Posts tagged personal growth
Don't Be Afraid to Check in with Yourself
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Which one word from the list below best captures the way you feel about your life right now?

Fill in the blank: I am ________________.

Striving

Trusting

Battling

Searching

Praying

Straying

Glowing

Growing

Existing

Thriving

Did you find a word? How difficult was it to select only one word?

Today I would say my word is trusting. Yet, if I put myself back in time to a year ago, or even five years ago when I first wrote the post below, I would not have chosen the same word I picked today. I am happy about that because it tells me that I am making progress in my transformation. I am no longer stuck. For many years during my deep dive into personal growth I continually felt like I was stuck on “searching”.

Years of searching for the missing piece sounds exhausting, and it was. Mistakenly I was always looking ahead for something, anything that was going to be the answer to my happiness.

I wanted change. I wanted more meaning in my life. I wanted to be appreciated in the workplace. I wanted to stop thinking so much. I wanted to sleep like a rock, to experience big joy, to appreciate what I had, to live in the present moment and make impulsive, unplanned decisions.

So I searched and searched, I wrote, I read, I observed and as I kept my eyes on the far off horizon where I was sure the solution was hiding, I missed the life that was happening right in front of me.

I moved further and further away from myself, focusing outward instead of addressing what I needed to most --- the innermost me. A wise person once told me that I could not expect to see healing in those around me, unless I healed myself first.

Me, heal? That would mean admitting I had something to heal from…. a scary and daunting admission.

The answer to everything I wanted was inside me all along and it took me coming undone, me having a “breakdown” of sorts in order to begin to face my biggest fear: Me.

As I write this journal entry I believe I am thriving. I’ve done the hard work. I’ve seen the darkest there is inside of me and faced it head on. She doesn’t scare me anymore. I kind of I won’t let that dark side of me get so big ever again.

For a long time fear held me back from thriving. Fear of what you may be wondering?

Fear of everything. Failure, success, change, embarrassment, fear of not liking myself, fear of everyone else not liking me, fear of losing control, fear that I might lose control and never be able to piece myself back together again. I was afraid because for too many years I had remained in safe mode.

And yet, I lost it anyway-- no matter how hard I tried to stay protected, in the end I still cracked wide open. Some would say I failed, I say I finally opened myself up to begin to thrive.

Interestingly enough, you can’t begin to thrive if you stay safe (and stuck) and protected in your little bubble. You have to take chances and move out of your comfort zone, be willing to take a risk or two, and feel a little out of control in order to truly grow.

The definition of Thrive is:

1. to prosper; be fortunate or successful.

2. to grow or develop vigorously; flourish

Thriving = being brave enough to face your fears, confident enough to let others see you fail, open to growth in any direction, and prepared to succeed.

I love finding old journal entries that speak to me and record my growth. At this very moment the word I would choose is trusting. And I am. Trusting myself and my talents, trusting the universe to support and guide me, and trusting that only I know the way for me.

Create Your Own Kerfluffle

Ever feel the need to shake your life up and rearrange the pieces?

A few years ago I was lost.

My life wasn't going the way I had always thought it would. I was at the age I once thought of as "old" and I had always assumed that wisdom and contentment came with that big number. Being accomplished, settled and happy came along as well, or so I thought.

 But I wasn't any of those things, except happy in my marriage. My well organized life lacked purpose and deeper meaning and weirdly enough instead of feeling wise with age, I felt like a naive 17 year old.

My confusion permeated everything. My job. My relationship with my kids. How I felt about myself. And wondering what my real life's purpose was weighed heavy on my heart and my mind. At that time my oldest had just left for college and I was reeling with the change it brought to my identity. Who was I if not busy mom anymore?

I started making some small changes to get out of my slump, distancing myself from things I had always done and rethinking ways of being that were ingrained in me. It worked for a while. On the surface I was more alive, but deep down I still wondered why everyone else seemed so happy and questioned why I was not.

I really dislike feeling stuck.

I wished for my life to feel right from the inside instead of always worrying about how it looked from the outside. I made a bold move and tried shaking things up by changing jobs and leaving the one I had held for nearly 24 years. It proved to be all things a highly sensitive person should not do---and halfway through my first year I was both mentally and physically exhausted, and very negative.

What helped me out of my slump the most was to begin writing again. Which after years of NOT writing anything, felt great even if the writing wasn't. It was an outlet to share my truth and I wrote it solely for me. But others read it and let me know that it resonated with them.

So it did give me some clarity, but it also led to more confusion. And when I am confused or unable to grasp something, I ask more questions. Then if I don't understand after the answers, I get frustrated (patience was never my virtue) and then overwhelm sets in and I give up.  That leads to some serious negativity.

My mean voice found the fuel she needed to take over and paralyze me with the fear of doing it wrong.  I became so afraid of doing anything wrong that I just stayed safe and coasted along -- alternately controlling things, and then getting exasperated when they didn't work out the way I envisioned and then giving up. But never growing forward.

Staying safe I now realize, is another name for staying stuck. No forward movement = frozen, stagnant, trapped. My biggest fear.

I didn't yet understand that the power was within me to change my life. One baby step at a time. The only way to get unstuck is to move forward, a step at a time -- don't try to solve everything in one move, just begin making the necessary changes to open up doors.

I read the book entitled Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and it made me see that what I feared most was moving out of my comfort zone and not being able to handle it. The whole book can be summed up like this: What is the worst thing you can imagine, now if that happens, can you handle it? Then, if you can handle that, you can handle anything.

Too easy? Not really. Thinking in that way made me see that it is okay to fail. To try again. To fall flat. The world does not end. Just because I fail does not mean that I am a failure--my mean voice had me so tricked into thinking it meant exactly that!

Stop looking outside yourself to make the changes you need to make from within. Stop giving away your power to others: bosses, friends, situations, history, or the mean voice in your head.

Take a step forward. Shake it up. Create a kerfluffle*.

You may find that is exactly what your spirit needs to find the sunny side of the street.

*Kerfluffle—Verb: To rile up, confuse, or anger a cat (especially kittens) into fluffing up.  (Urban Dictionary)

Who Am I?
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I am Vibrant, Intuitive & Wise.

I crave Freedom.

I can't live without Love, Sun & Trees. And possibly potatoes (specifically french fries).

I want more Spontaneity in my life.

Stillness, Laughter and Nature fuel my soul.

My best self leads by example and empowers others to reclaim their personal power.

I believe in uniqueness and think in possibilities.

I often overthink especially at night when I am supposed to be asleep.

It still bugs me when people don't like me, yet I am learning to let it go.

My brain will remember random things about you, but totally forget your name.

I am a natural hostess often knowing what you need before you do.

I see colors behind my eyes and sense innermost feelings people do not express, which sometimes gets me into trouble. 

Objects, especially old ones, speak to me on a frequency I cannot understand but can feel in my body. As a result I avoid museums, antiques and old places.

Grounding and shielding have brought me more inner peace than I can ever explain.

I am inspired by children, confidence, nature and genuine kindness.

Yoga is my gateway to happiness and allowed me to reconnect with my true self.

Life used to be black and white for me, filled with judgment and comparison and ridiculous rule following. It was exhausting and frustrating. I have left all that in my wake.

I have learned no one has the right to make me feel small, less than or unworthy. My worth comes from within. When someone bullies, shames or ridicules me, it is about them trying to feel bigger.

When I cannot see the path ahead, the next step is inward.

I recharge by sitting or walking in nature, creating art, writing & resting in the sun.

I believe I have a purpose that is yet to be revealed.