drugs and alcohol to cope.
When I went away to college I was determined to straighten things out, focus on my studies and get my life on track. At the end of my first semester, my high school sweetheart fell ill. The doctors could not determine his infection and due to complications he fell into a coma and never recovered. I visited him and held out hope until it just became too hard to continue watching him suffer. Fortunately I re-enrolled in school, but unfortunately I turned back to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain.
My transformation began when I was at my breaking point. I knew something had to change drastically or I would end up dead. It was time.
When I made the decision to finally turn my life around, miracles began to happen in major ways. I was living away from home in a city where I knew very few people so I asked the universe for help to make enough money to get out of my current lease and move back home to recover. Almost immediately I found a gig that covered all my expenses. This was the first sign that everything would be ok as long as I continued to make positive choices. Having my prayers answered so quickly, solidified my faith in the process and allowed me the strength to take each next step towards my eventual freedom from anxiety, depression and struggle.
The power to change rests in each decision you make. I have learned to design my life in a way that feels abundant and alive. I live in a beautiful place, work in a field that brings me joy, am connected to a joyful community of friends, have a supportive loving family, and feel extremely lucky to be alive. “ ~ Ariela Goldstein
Before we get into the interview, I want to give a HUGE moment of honor and acknowledgement to Ariela. While we were preparing this interview she voiced some nervousness to me, “I’m scared to share my journey because it was such a personal, painful part of my life that I’ve tried to overcome, and bury ever since.” She felt so called to share her transformation and use it for good, even if she was feeling uneasy about it. And I feel like this is a powerful sentiment to the entire process of transformation. It’s messy, and it’s not easy, but when we find support and an energy that feels good we are truly empowered and can transform anything we set our mind to. So thank you, Ariela, for kicking off this series with a powerful bench-mark for the power of vulnerability, realness, and light.
Where were you at before you transformed your life? What was your experience, emotional state, and perspective like? –
My daily experience was anxiety, fear, lack of understanding, confusion about what to do, where to go, what choices to make. I had no sense of self or sense of direction. I berated myself for not knowing how to navigate life and had little hope for the future.
When your life began to change, what cause the shift(s) for you? –
An angel rescued me. Literally.
I met a pastor who saw my struggle and befriended me. He was young, cute and seemed to really care about what was happening to me. I listened. We went out to dinner. We went on hikes. I guess I thought he was pursuing me. And then one day he introduced me to god. We were sitting on top of a mountain looking down at the city, and he asked me “How could all this exist if there wasn’t a god?” And for the first time in my life I felt connected to the world.
What did your transformation look like for you, and how did the experience feel? –
I moved back home, got a job at a gym, hung out with other sober people, started to eat healthy and take care of my body, and started to think about what I wanted the rest of my life to look like. It felt good but it wasn’t much better than being a mess. I had to feel my anxiety and fears and face them head on. It was hard and it took a long time to see the happy version of me was the real me. My sense of identity had to be shattered in order to build a new vision for my life.
What practice, tool, or mindset has been the most meaningful and impactful for you along your journey? –
The most useful tool has been yoga, for sure. Connecting with my body and feeling strong and capable physically, gives me an internal sense of power and confidence and is the catalyst for a shift from ego to spirit mindset. I get so many clear messages during yoga. And the most useful mindset tool is gratitude. No matter how bad things may seem there is always something simple to appreciate about life.
Having gone through the transformation that you have now, what would you say to your past self? –
This is a beautiful question!
Your life is gonna be fucking amazing.
It’s ok to be in pain sometimes, but it is NOT who you are.
It’s not your job to take care of everyone else.
Someday you are going to be the one to teach other people how to get through hard times.
Where is your life now? What is your experience, emotional state, and perspective like? –
Today I woke up next to a beautiful person and friend. I fed and walked my sweet puppy Kayla. I went to a calming, grounding yoga class in a lovely little hideaway studio nearby. I ate yummy food. I played chess with my friends son. I was on call for work and in the meantime did some writing. I prepped for work tomorrow. I cleaned my home and now I’m cooking dinner and chatting with friends. Life is beautiful.
Not everyday is like today but most days are. Whenever I’m having a hard time I know where to turn and always find my way back home to myself. I have a strong sense of who I am, what I want, and where I’m going. I have a huge amount of faith that things will work out no matter what, that stems from a strong sense of faith in myself. If you ever wonder if it’s possible to make it through the mess, please reach out to someone who’s been there. You are capable of more than you could ever imagine.
I don’t know how you could possibly read this interview and not leave it feeling inspired + empowered. Ariela is such a vibrant light of an example! Transformation is possible, even if it feels impossible. A beautiful life is available to you, you’ve just got to claim it as your own. And most importantly, you’ve got everything you need within you to become who and what ever you want.
If this story inspired and empowered you in any way, if you had an A-HA moment, or if you resonated with this interview at all, leave a comment below sharing what inspired you and how you will use that inspiration for good. To connect more with Ariela and her vibrant light and work you can find her at hamsainteriors.com.