I wrote another post to go with this photo but I just deleted it and decided to write about a lesson I’ve learned instead. Actually, let me rephrase that, a lesson I’m still learning and continually practicing.
It took me a long time to realize that the learning was more in the unlearning than anything else. Once I identified that, things got easier. Life got easier.
One of the first things we learn in this world is how to adapt to stress. Stress can be negative or positive but for this purpose we’ll refer to stress as a state of overwhelm in the body and mind. Basically, moving away from a centered state to one of chaos.
I like chaos though. I always have. Chaos makes me feel alive.
But chaos is unsustainable, especially for the body, and prolonged chaos leads to burnout, anger, frustration, and in my case, chronic illness.
Problem is, my nervous system was designed for chaos. Since I routinely dialed up the cortisol and other related stress hormones to flood my system with that high I paved some pretty pristine neural pathways in my brain to run those routes. When things got quiet, my body notified my mind that somethings off - things are too calm - this wasn’t our “normal” and my mind responded by looking for new ways to turn the dial.
Then I got so sick, depressed, and anxious that turning the dial was no longer available; so I braved the quiet. The quiet told me I needed more quiet, more space, more introspection. So I packed up everything and moved to LA (that was my idea of quiet from NYC), far from the familiarity of friends and family. And though I got high off the initial chaos of the move, things soon got deafeningly, painfully quiet.
In the midst of that calm I realized that home was never meant to be a state of anarchy, but a sanctuary. A place of comfort and ease. So I started to walk through those doors more often instead of escaping out the windows at every chance I got.
Returning to that home despite what the body’s chemistry is commanding creates a shift. You start to architect a mind that can’t be shaken. An unshakable calm that can’t be disrupted by people, places, and circumstances.
That kind of calm is a superpower.
Life by Design was born out of a need for my own self-healing after decades of unresolved illness. It wasn’t until finding the courage to look within that I discovered it was my own belief system holding me back from experiencing a truly thriving life. We all have access to that thriving life. We just need to rediscover our power and ignite the healing-self. Only then can we unapologetically live a life by our own design.