What is it about life that leads us to protect our heart, to dim its light and knowledge, or to silence its calling? Why does the mind’s logic and rational often surpass intuition? Why, when something feels so right, does our mind decide that it’s wrong?
In today’s society, it seems that many of us live in fear of following our intuition and our heart, whether it’s to pursue a dream job, move to a foreign place, or go back to school. Is it because we’re fearful of the unknown? Are we fearful of judgment or disapproval? Are we afraid to make a mistake or to fail? Is it because deep down we feel undeserving? Or, is it because we tend to put everyone else first?
So many of us are just not willing to take the risk; but at what cost? Isn’t it scarier to give up on our dreams, to always wonder ‘what if’, to settle for something that’s ok, but not what we really want?
This week’s post is about widening our perception about life, our experiences, and our journey; most of all it’s about learning to listen to that little voice within, whether it’s before or after life decides to show you what needs to change.
Before the Winds of Change
In my 20s, life was all about following my dreams and taking risks. At the age of 25, I left everything behind to move to Italy to study and pursue a career in Fashion. I had no intention of moving back to Canada. I wanted to live and work abroad, I wanted to travel and explore. I wanted to be the girl that didn't hold herself back in life.
But after completing my post graduate studies, I got engaged, and little by little, my dreams and aspirations started slipping away. I moved back to Canada, then eventually left a job that I loved in Montreal, only to return to the city I swore I would never return to, to work in a job I had concluded years prior was not for me – because it seemed like the 'right' thing to do at the time. Part of me felt like I needed to settle down, get married, build a family, get a stable, less demanding job and perhaps become less consumed by my career. Options were presented to me and I made choices. Some of the decisions were made because of societal expectations I had put on myself, some were because of my childhood, some were out of fear, some were because somewhere between Europe and Montreal, I had developed this horrible tendency to no longer trust my inner voice, especially when it was telling me something that was opposite of where my life was going. My intuition was speaking to me loud and clear, but I wasn't listening.
Unfortunately, refusing to listen to my intuition eventually caught up with me; after less than a year back in my hometown, I began experiencing hormonal imbalance, which led me into a period of sadness and a feeling of being incomplete.
Denying who I am, my love of travel, spontaneity and adventure, and the joy and passion that my work brought forth for me, had led me into unhappiness.
This imbalance lasted for a few years – it wasn’t until the birth of our second daughter with atypical Rett Syndrome that my hormones settled. It was as though my hormones magically rebalanced just in time for the most difficult period of my life.
Have you ever noticed that life tends to get more and more difficult when something needs to change – and that it’s often after we experience the most difficult periods in our lives that something beautiful manifests itself.
Learning about Gabi’s diagnosis was physically, mentally and emotionally challenging; but despite the pain, I took charge of the situation and made it my mission to help her surpass her limits. This seemingly horrible situation had, in many ways, given me life again, and eventually led to multiple changes in my life, not to mention a career transition that I’m incredibly proud of.
I don't believe in regret. I believe in lessons. I learned through this experience that to maintain happiness and joy in our lives, we need to be authentic, to accept ourselves as the perfectly imperfect beings that we are. We need to listen to that voice inside, because eventually, it grows louder, whether through illness, or life circumstances that nudge us to make changes.
Perhaps, I could have avoided the period of sadness altogether had I just followed my intuition, but experiencing it helped me understand the importance of being connected within enough not to deny what's important to me, my feelings, or my needs.
A Time to Surrender
In my experience, it’s only through surrendering to change, that we can truly move forward and see the light. When we finally see the truth about certain aspects of our lives that are no longer fitting, it’s impossible to ignore them – and it’s important not to. Seeing the truth is a blessing in and of itself, but it can also be challenging, because the changes that are required are sometimes difficult, risky or painful.
Surrendering means being honest with ourselves and those around us, opening up to the unknown, taking risks, being ok with imperfection, and welcoming whatever changes are ahead, knowing they are for the best.
The peace that I have within today is well beyond the pain that led me here. Learning to listen to my heart and soul is really what led me to trust in life and the road blocks we encounter to get to the next stage. It’s important to see things from a higher perspective, it’s not just about that one life altering period or event, it’s about all the growth and evolution that followed to lead us to that next chapter in our lives.
