I want to open up more and share my story with you, the specific challenges I faced,
how I overcame them and how I got to be where I am today
because I'm betting at least some of my experience will feel familiar to you!
I remember growing up and always feeling like my differences were
a curse. Ever since I can remember I have always been extremely sensitive. More so than my peers growing up, most of my friends and my family. This created so much tension for me when I was younger,
when I just wanted to fit in. I never wanted to be seen or heard because that meant I could possibly be put down or made fun of
by those around me.
I didn't want to speak up or share my opinion especially if it was different and I surely was not going to tell people what I truly felt
although I was feeling everything!
It seemed like every time I expressed my deepest thoughts, feelings
or desires I was told that I'm "too needy"or "too sensitive".
In my desperation to just be accepted I shoved all
of those "weak" and "irrational" feelings away
and decided that I just wouldn't care anymore.
Does this feel familiar to you?
I know I'm not the only one who felt this way but at the time I felt so alone!
I struggled to keep my head above water as I swam through my teenage years trying to do what was the "norm".
Stay happy all the time, be friends with everyone, get good grades,
don't make mistakes (and if you did don't let anyone find out)!
Somehow figure out and know exactly what you want to do
for a living by the time you're 18, get accepted to the perfect school to study to earn a degree that would provide job security for your future, fulfill all your dreams and grant long term happiness.
I was scheduled to go off to a 4 year collage; twice
and BOTH times backed out right before the classes began.
I didn't know what I wanted to do but I also didn't want to do something just because it was what everyone else was doing
or I was told to do. College didn't feel right for me.
I wanted to have a different life experience at that time.
Have you ever had to make a choice not to do something you knew
was wrong for you? Did you experience resistance from others
because it didn't seem fit the status quo?
This is when I met my anxiety. I was constantly worried; my mind never allowing me a moment of peace.
I became overwhelmed with fear that what I truly wanted to do wasn't good enough and was somehow wrong because it was different than the norm. I feared I would be rejected by my friends, family and social circles
and loose the safety and security I felt in my life.
Beneath the chaos, confusion and frustration
I deeply desired connection, love and acceptance
from those around me who I cared for so deeply.
I needed someone to support me in figuring out what I wanted to do; who could see me for the unique individual I was,
and validate my feelings by reminding me that it is okay if what I wanted was different from everyone else.
I needed to hear that there wasn't anything wrong with me,
that I wasn't a failure or a fuck up and that I simply needed to tune into myself to create my own path.
And now I am that support for others and can be that for you!!!
These divisions in myself between what I felt and what I felt I had to "perform" for the world created tension in my relationships.
I wasn't doing what I truly wanted and wasn't honoring myself so I became resentful and distrustful
towards those around me which tore apart many of my close relationships and eventually led me to attract relationships
that didn't reflect who I truly aspired to be. Duh! If by putting on a mask in an effort to hide who I truly was of course
I was going to be around people who didn't know who they were and didn't genuinely know me!
Because I didn't know how to handle these feelings of isolation,
of being an outsider, and feeling unable to meet the expectations
I was in pain; a pain I'm sure you're familiar with too...
To further escape my pain and feelings which soon developed into shame and guilt I turned to sex, alcohol and drugs.
I felt like I didn't even know what I wanted anymore.
Being so disconnected from my feelings, I couldn't connect to what
I believed or needed which meant I let anyone in and in doing so,
allowed all the wrong people to use and abuse me.
When in your life did you loose
a sense of your values, beliefs, boundaries, trust for yourself and
in doing so allowed treatment you didn't deserve?
I was drowning and dying.
I contemplated suicide so many times as my final attempt to escape myself. I hated existing in this painful way,
not fully knowing who I was and felt like it wasn't in alignment with who I was honestly designed to be.
It wasn't until I lost someone so very close to me...
that I hit my rock bottom.
I didn't want to live anymore; I wanted to die!
At the age of 19 I came home one morning and I found my lover, dead in our house.
This resulted in an immense amount of
mental, emotional and physical pain.
I felt completely devastated and out of control.
This enormous shock caused an overwhelmingly amount of trauma and ptsd within my body that I had no idea how to process and navigate through at the time. Who would?
Without the proper tools to heal and release the pain,
I embodied it all and experienced physical sharpness in my chest for years after, believing at times it would result in a heart attack!
I felt like everything I had tried in my life leading up to that...
I had failed at and that no matter what I did I would always suffer.
Maybe you know this feeling; feeling so hopeless, stuck,
overwhelmed and defeated, doomed to disaster and pain forever.
I can now promise you, that is not true!
Many Paths to Healing
I was taken to therapy by my parents
who were desperately trying to keep me alive!
My therapist gave me antidepressants and sedatives for my anxiety... all of which made me feel worse,
more numb and even more suicidal!
I soon threw out my prescriptions without finishing them,
feeling extremely fed up with that method of treatment that did not connect with me or my needs, and felt like another way to get me to control myself and not express myself.
This was not the path to my healing.
So, I continued to suppress all my feelings and tried to escape them by self medicating through recreational drugs while distracting myself with men through romantic relationships by focusing all of my time and energy on them instead.
Never really slowing down long enough to be present with myself and face what I was truly feeling.
My deep love for the partner I lost drove me insane...
