Living Life Unchained
Standing on the scale that morning I felt the familiar feelings of shame, failure. I had been in a starvation period for months but couldn’t maintain the loss. I was desperately trying to get to 99lbs. That would make me good enough, that’s what the weight charts said… I could feel the meltdown climbing within me. As my desperation climbed, this time I felt something inside of me snap and I knew if I didn’t change I would die.
I was 24 and I had been in a destructive cycle of anorexia, bulimia, binge drinking and chain smoking. I instinctively knew that I couldn’t last much longer like this. I had previous thoughts like this but I didn’t care at the time. All that mattered was being skinny.
That morning I wrote a plan to get healthy. To focus on my health. I didn’t know where it came from but I believed it. And I knew I had to follow it.
Within 6 months I knew everything the diet industry had taight me was a lie. I was healthier, happier, stronger than I had ever been. I felt a massive sense of freedom and an immediate calling to teach this to the many other women who were suffering.
I did so in the fitness industry. And I know I made a big impact on many people. After a few years, I found myself feeling not good enough – not thin enough – not ripped enough – not enough. The industry was constantly telling me I wasn’t enough. And I believed them. I changed to become what the industry wanted – thinking if I looked the part I could have more influence.
I turned my back on the very concepts that helped me get the results I had in the first place. It wasn’t long before I found myself fully engrossed in an eating disorder with serious body dismorphia, again.
And again, the voice in my head “how did I get here, again“? This isn’t what I intended to create – just another fitness business. I was not helping people change their lives permanently by changing their behaviour like I had wanted to do. It started to nag at me, knowing that I was selling a healthy lifestyle but was no longer healthy myself. I knew I needed to understand how I had gotten “here” again.
I walked away from a business I was building for nearly 10 years because I found myself in the middle of the wrong dream. And I was led on a fantastical journey that I don’t think I would have taken had I known what I was getting myself into. I’ve come to realize it wasn’t necessarily the wrong dream. I didn’t know how to teach behaviour modification to people, the journey through all of these things helped me learn that.
The questions kept coming back – How was I better and then fell into this again? Why was I really repeating this behaviour, again? What did I miss. What did I not see coming? I knew the root of my healing was in understanding why I had an eating disorder in the first place. And that was somewhere I didn’t want to go! I had a feeling it was going to lead me to deal with my past and my abuse. And that was not somewhere I wanted to go.
I spent a lot of time skirting the issue and doing a lot of work around it. I had no idea that the work I was doing was the very work I was supposed to be doing to prepare me to deal with it all. Here I thought I was outsmarting it…we don’t “do” it until we’re ready for it. There’s a lot that has to happen in order for us to be ready to deal with some of our most painful life experiences.
The “getting ready” to do the work and doing the work came when I lost my willpower, my push, the very thing that kept me moving forward. Gone. I had no motivation, no drive, no get up and go. I struggled with basic tasks like bathing, brushing my teeth and getting dressed. I stopped exercising for the first time in more than a decade. I stopped almost everything that I had gotten joy from.
All of the positive thinking in the world couldn’t help me now. I tried. I tried ignoring it. Denying it. Bandaiding it. But it was simply time to deal with it. If I didn’t, the darkness would own me forever.
I asked for help. Admitting that I needed help was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There would be no more pretending. But here I was, on my knees, begging for help. And it came, as it always does, when we are ready. I didn’t get it in the traditional sense. I had done decades of counselling which made me really good at understanding the mental conversion, telling myself lots of things about it all. But this was different. I began talking about it all, releasing all of the negative experiences I had stuffed down. Not just about my abuse, that was actually a small part of it… but about everything I had shoved down. The roles I took on in life that I didn’t want. The times I pretended I was fine when I wasn’t. The inability to stand up for myself. My silence. My fear. My shame. My going along with…
I opened pandora’s box into decades worth of stuff locked away – from abuse, manipulation, betrayal and everything in between. I had spent my lifetime pretending everything was fine and conveniently locking away from anything I didn’t want or know how to deal with it.
