Are you a Stranger to Yourself?

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“When you know who you are, you’ll know what to do.”

Do you feel like you know who you are, what really matters to you, what lights you up and drives you to be better every day?

I was reading a daily devotional from a plan in my Bible app and this quote really impacted me. Isn’t it funny how, when you’re open, the right message tends to land on you at the exact right time? 

Over the past few months I have been on a quest to tune in and have a better relationship with myself.

I know for certain that not knowing who I was in the past has caused me great confusion & pain and has led me to be easily distracted. Meaning I didn’t follow through with a lot of the things I started. This caused me to feel shame, guilt, and feelings of not-good-enoughness, especially when comparing myself to people to seem to have all their sh*t together.

I know that the comparison trap isn’t good for anyone.

However, an a-ha moment dawned on me while in the midst of comparison. I realized that there was one simple difference between me and the people I compared myself to. Did you already guess what the difference is?

The difference is that those people know who they are.

They know what really matters to them, what lights them up and what drives them to be better every day. That’s it. It really isn’t any more fancy or profound than that.

As I learn more about who I am, I understand more deeply what role it is that I want to play in this world, thus, the knowing what to do part has been coming much more easily.

The same is true for you; the more you know who you are, the more you will know what to do.

Wouldn’t it feel so much better if you were to make decisions based on your visions and values, not based on outside pressure and force? 

So I ask you, do you feel like you know who you are? If you’re unsure, here are 3 great questions to begin with:

1. Have you made life decisions based on your thoughts/fears of how others will respond or have you made life decisions based on what you know would most fulfill you?

2. Are your career & activities soul-sucking or do they make your soul sing?

3. Do you feel drained most of your life or do you feel curious and alive most of your life?

If your answers were the first option of any of those questions, you have some work to do.

But know this: It's never too late to begin the self-discovery process.

Start small. Incorporate something you absolutely love into your life. You can take up a hobby that you once loved but stopped doing or one you've wanted to try forever. Paint, dance, sing, learn the ukulele, start gardening, learn how to code computers, join a book club, heck, write a book!

You can learn something you’ve always wanted to learn. Go back to school and get your degree in that area of expertise, learn how to invest, take that Traditional Chinese Medicine course you’ve been eyeing for years. Whatever floats your boat.

Do something that you can get lost in, something that when you’re in the activity, you can literally do it for hours and not even know time has passed.

Watching TV does not count because that's you getting lost in someone else's story; the point here is to start making a story of your own. There’s no judgment there…I binge watch TV like many others (what’s up with that crappy GOT ending, btw??) but I don’t count that as a soul-fulfilling activity. ;)

Commit to yourself. If you need to pen it in your calendar or type it into your scheduling app, do it. And keep your appointment with you!

You can do an activity for yourself daily, once a week, once every 2 weeks, or even once a month. Just get to learning more about YOU. When you do this you’ll see that you’ll have more insight about yourself and the curiosity to know more about yourself will build.

In parting, here are a few questions to ponder:

Will you continue to put up a facade in order to please others/gain acceptance from others who aren’t living your life?

Will you continue to mute your presence and ignore the role you really want to play in this world?

Or

Will you start paying attention to yourself and the stirrings of your own soul?

Will you begin having a relationship and dialogue with yourself so you can discover who you really are?

Only you can answer those questions. I hope you answer them in a way that leaves you with zero regrets!!


Love Always,

Annabelle

The Letters She Made Me Write

I'm a growth program to uplevel my life with one of Brendon Burchard's personally trained high performance coaches. I work 1:1 with her and I'm on the 6th week of the program. Over the course of these weeks, I've made a lot of changes. Like, an astounding amount of changes in a short amount of time. I say astounding because I've tried to make these changes for years but somehow haven't been able to; and yet here I am, 6 weeks into the program and following through with the promises I've made to myself with relative ease.