I went on a quest to answers my question of where his soul had gone off to.
His death shocked me so deep, to the very core essence of my being and woke me up from this numb, unconscious, sheep-like state and this obsession with needing to please others and do what was "expected" of me. This deep pain moved me to FINALLY discover what I truly valued, needed and desired.
I watched endless documentaries on the after life, began reading spiritual texts and spoke to everyone I knew about their thoughts on death.
It forced me to look at what actually mattered to me in my life...
and I've now found, that is love.
This was my wake up call.
Reestablishing Trust Within Myself
Many people doubted this newer path I had found myself on since it wasn't widely accepted or practiced in the society
I lived in and made comments to me about it being "another phase" or told me to not discuss these topics of spirituality
because it sounded "stupid" and defied their understanding of themselves and reality.
Even I at the time knew so little and yet something inside of my soul resonated SO deeply with what I was finding
I ignored their skepticism and judgement. I kept rockin' and rollin' with it!
I didn't have many others around me at first who were into things like collecting crystals, studying the patterns of the planets
and stars, taking care of their bodies in a deeper way beyond the physical, studied spiritual practices from other cultures,
allowed themselves to cry and have a full expression of their feelings or valued and understood the importance
of spending time in nature. Quite honestly, I didn't know if I ever would find those people.
It was on the yoga mat... I met myself for the first time!
I was gifted a few classes to a yoga studio by a loved one.
It was my first time experiencing the true practice of yoga and it's spiritual depth.
In this state of stillness and full surrender I received my first glimpse of peace without any drugs or anything outside of myself.
I felt a deep feeling of contentment and fulfillment that emanated warmth from within my being.
It was this inner knowing that sparked my soul and I was able to learn that even though my life or the world seemed chaotic
outside of myself, I could find and cultivate peace within.
I knew at that moment, most of the systems that I was trying so hard to fit into, were not my place and that I could create new systems that could offer me a more sustainable foundation and more support to build my life upon.
There was another way! It was the answer to my suffering that I had been praying endlessly for.
I soon immersed myself in the practice of yoga by committing to a teacher training which helped me to heal
and find relief from the sharp, burning pains I had been experiencing in my physical body.
Shortly after, I discovered her sister science; Ayurveda.
This ancient practice gave me great insight into the composition of all layers of my being (mind, body and soul)!
I learned the art of living; how to live in alignment with nature,
the world around me rather than feeling like I was always in resistance to it!
Ayurveda's preventative approach to health and healing showed me that it IS possible to tune
into my body, listen to what the message it's giving me and provide it with the medicine I need!
Through diet, lifestyle and daily practices I have discovered the power to maintain balance within my own body
and even prevent sickness & disease I previously thought I had no choice but to endure!!!
As a byproduct of learning to love and take care of myself in a way like never before I came to understand
that my differences are not hurting anyone else and instead give everyone permission to also be exactly who they are!
Self love and care is the investment I make to myself that allows me to now be of service to the others and the world.
Leading Others and Finding Myself
I now am embracing authenticity by allowing myself to be seen exactly as I am!
I am learning how to be my greatest leader, healer and teacher!
I am welcoming the power of meditation into my daily practice
and has proven itself to be one of the greatest necessities in my life!
Through meditation I am able to be present with my pain and witness it thaw out as I meet it with loving gratitude.
I am gently settling back into my body and letting down all the walls and defenses I had built around my heart.
As I continue to melt away the barriers I had built up around myself
I feel more free to relate and form relationships in a more intimate and trustworthy way!
I feel connected to my own heart which has revealed to me my sense of purpose and belonging in this world! I have found my place!
Now I follow the guidance of my heart!
And you can too! Are you ready?
Tarot readings in coffee shops, meditating in amusement parks and yoga at the airport.
I don't wait for anyones validation or approval when I want to do something my heart is calling me to do!
This includes taking a 1 month solo journey across the world to backpack around a third world country
and many other places all across the globe! Talk about empowering, liberating and a deep ability to trust in myself!
Today, I practice expressing my feelings to others openly and honestly and I am working to release the need for others
to agree with me in order to feel safe and secure with who I am and the choices I make.
I exercise speaking my needs and sharing my boundaries because I know it is the only way to have deep,
meaning and authentic relationships with those I love.
I am training myself to say no when I need to or when something doesn't feel right and to allow myself not do something
that doesn't honor my body or isn't aligned with my core values and beliefs.
I had always known on some level that there was more on the menu of my life than what I was being offered but until I was served these three practices that my soul was finally nourished!
I had NO idea how much of life's pleasure and joy I had been missing and how limited my experience of life previously was!
By diving deep inside of myself and following the road map of feelings to their source I have discovered my true passions, personal power and magic!
And to my surprise... they were all hidden away in corners of my being with all the stuff I had shoved aside for so many years!
I am no longer trying to force myself into other peoples systems and instead, I am establishing my own.
My perspective of life, what is possible, what I am capable of being and achieving has completely evolved.
I am recognizing and taking responsibility for all the harm
and insult I had caused myself by neglecting and abandoning myself for so long.
I am following my intuition.
I am listening to my body and honoring its messages.
I am claiming my sensitivity as one of my most valuable assets!
This is an on-going journey. One that I now understand to be a part of my purpose I was divinely placed into, in this school of life.