If you’ve been following me closely this year, you’ll know that this has been a year of massive growth for me.
So many of my primary ego defences have started to crumble down after decades of use, to reveal the soft underbelly of my true nature.
People who are newer to my writing will often email me and tell me that they’re surprised about how open I am about my personal journey. Because yes, it’s true. If you dig deep enough you’ll essentially find all of my ‘skeletons’ scattered around throughout my writing. I can finally say that all of the biggest demons that have haunted me are out there on the internet. And how do I feel about this? I feel free. I feel liberated.
I can’t remember who this is from… but I once read a quote along the lines of, “If there’s something that you wouldn’t say into a microphone in front of a crowd of 20,000 people, then it has power over you.”
I never knew how true this was until I had released my final big secrets. So today, I’m doing one better. I’m lifting the veil and letting you know what I am actively working on, today, in my life.
Because, guess what? There’s no such thing as a perfect person. We’ve all got our stuff we’re working on, and I am no exception.
Without further ado, here are the seven biggest things I am actively working on in my life today.
7 Things I Am Actively Working On In My Life Right Now
1. Letting go of the need to constantly be productive
This pattern has been a persistent one for me over the last few years, but only recently had I realized how much space it was taking up in my life.
I’m not demonizing hard work. I’m very happy with the amount of love that I’ve spread throughout the world via my writing and coaching. But throughout a lot of the last year, I realized that I was sometimes using working as a coping mechanism in order to not face parts of my life that were out of alignment.
Every time I slowed down long enough to do some serious self-inquiry, I realized that my relationship to my work was sometimes getting in the way of being authentic with my core desires.
In both May and August of this year, I didn’t write a single word. Yes, I released a few new articles and videos during those months, but they were posts that I had created in the adjacent months prior. It was extremely confronting for me to not write for two entire months out of a calendar year. To go on a moratorium for the thing that I derived so much identity from was extremely challenging. But, ultimately, very helpful and healing.
In recent months, I’ve begun to have a much more balanced relationship with my work. I’ve allowed myself to remember that just because I’m not writing, coaching, or creating for my readers 24/7, doesn’t mean that I’m not working. For example, when I go to my men’s group, when I’m crying/releasing repressed anger/doing any emotional release work, or if I’m doing a session with one of my coaches, I’m still doing work. Because the more I invest in myself and work through my personal blocks, the more I have to give to you.
The primary mantra that effectively helped me through this transition was one that I borrowed from workaholics anonymous… “human being, not human doing.”
2. Proactively disagreeing with my negative thought patterns
I’ve had a lot of negative self-talk running in the background of my mind throughout my life. This year is the first one where I feel like I’ve moved the needle on how much it impacts me.
I did a few sessions with a behavioural therapist in the middle of the year (which is what inspired the post When Feeling Your Feelings Becomes Damaging) and she gave me some amazing insights.
Beyond telling me that my old wounds would largely be melted through via my newly aligned actions, she also told me to start proactively disagreeing with the negative thought patterns in my mind.
For example, if I caught my mind starting to get down on me regarding some self-perceived failure, I would loudly (internally and/or externally) tell the thought pattern to “STOP!”
I likened this process to walking up to someone bullying or harassing your child on the playground. You wouldn’t just stand by and watch the bully give your child a verbal beat-down… you would intervene somehow. And so it is with your interruption of your negative self-talk.
“STOP! I don’t want to hear this from you anymore. I love and accept myself fully.”
“Enough! Thank you for your opinion, but I choose not to indulge in your negativity.”
“Aaaaand you’re done! Thanks, but no thanks.”
Use whatever words feel right to you… but make sure that the tone of the pattern interrupt feels strong and assertive.
3. Acknowledging the value that I bring to the world
As a result of the childhood bullying that I went through, I grew up with a core belief that I was fundamentally unloveable and worthless (I know… suuuper unique right?).
The ferocity that I launched my business with (writing 100 articles and four books within the first year) was in part driven by my compulsion to prove to the world that I wasn’t worthless (even though there were already people reflecting and reinforcing my value to me left, right, and centre).
This behaviour (of acknowledging the value that I bring to the world) started up in the middle of last year, but I’ve made much greater strides with it this year.
The primary activity that I’ve been doing to achieve this is self-acknowledgement journalling. What this specifically looks like is I sit down with a pen and a notebook, and I answer the question “What am I acknowledging myself for today?” ten times.
Sometimes the response is as simple/small as ‘I gave a genuine smile to a stranger today,’ and other times it’s as large-scale as ‘providing value to over two million readers for the first time in a calendar month.’ Whatever comes flowing out of my pen, slowing down to take the time to acknowledge myself has been paying dividends for my self-esteem, self-confidence, and overall sense of fulfillment.
Try doing this on a daily basis, even for just a week or two, and I promise you’ll notice a difference in how happy you feel day to day.
4. Levelling up in my self-care
This point ties into point #1 (slowing down, having a more balanced relationship to my work output) but I feel like it’s different enough and has been a big enough of a theme to warrant it’s own section.
In May and June of this year, I did my first ever 60 day self-care challenge. Later in the year, I also deep-dove into the science behind how to cure anxiety and depression naturally. Between these two lengthy experiments I really started to lock in the daily, weekly, and monthly behaviours that now make up my self-care regimen.
