My story begins in Škofja Loka, a picturesque medieval town of 20,000 in Slovenia, in a loving multi-generational home. Hailing from a lineage of strong women who lived ahead of their times, a descendant of WWII resistance fighters, and a daughter of laborers-turned-business owners. “I would love to see Paris, New York City, and Hawaii!” I once made a wish when marveling at a stack of postcards from my grandmother's brother, a sailor.
Basketball became my refuge from being mercilessly bullied, as well as a distraction from the Balkan War. I was 7 years old when my country was attacked. I saw first-hand the traumatic consequences in the eyes of refugee kids whom we welcomed into our classrooms.
And, basketball became my ticket into the world!
At the age of 12, I began traveling around Europe to compete at basketball tournaments - and had been to Paris 3 times! I was 14 when I first put on the jersey of Slovenia Women's National Basketball team. At 16, I was the youngest player on the senior team and at 18 served as a team captain at the U-18 European Championship.
Ultimately, basketball also became a polygon to train high-performance mindset, resilience, confidence, teamwork, and leadership. To master time. And to coach (as both my teammates and coaches alike would seek my advice and guidance).
After traveling to the USA to scrimmage against Penn State, North Carolina U., James Madison, Old Dominion, and Wake Forrest, I was so unimpressed with the States that I had no desire to ever return. Instead, I decided to retire from the sport in order to focus on studying.
Plot twist! Reluctantly accepting an unexpected invitation to play NCAA D-I basketball in New York City, I packed my 3 suitcases, kissed my family goodbye, and boarded a trans-Atlantic flight to New York City 4,500 miles away. I have never been on the Downtown Brooklyn campus before making it my temporary home in 2004. And have I mentioned that I was barely able to speak English, my 4th language at the time?
My life was instantly changed, and with it, I had to transform to fulfill a whole new level of expectations and responsibilities.
I will never forget the moment during one of our team practices when I tapped into a whole new layer of the mindset: Coach gave me a choice between the team sprinting or me getting out of my comfort zone, speaking up, and using my voice.
If you’ve ever seen any of my videos, you know I haven’t stopped speaking and empowering others ever since.
The newly-gained confidence, winning attitude, ability to develop a grand vision and hold it, and relentlessness to shatter any physical and mental limits and obstacles helped me lead the team from last-seeded (my freshman year when I made the conference All-Rookie team) to become the winningest team in the college's history (my junior year). We went into the conference championship game my senior year. That game, we lost.
While also working on campus to earn extra cash in between classes and practicing, I became the first one to graduate in my family, and went on to earn MBA degree with honors (and debt-free) 2 years later.
In 2009, I was newly wed to my soulmate husband Tyler - a man I was not supposed to meet (a story for another time...), and finally excited to make New York my new home.
Despite my great ambitions and a budding career in Manhattan, life had other plans, and would put my resilience, grit, and trust to the test once again.
When we found out I was pregnant with our first child in 2011, I lost my job. Relieved that the 2.5-hour door-to-door commuting was finally over, I was on someone else’s timeline now.
Yearning for more freedom and flexibility, and deeply disappointed by the hostile (non-existing) support system for new moms and families (remember, I am European, we do these things very differently there), I rolled up my sleeves, took a leap, and started my own business.
I still remember the excitement of the possibilities, the terror of the unknown, and the lessons in making every single mistake I could possibly make in being one of the pioneers of virtual assistance business in my area.
And yet, it was surprisingly easy to juggle caring for a newborn, building up what would soon become a premium online business management and consulting agency with clients worldwide - while putting on high heels multiple times per week to masterfully network around the Tri-state area. And traveling for weeks on end.
When our second daughter completed our family 2.5 years later, I felt like the sky was the limit! The fact that I had built an agency that enabled me to give myself a 3-month fully-paid maternity leave, only elevated the sense of pride and accomplishment.
While powering through short winter days of snuggling a newborn, caring for a toddler, managing my team, and planning to retire my husband… something unexpected happened.
Post-partum depression and two trips to the ER due to burnout, paired with incredible homesickness and grief after losing two grandparents whom I could not say proper goodbyes to, were clear signs that the same work ethic, strategies, and mindset that had given me everything, could now kill me.