These are things I'm doing consistently now:
 - I exercise 5 days a week minimum.
 - I go to bed early and do not watch/look at my phone for at least 30 minutes before lights out. 
 - I get up early every day and complete a morning ritual before the kids wake up.
 - I eat a clean diet with low amounts of natural sugar and virtually no processed sugar; basically I don't put anything in my body that I know will cause me to be tired and depress my mood.
 - I write a bit of a blog post daily so I can tell the world what I'm up to.
 - I plan my week out on Sunday and every night make sure I know clearly what I'm doing the next day.
 - I keep time blocks for my activity (admittedly still working out the small kinks in this).

I was thinking about this list and my past of trying and failing at all of these things. That got me pondering: Why now? How are these changes sticking? Why has it been pretty straightforward for me to get on the horse and stay firmly seated there?

I had a a-ha moment:

It's because I finally decided. 

In the past, here's how the process of me trying to change went: 

 - Have the thought that I want to change.
 - Make a plan to implement the action.
 - Take the action, usually starting on the next Monday.
 - Do the thing for a few days, maybe even a whole week, while resisting it majorly. 
 - Let thoughts of doubt and "is this really that important?" creep in.
 - Subscribe to the story of: "You're a free spirit! You shouldn't have to be so disciplined."
 - Let the action fizzle out.
 - Feel defeated and tell myself that I'll try again sometime later.
 - Pig out, drink too much, sleep in, binge watch series on TV, feel terrible about myself.
- Think that something needs to change.
- Repeat the cycle. 

Does this sound familiar to you? 
 
This was my cycle. For years. This happened any time I tried to implement this list of things I now follow through with, and have been consistent with for weeks.

You may be thinking - for only a few weeks? That's not long enough to prove anything. She's definitely going to fall off at some point. 

The thing is that I feel so different this time around; I know I'm not going to stop. 

Back to the question of "why now?" What was the thing that finally got me to decide?  

I mentioned above that I'm in a growth program to uplevel my life with a personal coach who is working with me 1:1. One of the assignments she had me do was to write letters...the twist is that these letters were to come from the viewpoint of my family members and addressed to me. 

I wrote one from each of my children and one from my husband.

They were to be written as if we were in the future (around a decade from now), and would express from my kids and my husband why they were thankful that I grew my dōterra business and grew myself in general.

The letters weren't long. About half a page to 3 quarters of a page each. Even though they were short in length, what I discovered within the letters was profound.

The words described who the future me was; who I wanted my children to be proud to call mom, and my husband to be grateful to call wife.

After I wrote them, my coach suggested I highlight words and phrases my “family” had used to describe me as a person, or describe attributes that they now had as a result of my influence in their lives. Here’s a few things I highlighted:

Courageous, connected, loving, tenacious, disciplined, positive, grounded, solid, woman of integrity & grit, stay the course, lighthouse, radiating love, determined, does things that matter, sees things through, successful.

I wrote things I wanted to accomplish, do and become. Which, interestingly enough, nowhere in my letters did I write, “Thank you, mom, for binge watching that series on Netflix in 3 days flat!” Or, “Thank you, mom, for sleeping in late every day and waking up rushed and in a bad mood!” Or, “Thank you, mom, for not taking care of yourself and complaining about feeling tired and crappy all day long!”

Because we all know that those things really contribute to kids’ lives. Um…not!

I had an awakening after writing the letters. I saw how I wanted to show up for the people I love the very most in my life. I realized how I needed to carry myself in this world. I knew that the things I was wasting my life away doing were not what I wanted my family to remember my by. The letters showed me that I wanted to leave a legacy of me being my best me.

This blog post is courtesy of the Annabelle that I discovered through those letters.

The woman in those letters knows how important it is for her to get her voice out in the world; and blogging is part of that process.

I’ve said for too long that I’ve wanted to write consistently and up until just a few weeks ago, I didn’t keep that promise to myself. So this is me, keeping my promises and leaning into my legacy.

This brings me to my curiosity about YOU. Are you living your legacy? Are you doing the things that you want your loved ones to remember you by in the future?

Could you say that your life speaks for what you want people to know about you? Even when you’re long gone?

