My life coach, Sonia Jeantet, who I worked with for more than a decade in Los Angeles, used to tell me I have the energy of 14 people. I’m like an enthusiastic Golden Retriever puppy. This is wonderful if my mind is in a good place like it is now, but it also gave way to some serious high-strung stress and anxiety.
I used to wear my anxiety as a badge of honor, racing around city after city (I’ve lived and worked all over the country), feverishly accomplishing goal after goal. My self worth was tied up in job titles, exclusive interviews I got as a TV news reporter, how hot and successful my boyfriend was, my dress size, fancy degrees from prestigious universities, swimming scholarships, how much money I was making, how stressed out I was trying to achieve and do the things people said I couldn’t do. Whew! No wonder I felt like I could never relax–I was setting myself up to always come up short. I was constantly triggering the deep-seated wound I carried around that I wasn’t good enough, and I had no idea.
I also didn’t know that I needed help. I didn’t understand the power of prayer, meditation and allowing something greater than myself to guide me. I had no clue that by slowing down, I could actually achieve more, feel better and let go of years of shame, self-sabotage, self-limiting beliefs and abusive self-talk. It hurts to even write that, remembering how critical and mean I used to be to myself.
Just last month, I returned home from a modeling job in LA. I was exhausted. I got home around 1am, and had to leave for a week-long spiritual retreat led by my mentor and friend, Gabrielle Bernstein, at 10am. I was so excited, but also feeling guilty. I was spending a lot of money, while also turning down several modeling jobs. I work as a freelancer, which means if I don’t work, I don’t make money. I also always want to be available for my clients so they continue to hire me. I don’t take vacations because I never want to miss out on money and work opportunities. This is a classic case of FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, which is a lack mentality, and the ego’s way of keeping me stuck in a fear-based story that I won’t be able to pay my bills, that I won’t have or be enough. At the root of that fear is the illusion that I’m not good enough. I’ve realized everything comes back to that wound many of us have–I’m not good enough.
My mind (ego) and heart (Higher Self) were at odds. I’m now wise enough to understand that’s what was going on that morning of October 12th, and I was sick of it! I knew in my heart without a shadow of a doubt that I was called to be at this seminar, and that it would be incredibly healing and life-changing, which it was and then some. But my fear-based ego wouldn’t let it go, shaming me with you shouldn’t be turning down these jobs and money.
As I walked to my car to leave for the retreat at Kripalu, tired and anxious, ruminating about money, I heard a very loud and clear voice that said, JUST TRUST! The voice was authoritative and a little annoyed. I kept hearing, just trust. Just trust.
Immediately, I let go. Ok, I thought to myself, I trust. I’m ready. Let’s go, let’s do this. Let me own this decision and trust. I know this is what I’m meant to be doing, and I’m going to learn and receive everything I need to create my own business, and generate more money than I ever thought was possible all while helping other people heal and grow and realize their dreams. That realization felt so good. I not only knew, but felt I was being guided. I could relax. I said back to that voice, I surrender it all. And I did just that.
My experience at Gabrielle Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass Level 2 at Kripalu blew me away. On the first night alone, the deep, deep healing and transformation I received was more than I could have ever dreamed or imagined. Life-changing is an understatement. Just thinking about my time there brings tears to my eyes. It was truly a gift from God, and the greatest gift I have ever given myself.
Now, when stress, worry, fear, anxiety try to pop up, and I find myself questioning a decision, I remind myself to just trust. I will even put my hand on my heart, and listen to my higher self for guidance. I want to make decisions from this place, not my fearful ego that wants to keep me small. I show up big now. I am here to serve. My self worth has nothing to do with outside circumstances, and everything to do with who I am and choose to be on the inside. Should I ever stray off course or question why something is happening, I take a deep breath, smile and just trust.
While I have healed immensely, I know surrendering to something greater than ourselves and practicing self-love is a daily commitment. The key to my success (achievement AND peace of mind) has been my daily rituals. In other words, the small, but very important habits I do each and every day. Committing to self care every now and then is not enough, I have to choose to make healthy decisions for myself every day. I have found that our consistent habits determine the quality of our lives.
For me, that has meant turning down a lot of social events and booze-filled happy hours with co-workers, and instead getting home at a decent hour to meditate, take a candle-lit bubble bath with an essential oil diffuser to relax and recharge. I drink nine liters of water a day, eat healthy and exercise at least three days a week.
If you’re thinking, “Must be nice, I don’t have time for that,” I used to think the same thing. My advice is to start setting boundaries with work, school and/or family so you have enough time to practice acts of self care.
My badge of honor now is at least eight hours of sleep every night, relaxing evening rituals and meditation twice a day to rejuvenate my mind, body and spirit. I also like to set an intention for each day in my morning meditation. If I don’t have enough time in the morning before rushing off to work, I meditate on the bus, subway or on my lunch break. I look forward to me meditation time, it doesn’t feel like a chore I have to squeeze in because it makes me feel so much better!
Each day, I also remember to let go and just trust…
What are your daily rituals that improve the quality of your life?