Today I choose to be present to my feelings, aware of my needs, and accepting of my true self… this however, was not always the case.
In my early 20s I felt very insecure about myself. Most of my life had felt like I was trying to live up to other peoples expectations. I wanted to feel better about myself. I was beginning a career in financial services and struggling to believe in myself. A friend at the time encouraged me to go to the gym to build my confidence. As I began frequenting the gym, working out and focusing on my health, I could see an impact physically as my body began to change and I assumed if I kept it up, the way I felt on the inside would change too. Looking back, I can see this focus was an important course of action for me, but it did not complete me or give me confidence the way I thought it would.
While I was working my way up the corporate ladder with a major Canadian bank, connecting with people and offering financial advice and services. I felt content in my work. I was making a difference in peoples lives, helping them manage their financial needs. This, coupled with the sense of stability in the financial world, kept me anchored to the bank and its people for many years.
By my late 20s, I had a consistent regime of work, gym and social time in my week. At the gym, I found the weight-lifting and cardio workouts I had done over the years had increased my strength and capacity for physical activity. One day I discovered a yoga/pilates class. I was attracted to the continued growth in strength, but also to the increased flexibility. While I did become more flexible, it also enhanced my body awareness and slowly opened me to more self-awareness.
I started to notice how I was talking to myself and how some of my decisions in my social life were impacting me. There were glimmers of self-love and truth, but they were hard to hear and clouded in struggled negative thinking. Feeling the need for help, I dove into many self-help books seeking the answers to find clarity and happiness. What I found was my shadows and a longing for self-acceptance.
I realized I needed help dealing with these shadows that were influencing my life. After a few years of meaningful work with psychologists, I ventured down a different path when I found a shamanic life coach with an approach that seemed to fit. Through our sessions, I discovered the emotions I was hiding from and how the choices I was making in my life were stifling them. Working through unearthing these buried emotions was very challenging for me, but I was determined to see it through.
Accepting and welcoming my emotions was healing and awakening. I came to know myself on a deeper level and understand the needs that went along with my emotions. I took courageous steps to discover my truth and gained awareness and tools to be present to my emotions as they arise.
By this time, my gym regime had fallen away. I was deep into my yoga and meditation practice, eating healthy, and feeling the best I could remember in years. I was making different choices in my social and work life, and opening up to new possibilities in my future.
With mindful intention I changed my self and my life to align with my truth, who I longed to be and who I am on the inside. This experience was empowering and I felt brave. I took on new challenges of personal growth, I opened my heart to love, and I found clarity and trust in my life choices.
I learned to listen to my body, mind, and intuition in making decisions. I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program to follow one of my passions, fell in love within a couple years of discovering my self again, and changed my career to align with my desire to help others feel fulfilled and in align with their true self as a life coach.
One of my hardest choices during my personal transformation was to become present to my self. It took taking a break from social circles and time with my self, with no distractions, to help me see the light of the amazing person inside me. I had a couple of friends who encouraged me to listen to my self and honour my needs. I will forever be grateful for their love and support. Yet, the strength and courage I discovered inside of me is was the most enlightening and ever-lasting.