There have been a few “moments” along the journey to my here and now, and knowing what a difference they’ve made for me, it seems like a good idea to share…
As a personal trainer, I’ve always loved feeling as though I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. I lost my mom and best friend shortly after my 20th birthday, definitely one of those “moments” I mentioned. Navigating my grief, feeling rather sorry for myself, and focusing a lot of energy on ME is something I’m so grateful to have been able to do, and the combination of that experience, my wonderful father, and learning to rely on myself has brought me where I am today.
You’d think with that under my belt, along with my career, I’d be all set to live a life of “moments” and make an impact on those around me. I suppose you’d be right…kind of. My career has been wonderful to me, I’ve had great clients, and along the way I was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful man who cared a great deal about me. How lucky was I?! I was fulfilled in my work, loved, fully supported emotionally, and had a hard-working, caring, beautiful man in my life. We traveled, spent quality time together, drank wine, and DID all of the things that I THOUGHT would fill me up, all of the things I believed would keep me fueled to give back to the world and leave a footprint of happiness and joy. I was living a lot of the “moments” that we aspire to live.
And I felt like I was so very far from who I was supposed to be. It’s a challenging thing to battle the mechanisms we all have operating our minds – we’re doing what we’re SUPPOSED to be doing, we’re with who we’re SUPPOSED to be with. I was living a life that included the so-called perfect man, who to this day, I couldn’t say anything but kind and gracious things about. Social conditioning is a powerful tool and when I look back at the life I was leading, I was a working model of what all the “norms” around me have taught me to be.
So I did exactly what I was supposed to do, and what so many would have told me not to do. I left him. The possibility for the incredible, potentially enviable life with a wonderful person became a memory. What pushed me into this “moment”? The realization that before I could make a difference to my clients, to my friends, to my family, or to my partner, I had to make a difference to myself.
I’m not sure if there’s supposed to be some grand epiphany that follows a life change like that, or if you’re waiting for me to tell you that after being true to my feelings, I experienced growth that allowed me to realize that I belonged with that dear man. Nope. I mean, I experienced growth…it felt awful and uncomfortable and scary. And then it felt amazing and freeing. And it taught me that I was right to trust myself. I was right to listen to MY little voice and ignore all of the other big ones. I didn’t belong with him. And that was okay.
The journey has been a bumpy one since then, but I wouldn’t change that for anything.
My ability to be authentic in my life has reached a level I never imagined.
And I felt like I was so very far from who I was supposed to be.Taking that leap and scaring myself to death was the best platform I could have ever imagined for giving myself the strength to have an impact in a real and authentic way. It empowered me to use my work not only to help people physically but as an outlet to show my love, and to provide loving emotions to multiple people everyday. It spread to my everyday interactions with strangers, to my relationships with my closest friends, and to the part of myself reserved for the one I love.
Don’t get me wrong, I hit plenty of roadblocks still. I struggle to be open, I struggle to be vulnerable but if I learned anything from that incredibly difficult decision, its that the hardest things are often the most worthwhile. I know it’s a cliché but it blows my mind how easily we detach from that notion, how we default into a safe mode that keeps us on a steady path, trying to avoid the turns and obstacles. Perhaps a break-up doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to others but all I know is that the strength it took to end a relationship that everything in this world tells you is what you’re supposed to want has pushed me into a future that I’m so excited about. And I’m excited because I can’t help it, not because I think I’m supposed to be.
Part of this experience is feeling grateful, grateful for the gift of a life that allows for change. I now begin my day with a Gratitude and an Intention:
I am grateful to be alive today, life is beautiful…
My intention for this day is to create happiness with every person I am in contact with, clients, co-workers, strangers at the grocery store…people on the street.
By creating happiness in others, I too will feel happiness.
I’m far from perfect and I’m certainly not a monk and there are definitely mornings when this feels less than organic. But these mornings are the ones that count, the times when I sit up, take a big breath in, exhale it all out, feel whatever I am feeling inside today, and acknowledge that it will pass. These are the “moments” that I make a difference to myself, to ensure that I can always make a difference to others.