Ananda Milea

Five years ago Ananda Milea was working in the corporate world, but generally finding her work unfulfilling. She decided to leave the security of her job behind and dive into the unknown; to learn more about herself and embark on a spiritual path. A few years later, after having traveled the world and met all kinds of healers and kindred spirits along the way, she decided to start her own business as a writer, spiritual life coach and tarotist. Today the San Jose, California-based entrepreneur is enjoying a new career path that brings her and her clients joy.

Milea’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:

As a proud survivor of sexual assault, I have personally endured the long and difficult journey from emotional breakdown to spiritual breakthrough. In 2016 I left behind the corporate world in search of healing and a more fulfilling way of life. I spent half the year traveling the world, crossing paths with kindred spirits, entheogenic plants and healers of all kinds. I found an inward peace as well as the inspiration to redirect my life path to guide other women through their own transformative journey.

Success is being able to do exactly what you were meant to do on this planet without sacrificing an ounce of your integrity or exploiting the world around you and being wildly abundant because of it.

Four years ago I was pursuing an unfulfilling career and suffering with depression, anxiety, and PTSD when I decided I could no longer live in a way that had no greater meaning or purpose for my life. I left behind the security corporate world to follow my heart and dive head first into the great unknown. It was the most terrifying experience, but it was the leap of faith I needed to make to understand exactly who I was and what I was capable of achieving. I found the courage to seek out the help that I needed and in the process I discovered a passion for writing and a talent for working with the Tarot. I have since had the opportunity to turn these two things into a business that not only brings joy and abundance into my life but helps other women find the same peace and healing that I was in desperate need of.

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I feel the most challenged by branding and marketing, which is ironic because I come from a marketing and advertising background. From a moral perspective, I have a hard time accepting the marketing devices used to create exposure but I also understand it is the bridge that gives prospective clients access to my services. The idea of branding makes me feel like I must commodify an image of myself that does not leave room for my humanness or growth.

I decided to work under the moniker ‘Ananda Milea.’ Ananda is a play on my first name, Amanda. It is an ancient Sanskrit word used to describe a divine joy; an ecstatic bliss of sorts. Unlike temporary states of happiness, Ananda is an ever-changing dance with God—a loving commitment that satiates the mind and body. Milea is the middle name my mother gave to me. This is who I embody when I am holding space, navigating the subconscious realm, and inviting healing and peace to those in need. The separation of who I am and who I embody allows space for my humanness while remaining authentic to my higher Self.

[Related: She’s Helping Writers Find Their Voice and Their Motivation]

I became pregnant at the start of my spiritual life coaching certification program. I was also nannying full-time to support myself financially. In-between my all-day sickness, work, and school, I had to learn how to start up a business. It was exhausting and overwhelming at times but I also knew that life would not be any easier once my baby was born. There is no one solution to managing a work-life-balance. It is a constant practice that I often struggle through, but it is a real-life experience that allows me to sympathize with my clients on a personal level. I try to view all my challenges as life lessons that keep me informed about the work I provide for others.

In terms of role models, Angelina Jolie is woman I have always admired because she is the embodiment of authenticity, grace, and motherhood. She has always been unapologetically herself, never settling for the opinions of others. She has also allowed her ‘brand’ to grow and evolve, never clinging to a version of herself because it is what others idealize. But what I love most about her is her dedication to her children and how this influences her work as a UN ambassador. Using her platform to improve the lives of women and children around the world is truly an inspiration.

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Editor’s Note: The Story Exchange is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching the annual Women In Science Incentive Prize. Apply now for a chance to receive $5,000 in funding for your climate-related research or startup. Deadline: July 31. 

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