One thing that is constantly emphasised over the retreats that we run is that you just have no idea what the women around you are dealing with. Though they may smile, love, and laugh, it does not mean that they aren’t hurting. Sometimes the people that seem the happiest are the ones hurting the most, simply for the fact they don’t want anyone else to feel the way they do.
When a space is provided for women to be themselves wholeheartedly, amazing things happen. Walls come down, insecurities and fears are shared and trust flows throughout the room. Trust that no one will be judged, looked down upon, or scoffed at. When we are vulnerable we not only begin the healing process for ourselves, we also help others to know they aren’t alone on their journey.
Avoiding pain, fear, sadness, risk, mistakes is not the key to happiness. It’s accepting the inevitable, learning how to cope with it, and using those experiences to grow and help others. If we live our life constantly avoiding or resisting then life will be hard, scary, and definitely not enjoyable. Resilience is elasticity, the ability to come back once stretched in new and sometimes uncomfortable ways.
The good thing about writing these letters is each week I do more research, I read more and learn more about the topic. In the process of researching resilience, I read some really interesting things, such as, “The emotional soup that follows a stressful event can whip up negative stories about yourself or others that goes on and on, beyond being useful.” How good is that?! Emotional soup!!! Genius! Anyway..This made me think about how it’s not the event/mistake/decision/person that upsets us the most or has the biggest negative impact, it’s our thoughts about it, the emotional soup.
So how can we combat those thoughts, how can we replace them to help us get back on our feet faster?
1. Being present. “If you are depressed, you are living in the Past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the moment.” – Lao Tzu. What’s done is done and what will come will come. It is important to detach from what has happened and what might happen and trust that where you are right now is exactly where you need to be. Trust, my friend, trust.
2. Self development. There’s been so many times in my life where I have been in a slump, upset, or feeling uninspired, and by watching a TED Talk, listened to a podcast or read a book that resonates with how I’m feeling has had the ability to turn my feelings 180. You must be proactive and you must WANT to feel better. If you change nothing, nothing will change.
3. Surround yourself with people that lift you up. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with so if those people view the world, themselves, and others in a negative light then the chances of you feeling happy and positive are a lot lower. It’s important to try new things and meet new humans because there could be a whole community of awesome people (cough cough Body Love cough) out there just waiting to meet you and to spend more time with you. You are amazing and don’t you forget it or let others tell you differently!!!!
If you’re dreaming big, facing fear, and pushing boundaries then unfortunately (actually fortunately!!) failure is inevitable. There will be times when the universe throws a curve ball at you and depending on your attitude, you can choose to see this as a good thing or a bad thing. You can use it to propel you forward or hold you back. I like to think of making mistakes, bad decisions, and failing, as Type 2 Happiness. Type 2 Happiness is a delayed happiness. At the time it happens, it absolutely sucks but a few days, weeks, years go by and when you look back on it, it turns out to be the best thing that could have happened to you.
If you can change your perspective on failure and fear, if you work on building resilience, if you keep on trying and trying and trying, then girl, you will change the goddamn world!!!!!
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Love Courts xx