By FELICITY DARVILLE
The first time I met Stanya Davis I was at the National Art Gallery attending a women’s empowerment event with some friends. It turned out to be a fulfilling and inspiring experience, hosted by Stanya who was relatable, funny, direct and honest. That became the first of several encounters with a woman who has found a way to interact with and touch the lives of thousands of women in our country. She found the power to do this because her own journey to self was so impactful she felt compelled to help other women heal the way she has.
That’s how she came up with “Eve’s Journey”. What started as a personal journey to become the best version of herself has evolved into her company that officially launched in 2014. For Stanya, the journey to self wasn’t an easy one. A series of toxic relationships and changes in her career path helped her to discover who she feels is her true self. A part of that discovery was letting go a misconception that had shaped her behaviour. Stanya had the belief that after her parents’ divorce, her father was only there financially and was emotionally unavailable.
“Although my dad was there, somehow I had this impression that he was only there for me financially, but truth is… my dad was with me every step pf the way,” said Stanya.
“For a big part of my adult life, I was angry with my father because of this picture I had in my mind. I now know it is a lie and not the truth about who he is. He is a sensitive, caring man. I thought he was emotionally unavailable. That realisation led me on this journey. He is not that person. Indirectly, I think my mom did it. She always allowed us access to him and she always facilitated our involvement with him, but when you see mom crying and hurting, in your mind your dad becomes a bad person. Even though they were no longer married, my mon still loved my dad. They separated because of infidelity. In the mind of a child, infidelity means ‘dad didn’t want me; he wanted someone else’. But in truth he wasn’t this bad person. That facilitated me on the journey of finding my purpose.”
Looking back, Stanya realised just how emotionally available her dad, Stan Davis, really was. She attended St Anne’s primary and high school and every day after school, her father would pick her up. On Fridays, he would take her to a restaurant and for this reason, she considers herself a ‘foodie’ to this day. When she finds some new and exciting place to eat, she still calls her dad, a former hotel restaurant manager, and they spend time together enjoying the new menu. She remembers the days when her father would take her to Potter’s Cay Dock to enjoy the skin, bubbie and piston of the conch – parts most patrons don’t get to taste today. She also remembers the trips to Pipe of Peace, where her dad would pick up his favourite cigar. The scent of a cigar still reminds Stanya of her dad, although he finally quit smoking last year.
In taking this soul-searching journey, Stanya also realised how much she is like her mom, Wilma Marshall. She describes her mom as “a hardworking woman a forward thinking mindset… aggressive, yet assertive with a bubbly personality”. At one point in self discovery, Stanya also realised the parts of herself that may be perceived as negative were not necessarily so. “All parts of who we are – positive and negative – are who we need to be,” she explained.
“All those components are a goody bag for you to get the job done, for you to stand out. The too bossy, too needy, too aggressive or whatever… I started to see the beauty in it all. Everything God created is beautiful.”
This ever-evolving Eve’s Journey is one of healing for Stanya. Her life lessons have benefited her soul so greatly, she felt it was necessary to help so many others that need healing as well.
When Stanya first came up with Eve’s Journey, she wanted to offer a dating service. She took out a shared office space and found that the matchmaking service was making good money. But as it progressed, she realised her clients were coming to the table with lots of personal issues that ended up hindering them from having healthy relationships. She had to take a step back and incorporate personal sessions for her clients before matching them up. At that point, Stanya decided to make healing the foundation of her business.
“I wanted to do a singles ministry because I was a single woman and I had messed up relationships,” she said.
“I was having a whole heap of dysfunctional relationships. I was an angry, controlling person. I kept ending up with emotionally unavailable men. I was in pain. I was searching for the love of self and the love of my father that I thought didn’t exist. It led me down a road of promiscuity and a road of toxic men and relationships. But it evolved into a place of healing. I realised that if I went through this, there are a lot of other women going through this or similar things too.”
Her current success stands as a testament, because Stanya reveals she was probably the most difficult of her parents’ children - she has three sisters between her mother and father.
She says she was a rebel without a cause, always wanting to do things her own way, being her own boss. Along the way, she obtained a bachelor’s in psychology and came home to work a number of odd jobs that didn’t suit her, so she literally walked off of them. Her father had purchased a car for her and was giving her a stipend, so she chose not to settle for jobs she didn’t like. Eventually, she felt she “came alive” when she started working at Galilee School as a teacher. She went on to work at the Ministry of Education as a school psychologist, but her strong desire to always live by her own rules and forge her own path led her to coming up with a number of programmes of her own including one called “I Matter” .
Stanya eventually took a leap of faith and left the Public Service to start her own business. A part of that decision happened because of how deeply she was affected when her nephew suddenly died at the age of 26.
“His death for me was a call to live and live abundantly,” she said. “I don’t want to die full. I want to die empty, having lived life to the fullest. I remember reading this book, which said there are three types of women: the one who goes on the job they hate and stay in relationships they don’t like, the one who stays home and takes care of house with dreams unfulfilled, and the one who knows what they want and goes out there to do it. I knew I wanted to be that (latter) woman. So I left.”
That leap of faith was a great decision for Stanya, who successfully hosts seminars and training workshops, and is also the host of “Tell it to Stanya” talk show. Currently in her capacity as a certified life coach, she hosts not only personal sessions, but certification courses so others can become life coaches themselves. She initially was working with women only but her programs have expanded to include men. Her company covers a wide range of things including parental issues, grieving, and generally helping people become better versions of themselves.
“I have learned many life lessons, she said. “I have learned that forgiveness is freedom. I have learned that we are beautiful just as we are. I have learned that we act based on what we believe to be true, and that is scary. That is why we have to work on our beliefs. I have learned that we are powerful beyond what we imagine. I have learned that we co-create with the Divine so we can be our own author of our lives. I have learned that death is a reminder not to just exist, but to live. I have learned that I am beautiful, I am perfect, and I am never too much. I have learned that love will always find us. The people who are supposed to be in our lives, they may go but they will always come back. I have learned so many things, that’s why I share them.”
Contact Stanya Davis at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, find her on Favebook under: Eve’s Journey Life Coaching Institute, or call 451-6767.