I would like to share with you the story of how I freed myself from prison:

The year was 2012. There I laid, naked, in my bathtub, reading a book of affirmations by Louise Hay, when I heard a knock on my door. I have a doorbell, but a heavy knock was used instead. I jump out of the tub, throw on a towel and approach my door. Through the peephole I see two officers in uniform. A feeling of worry flushed over my body, as I wondered what was wrong. Was my family okay? Did something happen in my neighborhood? I answer the door. One of the officers ask if I’m Caitlin Winkley. I say, “yes, what’s up?” He tells me that before he lets me know why they’re there, he needs me to put some clothes on, but he has to watch me get dressed, because I can’t be alone.

Well, this is rather strange, I think to myself. I hurriedly and anxiously get dressed. I find the closest garments near me, which are pajama pants and a tee shirt, no bra, no underwear. I hold my towel up around my body while I slip on my clothes. Little did I know, what was about to happen next would change my life in unimaginable ways. What was about to happen next would be the most horrific thing that has ever happened to me, while simultaneously being the biggest blessing and gift. My life from here on out would never be the same.

The officers waste no time in telling me that I’m under arrest. They tell me that I’m being charged with 2 felonies and 1 misdemeanor. I was absolutely fucking terrified. My past had caught up with me.

The officers escort me out of my house, sporting my plaid pajama pants, with my boobs flopping around under my tee shirt, no support of a bra. They actually didn’t handcuff me at my house. They waited until I got to the squad car, taking mercy on me, not wanting to embarrass me in front of my neighbors. We arrive at the Boulder County Jail. I get booked, which included being fingerprinted, having my mugshot taken, a DNA sample taken (something they do with all felons) and given a bond amount.

I then get put in a big open jail with all the other prisoners, males and females mixed. The jail includes nailed down plastic chairs, a nasty bathroom that reeks like urine, a water fountain with barely a trickle of water, a phone to make a collect call and a fuzzy tv which has no volume, comes in black and white and is playing some cowboy show from the 1950’s. I sit down in one of the chairs. To my right is a woman with huge open, red sores on her face, which she keeps scratching. She tells me she is coming down from heroin and is hard core jonesin right now. To my left is a guy wearing pants which are twice the size of his waist. His belt was taken from him, so he has to hold his pants at all times to keep them from falling down. He tells me that his waist size is really 34 inches but he buys his pants 54 inches because that way he can fit in his 9, as in his 9 millimeter gun.

I remember feeling too traumatized to cry. I was in a state of complete shock. Every cell in my body was contracted. The only thing I could do was just sit there. I sat there for hours, but it felt like days, actually it felt like years.

I begin to close my eyes and focus on the only thing that I actually have control over, which is my thoughts. I don’t have control over what food is available to me (they had gross bologna sandwiches), I don’t have control over who sits next to me, I don’t have control over leaving and I don’t have control over what I can wear. The only thing I do have control over is what goes on inside of my own mind. I begin to pay attention to my thoughts, I begin to meditate. Within just a few minutes of meditation, like a strike of lightening, raining down from the Universe, it hit me, and it hit me hard. My whole body visibly vibrated, from the inside out.

A booming, authoritative voice spoke to me. No, it wasn’t the jail guard! It was a godly voice that came from deep, down inside of me, that was connected to my highest good. The voice said to me, “How long do you plan on keeping yourself in prison?” Holy shit. I immediately got it. I understood exactly what the voice was saying.

For my entire life, I had been imprisoning myself through the thoughts I chose to believe about myself and my world.

The prison I was currently sitting in was an external manifestation of what was going on in my mind.

I was keeping myself imprisoned by choosing to have a fear based mentality versus a love based mentality. I had done enough spiritual work to know that the thoughts we think create our reality. My reality was that I was keeping myself locked up inside, stuck, small and thinking that I didn’t deserve to flourish and be successful. I manifested this internal reality by being in a physical jail. This physical jail was a representation of my psyche.

I was ready to rip the shackles off of my psyche and be free from my mental slavery. This was a defining moment in my life, as my life’s purpose suddenly became very evident to me.

