Who do you consider yourself to be? Now, I don't mean to anticipate the usual answer of;
mother, shopaholic, best friend, cousin, yoga lover or office manager.
I'm asking you, who are YOU in your eyes?
The answer is something we sometimes like to set aside, because the answer stings or rubs us the wrong way or overwhelms or underwhelms us. As humans we often get placed into categories early on - the smart one, the sporty one, the introvert, the go getter.
The truth is, it's sometimes easier to stick to 'our lane' than actually recognise and acknowledge who we really are becoming. You see, each different phase in our life can and will manifest a new version of ourselves, it's called growth and if we push against it, we are limiting ourselves.
For many of us, we like to remember who we WERE, what we used to do and how we knew we felt about things, because it makes us feel stable or gives meaning to all the hardships we've gone through. However we do change and we should, because life is not stagnent and though we would never deny the challenges, for they did make us who we are, they should not define us in the future.
As a mother and a career woman, I have often found myself longing for the excitement of working on a new TV show or going out without having to feed another person before myself or remembering how cute I looked in summer dresses before two C sections.
During this universally imposed time of contemplation, it's even easier to fall into that melancholy trap. So over the weekend, I decided to create a slice of space for just me in our home. I turned a small spare room into my sanctuary, a place where I could be me - the upgraded version. Soft pinks, crystals, candles and calming music (no kids TV jingles allowed).
I came to this junction because I was tired of hearing myself be go on about the past and what I missed, instead of embracing who I am now and she's not too shabby and always finds a smile through the shadows.
So I am vowing to be kinder to myself, to be gentler on the body that brought two souls to this planet and be more accepting of change, so I can give my tired hamster wheel mind a rest.
The great spiritual leader Alan Watts once said "To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax and float."
My challenge and perhaps your challenge is quite simple, should we choose it to be.
Be who YOU want to be each day.
To do this start with two simple exercises.
At the end of each night, make 5 minutes to say thank you for the days' good parts and acknowledge the days' not so good bits and take a moment to understand why things happened and how tomorrow we can make it better.
Then the next morning, imagine you have a clean slate. You never forget the past, but instead, we see them as the stepping stones that lead us to the beautiful garden at the bottom of a long windy path.
You are an incredible being. You have seen and felt joy, sorrow, excitement and hope and there is more for you to feel and see. You are more than what your family sees you as, or your friends know you to be or how you yourself, think you should be.
Just think, if each day is a new blank piece of paper for you to colour and paste the day on, then surely, each day is a opportunity to be the master of YOU.
You don't have to be the crabby mum or the critical boss or the ever smiling friend AND it's also ok if you are.
I get that everyone has stuff going on and my shoulders often feel like dumbbells are sleeping on them, but I also know - deep in my heart - that we are stronger than our challenges because we are here, together, surviving.
You can be you, you can show a softer side, you can let people know you need help, you can be a little more lenient one night and let the kids eat chicken nuggets at the coffee table watching TV, you can buy yourself a new pair of shoes or earrings that make you smile and make you feel number one again and... you will get through this.
Make a cosy corner for yourself somewhere and tell the family when you need time out.
Prioritise YOU time, just 5 minutes where you can ask yourself what you need, to be ok right now.
It can be a simple thing or I might be a big shift in consciousness, whatever gives you peace of mind and heart, is a conversation worth having with yourself today so that YOU can relax and float into and through these unprecidented times.