It’s ok to change

“Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending – to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how the story ends” – Brene Brown.

Before & After

As all beautiful synchronicities go, as I landed in beautiful Bali on Tuesday night, Morgan and I were laughing and reminiscing over our very first Bali trip back in 2008 and how fast forwarding 7 years, just how much we have both completely transformed our lives.

Remembering the exact girl I was, I had to go back and find the photos from that time – you get to meet her now as the girl in the left of that photo.

I was riddled with anxiety, carrying extra kgs from a toxic lifestyle, and although there are thousands of fond memories from every aspect of my life, even the bad – I can say that the bad feelings I used to feel and the lack of worthiness I shouldered far exceeded the good feelings I had and worthiness I so sought.

The story most know today is I hit my breaking point of knowing something had to change.

So I did.

You know that quote that says: “actually, I just woke up one day and decided that I didn’t want to feel that way anymore or ever again. So I changed….just like that”

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That was me.

I went on my major journey of self discovery and started to work out who I was. Book by book by book. Meditation by meditation by meditaion. Gratitude by gratitude by gratitude by gratitude. Beautiful friend, by beautiful friend, by beautiful friend. Gym session by gym session by gym session.

I discovered, rather profoundly that…

I wasn’t the ecstasy on weekends.

Or the alcohol at parties to give me confidence.

Or saying the wrong thing to the wrong person to fit in.

I wasn’t the bitching or the gossiping or the negativity.

I wasn’t my feelings of hopelessness.

Nor was I the crippling anxiety from suppressing who I WAS.

My soul started to rumble with the truth …. The truth of who I WAS. And I went on my journey to find that out. I know this doesn’t confuse you either – you know exactly what I’m talking about, because you have felt it too. The whisper or loud knocking on your soul to step in to more of the person you truly are and leave behind all the mess and confusion.

The more I tapped in to my true self, the more I allowed my personality to come through, the more I didn’t say the things I didn’t want to and DID say the things I wanted to – finding my voice, the more I surrounded myself with positive people and the more I read books that uplifted my soul – I found my truth.

And the truth was simple.

That I had a spirit that was pure divinity – just like every other beautiful human on the planet.

That I had all the confidence I needed by simply being my (loud) authentic self.

That I could never say the wrong thing to the right person and that the key was surrounding myself with the right people – in every way, every day.

That I was love. That I could give love, receive love, speak love, act in love and be consumed by love.

That my personality was perfect the way it was when I was most being myself and I didn’t have to say or be or do anything that was out of alignment with that to appease anyone else.

The truth was that I was worthy.

The truth was I didn’t need to be validated by anyone else – but me.

And my life changed.

I became the girl you now see in the right of that photo.

Here is what I need people to most get right to their soul however.

It’s that you’re allowed to change.

Your allowed to have gotten so completely lost and off track and done stupid things and said stupid things and want to change.

You can have been the crazy loud fighting girl – and want to become the softer, more loving girl that is inspired by positivity.

You can have always been the quiet reserved one but really had this loud eccentric spirit who is sick of being squashed and ready to bust out. Bust her out I say.

You can have been a wild corporate workaholic (and no doubt be miserable) and actually re birth yourself as the woman who has always been inside who is a hippie loving yogi who wants to run away to Nepal and write a book or become a nude model.

I don’t know your truth. I don’t need to know your truth. I just need YOU to know your truth and I need you to start to un cover it, step in to it and powerfully live it out.

And NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO TELL YOU OTHERWISE. NO ONE can stop you in to becoming the person you were born to be.

No one.

People will try though. Believe me, they will try. They will tell you that “this isn’t you, where has she come from? You are the crazy one remember, you think youre too good for us now do you?” They will say it to your face some days and other days they will tell everyone but you to try to keep you in the box and confines of what they were comfortable with you being.

But don’t let them stop you on your quest for your truth.

You have a spirit inside of you bursting to live authentically. Gently knocking, sometimes loudly nudging….everyday …. I know you feel it and I know you have heard it, because I did too. And I listened.

And don’t think that trying to step in to your truth will be easy or come without growing pains.

I was bullied. Constantly.

I was attacked with words, belitted, cut down and cut out from peoples lives (you know, the ones who still wanted me to be an asshole and feel shit about myself who should never have been in my life to begin with).

