You might be here because you’ve read my articles, listened to me on a podcast, or heard about my book Rise Above the Story.

Whatever the reason, I’m so glad you’re here looking to rise above your story because here’s the truth––if I can rise above my story, you can, too.
I’m a Midwesterner who packed my bags, kept my values, and moved to the sunshine state in pursuit of healing and happiness. I started my career as a criminal defense attorney, working as a court-appointed lawyer and later defending big corporate executives and a multi-billion dollar company. But no matter the success I achieved, I felt worthless and empty. The shame of my past kept me from finding real joy and meaning in life.
Karena Kilcoyne
I was 12 when my dad was sentenced to the federal penitentiary. He left us some money, which my mom didn’t know how to manage. She also wasn’t able to manage the day-to-day responsibilities of caring for me and my brother and sister. That meant it was up to me to take care of everyone. So I shifted into survival mode, forfeiting my childhood.

Countless times I was forced to ask strangers for money just to buy cans of soup and a loaf of bread.

We often went without hot water and electricity. During those times it was up to me to boil hot water on the stove to prepare at least a tepid bath for my siblings and me. A few years later, my mom had my youngest brother. When she died, I adopted him. He was nine. I was twenty-four.

My parents’ routine abandonment fractured me emotionally into a broken little girl unworthy of love and maven hellbent on escape.

As a result, I carried around two decades worth of suppressed trauma for the next 10+ years believing that professional success as a criminal defense lawyer would save me from my shame and anguish.
It didn’t.
I existed in a gray-skied mental landscape that repeatedly recounted the stories I believed about myself.

No one wanted me.

I would never be good enough.

I could never be happy.

Karena Kilcoyne
While I dedicated my career fighting for the freedom of others, I imprisoned myself in shame,  depression, and anxiety. I filtered everything through my story of unworthiness, sorrow, and abandonment.
As a result, I routinely settled for less and made countless decisions about work and love based on fear.
After decades of suffering and finally hitting the proverbial rock bottom, I went on a healing journey.
I went here, there, and everywhere trying to excise my deepest pain.
Karena Kilcoyne

But it was learning about how my brain works—what it does in the face of trauma—that set my healing journey fully on course.

I dove into research and tried everything I could to change my inner mental landscape.
And everything I tried is in my book, Rise above the Story, every raw, beautiful detail.
I’ve woven my rich life experiences and spiritual perspective on life, love, and loss as well as evidence-proven techniques for healing on those pages.
I hope here with me, on this journey we’ll embark on together, you’ll feel safe to uncover your truth, acknowledge your story, and start to rise above it.
We’re all worthy of a happy, meaningful life. And I hope that after learning more about me and my journey out of the darkness and into the light, you’ll join me for your journey into the light.

What do you say?

Are you ready to rise above your story?

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