The Story of Losing my ‘Self’
I remember like it was yesterday.
My littlest one was finally going to Kindergarten! That meant I would have more time in the day for me. It meant I could finally get ahead of my housework and manage all my responsibilities like the rockstar.
Now I could finally be that mom who doesn’t let the laundry pile up, who always has a clean kitchen sink and loves cooking fantastic dinners for her family. I would be a mom with “spare time” to hangout with her kids, being completely present. I would be that mom who runs her own successful business and doesn’t look at every task as a giant weight.
You know the mom, the one on IG who has time to get in workouts, wear make-up and well, shower daily!?
But this was a dream and it slowly faded when I realized that having six hours to myself while the kids were at school still didn’t change my high level of anxiety. I was so used to living in the fight/flight/freeze state that even hearing my kids call out, “Mooooooom” was a huge trigger for me.
How could I give anymore? I was maxed and totally burnt out.
It Got Worse
I had ‘guilt’ following me around all day for not being good enough, not being patient enough, not being productive enough, and on it went.
What I needed was real change. I needed a whole system update! And fast, because everyone in my life was feeling my intense moods. I wasn’t fun to live with. And it was getting worse.
I felt like a fraud because I’m a yoga teacher, so shouldn’t I be more calm? I teach tools to help find inner peace, so why the f$ck was I so angry and frustrated all the time?
Let me just say that you can have a wonderfully supportive partner, like I do.
You can have amazing kiddos, like I do.
And you can have encouraging friends, family and a counselor too. But it wasn’t enough. Not until I realized that all of the change work had to come from inside me, which was so scary.
I had lost all my self-trust, confidence and real happiness. It was replaced with feelings of guilt, shame, anger and many nights of insomnia with whirling thoughts I couldn’t shut off.
I didn’t know how to get my self-trust back.
I felt completely alone and isolated.
Then I took a course in nervous system regulation with Michelle Williams. I learned that my big responses to seemingly small challenges had once been the answer for keeping me safe.
This validation filled me up and gave me the courage to look deeper in my ‘Self’.
Holy moly, it was hard!
But I was on a mission to make this change stick. I had enough with New Year’s Resolutions…I needed a Revolution!
My journey has been flawed with mistakes and a lot of unnecessary suffering. I want to make sure you never have to go through what I did, or at least help you find answers instead of sitting in misery.
So here we go…
Mistake #1: Looking ahead into the future and waiting for your big change to happen instead of making it happen right now.
I would always come up with an excuse for not feeling good right now, like: “things will be better when we’re out of the baby stage, when I’m no longer breastfeeding, when the kids are all out of diapers, when we move to a new neighbourhood, when the kids are all in school”.
Exhausting, right? I had a lot of excuses. And each stage that passed, I was left deflated once again because it didn’t change anything.
So, until you decide to make your change happen, you can keep waiting for the future to do it for you, but I assure you, it’s a long and painful trip that might not ever come to fruition.
Mistake #2: Expecting everyone else to understand what I need instead of nurturing myself.
Sometimes it’s hard to even know how to nurture yourself, to even know what you need to fill you up, right? But self-care is so much more than taking a bath (which I hate doing).
It starts with a devotion to yourself to fulfill your needs and desires. But it’s different for everybody.
That’s when you go inward to figure out your essential needs and desires. It is hard and it can be scary, but this doesn’t have to be done alone. Ensure you’re surrounded by people who understand the process and don’t fuel your bad day with outward expressions, amping you up even more than before.
Understand that no one else can do the work for you! But you can find the right support along the way.
Mistake #3: Cruising the internet for answers.
Gosh, I wish I had learned this one 10 years ago. It wouldn’t have saved me many wasted hours.
Instead of actually finding any real help in the Google hole of hell, I ended up scrolling through mindless social feeds of other moms who seemingly have their sh&t together, like I did not (or at least that was my impression).
‘Why don’t you try some self-care’, people would say? Take some time for yourself. Yeah, even that seemed like work!
I was constantly comparing myself to these other moms, strangers to me, and it left me feeling even more like a failure. My anxiety was peaking! I couldn’t keep this up!
So after learning about how my nervous system works and coming to a real understanding about what tools were serving me in ways I had never experienced before, I started to lift up and out of the fog.
I started to do less and not more because doing more was not working anyways. I learned how to be conscious of my bad habits that resulted in chronic stress and anxiety (i.e. staying up late watching Netflix).
Through somatic practices, embodiment, hypnosis, conscientious rituals and a consistent devotion to myself, I finally slipped out of the shadows and into my life again!
That beautiful being is inside of you right now, even if it’s been years since you saw her. Time, understanding, compassion and devotion are all you need to tap into that wondrous essence within you.
Lots of love,