“The impurities of the mind are washed off in adoration. The impurities of the intellect or reason are burned off in the Study of the Self.” B.K.S. Iyengar
I think most of us have played this game of hide and go seek in our lives. We lose ourselves to be right for someone, to be right for something, or simply because we want or need to be someone else. We hide our true self to be someone else. The problem is this inhibits our path to becoming our greatest self. Every one of us has a unique greatness inside that should never be hidden or covered up. We tend to hide our true selves when we feel that we won’t be accepted, we won’t fit in, we won’t look the way we are expected to look, or we won’t be loved. The way we choose to hide is to cover up in material brands, follow people we want to be, drink heavily, eat too much, binge watch tv, and judge others who are “better”, “worse”, “weird”, etc. This path is a lot like walking from one of end a pool to the other.
In the beginning, you’re excited – you just stepped in, the water is refreshing and you’re getting a little taste of how it feels! This is the part of the path when you are just beginning to become someone else. It feels exciting and even refreshing.
The further you go you begin to feel submerged, but you are still in control. You still feel good. This is when you start to collect a few new material things, hang out with new people you want to be like, and change your thoughts. Alternatively, maybe you start to stay in more – you find more shows to watch to keep you distracted or lost in a world of reality television seeking to be beautiful, thin, rich, famous.
When the water hits your stomach is when it feels really cold! At this part of your path, you are really submerged you are over half way there – your focus is only on being someone else, on collecting more material things, judging other people. You fear expression of your real thoughts or feelings so you adjust them to the “right” or the “comfortable” thoughts and feelings. Your mind and your soul are lost from your true self. Cold and negative. This phase might not be cast on to other people, you may even project happiness and positivity but inside you are lost from true happiness. You are so worried about other people and things or maybe you are worried that it is too late to go back. You are too far gone, too overweight, too anxious, too depressed.
Finally, you reach the other end of the pool and you are totally submerged, drowning in the water. It’s no longer cold though because you are used to it. This is the end of the path – this is when you lost yourself. At this point on the path, you don’t even realize you’re someone else. You are consumed with negative thoughts, other people, having things, and being someone else.
NOT TO WORRY– make the choice to swim to the surface, walk out of that pool, and seek yourself on higher ground. The path to your true self is much longer than the path from one end of the pool to the other. On this path, you will encounter day & night, beautiful things & terrible things, love & loss, fear & freedom. I think this is why so many of us don’t take this path. It is longer, it can be harder, and it requires so much more of our mind, body, and soul. On this path, we jump off of the band wagon, put our feet on the ground, and walk our own journey!
We need this path if we want to truly be happy and truly be our self. The end of this journey is worth the risk of taking it – even if your just beginning. Begin with me. Hop off that band wagon your hiding on, put your feet on the ground and go seek your true self. We need you.
I found myself drowning at the end of law school. I was at the bottom of the pool searching for my last breath of air. I had become the ultimate law school student and future lawyer but not the one I started out as. I had the new clothes, the professional purses, the heels, and the presence (confident and strong). What I didn’t have anymore was my vision, my spirit, and my self. During this time, the only thing I remained true to was the self I was to my boyfriend. He brings out the truest happiness in me and when I was with him I was able to catch a breath of fresh air. Maybe this is why I survived so long in the deep end. But, when anxiety took over I could not even focus on that. I was too tired and too on edge. I had to find the strength to pull myself out of that pool and put my feet on the ground. The most ironic part is that finally telling my boyfriend about my anxiety and that I did not feel like myself gave me that strength. I jumped out of that water and started on my path to health and wellness. I will guide you through each step and the experience in the following posts to come.
Inspiration link – https://eatfeelfresh.com/
When I started my path to health and wellness I got a lot of texts and calls from friends asking for smoothie recipes, products, books, and so much more. To be honest, I didn’t want to tell. Not because I wanted to keep all the good foods, natural products, and things I was learning about to myself instead I thought it was so important to take the journey yourself. I spent so much time researching, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, going to yoga and I thought that experience was so important and individualized. Then I realized, maybe I could be a part of your journey. I might be that blog you read or that person you message for advice. If I am I am humbled to be a part of that experience and I am excited to share!
Let’s start with a little story of why I am writing this blog that may resonate with some of you. Approaching graduation from law school I began suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. I was frustrated, overwhelmed, sad, happy, excited, and scared all at the same time. At first, I was looking for the reasons why I would be anxious. I was incredibly successful in law school and I landed a dream job. I have a family who is amazing, a boyfriend who loves me, and the cutest pets ever! So why? What was most frustrating about this process was my lack of an answer. If I didn’t have an answer then certainly other people weren’t going to have an answer to why “I” was having anxiety. So of course, I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t want to come off as a complainer, weak, or as a hypochondriac – so I put on my big girl pants and decided I would deal with it myself. I had suffered from anxiety and panic attacks at the start of college for different, but known reasons so I knew the process and I knew I could handle it! Right?
You know where that got me? I was coming home from work early, sleeping in the middle of the afternoon, giving up on social things, buying things to make me feel better. After weeks of this process, I realized this couldn’t work. I was about to begin studying for the bar, my boyfriend thought I lost interest in our relationship, and my body hated me. So finally, I told my mom, I told my boyfriend, and I told my best friend. Guess what – NONE OF THEM thought I was a complainer, weak, or a hypochondriac. In fact, they all came to my side and helped me find some answers for why I was feeling this way.
My life for two years of law school was non-stop, I always had to be ready and prepared for the next thing. I was so concerned about looking professional, being professional, and proving myself. In fact, my motto was “fake it til you make it.” AKA – don’t be yourself, be what you need to be until you get to where you are supposed to be. Great idea, right?
On top of all this, I lost my grandmother in October of my 3L year. Words will never describe her importance to my life and the woman I am today. I grieved that loss, but I don’t know that I accepted that loss. Instead, I stayed busy and I stayed distracted. I was in the process of looking for houses, moving, and planning out my budget for the entire summer! I had an academic reputation to uphold, a lifestyle to uphold, and a job to search for. During this time, I was never present in the moment. I was always worried and thinking about the next thing. I was in a constant state of worry about my future instead of being present in the positive moments. Nothing about my last year of law school really sunk in. So, when it all came to an end in May it was like it didn’t even happen. I hated this feeling.
When I finally got this off my chest I was no longer hiding the secret – I have anxiety! First off, what is the big deal and second how could I treat this problem if I was hiding it from others and denying it to myself? This is when my journey began. I started looking into the causes for anxiety and panic attacks and understanding why my body was having these symptoms. When I understood why I understood how I could control these symptoms and the steps I needed to take to start treating my body better. This blog is a description of my path back to health and wellness. Most importantly, it’s a guide to show you that being healthy isn’t hell and being wealthy is truly about being well.