I was here to serve, to teach and to guide people in how to also free themselves from their own mental prison, whatever that may be for them.

I knew there were millions of people out there, feeling stuck, feeling small, not knowing how to move forward in their life. Although sitting in jail, I knew I had the tools to free myself. I had the money to physically bond myself out of jail, but most importantly, I had the spiritual tools to energetically bond myself out of my enslaved mind.

The following morning I posted bond and returned home. My future remained uncertain. Would I actually be serving jail time? Did they even have a valid case against me? The sad and funny thing was that I was no stranger to being in jail.

So, how did this seemingly together, pretty, privileged upper middle class, small town white girl end up being in jail, you may be wondering?

It all started in April of 1984. This was the month that I was born. Most babies are born with the top of their heads coming out of their mother’s vagina first. But, no, not me. I was born with style. I came out with my face coming out first. This type of birth is called a face presentation birth. My mother told me that the doctor who delivered me called in all of the nurse’s to come and witness this very rare birth. My entry into this world paved the way for who I was to be – different, unique and meeting life’s challenges face first.

And I sure did face a lot of challenges. My challenges stemmed from my difficult childhood. Before I continue on about my childhood and my dynamic with my parents, I would like to clarify something. My parents are wonderful people and I now have an incredible relationship with them. My mom is my one of my best friends and my dad and I are extremely close. I love them both immensely. However, things were different when I was younger. My parents did the best job that they could given how they were raised and the tools that they had at the time.

When I was little, I was a rough and tumble kid. I grew up with 4 older brothers and was a bit of a tomboy. I was loud, gregarious and very strong willed. My mother had waited many years to finally have a daughter after giving birth to 4 boys. She was expecting to have a certain kind of a girl. Unfortunately, I did not fit her mold. She wanted a girl who was dainty, loved having tea parties and who she could adorn in ribbons, bows and dresses. I would have none of that. I’d rather wear blue jeans and dig in the dirt in the backyard, looking for worms. My mom was grossed out by worms.

I was constantly told that I was “too much” by my mother. I was a big ball of energy that she didn’t know how to contain or relate to. I marched to the beat of my own drum. My mother only knew one beat, and it wasn’t the beat I was groovin’ to. I felt as though innately who I was wasn’t okay. I didn’t feel accepted and I didn’t feel good enough.

Of course my mother did love me very much. She showed me her love in a myriad of ways. But, it was if she was showing me her love in Spanish and the only love I knew how to receive was in French.

My father’s personality was much different from my mother’s. He was very gregarious and strong willed, just like me. Like my mother, my father also had a hard time with me as a child. My father was a rambunctious and spirited child himself. He was raised by strict English parents who squashed his effervescent personality.

My father had learned that in order to survive in his family when he was younger, he had to shut down and control his wild spirit. He had learned to do the same thing to me. He desperately tried to control every aspect about who I was as a child. He would read my journals, listen in on my phone calls with my friends and search my bedroom. He actually wanted to control me because he loved me so much and really did want the best for me. He was an amazing dad in so many ways and I have tons of fond memories with him. However, as a child, his control translated to me as a sign that I was not to trust myself and needed someone else to make choices for me.

I felt imprisoned by my father. Since I was constantly being monitored, I never grew to trust myself, value myself or believe in myself. I didn’t think that I was good enough as I was.

His constant monitoring unconsciously perpetuated a future pattern for me as a teenager and young adult. Since I believed that I was not to be trusted and that I was incapable of taking care of myself, I manifested someone else having to take care of me, for me, such as a police officer. As a result, I ended up being arrested many times. I have been handcuffed a total of seven times, I’ve been actually arrested and charged with crimes five times and I’ve had negative interactions with cops 12 times.

I know that all sounds crazy!

But, when I came to understand that the world mirrors your internal state, it all makes perfect sense.

My trouble with the law was a combination of factors. It wasn’t because I was a crook or a bad person. My arrests were related to issues with substances or domestic issues from being in terrible relationships. One aspect of my troubles was that I didn’t feel that I was good enough as I was, and I had to have someone else monitor me, because I wasn’t capable of caring for myself. The other factor was due to my limiting beliefs that I didn’t deserve to flourish and be a successful citizen in this world, so I manifested ways to keep me small. In both instances, it was a reflection of keeping myself imprisoned in my own mind by own fear based, limited thinking.

