From as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to “do things myself”. My mother tells me this was a common argument when she tried to help me do pretty much anything, from tying my shoes to selecting my outfits, to fixing my hair. I’m sure I looked pretty special heading to school some days…
As I grew, I became someone who never wanted to ask for help. Basically, I saw it as weakness and I can still fall into that pattern of thinking; that appearing to “do it all” was a sign of strength.
When I hit my rock bottom in 2002, all of a sudden, I had to rely on others. It was just about the hardest part of the whole ordeal for me.
Because asking for help made me feel weak; not strong.
Asking for help made me feel stupid; not smart.
Asking for help made me feel incompetent; not capable.
But this is wrong.
And I am changing.
Slowly, over the years, I have come to realize that doing everything myself keeps me isolated. It makes me resentful. It makes me a martyr. It disconnects me from others and it holds me back from experiencing as many positive relationships that add so much colour and beauty to my life.
Behaving this way allows me to play safe. And small. And that is no way to live. Not really.
Doing everything myself keeps me stuck in my own patterns. It stifles creativity and it sabotages collaboration.
So I am changing.
In my pre- and early teen years, I was lucky to be embraced by a group of strong girls who were very aware of themselves; their skills and talents; their intelligence. They intimidated me but they also challenged me. I am grateful for them and all they taught me during some of my most formative years.
During high school, I toggled between wanting to be accepted and wanting to be invisible. I started drinking to quell my anxiety and it helped me become more social.
For my entire drinking life, I believed I was an extrovert. Yes, I was certainly social during that time (hey, drinking alone means you have a problem, right?), but truth be told, I used many of those people as a way to get to the alcohol. All I really wanted was the relationship with the bottle.
As an adult, I became close with a group of four other women, all of whom are still in my life today. They may not even realize just how hard it was for me to be close with them, and while I also tended to keep them at a distance throughout my heaviest drinking years, they were the closest women to me, and I always knew they had my back. Their presence in my life has allowed me to believe that I was indeed capable of being vulnerable; of loving and of trusting.
I am indebted to these women, and I am deeply grateful for their friendship.
Slowly, over the years, especially since starting this blog, I have developed relationships with more women and it has felt raw and vulnerable and scary...and beautiful. In so many ways, it has felt like a metamorphosis; a peeling away of the layers so that I can finally...just breathe...
I can be who I am without so much worry about "what will they think?" because I am being who I really am. No more pretending or posing or wanting to retreat when an opinion goes against my own. Instead of competing with these women, I find myself loving them, being awed by them, taking inspiration from them, and learning from them.
I am changing.
Not long ago, I met a woman at a gala dinner at Tranquil Acres. Ryan, our host, put us at the same table because he thought we would hit it off. From the moment we said hello, I knew this was someone special. I couldn't stop asking her questions and I kept apologizing for prying into her life but I felt such a strong connection to her.
It was as if I knew I had to forge a relationship between the salad course and dessert or else I risked never seeing her again. It was an amazing exchange, and within the days to follow, we had several conversations where I encouraged her to start sharing her incredible story.
She blew me away when only a few days later, she said she had launched her blog.
"That's how I do things", she said.
I knew I had found my people. A kindred spirit and also a woman who has taught me so much in the short time I have known her.
This amazing woman has come into my life to teach me things. She is someone I believe I can trust and I think she trusts me, too. In fact, she is helping me bring my next project to life. We are collaborating...
She makes sure we communicate and she shares her feelings. It is a powerful relationship and one I treasure like a gift. I am deeply grateful for her presence in my life and, moreso, to be able to call her..."friend".
I am changing.
Tomorrow marks International Women's Day. The theme this year is "Be Bold For Change."
When I hear the word "change", two quotes in particular come to mind.
I think of the saying, "If nothing changes, nothing changes".
I know that all change begins and ends with me. In recent years, I have changed a lot about the way I express myself in relationships. I know that they are reciprocal; a give and take; an ebb and flow, and I have to acknowledge and respect the exchange of energy.
When I hear the word "change", I am also reminded of Gandhi's words, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
If I wish to see a less competitive and hostile world, I need to begin with creating a healthier relationship with myself. Then, I must continue to nurture my relationships with others and I have to remember that asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, but rather a symbol of love and of trust...and of respect.
For me, being "bold for change" is about how collaboration, working together rather than racing to do things alone, will see us living in a less hostile and a more loving world.
Change is a choice.
And I am changing.
For the first time in my life, I am truly being BOLD and I am encouraging other women to join me! My next project is bigger than anything I have ever done and I am thrilled to be sharing the experience with others.
As many of you know, I am organizing The Healthy Brain and Body Show in Ottawa on April 22 & 23, being held at The EY Centre. We chose the venue because of how spacious and beautiful it is; because of the incredible energy we feel inside its walls; because of how much accessible parking it boasts; because of the impeccable customer service we have received, and because of its strong ties to the community it serves.
It doesn't surprise me that they EY is this year's campaign sponsor for International Women's Day.
Our event is providing opportunities for many people, including women who may otherwise not have the chance to participate in a show of this caliber. My focus is to forge women's advancement. I couldn't be more excited to see these amazing women showcased at our event and I can't wait for YOU to meet them!
Join us at the show! No need to buy tickets...the show is FREE to attend. Simply arrive at the EY Centre on one or both days for a weekend of exploring, connecting, learning and shopping! We have SO MANY surprises in store for you...it is going to be the wellness event of the year!
Let's be bold for change...together.
Because collaboration increases and competition diminishes.
Because asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Because working together is an act of love.
Because I want you to love your life.
Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.
P.S. I am blown away by what my students accomplished over their 6 weeks on The 6 Week Sugar Freedom eCourse! If you would like to experience a transformation of your own, then I invite you to register for the next course, being offered soon! Join the Wait List to be the first to know when registration officially opens. I would be honoured to serve you. And we will welcome you, with open arms. Here is what Louise had to say:
“I thoroughly enjoyed [the course] and I honestly think your amazing dedication to the participants and your strong belief in the cause is what makes this course a great success. I am amazed by your energy and just love everything you have taught us. I will be forever grateful to you for having awakened me. As you say “once you know, you can’t un-know”.”
Thank you, Louise, It was an honour to serve you. xo