Akamayimohk (Never give up)

I had to face the facts. Things weren’t working for me. They hadn’t been for along time, maybe longer than I realized. I was stressed, and I was scared. I was frustrated and I felt alone. Things wouldn’t work. My life wasn’t working. My health wasn’t working. My relationships – not working. It was manifesting to my outer life. My vehicles, my electronics. Hello. They were all signs that my life was in need of an upgrade.

It has been said, “If you want life to change, you have to change”.

Hearing this used to frustrate me.

‘I’m doing all I can’. I would think to myself. I thought other people had to change. Not me.

Nope.

I was in denial. Deep seated. Deep rooted denial. It makes me laugh now. All the running around I did, all the hustling. The ‘but I’m trying sooo hard’ mentality only to be spinning my wheels in a deep rut. And I’d end up back at square one.

I’m not going to punish myself for that. I’ve done that enough heaven knows.

It’s a new time. A new beginning.

I went to therapy.  But I didn’t want to just sit around and talk about my problems. I wanted to do something about it. Anything that would help me stop the negative self talk, the blame, the shame, the guilt and anything that was not good for me. I found out I was afraid, that much I knew. I had social anxiety, which made a lot of sense.

I avoided people, places and things and I kept my world small. It never used to be that way. I was very outgoing, I was in theater, I had a lot of friends, I worked in a helping profession. I experienced some traumas that just kind of culminated.Then I fell down. I had a hard time getting back up. I was just stumbling around and getting lost in a maze.

I also had a history of taking in negative people in my life and hanging on the negative things they said. Looking back, I didn’t have the self esteem to overcome that and make change. I didn’t know my body and my feelings. I used food to numb the pain. The pain of the past, the future, the now-everything.

My therapist recommended I read ‘Self Esteem Tools for Recovery’ by Lindsey Hall and Leigh Cohn. I ordered it online. I also did the work. It was hard sometimes but I wanted it bad. The stakes were high (my daughters are watching their mother) and the stress was affecting my relationships and my health.  To be a mother is a gift I don’t take lightly. I want them to have a healthy happy mom. I realized I wasn’t those things, so this pushed me to make myself a priority – so they can benefit. So that I can give from a full cup.

In the book, it states that in order to have self esteem, you have to become it now. So in order for me to have self esteem, I had to live like I had it -now. Treat myself with love and respect today. Hold my head high, look people in the eye, become someone with self esteem. Do the things a person with self esteem does. The book stated it was the means and the goal. It was a tall order, can I do this? Yes I can. And I am.

If you want life to change, you have to change.

I started making little changes like listening to my body. I allow myself to feel emotions rather than bottle them up/push them away. I pay attention to how I feel around people, places, things. I had to stop hanging around negative people and or people who wanted to make me feel bad about myself. I started making better food choices. I don’t tell myself I can’t eat certain foods. I focus on food that is good for me. I stopped the fad diets.

This is a lifestyle change.

And the changes are slow but steady. I was used to dropping a lot of weight fast. Once I dropped 11 lbs in one week. Now I average about 1 lb a week. My focus is not on the scale. My focus is on being in the best health I can be right now. It was a simple shift of paradigms. Any weight loss will be a bonus.

I love eating healthy. I’m addicted, I love food. I mean who doesn’t? I need fruits and vegetables in my life like I need air. I’m still getting used to drinking lots of water. My goal is 10 glasses of water a day.

I love myself. 

I deserve the best. I wasn’t able to say that before.The biggest change I feel is on the inside. I’m happier, calmer. I laugh more. My heart isn’t racing in social situations (that made me uncomfortable in the past.)

I took a business course and was gifted a book titled ‘The Tools’ by Phil Stutz and Barry Micheals.  I have to say by far this book has helped me overcome a lot of the fear and pain associated with social anxiety and trauma.  In this book, you are given a set of tools to work on various barriers in your life. Tool #1 has been God sent. Without giving too much away, this tool has shown me that the fear I had was a state of mind. I can change my mind. I discovered that I was choosing to be in that mindset (fear).  I saw it for the first time from outside that mindset. Big Aha moment.  I stood and faced fear in the eye. Aye. I’ve noticed things that used to bother me, don’t bother me as much if at all. And if stuff does bother me – I use ‘the Tools’. Life is an ongoing process. The Tools focus on forward motion. Keep going.

In my Cree Culture there is a saying, Akamayimohk. It means keep going, don’t quit (but with oomph.) God is rooting for you. What a beautiful word. Persistence is faith in action. Imagine reaping those benefits!

 Making a choice is life changing.

I’m still working on the tools both books have given me. I feel Happy, even if some people may not be happy around me. Change is an inside job after all, and I’m changing from the inside out. I’m kinder to myself which benefits everyone around me. I’m able to give more. YAY!

I’ve come to accept the things that happened to me in the past rather than denying they ever happened. It was hard to accept that someone may have disrespected me. This has helped me to forgive. And most importantly, helped me to become the person I am today. Without those experiences, I wouldn’t grow. None of these changes happened overnight. They are still happening and will continue to do so. Instead of saying no to experiences, I welcome them. Life is change. Growth. Learning. And it will be that way, Always.

I love life. 

Life is pretty amazing. I am thankful to the Creator for leading me to this moment. Hiy Hiy Kisimanito (Thank you God). If you woke up today and you can breathe, you got work to do. Get to it!

Akamayimohk!

M.O.

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