Two years ago I completely lost sense of who I was. I had little idea of what I was really feeling, I didn’t know who I was supposed to be, I didn’t recognise the person I saw looking back at me in the mirror nor did I know quite how to process the life going on around me. And for someone who’s always had a clear idea of who she is, what she does or doesn’t like, what she values, enjoys and a good healthy dose of imaginative ambition this came as quite a shock. In fact, quite a shock is a bit of an understatement.
Honestly, I felt as though the rug had been yanked out from under me. The foundations of what I had known about who I was, the cornerstones of what makes us feel secure in ourselves and lives, had been put into question which shook me to my core. I had to get familiar with and re-evaluate everything in my life even down to the food liked, I questioned why I felt so much discomfort around certain social or domestic situations that I was fine with before, why it was that even some of my memories (those I could remember) now felt somehow, different.
I questioned whether I would ever feel like my self again or whether my sense of who that person was wrong in the first place. I didn’t feel the same sensations in my body as I had done before, I couldn’t look at it in the mirror or believe it was mine, I couldn’t even look at my own face because somehow the reflection I saw had sallow eyes, had a different colour skin tone and pigment patches and that was before even addressing my face shape which had also changed along with my hair. So that was it – my recognition of my external was distant, my recognition of my internal also distant.
I felt so lost. And all of this happened after the birth of my daughter.
Yes, at the most incredible, joyful time of my life which naturally gave me feelings of guilt, of unworthiness and sadness as what I felt about myself and my body was such a stark contrast to how I was feeling about my baby. So I sank deeper.
Yet those feelings I have for her, the intense love, protection, the motherly nurturing and calm, the privilege and gratitude for being able to have her with me they still blow me away and bring me to tears every, single, day. I just had no idea what it meant for me, or who it was I was supposed to be, or what it meant to be me and to be a good mum.
I remember openly saying to my own mum that if I could make it through creating a baby, then I would be able to achieve anything in life. I was anticipating feeling like I had an incredible sense of confidence and power and perhaps a cape to match at some point but what came was a severe lack of confidence, self doubt and courage that I still in some moments face today. So I did the one thing I still knew how to do even though every single day I doubted that ten fold too. I worked on my business and threw any free time into developing it.
At the time, I ran an events company and was business coaching on the side but I knew I wanted to be just doing coaching as it would free up my time to be with my daughter and there is little more rewarding than helping people change their lives. So I continued with the high ticket coaching programme I had enrolled in a few months earlier learning the best way to advance and grow my business. And this cycle continued, I took courses, programmes, read books, watched webinars opted into just about everything and anything and learnt, learnt and learnt some more.
But every road I took to better my business always brought me back around to one thing – integrity with my self.
All of these other peoples strategies had their values, their personalities, their successes written on them but somehow elements of them didn’t sit well with me.
Something pushed me to keep searching and asking what would fit, feel right or be in integrity for me, even when it meant admitting that doing the things I was asked to do in my high ticket business marketing programme wasn’t something I was comfortable doing, or when it meant admitting that that programme no matter how many thousands of pounds it had cost was no longer aligned with what I wanted to do or my values, or when it meant my bank account hitting minus zero was the time that it finally clicked that I could be enough and feel enough without having my finances define that for me.
All of these diversions away from what it was I had thought I wanted to do with my business were bringing me back to something even bigger they were bringing me back to my self, to my sense of who I am, of what’s important to me, of what my values are, of self enquiry, self connection and now today I can really proudly say that I have a level of trust in my self that I didn’t have before, a feeling of belonging that – being a child of mixed race from the 70’s (there was only one other at my school) and a broken family – I don’t remember having since I was probably under 5 years old if ever at all. All of this – from getting to know who it is I am underneath it all and working to clear things out of my own path that held me back.
And these feelings are something that I value so highly. It’s what puts me at ease daily, what helps me experience gratitude all the time, it’s what keeps me from hustling and pushing and instead trusting, knowing and believing in my self in a way I hadn’t imagined possible.
The connection we have with ourselves (mind, body and soul) is core to everything we have and want to create in our lives and although I’m still working on the self love part (it’s a constant practice, right?) and feeling connected and comfortable in this body, what I do know now is just how much it helps me interpret my world, keep my memories safe, connect with other people and enables me to be me and read the world in a way that is unique to me.
And I’m grateful for all of this because it’s what makes me feel as though I can be not only a good but a great mum, it’s given me tools to not only come back to knowing with good clarity who I am as well as tools to get back into alignment when I feel overwhelmed, get hints of that feeling of not being good enough or that ego cry of ‘who are you to…’.
This whole journey into motherhood and rediscovering who I really am has gifted me confidence in a way I have never known and it’s given me a way to teach other women who’ve felt detached, disempowered, doubtful of themselves and their abilities but most of all it’s given me the tools to teach my little girl. I want my daughter to grow up conscious of who she is, understanding of her own self worth, aware of the choices she has and that she really can make a difference in the world so of course it makes sense that I had to go on this journey first in order to show her its possible.
And although the past two years have been at times really hard, at times totally confusing, they’ve also been magical, exciting, humbling and given my whole family a strength that I’m so proud of.