Hi Beloved! I am Joshua Perez, a nationally certified life coach, author, speaker, and spiritual guide based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m a pastor at heart, and a proud father of two beautiful kiddos. Chattanooga, Tennessee is home.
Over the last 16 years I’ve worked with thousands of people to create more of what they want in their lives, their relationships, and in their world. My personal philosophies were forged through decades of overcoming struggles, building resilience, and seeking ever-increasing light in my life. I was raised in an unstable home that included a single mom who was an addict. By middle school life had become so traumatic that I called the local department of children’s services office and asked to be taken from my mother. I bounced from foster home to foster home, and from group home to group home, experiencing repeated abandonment and neglect.
Then, as a young closeted gay guy in the Christianity-steeped south, I allowed the pressures of my environment to persuade me into marriage with a woman. I spent a decade serving in the Church, married a beautiful woman, and had two children.
But something was missing: the real me.
I longed to experience passionate intimacy with a man again, and even more, to just be myself, and to no longer have this big secret and the shame that came with it. I was tired of living to please everyone but myself.
The moment everything changed was in 2011 when my mother was very sick and was hospitalized. I went to see her and she immediately began apologizing frantically for several things we had already dealt with in the past. What I realized was that she felt like she was at the end of her life, and she had so many regrets for the way she had lived it, and there was nothing at all she could do about it. That experience helped me realize that I wasn’t okay with being 60 or 70 years old, and looking back over my life and dying with a long list of regrets. It was time to change.
I decided to start taking better care of myself and living a more healthy, positive, fulfilling life. I lost over 70 pounds, peacefully ended my heterosexual marriage, and came out as a proud gay man. I have a fulfilling career that excites and challenges me, and I’m better off financially today than at any other point in my life.
All of those changes came at a cost though. When you’re a married father who serves in the church, coming out is a process of extreme loss; not only did I lose my partnership, time with my kids, and lots of money — I also lost my spiritual life. And for the most part, the only friendships that remained were those who felt it was their mission to save me from a burning hell because of my “sin”.
5 years in, life began wooing me back to my spiritual roots. I began flirting with spirituality again. I read books that I had no idea would help me re-develop a spiritual life again…but they did.
After several conversations with others who felt the void of spiritual community, life began highlighting to me specific needs in the world — needs I felt weren’t being adequately addressed by anyone around me.
A need for compassion.
A need for unity.
A need for community.
We are all cut form the same cloth, we are all made of the same thing, and we will all return to the same place. But recent world events have left the human race divided and full of hate.
In 2019 I'm on a bold mission to which I feel called in this season of life: to invite people back to their individual spiritual journey through a circle of friendship and support, to cultivate personal growth, and to create opportunities to serve the human race by advancing love, unity, and the consciousness of the planet.
I’m completely restructuring how I operate Feel Free to Grow. I’m transitioning from simply providing one on one coaching services and occasional speaking engagements. I am now focusing all of my efforts toward creating a community of friends ~ similar to a church small group ~ to support each other’s spiritual journey, to cultivate personal growth, and to work together to serve the needs of the human race in meaningful ways.
If what I’ve shared today resonates with you and you’re in the Chattanooga Area, I would love to hear from you soon.
If I’ve peaked your interest but you have some questions, check out the growing Frequently Asked Questions.
Beloved, the world is changing. We are responsible for being the change we wish to see in the world. Now is the time. Join me, and let’s work together to spark a movement that spreads light and love across the world.
Some of my experience includes:
IN THE MEDIA
MICHAEL A. SINGER
CURRENTLY ON MY BOOKSHELF
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"Every experience is an opportunity to learn and to grow."
Disclaimer: Joshua Perez/FeelFreetoGrow.com do not provide clinical counseling, psychotherapy, medical treatment, legal, or financial advice. Our services are not meant to be a substitute for clinical counseling, treatment for suicidal ideation, depression or severe psychiatric problems, and the information provided by Joshua Perez/FeelFreetoGrow.com does not constitute legal or professional advice, and it isn’t intended to be. It is to be used for educational and inspirational purposes only.
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