They say life can change in an instant. Those who have experienced sudden loss know that all too well. Carla Felix, a successful Rodan + Fields Elite Leader in Edmond, had just spoken to her husband Robert, 50, just three hours before he died suddenly from a heart attack. That was a year ago.
I’d met Carla a few years earlier and her vibe was utter and complete happiness. She’d left a hectic career in media to start working with Rodan + Fields along with her husband. She loved the independence, the flexibility. Life was good. Robert was her partner in every way. I absolutely thought she had the world on a string. Then the unthinkable happened and in a blink he was gone.
When I read the news on Facebook, I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. I believe my first thought was, “Oh my God, she loved him so much.” I’m sure I cursed. I do that when life isn’t fair.
I wanted to feature Carla as our mermaid following Valentine’s Day because love and loss unfortunately go hand-in-hand. As an author of women’s fiction, I write about love and loss and my 2008 novel Dating da Vinci featured a young widow. At that time, I didn’t know a young widow in real life. But a few years later, my sister Amanda joined the Griever ranks. And then Carla.
A break up is hard enough. But the death of a loved one seems impossible to bounce back from. So I wanted you to meet this woman who has been able to persevere and push on – not just for her family’s sake but in honoring her husband’s memory and their business they built together. It truly is inspiring. Bolding some Mermaid Pearls of Wisdom for us to tuck away.
ML: Take us back to that moment you decided to take the deep dive into leaving your career and joining R+F.
CF: Taking that plunge into something COMPLETELY outside my comfort zone sorta found me. I’d spent 20 years in advertising in Oklahoma City and I really loved the work I did for my clients but I wasn’t enjoying how corporate my job had become. I craved more work life balance and time flexibility. I knew that at the end of the day the most important people in my life were only getting emotional crumbs from me and that was no longer ok. I remember answering a question for a bio that our office was doing for everyone about What is your DREAM JOB. I told them I didn’t have a DREAM JOB I dreamed of TIME so I could use it to make a difference in the world and spend more quality time with my family. I think that was the moment the seed was planted in my heart for a CHANGE and when I heard about an opportunity to have a side business without all the traditional business headaches I jumped. I knew that at the very least I could make some extra money so I could find a job a little less stressful . I had NO IDEA how that one BOLD decision would put me on a path to a COMPLETE career & personal transformation. Knowing what I didn’t want was my guiding force. I love the quote by Maya Angelou…”I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.”
ML: I know with the year you’ve had redefining your life without your husband’s presence it can be difficult to smile, so how do you do it? What makes you smile?
CF: My family always makes me smile. The love we share is so special and it’s something my husband and I have worked so very hard to build.
ML: Tell us how you’ve dealt with those darkest moments and faced your challenges.
CF: Leaning HARD into my FAITH is the only thing that has held me together this past year. I’d love to say that after 1 year I’ve figured it all out but it’s the BIGGEST emotional roller coaster I’ve ever been on. One second you start to feel like “I can do this” and then the pain of the loss and the guilt of letting go just a little more brings you to your knees. After I started my side business, I was able to build it up and replace my corporate income and come home and even retire my husband so we could work together from home. I think back to the months of sacrifice and juggling we did for me to become even busier in the short term and I shake my head in amazement at God’s hand in it all. I’d never trade in a million years those wonderful 2 1/2 years we got to work and play together every day. Just when I fall to my knees in deep, deep sorrow, I look up and Praise God for giving me the GIFT of such a wonderful, loving man who pushed me to be a better version of myself and to build a financial legacy for our family. What I know for sure is…JUMP into what you feel called to do before you’re ready and before it always makes sense. It might just be the smartest & life fulfilling thing you’ll ever do.
ML: What is your formula for enlightened living? Presence + action.
CF: Personal Development has been the key to believing in myself enough to GO FOR IT. I also think I’ve done so much personal discovery while learning to be an entrepreneur that it’s helped me manage this crazy grief journey some. A few of my all time favorite reads are The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield, The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo & A Return to Love by Marianne Willamson.
ML: Wonderful books. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Carla, and wishing you continued success and much love. And to my readers, if you are going through a tough time, hang in there. You are stronger than you think.
Mers, get to know Carla here…
https://impressiveskin.myrandf.com (my website)
To living in the deep,