Total self-acceptance. Is that even possible? What does that feel like?

Yes, it's possible and it feels like freedom and laughter and warmth. It creates the ability to do something from a place of curiosity, wonder, and understanding. Understanding that how others react to what you do has nothing to do with you being deserving of love. Trust me, this is an amazing experience that you, too, can feel. The trick is to keep in mind that it's a process, not an end goal. 

Two thousand fifteen was one of the most transformative years I've ever lived through. I went from being flat broke, completely unclear about my future, feeling like a complete and utter failure, to having the most savings I've had in years, being open to what is in my future, and feeling incredibly loved by myself and others. I traveled to two foreign countries I've only dreamed about, had emotionally expansive moments, made new connections with friends all over the world, deepened my significant existing relationships and moved into a beautiful apartment that reflects my particular style. I've learned to be grateful for what I have, to choose love over fear, and that by sharing what I have with others, I open myself up to magic. Had that been my goal going into it, I wouldn't have been able to plan it better or experience it more beautifully.

So, how did I get there? And more importantly, how can YOU get there?

I was faced with a cross roads in the fall of 2014 where I could stay where I am and have more of the same or make a change to be closer to my family and focus on finding what is important to me in life. I was working in a prestigious company in New York City helping to create innovative classrooms, and I was feeling inspired, but the day to day part of the job was draining. I felt like I was losing myself and putting my job above my own desires - believing hard work and sacrifice was the key to success. I did the normal thing when we feel unhappy in our jobs and started interviewing. I had an offer from another company in the same industry which paid better and had more freedom. However, something still felt a little off. What I didn't realize at the time was that the version of success I was buying into wasn't my true version of success. When you find success based on what is in your heart, it brings internal happiness that is more fulfilling and feels more simple than the version of success learned from others.

When I no longer had a clear job, I asked myself "what would I do regardless of getting paid" and acted from that place instead of the pressure of "I should get another sales job." I took responsibility for my own happiness instead of looking to a job to bring it. This specifically came up around work for me, but this really applies to anywhere in your life that you feel pressured to have be a certain way. You can use this to approach dating, family, work, friends, etc.

Here is an exercise to help you get started:

1) Take out a piece of paper. Settle into a quiet space and take 3 deep, slow breaths in and out through your nose. Focus in on where you're feeling pressure to act a certain way in your life and begin to explore, curiously, around why.

2) Start to listen to your thoughts and list out all the "shoulds" going through your head. Let it all out and set aside judgment. Write down everything that comes up until it feels complete, or that you listed everything you need to for now. (You can always do this multiple times around the same topic, and non-judgment is essential!).

3) Look at the list and write down where each of those "shoulds" are coming from. Because they are NOT coming from you. For example, "I should have more money than I do right now at my age" -According to who, our capitalist society? Wanting more money and feeling obligated to having more money are two totally different things. Do that for each thing on your list and if you find you aren't sure where the "should" comes from, think back to where you first heard "You should....". 

Knowing where a "should" came from will give you space to feel if it's a pressure you can let go of and replace with a 'want' that is more aligned with your heart and best interest. 

Once you've tried this exercise, share what comes up for you in the comments below. Let me know if you felt a release, had a discovery or if you're feeling stuck. If you want to explore this further, reach out via the Contact page and we'll figure out your next steps!

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