Wisdom Stories with Jade Head

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I’d just left my kinesiologist’s office when I decided to call my best friend. I was terrified, but I knew I had to make the call. I didn’t have a choice. It was now or never.

“Pal, there’s something I need to tell you,” I said nervously.  

“Omg! Are you pregnant? Are you OK? How’d your kinesiology session go?”

“What?! Definitely not pregnant! I’m OK… the session was great but ummm I need to tell you something and I know I should have told you earlier…”. The lump in my throat was growing, the tears began rolling down my face and I was struggling to get my words out. My best friend was getting worried and assuming the worst so I just blurted it out. I told her my secret.

It took me eight years to get to this moment, to tell someone aside from the healers I was visiting, that I had anxiety. For eight years I didn’t tell my friends, my family or my partner of 11 years. I just couldn’t.

In the beginning I downplayed my anxiety. I told myself it wasn’t that bad. My plan was to “fix” it on my own. No-one needed to know about it. It would only be a matter of time and I’d be back to my normal anxiety-free self. As soon as I’d visit that hypnotherapist, read that book or do that online course – I’d be fixed. I wouldn’t have to worry anymore…

Only that never happened. The more I hid my anxiety, the worse it became. Overtime I developed a fear of public speaking. I began fearing going to the supermarket, the weekly meetings at work, catching up with friends, driving... Before long I found myself anxious almost every day. For a while I even forgot that sick feeling in my stomach, the crazy rapid beating heart and the headaches weren’t actually normal. Can you imagine going through this everyday and covering it up and not telling a soul?

The longer I lived with anxiety, the harder the small things got. I’m talking about the little things you often take for granted like being able to have brunch with a good friend, feeling relaxed at family functions, telling your workmates what you got up to on the weekend and saying hello to the cashier at the supermarket.

Last year I decided something had to change. I couldn’t keep living my life feeling afraid and anxious all the time.  I realised I wasn’t moving. I wasn’t going anywhere. It was like groundhog day everyday. In what felt like a last ditch attempt to heal myself, I decided to see a kinesiologist. Within minutes of stepping into her office I was reduced to tears. Almost immediately I was hit with some hard truths, and these truths were coming from a woman who had struggled with anxiety and beat it. Firstly, I needed to own my anxiety. I needed to see it for the gift that it was and I needed to stop feeling ashamed and embarrassed of my anxiety. And secondly, and just as importantly I needed to come out of hiding. I needed to come clean and tell my family and friends.  

The night I told my best friend and fiancé about my secret battle with anxiety was easily the most terrifying and fucking amazing thing I’ve ever done in my life. I felt exposed and vulnerable and was ugly crying like no-one’s business, but for the first time in my life, I wasn’t hiding. I wasn’t pretending I was OK or trying to be someone else. For the first time in my life I fully accepted my anxiety.

The morning after I felt like a different person. Life felt lighter and brighter. I couldn’t believe I’d waited so long to tell them; that I’d waited this long to feel free. I couldn’t believe that for eight years I battled on in silence. I decided I didn’t want anyone else to suffer like I did. I didn’t want anyone else to feel ashamed or embarrassed of who they were or how they were feeling.

Admitting out loud that I had anxiety gave me the courage to admit something else…I wanted to help others with the same struggles. As much as my dream scared me, I knew it was what I wanted to do and in many ways I felt I owed it to myself to at least try.

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So I began studying and dove head first into learning and becoming the best version of myself. I enrolled and graduated from a holistic health-coaching program with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I started my own blog, created an Instagram account, joined Toastmasters and took myself to fun and interesting workshops. I learnt everything from the best yoga poses for anxiety to how to balance my chakras to how to write from the heart. I started doing the work, really upped my self-care and did my best to get out of my safe, but limiting comfort zone.

In the past year alone my anxiety has decreased significantly and I attribute this to not only the positive lifestyle changes I’ve made, but also finally owning my anxiety and accepting who I am. Because if I didn’t have the courage to do that, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post right now and I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today.

So when you decide enough is enough, or get a niggling in your gut that something needs to change, listen. Listen to your heart and trust your intuition. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to quit your job and move to a new country…like me, you might start with small, positive steps in the right direction. You might book an appointment with a healer, do a two-week trial at a local yoga studio or buy a book that keeps popping up on your radar. Change might be scary, but it’s not nearly as scary as doing nothing at all. Who knows what’s waiting for you on the other side?

her side?

Wisdom Stories with Denise Kirchberg

After nearly twelve years in one of the biggest management consultancies I decided to switch sides and started a new career at a multinational industry company. During the following eight years I worked through different departments and positions until I settled as a Marketing Manager being responsible for a wide product range and the appropriate marketing activities all over the world. Although this was what I had always worked towards, I soon had realised that it was not all fun and joy.

