“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
From the day you were born, many outside circumstances have been creating who you are now and how you view the world. Our parents, family, and community have been telling us how to feel and who to be; what works and what doesn’t; what is expected and how to get there. And, while this works for some, many of us at some point hit the ceiling of this box we’ve been living in and suddenly realize it isn’t working anymore. How can we escape? How can we get out? This realization can be positive and liberating, or it can feel scary and unsure. How can everything we know that worked before, somehow not be enough now? How can it feel so wrong?
I hit this ceiling through the experience of having my first child. Everything that I had known had changed, the way I expected motherhood to feel and be, just wasn’t. I felt like a fraud in my own life. I was struggling to do what I thought would come so naturally, how could caring for this little baby be so hard? When I returned to my corporate job, I felt this tug o’ war of emotions about where I should be. I had always envisioned myself as a stay at home mother, but now I know that I couldn’t be that person and be happy, but my job was no longer fulfilling either. The person who I thought I was wasn’t fitting into my life as it was anymore and I know I had to make some big changes. So, I took a step back and realized in order to move forward, I had to figure out who I really was.
The journey to reconnect with myself, involved me determining what my needs were and how could I get these met. I learned that I stopped respecting and having compassion for myself. I had always felt so confident in my skin before motherhood, but with this new baby, I felt uneasiness and uncertainty. There was this microscope shining on everything I wasn’t doing well. Prior to my baby being born, I thought motherhood was going to bring a sense of peace and wholeness as I had never felt before. I had always excelled at school and then my career, so now when it came to motherhood, I was surprised at how challenging it was and how I felt like a complete failure. I thought it would feel more natural and like I would have this internal knowledge of what to do, but instead it shone a light on the areas of myself that I didn’t like and left me feeling unsure of how to move forward. I was at a crossroads that I could no longer deny or push away, however much I may have wanted to.
So, I turned inward and began a journey to figure out who I was. There have been ups and downs, but I would say more good times than bad in recent years. I am continuing to do the daily work of remembering what I always knew all along, that I wasn’t broken, that I am not broken. I always had what I needed inside to feel whole and complete and this didn’t come from a baby or playing a certain role in my life, rather it came from returning to my core. Finding comfort and solace in knowing who I am and how to live on purpose. I can create my life and look at through any lens I decide. I can ask for help, I don’t have to be perfect, no one expects me to be, this expectation was one I was putting on myself. Its funny, for me being a mother not only taught me how to be a mother to someone else but really taught me how to be a mother to myself and how to take care of myself.
When you watch a baby play or observe their surroundings, you see the inherent aspects of life through their eyes; life is supposed to be fun and is supposed to feel good. Finding joy and happiness in everyday activities is possible and within reach, it doesn’t have to be saved for those “special” events. The life that is happening right now is special. Your life should feel in flow and like it is unfolding before you just as you would hope or often better than you could imagine.
In doing my inner work and trying to live on purpose, I am now in a place where I am offering this same kind of guidance to others: to you. If you feel lost as a new mother or parent, or just as a person, and want more for yourself, want to feel alive again (or for the first time), want to create a life that is authentic to who you are, or if you are simply unhappy, I can help. I know how that feels and I am on the other side of it. If you want to discuss how to feel at ease in your skin and in alignment with your soul, please feel free to contact me to discuss how we can work together further.