Reclaiming Life: The Power of Choosing Freedom
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Reclaiming Life: The Power of Choosing Freedom
Joanne Neweduk 102

Reclaiming Life: The Power of Choosing Freedom

Guest Blog by: Yvonne Winkler

Reclaiming Life: The Power of Choosing Freedom

I recently had the opportunity to interview Yvonne Winkler, author of Freedom Seeker:Reclaiming Feminine Wisdom, on the Fabuous at 50 Podcast, ep 72.  This blog is a fabulous augment to that conversation. (Joanne Neweduk)  

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Fourteen years ago, I found myself at a crossroads. I had just left my corporate job as a business development manager for financial services and insurance products—a job that had been draining my soul. I needed to break free and find a way to truly live rather than just exist. So, I packed my backpack and set off on a solo journey through Europe. This nine-month odyssey was more than a physical adventure; it was a quest for my true self.

As I wandered through ancient cities and picturesque landscapes, something within me cracked open. Leaving behind the structured, predictable world of financial services, I stepped into the unknown. The freedom was intoxicating, but it also brought to the surface years of unprocessed trauma and stress that I had been carrying since childhood.

My Story Begins In Former Communist East Germany

Until I was 11 years old, my life was confined by the oppressive regime. The stress and fear were palpable, and I carried that anxiety with me, even after my family escaped to West Germany. Five years later, we moved again, this time to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, in search of freedom and a better life. But freedom isn’t just about physical location; it’s about healing the mind and soul.

During my travels through Europe, I realized how much of my life had been about survival rather than truly living. The physical journey mirrored my inner journey, where I began to confront the deep-seated issues that had plagued me for years. My chronic stomach issues, which I later understood were tied to the stress of my early years, became a catalyst for seeking out different approaches to healing my body, mind, and soul.

Back then, I relied heavily on smoking, drugs, and alcohol to cope with the myriad transitions in my life. From the cultural shock of moving from East to West Germany and then to Canada, to the isolation of being an only child in a new country, substances became my way to fit in and numb the pain. But as I journeyed through Europe, it became clear that these crutches were destroying me.

Returning to Canada, I settled in Calgary and continued my quest for a meaningful life. Yet, despite the new surroundings and opportunities, I found myself slipping back into old habits. The coping mechanisms that had once offered solace were now chains, holding me back from the freedom I so desperately sought.

THE BREAKING POINT

The breaking point came during my fifth wedding anniversary. A beautiful trip to Jasper, meant to be a celebration, turned into a nightmare fueled by vodka coolers and Prosecco. The fight that ensued with my husband was a wake-up call. The next morning, as we drove home, I realized that I had a choice to make. I could continue down a path of self-destruction, or I could choose freedom—real, unfiltered freedom.

Choosing sobriety was not an overnight transformation. It was a gradual process of falling and getting back up, of surrounding myself with the tools and support needed to stay committed. I read extensively, joined online support groups, and most importantly, I began to confront and heal the traumas of my past.

This month, as I celebrate three years of sobriety, I can see clearly why I turned to smoking, drugs, and alcohol. They were my shields against a world that felt overwhelming and foreign. But in choosing to put them down, I have found a deeper, more authentic way of living. I’ve learned that freedom is not just a state of being but a series of choices we make every day.

My Mission

My mission now is to share my journey and support other women in realizing their fulfilled life. It’s about creating a safe space for healing, where women can confront their traumas and break free from the chains that hold them back. It’s about reclaiming feminine wisdom and living a life that is true to who we are at our core.

This journey and these realizations have culminated in my book, Freedom Seeker: Reclaiming Feminine Wisdom, which launched in November 2023 and became an Amazon bestseller. This book is not just my story; it’s a guide for anyone who feels stuck, who knows there’s more to life than what they are currently living. It’s an invitation to choose freedom.

JOURNEY WITH ME

I invite you to join me on this journey. Let my journey light the way and show you the incredible power of making your own choices. You can buy my book and start your own path to freedom. Remember, freedom is not a destination; it’s a choice you make every day. Choose you.

Joanne Neweduk

Joanne Neweduk

Joanne Neweduk

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