But none of that mattered anymore – because I knew who I was and meeting that girl, this woman I am today – the one who has a voice and loves herself and knows exactly who she is – that excited me more than I can ever explain and it kept me hungry on my quest to bring her out.

Find your hunger.

Go on your fucking quest for truth – it doesn’t need to be scary or extreme either. You DO need to begin it though.

Don’t fear this change. Honour and be excited by it.

LISTEN to the gentle calls (or maybe it’s more of a loud knocking) that you have ignored for far too long.

Understand that you were created and you are here to be you, exactly as you are and wildly authentic.

I listened and you can see your journey in colour before your very eyes. I went from not caring about my health at all (I literally thought it was ‘cool’ to love shit food and drink my weekends away) to having health as my absolute #1 priority and having one of my greatest passions as fitness. IMAGINE if I had of listened to even one person when I went on this quest who said “who do you think you are you, you are absolutely not this person” – well no actually, it’s exactly who I am.

Tune in. It’s all I’m asking. You have a truth inside of you that is busting to come out and you can’t be scared of it anymore. IT’s your JOB to live your brightest most authentic life, and your spirit can’t wait a day longer.

And as the beautiful insightful Brene Brown says..

Your job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending – to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how the story ends”

How will YOU choose your story to end?

I hope it’s bold. I hope its authentic and I hope its in bright colour.

Are you living a life of TRUE Freedom?

Freedom

Freedom. 7 little letters forming a word that can mean so much to some and conjure so much emotion in others. Here where I sit, I could never know what that word means to you or what kind of emotion it stirs, and maybe, hey maybe it conjures no emotion for you, but if I may, I would love to share here what it means to me – and I hope you might get something out of this too.

I believe Freedom to be exactly what it has always intended to be – the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants.

Let’s go a little deeper on that though.

To me, the SINGLE HANDED most free’ing ‘thing’ in the world you can EVER gift yourself is not caring what other people think about you. Letting it ALL go. Knowing that their perception and opinion is just that, THEIR’S and it’s shaped by their own life experiences and beliefs and values. And that’s ok. My favourite quote is “it’s their stuff, not yours”.

I see it everyday. In every way. People desperate to speak up, to act out, to have a voice, to laugh loudly, to share a positive message – and yet they are so frozen in fear of what other people might think or say or how they might be perceived, they stop themselves. They stay silent. They muffle the laugh. They choose to not spread a message dying to come out.

You have to understand this though and understand it well, if you are one of the extremely lucky ones to live in a free country with free speech – to silence yourself is a heartbreaking choice.
Some of you may be thinking, who am I to bring this truth to you, and I SHARE this truth because I have lived on both sides. Giving away my freedom and now reclaiming it back and knowing I have the power and right to act, speak and think as I want.

TED TALK QUOTE

I remember it well. I was 23 and I really started to ‘change’. I didn’t want to have all my conversations with my friends revolve around other people anymore. I didn’t want to be so negative and anxious all the time and so I started to change. I read more books and went on a huge journey of personal development. I started to become who I wanted more to be – positive, happy, I wanted to share the inspiring quote on facebook with the most loving of intentions, I wanted to share the journey I was on.

Like all people will experience many times in their life though, I had people in my networks that really didn’t like I was changing. So they would be extra negative and berate if I tried to be positive.

They tried to take away my freedom and right to act, speak and think as I wanted too.

Luckily I never listened, for long. Initially, it hurt, I got angry and upset and almost let them stop me for a whole…hour. And then Morgan my amazing husband clearly with much more wisdom and insight than me said “are you really going to let these negative opinions dictate your future – GO AND BE SUCCESSFUL REGARDLESS”. So, I stopped caring what they thought of me, I realized it was none of my business, it was THEIR stuff, not mine and finally took those steps for the first time in my life, it was the greatest gift I could have ever given myself. It was the very definition of freedom to me. I had never felt more free.

I know if I had of cared what other people thought of me I would never, ever, ever be where I am today. No way, no how.

And it didn’t just happen when I was younger either. At 25 I joined a network marketing company and wanted to get my health back on track with their world class nutritional cleansing products.

I was so excited. I was ready to grow again, to try something new, to be positive and make an impact. But again, people in my networks didn’t like that I had chosen something so, so different.

