I’m not sure when it is that we lose who we are. Or maybe it’s that we never took the time to find out to begin with? Maybe through years, relationships, experiences and countless up and downs, we change and forget to stay mindful. Once we turn off our mindfulness, it’s almost impossible to keep up with ourselves and feel connected to who we really are mentally, emotionally and spiritually. What activities bring us joy, what experiences ignite the fires in our heart. Life just gets in the way. We get caught up in jobs and kids, deadlines and doctors appointments. Before you know it, you are questioning who exactly you are, and maybe even feeling empty and lost. It’s time to find yourself again.
This is incredibly common. It can, and does, happen to a lot of people for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest life changes that can cause these feelings is becoming a mother. It is a perfect example of something that draws your attention away from you for awhile.
A new baby needs all of your attention pretty much all of the time. It is incredibly hard to find a minute to sleep, let alone some time for yourself to breathe. Which is ok for the first several months to a year. You don’t realize you aren’t breathing because you’re busy. Also, have you seen how adorable this baby is? Nature has made it so you feel ok giving yourself up for this tiny screaming thing because it’s cute. (Unless you are struggling with post-partum depression, in which case it can all be extremely suffocating. If you are having any symptoms of PPD, PPD Moms is a great website with tons of helpful resources.) However, what I have noticed, almost across the board and especially in stay-at-home moms, is that come 1.5 to 2 years in and we are wondering who the heck we are now.
I had been a stay at home mom for 2 years when I realized how empty I was starting to feel. Everything I did was for my son or my husband and I completely ignored my own needs. I slowly started to wake up to the fact thatI had no idea who I was anymore. I started to feel lost in my life.
If you have been there, you know what I mean. The questions start forming. “Have I made the right decisions?” “Is this really where I want to be?” “How did I get to this point?” “Can I make it through another day of this tediousness?” Really, all of the questions that come from being stuck, lost, empty, and not in tune with who you are as a person separate from your role as mom. (Or employee, or Dad, or breadwinner, or Wife, or Husband, or Grandma, etc.) It’s the moments where you start to wake up and realize you had been on auto pilot to this point.
It is completely normal to have these thoughts, feelings and realizations.
Luckily, in order to start finding yourself, you have to realize you’re lost. But then what? Well, if you want to find something that is lost, you have to start looking for it.
The first thing to do, is start taking moments to focus on you.
Take 10 minutes each day (at least) in a quiet, calming spot, to breathe and focus on your inner peace and thoughts. This should help you to center a bit. You can even diffuse essential oils and aromatherapy blends during these times (or more often if you choose) to help with clarity.
The next step is to explore.
Explore books, blogs, activities, classes, anything and everything. Take some time to do this, it won’t be a one day task. In fact, it can take months or years to truly rediscover yourself. Part of that is because we are always changing. Even the process of finding yourself, and inner fullness and peace, changes you. It’s worth it when you come out the other side though, and you are ready to shine.
I am still in this process as well. I actually started my journey before marriage and kids, but got a bit derailed for awhile. Last year I picked up where I left off, but found I was further behind than when I started. That’s ok. If you find the same thing when you start searching, it just means that you already have the basics and can catch up quickly. My catching up was a huge jump, straight into owning my own business. I stopped and listened to my intuition and knew in my heart it was the right step.
Since then, I have been following roads and going through doors as they present themselves. As long as it felt like I was being pulled that direction.
As you get on your journey, and start listening inwardly, you will find that your true self is pushing you towards those things that will help you on your way.
On my journey, this has included joining communities online, reading inspiring blogs and self discovery books, taking various business and personal courses, starting a second business, and investing in myself in ways I wouldn’t have before. I am still on my journey.
The great thing about a journey is that you don’t have to get to the end to enjoy the path. I talk a lot about drawing your own life map, and this is sure part of it. Most maps will show you the way from one spot to the next, but those that drew them also added in the other roads, landmarks, and sometimes experiences and challenges. Those are the things you will explore and experience along the way, and it can be an enjoyable process.
Being that a lot of the process to find yourself is exploring new things, starting in August I will be offering my picks for books, blogs, charities, do-good brands and more, for you to explore.
Opening yourself up to others voices and giving without expectation to receive, is a wonderful place to start to find what speaks to your soul. This is my way to help you find your own way, and start to draw your own map.
My first picks of the series premiered August 1st. When it’s Time to Pick Your Path: The Crossroads of Should and Must
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This post is part of a Blog Roundup featuring the best posts from the Suite Bloggers community.