It’s been a while since I’ve written anything.
I normally don’t get this personal with my online community, but lately I’ve been feeling drawn to share more of my own experiences. To be more vulnerable and show up fully in order to serve you better.
The reason it’s been really quiet around here is that I have been going through some major internal shifts. I was feeling stuck in certain areas of my life and was struggling with how to move forward. Really struggling.
Not knowing what to do, or why I was feeling so stuck was confusing to me. See, a few years ago I went through some considerable changes in my life. I let go of a bunch of negative stuff and found strength that I never knew I had. And for the last few years I’ve been helping people do the same. So naturally, I thought I had this how-to-get-unstuck shit all figured out. That from here on I would know EXACTLY what to do whenever I was feeling this way. HA! How naive and ridiculous.
This summer I had an experience that really shook things up for me. It broke me open in a way that I had never experienced before. I was feeling emotions that were new, confusing and surprising. This place of fear, anxiousness and shame that I had been avoiding for over 20 years because it felt ugly, painful and scary, was now welcomed. Because I knew it was leading me to where I needed to go.
So I let myself completely unravel.
Then I wrote. I wrote a lot. I repeated this process almost daily until I felt that everything that needed to come out of me was out. Looking at all of those words staring back at me on paper, I realized that I had some serious stuff that I needed to let go of. But this time it wasn’t people, situations or things; but beliefs and internal dialogues. And I have been working hard to re-write that dialogue in my heart and in my head.
The reason I’m sharing this experience with you is because these moments are rare. Sometimes life will hit us over the head with something that will break us open, so we can begin to grow more into who we are meant to be. But more often than not, the messages life offers us are quieter. To notice these we need to make a commitment to being as present as possible. If we practice paying closer attention to what it is that we are REALLY feeling, and learn to follow the discomfort, excitement, pain or joy, it will lead us to the truth. It will lead us to what we believe to be the truth about ourselves.
Why is this so important?
Because who and what we think we are, can literally create our reality. In other words, what we believe about ourselves becomes our experiences. If we believe we suck at making money, that’s the movie we’ll see. If we believe that we have no will power and will never be able to lose weight, that’s what will play out. These beliefs and “false truths” are so much a part of us that most of the time, we don’t even realize they’re there.
So here is my question for you.
What are the beliefs that are holding you back from wholeheartedly going after or even admitting what you want in life?
This is not an easy question to answer. Limiting beliefs are often unconscious and can go unquestioned for years, even decades. Especially the ones we started telling ourselves in childhood. To release these beliefs we have to get to the root cause, to the story and the deeper feelings attached to them. This requires a lot of work. But I have found that for myself and many of my clients, these two practices are incredibly helpful in beginning the process.
Practice being still. Take a few minutes a day to simply focus on your breath and quiet your mind. Being still creates the space for deep listening. It allows you to hear the truth and clarity that is normally muted by mental noise and external busyness.
Hangout with your feelings. The reason we often act out of fear or from our limiting beliefs is because we want to avoid some of our deeper emotions that are difficult to confront. But the more comfortable with the discomfort we become, the faster it will lead us to the truth.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you navigate your feelings.
- How can I describe this feeling? (What is it- anger, sadness, anxiousness? How intense is it? How does it feel physically?).
- Where do I feel it in my body?
- What is this feeling trying to tell me?
Once we can recognize and become more aware of what our body and heart is trying to tell us, then we have the opportunity to make small steps to shift our beliefs and internal dialogues.
Along with practicing the two steps above, I believe it’s important to create self-care rituals. Nourishing our body with healthy foods, a practice that connects us to our spirit, committing to living our values, and moving our body daily are essential to showing up fully everyday. A strong, healthy body and an open heart will helps us tune in to the subtle messages life is trying to tell us.
Sofia Botelho says20 December, 2016 at 17:26
An honest great read! Thank you Ana for this post. These tips are great for starting off 2017 lighter and a fresher perspective.
Sonja says20 December, 2016 at 18:06
I love this! It’s soo important to have “self-time”, to be able to think (and feel) about things like this!
Sinzy says20 December, 2016 at 18:25
Ana, I admire you for opening yourself like this and being true to yourself. I can take this as a very good example to start reflecting deeper & more upon my actions. I hope this will lead you to a greater Ana than we’ve already seen!
Ana Alexandre says20 December, 2016 at 18:46
Thanks Fia. xo
Ana Alexandre says20 December, 2016 at 18:47
Thanks Sinzy. Hope it helps 😉
Ana Alexandre says20 December, 2016 at 18:49
Me time is super important. Let’s help each other stay accountable.
Teresa says20 December, 2016 at 23:47
Very inspiring!! Good luck for new year
Marwa says21 December, 2016 at 12:53
Thank you for opening up and encouraging us to reflect internally. My current ritual that gives me balance is my first hour. I hate rushing in the mornings so regardless what time I need to be out of the door, I need an hour to have a slow brekkie, a coffee and get my day organized. Having a structure of my day to come gives me balance and keeps me present. I will add the stilllness advice into my morning hour xx