Living Authentically

At this moment, right now I am living the most authentic version of myself I ever have. It’s taken me so long to get here, but I am here and damn, it feels good. It’s just like a weight has been lifted from my physical and spiritual body and where feelings of distress and fear once clouded my heart, feelings of peace a optimism have replaced that same space.

I haven’t felt really compelled to share publicly because I believe, experiencing true transformation is a private process (at least for me). In March, I decided to invest in myself and signed up for a transformational women’s retreat in Joshua Tree hosted by my now Coach Brandilyn Tebo. I went into the retreat not knowing what to expect, but knew that I needed to experience healing and transformation in multiple areas of my life. Within a safe space made up of brave vulnerable women with vastly different backgrounds, I was able to pour open my heart and revisit past trauma that I had buried so deep, I didn’t know it was still causing me pain. I apologized to my inner child for being so cruel to my body and hating myself as a teen and I learned coping mechanisms for how to deal with challenges by changing my mindset from “why is this happening to me?” to “what can I learn from this?” I let go into my subconscious during meditation and felt the healing powers of  plant medicine during a cacao ceremony where we made music and danced under the desert moon. I made peace with a lot of trauma and people who had caused me past pain in that magical incubator in Joshua Tree and returned back to “real life.”

Post retreat, I realized doing one-on-one coaching with Brandi would be beneficial as I still felt unfulfilled in my job, living situation and inadequate in numerous other ways. For those of you just tuning in: to summarize, this time last year, I was experiencing depression, exhaustion and was really just tapped out mentally and physically. My mom had just been in the hospital for almost 6 months before having surgery to receive a double lung transplant and had just been released home and she was incredibly weak. At the time, I was living in LA and barely working because of my depression so I was completely broke, I felt it was my job to move home to Ventura to help rehabilitate my mom and to take some of the strain off of my dad and sister. The fact that I was moving home “because I was broke” felt like defeat. But at the time, I didn’t have the ability to take a step back and look at the entire situation to realize I was in desperate need of a spiritual recharge. I had lost so much of myself during long hours at the hospital, going out and partying to numb the pain, and not eating enough or regularly, and had lost all inspiration and drive to push myself forward. I was just going through the motions. Moving back home and being around a supportive group of girlfriends I had known for years was a blessing but again, I was blind to that at the time.

Fast forward to the months of April to June working on my transformation with Brandi. She helped me identify different areas of my life that needed improvement and gave me homework after each Skype call to work on creating actual effective change. I read books, changed my morning routine, worked on relationships with people close to me, began practicing yoga regularly again, explored my spirituality and developed a gentle and understanding approach to myself and others using the mantra, “lead with love.” It’s amazing how in situations of frustration or anger repeating this mantra and knowing that I would feel better afterwards if I approached a situation like this is so affective. I also sometimes remind myself that I’m vibrating on a higher level now and don’t need to go back to a place where I feel that I need to be reactive or combative, which doesn’t align with who I am as a person (libra’s are super non-confrontational and all about balance).

This Mercury retrograde has brought A LOT of feels (I know I’m not the only one) and this past week has been full of ups and downs. On Wednesday, I woke up and had a shit mental health day. I couldn’t really explain it, or where these feelings were coming from, but I felt inadequacy creeping in evoking anxiety ridden questions like, “why hadn’t I again moved out of my parents house and branched out on my own?” I let those feelings marinate inside me for most of the day, but then on Thursday I got right back to it. I wrote down my intentions for August inspired by all the possibility for the month and cried happily to my sister as I realized how close I am to achieving some of the goals I’ve been manifesting for my brand Don’t Call Me Pretty.

Listening to the universe and all that it has to offer instead of resisting it is the biggest thing I’ve learned this year. I looked forward to the monthly check in call I had scheduled with Brandi on Friday. I gave her all the positive updates I had and then we spent a good chunk of time brainstorming all the possibilities for where I can take Don’t Call Me Pretty including a series of workshops I’m planning to host on college campuses in the Fall. And although I am not quite where I want to be, I am finally content with where I am in this moment and I am excited about all the abundance I am ready and open to receiving.

Living authentically for me right now means spending a Friday night in reading a good book in my favorite kimono and not feeling bad about not going out, it means practicing yoga to nourish my body, it means feeling proud of myself and not needing outside validation for recognizing how far I’ve come. It means not beating myself up when I do have unproductive days. It means not feeling bad about creating boundaries. It means listening to my intuition. Most importantly it means, loving myself unconditionally.

Life shows up for us when we start listening and stop resisting.

xo Aly

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