There were many moments where I KNEW I needed to make different choices in my life, but I didn’t.
You know what I am talking about? That little niggle, feeling or nudge from within.
I kept putting it off and putting it off and putting it off until one day …it happened.
Life forced me to choose differently.
No, let me rather put it like this…it shook me so hard that I fell 10 000ft before I started to make the climb back up.
Why do people wait until life becomes so unbearably uncomfortable, that they eventually decide to change?
Before my unbearable discomfort happened, I often use to wonder WHY people did that?
I was like “Can’t you see what you need to do & just do it…why are you waiting?”
Little did I realize, I was doing the EXACT same.
You see, for just on 20 years, I was in the health & fitness industry, and the question of “why do people wait until they are ill before they take care of their bodies” was something I often spoke about.
But this is a question that applies to EVERY area of our lives, relationships, careers, family, jobs etc.
Mine was my relationship.
And it wasn’t because my partner was a bad person or treated poorly. In all honesty, he is an INCREDIBLE person, but there were things that I was trying to ignore.
I never realized it until years later (& lots of inner work), that I was withhelding a lot of what I wanted (needed) to say. I didn’t speak my truth out of fear of hurting the person I loved.
In actual fact, I did that in many areas of my life, because I was a people pleaser. I didn’t want to hurt others or have them “hate me”, so I rather said nothing at my own cost.
Not speaking your truth is like cutting off one’s life line to who you are!
And as I mentioned in the beginning, about putting something off, even when you know deep down inside you NEED to change…..well, I kept shoving my words down, not saying what I needed to say…..until the frustration turned into anger & anger turned into resentment, & it just became this hard ball of bitterness inside of me.
My wakeup call happened in the middle of a spinning class (yes, I was teaching). This tightening in my throat had been building for weeks & it was in that moment that my body couldn’t hold it in any more…… I started to choke.
My throat kept wanting to close up every time I wanted to speak.
It felt like someone had their hands around my throat and squeezed every time I wanted to call out an instruction to the class.
Somehow I got through it without making it too obvious.
I was so shook, I had NEVER experienced something like that. And I had never felt something like that.
I ignored it (the “normal” thing to do right), until the next week came around and I had to teach another class.
I was petrified before the class & I could literally feel that sensation build up in my throat.
It happened again and this time people noticed.
After that I actually got ill with a stomach bug and when I was asked what had happened in the class, my answer was “I had stomach flu”.
But it wasn’t.
It was my body saying “no more, you can’t hold back what you need to say”.
I didn’t know it at the time, I didn’t even know how to describe what had happened to me so, as you might have guessed it, I tried to ignore it and kept going.
Except this time I was slowly starting to retreat from life. That experience in front of that spinning class had been SO scary that I started to fear that it would happen everywhere else.
The experience itself had such an intense impact on me that my brain took a “snapshot” & literally rewired itself neurologically to that fearful memory. My body basically had a memory of that event, with the feelings & emotions, & I would replay it every time I had to go out into public or be around people.
I retreated more.
I moved towns for my relationship (which meant I STILL hadn’t “heard my inner voice”).
I tried to make it work.
I tried so hard at everything.
But here is the thing, trying hard is NOT what works….especially when you still ignore the feelings & signs your body is giving you.
And the more I tried, the more everything started to collapse around me.
⇒It got to the point where it was so bad that one day, I found myself lying on a bed in my sisters garage (it was the only place available for me to sleep at the time), my fitness career was gone, my relationship had ended, my savings had dwindled to almost nothing, I was relying on my family to put a roof over my head, I was struggling with depression & my body felt like it was choking me…(even typing this can bring up that sensation).
I didn’t tell my friends because a) I was embarrassed and b) I didn’t want to burden them, they have their own “stuff” they are dealing with (again, holding back from speaking….)
Only my sister & mother knew.
I lay there, crying & knew I had hit rock bottom.
The feeling that came with the thought that I may have to live like this for the rest of my life, was SO scary that it surpassed the fear & discomfort needing to change & step into the unknown.
And it was in that moment that I surrendered.
I let go.
Winter of 2018.
It’s when we “let go” of what is NOT working, we allow for growth & new possibilities.
What happened between that moment & now was the hardest climb of my life.
I have always been open about my struggle with anxiety but I have never shared the full story….mainly because I didn’t think it mattered. There were always others stories out there of people who have it way worse (and they do), but that doesn’t make my story irrelevant.
My story matters, your story matters and the reason it matters is because our own personal journey from trial to triumph is a stepping stone to help the next person who reads and resonates with it.
I am a completely different person to who I was back then.
I love the analogy about a seed & how it relates to life’s journey.
Sometimes we have to be buried like a seed in the ground. Surrounded by darkness. And only when we are brave enough to burst open, & spill our guts, can we begin to climb through the dirt towards the light, where we will bloom in the sunshine.
So, my question to you is….
What are you putting off today, out of fear of change, the unknown or discomfort, that you KNOW you need to do if you want your life to be different?
Is it a relationship?
Is it your health?
Maybe it’s your job?
Is it your career choice?
Or maybe it’s your family?
If there is a little voice inside talking to you, a feeling, a nudge or a niggle….LISTEN!
It is the sunshine calling you to grow and bloom!