I would love to say that what happened next was a movie-like epiphany and an instant transformation that has catapulted me right back to the top. But. It. Wasn't.
Through the journey that followed, I looked critically at everything: my beliefs, stories, attitude, habits, conversations, expectations. Including my business, marriage, family, myself.
I unlearned, undid, and unmasked it all to reevaluate, release, rethink, redefine, reframe, rebuild.
Because I knew I was meant for more... And that my business was meant for more...
After a few annual trans-Atlantic trips with the little ones (I mastered the art and science of flying solo with a baby and a toddler), I also felt called to move us all back Slovenia to heal, to reconnect, and to simply slow down. I no longer belonged here.
The girls and I boarded a trans-Atlantic flight in 2018, and began our 4-month Slovenian Adventure. The experience became one of the most divine ones that we still talk about. And, as it turned out, so much more than simply healing.
As my spiritual teacher channeled, I was called back to Slovenia to gather "...your rosebuds, your wild horses, your heritage, your pieces that came not just from conversation, but from the energetic initiations, activations, and core teachings of your lineage ... to gather and integrate…which goes back to celebrating and giving you credibility for your mysticism!"
Upon our return, I experienced the dark night of the soul once again. I simply wanted to walk away from it all.
"This is not how this ends," whispered my soul... so I leaned in.
I have become stronger in my softness, sharper in my openness to receive more, and much more clear in my mission, purpose, and vision.
By the time the world pressed pause in 2020, I made our home "in the mountains near the sea" my sanctuary. We were gifted additional 18 months of family time as our kiddos would stay home during the pandemic.
Tyler and I reconnected on a different level and this opened the gate to a whole next level of reclaiming my vision, my knowing, my voice, my power.
I also reestablished boundaries in congruence with my outspoken advocacy for equality, women's rights, and for a system that promotes racial, gender and pay equity, affordable childcare, healthcare, education, and paid leave & vacation time. It was time to release the people whose actions, votes - or complicit silence - would hurt women, immigrants, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ people. I am just not wired to smile and wave just to keep peace...
RSVP-ing to higher call, I teamed up with my soulsister and friend Dianne Sykes in January 2021 to co-founded Elite Mystique Agency Inc.
In May, I launched a long-desired Make Your Life Your legacy Podcast, an unscripted soulstreaming experiment aiming to inspire and empower the audience to follow their heart.
In September, I became a US citizen, receiving the distinct honor and privilege of holding and connecting two nations, two cultures, and two homes! A lot of soul-searching, releasing of old identities, and reconciling certain beliefs took place in that process.
In December, I held the first copy of my own book It Is Not That Simple - a tale of 6 generations, 3 wars, and one woman's cross-continental quest to reclaim her Primal Power. 36 chaptes, 444 pages.
In 2022, I was diagnosed with two autoimmune disorders. Releasing the first 35lbs and reclaiming my power, my time, and my dreams, I re-evaluated my life and my marriage again. And made some life-altering choices. I took the summer off to spend it in Slovenia, fully present with the kiddos. Solitude, stillness and spaciousness offered a plethora of new opportunities. Some I had been waiting for for years but wasn't yet ready to receive, nor did I have the capacity to. As the result, we are currently embarking on an unconventional, soul-reveiling, and the most logistically complex adventure yet... And this time, we're doing it as a family.
I didn’t do it on my own.
All along, I may have remained being a "reliable, unflinching, insightful, intuitive, strategic, and compassionate" consultant, coach, and mentor (to quote my clients).
And all along, I have been supported by my husband, family, as well as premier coaches, consultants, healers, and mentors I have hired.
I have invested in-tune of 10+ years, $200,000+ and 20,000+ hours in my own intentional growth, development, education, and certifications (that is after the formal schooling, athletic and professional careers).
And, every single day, I also use the tools and insights in my own life. I am still doing the work, walking the talk.
So I know that you, too, can create the life, work, home of your desires and answer your highest calling! In your own way! Without adding more work, stress, commitments on your plate.
My team of mentors, guides, and experts and I are here for you, your peace of mind, and your transgenerational, transcultural, and transdimensional legacy play!