SHE LEADS CHANGE SESSION ON SELF: THEY TELL YOU...

THEY TELL YOU FINDING YOURSELF IS A RITE OF PASSAGE: IT’S A GAP YEAR, IT’S BUILDING SCHOOLS IN INDIA, IT’S TAKING MUSHROOMS AT A FULL MOON PARTY IN BALI AND WAKING UP THE NEXT DAY “SO FUCKING SPIRITUALLY AWAKENED”. THEY TELL YOU IT’S A MILESTONE: THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT THAT MARKS A PAINFUL MONTH OF SOBRIETY (WHICH YOU WILL OF COURSE INSIST EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT BECAUSE, I MEAN, AREN’T YOU VIRTUOUS: “IT’S ALL ABOUT CLEAN LIVING…NEXT MONTH I’M GOING VEGAN BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, TOXINS…”), TURNING 21 (SERIOUSLY?!) 30 (SAID NO ONE EVER), 40, GETTING MARRIED, HAVING A BABY. SOMEHOW, SO WE’RE TOLD, EVERYTHING JUST CLICKS. A SINGLE MOMENT: THE EPIPHANY.

BUT WE ALL KNOW IT’S NOT LIKE THAT. IT’S NOT A YOGA RETREAT. IT’S NOT A DIET. IT’S NOT A HAIRCUT OR A NEW RELATIONSHIP OR SQUEEZING YOURSELF INTO A DRESS 3 SIZES SMALLER THAN YOU NORMALLY WEAR. IT’S NOT A JUICE CLEANSE, OR THE BABY SILENTLY ASLEEP IN THE CORNER WHILE YOU RUN A MULTI-MILLION POUND SIDE-HUSTLE FROM YOUR BEAUTIFUL THREE-STOREY PIMLICO TOWNHOUSE HAVING WOKEN AT 5AM TO MEET YOUR PERSONAL TRAINER, WALKED THE DOG, SLIPPED ON YOUR “SIGNATURE DESIGNER PUMPS” AND A NET A PORTER SHIFT BEFORE “CHECKING EMAILS AND HAVING CALLS WITH SUPPLIERS” WHILST PERCHED ON YOUR WARM OAK DESK BROWSING SAMPLE SWATCHES FOR THE NEW MAYFAIR SHOWROOM…NO BAGS UNDER YOUR EYES, NO LEAKING NIPPLES, NO SICK ON YOUR SHOULDER. SORRY STYLIST ‘A DAY IN THE LIFE OF’, NO ONE’S BUYING IT: YOU CAN’T LOOK OUTSIDE OF YOU TO UNDERSTAND WHAT’S INSIDE.

THEY DON’T TELL YOU IT TAKES TIME: THAT IT’S GRADUAL, THAT IT HURTS. THAT IT’S DEATH. IT’S PAIN, IT’S LOSS, IT’S ANGER, IT’S GRIEF, IT’S FEAR, IT’S FAILURE, IT’S DESPAIR, IT’S A FIGHT. THEY DON’T TELL YOU IT’S CONTINUED SELF-EXPLORATION, IT’S LONELINESS, IT’S PRACTICE. THAT IT’S EVERYTHING AND NOTHING AND IT’S NEVER ONE THING: IT’S LIFE: IT TAKES GRIT, AND COURAGE, AND STRENGTH - A STRENGTH THAT OFTEN YOU JUST DON’T FEEL YOU HAVE. THAT IT’S FORGIVENESS, IT’S LETTING GO. IT’S ABOUT LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF IN THE WAY YOUR OWN HEART HAS LOVED YOU FROM THE BEGINNING: DESPERATE FOR YOU TO ONE DAY LOVE IT BACK. NOT LOVING YOURSELF IN SPITE OF, BUT BECAUSE OF. IT’S FORGIVING YOURSELF FOR THE BRUTALITY OF THE WORDS YOU HAVE SO LONG HURLED AT YOUR OWN MIND, THE BRUTALITY OF THE ACTIONS YOU HAVE SO LONG INFLICTED ON YOUR OWN BODY. IT’S STARTING AGAIN: HEALING YOURSELF FROM WITHIN, OVER, AND OVER, AND OVER.

BECAUSE FINDING YOURSELF - REALLY FINDING YOURSELF, IS LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF IN THE WAY YOU ALWAYS DREAMED YOU’D BE LOVED.