Looking back, I honestly spent almost three decades living in overwhelming self doubt and constriction. I contained a fearful sense from my first memories. I believe that I was just most likely born this way, as I recall my home and family as warm and a place of comfort. As a child, I attempted to hide in plain sight and as I grew older I became increasingly more contracted. I wondered “how could I continue tomorrow, as I had not even rested today?” It was exhausting and I believe it felt like it took the energy of ten women to carry out my days. This state manifested as a constant stream of self critical thoughts. I was always after myself and was not a person I would have wanted to be friends with. I think our culture has some part to play, as we never feel like we measure up to the false perfection that the media portrays. I also believe our conditioning from evolution plays a large role. To survive we must be critical of our environment, then become stuck in a negative loop, that for me became consuming. I slowly began to unearth these tendencies through my practice of calming my body with walking meditation. I walked, breathed and investigated these thoughts and how they presented in my body. It definitely took me practice to become aware of being completely lost in negative thinking, but after sometime the awareness became exponential. I was able to begin to embody stillness and stopping. I re-calibrated, gave in and let go into my difficult places. It took courage to be truthful with myself, but I was able to gain trust, as the overcoming progressed. They say be kind to yourself, but I noticed that in the beginning of this process it was so difficult. The constant anxiousness, that created anxious memories and overtime an anxious baseline of experience from which I functioned was oppressive. I didn’t know the sensation of confidence, I had no previous experience of this space. I now however, increasingly find myself feeling a sensation of strength and power. It remains strange and I admit I almost feel uneasy about feeling positive about my inner self, as remnants of self doubt are a hard habit to break. I do realize the power of overcoming and containing resilience is so immense. The contrast from once frozen and stuck to clear and free is unfathomable. The two ends of the continuum, I would never experience one without the drastically opposite other. I now see my pain and confusion as an asset and not a deficit. A resource and not as begin defective in someway. It was a place I simply could not remain in and a catalyst for a shift into a never before lived respite, sanctuary and quietude. I ignore old habits of self doubt, move to the present now and gain access to a power and ability to be kind to myself. A space to love and value my own inner wealth. A freedom to live an expansive and truly abundant life. I see this as an example for my own daughters, to not just be kind and care for others, but include themselves too. I see this as a gift I give to myself and the girls. A knowing of confidence, a new perspective, but one that gives me room to grow and become my unknown.

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