It’s OK, You Just Forgot Who You Were For a Minute. Welcome Back Goddess!

It’s OK, You Just Forgot Who You Were For a Minute. Welcome Back Goddess!

Years ago, I had heard conversations about ‘loving your authentic self’, and thought it sounded self-indulgent and frankly, weird.

I have since learned that authenticity is being true to yourself, who you really are (no masks to impress or please anyone), and once you find that (no easy task), the next step is to learn to love that version of yourself.

At a class years ago I quickly became aware that I had no idea who my authentic self was, let alone have any real love for myself. So sad looking back because I was surely loved, and was very accomplished in life. So what was missing? Why did my life seem to look great on the outside, yet I was filled with anxiety?

I remember trying to complete a seemingly simple exercise where the person opposite me would just listen and be a sounding board and repeat the same question to stimulate brainstorming.

The question was simple – ““what do you want?” The rules were to think of things you wanted, not for your family or others. “What do you want, what do you want..”… over and over the question was repeated lovingly for one minute. 

The large room was buzzing with noisy excitement, and that filled me with even more panic, because I had no answer. The exercise seemed to go on for an eternity. I did not know what I wanted. 

I hadn’t considered that question for a long time. How could that be? 

For me, I had been thinking what I ‘should’ do, based on what I thought others wanted or needed of me. I very sadly, had not considered in a long while, what I wanted for MY life.

Even more so since becoming a Mom, I had categorized anything that I liked to do as selfish or not important. I was more focused on keeping others happy or having people like me (using my mask, if necessary). I was missing a big piece though. I was in a fog.

The things that make us uniquely us, our likes, our dreams, our pet peeves and quirks, I now believe are a road map to lead us to where we are supposed to be in life. 

If we live authentically and listen carefully, our wants and desires will lead us to the right friends and partners, how we are supposed to contribute to the world and to whom we are supposed to support. 

The impact we are to have in this world cannot be found if we are not listening to our authentic selves, or if we are wearing masks.

After more self-exploration and much more coaching, I began to get a sense of what was possible; and it woke me up from my fogged disconnection, my people pleasing and the ‘shoulds’ I had taken on. It gave me excited chills of possibility for my life!

Part of the process of getting to know ourselves, our authentic selves, is to treat ourselves well. To honor ourselves. Much like any relationship, it’s a process of mutual respect and learning, understanding and love.

Take a moment today, get ridiculously selfish for a moment…. create the space….. Who are you and what do you want?? How are you going to show yourself that you matter and that you are loved and appreciated by YOURSELF today? 

You deserve it!


Much Love,

Joanna

PS  If any of this feels familiar, if it’s been a while since you focused on yourself enough to know what you want, check out “Know Yourself on a Soul Level”. It’s a free self work-book I created to get you pointed back in the right direction 🙂  It’s under the “Free Resources” section.

"Self-love is grounding, it is the root from which you can learn about and learn to be your authentic self"- unknown.

My Personal Story of Letting Go

My Personal Story of Letting Go

I’m done! This is so hard!! I’m overwhelmed, so Eff everyone!!! Overwhelm stinks, but what if you are creating that feeling yourself?

I don’t know about you but I’m kinda stubborn. Surrendering anything is super hard for me. Control in parenting, choice of paint color, anything. The curse of the recovering perfectionist.

In addition to that personality trait, the trauma I experienced as a child had me toughen up and take responsibility for things I shouldn’t have at an early age, which can be a hard habit to shake.

That type of experience also tends to have us put up some protection walls somewhere, that makes words like “vulnerability” or “surrender” be less desirable than ‘strong’ and ‘powerful”.

It feels strong and powerful to resist ‘what is’ and put up a fight. But then we feel exhausted and overwhelmed. What if there is another way…?

It’s a little funny how I came to the ‘surrender realization’ I am talking about.

I was not raised to be particularly spiritual. I was invited to a church in my 20s by a friend, and when I went, I felt alone and sad.

There were people there with joy in their eyes, with peace and genuinely hugging each other hello. I knew I didn’t have what they had and I didn’t know how to get it.

During the worship that day, my mind was wandering. I was so bored, they were singing the same verse of a song over and over again.

I was not entertained, so my mind was wandering on how I can get to the level of peace and joy that I had witnessed.

