I was walking back to my seat hands shaking, legs heavy as concrete, heart racing. It reminded me of exactly how I felt just moments before jumping out of a plane two years ago. I just gave a speech to 15 of my classmates sharing extremely intimate details of my life. I had six minutes to convey my story to them and that is exactly what I did. If there is something I am good at, it is using vividly descriptive words to paint an elaborate scene to make the person listening believe they were there too.
“Alright so we are all dealt our own hand of shit that we have to deal with in life. “ It was the perfect way to start it off. I had broken the ice and gotten them to laugh. “You have had yours and I have had mine. While what you have gone through, might be different from mine, whatever it is has held you back from having exactly what you want in life. I share this with you today so that you can see that whatever it is that you think has such a hold on you doesn’t have to. You can have exactly what you want in life.”
As I spoke I made eye contact around the room. There was not a sound from anyone as their eyes were fixated on me and slightly leaning forward in their seats hanging on for each detail I would soon reveal. It was beyond empowering as my voice brought the words on paper to life. The six minutes came to an end as I left my past on the stage. I had just shared with them the first time I had a panic attack. For a very long time I struggled with depression. I thought it had this consuming hold on me that I would never be able to break free from. I thought I would have to live life by its’ terms just waiting for when it would strike next. I always saw happiness as a temporary thing too afraid to fully enjoy it because I was so scared of losing it again. I was living out of fear. No more though. Through my studies on behavior modification I have learned that we do certain behaviors because they serve us in someway. I never saw it like that before. I had always put myself in the victim position, not willing to look at the role I played in it. So yes, while it may have served me in the past it no longer serves me today. While we all have our ups and downs naturally, I choose to no longer fall into those patterns of the past.
As I walked back to my seat, I felt revived. Before my speech I walked up there scared. I was second-guessing if I should really say what I came to say. Should I take the leap and just see what happens?
Well I jumped after all and it was spectacular.
Whatever is holding you back, whether it is something from the past or the present, I invite you to let it go. Write it down and burn it. Share it with a group of close friends or in my case a group of complete strangers. Notice the sensations that arise in your body: fast heart beat, shallow breathing, sweating, etc. Stay with the physical sensations and before you know it they will start to lesson. If you stay in the presence of your body, it takes away the power of your thoughts. Our mind is a very powerful thing and can make any experience seem much worse than it actually is.
So let it go. Yes, just like that.
If you are ready to let it go you will. If you are not yet ready to, ask yourself, “How are these negative thoughts serving me in this moment?”
Each and everyone of you inspire me everyday to fully embrace my beautiful imperfections. My hope is that little by little you are able to see the beauty in yours as well.
Peace + love,