Three things that changed my life.
You may have seen this hashtag in my posts lately and you may have even thought I was just ‘being Rina,’ but let me tell you little about how it came about and why I’ve adopted it.
I used to be the shell of the person I am today. Without going into a ton of detail, I was angry, hurt, struggling, felt unloved and alone. I drank; a lot. I sought validation in others, mostly men and motherly types. I wasn’t honest with myself about what I wanted, in part because I had no idea, but also because I had inadvertently been silenced as a child. Made to feel as though my small contribution to conversations was just that, small, and also worthless, so I didn’t share my opinion. That happened when I was young, barely in middle school, so imagine what my high school and early adult years were like…. Yes, I did start drinking in high school. I stopped completely when I married an alcoholic, then started again when I kicked him out for being an alcoholic and all the things that went with it. Never having dealt with my own pain, not seeing the good in myself and certainly not acting like a person that had anything of value to offer, I drank to avoid it all.
In my 30s I met my second husband. I became a step-mom and began to see what influence I had over an impressionable kid with his own struggles, he didn’t need mine on top of it. He wasn’t the only reason though. I realized I wanted to be happier. I wanted to find the thing that propelled me out of bed in the mornings. I NEEDED that in my life. In 2012, I officially started the journey of pursuing happiness. Little did I know it would lead me to #BeTheGlitter.
I started keeping a gratitude journal. If you coach with me, follow me on any social media, or know me at all, you know the importance with which I give this practice. Gratitude literally changed my life, and my brain. It showed me what was going well even when I thought it was all going to hell. Gratitude helped me refocus on the important things, like my future. It helped me to be happy in the face of fear. Most importantly, it helped me to love my life.
Authenticity was also something I started believing in. Gone were the days of acting as if my life was perfect, because perfection is made up. The idea of perfection is cause for stress and I no longer held onto the attachments of what society told me perfection or power or success was and why I should want/have them. To be clear, it’s not that I was fake, I couldn’t be that if I tried, but I wasn’t willing to share…. Well this…. My deepest and darkest. My fears. My weaknesses. Perfection, at that time, was a happy marriage and a profitable business, neither of which I really had. Both were ‘good’ and surviving, but not happy by my definition today and certainly not perfect.
3. Meditation & Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness provided grounding. They provide grounding still. They allow my brain the down time and peacefulness I need to get through the roughest of days, because ‘this too shall pass’ and what sucks in this moment will not matter in the next. Meditation allows me to be open to possibilities I once couldn’t imagine and mindfulness allows me to live in the moment more than worry about the future.
I lost more than I thought, Gained more than I imagined
Here’s what happened when I began to let go of expectations and societal definitions – and it’s not all glitter filled and pretty…. Divorced; for a second time. Friendships ended. Financially the most insecure I’ve ever been since I started working at age 14. Upheaval and death, of sorts, is not exactly what one would consider happy, healthy and glitter-filled. So here’s the pretty part. Exponentially happier. I know myself better. I know what I want, what I don’t want, what I can tolerate and what I won’t tolerate. I know what kind of man I will allow into my life, once I meet him. I know what kind of friendships I want/need. I know what kinds of clients I will work with. I know ME. I know what my future holds because I visualize it every day. I recognize the struggles I experienced – and will experience – are necessary for growth, and sometimes provide really awesomely funny stories. I’ve adopted the idea of Why the Eff not, you probably know this better as saying yes to all the things. When we let go, truly let go, and embrace the possibilities, and have the experiences, lives change.
Ok, so what is it that I do? How do I embrace and let go at the same time? What is #BeTheGlitter really about?
Having child-like humor while maintaining the grit of an entrepreneur. It’s finding a swing – yes an actual swing on a set – between meetings and using it to reconnect with my vision. Recognizing that while life is not what I had thought it would be right now, it is life. I am alive. I am living. I am experiencing. I am making a difference. It’s allowing growth despite the comfort of tradition. It’s loving the sounds my dogs make while they play super loudly during a live video. It’s wishing my Wasband (way funnier descriptor than ex….) the best in his life despite how and why we ended. It’s being thankful that I can still embrace my former friends when I see them. In my very humble opinion, this is what #BeTheGlitter is all about.
Incidentally, the specific story to the hashtag goes like this: Girl meets boy. Boy finds incessant positivity and confidence intriguing. Boy tells girl that her gang color is glitter. Girl loves it, laughs hysterically and makes post on social media. Hashtag is born.
Lesson: Random conversations can and do birth potential movements.
Be true to you, you beautiful soul!