Sometimes it takes a great big boom to spur a metamorphosis. Other times, it's about returning to the place you once were, slowly, somewhat haphazardly, and yet purposefully all at once. That’s how 2017 felt for me: returning joy to my life again.
I spent 10 years living with music industry struggles, being a female in a male-dominated world. #Metoo episodes were the norm. I spread myself too thin, owned three businesses and though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was glorifying my hustle. I thought the harder I worked, the happier I would be…because the only way to accomplish your dreams was to put in more work, right?
And it’s no surprise, I suffered from entrepreneurial burnout. At the same time in my personal life, I experienced unhealthy relationships – one in particular was with a Narcissist that reads like a Hollywood movie. After that fallout, I dove deeper into my work. I practiced yoga daily, but without any real mental clarity, yoga could only do so much, and eventually, I lost my way. I put on a little weight – enough to feel it in my jeans and make me feel insecure. I felt myself slipping into a depressed state and I was desperate to feel good again.
I knew that if I wanted to feel different, I had to do things differently. I downsized my business, let go of things that were tying me down and started envisioning the life I wanted to live – one filled with whitespace and wellness.
I wanted to heal myself from the inside out, so I decided to start with what goes into my body. I prioritized real, clean ingredients. Matcha lattes, superfood-filled smoothies and energy balls soon became part of my regular day. I learned about adaptogens, discovering the natural healing benefits of Maca (stress fighter) and Goji Berries (mood booster), and I made easy choices like substituting cocoa with Cacao. Pro tip: when not heated at high temperatures like cocoa, Cacao is a superfood full of antioxidants and rich in nutrients including magnesium, calcium and iron!
I recommitted to my yoga practice. I started taking long walks and making time for morning meditations.
Once I got my body on track, my mind soon followed. I was able to focus more clearly, became really specific with my goals and dreams, and low and behold, here I sit, a certified yoga instructor who splits her time between Nashville and New Orleans – something I had long dreamt about. I was able to let go of fear-based living: taking on clients even when my heart wasn’t in it because I was scared of what would happened if I said no. Now my client roster is smaller, curated and feels like family. As a result, I bring in more money, I can give more of myself, and the best part is that I don’t feel burnt out, I’m not stress eating, and I don’t ignore my personal wants and needs!
I’ve never felt more balanced or full of joy in my life. Well, aside from the day I brought home my dog, Nola. Spreading that joy to others (through yoga, empowering my clients or making a Maca-filled Matcha latte for a friend) has become my biggest passion.
I’ve deemed 2018 the Year of Happiness, because I believe you can cultivate happiness through mindful steps and a million tiny purposeful decisions. So, my message to you as you progress through this New Year is to move your body, nourish yourself with intention, give gratitude daily, smile at strangers, #CultivateHappiness and feel those corners of your mouth start to turn up.
How are you cultivating happiness in your life? How are you feeding your soul, nourishing your dreams? Share with me and let's dream together.