I spend much of my time with people. I am a Martial Arts instructor, Coach, Mother, Wife and Friend. About 10 years ago I would have added Registered Nurse. I am now retired from the nursing world but what drew me into caring for others as a nurse is still ever present within myself and is part of my day to day now. My passion is to care for and help others. I am a Nurturer. In fact, I have a strong, insatiable desire to help end people's suffering, especially those who are stuck... stuck in their own way that is.
I was stuck in my own way almost a decade ago now and life turned me upside down and spun me on my head a few times before I stopped and listened. I had to hear the message that the Universe was sending. " Julie, you need to stop and look within yourself." So I did, and when I looked, I was shocked. I found a space inside of me that was undefined. I didn't know myself. I was someone who had labels and opinions of others wedged deep within my soul. It took much pain in my world for me to "get" that I had lived my entire life trying to be a person that would be liked by everyone. Since I was a child, I described myself as a chameleon. Chameleons are very good at blending in and "being" their environment, never standing out and never being unique. I was proud too! Well, I soon realized that chameleons blend in and 'be' what their environment is in an effort to protect. I had been is such a habit of self-protection, I never created or developed myself when it became time to grow and spread my wings. I spent much of my late teen years and young adult life making sure I was the "person" everyone wanted me to be. Let me tell you that can't go on forever. The powers that be just won't allow it.
For me, it was mental illness that did me in.... and Thank the Gods it did... because that was the start of me not only realizing that I had no identity (aka definition of myself) but more importantly it was the start of my journey to self discovery and a moment when I started to actively define myself.
I made the decision to put into practice this quote by George Bernard Shaw:
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."
I was at rock bottom and you know what they say, the only way left to go is up!
For me up was about discovering myself. This required me to put myself first. Putting yourself first is hard.
The biggest learning I had on the road to recovering from mental illness was that a person must humbly love themselves the most in this world; more than a mother can love a child. Not from a selfish perspective, but from a pendulum balancing perspective. Living by other people's definitions of how they think we "should" be seems all well and good until the ball swings too far left, and that is when you neglect your deepest truth and purpose causing eventual burnout or illness; and defining and honoring oneself is a must but not at the expense of neglecting your responsibilities or others. Having a self-centered focus is what's needed and at the core it must be defined as humble self-love. From there you can develop a relationship with yourself that allows you to know, deeply know, that you can and will be able to rely on your own self and that you are worth so much! You truly are. It took a dance with mental illness to teach me this truth.
Developing a relationship with yourself that is uplifting not self deprecating is key. Seeing yourself first as beautiful, good enough and worthy is the place to start forming that relationship with yourself.
If you are stuck and ready for change do this one thing: consciously develop a positive and self-loving mindset.
Developing a mindset that you are important, significant, worthy, powerful, loveable, good enough etc is the first step to fueling self empowerment. Look at yourself in the mirror everyday for a month and recite these phrases out loud:
"I am worthy"
"I am powerful"
"I am beautiful "
"I am magnificent "
"I am good enough"
Write your own and add them to the list. If you want to start moving forward from a place of feeling stuck, bored or directionless start with these daily declarations of self-love. Tell yourself all these things and don't wait to be told by someone else. Define yourself and watch the magic happen.
~to your self-mastery and wellness