This Is What Personal Growth Looks Like

I never really used to think about personal growth. I lived my life, followed a sensible path with my career and had adventures in the world. I didn’t think I needed personal growth.

The Everyday Adventure

Then, everything crashed down around me.

You know how sometimes if you don’t listen to a message that the universe is trying to tell you that the message gets louder and louder and louder until you listen? Well that was me.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, now is the perfect time to read The Alchemist. It has the beautiful message that if you’re following the right path then the whole world works with you to make it happen. Ever notice how sometimes you make a decision and then everything falls easily into place and nothing gets in your way?

Sometimes I listen to these messages and sometimes I don’t, and I bet you know what happens in either case!

I listened when I signed up to study Holistic Health Coaching at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I’d started thinking that it was time for a career change, but I wasn’t ready yet to take a leap and quit my job. While I was coming to the realisation that the path I was on wasn’t going to make me happy, I read about IIN on a blog I follow religiously. Then it came up on another blog that I’d just started reading (the universe was trying to get the message to me), then it started appearing everywhere I looked online (the universe was turning up the volume). Then the school sent me a 50% off coupon to use when I signed up for the course. Everything was making it easy! So I signed up, and started on the biggest transformational journey of my life.

But just because I’d started the journey, that didn’t make it easy.

First, my relationship almost broke down. The dude I’m married to is the best match for me that I could possibly dream of finding. We laugh together, play together, love each other so completely… but we’d stopped communicating properly, and fell into patterns of behaviour that made each other unhappy. We just weren’t being that NICE to each other.

Then, I had a really tough pregnancy. I had morning sickness, terrible insomnia from week 8 and hip issues that meant I couldn’t exercise at all for more than half the pregnancy. That is a long time.

Then I started a new job, that didn’t work out quite as I’d planned. It was less responsibility, a lot less money, shorter hours, and part of the reason I’d taken it was to make space in my life for the things I loved. But I was pregnant, unhappy and immobile, so I just felt lonely and sad in all the new space.

Then I gave birth to a beautiful little baby, who started screaming when he was 3 weeks old and didn’t stop again until he was 10 weeks old, which was long enough to send me completely batty. I didn’t embrace being a mother, and resisted all the changes that life goes through with a new baby. And what we resist, persists, my friend.

Also in that time, I almost lost one of my best friends. Thankfully she talked to me about what was going on, and we’re on the mend, but I certainly realised I hadn’t been bringing love and honesty to that friendship. We had an honest discussion about what we were both bringing to the relationship (good and bad) and the openness made space for us to come back together. Connection is one of my most important drivers, and I had lost it all.

I also DID lose another of my best friends. I’ve never had a falling out with anyone in my life before, and it’s been pretty hard to reconcile myself with the fact that the friendship is over. I’m still mourning it, but at the moment it doesn’t seem there’s anything I can do. Rather than keeping on railing and pushing against it and trying to show how I’m right, as I would have in the past, I’m instead trying to find peace around it and forgive myself. At least I’m learning the lessons now, right?

So there we go. The volume couldn’t get any louder. I almost lost it all before I started listening to what was in my heart.

But now it feels like a time of rebirth for me!

I’ve done a lot of energetic work, clearing old emotions and beliefs that don’t serve me. And it’s continuing. I’m easing into change, and being kinder to myself in the process. I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to show up and do the work.

Sometimes that looks like exhausting emotional clearing.

Sometimes it looks like meditating at sunrise.

Sometimes it looks like really feeling deeply about how I want my life to be, who I want in it, what the purpose of it is.

And sometimes it looks like spending time laughing with people I love.

It hasn’t been easy, and it’s not over yet, but I think I’ve got back to that fork in the road where I took the wrong path and can start again along the way that will bring joy to me and to the people I love.

And in the end, for me, it’s all about living joyfully.

xx Sam

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16 Comments on This Is What Personal Growth Looks Like

  1. Sarah Koszyk
    April 26, 2014 at 4:32 PM (3 years ago)

    Wow….lots of life changes. New beginnings are always around the corner and right when we think we tackled one great leap, another one pops up in our laps. You just have to embrace every moment and take it with a learning curve and make the best out of the time we have with our loved ones, right? Thanks for posting your experiences!

    Reply
    • samantha
      April 27, 2014 at 10:32 AM (3 years ago)

      So true Sarah! And funny that you used the word Leap, last night I bought the book The Big Leap! It’s my year of leaping, I just hope some of the lessons from the leaps can start to be less painful. xx

      Reply
  2. april
    April 26, 2014 at 4:17 PM (3 years ago)

    honest and insightful and raw and lovely. thank you, samantha, for sharing both your struggles and rebirth.

    Reply
    • samantha
      April 27, 2014 at 10:32 AM (3 years ago)

      Thanks for the beautiful comment April xx

      Reply
  3. Theressa
    April 26, 2014 at 2:39 PM (3 years ago)

    You are so on the money Samantha!

    Personal growth is not an easy feat. It means having to look at yourself through unfiltered glasses + seeing things that are often very hard to look at.

    I take my hat off to you for this very candid post x

    Reply
    • samantha
      April 27, 2014 at 10:33 AM (3 years ago)

      aww thanks Theressa!
      It’s so true that it’s hard to look at what comes up, but I at least feel like Sam 2.0 is emerging so hopefully the things that come up will be easier and easier to look at! xx

      Reply
  4. Shannon
    April 26, 2014 at 3:20 AM (3 years ago)

    Such a beautiful post. I so identify with much of what you shared. I agree with Susan, it’s nice to know I’m not alone! xo

    Reply
    • samantha
      April 27, 2014 at 10:34 AM (3 years ago)

      You are not alone.
      I’m glad you can identify with it, it means there’s hope for all of us! 😉
      xx

      Reply
  5. Helene Scott
    April 26, 2014 at 3:04 AM (3 years ago)

    Wow… gorgeous + soul touching. Thank you for this. Got me pondering on a few relationships that need some attention. xoxo!

    Reply
    • samantha
      April 27, 2014 at 10:35 AM (3 years ago)

      Thanks for the beautiful feedback Helene.
      It’s hard when you see the relationships need work, but once you’ve seen it at least you can start doing something about them xx

      Reply
  6. Susan
    April 26, 2014 at 2:36 AM (3 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve been going through something similar for the past 2 years! Nice to know I’m not alone 🙂

    Reply
    • samantha
      April 27, 2014 at 10:35 AM (3 years ago)

      I would love to hear more of what you’ve been going through and how you’ve dealt with things. And what you’ve done to fuel the growth through it!
      You’re not alone. xxx

      Reply
  7. Patti Capparelli
    April 26, 2014 at 2:03 AM (3 years ago)

    Wow, that really IS what personal growth looks like. You’ve undergone a lot of challenges. It’s always amazing to look back at what one has been through and recognize how much has been gained.

    Reply
    • samantha
      April 27, 2014 at 10:36 AM (3 years ago)

      That’s so true Patti! So much gained, despite what has been lost.
      xxx

      Reply
  8. Ella | The Office Escape
    April 25, 2014 at 6:02 PM (3 years ago)

    It’s really amazing how challenging transitions transform a person of what he or she become today. Those ups and downs are the “off-keys and melodies” of our lives for our life’s song to be written and to be jammed along. There’s no greater story above a success story and happiness and you contained yours in this post. Inspiring. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
    • samantha
      April 27, 2014 at 10:38 AM (3 years ago)

      What a poetic post Ella, I love it!
      You’re so right, “You will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle.” So a miracle must be right on my horizon. xx

      Reply

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