Straight from the beginning I always felt that I had to prove myself - especially in an environment where there was almost only men and only a few women. As a result, my weekly working hours rapidly increased up to 50/60 with nearly no breaks or downtimes in between. Needless to say that this workload was impossible to keep up and soon I would start experiencing a negative effect on my health.

In the end it was my doctor who decided to put me on sick leave for two months and only today I can say that I am very grateful for that. At that time I did not really understand what was going on and it was very difficult for me to let go and not check my e-mails and text messages from home. As my doctor suggested to also see a psychotherapist I found out that I had already started to develop some kind of anxiety disorder. That was a result of working myself into the ground in combination with a difficult private situation which had already taken its course in my mid twenties when my mother suddenly died from one second to the other. 

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So I finally began to think about my entire life and quite quickly came up with the idea that I had to change something completely. As a few years before I had successfully completed a yoga teacher training I started to think about a complete shift in direction. Although it took me another one and a half years after my timeout until I made that final step, I am today more than happy that I finally did it. Nearly two years ago I went into business for myself with a little yoga studio and from today's perspective I can only say that I have not regretted a single step...

From the first day I started to speak about my thoughts and plans in terms of establish my own yoga business people probably started to think that I had gotten crazy. How could I quit a job like that? How could I leave a company like that? How could I ever resign a salary like that? These must have been the common thoughts although not everybody was as honest to say. On the other hand it is true that we cannot live on air and love alone and that is why without the help and support of my lovely husband the decision of quitting my job would not have been that easy. Nevertheless, it is not prestige, money or jobs that count in our lives but satisfaction and even more important (personal) health. And from today's perspective I can only say that as soon as your body (on a physical as well as on a mental level!) tells you that it is time to change something you should really (!) start to think about that. In this life there is only one body/one mind we have and this is something we should care about because if our body/mind is not "in good shape" all outer circumstances are nothing worth.

Although a yoga teacher's life is not only about happiness and enlightenment it obviously is completely different from what my (job) life was before. And to be honest I especially like the fact that I am my own boss and that there is nobody telling me what to do or when to be where.

Needless to say that there are still difficult times when life throws you a curveball but when I have learnt something from the past it is to listen to my body. For example there are phases during those I still have to struggle with anxiety and old patterns appear again. As soon as that happens I know that it is time to pause and adjust. That is why - looking back at all those difficult times I have already had - I am deeply convinced that we can learn a lot from those dark moments. At this point I would like to quote an Ayurvedic therapist I have just recently consulted. She said "Life does not make any mistakes!" and I think that is what it is all about! 

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What an incredible story Denise and such courage to follow what was in your heart . Transformation is never an easy road but it is always worth it in the end. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all.

You can connect to Denise at Yoga Nighana

https://www.yoga-nidhana.de/


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Wisdom Stories with Natalie Wagner

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I was caught up in a relationship with someone who couldn't love me how I wanted to be loved yet our connection was so strong I found it almost impossible to leave him. Our energy was polarising, yet the attraction was so strong. Together we experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We would be on one week and off the next, each hurtful action and breakup eroding me till I couldn't recognise myself.  I stayed in this cycle for almost 3 years and by the end of it I didn't know who I was. I had such low self esteem, my confidence was shattered and I didn't feel strong enough to stand on my own to feet because I was so weak. I was ashamed of it and so I would go back to the only person who I felt understood….him.

In the greatest depths of my darkness, I knew I needed help. I knew that I needed to start looking at the parts of myself I was running from and acknowledge what I needed to heal. Though I had tried to walk away many times, I had never been successful in doing so for long enough to begin that healing process. I started seeing a holistic therapist and slowly I began to put the pieces back together. I began to see what this situation was trying to teach me. I had to reclaim my worth and breakout of my negative patterning. I wished I could love him enough to change him, but how could I when I didn't even love myself.

So I came to realise that this was not the relationship I had dreamed for and it was never going to be. It was a hard pill to swallow to admit that I needed to walk away for good. The best and hardest advice I got went something like this... “Letting him have contact with you isn't working. You need to block his number. While the energy connection is still open, you run the risk of getting pulled back into that story. Even if you don’t reply to his messages or phone calls it still is robbing your energy and creating an energy drag away from what you really want in your life. One of you need to be strong and break the cycle of hurt- for the good of you both.”

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It was a really hard choice to actually block him and it honestly took me 3 months to finally do but I knew it had to be done. It was ultimately the best decision I made! The moment I did it, I felt the change in my energy field. By closing that door, it allowed my energy and attention to be focused on learning how to love myself again. It create the space I needed to hear my heart's calling. By letting go of what wasn't working, the positive change I was seeking started coming into my life in beautiful and amazing ways. I found myself and I came to know what real love feels like, from the inside out.

