My Breakdown (strike that) Spiritual AwakeningMay 19, 2017
It's not easy for me to open up and show my vulnerabilities. In a world where I’ve tried to be strong, hold a preconceived image of health and be the life cheerleader, I am also a real person living this life with its natural ups and down.
It was a long year. The stars were perfectly aligned for a breakdown. I was heavy on the wheat (which doesn't agree with me), I was exhausted and pushing my limits while continuing to manage our Nature Camp after the birth of our son Sadiel. My emotions were running high, I was sleep deprived and had my dream and vision in mind. The spiral of emotions began with overwhelm, doubt, worry, anger, insecurity, negative self-talk, guilt, fear, grief, shame, and finally depression. It was all too much – I crashed. And then the most amazing thing happened.
Perhaps it was an unraveling and desperate pull to live a life I wanted to live. To let go of who I was supposed to be and to embrace who I am. My 30s quarter life crisis I could call it. Age is really just a number though – some indigenous cultures don’t even count age! Imagine the freedom of mind.
Today marks my 30th birthday.
As I’ve been approaching my 30s, I’ve conducted a sort of “life audit” to assess meaningfulness and satisfaction. I’ve been diving deep and meditating on what I am really seeking for.
There are lots of things that I thought I would have done or “accomplished” by 30. It’s funny how we do that…focus on what didn’t happen by when, rather than on what did. I am absolutely guilty of judging myself many times, focusing on the things that I don’t have yet or the things I thought I would have by this stage in my life. However at the same time, I've also taken responsibility for the life that I do have and fully embrace the path that I have chosen. There are a lot of “shoulds” and “coulds” that I could waste my time and energy on. But what for?
A burning desire for self-improvement.
Scientifically speaking, my brain should technically be at the peak of its functioning now. But this comes with a downside because I feel like I know enough to realize I still have a lot more to learn. I ache to be the best possible version of myself. The tormenting questions have been, “Do I know enough?” “Have I done enough?” and “What other dream do I need to fulfill?” As a result, I’ve been diving deep to determine what really matters in my life.
I could still be wondering and judging myself on why I don’t have what I thought I’d have, or reached the full potential of what my life goals are. But I am not. I am accepting that my life is perfect just the way it is. Only I can define what “success” truly means in my life.
I started my “career” at a young age and I was married and had children before 30, I thought I was perfectly “on schedule” – but then life started over again in a new country and now life seems to be starting all over again spiritually. I’ve once more reached a new level of consciousness and have entered a different paradigm. A new path in my life is being carved as I write this – but without any timelines. An age is just a number imposed on us by society and there is no such thing as “by when.” The now is what matters. And right now, my life is enough, and I AM ENOUGH.
Finding the rhythm of my dance.
We are all creators of our own journey, to some degree. We always have a choice, even if we don’t make “the right one”– we learn from it, we grow from it and it makes us better, stronger and ready for what's next.
I was striving for perfect balance, but I’ve realized that natural flow goes up and down on the balance scale. Life happens in its own flow and phases – more like a rhythm. When we go too far in one direction, we learn to ease off and put our energy somewhere else. In times of imbalance, I was spending too much of my energy in the virtual world (online communities), living in a synthetic world (city apartment) and lacking in the natural world (time in nature). I had to dig deep to gain the courage to make a significant change in my life. Along with my family, I moved off grid into nature. What was the toughest and most spontaneous decision in my life was also the most awakening and life changing one. I was lost for some time, but then found myself again, and got to know myself better than ever.
Rewilding and getting answers.
I have started to rewild my life. Since childhood, I've always had a deep longing to retrieve to nature in hard times. I understand the connection now. I don't feel alone anymore. I am a part of the greater picture. I am no longer separate from nature and The Universe. I feel calmer and grounded, less anxious and more joyful. I've been able to reconnect with family and friends in a deeper way. I am practicing letting go of my need to please and be perfect. Most importantly, I am loving myself. Self love is the root from which everything grows. The ultimate truth of this Universe is oneness. You can't practice loving anything or anyone without first loving yourself.
I read (or listened) to close to 40 books and podcasts. A few of my mentors and teachers (Daniel Vitalis, Daniel Quinn, Arthur Haines, Nadine Artemis to name a few) answered a lot of questions I had about the world and humanity. I am finally learning, loving and living with compassion. Countless tears helped me to see what it is to live wholeheartedly. Life is not a “to do list”. It’s not something we accomplish or acquire. It’s an on going journey and we grow more every day. No matter what gets done and what doesn’t, I AM ENOUGH.
While my husband and I are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to our personalities, we are learning to work with our strengths, but also welcome change and growth in the areas that need evolving. I’ve thought of myself as a type A personality, but have tried not to become identified by this label or judgment. I tend to be very hard on myself with perfectionist tendencies. I am very ambitious and outgoing in some senses and perhaps a little impatient with a need to control. In some aspects of my life, this has been very helpful in enabling me to manifest things, but in other aspects, it has been quite limiting. I am learning to let go of pre-conceived notions that I internalize from my environment and the people around me. No one can tell me what my perfect plan is or what I should have by when.
My greatest gratitude.
I want to step back and really acknowledge all that I have done to this point in my life. I invite you to do the same. So today instead of focusing on what I didn’t do or what I don’t have by 30 – I want to share all that I am grateful for up until this point in this amazing journey that I call my life:
- I have an immense dedication for my family’s health and wellbeing
- I have a very supportive husband, Stephan, with a vision that closely aligns with my own
- I have two beautiful children, Skyla and Sadiel, which I have a loving, healthy and strong relationship with
- I have loving animals who we share a home with – our cats (Maca and Chia), dog (Goji), goats (aunty Gigi, Baba and Berry)
- I have incredible and supportive parents
- I have an abundance of fresh, natural homegrown food
- I have created an off grid eco lodge and homestead along with my family
- I have built my sustainable business Beyond Vitality from scratch
- I have a strong and capable body that has enabled me to birth naturally and to practice and share my passion for movement
- I have a great sense of belonging and connection to nature
- I have an amazing conscious circle of friends
- I have an inspiring and encouraging network of colleagues, teachers and mentors
- I have the freedom to create my own life and work
- I have spiritual and personal awareness
- I have a sense of purpose and passion to share my message with the world
And this list could go on and on! I have so much gratitude.
Becoming a stronger me.
The obstacles and challenges that have come and gone from my life have helped me understand what really matters. These were experiences that I needed to have. It occurred to me, that like most people, I had been searching for happiness outside of myself. I went inside to find happiness.
I am on a path to minimizing and simplifying my life, purging material items from my home that no longer bring meaning to my life, letting go of limiting beliefs, feelings and relationships that no longer serve me, and making space for more joy and gratitude – the things that really do matter today. I am deepening my spirituality for personal growth. I am living more in the present moment, putting greater importance on community and deepening the meaningful relationships in my life. I am feeling more compassion for myself, for our planet and all of its beings. I am more emotionally available for my children and accepting the flow of life. There is no need to control.
Life is beautiful as it is.
My ultimate vision is to create, not a retreat I can escape to once per year, but a life and home I can retreat within every day. A place where everyone can relax, live simply and immerse themselves in nature’s playground and classroom. A place where we can all heal and reconnect to our true selves.
Our world is at our fingertips. Let this be a lesson and a reminder that it’s not about what we haven’t done or what we don’t have…it’s about all the things that we have created and the obstacles that make us who we are today.
This is my journey, my path, my own unique existence. There is no need for comparison or judgment; there is no need for regret or shame. It’s time to start looking at life through the lenses of gratitude, acceptance and trust.
It can always be a new beginning.
Photo Credits: Michael Meili
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