This was the moment that began a course correction in my life. It was this single conversation that my mentor and I had in his office. It helped that he also was a long time friend & colleague who always struck me as “odd” because he was SO mother freaking happy all the time, eventually that happiness rubbed off on me. I was in this ridiculous (now it seems) bubble of negativity. At the time I was in 2 toxic relationships…I’ll eventually post on the importance of choosing and how to choose carefully the right people in your life, and how to gracefully excuse those who are causing you pain or toxicity. My boyfriend and best friend at the time were my entire world. I had such a problem with deflecting my own issues and my own self growth, that instead of working on myself, I ran in circles and offered help to these two people. This eventually sucked my soul dry.
“You are a free therapist. It’s causing you anguish and its causing you some major stress. You aren’t LIVING, but hell, you’ve gained quite a lot of karma!” He continued to tell me. “So Nevaeh, tell me, when will you start living?”
I remember shaking my head at him, and began laughing. I honestly didn’t know HOW to get out of the situation I volunteered myself in. In a way, I felt in debt to the two of them for reasons I still to this day I’m not sure of what or why for.
“I’m terrified.” I looked up at him and with an honest sigh, “I don’t know if I can, if I deserve it.”
He looked at me shocked. “You are missing the point. Living life isn’t about deserving, it’s about identifying your calling, and that defines your search on your journey. I bet you can’t even answer what makes you happy because you are overly consumed by their drama you can’t even focus on your own to grow from!” He continued pointing his finger outside his beautiful office window overlooking all of LA, “You my dear, are meant for more. As your friend, as your business colleague, promise me you’ll accept this challenge for yourself.”
I looked up at him in desperation, I was hooked on every word he was saying because it resonated with my soul. It made sense.
“What is it?”
I left his office with a weight on my shoulder, it was heavy, but nothing like the burdens I’ve been carrying from these two people I loved so much.
I drove to Venice and stayed there alone for the weekend. I actively searched out LIFE. I didn’t know what I was doing, I didn’t know HOW to do it, I just promised myself I would be immersed in anything and everything that contained living.
I still remained in the situation I was in for another year, but it was Anthony who actively stayed on me, challenging me. He would text me, “Good morning beautiful friend! Go out and LIVE today! How are you living? What new discovery have you found?” Granted his old age helped me trust him and his wisdom, without these challenging texts I probably wouldn’t have done what I came to finally do.
Last year, I walked away from it all. Mentally, physically, emotionally, I was DRAINED. I lost respect for myself. Through this whole process, I developed a hatred. The hate for wasted time. It made my blood boil, thinking back on the time I spent as a therapist and not for myself. I fully participated in the halt of my own growth.
“I’m just so pissed!”
He looked at me, shook his head, “You miss the point again. You didn’t waste time, you may have been overly involved in their lives which took away from your own growth, but you HAVE grown so much within the last year. Shall we review? You took several trips on your own for your own self discovery, you began writing, you began creating new ideas for new business ventures, you created a dynamic online portal for learning, you developed an amazing resource for women and their self esteem…you went through what you did for one reason. Perhaps, having a 3rd party look in your life is what you need, Nevaeh, you have now 2 years of experience under your belt to help even more people. You have multiplied your skills. You have developed skills that school would never have been able to teach you. You had the internship of Psychology in a real world setting. Be proud. Be excited! Now, you’re a certified life coach, now you have that power behind you to use and help change people’s perspectives and unlock their full potential in life. Wouldn’t you agree that defines you? The passion to help others. That IS you.“
I was floored. So floored, I threw up. Laugh it up! Seriously, I threw up because I was disgusted with myself. I couldn’t see the perspective he saw, and that made me sick. How selfish I thought to myself, about myself. Hello humble pie. It taught me to step back, to look at different angles, because that is where life is defined.
Sometimes it takes another person who you trust, you value and who has years of wisdom because they too have gone through something similar, to pull you out of misery and directly in the sunshine of life.
Once you’re in that sunshine…its up to you to shine. It’s up to you to challenge yourself daily on how to overcome whatever it is you are going through by constantly stepping back after every attempt and re-configuring your approach. Overcoming pain is through positive thought, I don’t care what anyone says….the happiest people you come across in life, are happy and bubbly for the very reason that they can rest in the fact that staying positive is the key to life.
