Dancing in the streets of London, because i’m happy!
My freedom journey began in my mid thirties when weird feelings started to plague my body; heart palpitations, mood swings, fleeting feelings of depression, etc. Of course, I knew it wasn’t normal. But I had no clue what was causing these tumultuous feelings. I thought maybe they were a result of stress from my job, which I never quite loved, but appreciated. I thought they might have been due to the rigors of raising a teenager. I thought they might have been a result of the frustrations of married life, which brings all sorts of highs and lows, and I even thought they were symptoms of perimenopause. But the most pressing thought was that they might be a result of the coming of age feelings I was beginning to experience, that desire to find my calling whatever that was, and find meaning in my every day life. I just couldn’t quite put my finger one it. But, one thing was very clear to me, and that was the current life I was living was not for me. I cared for everyone’s wellbeing except my own.
Since the age of 18, I’ve been caring for my immediate family members and leaving me for later. That’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re a teenage mother, get it right. At least that’s how I looked at it. I had to prove to everyone that teenage motherhood was not the end of my life, and that I could do just as much and even more that my peers. So I worked my butt off, earned a scholarship to New York University. Then went on to the University of Delaware, and in the end came out feeling pretty high and mighty with my BA and MscEd degrees. But high and mighty does not equal happy. Nonetheless, I had a family to help support and that came first. My needs could wait for later. So, I put off medical school for later. Evidentially, later has not come yet.
In rolled 40, and some of what I envisioned for my life was still in vision mode. Some things I chucked away for the next life, it there’s one, and the others I put on my bucket list. And I got the ball – a- rolling. I was living a life for everyone’s benefit but my own. That’s what good mothers and wives do, right? Not! Good wives and mothers take care of themselves so they in turn can take care of the ones entrusted to them. I finally understood that putting my needs aside for later and prioritizing the needs of others are the main ingredients for a “miserable life.” So, I began to focus on some of what I wanted and needed out of life. I began to take care of my self without reservation or feelings of guilt. I began to dig deep into my fears to understand what was holding me back. Once I began to scratch the surface of my “stuff” and address the issues that were weighing me down, the heart palpitations, mood swings, anxiety, etc. began to decrease. I concluded this was all due to my feelings of dissatisfaction with my life as it was. And if they were symptoms of perimenopause, well, now I certainly know how to control that monster, since that time is here.
On every road there are bumps, but these days I live freely. I’m not held in bondage by a job, people’s perceptions, or fear. I live more for the now. I do more of what makes me happy. I’m guided by my intuition, and my intuition is God. I work every day to live for that day, that moment. Yes, I envision, and I have desires and I plans, but I try not to be distracted from the importance of being in the present. Gratefulness changes everything, and rather than focus on what I don’t have, I’m grateful for what I do have, which is a helluva lot, and being grateful has brought so much more into my life to be thankful for. I imagine that’s the way it goes. I’ve stopped allowing others to take advantage of my goodness, and I’m not afraid to say NO without providing an explanation. I surround myself with people who are uplifting and want to walk the same path as I do. We find strength and comfort in our common goals.
I got clear about what my needs and desires were and then I took action. I assure you it’s not easy – you gotta work it girl – but it’s definitely doable. Dig deep. Get clear. Unravel. Respond. Rewrap. Get free. You’ll start living a much happier and freer lifestyle. And yes, more happiness will find its way to you. It just happens that way.
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, health and wellbeing consultant and Qigong instructor. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo and more. She is the founder of Inside Outer Beauty Market, a multi-cultutal retailer curating and creating products to support the body inside and out. Visit the site at www.iobeautymarket.com