How a Facebook Article Led Me to Self-Love and Helping Others
I sat there, reeling from the brick to the face moment I just had. I felt something else. Something that resembled hope. I could see a small glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel. But what was next? What do I do now? Where do I turn?
I continued to read more of John Kim's articles. I found the "This Is Your Tribe" Facebook group and joined. Something inside me knew I needed this. I needed a safe place to start figuring out where I had gone wrong. I read posts from men and women, much like myself. We all seemed a little lost. We all seemed to be looking for more. There was so much here, this was a genuine family. One of the first responses I received upon joining, was from a man, who simply said to me, "Welcome home dear." And then another warm welcome, accompanied by a little nudge to join the current video challenge. Another, not so subtle nudger, told me to just, "LEAP." These people were complete strangers to me, thousands of miles away. I felt an immediate connection. This was something special. This was going to be big. I just knew it.
It took me a few days to feel comfortable sharing any portion of my story. I look back now and smile. I was so shy and reserved. I haven't gone back to watch any of the first videos I recorded. I am not sure I ever will. I remember doing the first one. I had never recorded myself in such a personal way. I am certain my voice was shaking, my face beat red. Of course, I talked a hundred miles a minute, which is what I do normally, but it increases the more nervous I get. I don't even remember what I said in that first video. I didn't think about it, I just hit POST. There I was, out there for thousands of strangers to watch. There was no turning back. The amount of support I got from that first video, about absolutely nothing, was incredible.
I was growing more confident by the day. Sharing more of my story. Eventually, I was having full blown meltdowns on video! One thing was becoming evident; my shame was diminishing. Little by little. There were still days I felt like I had taken 1,000 steps backward, but the support I had never felt before, was right there, any time I needed it. I began interacting with others within the Tribe, finding kindred spirits. And then, what's this? A smaller Tribe named Self-Love?!?! Yikes. What does that even mean? I debated between two different Tribes; Self-Love, and Relationship Better. Something tugged at my heartstrings. Something inside of me said in a whisper, "It all starts with Self-Love. It all starts within."
A Tribe is a smaller group guided by Catalyst Life Coaches. They usually run for 21 days and focus on a specific topic. Tribes offer accountability, validation and guidance. All of this is done on a virtual platform. My definition is this; "A Tribe is a place to dig deep into something specific. It offers more one on one contact with Catalyst Life Coaches and other members. It gave me a chance to focus on one area at a time. For me, a Tribe is another word for family."
I worked hard in the Tribe. I dug deep. I connected with other people who were much like me: quiet, insecure and not sure what self-love really meant. We came together in laughter and tears and we shared ourselves completely. Each of us learning from the other. Learning that in this life, we are all just trying to figure out who we really are. For the first time, we were doing something for ourselves. For the first time, I was doing something for ME. I had never done that before, I had always felt too guilty to take care of myself.
While the Self-Love Tribe came to an end, the true connections made within are everlasting. But now what? I was hungry, I wanted more. I needed to keep the momentum going. In another shift of the Universe, I collided, as if by chance with another kindred soul. This connection was deep. My friend from 1,000 miles away was a genuine, beautiful person. Her story was much like my own. We began to share our stories. We were more authentic than we had ever been. I felt safe, free from judgement. Our energies matched and we could often feel the other's vibrations. Knowing when something wasn't quite right and also knowing when it was time to celebrate our victories. That's what this life is all about... showing up for someone where ever they are in their journey, not judging them, but holding out a hand and saying, I am here, let me help you find your way.
I felt accepted, for the first time in my life as I am. I felt lighter. I felt more confident. I felt in love with myself. There are still days when the gremlins claw their way back into my head. I felt like I hadn't made any progress at all. Those thoughts and feelings passed as I learned to sit with them. I quit pushing them down. I found they didn't hold as much power as they once did. I was taking back the power I never thought I deserved. I felt love I never imagined I could feel for myself.
Is this growth? Is this acceptance of my own flaws? Do I really feel love towards that extra belly fat (no not really, lol) but I don't hate it as much as I used to? There are days I am sitting at work, and a peaceful warm, calm feeling comes over me. I smile.
I began to wonder again, what was next for me? As if by some divine intervention, I got a phone call. The call came from another Tribe member, a Catalyst. This woman inspires me on so many levels. She is an endless supply of grace and energy. She had a couple questions for me and then asked something that would change my path. "Had I ever thought about taking the Catalyst Intensive Course" she asked? (Ironically, the thought of becoming a Life Coach had crossed my mind in the past. Crossed it and left just as quick). I asked her "Who am I to think I could be a Life Coach? What makes me qualified?" She told me, "YOU, are what makes you qualified. Your story makes you qualified. Your openness and your transparency. Your unending compassion and support for those around you." And so, the wheels were set in motion. I was ALL IN. I was totally out of my comfort zone. I was beginning to live my life for me.
The next step in my journey, is to become a Catalyst Life Coach. I am stretching the limits of my comfort zone. As I dig deeper into my own issues and needs, I am finding I am not so different from other people in this world; but I am unique. I can offer something that no one else can. I can offer my story. My story is unique to me. My willingness to show up messy and real, is my super-power. The deep burning fire within me, tells me that I am on the right path. I am destined for more. I want to create ripples and collisions. I believe we are not defined by the choices we make, we define ourselves by the way we rise from them.
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