I can say without hesitation that I’ve never eaten cleaner, taken more time for myself, or had a better sense of community than I do in my life right now… and I feel insanely fortunate to be able to say that. And while luck is certainly a factor, I know that my focus, drive, and intentionality have gotten me to this place. I wouldn’t have gotten here unless I was ready and willing to remove my tight grip from the metaphorical steering wheel of my life.
I’ve also been doing a bunch of new/weird/unique self-care/health things that I should be ready to write about within the coming month… so keep your eyes peeled for that upcoming article!
5. Healing childhood shame and releasing repressed anger
As I mentioned/alluded to in my articles How I Healed My Relationship With Men and How To Get Rid Of Your Repressed Anger, I’ve been deep diving into my most painful childhood emotional wounds a lot this year.
Upon stirring this stuff up (in order to feel it and heal it out of my body), I am finally realizing how much these unconsciously stored negative emotions have been weighing me down physically, emotionally, and mentally over the past thirty years.
One of the most repressed emotions that I had come forth was anger. Now, to be fair, anger is generally the emotion that has the least encouragement in day to day life (especially where I live in Canada, which takes it’s cultural cues from the uber-polite British).
When I really started to lean into my pain via therapy and shadow work processes (more on this in another post to be written soon) I realized how much stored anger I had still taking up space in my body. Releasing it was indescribably cathartic and healing. After each round of anger releasing exercises, I would feel ten pounds lighter.
If you think you might have repressed anger in you, I would highly recommend checking out this article. It might just set you free.
6. Crying in front of women
Ooooooooh boy… this one was a doozie.
In early childhood, I was told by a few people close to me that I was too sensitive. Seeing that my sensitivity and connection to my emotions is one of my core gifts, this was a very unfortunate (and understandable) message to receive. This then compounded drastically when one of my first ever long-term girlfriends broke up with me and told me similar things about how she found my emotions disgusting. Needless to say, these events really messed with me for many years.
From the ages of 21-26, I don’t know if I cried in front of more than mayyyyybe two or three women total. I was very emotionally detached… I saw my emotions as a burden… and, as it goes, I was only able to attract partners into my life who further reinforced that they didn’t like my emotions. So the downward spiral continued.
It wasn’t until I started taking back ownership of my sensitivity for the gift that it was that I began to attract women who adored my emotions.
Even with this trend occurring, I still found it very challenging to fully let go and show my pain, grief, and sadness to my girlfriends. But, as luck would have it, I attracted an emotionally intelligent powerhouse of a woman into my life who helped me move a ton of my emotions through me. She was, and still is, one of the most healing forces to ever cross my path and I will forever be grateful for who she helped me to become.
Fast forward to today and I still find it challenging to let go in front of most women, but I can coax myself into it a lot easier than at any other point in my adult life (like anything, it’s a process).
The above photo was taken by my friend Heather (that’s right… a FEMALE!). Boy what a challenging and healing photo shoot that was. Oh yeah, let’s just meet up and I’ll sob in front of you and you can snap some pics… it’ll be great!
I’m also currently in a shadow work training group that meets on a weekly basis (i.e. deep dive group therapy where you sprint in the direction of your greatest fears while being facilitated by a trained therapist) and I’m encouraged to cry in front of women there on a weekly basis, so that is also helping a lot.
7. Asking others for help
Along with the feelings of worthlessness that came out as a result of the phase of bullying, I also internalized the belief that it wasn’t safe to rely on others (the assumption being that they would eventually turn on you/criticize you/hate you, etc.).
For the first three years of growing this website, I barely accepted any outside help. I haven’t consulted business strategists… I haven’t hired anyone to help spread my writing… I’ve basically been doing it all on my own (with the help of my lovely web/tech guy, and my part-time local assistant).
Well, I’ve been challenging that “If you want something done right you have to do it yourself” mindset by leaning much more heavily on others as of late… in and out of my work life.
For much of the past 14 months, I had lived on my own and kept relatively distant from most of my social circles. Over the past four months I’ve moved in with room mates that I love, cultivated my richest and most fulfilling social circle to date, and have hired several people to help me out both personally and professionally. And it is a night and day difference in how loved, seen, supported, and cared for I feel on a day to day basis.
I was very prone to isolation and workaholism last year. Other than my girlfriend and family members, I wasn’t that socially connected. But this last half a year has been a total 180… and I couldn’t be happier about it. So HOORAY for asking for help and being willing to lean on others for support.
Speaking of asking for help, if you’ve enjoyed this article, the two greatest ways that you can support me are as follows…
1. Share my writing with someone you love. The more people that read these articles the better. Pick your favourite piece of my writing, and pass it on.
2. If you feel compelled to do so, pick up a few of my books, sign up for my mailing list, or sign up to talk with me 1-on-1. All of the above helps me move my mission of spreading love into the world forward.
Life Is About Constant Growth And Conscious Evolution
Life is a journey. I will never be finished with my growth.
For me, life is about constant improvement. Nothing is static in nature… you’re either moving forwards or sliding backwards. And the more you grow, the more you’re able to give to the world.
In my opinion, there’s nothing that will matter more on your deathbed than the answers to the two following questions:
– Who did I become?
– How many people did I help?
Sit with that, and let it guide your actions moving forwards.
Dedicated to your success,
Ps. If you enjoyed reading this post, you’ll likely also love checking out:
Pps. Thanks to Gala Darling for the inspiration!