Being On Your Path.
Spending a year abroad performing in Tokyo, and then coming home through a pandemic has been very revealing of so many things. Those who were my close friends before, revealed the level of care they have for our friendship while I was at a distance. Interestingly enough, very few remained when I returned home and felt isolated and alone. We all felt alone. Reaching out becomes exhausting when it's one sided. This time without support was so necessary for me to process the growth of living abroad. (Something so many don’t really understand if they haven’t done it). I was so lucky to get away to explore a new culture, my passions of performing in a new skill, and prove to myself I can do awesome shit! My ego aside, I purchased a book when I was away and struggling to feel grounded. I was grieving the pressure I felt to perfect and "on" everyday of my life. I purchased a gorgeous, book by Oprah Winfrey “The Path Made Clear” I read it between shows and felt inspired by its art work. It lead me to research other authors and thought leaders on this topic through podcasts, youtube etc.
Here are a few things I’ve gathered from reflection through this difficult time, for so many in the world.
-Don’t Always Listen to What Others Feel is Best for You-
Our parents, mentors and even our friends always think they know what’s best for us. We need them, and need to consider their opinions. At the end of the day we make our own choices. They are not you, and have not lived your life, shared in your pain or enjoyed your pleasure. You hold separate talents, intuitions and purpose. Our journeys are so unique from one another and we aren’t always meant to relate. Think for yourself, and act accordingly to what feels good for you. This feels so foreign and rebellious when you have always put the opinions of others first.
-Trusting Yourself and the Little Voice Inside-
My body speaks to me with anxiety. I used to think it was a problem. I now know it is a super power to know when something or someone feels off or I need to take action to make a change. My empathic abilities pick up on the moods or motives of others. I feel it in the pit of my stomach, and it comes and goes at times as I replace it with logical thinking. This feeling sometimes shows up as a feeling of unworthiness, that I wouldn’t otherwise feel out of the presence of a person or place. When that feeling arises often, right before or after an interaction - especially in a work place, it is usually a warning sign that I’m steering off my path. Notice if there is a pattern in feeling this way. For me, sometimes it means I am meant to move forward in a different direction. If this feeling persists in a relationship, it usually means it’s not the one. I wish I had listened to this earlier in some cases but hindsight is always 2020. Pay attention to your body sensations. We tend to neglect our emotional intelligence. “Dread” is never something you feel when you are on your path. Passion, commitment, excitement and a HELL YES attitude are.
-Passion vs. Pain-
Not everybody has a passion or is clear on theirs. Find your passions through your pain. Crazy, I know. Sometimes it’s not always easy to realize our passions. There are many people in my life who haven’t discovered them yet, and I know how frustrating it can feel. Sometimes we feel strong negative feelings towards things. I know many people in my life who are strong beleivers of veganism and the treatment of animals, the corrupt education system, climate change etc. I believe it is our calling to one of the categories we feel strongly against to make an impact and create change. If you have a strong passion against the norm, then you are still a passionate person and could pay closer attention to where it’s guiding you. I listened to every podcast episode called "Inside Out Theory" by Christie Lee Manning. She is the older sister of one of the amazing performers I shared a changeroom with in Tokyo. She says to pay attention to what you feel jealous of. Jealousy is an indication that someone has attained something you want. What about that person’s success makes you feel that way? How could you work smarter to make yourself better tomorrow than yourself today so that you could accomplish something on the level you aspire to be at? This could indicate a clue towards your own success. Let your feelings of jealousy inform you.
-Slow Down, to Speed Up.-
Take your time in life. You can’t force or rush anything from friendships to relationships to career paths. Get still. We can only feel our intuition through slowing down. Spend time with yourself through a breathing meditation, enjoying a sunset, a walk, even a mid afternoon nap. It’s amazing to reflect on our dreams after a deep sleep. If you journal your dreams, you could realize they are full of information of what’s deep down below the surface of our thoughts. They reveal so much.
When I stopped working for income and started working towards my passions, my income multiplied, and my confidence increased. I stopped trying to impress people. Some people will never be impressed by my career path and that's okay with me. I am not for everyone, just like everyone is not for me. Not all high paying jobs make a positive difference in this world, but I can tell you first hand that most artists do! Continue to better yourself in what it is you do or who it is you want to become.
Move your body outside. The fresh air and the endorphins you feel from moving your body cannot be replaced with any substance. Attain a natural high each day by spending time in nature. I always get my best ideas exercising outside and I always feel the most clear after spending this time with myself. If I do this each day, I feel accomplished each day.
-Heal Your Trauma-
You know what’s cheap therapy? Connecting to loved ones and close friends. Vulnerability and sharing our pain, our wins, our lives with those close to us. Find what works for you. I’m the type of person who needs to talk and when talking isn’t available, journaling is. It doesn’t work for everyone but internalizing our problems doesn’t help anyone. Some people really enjoy therapy. Psychotherapy can be expensive, but so is taking care of the health of your body. Birth control, anxiety meds and depression meds, vitamins, eating fresh produce and going to the gym cost a lot of money- but we don’t let ourselves be without these things. What if we treated our mental health in the same way? We would never neglect the health of our bodies so why do we neglect the health of our minds? If psychotherapy was more accessible, seeing a therapist could be as normal as seeing a doctor for a check up. Our minds need the same attention our bodies need to be healthy. If we don’t take care of our mental health, it manifests negatively into pain, illness, into our relationships.
Find your people. Connect with others who inspire you and enrich your life. Notice who your vibration rises with and who it might lower with. Don’t drop the friends where your vibe dips, they probably need you the most. Become aware of how much time is spent with them when they are in this headspace and think about how you can help them rather than ignore them. Create boundaries that feel good. Everyone goes through hard times, so the worst thing you can do is drop a friendship when someone’s going through it. If you can’t handle it, communicate that to your friends. Ensure them you will always be there, you are just taking care of yourself. Everyone has to do their own inner work. It is not up to our friends or boyfriends or girlfriends to “fix” us. Fix yourself and then find the right relationship. Two broken pieces can make a whole, but two wholes together will be unstoppable.
Jay Shetty says Find yourself in losing yourself in the service of others. I love this quote so much. There is nothing more rewarding than offering your services, personal learnings and talents selflessly, or as a way to earn your income. Our lives become so much more enriched when we aren’t so self focused.
Where you are not thriving, make the conscious and courageous effort to leave. Those who do not appreciate you, do not deserve you. A flower only blooms in the right environment with the right nourishment. It is abusive to ourselves to stay where we don’t feel we belong. Income or not. History or not, we are always evolving. Have high standards for where you earn your income and spend your time. A generation of educated people have the luxury of choice. Move around. Find your environment. There will always be money to be made elsewhere. Close their door. Open your own!
Things need to get cloudy before they become clear. When you are in a dark place, remember what goes up must come down and visaversa. The gloomiest days bring on the most beautiful of rainbows.
I hope you are one step closer to finding the path to your highest vibrating self. Remember your work and relationships don’t define you, and you never have to let it when you are on the path to your true purpose. If your purpose feels aligned, you can find it in many ways amongst multiple jobs. You never have to identify with one career, relationship or workplace. There are a myriad of opportunities out there, and the more you have, the more you learn. Isn’t that what living is about?
I wish for all humans to find love and clarity through the darker days.