Through years of therapy, working with a shaman, a life coach, doing spiritual healing sessions, reading self-help books, attending workshops and seminars and attending a spiritual healing University, I am proudly able to say that I have been able to overcome my adversity and step into internal freedom.

What does internal freedom look like? An example of it is having the courage to share this blog post. Ain’t no shame in my game (anymore).

Internal freedom is transforming limiting beliefs from I can’t to I can and from it will never happen to it will happen.

Internal freedom looks like this girl:

Happy, radiant, vibrant, no photoshop or alterations, accepting, existing in the world exactly as I am.

So, by now you’re probably wondering what caused the police to knock on my door on that fateful day in 2012? Have I piqued your interest? Yes? Good.

It actually started back in 2009 when I was a timid, fearful women ridden with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I didn’t value myself and I lacked self-worth. At the time, I was working as a nanny and a household assistant for a bigwig family in the music industry. They were the “it” couple. In my opinion, they had it all – wealth, success, admiration, notoriety, beauty, you name it. Because at the time I didn’t believe that I deserved those things, I was extremely intimated by this. In particular, I felt I paled in comparison to the mother. She was a very powerful woman, and back then I felt weak.

I’ve always been a really hard worker. At that time I had no boundaries. Hard work coupled with no boundaries was a recipe for disaster. I did everything that was asked of me without checking in with myself to see if it felt okay. This included waking up at 5:00am (I am not a morning person) to be at the house in time for when the kids woke up and to have breakfast ready for the family. It also included running any errand ever asked of me, showing up whenever I was needed and doing everything I could to keep this busy family running smoothly regardless of how it affected me.

To keep track of my hours worked, we had a book where I would sign in and out of. I started to notice a pattern that when I would get paid, my hours would often be miscalculated or entire days would be left off of my paycheck all together. I was also offered a raise in pay, which never got reflected in my paychecks. I was sometimes asked to do extra tasks that were out of my normal job duties and was promised bonuses for completion of those tasks. I wouldn’t see those bonuses reflected in my paycheck either.

So, what would a normal person with high self-esteem and self-worth do in this situation? Of course, they would confront their employer. They would immediately bring these issues to the forefront, as they were happening.

What would a person with low self-esteem and a lack of self-worth do (someone like me at the time)? A passive-aggressive move. I had a credit card that had my name on it that was linked to the mother’s account. I would use this credit card to purchase household items and things for the family.

I did not know how to confront the mother directly. I lacked the confidence and tools to do so. In a backdoor attempt to get my needs met and to receive what was owed to me, I used the credit card to essentially pay myself. I paid for some of my bills, groceries and even some clothing. The family found out and reported me to the police. By the time all the proceedings went through it was 2012. The system made an example of me and I very narrowly escaped a 2 year jail sentence.

To be clear, I do not blame the family. I take full responsibility for not directly addressing an issue. It was my responsibility to make them aware of what was going on with the pay, and I just simply lacked the skills the do so and I was fearful.

Now, let’s fast forward to today. Interestingly enough, I would not trade that experience in for anything. Ironically, being faced with jail time helped me to turn my life around from living in a state of fear to now having cultivated the skills to be able to live a life of greater internal freedom and peace.

I’ve learned to own my story and my past instead of letting my story and my past own me.

I can honestly say that I now live a life that I’ve never in a million years dreamed I would be living. Of course I still sometimes veer off course, but when I do, I always come back to myself. I feel confident, secure in who I am, innately happy and make decisions which support my highest good.

And, I want to help you live a life that you never in a million years dreamed you would be living. If I can do it, so can you. No matter what you have gone through, or are currently struggling with, you can make a change. Trust me, you can. If you’re feeling any sort of inner calling to want to improve your life, let’s see if perhaps my coaching may be the salve to your wounds. I invite you to take a look at my coaching offerings.