Some wise words from Craig Harper really helps to sum it up for me ::

"Don’t confuse UNCONDITIONAL LOVE with unconditional tolerance of bad behaviour. We can simultaneously love a person but hate their behaviour. When we ‘enable’ people (through kindness and good intentions) we allow them to use, abuse, mistreat and manipulate us and sadly, our tolerance is part of the problem. Sure, it feels like help in the short term but over the long term, it isn’t. As long as there is little or no consequence for someone’s selfish and self-destructive behaviours - and as long as there’s always a ‘get out of jail’ card (our never-ending tolerance) - the chances of that person actually changing (thinking, habits, behaviours, results) are almost zero."


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Wisdom Stories with Jodie de Rome

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My passion to create a business centred around personal development along with health and wellness comes from my own personal experience of transforming a chronic skin condition called eczema. Ever since I can remember, I was told by doctors and skin experts that this condition would never go away. After many years of childhood eczema, I was clear in my teens, until it re-appeared viciously in my early 20’s. To add insult to injury I damaged the skin on my face with a prescribed corticosteroid cream from my doctor. When I asked my GP if I had permanently damaged my skin. She replied, with a very mater-of-fact response, “Yes, you have.”

Unsatisfied and desperate, I continued to seek external answers to fix my problem. I spent copious amounts of time and money researching creams and seeking out more doctors and specialist opinions. All these external sources only ever masked the issue. In all my desperation, I made a choice deep within me that said, “you will have clear skin”. As I listened more closely to this voice it became louder. And as I paid more attention my journey took a u-tune from external to internal. As I became more prepared to look at myself, a big chunk of the answer was revealed. My skin condition was triggered by an underlying social anxiety in response to some major life changes at the time. Personally, this was a ground-breaking self-discovery because during my whole life I had never had anyone tell me emotional states or attitudes influenced my skin. Simply put, what I had discovered was the body-mind connection.

I watched clearly how my mind would influence my body. I found a place within myself where I started to observe my emotions in situations where I would feel my skin start to burn and flare up. As I observed more and more, my reaction became less and less. In short, becoming the observer of my body-mind experience, over time, led to my complete recovery.

For me, true healing occurred because I faced myself, acknowledged what I had been fearing, and in that acknowledgment felt a gradual let go. I had created a re-connection with my own body, mind and soul.

If I had never asked myself for deeper answers, I would never have tapped into more of my potential. I would have settled on the ideas of others, been stuck in my conditioned patterns or thought all I could do was ‘manage’ my diagnosis ‘forever’. The power of responsibility (ability-to-respond) to oneself is paramount and drives all aspects of the life I have created for myself and is the core of my business.

What a journey of self discovery Jodie! Thank you for sharing your amazing revelation about your body mind connection and how you found empowerment through understanding what your body need to heal itself.


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Wisdom Stories with Anna Dower

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Flashback to 2011 when my came to a crashing halt. I woke up on a Saturday morning and felt like everything had changed. Women’s intuition isn’t a myth; it is real and it was in full force on that morning. I found my husband’s mobile phone and discovered a string of messages from his lover.

We had been married for six years, had a two year old daughter and I was five months pregnant with our second child at the time. To say I didn’t see it coming would not be a lie. I had felt tension between us but he had assured me nothing was wrong and often blamed my “paranoia” on my pregnancy hormones. I had honestly believed he was my soul mate, and that we would raise our children together and live happily ever after, but it all ended on that day.

I felt as though this person had decided my future for me with his actions. He instantly made me a single mother to a toddler, a pregnant singleton who would have to go through the birth of a child on her own and the sole provider for my family. My fate was signed, sealed and delivered, and it was painfully depressing.

All I wanted to do was lay in bed and wallow about how unfair life was but I had a little girl to look after, a business to run, emails to reply to and deadlines to meet. Everything was extremely overwhelming and even though I have amazing family and friends, I knew I could not do this alone. I made an appointment to see a psychologist and so my healing began.

The habit of positive thinking is only learnt by repetition so I spent my time reading an endless amount of self help books. I am fairly certain I could take up a second profession as a psychologist by now! Got trust issues? Rhonda Britten is the author for you! Want to work on your relationship? Gottman is the man you want in your life.

Some books were life changers and others were just time fillers but I would highlight paragraphs that spoke to me and would go back and read them over and over. I saw my psychologist weekly for a long time and she would work my arse off. She didn’t make it easy for me and would ask the tough questions and give me homework.

I worked; I did not give up on my business. I wrote lists and worked every day. I continued on even when all I wanted to do was run and hide. Some days it felt too hard and I would make my mum sit at my desk with me while I worked through my list. Just having her there with me was comfort. Yes I was a 34 year old baby.

