Updated: Jul 16, 2021
Love my daily walks. No matter how busy my days gets, I am learning the power of self-love and taking time to be fully present. When I do this, I am able to give my best to others too. That being said, this concept was not always easy for me to accept.
In the past, I would tend to mask anxiety with workaholism, and the need to please others in order to prove my worth. Working long hours, with little breaks, I pushed myself fueled by perfectionism and the need to prove self-doubt wrong. Climbing the corporate ladder to six figures, while making financial security my primary goal, I was losing my sense of well-being and happiness. It took being unemployed during the world-wide 2020 Covid-19 pandemic to force me into a state of surrender and stillness. This is when I recognized what truly matters to me.
Being Present With Others
Living in Philadelphia during a pro-longed state of emergency and city-wide shutdown, I was forced to look inward. It propelled me to consider the simple things that make me happy. The mandated isolation and curfews taught me that companionship, family, and friends were things I had taken for granted. Making it a priority to invest in relationships, my daily calls with friends and family helped take the focus off of me, and focus on truly connecting and being present.
Being Present With Myself
Not only did I learn how to develop stronger relationships with others, but also with myself. I started incorporating meditation and journaling into my daily routine. However, as the pandemic created a ripple effect of challenges, I began to battle severe depression. It was during this time that I experienced the power of vulnerability and reaching out for support. Definitely grateful for the friends, and eventually therapy, that supported me in staying present through the pain in order to create a pathway to greater happiness.
Self-Awareness Is Key
When the social unrest and riots were happening daily in my neighborhood, along with political ostracizing, I recognized how my past trauma and shame messaging were being deeply triggered. With no job to distract me, I felt helpless, hopeless, and worthless. Choosing to do 6 months of weekly intense counseling with a therapist was the best decision I ever made. I learned that self-care includes taking personal responsibility. With the support of my therapist, I learned how to turn my time of pandemic isolation into a time of self-reflection. She helped me get clear on my values, set boundaries, and implement tools for responding more effectively to triggers. Needless to say, when the world felt like it was falling apart around me, I was learning how to restore my sense of self-worth and purpose. It wasn't until I learned how to fill my self-love cup first, that I could then share the overflow of love and joy with others.
As the result...
I went from being depressed and burnt out, to now living a life on my terms. I currently love my job, and enjoy the flexibility of remote work which allows me to maintain a more positive work and life balance. My personal life is flourishing as well. I have everything I have ever wanted in a romantic relationship and close friendships. This is truly the happiest I have ever been. All because I took the time to engage the power of being fully present and self-aware.
I share my inner journey with the hope that it will inspire you to turn your focus from "doing" and start "being". Life gets easier that way.
Love these quotes: “Inner stillness is the key to outer strength.” Jared Brock
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." Marie Curie