One of My Many Lessons
Like most, I experienced moments of sadness in my life – but without pain, I would have never truly appreciated bliss. And without struggle, I would have never truly appreciated peace. It was through life’s challenges, that I was finally forced to reconnect with myself on a deeper level and start trusting my intuition. Finally listening and trusting that voice inside is what empowered me to change my life – because I needed to.
I would have never taken the Anat Baniel Method (ABM) NeuroMovement (NM) training had it not been for our daughter with special needs. Today, I am incredibly grateful. It wasn't long after I joined the training that I started reconnecting with myself physically, mentally and emotionally. That alone was a huge breakthrough – to finally allow myself to feel and process my emotions rather than bottling them up inside, to feel more freedom in my body and mind, to expand and improve not only my abilities to move, but also the way I thought about and processed information. ABMNM helped me evolve the way I perceive life. It helped upgrade my brain to another level, bringing increased vitality and maturity into my daily activities and interactions. All of these shifts eventually translated into a desire for deep introspection, and after 10 months of ABMNM training, I started meditating regularly.
Meditation brought my evolution up a notch; it seemed like the next logical step. I’d always been one to go inwards and introspect, but what I didn’t realize, is that the level of introspection needed was much deeper than what I’d been accustomed to. I needed to reconnect with myself in silence and solitude. Most of all, I needed to stop letting others give me the answers and tell me what to do, and rather go within, be patient with myself, and let my own heart lead the way.
It was through meditation that I became more acquainted with my soul, my intuition and the feelings in my heart. Something I so desperately needed in order to be able to see the truth about my life and myself, and finally start making changes.
I have interacted with so many individuals who struggle with depression, suffer from anxiety, experience sleep deprivation, are stressed and/or unhappy – if only people would just take a timeout to reconnect with themselves, to feel again, and to listen to their inner voice. That’s where the answers are. It’s when we disconnect from the world and reconnect with ourselves that we finally see clearly.
ABMNM and meditation is my timeout, and it has absolutely transformed my life, not to mention the energy within my entire household. When we slow down and learn to appreciate and be grateful for the subtleties in life, we become more positive and serene, creating peace all around us. When we take care of ourselves, we take better care of others. When we love ourselves, we love others more fully. When we’re happy, those around us are happier. It’s not selfish to do things that give us joy, it’s not selfish to take time for ourselves – it’s necessary, for everyone. After all, life is all about balance and feeling balanced within.
The Path of New Learning
Every day, I am learning; in a constant state of evolution. I’ve learned through ABMNM, meditation and energy healing (Reiki), how to feel and process negative emotions and then release them. Feelings of sadness, anger, resentment, guilt, fear can be felt, but they aren’t meant to stay lingering within us. They’re meant to be released. It doesn’t serve us to keep those kinds of feelings bottled up inside. It doesn’t help us heal, it doesn't help us live more from our heart. All it does is attract darkness into a space that’s meant to be bright.
In my opinion, bringing more joy and more play into our lives is the key to being successful - whatever that means to you. Some find joy in career, others find joy in art or sporting activities, some find joy in travel or simply being outdoors. Success, to me, is being real and at peace with who you are, the good and the bad; feeling good about the life you lead and the environment in which you lead it.
It’s important that we take care of ourselves, and most of all that we listen. Only we know what's best for us. Don’t be afraid to feel and face your thoughts and emotions. Learn to feel and release what doesn’t serve you, whether it’s within you or in your physical life. It's not easy, trust me, I know - I'm living proof, but it's worth it. ABMNM, meditation and Reiki, are the avenues that have helped me along my journey. Find what works for you.
Learning to listen and trust the voice inside is what gave me the strength and courage to finally pursue my dreams and to stop limiting myself.
Impossible is no longer part of my vocabulary. It’s never too late to change your life. It’s never too late to choose to be happy, and most importantly its never too late to start loving yourself.
Don't ever be afraid to try something new, because life gets dull when you stay within the limits of what you already know. Challenge yourself - the benefits greatly outweigh the risks in the long run.
So tell me, are you willing to become more acquainted with yourself and your inner voice? When you begin to feel and hear what your intuition has to say, will you listen? What can you do today to transform your life?