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.
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.
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