Looking back I see that continuing to work whilst going through the crisis was one of the hardest periods of my life, but honestly the best thing I could have done. It gave my brain a rest from emotional problems and showed me that life does go on even when you think it shouldn’t.

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 I would only work 3 - 5 hours a day but it was enough to be productive and keep me going. I didn’t tell many of my clients what was going on, only the most loyal and trustworthy, and I doubt many of them even know that I am now a single mother. I did my best to keep my professional hat on.

There were so many times when I wanted to tell the world what had happened to me so they could tell me how unfair it all was, but I took the quiet humble road. I deactivated my Facebook account because dealing with one reality was enough and the online world can be equally as cruel as reality. It was time to simplify and protect myself.

I would write in my journal daily and list what I was grateful for. I look back and see I was most grateful for my family, friends and my work. I feel grateful to do a job I love, a job that allowed me to escape from crisis, a job that allowed me the flexibility to heal while still existing.

When I eventually had my second daughter Stella, I still continued to work with the help of my supportive family. I was tired and emotional once again, but work kept me on the straight and narrow and prevented me from heading down the doom and gloom spiral.

Continuing to work in my own business saved me from myself and I am proud to say I am a successful business woman who weathered a pretty horrible storm. During that time I provided for my two daughters, two employees and serviced over fifty clients whilst remaining relatively sane.

What I learnt is that sometimes life turns to shit and you cannot control what happens around you. Just don’t throw away your dreams and passions because

they are yours and no one can ever take those away from you.

When life throws you lemons, remember to...

• Keep working even if it is only a few hours a day, it will give your purpose and keep your mind busy

• Stay professional - your clients do not need to know the details of your personal crisis

• Don’t be afraid to seek professional help

• Make a habit of listing three good things about your day, everyday, in a journal

• Think about the future and set goals

Thank you Anna for sharing this empowering story. You can connect with Anna and all the amazing work she is doing at:

www.annadower.com


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Wisdom Stories with Brook Albrigo

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"All of my life, I have been the peacekeeper, going to incredible lengths to smooth things over and do whatever it took to make others happy. Thinking this made me a selfless, good person, I overlooked my own needs in order to not rock the boat or ruffle any feathers. Life eventually started to crush my self worth and my voice crumbled at the thought of disturbing the peace.

What peace? My relationships left me feeling like a doormat. As a Libra with a Libra rising, balance and harmony is my core, my religion even. Brewing in the watery depths of my consciousness is a fierce Leo moon and she was not having any of this doormat business! With my Saturn Return steadily approaching -a profound astrological event that happens around age 29- my inner lioness was ready to devour my self-limiting patterns and beliefs.

As the youngest of three girls in a tumultuous household, there was seldom a day without fighting and chaos. Deeply craving normalcy and stability, I braved the storm by pretending everything was ok and convincing everyone else of the same illusion. I coped with the unrest by repairing other people's problems. My instinct was to enter an emotional war zone with hugs and offer solace- at whatever cost to my feelings, I was driven to fix it.

Well into adulthood, my balancing acrobatics continued. I bent over backwards and juggled too much to keep partners, bosses, friends- even enemies- happy. At 29, I fell. Exhausted, fed up, resentful and disillusioned. The scales were tipped. This was not balance!

I had to wake up and truly feel, without apologizing or putting myself last. A fire was ignited within, my lioness stirring- and never went back to sleep.

With the help of energy healing and meditation, I could see myself objectively and change the way I perceived and treated myself. My decisions were met with sincere questions- "How does this affect me? Where do my personal boundaries fall? Am I allowing myself to find the root of these uncomfortable situations and emotions and process them rather than smoothing them over?"  It felt selfish at first but how could I heal others if I was neglecting myself? Each moment I met with acceptance of who I am, a little piece of the illusion I had painted of not mattering would chip away.

I noticed that when I respected myself, others in turn respected me. I stopped attracting unhealthy relationships, or could at least weed them out quickly. Opportunities and relationships started showing up that were more in tune to the balance I so badly craved- and deserved! The lessons that grow as a result of the ups and downs from this shift have been both liberating and terrifying. Not unlike a new relationship, I am getting to know myself- my TRUE self because after all this time I finally feel seen, acknowledged and important. It is one of the most powerful decisions I have ever made and is still unfolding in many ways. "

 Lion image artist unknown. Please notify if you know who created this.

Lion image artist unknown. Please notify if you know who created this.

Thank you Brook for sharing this empowering story. You can connect with Brook and all the magic she is creating at:

www.brookalbrigohealing.com

www.instagram.com/brookalbrigo


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