We start off as little children who make rockets out of cardboard boxes and dream big, beautiful dreams. Then gradually as life serves us disappointments, rejections, and a large dose of conditioning around what we should look like, shoulddo for a living, and shouldbelieve, we move away from the essence of who we are to fit into other people’s boxes.
That works for a while. We may forge successful careers and earn acclaim for our work, but if we aren’t living in our truth, eventually we start to feel internal conflict and dissatisfaction at best—and illness, burnout, and depression at worst.
Self-care is a major buzzword right now, but it’s not about just taking bubble baths and getting massages. It means honoring yourself enough to pay attention to whether you are out of alignment—and taking steps to adjust, reconnect, and center in the way that feels right to you. When we prioritize alignment, we make better decisions, experience bursts of inspiration, feel calm, and, most importantly, we see clearly.
Beautiful things grow from this place of wholeness. I know because I was totally out of alignment—and, since making a few powerful changes, I’ve seen them develop.
On the outside, everything looked great. But inside, I was falling out of alignment fast.
A couple years ago, I was at the height of my career, running my own PR agency with a star-studded roster and launching a multicultural card line that made history in the UK. On the outside, everything looked great. But inside, I was falling out of alignment fast.
For one, my unhealthy relationship with money showed up year after year on my January 1 “To Deal With” list. I was good at making money, but I was terrible at holding onto it and making it work forme. I knew I needed to hold myself accountable—and I also knew I hadn’t been able to do it on my own. I hired a coach to help me work through long-ingrained habits that were holding me back.
For another, I fell asleep and woke up for years with clenched fists, like I was heading into a boxing ring ready to defend myself! It took a former boyfriend to make me aware of the fact that it was even doing it. Once I got that awareness, I knew something wasn’t right—and I set out to figure out what was causing this subconscious defensiveness in my body. Slowly but surely, I was able to peel back the layers and learn that I had a lot of dissatisfactions and stressors that I wasn’t being honest with myself about.
“Why?” is one of those magical words which has the ability to completely alter the direction of our lives.
Peeling back these layers and looking directly at what doesn’t serve us anymore is more than just uncomfortable. It can be downright painful. But while it may be normal to muddle through in a career, relationship, or way of living that makes you miserable, it shouldn’t be. Even if you can’t make a huge change right away, each one of us can hold ourselves accountable for taking small actions that eventually form a path to wholeness.
“Why?” is one of those magical words which has the ability to completely alter the direction of our lives. If we’re bold enough to ask it, we can unlock an abundance of wisdom not only about why our lives are the way they are—but about who we are at our cores.
Whether it’s why our career isn’t making us happy, whether we have the kind of relationship we want, why we live paycheck to paycheck, or why, despite our best intentions, we can’t seem to exercise, a little scraping at the surface will reveal the root of what’s really going on with us. That’s a beautiful thing. It means that once we are confronted with the truth about why we aren’t where we want to be, we can either consciously retreat into the dissatisfactory status quo—or step up to the plate.
I believe we all deserve to live a life in which we are our true, authentic selves. The rewards are worth it and then some.
Jessica Huie is an entrepreneur and the author of Purpose: Find Your Truth and Embrace Your Calling, which is out today.