One of my favourite sayings and something that I always have running through my mind is not “why is this happening to me?” but more along the lines of “what is this teaching me?” This single rephrase has changed my life so much that it has helped to shape the strong, independent woman I am today.
From a young age I would often hear the expression “there’s no use crying over spilt milk” and I never really gave much thought to such words until my early teens. Since as long as I can remember I’ve always felt that I was different. That I never really fit in with those around me. It was as though I was a unicorn trying to find my fellow unicorns, struggling, desperately seeking something that was impossible to find – or was it?
In school I didn’t fit in with the “popular” kids because I didn’t fit the mould. I wanted to be friends with everyone and that just wasn’t how the popular group worked. I also could care less about makeup and parties which didn’t exactly do me any favours. I didn’t fit in with the smart kids because I wasn’t a brainiac. Nor did I fit in with the regular kids because I was teetering on the edge of so many different things that I couldn’t be labelled or put into a box. Because of this, I struggled to maintain long lasting friendships which lead to a lot of tears and an emptiness I couldn’t quite shake. And whilst I had friends and floated from one group to the next, I didn’t have anyone in my life who really understood me. Who was my ride or die so to speak.
I’d always loved to read growing up (I still do) and whilst my fellow peers were out shopping and doing who knows what, I worked, studied and got my kicks through stories. I had been obsessed with the tv series Dr Quinn Medicine Woman (still am) and when I discovered Jane Seymour’s book Remarkable Changes, it was as though everything I had been feeling (loneliness, misunderstood, different) no longer acted as a negative narrative within my inner self.
I knew then and there that being different was a blessing and that I didn’t need to search for happiness or fulfilment from those around me because those things were already inside of me. I just hadn’t realised it. I learnt that when one door closes another one opens and that everything happens for a reason. I may not have like-minded people around me now but one day I will and in the meantime, I just need to be me and take whatever life throws my way. As long as I keep a positive mindset on life, on myself, nothing else matters.
When you put yourself in the drivers seat of your life, incredible things will happen. You’ll find resilience, happiness and success despite the many setbacks to cross your path. The day I stopped searching for a group to fit in with and embraced the unicorn that I was, was the day I found happiness. I realised that true happiness comes from within and I can either cry over the spilt milk or I can mop it up, pour some more and get on with my life. I actively chose the latter.
Years later and I truly believe that no person can keep us unhappy, ashamed or unworthy if we are willing to take accountability, look in the mirror and say “the shape of my life is up to me.” By maintaining a positive mindset, you can take yourself from a victim who merely reacts to a life you inherited, to an architect who creates it.
I began to practice a positive mindset at a time when I was experiencing loneliness. All I had was myself and my mind. No matter who you are, what your background looks like or what your living situation is, you can do it. You can turn your mind into an abundance of positivity. You don’t need money or a fancy degree. All you need is what’s in your heart.
It’s about developing a relationship with your inner goddess (the part of you that has never been broken, but exists perfectly at all times) and then learning to make new habits that lead to happiness by retraining your brain.
To delve a little deeper, it starts with observation. What we observe informs what thoughts we engage in, which leads to actions and actions build lives. Learning to be mindful of your thoughts and to stop engaging in negative habit loops and instead building ones that lead to fulfillment, is critical in creating an incredible life.
For example, observe your body as the temple it is, not what social media or magazines portray as “ideal” or “beautiful”. Get clear on what a healthy and sustainable body looks like for you and you only. Own it, show it to the world and let them re shape their mindset on what’s beautiful, not the other way around.
Inner happiness and inner peace is a never ending journey. At times it will be a walk in the park and others it will be a hurricane coming to sweep you off your feet. Be as brave in this process as possible. Believe in yourself, be kinder to the incredible human you are, who you’re destined to be because the only thing that stands between you and the happiness you want, is yourself.
So right now, wherever you are I want you to take a deep breath. Inhale nothing but positivity, hold it, now exhale all the negativity. Today can be the start of a happier more fulfilled you. So go get it! You’ve got this!
Love and kindness, Nerissa x