I view transitional periods as many ripples happening over a specific time that lead to a major wave of change in becoming the most authentic version of yourself.
My shift began when I was 29 years old.
In August 2017, I began to make lifestyle changes that I now recognize as the beginning of my transitional journey. I had watched a few documentaries and movies, which had a significant impact on the way I viewed how I moved through the world and decided to transition into a vegan lifestyle. By fall, I was beginning to question ALL my landmark life decisions. The person I was in January had evolved by October, and it had become increasingly difficult to reconcile my old and new identities. I was resisting the new me instead of accepting her, and it caused me to spiral into a deep depression.
By the end of 2017, everything began to fall apart.
God has a way of shaking up your life to help you release the things that are holding you back from walking in your purpose and the highest form of yourself.
But at the time, I couldn’t see that. I was conflicted and confused. Instead of turning to God and asking him for guidance, I turned to a bottle of wine to lull myself to sleep at night.
At some point, I began to realize I couldn’t continue the way I was living without dire consequences. So, I started the sometimes-agonizing process of clawing my way out of the bowels of misery. I was in a fragile place, so I started with small steps - Focusing on what I could handle. I went back to therapy. I thought about everything that made me unhappy, then identified what I could change. I started to research different jobs, careers and considered going back to school. As I began to gain stability and clarity, I moved on to the next step – cutting out the cancer in my life. I quit the job that did not serve my higher calling.
But even after leaving my career and writing an article about it, I struggled with living an entirely authentic life. I was promoting leading a healthy lifestyle – physically, mentally, and spiritually - but often straddled the line between self-care and self-destruction. Yes, I had developed a wellness routine that included meditation, working out, and journaling during the day, but I was turning to my best friend, **insert any wine**, at night. One moment I was unshakeable, brave, and daring, then the next moment, I would retreat behind my wall of fear.
Fear manifested itself in many ways in my life and often sat in the driver seat of my decision-making. It paralyzed me from making major moves that could have positively impacted my life because I leaned into the idea that I couldn’t succeed or deliver.
Part of learning to walk in your truest self is overcoming the FEAR that who you are is not enough to carry out your purpose.
How many times do we want to post something on Instagram, but don’t post it because we feel like we look too fat or not pretty enough?
How many times do we refuse to apply for a job because we tell ourselves we don’t qualify?
How many times do we not ask our bosses or collaborators to pay us our worth because we fear they will see through our thinly-veiled screen and discover our insecurities?
How many ways do we self-sabotage our blessings because we don’t stand in our truth?
I posted a quote on Instagram a while back that says, “It’s not who you are that holds you back; it’s who you think you’re not.”
View this post on Instagram
IT’S NOT WHO YOU ARE THAT HOLDS YOU BACK; IT’S WHO YOU THINK YOU’RE NOT. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• I took this photo,all by myself, about two weeks ago. I was so proud of me. I setup my little tripod, put my DSLR camera on it, and started snapping away with people biking, walking, and driving by. I didn’t care if I looked vain or crazy. I was gonna do it for the ‘gram. After I was done snapping like there was no tomorrow, I reviewed my photos and as beautiful and colorful as they were, all I could see was an image of myself I couldn’t connect with, and quite frankly, am still learning to love. You see, these last 4 years have been full of ups and downs- ebbs and flows. Struggling with depression and anxiety has reared it’s ugly head through my physical appearance. While I was knee deep in my mental health battle, I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. I could barely get out of bed let alone “keep up” myself. I’d pretty much always been fit and conscious of what I ate, but when that mental beast took over, I could care less about ANYTHING. When I finally came up for air and got a grip around my mental state, I began to assess the “damage” that my mental storm had wrecked on my body. I didn’t recognize who I saw in the mirror anymore. I was 50+ pounds heavier and looked worn down from the toll the mental stress took on me. My battle wounds left me feeling broken. So, every time I would snap a photo to “do it for the ‘gram”, I felt self-conscious about posting it. All I saw was damaged goods. I didn’t want to display a “defective” product. I wanted to represent “perfection”. So, I’d never post what I saw in fear others would see it too. But, what I’ve accepted is, “we’re not meant to be perfect; we’re meant to be whole”. And I am, or at least I’m getting there. Now, I see my flaws and look at them as opportunities to grow. I’ve decided to dedicate the next 365 days to be intentional about my mental, physical, and spiritual health. I’ve been putting myself first and the discovery of all the things I love. Life has never felt more complete and peaceful. I’m beginning to see all the colors of the rainbow- Much like this photo🌈
And it holds true.
It’s exhausting to live in a prison of our own making because we’re too afraid to be the most authentic version of ourselves.
So, I’ve made the intentional decision to let go and let be.
I’m far from perfect, but I’m whole.
I’m not comfortable where I am, but I have peace.
I’m not the best version of myself, but I’m well on my way.
And I own every aspect of it all because I’m finally free to be me.