In the moment of meltdown, there’s always truth emerging.
In the instant we decide that we just can’t keep going on this way anymore, the way opens.
When we’re spiraling and spinning out of control,
the moment we let go is the moment we begin to fly.
I had this moment not so long ago.
A Yes that Was a No
I’d made some pretty important decisions, said “yes” to some new opportunities, but something just didn’t feel quite right. But I was busy, running my business, coaching, finalizing the latest 30-day challenge, and keeping up with friends and family. So I let it slide.
I ignored the “this doesn’t feel quite right” sensation. I just kept going.
I got a cold. My back went out. I had to stop jogging–which I had just started and was loving. Every day I spent chunks of time trying to heal the ache in my back. My neck spasmed. Seriously, it just kept getting worse. I was exhausted.
Finally, finally, I decided to dig deep.
The Body Doesn’t Lie
On a call with my coaching buddy I began with “Something is just off. I haven’t taken the time to dig into it and figure it out. I just know that I don’t feel like me. I feel like I’m losing myself.”
When I’m me I feel vibrant, strong, content, at peace and in the flow. Things unfold with ease, I smile more, laugh more, am energized.
I was missing that, aching for it.
So we began. And one step after the next we traced the way I was feeling back, back to those two decisions I’d made that didn’t feel quite right. Every time I did anything to do with them the feeling got worse. Until it was with me all the time, impacting everything.
We know. We know when something is right. We know when something is off.
The body doesn’t lie.
And it’ll keep talking, telling us to change things, even if we don’t listen.
The Power of Diving Deep
Finally, I listened.
And immediately my back felt better. My cold symptoms cleared up. I felt stronger, energized and vibrant again.
I was back.
And I changed things up. I looked at those decisions I’d made through a newly-clear lens of truth and saw a new way emerge. I took the steps to bring that new way into reality. I began to fly.
The knowledge is always there. The way is always open. And our wings are ready.
All we need to do is listen.
When something doesn’t feel right, ask yourself this: ‘Do I have to do it this way?’ ‘If I could have it unfold exactly how I would love it to, what would that look like?’ And then, trust. Take the radical leap of faith into the unknown and begin to take the steps to transform that something into something special.
That Time I Was a Model–for a Moment
The last time our crew of newly recruited models had gathered in the warmth of the brick-walled room tucked away in a converted warehouse we’d been following our agent Giles up and down a hallway, prancing and swaying our hips to Right Said Fred’s song ‘I’m too sexy’: “I’m a model, you know what I mean, and I do my little turn on the catwalk.”
We lunged and stomped, lunged and stomped, single file and hoping we looked confident as the song played over, and over, and over. Nine to fivers wrapping up their workday in the surrounding offices watched us with a mixture of amusement and pity as they slipped past on their way out the door. A couple of older men slowed to look us up and down: “This is the way to end a workday.” We kept stalking. Heal first, pop the hip, lift the chin. If it doesn’t hurt you’re not doing it right. Pound the floor. Don’t smile. You are a clothes hanger, nobody wants to see your personality.
A Place I didn’t Stand Out
The invitation to model had felt like an affirmation. Finally, a place where I didn’t stand out. A place where my height and weight—hip bones jutting through my pants, collar bones protruding beneath my shirts—were constantly praised. Look at her legs. Her arms are elegant. Like a cross between Twiggy and Cindy. But watch you don’t gain weight in your stomach. And keep that space between your thighs. They wanted me to go to Japan immediately. “Your look is big there right now.”
The photographer who shot my portfolio was Japanese Canadian; he talked me through shots as though speaking to a just-corralled horse that might leap over the fence at any moment: “Good, nice, keep moving, don’t hold the pose, I’ll let you know if I want you to pause.” He liked the ones where I wore nothing but an oversize cashmere vest and my underwear the best. So did Giles. He’d dressed me first in biker boots, skinny black pants, and a men’s button-up shirt, then a pleated school-girl mini with a white t-shirt, and a purple blouse laced with silver.
How do You do ‘Sexy’?
I’d been practicing my faces and poses in the mirror for days but hadn’t tried a single thing that said ‘sexy’—sexy was for older women, women with boobs and hips and big hair–so when Giles dressed me in nothing but a vest and pressed me back out beneath the glare of the lights I froze.
The other models weren’t watching me; they were busy texting or reading, flipping through magazines, filing their nails. Giles was praising the make-up artist who’d layered my eyelids with a fawn-coloured brown and dusted my cheeks a carnation pink. But down the hall I heard footsteps coming closer. I stretched the vest down to my hips, dismayed that as I did the neckline pulled down and there was my bra.
The footsteps passed by. Beyond the room through the multi-pane windows the sky was closing in as evening arrived and the photographer was watching his light begin to fade. “Don’t pull it down so far. Look up at the camera.” Click. In that photo, I look terrified.
I think I was terrified nearly the entire time I was a so-called ‘model.’ There’s a difference between the “this is wrong for you” nervous, angsty energy and the excited-nervous energy that comes when we take a leap and do something we feel called to, something our essential self is lit up by. When we’re leaping into love, deep beneath it all there’s a sense of peace. A knowing that this is true, a relief that we’re finally honoring what’s right.
At 14, I was ready to push through the “no” I was getting from my essential self. But my essential self wouldn’t let up; the “this is wrong for you” sensation never stopped. Until, finally, I did. I took my portfolio and left, tucked it away in a drawer, and felt the sense of relief we feel when we stop trying to be something we’re not.
Ah. Peace. Here I am.
The LibreFree Project
More and more I’m seeing how being free from stress, overwhelm, guilt, insecurities and shame is less about adding on and more about letting go. Freedom is state of mind, a place of peace, and a way of being.
We exist in that place as the deepest truth of who we are–and we can get there by telling our story, by unshackling ourselves from any guilt, shame, or judgement. By telling our story, we free ourselves. And invite others to do the same.
Click to tweet: @lindsey_lewis: by telling our story, we free ourselves. #librefreeproject
You’re invited. To an uplifted life!
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