12/17/2012 03:24 pm ET Updated Feb 14, 2013

Thinking Inside the Box

Watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

It is in struggle that we find strength. It is those moments of doubt, when we walk virtually blindfolded, that our heart learns to light the way. It is when we are boxed in that we are forced to find an escape.

Watching Janet Echelman's "Taking Imagination Seriously" brought me back to a time when I believed life needed to follow certain guidelines, no matter how restrictive. I had opened up my own health practice and I was working crazy hours, preaching the benefits of balance while eating two meals per day behind my computer screen. I never saw daylight and I was constantly chained to my desk. The quality of care I offered my clients limited the number of people I could see per day and my bills were astronomical. I was exhausted, working nonstop and far from fulfilled. You could say I was "boxed in."

Inside I knew I deserved more and I began to question this lifestyle. I spent the next three years trying to "solve my problem" by creating a healthy baked product that could create passive income. But like Janet, I kept hitting a wall. The logistics were too huge, the hours were grueling and I was drowning. I believed that I had to see the project through, only I began to resent it. It wasn't until I created my annual January 1 vision board of what I wanted for my life that I realized there literally wasn't any room for this project in my future.

I decided to let go of it, even though it had been a huge part of my life for three years. I knew I might face criticism from people who would think I failed or gave up too easily. But no voice is ever louder than your own; and mine had been screaming at me for at least a year. The journey taught me more about success than any product could. It was the struggle that helped me to manifest joy and it was being boxed in that actually gave me the freedom to breathe again.

The stress had stunted my creativity, but it sparked my imagination. I realized that my true passion was writing and helping others to uncover their calling. I wanted to help people heal by digging into their cores to learn what makes their spirits sing. I knew I needed to incorporate both into my life equally, but I had no idea how to do it.

I sat with these thoughts for a while, asking the Universe to guide me. Then it hit me, and I had a way to merge the two. Ideas began to pour out of me. I was so excited I could barely sleep. As a result, I developed an amazing program that enables me to work with others to design and manifest their visions for their lives. This program sprung from distress, but it now helps those in need of healing.

Imagination is a gift accessible to us all. We may not all be artists, but we can all be visionaries. The first step is believing in your own power. Janet describes her piece as, "being sheltered and connected to limitless sky." Shouldn't we all feel this way?

Ideas are not set in stone. When exposed to thoughtful people, they morph and adapt into their most potent form. TEDWeekends will highlight some of today's most intriguing ideas and allow them to develop in real time through your voice! Tweet #TEDWeekends to share your perspective or email to learn about future weekend's ideas to contribute as a writer.