My favorite color is red. I love Italian food. I have many favorite songs, many favorite movies. I love to sing and dance and play. I have a loud infectious laugh, a mouth like a sailor and a mind that is usually in the gutter. I like sex and loud music. I love to travel. I don’t care how I get there, love to fly, love road trips, love boats! I am emotional and passionate and driven. I can motivate and inspire. I have a bucket list a mile long because I want to experience everything in every country, I have yet to find a country I don’t want to experience. I love to workout and be fit. I love to eat healthy, but crave sugar, (chocolate specifically,) and coffee. The ocean is my sanctuary. I get giddy like a schoolgirl when I get close to it. I believe in fairies, Santa Claus and unicorns. There is a part of me that will never grow up…and I honor that part of me because it reminds me what it’s like to live! It keeps me creative and constantly on the move. It allows me to love deeply and with all my heart.
If there is one thing I know, is that I know me. I know what makes me happy, I know what makes me sad. I know what I enjoy doing as well as what I don’t. I know what I will accept and tolerate and I know what I will not. It hasn’t always been like this. It has been the biggest part of my journey and healing process. It has only been recently that I have truly accepted and embraced ME! It is beautiful and freeing. It is also a little bit scary. Not everyone can handle someone that is completely confident with themselves. I am raw and unafraid to show my scars. To tell my own version of war stories. To be fun and crazy and silly and completely inappropriate!
How did I get to this place? How did I truly find myself? The biggest and most life changing chapter of my healing has been realizing I need to take care of me, to make me number one. It sounds selfish to many people, but it really is putting your oxygen mask on before anyone else’s. It is not selfish, it is self perseverance. It took me a long time to get to that place because I have been the “fixer,” the “hero,” the one people went to when they were struggling. I am a mother, a daughter, a caregiver and friend. These are very powerful roles, however, so many times when in these roles, we come from a place of weakness and martyrdom rather than security and confidence. At least I did. I still do if I am not fueling myself and putting on my oxygen mask before taking care of anyone else. I still am all of those roles, the titles have never changed, but the woman behind them has. I seek out opportunities to do things for others. That moment where I know I have made a difference and I see that spark of excitement they get for their life, or their situation is exciting. And when I get to really understand a friend’s or acquaintance’s situation and they get to finally open up and talk without feeling judgement or shame it is incredibly rewarding. I, now, cherish the memories that I capture when I go on adventures with my kids and see that pure joy in their faces and know these are the days they will never forget.
None of this would be possible though if I don’t do what I need to do for me before anyone else. I remember the feeling a little over a year ago, where I was doing all of this, but I was just going through the motions. I had to do them, I didn’t want to. This was not like me. I was burning the candle at both ends. I was overwhelmed and exhausted. I knew I had to make a change when I went on a girl’s trip with my friends and was completely at peace, then came home and fell apart. I immediately picked up the phone and got an appointment to get put on some medication. They started me on Prozac. It worked, for a while. But I had tried a similar medication before for a short time. I knew they would just need to keep upping the dose because I was not getting to the root cause of the issue. So, I stopped taking meds and I started going to an neuro-linguistic programmer/hypnotist, Holly Stokes. She started to help me reprogram my brain. Now, everyone has their own path, but mine was not medication. This practice is what helped me begin to clear out the negative from my past and my present thinking and look at life through different, clearer eyes.
This year, 2016, has been the biggest change for me. I started taking some classes as well as went on a retreat, by myself, to Sedona, AZ to attend a workshop and came back with clarity I have never had before. Since then, I have met fascinating people who have given me bits and pieces of what I have needed to heal. To take it to the next level. Working with Dawni Christensen, who is an amazing healer and mentor, has been incredibly empowering. She is helping to facilitate a change in my life…the life I am ready for, because I am ready for it. I have taken leaps of great faith to get to where I need to be in order to be completely self aware and accept who I am. For so long I craved being able to find the balance and to enjoy the journey…and now, here I am.
Physically: I am more active than I have been in years and am hardcore kickboxing 3-5 days a week and training for a 60 mile, 3 day walk for breast cancer awareness. I am eating healthy 80% of the time and don’t beat myself up when I slip.
Mentally: I am clearing out old hurt, pain, anger and sorrow so I can be in my center, or be self aware enough to know when I’m out of my center and am able to focus on reality…even if that means having a good cry to get there. I am writing, painting, and meditating more to clear my head when I get fuzzy.
Spiritually: I am connecting with the earth. Making sure I am grounded. I am thanking God and my angels and the universe regularly. I am grateful for my journey. For my past mistakes and my past trauma, for without them I truly wouldn’t understand the beauty of where I am right now.
My life is far from perfect, but I am happy. I am fulfilled. I have a ways to go for complete balance and stability within myself. I will always be learning, growing and healing. Because I know this about myself, it makes me smile. It makes my heart so full. It gives me the ability to look at life from the eyes of my higher self, forgive others and myself, take accountability for my actions, and look for and appreciate each lesson I’ve learned or am about to learn.
What does putting your oxygen mask on first mean to you? If you can answer that question it will allow you to find that self awareness. To be proud of who you are because you will know that there is no one else out there that is you. You can heal, you can forgive, you can love, you can live to your highest potential. It’s time to change YOUR WORLD…you are the only one that will always be there for yourself! It’s time for you to know it, own it, live it, love it!