What was I missing? What did I need to do? The boring song was repeating that same verse over and over again.. “I sur-render. All to you. All to you”

“ I I I sur-render. All to you. All to you”…. “

As soon as it connected in my brain that I was being given my answer in the song, I opened a teeny weeny gap in my armor and spirit flooded into my body.

Physical feeling going through my veins, head spinning and my heart pumped with loving energy and support instantly.

Tears were coming to my eyes, although like the warrior I was, I was trying to swallow them down so no one saw or knew I was crying.

In that moment I knew it was true. There is a loving force, I am not alone. I skipped home smiling randomly at strangers because I loved them all.

I feel that powerful loving energy when any faith is praying, my Jewish and Muslim friends access the same energy. We are so loved.

I know this to the core of my being, yet there are days I feel overwhelmed and throw a tantrum. Why?

Because I am human and this surrendering thing is super hard!

We have to do it daily and our ego hates it.

If we want to BE in control (which ego does, because we feel it is in our best interests and protects us), we wind up FEELING in control and responsible – that is – to have the weight of the universe on our shoulders.

I like to call that process ‘promoting myself to managing director of the universe’. I feel responsible for the outcome of all the things around me, and get overwhelmed.

Then my thoughts escalate to things like “how am I going to get this done? Will it be good enough? Will I fail?

I continue to add more thoughts to this ever growing overwhelm, increasing my anxiety, until I remember – finally – that I am not actually the managing director of the universe. (phew!)

My job is to take my little action step, then surrender and trust.

Trust that He is better at this than me.

Trust that since He created the entire universe, He can probably handle my situation.

Trust that his way will work out even better than the version I am trying to ‘strong arm’ into existence.

Trust in His timing (my personal worst struggle, I’m so impatient).

Breathe and trust. That’s how this whole thing works best for everyone. Especially when things on earth here are super hard, we need to do our part, then let go.

So when I remember, here is what I know to be true, and its the opposite to the way my brain is naturally wired –

=>The hardest thing possible for a human to do is to trust something, or someone enough to surrender our ego’s will.

=> Faith therefore takes tremendous continuous strength, not weakness.

The challenge, daily, is to quit the self appointed position of being the managing director of the universe, in exchange for being divinely loved and supported instead.

Doesn’t seem so bad a trade when I remember

Once There Was A Girl….

Once There Was A Girl….

Once there was a girl who so loved the world, she wanted to make everyone happy in it… she loved on her dolls, animals and family whenever she could. She also had a wild and free spirit and loved to play hard with her brother and friends.

She was intuitive, so when she knew her parents weren’t happy, she often wanted to make things easier for them. She tuned into what that might be, and listened carefully to their “Good girl!” praise and conditioning. She was naturally helpful and thoughtful, so would do small things to help her family, which was met of course with praise and compliments.

Whenever she had a moment where she didn’t feel like helping and was thinking of her own comfort or needs, she was quickly corrected “Don’t be so selfish!”. Her parent’s tone made her understand that she should feel some shame around being selfish.

She would visit her grandma on weekends. Her older brother didn’t have to go as often because he didn’t want to, and everyone understood he had plans with his friends.

The little girl learned once again that the plans she had been yearning for didn’t matter, that being loyal and selfless was the better way to be. He was being selfish but it was somehow different for him. Regardless, the little girl understood, her life was about pleasing others and being selfish was not okay.

Later in life the little girl for all her good deeds and good intentions, found herself struggling with depression and exhausted from decades of trying to please all the people.

She had trained her husband, kids and pets that she was their go-to and loved them so much she would take care of everything. She had so wanted to be a “good” wife, Mom, sister, daughter, friend and pet owner and ran on the praise of hearing so. If anyone was ever unhappy though, she felt like a failure, and of course someone was always unhappy about something.

One day, the little girl woke up exhausted and had a revelation.

Perhaps it wasn’t her job to take care of all the people, or to make others happy. Perhaps they had some responsibility too.

Maybe, just maybe, what she wanted for her life mattered too. And in her head, she told everyone to ‘fuck off’. She gave herself permission to rediscover that wild and free spirit. She googled the word “fun”.

She repeated at least 4 times a day for months after that, “No!” … and ..”…because I matter too!”. Everyone readjusted to her new self-loving boundaries. The world kept spinning. She smiled more.

And EVERYONE lived even more happily ever after.

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