10/13/2016 2 Comments
Recently life threw me a curve ball. I’ve been working hard and diligently building momentum towards not one, but ALL of my personal and professional goals in life. I live in a city that truly feels like home, making financial progress and even gains, growing a loyal following for NutritionSheila.com (as well as all things social media related: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter), developing true-meaningful friendships and connections, and even my downward dog was finally on point after nearly 18 years of (inconsistently) practicing yoga. Hell, I’ve even written a complete book by accident and have begun the process of preparing it for submission for publication.
And then… WaPam! Out of nowhere I was dealt a low-blow and what made it sting was that it came from a person I truly valued and looked up to.
But here’s the thing… I know, I know. Good things almost never follow “but here’s the thing.” Also I recognize that I’m hitting the ellipses pretty hard up in here. Check your judgement at the door until you’ve made it through this article. At which point you can choose whether or not you pick them back up. I suggest not picking them back up, but you do you. You’ve got options – happiness is one of them.
I digress. Here’s the thing. The very moment I got hit with this lousy news, news that anyone would be justified to get upset by, my first, honest, instant reaction was gratitude, followed by massive relief.
Making it through the 5 or so minutes of rottenness of that moment proved hard for reasons that I would have never expected. I was in a situation I had reason to be upset and not appearing upset would have made me seem crazy in this particular moment. The weight of keeping my feels on the down-low despite being born with a very expressive face and overly honest way of being was brutal. Don’t get me wrong, my feelings were hurt, but not as bad as anticipated and not for long.
I quickly departed, trying to hang my head a little low to come across as sad, but I feel like it came across more like I was working a kink out of my neck. Beyoncé may wake up awesome and beautiful every day. I wake up awkward.
Gathering my belongings, and attempting to look like I was also gathering myself as well, I said my goodbyes and scooted off to run some long overdue errands. On my way to the car I called my immediate-call-friend and told her the news, holding back the part where I was relieved and grateful. It sounded too messed up to say aloud.
I got in my car and PRIOR TO putting it into drive, I texted another friend to give them the news and then true to my form, copied and pasted the text to send to the rest of my posse. This, yet again, set off my gratitude. It dawned on me that texting my inner squad, my tribe, my near-and-dears, my ride-or-dies was over 20 friends in 5 different states! How does a woman get so lucky?
I’ll tell you how a woman gets so lucky and what the hell was up with all this gratitude, but first let me throw out that I was a good human and called my mother after I sent all the texts out. I’m a good kid like that.
I got this lucky and this grateful because I worked for it. Bang Biscuit. Mic drop.
Not too long ago, I would’ve lost it given the exact same circumstances. There would have been tears, yelling and all sorts of other reactive nonsense. Fast forward 4 years to a tiny, poorly lit office and there was an entirely different woman to be found – one that recognized the Universe had done her solid. A person who chooses to live by, “if it doesn’t make you happy, healthy or money, f*ck it.”
What happened in those 4 years? A lot. At some point it hit me that if I wanted a better life for myself than I was going to have to be better. That meant sorting what I want from what I don’t want. It meant giving up what no longer serves me and a lot of time at the gym and on my yoga mat. It meant admitting the long list of books my friend Chelsea had recommended weren’t at random and it was time to get cracking on them.
It took time, but through the hard work I now have the life I wanted in a city of my dreams. I’m consistently reaching my goals and then taking it to the next level. I have time for friends and family. I feel like I’m living in this magical state where each one of my goals and areas of life begets the other. Because that is the magical space I’m living in. When your words, your actions and non-actions and your intentions all line up, you end up in this place called happiness. Authenticity pays big ya’ll.
A big part of this was learning to overcome fear. Over time I have stopped letting fear run the show. Fear still pops up every now and then because it’s hardwired into our brains and that’s a good thing. Fear keeps us from smacking rattlesnakes in the face for fun, driving 90 mph down an icy road or doubting Oprah. I’m talking about the fear that talks a person out of taking chances, breaking free from the safe zone and repeatedly not doing what they truly want.
Other fabulous lessons I’ve learned:
The majority of all these lessons I attribute to the school of hard knocks and to really good books. Another true lesson in life is that you’re no better than the company you keep or, more kindly stated, you’re the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I decided at some point that while I may not be able to hang out with successful billionaires, business moguls and happiness gurus, I could spend time with them in my own way – through books.
With the 2016 Wellness Reading List I released earlier this year, I picked up another healthy habit that took my progress and happiness to the next level: audiobooks. This may not work for everyone, but for me it has opened the world up. I took the cliché of making the drive work for you and took my life to the next level.
Below are a list of books that I highly recommend for leveling up and embracing the f*ck fear mentality and lifestyle. I genuinely feel that every minute these books aren't in your life is a disservice to you and the people you love!
But before we get to that, I wanted to say my gut instinct about that situation was 100% correct. Almost instantly I happened about a dream opportunity that I would not have noticed had I still been stuck in that nonsense. Furthermore, it opened up time to enjoy and dive into what is truly important to me, instead of what is urgent. Over the couple of weeks I’ve had more amazing once-in-a-lifetime experiences, made more incredible connections, broken through more barriers and been presented with more opportunities than I ever thought possible.
Because I chose faith in myself over fear, there will be a day not too far from now where a book I wrote is on a list like this.
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