April 1st is a significant day for me, it marks the start of a more creative, healthier, and relaxed chapter where I can be all of who I am, doing the work I love to do. Two years ago today, my corporate career ended; I think of it as the day I got my freedom back. The imprisonment was of my own making. I was a slave to my job, I made work the focal point of my life, I was giving myself the least priority. I was hiding in my job because I did not want to face my reality.
I was not happy in my life and instead of putting my energy into getting it, I was retreating under the cover of the job, and giving the job the wrong priority. I was also hiding parts of myself that I ignored because if I listened to them, I would start to question what I was doing with my life. So, I silenced them, squashed them, and abandoned them. It was all my own making; I acknowledge full responsibility for imprisoning myself. Work was a place to escape to get lost in. While I experienced the benefits of being a good corporate citizen, the financial rewards did not compensate for the sense of being second place in my own life. I gave most of my energy to work and had only the scraps left over for me. I did not even dare question this dedication until one day I realised that I had willingly imprisoned myself, that I forgotten I had freedom to create a different reality.
Getting myself out of that way of being took a lot of intentional work to focus on envisioning a new life. I started the discovery process, who am I at my core, what are my gifts to share with the world, what are my values, what are my needs, how could I nurture myself and bring myself back to a full life. I started to put myself centre of my own life. I dared to dream of a new way of being based on me being the best version of myself and allowing my inner radiance to shine out. Once I could see it then I could consciously start to create it for myself.
Many people when hearing my story, wonder at the contrast between my old and new life. I often get asked what I miss the most about my old life, I respond with not much (except my friends) because I find it difficult to relate to that person anymore. She was disconnected from her source, barely alive to the beauty of life, lost in grief and buried in work. I spent decades dedicating most of my life to my job, working long hours, being a slave to my email inbox and putting work ahead of my own needs. I was living to work rather than working to live.
I am asked how did I find myself in such a rural place after the big metropolitan area of New York. I tell them that I knew I was done with that life, I knew in my heart that my cycle was complete. I had served my time, I consciously closed out that chapter while preparing for the next. I ended up here because I had faith that it was the place to be, I trusted my inner knowing. I had visited this area in my earlier life a couple of times. The vibrations of these lands resonated with me more than any other place I had been to and I recognised it. I had a sense that this is a place where I should spend time and that I would feel good here. I trusted this inner knowing and instinct. I trusted that I would find what I needed here without even consciously knowing what it was.
It was with a sense of relief that I landed here, in this unspoiled, peaceful place. That I had space and time to decompress, to let go of the relentless pace and embrace the slow life. Personally, my experience of the pandemic is to see the gift in this time. It has offered me a welcomed chance to slow down and look at life from new perspectives. I am filled with gratitude that I got to shelter here in my peaceful home, surrounded by magnificent views of nature to uplift me every day. I get outside to nature to do my best thinking. I mindfully let the sounds of nature wash over me, massaging my senses, soothing my soul, quietening my mind and I allow the inspiration to come.
I feel very relaxed and safe here which is the foundation from which I can flourish. I had hardly registered that all the time I had spent living in the US my nervous system was over stimulated. Living in a big loud city exposed me to sirens screaming, crowds of people, polarised politics, daily news reports on gun violence, racism and hate crimes were all taking a toll on my psyche. It was only when I started to settle here, that I realised my threat levels had decreased. Even the pandemic could not register as high.
I have found a warm welcome here from my community, from my new friends and from the beauty of the landscape. I marvel with a sense of wonder that I had managed to get myself here in divine timing. I am meant to be here at this time. I feel that right now there is nowhere else I want to be. This is both a liberating and grounding feeling to have. Slowly I have come out of the shadows of my old life, I have let go of my old identity and old ways of being. I have embraced all parts of me and relaxed into this life. I have revitalised my soul and I am the healthiest I have ever been in Mind, Body and Spirit.
While building a new life and business I take the time to nourish myself. I have understood that I need to take care of my own needs so that I can show up as my best self and bring that to all aspects of my life. I take the time to do MindBody practices because they enhance my vitality. I practice yoga, meditation, mindfulness, take daily walks. I allow the vibrations of nature to soothe my soul and spark my creative thinking. I have my best ideas when I am outdoors, relaxed, in the flow and inhaling the benefits of nature with all my senses.
Earlier this year I launched my first coaching program about ‘Befriending Yourself an inner journey all about opening your heart and connecting to your essence. This program embodies all the learnings I received as part of my own inner journey to connect to myself. I share this wisdom in the course to encourage and inspire others to be curious and see what speaks to them, what sparks their soul, what resonates with their senses. Our journeys through life are as unique as we are, my way is just one way, trust yourself that you can find yours. It is all about having faith that by taking the first step towards something even if we cannot see where we are heading.
We are all a product of the programming of our upbringing, family, friends, school, religion, community & society. Our behaviours, beliefs, opinions, language, faith, judgements are all centred on being accepted, fitting in, maintaining rules and pleasing the demands of others. We all tend to hide parts of ourselves and in doing so show only what we think the world will accept from us. In doing so we reject our true selves, inflict self judgement & abandon parts of ourselves.
We become driven by the ego, the voice of the subconscious mind. The ego began forming in infancy and is the basis of your own self-image and personality. The primary job of the ego is to protect us from perceived threats. Yet in doing so it can imprison by holding you back, creating doubt, activating old wounds and your inner critic. It forms judgements, opinions and beliefs that can be easily confused as truth. The ego does not like us to step out of our comfort zone, but it is only by doing so that we can start to experience another reality. When we become aware of our thoughts, we can challenge our ego. We need courage to start to question our value system and who we really are. We need to let go of old ways of thinking and welcome in new ways. We need to see ourselves as whole beings and integrate any parts that became fragmented along the way.
I have noticed with my clients through our coaching sessions that while we are collectively going through the same global pandemic, the reality of how we are coping is unique to our mindset which creates our day-to-day reality. My clients are having different pandemic experiences despite universal circumstances. The pivotal point or coaching breakthrough has been when my clients have accepted their reality of the situation. They have realised that no amount of resistance can result in a different outcome, the only way to deal with it is to go through it. I coach my clients to be mindfully present to the flow of life & surrender to what will come rather than struggle with what is. Once we can accept the situation, we can free up our energy and put it towards creating a new reality.
While some of you may feel imprisoned due to the restrictions of the pandemic, I encourage you to examine how you may be imprisoning yourself in ways that keep you hidden. I invite everyone to see April as a month of freedom to start your discovery process. Freedom to creative new beginnings on the path to living your best reality. It starts with creative thinking, changing your thoughts. I encourage you to choose to see the freedom within the restrictions, the freedom to put yourself first, to pay attention to your needs, to question your old habits and beliefs, to embrace new ways, to put some energy towards envisioning a new reality. Be curious to see where this liberation will take you mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Let April be the month where you unlock the door to freedom for yourself.