They didn’t like that I was again, changing – which you HAVE to understand is incredibly crazy when it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else but yourself when you ARE going through a change in your life.

I was told I was crazy, an idiot, I was questioned by girlfriends who thought it was all a façade saying, ‘as if you’re really that grateful and happy Anna’ – it was like they needed me to actually not be getting ahead and to stay stuck where I was. I lost friends over it, their doing, not mine. I was mocked, bullied viciously and publicly vilified.

All because I chose to again make a choice to better myself and move myself forward.

These people, tried with all they had to take away my power and right to act, speak and think as I wanted to – they tried to take away the very definition of Freedom, in a free country, with free speech.

And guess what I did? I again didn’t listen. I didn’t care for 1 second about their opinions. By this stage in life I had learnt that unless you are living the life I want to lead, of love and happiness, of contribution and making something of yourself – I wasn’t ever going to listen to your opinions and I certainly wasn’t going to care what you thought of me whilst I set out to live my own life.

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Paying zero attention to the opinion and judgement of others is ALWAYS done in a loving intention as well, it’s never, ever a “I don’t give a f what you think” .. ever. It’s a “I love you for where you’re at and what you think of me has no bearing on who I am or how I will live my life” – the greatest thing of all now though is I don’t even have to actually say that now, because to defend an opinion or judgement of someone is to give it energy, and to give it energy is unnecessary when you can continue to just go out and keep living your life of love and adventure.

Did it take me a long time to get to that stage? Yes of course, it is absolutely a muscle you have to flex and build and truthfully, there are still fleeting moments I of COURSE slip up (we are all human after all living a beautiful human experience).

The KEY to being ok with not worrying about what people think though is surmised beautifully in this quote – “in order to love who you are, you can not hate the experiences that shaped you”.

I don’t run or hide from my past – so NO ONE has power over me.

WHY on EARTH should you be ashamed or embarrassed or hide from what you did when you were failing forward (I still am and always will be), when we do that we hand over ALL of our power and of course get affected by what people think or say about us.

The moment you can honour every part of your past, good and bad, and be ok with it is the moment you start reclaiming some of your power.

Who you were back then doesn’t have to have any affect on who you are becoming or who you WANT to be.

So I want you to think about this, where in your life are you stopping yourself from saying what you really feel? Or doing what you really want? All from fear of what other people might think or say.

I have some news for you and I want you to really be ready to hear this – but….

 you’re allowed to change.

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You’re allowed to have been a crazy party’ier and now want to stop the drugs or alcohol and lead a more positive life.

I did.

You’re allowed to have never been sure about what you wanted and where you wanted to go and now found something you’re REALLY passionate for and GO for it.

I did.

You’re allowed to have been someone who has never had a clue about fashion and now loves to at least try to keep up with the trends if that is what makes you happy.

I did.

You’re allowed to have been someone who was really negative and an asshole and now actually like people and want the best for them (in fact if that’s you then I am cheering you on so loudly)

And guess what? You’re allowed to SHARE ALL OF THAT. You’re allowed to be excited by it. You’re allowed to want to go on that journey and not do it in secret. You’re allowed to say how you feel and enjoy the transition.

YOU’RE ALLOWED TO HAVE THE POWER AND RIGHT TO ACT, SPEAK AND THINK EXACTLY AS YOU PLEASE without anyone attacking or judging or bringing you down.

And if that happens – maybe those people aren’t ready to move in to the next phase of your own life and that’s ok too, just love them where they’re at, don’t spend time with those that make you feel horrible about yourself and keep moving forward.

I think you are remarkable the way you are – flaws and eff up’s and bad choices, silly mistakes and ALL and I know who you are becoming is a beautiful best version of you and you shouldn’t be afraid to step in to that power and share it, not for one second.

So love YOU and start understanding that what people think of you is NONE of your business and start stepping in to more of who you WANT to be but have been scared to because of what ‘others might say’ … remember that those who matter won’t mind and those that mind don’t matter.

Cheering you on as you step in to who you were born to be, not who society has told you to be.

Remember those who dance are considered insane by those who can’t hear the music … so it doesn’t matter if people can’t hear your music, JUST NEVER STOP DANCING TO THE BEAT OF YOUR OWN DRUM and where that beat takes you.

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