Don't look back
Don’t look back, I tell myself.
There’s steam escaping from the cup of chamomile tea I keep holding between my palms willing my fingers to warm up as I try to conjure up the words I want to serve you today.
I want to say that I’m done with the world of personal development and growth. I want to say that I’ve seen people use it as another drug, another way to avoid themselves, another excuse to pour themselves into or to explain the imperfection of being human. I want to say that I’ve learned that you can excavate your soul and learn to understand others and still not find happiness. Instead of acceptance, you find a never-ending list of things to ‘fix’.
But that’s not entirely true, either.
I’ve learned that spending some time dedicated to cleaning up your old conditioning and programming is essential to building an authentic life. Most of us need to spend a few years unravelling the beliefs and systems that our environment has bestowed upon us that aren’t true. After a while, however, this doesn’t have to be centre-stage any more. It’s something that only needs to be looked at occasionally when an adjustment is required.
Don’t look back, has to become the mantra eventually. Look forward. Look at what you can create and do and facilitate to be birthed through you into the world. That’s why manifesting has become such a hot topic in recent years. As we shrug off the survival responses and triggers we are realising the limitless potential our human condition has.
No longer must we bow down and prostrate ourselves for being imperfect. We are creating the conditions where we can own all of ourselves, including the parts that others might have judged as wrong or insufficient because they have made us un-malleable. And in that self-acceptance, we recognise that we are all sparks of the universe wrapped in flesh and bone.
I’ve poured out the last of the chamomile tea that had grown cold in between those words and these and replaced it with a black coffee and honey. A new favourite combination of mine. As I realise that what I really want to say is this:
I’m pivoting my position in my life, and in my work.
I no longer want to help women empower themselves through the clutches of trauma. I want to teach them to let go of that and to stop looking back. I want to inspire and encourage people to drop the guilt and shame around who they think they are. By telling their stories. By actively owning their narrative. By letting go of what they think people think about them and giving themselves permission to leap. By doing the most courageous thing that anyone can do: be authentic.
Authenticity is a moment-to-moment practice. It requires truth-telling. It demands you to show up for yourself in ways that no one else ever could. It necessitates both tender vulnerability, and non-negotiable boundaries.
Photo: Ste Marques

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