If you’re not clear on how you want to be known and remembered, maybe it’s time you write some letters. ;)

Bridging the Brain Gap with Essential Oils

I went to a class the other night about Emotions and Essential Oils. The guest speaker was a clinical psychologist who uses dōTERRA oils in her practice. The content of the class totally reconfirmed to me that these gifts of the earth are powerful for total body healing; mind, body, spirit. Which is, imo, the only way to have long term peace.

MIND/BODY/SPIRIT HEALING

A person can't heal just one area apart from the others.

MIND: If, for example, you do the work to get your body physically well but don't do anything for the mindset & emotions, then your physical healing won't be long term. Soon enough you'll find yourself in another stressful situation that breaks your body down and makes you literally sick with worry.

I know really negative people who have fit bodies. Sure, they look like they have it all together, but the stress that lies underneath their fit physiques is ready to pounce on their health any moment.

BODY: If you do the work on your mindset but don't discipline yourself to do the things to bring your body to health, then you are going to suffer physically. You might be a really positive person with health issues, but you'll still have health issues nonetheless.

I know many people who love personal development for the mind. They will read books, go to events, know all the positive, profound quotes, etc. But their physical health leaves a lot to be desired. 

SPIRIT: Spiritually, you may be super tight with God. You may feel His presence wherever you go. And yet you may still be a negative nelly and have that health ailment you've been carrying around with you since your 20's.

I know spiritual/religious people with a whole lotta health issues. I believe some wear it like a badge of honor, like they feel they need to suffer to prove to God how pious they are. 

What I'm trying to say is that you NEED to take action to heal all parts together, not just take one area and call it a day.

Here's where essential oils come in. Essential oils transform. I know that they were the catalyst for my own transformation. Some changes were easy transitions; and some changes totally got me outside of my comfort zone.

Change can be really hard, I'm not gonna lie. You have to have a rock solid why for creating the different pathways in your life.

I remember thinking and feeling a few times over many different transformations I've had in my life: "Who am I to be as healthy and happy as I am right now? Why do I deserve this?"

I've since then allowed myself to grow in health and happiness. To receive it and know that I deserve it. And actually, I OWE it to myself and the world to become my best self.

Circling back to that class I took about Emotions and Essential Oils. There are a few different regions of the brain that I'll go over briefly. The first is the Limbic System which houses a few structures. Two of the structures are the hippocampus (associated with memory) and the amygdala (associated with emotions). This is where the fight or flight response fires off; it's the area of the brain that is very active for people who have undergone traumatic experiences. There's no problem solving mechanism in this part of the brain. It's all instinct and reaction.

Then there's the prefrontal cortex, which is the the area of the brain that's associated with problem solving. What the clinical psychologist said was that we want integration happening in the brain between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex in order to experience greater peace. Guess what? Essential oils can bridge the gap between the two. Feel free to do a happy dance here! :) 

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There are empirical studies happening right now on essential oils. Take this study on lavender and rosemary for example. It shows that the stress hormone, cortisol, decreases after we inhale the scent of lavender and rosemary. 

This is huge, people! Our bodies undergo real life hormonal changes after smelling essential oils. This means that they are not a placebo. Lavender, and many other essential oils are SO bomb for calm! There are measurable changes that happen in our bodies when we have the pleasure of inhaling a beautiful scent like lavender. Think of when you smell a fresh rose and the happy feelings that are triggered in that moment. Or a pine tree, or a fresh cut citrus fruit.

Essential oils help to bridge the gap between the brain areas by calming the limbic system down enough so that it lets down its guard and allows the prefrontal cortex to step in. 

Feeling good mind/body/spirit can become reality for you. You just have to get started and trust that you don't have to see the whole staircase to take that first step. Your journey can begin with simply opening up a bottle of essential oils and smelling the wonderful scent from the bottle. 

My progression in my health has been a decade long one now. And it's not stopping any time soon. I've DECIDED that my mind, body and spirit are important enough to nurture. Not just once in a while, not just when I have gone off the deep end and need an intervention; it's important enough to develop and care for daily. 

So my question for you is: Are you ready to bridge the gap? Are you ready to be well in mind, body and spirit? If you are, I have a solution for you in the form of wonderful gifts of the earth. Connect with me here. I would love to chat!

 
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