By Leah Fontane
A metamorphosis through Lyme Disease, coming of age and becoming myself.
In a karmic way, I AM ELSA.
There is an undeniable connection between my life and the events that take place in the FROZEN movies, especially a connection to Elsa’s journey. It is as if Disney created a fantasy twin soul for me to recognize myself in, up on the big screen. It may be that many others make their own connections and parallels to characters in movies, but in my case, I have discovered a remarkable emotional and spiritual connection to Elsa that exists deep within the karmic imprint of my soul. As my life continues to unfold, and I venture deeper into the milestones and challenges that come with coming of age, womanhood, marriage, personal growth, spirituality, illness, and now motherhood, I am seeing and feeling what appears to be a reflection of myself in Elsa. I hear a message crying out to me from the FROZEN world, and even if it sounds crazy, I am seeing myself and the world through Elsa’s eyes.
My life story parallels Elsa’s life story.
This journey began for me when I was a little girl.It was always my dream to be a real princess. With movies like Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin and many more, it was no wonder life as a princess seemed to be a fulfilling option. But alas, it was only a fairy tale. Real princesses don’t exist. (Well, except maybe in Wales.) As a child, I was a free spirit. Fully expressive (and even flamboyant); I was a silly child and had a big imagination and a passion for justice. Socially I was awkward, and physically I was a bit gawky, especially during my adolescent years.
I never seemed to be like the princesses I had always admired, that is, until I was an adult and I met Elsa.
Elsa was locked up in her room, isolated from society and even her sister, for fear that her powers were dangerous. Like Elsa, a part of me had been kept in the dark throughout my entire youth. Lyme Disease not only affected my body, weakening my muscles, but also messed up my nerves to the point where every day left me in a state of hyper-nervousness and tension. Compare it to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), where everyday stress put my body into a state of fight or flight: heavy sweating [like Elsa’s coronation], increased heart rate, shaking, sweaty hands and brain fog. This nervous paralysis would sometimes render me speechless or cause me to stutter or speak with dyslexic tendencies. Like Elsa, I was socially awkward and timid, and was also emotionally explosive, having dynamic outbursts, exacerbated by my body’s inability to cope with stress and anxiety. Adrenal fatigue was a regular part of my day-to-day life.
Consider a computer that is experiencing system overload, and it begins to freeze, glitch and malfunction [like Elsa’s powers]. What made this disability so challenging was that on the inside, I was normal: a high-functioning, intelligent and ambitious human being. But my disease prevented me from being who I really wanted to be. I had to hold myself back [like Elsa’s gloves].
Elsa was raised to believe that what made her different was a burden, a curse, something to be ashamed of, and even afraid of. In the same way that she was told to “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know,” I also felt that I needed to hide my condition, for fear that I would be harassed, bullied or simply not accepted. I spent the majority of my time holding it all inside, and exercising great control over my motor skills, so as to not give away my disability. I wanted people to think I was normal, so I put on a mask of normalcy, and did my best to hide what made me different.
An Artist’s Sanctuary
Yes, she will sing to those who’ll hear
And in her song, all magic flows
Elsa’s most transforming moments, in both FROZEN and FROZEN II, took place when she was alone. For me, I also used solitude as a sanctuary (palace). Music was an outlet for my soul, a space where I could fully express myself and show my inner greatness. I began composing music at age eleven, and at age thirteen at my hometown theater, I performed an original solo with my middle school chorus as a backup choir. After composing a song for my school’s rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and completing my first album, I knew that music would always be tied to my life’s work.
Singing comes from the soul and the power of the human voice connects us to our inner source and to the divine.
While I am socially timid and at times shy, like Elsa, when I follow my passion I am filled with courage. Like Elsa, throughout my life I always experienced a calling to the outdoors, especially the North. Connection to nature was always essential to my ability to thrive, providing me with a space to connect to the Earth, the mother. Solitude, nature and music inspired my intuition and granted me access to my higher self.
Completing the Metamorphosis
The owner of Transformation Coaching Magazine, Natalie Rivera, is a very talented and special woman, and also my sister. Natalie once told me that the symbol of the big, beautiful, blue butterfly and the metamorphosis it represents, which she used for years as a symbol in her marketing, was an idea that I inspired within her. The blue butterfly is a symbol of the shift anyone can take when they embrace who they really are, as a person, professional or artist, and choose to live according to their true selves, life purpose and destiny. From my perspective, transforming lives is the driving force and passion behind what she does, and it moves me to think that my metaphor of the butterfly, and how it represents the process I have been going through in my life for years, played a part in what sparked my sister to create the concept and reality of “Transformation” in its many forms.
Elsa came into my life just after undergoing a multiyear battle with Lyme Disease in my late 20s. As a natural lookalike and with my talent for singing ballads, I had begun the journey of offering services as The Snow Queen. After being laid off from work when my department was shut down, my sister asked me to appear at a red carpet book launch event for the Transform Your Life book series as a special guest: Elsa, The Snow Queen. I sang the inspiring song “Let It Go,” followed by a short speech about the precarious turn my life had taken and my desire to begin living a life in which I can be myself and express my passions through music, as opposed to staying trapped in a cubicle. I was on the brink of change, and God had given me an opportunity to choose a new path in life.
That performance was the beginning of the culmination of my transformation, my metamorphosis, and today it has gone from a dream to a reality. I had been in a cocoon for so long that, as I emerged into the light, I felt like the gangly butterfly, clinging to her branch, not ready to spread her wings, not knowing where to go or what to do. Little did I know that when I would finally be ready to spread my wings and fly as a motivational speaker and performer, I would literally resemble that beautiful, blue butterfly. In life, we begin our flight to freedom while firmly grounded on our security branch. But when the time comes, we have to say goodbye to pieces of our lives that held us back, put our branch behind us, and let it go…
Thank you, to all who loved me throughout my metamorphosis and helped me emerge from my cocoon. And thank you to my sister, Natalie, for helping to provide me the space, to spread my wings and fly.
Leah Fontane is The Snow Queen. After recovering from a twenty-year battle with Lyme Disease, an infectious disease that attacks the entire central nervous system, Leah went back to school, finished her degree with high scores, and emerged with an insatiable appetite for empowering others to overcome life-challenges. As a motivational speaker and performer, she combines her life-story, educational background in sociology, and the inspirational element of music and song to move her audience and inspire them to reignite the power of authenticity and transformation. Connect with Leah at http://www.FrozenDecoded.com.