I had a bad year- or couple of years. I quit my job as a trial lawyer, and had no idea who I was if I wasn’t fighting in a courtroom. I was in terrible physical shape due to a medical condition, that resulted in physical therapy after I had my baby because my core was so weak. I walked away from the Chairmanship of the Board of Directors of a non-profit, I became disillusioned with my sorority. My husband and I weren’t seeing eye to eye.
The next year I was assaulted with a series of minor physical ailments. I suffered a miscarriage and it broke my heart. I hit myself with my car (long story) . . .the week of my yoga teacher training practical exam.
But I didn’t stop. I grieved my lost child. I kept moving forward, even on the really bad days. I kept breathing and showing up, and when I couldn’t show up, because it was all too much, I took care of myself, and let myself be taken care of. I experienced it. All of it. Day after day. Scenario after scenario, and at some points I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Like things would never get better. But. . . gradually, it did.
So, here’s my point. Life is balance. It is one of the laws of the universe. Night and day, male -female, happiness-sadness. . . Bad times and good are a part of the ebb and flow of life.
Your challenges become your greatest lessons, triumphs, and stories. I believe we are here (existentially and literally) for a reason. That everything comes together for our good and to cement our purpose here on earth. Every negative experience that I have had has fueled my personal and spiritual growth. My challenges have brought me to the brink and back, and in that journey I emerge stronger, wiser, more capable, and with more confidence that I can handle this thing called life.
I can look back to where I was, and where I am now, and realize that I never imagined that this is where my life would take me- but I am so blessed and fortunate for it all.
If you are in the middle of a storm, know that it will pass. There may be another one right behind it. God will provide. It’s always darkest before the dawn. Check out my tips on self-care, and remember to take care of yourself. Here are a few more:
1.) Rest. Okay. This isn’t new. But I think it bears repeating for some of us. (Me. . . I need to know this.) So, look, when shit goes bad, we aren’t at our best. Even if we CAN do something, that doesn’t mean that we should. Sometimes, we don’t have a choice (like, if you have to go to work), but sometimes we do have a choice, and we get super busy anyway. Then, we’re running around all funked up because of what is happening in our lives, and you know what happens- well, I’ll talk about myself,- (a) I’m not at my best and things get messed up; (b) I end up in conflict because I’ve got a bad attitude; or (c) I don’t get the rest I need and continue to run from whatever problem I’m dealing with, exacerbating my need for rest, and not addressing my real concerns and hurts.
So, resting isn’t selfish. It’s about taking the time to care for yourself and allow yourself to heal. Emotional healing is AS exhausting, if not more so, than physical healing. just sayin.
2.) Pray/Meditate. To whomever you pray to. Pray often. I was raised in an evangelical tradition, and in Nigerian culture praying is an art. But your prayers don’t have to be fancy. Just say in your head or out loud how you feel. Speak your heart. Let it go. Then wait. Maybe go into meditation, or do a yoga practice. Maybe open your religious book, or an inspirational book and read what speaks to you. God speaks to us in many ways- (his favorite way for me for a long time was instagram. . . the entire time I was going through my storm I would open instagram and a meme would speak to my soul.) Don’t expect the answer to come in the form you think it should. Just be open. And humble enough to acknowledge that some things are out of your control.
(If you don’t believe in a higher power I still believe in the power of confession and reflection. Speaking our truth activates the throat chakra. . ., just be mindful that you try to keep your vibration up as you do. Once you have vocalized your concerns, pick a positive mantra, (“I am deserving of love.”) and sit quietly with yourself, repeating it over and over.)
2.) Don’t quit. I know, I know, I just told you to let it all go. . . but this is different. This means, don’t quit on yourself. Don’t quit on your dream of being a mother because of a miscarriage. Don’t quit on your dream of being a lawyer because you didn’t pass the bar the first time. Don’t quit on your dream of going to college because your finances aren’t right. Don’t quit on love because love isn’t working for you right now. Circumstances are temporary. Regret though. . .it’s a bitch. Do not let your scars define you. If you know something is for you, it is for you. Go get it. God will help you.
And just keep moving forward. . .