Are You Celebrating The Past, The Present and The Journey?
“Whatever you do or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
When you think no one is listening.
When you think you are being too much or too little.
When you think no one likes you, and it reminds you of when you were in 5th grade all over again.
One minute everything is flowing and things are going so well for you, and the next minute something triggers you. You find yourself filled with sadness, not knowing how or when this rush of emotions will end. You begin saying to yourself, “Where did this come from?” “I thought this was over!?”
Yep, that was me a couple of weeks ago! That little devil of a voice, aka my old self, made its appearance once again. That self that I have spent years working on to move forward from. That negative self-talk I have tried to quiet down was back, and it wanted to chime in and talk me out of all the things that I was doing well.
Navigating the Sadness and Pain
At one time, these thoughts would have paralyzed me, prevented me from continuing to grow and achieve. They may have even caused me to isolate myself from others. The difference between that old self and my current self is the way that I now address my sadness, and navigate through it, rather than letting it consume me for days. I trusted that my sadness would soon pass. I wasn’t sure exactly when, but I knew that I needed to ride the wave, rather than force myself to be happy. Putting that false smile on my face would only be pushing my sadness deeper and deeper down. From my years of training in personal development, I learned that if I did not address this, my sadness would come back even stronger. With a vengeance! As Sigmund Freud says, “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”
Attention: This is ONLY a Test! Brought to you by Your Past Self!
Every so often we have these little hiccups that want to remind us who we used to be. They are testing us about who we once were and who we are now. It’s almost as if these moments are trying to show us how far we have come. Are we going to address a situation from the past differently? In the moment, you ask yourself, “Why? Why am I having these doubts, this sadness and pain?” In the past, you might have found yourself comparing yourself to others on social media, and continuing to scroll and scroll feeling less and less satisfied with who you are. But this time around you noticed the sadness that you are feeling, so you quickly put your phone away or shut down your computer to remove yourself from scrolling. Moving yourself towards real connection by playing with your little one, snuggling with your loved one, or calling up a close friend.
The Wisdom In Sadness
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller
It’s all about how you address the situation. Do you continue to beat yourself up with negative self-talk? Or do you catch yourself, address it, and start replacing those negative words with “I’m going to be ok.” “I am smart.” “I am enough.” “I am loved.”
Friends, it’s okay to feel the sadness. Emotions… ALL emotions are to be honored and expressed. However, we might have muted some of them by the way we were raised. I know for me, I had the joy part down, but anger was not a primary emotion used in our home.
We also have to remember to parent ourselves as if we are parenting our little ones. Would you say these negative things to your child? Then why is it okay to tell ourselves to use these negative words on ourselves? Our kids are watching us. They are learning from us. Would you call your spouse hurtful names? Your closest friends? It’s time to speak to ourselves with love and kindness.
In each moment we are being tested. Are we going to do the same thing, or are we going to engage differently?
When we are feeling sad, we can enter this same habit of self-abuse, or we can find affirmation, and even wisdom. After allowing myself to feel and honor my sadness, along with some ugly crying, I notice myself filled with gratitude and joy. It’s almost like an “Ohhhhh that’s why that happened” moment! You have to acknowledge that pain, sadness and hurt, to get to that joy.
By affirming that you are in the right place and the right time, all of those fears and worries become less and less. But let me tell you, it does take work, self awareness, and practice. Focusing on the moment, the feeling, and celebrating the journey. We needed those breakups, those upsets from the jobs that we wanted so badly but did not get, to lead us to this very moment. Trusting that everything is working out for us even when it may not make sense, is part of a practice, and the art of nurturing your true self.
How Can You Continue to Devote Time to Loving Yourself More?
“There are Seven Days in a Week. Someday Isn’t One of Them”.
So last month, I did a thing that I have been wanting to do for quite some time now. I wanted to have a conversation about these limiting beliefs, these fears that block us from going from “Someday” to “Day One” with a group of women. I wanted to create a space where women can just be. Be ourselves, and have a conversation with real, authentic moments, which included nourishing and real conversations from women sharing their own fears, which they have worked through to be the power houses that they are today! Well, I took action and what I came up with was Evolving, a day of women-centered celebration and conversation.
The women who showed up to the event came because they either knew one of the speakers or were excited about the topic. And out of these two motivations, something beautiful was created. Each person in the room experienced some form of connection. They connected with the material, they connected with another woman, they connected with a speaker, but most importantly, we each had an opportunity to connect with ourselves. Helping one woman helps all women. When someone smiles at us, we naturally smile back; when someone is in pain, our bodies also reflect that emotion and physical sensation. James Gross’s research at Stanford shows that our wiring for empathy is so deep that, just by observing someone else in pain, the “pain matrix” in our brain is activated. They actually measured it. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17766/why-its-essential-for-women-to-empower-other-women.html
During Evolving, one of the things I learned is that ladies, we are SO freakin’ hard on ourselves. Like REALLY REALLY hard!!!
In one of the exercises at the event, I asked each person in the room to write down a limiting belief that she had. These are just a few that limiting beliefs that came up:
I’m too old to start something new.
I’m too old for anyone to pay attention to what I have to say.
I’m fat, but I can’t work out because I won’t succeed.
I will never make enough money.
I’m not a good leader, parent, or spouse.
If I am not thin, then no one will see me.
No one likes me.
I’m not enough, no matter how hard I work or try.
I’m not smart enough.
People do not take me seriously.
Do any of these sound familiar? I must share with you that I have experienced each and every one of the limiting beliefs listed above at one point of my life or another. I’m consistently navigating this. Friends, how can we be better? How can we be more loving and kinder to ourselves?
You Are Not a Mess. You Are Brave for Trying
For most of my life, I did it backwards. I thought it was up to my family, my friends, and my peers to make me happy. I mean, how could I make myself happy? What does that even mean? After years of personal development work, having my own life coach, and then coaching others, I started to see that I could create my own happiness. My own results. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to have some bad days. The key is to stop seeing them as a negative. As I mentioned earlier, we need these days. We must honor these days as well.
Basically what I am trying to say is… Try. If you want to try something to change, if you want more of something, then try! This is the time. Why wait? We spend so much time hiding or celebrating others, forgetting the journey, where we once were, and what it took to lead you to this very moment.
Take up space, and try. You may not understand where you are headed. You may spend days sad, fearful asking yourself what’s next. It may not make sense today, but do trust the process. Most importantly, ask questions! If you are unsure, ask and learn from another. Allow yourself to feel the surprises… This is coming from someone who wants to know now now now!! Lol! But I am learning to trust the process just like you. I’m committed to continued learning and growing.
Here’s to the past, here’s to the present, and here’s to the journey that has brought us to this very moment!
Want to be a part of the conversation? Join us at the next Evolving event on Saturday, October 12th, 2019 at the Figge Art Museum. Purchase your tickets today at themandalafoundation.org
Sending love and light,