Recognizing your Enoughness

YouAreGoodEnoughSometimes I forget to appreciate Myself for all that I am and all that I do. I get caught up in a downward swirl of negative-self chatter. I feel like I’m always a step behind the rest, or struggling to keep up to life’s demands. I forget that I am here to design My own way. I forget that I am doing enough. I forget that I am enough without doing. I forget to see all that I AM, and instead I get caught in a web of all that I wish I was. This is why self-care is so valuable. Because it is within the space of truly being with yourself that you can reflect on the beauty that is you.

We put these unreasonable expectations upon ourselves that we wouldn’t do to our closest friend. So why do we do it to ourselves…aren’t we supposed to be our own best friend? It’s easier to fall into the trap of not feeling good enough, than it is to take the space you need to appreciate yourself. We are not taught to appreciate ourselves, we are taught that selfishness is “bad”. I believe that caring for yourself is a sign of amazing strength and resilience. Sometimes it means saying no to others. It doesn’t really matter if they understand, but it certainly helps when they do – or at least are empathic to your situation. Being Self-Loving doesn’t mean that you are out to be nasty to others. It doesn’t mean you get a free pass to not consider anyone else’s feelings. But it does mean that you set healthy boundaries for yourself and do your best to recognize your own needs.

Needs can be conflicting, and this is where things get tricky, friends. Especially in relationships. One person may need something and the other may need something entirely different. You may feel as if you are speaking a different language. The best thing to do in this situation is to have an open conversation about it, where you own your needs without blaming the other individual. This is much stickier than it sounds. And it’ll take a lot of practice (and probably relational or individual therapy). Sometimes it means taking space for yourself or spending some time apart. Perhaps there is a way where you can both have your needs met and you can agree on what that looks like together.

It is your responsibility to voice your needs to your partner/friends/family. People cannot read your mind, and sometimes we become upset because we expected someone else to ¬†know what we needed. We think it should be obvious to them, but it’s not. That’s why we have to speak up for ourselves. In a kind manner, preferably. You don’t have to be a bully to assert your needs, but you also don’t want to shrink into the background whilst attempting to appease everyone around you. There is a happy medium. You don’t want to be one of those super hard tennis ball avocados, but you also don’t want to be the overly ripe and squishy browned avocado that turns into a pile of mush on your plate. You want to maintain your beautiful colour, flavour and soft firmness with a slight creamy malleability. (Apparently I love using vegetables as metaphors)!

Nothing ever stays exactly the same. Your needs will evolve as you do. We all have certain non-negotiable needs such as food, water and sleep to survive. I believe we need Love to survive as well. We cannot thrive without it. Some areas of our lives will become more complex while other areas find more solid ground. Pieces to our giant puzzle of life are being put together – so try to enjoy building the puzzle. Chill for a minute. Take a breath. It’s ok. It’s gonna be ok. You’re gonna get to where you’re going, or you’re at least going to get somewhere. Maybe it’ll look different than what you thought, maybe once you get there you realize that you don’t actually want it anymore. Without change, we can’t have growth. But the good news is we are always changing. Even when you think things are the same or not progressing forwards – they are. We are constantly evolving, individually and collectively. Our pains of the past become less painful as our scars fade and soften with our renewing skin. Nothing will ever be exactly how it was before, but the beauty is that we get to CREATE a new way of how it is NOW. And this time we get to design it more consciously, so that our today is the primer for our tomorrow.

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Building bridges to your Success

storecarrotsSuccess isn’t born overnight, usually. It is built from within you. It is built by stepping into your fear. Facing what scares the shit out of you. Looking it in the eye and seeing it for what its worth. Most times, it’s not worth 2 pennies. I can tell you this because I face my fears daily. I have been diagnosed with “OCD” or obsessive compulsive disorder. No, OCD does not mean that you are a super tidy person who just cleans better than everyone else and likes things neat all the time. It is a savage monster in your mind and it will try to take you over, leaving you feeling powerless and like a puppet to your own mind. Your OCD mind feeds you fear as a control tactic, as a way to scare you into doing exactly what it wants. And it will not let you rest until you obey its commands. And the fear carrot that it dangles in front of your face is a big PHAT juicy jumbo size fear carrot. That carrot knows all your fears, all your secrets, and what will get your anxiety from zero to one hundred in a millisecond. Countless times it taunts you with that carrot – saying if you just do this one thing (this one compulsive behaviour), you can eat the carrot and your fear will go away. LIES – OCD LIES. Not only will you NOT get to eat any of that fear carrot, but it will grow bigger and stronger and more carrot-y. As the carrot grows in force, so does your anxiety. And the meaner this fear carrot becomes. It will try to order you around. It will be your mean boss, telling you to waste time doing stuff that is taking out of the beauty of the present. Or the non-beauty of the present. Whatever is happening, carrot tries to distract you. Carrot wants you striving for it, running towards it on a never-ending treadmill with carrot reflections in your eyes. Carrot is not juicy, not tasty and never ever satisfies. One demand fulfilled for carrot only brings more demands. It builds and feeds on your fear.

BUT! WAIT! THERE IS A WAY OUT! It won’t be easy, but nothing worth it ever comes easy. At least no lessons really worth learning ever came easy. And sometimes life just gives you your challenges. It gives you lemons, or nasty carrots. And this is just what is in front of you, in your way…and you know what they say…”what’s in the way, IS the way”. And it may be your challenge for today, and tomorrow too, and quite possibly the next day. But if you play your cards right…it might not be your challenge the day after the next after the next. To gain, sometimes you have to take a leap.

So let me tell you how I’ve been working at that stupid carrot. I have been doing what is called “exposure therapy”, wherein you expose yourself to the anxiety you are trying to avoid feeling. The avoidance of your feelings usually comes by doing these “OCD compulsions”. Instead, I am choosing to hang out with the anxiety for a little bit. Choosing the scary path, making the uncomfortable or difficult choice. But the greatest reward of freedom is waiting for me on the other side.

Sometimes in order to take leaps we must first face our fears. Acknowledge them and give them our presence for a minute. When we do that, a funny thing happens – the fear starts to dissipate. And we feel a little bit of our power coming back. When we show that we are no longer afraid, our fear holds much less power over us. We become free.

By facing the fear or “the scary way” we actually begin to undo the fear. And we begin to build our bridge of power towards our success. Don’t get me wrong – it can feel absolutely terrifying to choose the “scary” way. However the power of our ability to choose makes it much less scary. It seems backwards – but it is the way to my healing and to my ultimate power. In being with my emotions and acknowledging them, I am no longer running from the fear that tries to run me. The fear of the fear begins to unwind itself. I am freed from the rule of the over-sized carrot. In freedom I find my truth, and truth is what I seek.

So I keep building my power bridge, and it’s going amazing places, I know it. I can feel it. The thing is, the bridge is my success. As long as I’m building it, I’m successful.

What are your fears that you face or haven’t yet faced – small ones, big ones? How are you building your bridge? What’s keeping you moving? How do you want to feel when you get to where you’re going? How do you want to feel along the way?

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