As I let it up I thought I would lose myself but the opposite began to happen. I began to feel lighter and I was finally able to use all of my training – mindset, the reframing, the re-patterning. I felt myself healing.
I felt my soul.
I suddenly had a 360 view. All of these things were actually connected and perhaps I wasn’t in the wrong dream at all. Perhaps that was a part of the experience I needed in order to have a unique experience and insight into people’s behaviour and lives. I learned so much about how much we hate ourselves from coaching people in fitness and nutrition. I knew it was never ever about the weight but it was always about so many other things – most of which included a need for control and destruction.
Divine Intervention. Everytime I needed to move to a new direction. To grow. To change. That internal voice showed up and showed me a new path. I have a thirst for knowledge so I couldn’t help but follow, feeling the fear but unable to stop as though something else was guiding me, as though a part of me knew this was leading me somewhere important even when it didn’t make sense.
My emotions became the key to everything. I understood that our thoughts are important and that we need to feed our mind good healthy thoughts and that we can change the meaning and perspective of something. Until we deal with the life experiences that have shaped us and develop a healthy relationship with our emotions, we will be brought back “here” again – repeating lessons until we learn them.
Why did I have an eating disorder in the first place? It was the only thing I could control in a world out of control. I learned to control myself. A need for certainty, it was the only way I could get certainty. Low self worth, low self esteem and need fit in and be “good enough”. I learned to stuff down everything. I never asked for what I needed or wanted. When I was hurt I pushed it down instead of standing up for myself. I brushed things off when I wanted to scream. I said yes when I wanted to say no. I did whatever everyone else wanted – I became what they wanted me to become, not just in the fitness industry it turned out – in all area’s of my life.
There is only so much room in your emotional closet for stuff. There is only so many times you can turn away from yourself, avoid, deny and life a life that is based on pretending and lies before the house comes crashing down.
Clearing out our mental, emotional and physical closets will give us access to ourselves, our intuition, our knowing, our deeper connection with something beyond ourselves. It will give us more strength and courage than we ever thought possible. It will connect you to you. I lost myself and the scariest thing I have ever done was to face down everything I have survived in this life to reclaim myself.
That reclaiming is an evolving experience. I will continue to reclaim lost parts of myself as I learn to always go deeper. I lived my life with the belief that if I became what they wanted, they would love me, they would accept me, I would fit in. But the truth is, I wasn’t born to fit in. I didn’t come here to keep the peace. Standing out isn’t always easy. Even when it’s your purpose. Not belonging and not fitting in isn’t easy, even when you were born to be a warrior.
What if everyday we are battling our human conditioning against our soul’s purpose?
Our conditioning begins at the very least, birth. We are conditioned always to do what someone else’s expects of us. We get rewarded when we are pleasing and punished when we are not.
- Is it possible that conformity is the very stealer of dreams?
- Is it possible that punishment for not being pleasing becomes the lock on the chains that bind us?
- Is it possible that I don’t need to be “good girl”?
- I’ve been told my use of the word fuck isn’t ladylike. It’s a good thing I don’t give a fuck.
- Is it possible that someone I repsect and admire and look up might not have any idea about what’s right for me. It’s not only possible it’s probable.
- Is it possible that everything I’ve learned about logic and using my head is bullshit?
- Believing in something bigger than us, magic, laws of universe have been the cause of shame, fear mongering.
- Is it possible that the very thing I spent my life running from, feelings, would be the very thing I was born to teach?
- Is it possible that emotions are not a bad thing but they are the very key to unlocking our full potential?
- Is it possible that once you’ve decluttered your mind, body, emtoions that you can connect to your soul and that you can trust that to lead the way forward?
Decluttering my mind body and emotions helped me release that chains that bound me and allowed me to live a wild souled life. What’s possible for your life if you stop seeking the answers outside of you but instead begin seeking them inside of you? What’s possible for your life if you take care of your mind, body and emotions and you connect to your soul?
****hand heart *** * What does your soul say? Tell me in the comments 🙂