In the world of self-development, we often neglect the importance of giving ourselves the time and space to heal from our past. We look at our pasts, our limiting beliefs, our fears…and within a couple chapters were supposed to skip ahead to creating vision boards and listing what were grateful for. Not to say those concepts aren’t beneficial, because they are, but there’s a huge gap in between that most of us aren’t paying enough attention to. I know I wasn’t.
I’ve been in Bali for over a week now and this is the first time I’ve felt like writing. I intended to come here and go balls to the wall with writing, creating content, uploading podcasts, etc.…. but I haven’t done any of that. What I’ve decided to do instead is to let myself be. Let myself reflect. Let myself heal.
For an A-type personality, this has felt a little uncomfortable for me. But, like I mentioned in my last post, I knew this was needed. I was getting burnt out from doing. Doing the positive thought work. Doing the goal setting. Doing the motivational videos. Doing the podcasts. Don’t get me wrong, I do all of those things because I love helping others and I believe in this work, but it got to a point where it was feeling heavy. And I never want my work to feel heavy. My work; my writing, my podcast, my videos…it’s a creative outlet for me. And creativity cannot flourish with pressure.
So since I’ve been in Bali, I’ve been forced to look at myself and get curious about the funk I’ve felt myself getting stuck in. And within a few days, I knew what it was. I was running away from my past self. I was working so hard to create a new self, a new life, but I was in all actuality fearful that my old beliefs and old patterns would come back if I didn’t keep doing the work. And it created a lot of tension in my body.
I now realize that my old fears, my old self-doubt, my old beliefs....my past self...kept creeping back in my mind for one reason and one reason only. She wasn't healed.
I spent a lot of time reflecting on my past, trying to understand what it was that made me feel, think, and act the way I had. I journaled about it. I meditated on it. But, I didn’t completely allow myself to feel and heal it. There was still more work to be done.
I thought I was coming at it from a place of self-compassion, but it wasn’t. I was only letting my past take the spotlight for quick moments in time in the hope that she would soon disappear so my “better” self could take the stage.
I think a lot of us get caught in this trap. We defeat some obstacle, we overcome an addiction, we make a huge change in our life and we feel like were on top of the world. We start to set new goals. We want to keep going. And then, all to have some of those patterns and thoughts creep back in on us. This cloud of negativity and confusion were all too familiar with.
And instead of sitting with it, we run from them. God forbid we tell anyone about them. We can’t let ourselves be vulnerable to other people.
I thought I was done with this! Why is this coming back? I can’t tell anyone about it now! Or they’ll think I’m a fraud!
And when we don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we are creating a vibration of shame in our bodies. Shame is perhaps one of the most painful emotions of all. We try and tuck it away in a closet in our minds for only us to know about, but it only keeps growing in the darkness. The only way to free ourselves from shame is to shine the light on it. And not through mindfulness and rising above our thoughts. Through love, patience, and compassion.
So this is what my healing has looked like for me recently.
Since arriving to Bali, I’ve committed to myself in a way that I never have before. I haven’t pressured myself to think, feel, or act in anyway. If I don’t want to meditate, I don’t. If I don’t feel like going out to explore, I don’t. If I don’t feel good, I don’t force myself to recite mantras and change my state.
I’m just being with myself. All parts of myself. I’m not running anymore. If a negative feeling comes up, I’m not dissociating from it, labeling it, or trying to change it. I’m simply saying “I’m sorry you feel that way, love. I’m here for you. Tomorrow you’ll feel better.”
This hasn’t been rainbows and butterflies. This hasn’t been easy. But, this has been completely transformative for me and my work.
I’ve explored these concepts on an intellectual level, but it wasn’t until this trip that I completely, wholeheartedly allowed myself to surrender to my own healing process, without trying to rush it or make it look a certain way. I’m surrendering to the time it takes. I’m surrendering to the emotions that come up. And trust me, there’s been a lot coming up.
I’ve seen a spiritual healer. I’ve been practicing Tibetan heart opening yoga. I’ve even gotten a colonic (seriously more emotional than you’d think). I’ve been openly inviting all of my wounds to come to the surface. Because I’m not afraid of my past. Because she is still here with me. She still needs healing. And even allowing her one week of free expression, I am noticing huge shifts.
I’m not waking up dancing and smiling every morning, but I feel lighter. I feel calmer. I feel at ease with myself and my life. I feel connected to the light within me. I feel connected to my purpose as a human. I feel more grateful for the people and opportunities in my life than I ever have before. I feel whole.
Allowing myself this time to reflect and heal has been an absolute blessing. And I realize not everyone has the luxury to travel to Bali for a few weeks and let themselves heal, but there’s always subtle shifts we can make in our minds and our lives that will help this process. It’s not going to look the same for you as it is for me. If you’re reading this and hearing a voice within you saying you need to heal, listen to it. Don’t run from it.
Trust the voice. Give yourself as much time, space, and negative emotion as you need to process what it is you’re feeling. Our emotions are here to guide us. They are here to signal to us when something is going right or something is going wrong, both internally and externally. Tune into them. You can’t slap a positive thought over them. You can’t exercise over them. You can’t meditate over them. Just surrender to them. Give them up to God, the universe, divine, whatever it is you relate to.
Like I said, I already feel loads lighter after allowing myself to heal after one week. And I’m already feeling waves of creativity and inspiration coming to me again. But now I know whenever I’m feeling off, I need to prioritize love and compassion above any meditation, thought work, or practice. I need to trust the emotion and give myself the time and space to process through it. And I hope you do the same.
This might not be the exciting, upbeat, high-on-life travel post you were expecting, but this is what’s coming up for me right now. Our purpose in life is to be authentic in sharing what we are learning, not pretend to be something were not. In showing our wounds and our truth to others, were showing them that it’s okay to expose theirs. And what a world it would be to live where everyone spoke the truth and offered radical love to themselves and others. Join me in this love revolution.