I had been feeling down on myself for the last few weeks. 35 years ago today I was born into this human experience. Each July 14th I like to reflect on the past year and consciously begin a new cycle. With my birthday looming and devoid of feeling accomplished, I was unready. Using yet-to-be manifested circumstances as indicators of my unworthiness, I dug my heels into self-doubt and wallowed. It was all too easy to be aware of all the things I hadn’t accomplished, particularly when paying attention to the numbers on my scale and bank statement. I pondered my brilliant ideas, genius insights and world-changing goals, unexecuted. I was deep in self-judgement.
It felt awful.
Then I realized, I should feel awful.
All those thoughts and beliefs are antithetical to who I am.
I am a lover. A looker for the positive. A seeker of subtle joy. A delighter in silliness. A reveler of nature and her cycles. I am an appreciator and an uplifter.
A magical thing happened as I became willing to shift how I looked at the 365 days.
I moved from San Francisco to San Diego, one short block from the beach and in “dinner proximity” to my immediate family. I photographed friends getting married in Cape Cod. I cried tears of joy when my best girlfriend became a mother for the first time and tears of sadness as I bore witness to death. My nephew began calling me “Mimi” which has caused my heart to swell ten times over. I scored a 108 point word in Scrabble! I fell in love with my high school crush, as an adult. I embraced heartache and discovered the personal expansion it brings. Mostly, I became vulnerable enough to fully experience it all.
So many “aha’s” have happened as a result of stepping into the delicious discomfort of authentically witnessing my inner-world.
I stopped the endless judging. I let myself feel and think freely; watching with awareness but without criticism.
The discomfort that can come with become attuned to ourselves is delicious, like a masseuse applying perfect pressure to a knotted muscle. As we releasing old holdings we feel the sweet relief of letting go.
In my work as a coach for parents of highly sensitive children I often draw on my own life experiences; particularly the struggles as they carve out the space for wisdom to enter.
I have discovered the kindness I wish to bestow onto others must first be directed inward. Without self-love at the base of my being, I have nothing of value to offer to others.
Join me in being vulnerable to life; embrace the full spectrum of emotions and experiences. Pain comes from resisting what is. When we resist we disallow the growth that wants to take root in the cleared out space.
On this birthday, my wish is that we all learn the joy of surrendering to delicious discomfort and welcome the expansion it brings.