And that is exactly what we are focusing on with this week’s blog: Your Soul’s Journey.
Before we can get into that though, I get to share some back story with you. And it's not pretty or easy for me to share and even though I’ve shared pieces of this before, it’s still uncomfortable. So thank you for your patience, empathy and non-judgment as I go there...
And I don’t use that term - hate - lightly. But it is the truth.
I hated my body, how I looked, what I was doing with my life, the kind of mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend and human I was showing up as in the world. I hated everything about me.
Mind you - I didn’t have awareness around that yet. I did not consciously realize that negative self talk was dominating my life. I did not know that I was using words like disgusting when I thought about myself. I did not recognize the feelings of self-loathing I carried inside me all day, every day.
My first step was to hear the voices in my head. To actually hear them, to acknowledge them, sit with them and comprehend what all that talk was saying and how it was reinforcing a certain standard of life that was disabling any opportunity to live fully.
I started to realize that there was an enormous discrepancy between who I was living as and who I was born to be. That discrepancy was creating extreme discomfort and dissatisfaction, frustration and disappointment.
It was time to dig into that really ugly grey area, to start asking myself what I wanted in life, who I was meant to be, what kind of impact I was meant to make and how I was going to live it out.
“First things first, Tina: learn to love yourself.”
And how do you learn to love yourself when you hate yourself?
I sought out to find inner peace and sit like Master Shifu in Kung Fu Panda, totally aligned and in tune with self, nature, Universe - everything around me.
I also sought out to discover my life’s mission (next week’s blog!) and get that a-ha moment where the heavens opened up to reveal what I was put here on earth to do.
I found mentors and teachers to follow and study and I was relentless about it, obsessing about my passion and purpose, as I described in part one of this series. But I was antsy, anxious and wanted faster results; I wanted instant gratification. And I wasn’t getting it.
I was frustrated with a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of energy that it seemed to be taking for me to get where I wanted to go.
I kept at it though because commitment is kinda my thang.
And then a huge moment came one day when I was in my classroom. I realized that I was compartmentalizing myself and keeping parts of me closeted in certain situations. I was showing up as pieces of me in different places instead of showing up as all of me, all of the time. That looked like me, as a deeply spiritual person, keeping that side of me hidden and separate, never acknowledging it or talking about it. It was personal, so I kept it to myself. I was an educator and aren’t we supposed to keep that separate? Aren’t we supposed to compartmentalize?
So I started playing with this. I focused on my ways of being - authentic, joyful, committed, free, connected and powerful - and let those ways of being guide me into every situation. I let me be me. It wasn’t about what I said or what I was doing or what I had; it was about who I was showing up as.
This revelation opened up a lot for me. For the first time in my life, I started to feel proud of ME, proud of who I was and the kind of mother, educator, daughter, friend, community member I was. It was getting easier to keep my cool. I felt more connected than ever to my students, my family, my girls. I wasn’t taking things personally or for granted, and the ideas started flowing. I was starting to uncover the details to my life’s mission (again, part three of this series!).
Clarity was coming more and more every day and I began to understand that my soul’s journey has been about uncovering truths, about connecting in with my inner guidance, and trusting my path. Because the truth is...
I have never been lost.
I have never failed.
I’ve done everything “right”.
I have always been exactly where I needed to be.
This is Your Soul’s Journey. We were never wrong and we couldn’t f* it up if we tried.
And the deeper our connection to our inner guidance system, the clearer our paths. Every step along our journey is feedback. We are the ones who interpret that feedback; we are the ones who give it meaning, attach emotion, and place a value on it.
But what if all that feedback was neutral? What if we just trusted that we are already “there” and we are already who we are meant to be?
All the truths are inside us - we were born with them. And part of our soul’s journey is to uncover, trust, accept and live into and live out those truths.
What comes up for you as you read through this? How do you see this playing out in your life?
For me, there was - and continues to be - deeper and deeper discoveries of the bullshit lies I bought into and believed to be true about myself.
The journey isn’t always smooth sailing, polished like an Instagram post, or a top hit with our family, friends and followers.
But our soul’s journey is unique to each and every one of us, wildly different with varying degrees of chaos and order. THAT is what makes it beautiful though. That is why it is YOUR soul’s journey and I am simultaneously living out mine.
Thank goodness I finally figured that one out, because imposter syndrome and comparison syndrome have just about ruined me one too many times. Now I concentrate on hearing MY voice, following my guidance, receiving gifts that were meant just for me, and sharing with the world what I am meant to share.
And that is what brings us to the third part of this series: understanding and living out your life’s mission. Tune in next week for the grand finale! (Or is it just the beginning?)