It was three years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
I had just come home from a hot yoga class.
I’d been crying in the class.
It was one of those cries where your sadness encompasses your whole body to the point you feel numb, and you don’t have any energy left to give. So when you finally release your sadness, your face doesn’t move much. Hot tears simply stream down your cheeks.
For me, being in a hot yoga class was a great thing. It meant my tears were masked as sweat.
Which in turn meant, I wasn’t going to have to deal with anyone asking me what was wrong.
I could flow through the pain I was experiencing from my heartache and effortlessly head home, not having to waste any energy on ‘fluffy’ conversation. You know, the ‘how is the weather?’ or ‘how are you’ sort of conversation that gets awkward quick when you say anything other than ‘fine’ or ‘good.’
So that’s what I did. I took class, I cried, and retreated to my new home, swiftly.
Once home, I showered, ate dinner and pulled out my favorite picture of myself.
In this ‘favorite picture,’ I’m 5-years-old, wearing a pink headband with a huge pink bow on top and a white turtleneck that was spotted with music notes of assorted colors. Let’s just say I’m not quite matching [not much has changed 🙂 ].
Matching or not, there’s a joy, a peace, and a fragility to the little girl in this picture that always takes me back to my truth, my dreams, and my hopes.
And that’s the thing, whether it be a photograph, a memory, or a place that brings them out of us, we all have our own truths, our own dreams, and our own desires.
But sometimes, in this crazy thing called life, they get swept under the rug.
We get busy with work, family, kids, deadlines, etc.. Or we get stuck in old stories, wrong partners, lingering fears, shame, and feelings of not being enough.
But here’s the deal, regardless of any of those things, you still have your truths, your dreams and your hopes. They didn’t go anywhere. They may have evolved over the years with lessons and time, but they’re still there … they just need to be pulled out from under the rug.
We all need reminders of who we really are, what’s important to us, what we really want, and how we want to show up for ourselves and others. More importantly, we need the reminder that we can.
We need these reminders all the friggin’ time!
We especially need them when we don’t feel seen, heard or important. When we feel like throwing in the towel. When we’re halfway through the pizza and figure ‘screw it’ so we eat the other half anyways. When we come home from ‘another bad date,’ feeling hopeless, alone, and misunderstood. And when we stare into the mirror feeling like we don’t look how we’re ‘supposed to look’ for whatever reason.
The real truth is you aren’t supposed to be or look any certain way. You’re supposed to be you. And learning about you and how to be your best YOU is the journey you’re on. It’s the journey we’re ALL on.
With that in mind, here’s one of my favorite little tools to help you find more inspiration and self-compassion on your journey.
It’s a fun simple exercise to help you reconnect with yourself – the you before any outside forces had the power to shape you.
Here’s the exercise:
Pull out an old photograph. One in which you’re less than 10 years old. And one in which you feel connected to the little girl looking back at you.
In looking at this little girl now – whether in a photograph or your mind’s eye – what truths, desires, and dreams do you see?
Could you imagine saying all the hurtful things that you say to yourself to this little girl?
Because you’re still that same girl.
Protect her. Honor her. Love her. Show up for her. Be kind to her. Believe in her.
Even forgive her, if you need to.
And just know it’s never too late for her truths, her dreams, and her desires.
Be big, bold, and brave – be YOU.