“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
“I’m in a new relationship. With myself. And it’s a challenge.” These were the words a dear friend of mine posted on Facebook a few weeks ago and when I read them, they pierced my heart deeply. I felt so much empathy because this has been my experience for the past two years but one I hadn’t really come to fully understand or appreciate until recently.
I had been building my wellness business after a big career change and things weren’t turning out the way I expected them to. I found myself completely unhappy doing work I thought I was going to love and I had no idea what I was going to do next. I didn’t have the financial support I needed that would allow me the time and space to take a breath and regroup. My whole life for the past year and a half felt like it was just about scrambling every month, while relying on the kindness and generosity of family and friends in order to just make ends meet. I was constantly in survival mode, completely overwhelmed and exhausted and felt more lost and alone than I ever had in my life.
At a certain point, it began feeling like the walls were coming down on me, that I was a huge disappoint to everyone who had supported me on this path, that I had no idea what the hell I was doing with my life or how to make myself happy. So many insecurities and issues of self-worth (or lack thereof) came bubbling to the surface and I began struggling with depression and anxiety in a way I never had before.
Then, last March things began to crumble further. I lost my two long-term cooking clients who were my biggest financial support systems, I had to put my twenty-year-old cat down the following month after her health totally collapsed, which was devastating. Then in May, I made the very difficult decision to end a seven-year relationship with a man who I loved very deeply. And the final straw that broke the camel’s back was a bed bug infestation in my apartment in July where I lost most of my furniture and other belongings, which I was not going to get reimbursed for.
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ~Cynthia Occelli
The Universe stripped me completely bare. I never felt so raw and vulnerable in my life. I felt like my whole world just disappeared in a moment and I just sat there sobbing on the floor thinking I had nothing left to give. But then, a funny thing happens when everything is seemingly taken away from you. Within this incredible fear and sadness comes a calm, a peace – when there is nothing left to lose, you just surrender.
Even within all the chaos, I knew it was all happening for a reason. It felt like the Universe was forcing me to let go of so much in my life to make room for who I was becoming. To give me the space in order to find clarity and give myself permission to be my authentic self.
I lost my cooking clients because being a personal chef is not what I’m meant to be doing. My sweet cat passed away because she was old and ready to go and her illness had been taking up hours and hours of my weeks. My relationship ended because while there was always an enormous amount of love, there was also a lot of struggle. There was a struggle to communicate with ease. A struggle to feel deeply understood. A struggle to feel safe, secure and supported the way I needed to be in a relationship and I knew that if I didn’t let this relationship go, I would never truly be able to be myself and grow into the person who I wanted to be. And then losing most of my belongings showed me that it was time to start over and begin anew in this new life I was creating for myself.
Even though these have been some of the most difficult months of my life, I am incredibly grateful. All of these events are what led me to reconnecting deeply with myself. They forced me to face some very deep, old wounds that needed nurturing and healing. This time forced me to grow exponentially, helping me to find more clarity on what I want and need in this life. And this journey also led me to some of the most amazing people in the world who have been instrumental in my own healing and growth.
So, when my friend posted about the challenges of being in a relationship with herself, this is how I responded:
Being in a relationship with yourself is a good challenge, a worthy challenge, one we should all undertake.
It’s a beautiful and perfect time to go deep, to look at ourselves openly and honestly so we don’t continue repeating old, unhealthy patterns, to find ways to have more love, kindness and compassion for ourselves, and to remember to speak to ourselves the way we would to our friends, children and loved ones. If we’re able to do that, we’ll be ready to find a healthy partnership that is worthy of that love, find a career that’s in alignment with our values, our passions and where we feel safe to express our unique gifts and finally begin living a life of joy, happiness, and abundance.
While I still have a lot more work to do and haven’t solved all my challenges yet, I finally feel like I’ve been able to take a breath and refocus as I continue on this journey and I wanted to share the tools + resources I’ve been using to help me get through this very transitional and challenging time of my life:
I was introduced to this work through fellow TGWK contributor, Ashley Neese. Her group breathwork sessions have been profoundly healing for me. The intensity of the breath helps to release a lot of old, stuck energy, trauma and grief in a way I’ve never felt. It’s amazing and I can’t recommend Ashley and her work enough. Ashley’s practice is based in LA but if you’re on the East Coast, you should see, Erin Telford who is based in Brooklyn (although does come to LA on occasion to work). I’ll be experiencing her work firsthand this weekend at Wanderlust Hollywood and can’t wait!
7OM Journey of Illumination
If you’re feeling stuck and looking for some clarity while connecting to the stars, then you must do the 7OM Journey of Illumination led by the amazingly wise, joyful and magical, Nicola Behrman (also a TGWK contributor). This journey includes daily writing prompts, weekly guided meditation Journeys and Rituals, as well as a private Facebook group where you’ll receive personal feedback and an amazing support system from others on the journey. It was a beautiful, life-changing experience for me and hope everyone reading this gets the joy of experiencing it as well!
I’ve been practicing Kundalini Yoga on-and-off for fourteen years and it has been one of the most effective tools I’ve used in positively transforming my life. If you live in LA, do yourself a favor and take one of Kjord Davis’s Indigo Lab classes at Wanderlust Hollywood. His classes are simultaneously powerful while creating an incredibly supportive and nurturing environment. Get ready to go deep.
Mindfulness + Meditation
While I practice mindfulness and meditation on my own, I’ve decided to take my practice deeper. I’ve just enrolled in Insight LA’s Mindful Self-Compassion 8-week Course in LA because I think we could probably all learn to be more compassionate and loving with ourselves. They have classes in Los Feliz , Santa Monica, Long Beach and Hermosa Beach.
“Be alone. Eat alone, take yourself on dates, sleep alone. In the midst of this, you will learn about yourself. You will grow, you will figure out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams, your own beliefs, your own stunning clarity, and when you do meet the person who makes your cells dance, you will be sure of it, because you are sure of yourself. Wait for it. Please, I urge you to wait for it, to fight for it, to make an effort for it if you have already found it, because it is the most beautiful thing your heart will experience.” ~Anonymous
I would love to hear from you – what tools have helped you learn to be in a relationship with yourself? Is this something you’re working on? Share any insights you have with us in the comments below. And sending you much love on this brave, courageous journey!