I have known Elizabeth Dehn of Beauty Bets for almost as long as I’ve been blogging, I’ve always been in awe of all that she has created (Pinterest maven! skincare guru with One Love Organics!), and her latest endeavor is no exception. Over the years we’ve been through similar life changes as our relationship and career paths have shifted, and we both found our way into the personal growth arena at about the same time. Now, Elizabeth is taking all she’s learned about the world of self-realization and translating it into a podcast called Healers. In it, she takes a weekly spirit journey with the guides and gurus who are transforming lives in unconventional ways. She’s here today to share a piece of her story with us, so read on for the scoop in her own words!
I was born with a beauty gene. While other girls were playing with dolls or chasing boys, I was whipping up egg-white face masks and spending my babysitting money on Mood lipstick. My low-maintenance mother would lovingly joke that I was adopted. Even from an early age, I was drawn to how beauty made me feel: nurtured, grown-up, and more graceful than my braces and big feet belied. Beauty wasn’t about hiding behind mall bangs and swaths of color (I had a big lavender moment in the 80s), but feeling more like myself.
It’s no wonder that my career as an editor and writer eventually led me back to beauty. I started a blog, Beauty Bets, when blogs were still new, and it took off. I was in my element, trying crazy new treatments (bee venom facial, anyone?) and reviewing products with humor and discernment. That blog and the opportunities it created—media appearances, brand collaborations, splashy campaigns, trips all over the world—changed my life. Not because it was glamorous (though it was) but because I got to build something around a subject I truly loved.
That’s the elevator story. And it’s all true. But what people don’t tell you is how consuming blogging can be. Along with social media, it’s an always-on business and I didn’t have an off switch. Throw in the pressure of my face being the brand, and the pressure to look and dress and decorate a certain way and it drove me into obsessive-compulsive workaholic behavior.
The harder I worked, the more money I made and the more money I made the more I wanted to keep making money. Of course, it wasn’t really about the money but about the self-worth I felt from the success. When my success started to show cracks—first in the form of total exhaustion, then in a downward spiral of depression—I knew something needed to change. What I didn’t know is how life-altering that change would really be.
Over the years I had interviewed a number of healers for magazine articles and blog posts. I’d tried acupuncture and Reiki, hosted psychic parties for friends, and picked out crystals at a new age-y spa because I thought they’d look pretty on the nightstand. Now it was time to get serious. I needed help. I needed guidance. I didn’t know who I was anymore or what I cared about or even where to begin. I just knew that like beauty had years before, the healing arts beckoned. They felt like an old friend, a cozy blanket, with whom I could just breathe a sigh of relief. And this, friends, is spiritual Lesson #1: When something whispers to you, no matter how surprising or nonsensical, follow it. That’s your higher-self calling you home.
This is the part in the story where I go on a self-help bender, studying every spiritual and healing experience that I could get my hands on. I had my palms read, tarot cards pulled, chakras re-aligned, and future predicted. I saged my house, slept in a silk cocoon, and saw my past lives (maybe we met when I was a cowgirl in the 15thcentury?). I tried sound bath therapy, equine therapy, and plenty of traditional therapy, too. My nightstand looked like the Live Your Best Life section of Barnes & Noble. It still does.
And in the process I discovered this gem: I had spent my entire life looking for love and acceptance everywhere but myself. Hell, I had subconsciously built a career around one of the most superficial topics in the hopes that if I made everything beautiful on the outside, the inside would follow suit. Lesson #2: We present ourselves to the world in a way that masks what’s going on inside.
The truth is that I was anxious or depressed most of my life. I hid it well, like when I was getting straight As or climbing the corporate ladder, but it was always there. The “walking wounded” one therapist described my management skill. Like a functioning alcoholic. But when you start peeling back the layers, as is inevitable in any healing journey, you can no longer ignore what you feel at your core. And I felt like without a big, fancy career I was nothing. Nobody.
Why that was the case could be a book, but all you need to know is Lesson #3: Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs. They always do. And mine eventually led to the realization that I am pretty great no matter what I did for work. I had a loving, close-knit family, the best and brightest friends, a beautiful home and dog, and the world at my fingertips. I had done that. Not because of how hard I worked or what I looked like or what I wore, but because of who I was at my core.
Lesson #4: It’s a relief to be yourself. Your shoulders relax. You laugh more easily. You can breathe. Once I let go of trying to be perfect or “manage” my life instead of just living, everything opened up. I felt more peace than I had ever known and I didn’t even know what I was going to do with my life! Beauty was still my career, but it was no longer meaningful enough. I found myself talking about The Universe on a regular basis. I taught friends how to meditate. I started asking my “guides” for help. Spirituality had become more than medicine for me; it had become a way of life and I wanted to share it with anyone who was in pain or simply wanted to feel better.
Lesson #5: The Universe always has your back. I didn’t go looking to start a podcast, but the Universe had different plans. When PodcastOne approached me last year about doing a show, I knew they assumed it would be about beauty. Instead, I pitched them on a conversation with Healers, from the animal healer to the holistic fertility doctor. The light workers who have dedicated their lives to helping us heal ours. They are some of the most beautiful, dedicated souls I’ve ever met and to introduce them to thousands of listeners every week who are just waiting for their guidance is my way of paying it forward.
I am learning from these healers right along with our listeners. Just when I think I have it all figured out, they open up something new inside of me. It could be a gentle reminder to stay present, or a story that snaps me out of my desire to feel in control of my future. Lesson #6: There’s no there-there. No place to get to. No day when everything is going to finally fall into place and be perfect. There’s only now and how you choose to be in the world. My wish for you is to choose love, starting with yourself. Only then can that love spread out into the world and create the sort of widespread healing that we collectively need now more than ever.