I was recently asked how I got started on my healing path. How did I know what to do and where did I begin? Gosh, I had never really contemplated how it all started. My mind was so swirly back then, I had to think about it for a bit and then the answer came to me.
I had gotten radically honest with myself and my situation. I had come to know that no one could ease my pain, heal my wounds or set my mind right. I had to do it for myself.
I decided to take inventory of my well-being and this is what I found:
- Depression and anxiety were ruling my life
- I was nervous, short-tempered and horrible to be around
- I was sinking further into the worry/fear/shame/unworthiness abyss every day
- It was only getting worse
The only thing I knew for sure at that time was: (a.) I hated this feeling (b.) I didn’t want to remain this way (c.) No one outside of me could do this for me and (d.) There was no way I could parent effectively from this space I was in.
I had to do something.
I recall very clearly the moment I turned the corner. I was sitting alone on my bed crying, frozen and afraid and thought to myself, “What about God? Maybe God can help me. God, I need you now more than ever! Please help me. I don’t know what you can do for me, but I’m listening. Oh, God, I’m really listening!” However, I had very little faith that anything could turn my situation around. How could I put my whole life into the hands of something I couldn’t see with my own eyes?
Logically, I knew that life is ever-evolving and nothing remains the same forever; however, at the time I truly felt as if my situation would never end. I was doomed. I desperately needed hope for a brighter future, something better to come. And my first step came to be…
1. Cultivating hope and faith- I started attending Unity Church on Sundays and Wednesdays and listening avidly to Joel Osteen (who I still consider the greatest cheerleader on this planet!) I could literally feel my soul expand with the truth of their spoken words and I slowly started to believe them. I worked to change my defeating thoughts to hope-filled thoughts and my faith meter began to rise. Although it was shaky at first, with consistent study, it continued to grow and grow.
As my faith meter rose and I could let go just… a… little…, I looked more closely at myself. I was an anxious mess! Even though I’m not a drinker, I tried beer. Of course, it took the edge off momentarily; however, it only made me more anxious and depressed the following morning. Well, that didn’t work! I thought hard… How can I release this chronic anxiety?! I couldn’t stand the way I felt. It physically hurt (my breathing would become shallow and my chest would feel constricted) and I couldn’t think! I recalled my Kundalini Yoga classes and how great I would feel afterward. Kundalini is a yoga practice centered on breath and presence. So I decided to…
2. Begin a meditation practice- A fearful mind is a monkey mind – swinging randomly from one crazy thought to another! We follow wherever our fears lead us (which is always more fear) and suffer the emotional consequences of our fearful thoughts. Meditation can slow the monkey mind down or even alleviate it altogether! Meditation does so much more than we can ever imagine. Over time it can actually change the size and function of certain fear centers in our brain. It also allows us room to receive information and guidance by slowing… us… down. By slowing down, Truth and Universal Love emerge which is the place that healing occurs. It doesn’t matter how you start or the practice you choose, only that you do start.
As time progressed and I saw the benefits of my practices, I would take a moment to…
3. Congratulate and encourage myself for any victory large or small- When we encourage (love and honor) ourselves along our path, we are actually filling our empty “worth chalice”. With each recognition and “good job!” we give to ourselves, our chalice slowly fills up and we gradually become stronger and more rooted in Who we really are – a child of God worthy and deserving of all things abundant and love-filled. As we get closer to our true self, our defeating thoughts decrease immensely and we naturally begin to show up better in the world. The downward spiral we were experiencing slows down and eventually stops. Next, the momentum reverses and an upward spiral begins. I was absolutely fascinated how filling my own cup did/does more for me than any outside compliment ever did/does.
At this point, I began to notice how different I was feeling. Peace and joy begin to emerge in moments much like the sun begins to filter through storm clouds. Something was happening… What I was doing was working and I was thirsty for more.
It’s important to remember we didn’t become fearful/ashamed/defeated overnight, nor will we un-become fearful/ashamed/defeated overnight. It is a process and a practice that will require your time and dedication. One might want to argue that they don’t have time with all the responsibilities they have. I hear you and understand completely. I was a single mother of three, re-entering one career and starting a new one, attending coaching school, writing a book all the while living with my mother who had stage 4 cancer and my step-father who lived in chronic pain. If we truly want for healing, we must be willing to adopt a No Excuse Protocol and not feel selfish or guilty about doing it. Which leads me to…
4. Taking time for self is NOT selfish- Working on ourselves is actually a gift to everyone we love. A healthy you becomes a healthier mother/father, daughter, friend, co-worker etc. Everyone benefits from our commitment to healing. It is the best gift we can ever give to ourselves and our beloveds! I know well the gremlin that tells me I’m being selfish to take time for myself. I had to consciously shoo that little bugger out each and every time I took time for me and instead I accepted the truth that my self-work was for everyone’s highest good.
Your healing path is as important to your well-being as food, water and sleep. We were not put here to merely survive; we were put here to thrive! It is our birthright as individual units of the Divine! The only thing between us and victory is our mind. We can achieve most anything we put our minds to. I wrote a book about my journey to empowerment because the effects of my healing work were incredibly profound! I couldn’t believe I went from where I was to where I am and I did it all myself.
We must be willing to be our own savior, our own cheerleader and our own approvalist! It’s time to take your power back – one day at a time, one thought at a time and one breath at time. Be willing to seek inspiration! Find what rings true for you and follow it. Allow it to lead you to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing! Allow your awareness to unfold and open your heart to healing. Anything that is ringing true along your path is your soul saying, “YES! Do that!” You are fully equipped to march your way out of the pit of despair and into the sunlight!
I believe in you!