Life, will ALWAYS be a struggle IF YOU ALLOW IT. Life is meant to be a singular journey. The part of life that gets beautiful, is to be able to share your experiences with one another. In a way, it’s advice for your journey to whatever destination that is.
For myself, I left. I didn’t look back. I still get messages and texts from them even after I expressed my very reasons for ending the relationship and friendship. It’s funny, its only then that truth hits home for people. I, however moved on much quicker than I expected for myself, because I took responsibility for my decisions, for my actions, and for my life. I no longer chose to hold myself back any longer. I walked away without hesitation, and I walked away with my head held high. I answered the question my mentor challenged me just a few years ago. I did the work. I did the searching. I accepted that this will be a lifelong journey, but the definition of MY life was clear as day.
January 2012 hit, and so did the truth of “Be as you are”.
I bought a train ticket, packed my bags for a writing retreat, and ventured to Los Angeles to meet my mentor prior.
“You look lighter, happier!” He said to me with arms wide open.
“Yes…I feel free.” I remember gleaming from ear to ear my smile.
“And how do you feel?”
I relieved a huge sigh, dropped my bags, exhaled grabbed him in a huge hug and started to cry hysterically, “I feel like me, Anthony. I feel like me.”
Some people have asked me especially in my practice, HOW I overcame what I went through. Some who have read my work, have emailed me in their own anguish anxiously searching for answers just as I was. So, here are some quick tips I’m happily offering up:
My golden rule: ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY for optimal growth
Do the work!
Materials: boxing gloves (for negative or defeated thoughts), positive attitude (as your power source) and provide your soul lots of room (set aside your freaking ego, accept the fact that you need to fall fully, in order to know how to pick yourself up).
1. Surround yourself with positive everything.
Each night I searched for a positive quote. Each morning I posted that positive quote on my Facebook. Each morning I emailed myself a love note with that positive quote, and by the end of the week (that Friday) I wrote about HOW I implemented that quote in my life, my trials.
2. Get a slice of humble pie.
I started seeing a hypnotherapist in Orange County and started seeing a counselor who was a part of Saddleback Church. Both combinations had me exposed to people who were on drugs, overcoming alcohol addiction, who were homeless, who had no hope…and yet, they openly discussed their pains and showed their scars in our nightly circles. I walked away every meeting feeling more alive. For me, it took knowing what was really going on in our world, for me to understand that life is not “easy”, but that the hardest part, was thinking positively.
I took this exposure further and began to volunteer my time at shelters, at senior homes and gave back after each time I gained strength in ME. In a way, they helped heal me, and I them.
3. Find your outlet. (“Be as you are”)
I loved to write, I love music and I love art. So, what did I do? I combined the three. I took several trips to Balboa, LA and the South to experience all of it. I would plug-in my earphones, look at art and then, I’d find a bench and write.
A few months into this process, I started to feel this truth rising up in my gut. Hard to explain, but it’s where the “clear as day moment” happened. I sat across from a painting that reminded me of Oregon in all its green lush trees, beautiful crystal like lake views, and powder blue sky; I said out loud, “this is it.” At the time I didn’t know it would be now called MOTIVATEme. but that painting grew in my mind of thousand kids, teens, adults all resounding in unity…in love. Gaa…my hope for a peaceful nation.
and lastly 4. Love yourself.
This is when people say “Love yourself first and everything will fall into place” but for me personally, I couldn’t accept this UNTIL I applied the work for myself. It wouldn’t have made sense to me, I’m far too rational and analytically that when I tried thinking, “I love myself!” it I felt like I signed up for some hoaky bullshit where Barney would come popping out of every corner. If you can do that awesome, but personally I think doing the work first will allow you NATURALLY to arrive to loving yourself. I came to KNOW myself more through the work. I came to be KIND to myself more through the work. I came to IDENTIFY my weaknesses through the work, and I came to be INSPIRED through the work.
The work had me daily arrive to epiphanies that turned into new paths. Still to this day…I do the work.