At some point in my twenties, I forgot who I was. I’m not saying I sustained some kind of traumatic brain injury and ended up with amnesia. I just seemed to lose touch with my true Self.

If I take the time for introspection, I can tell you almost exactly when it happened. However,  this is like our first date. I’m not going to divulge all of my deepest darkest secrets!

It doesn’t really matter why though, not for the purpose of this story. What matters is what happened next, because it’s a pattern I’ve seen over and over again in friends, colleagues, and clients.

Once I lost touch with my Self, I began to let other people’s ideas and beliefs take root about who I was “supposed” to be. I was swept up in the “shoulds” of life.

I should work towards a promotion.
I should find a boyfriend.
I should get married.
I should buy a house.
I should

You get the drift.

There’s a progress to life that, as a society, we seem to expect of everyone. However, trying to squeeze myself into those expectations meant I was not only slowly squeezing out what remained of my Self, but I was also lying to everyone.

The lying was unintentional, of course, but it was still a lie. I was people pleasing, and people pleasers are the best liars. Unfortunately, when you’ve been lying about who you are, unintentional or not, people get hurt. I got hurt. And hurt people hurt other people.

Fast forward a little over a decade, and I found my Self again thanks to a renewed yoga practice (that led to yoga teacher training, that led to returning to school for holistic practitioner training). However, in finding my Self again, I discovered I had made decisions in the past that did not serve me well.

In 2015, I turned my entire life upside down, and you guessed it, people got hurt.

During that time, I can’t sufficiently express in words, just how important it was for me to have the support of a strong, understanding community of loved ones. There was a boat load of shame and guilt that came along with my decision to change my life, even though I knew in my heart it was the best decision for everyone.

Knowing I had a community of support, a group of people who were willing to simply hold space for me, kept me moving forward through one of the most painful times in my life. That community carried me through, and they helped me become the stronger, more resilient, truer expression of me.

Thanks to their support, I found the courage to buy my yoga studio. I found the self-care tools that work for me, and I found my higher purpose of Mindset Coaching for Joy + Abundance.

There is no one right path for everyone. We need to be able to explore, to try, and to fail or succeed, knowing we’re surrounded by a community that will offer us grace – even when we struggle to give ourselves grace.

This is one of the reasons I resonate so deeply with the Women’s Wellness Circles. Not only are we gifted with new wellness experiences each month, but the community that’s built is exactly the kind of community we all need to be surrounded by.

By Michelle Robson

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