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How I Went From Fine To Free: 6 Tools For Personal Transformation

Aging | Health

Once, I was so fine that I would get up at 7 A.M. so I could run an hour to the office.

There, I would spend 16 hours at my desk—but not without fitting in two spin classes at the gym across the street at irregular intervals to alleviate stress. Sometimes I’d throw in a box of sushi to sustain me. Sometimes.

As if this wasn’t enough, it always seemed like a good idea to hit the local bar when the work day finally concluded.

I would guzzle down a multitude of multicolour cocktails in order to drown an ocean of sorrows (read: try to convince myself I was having fun and loving life). This would then fuel some fairly spectacular dancing until 5 A.M.

Closing Time, Feeling Fine

When the clubs closed I’d cram in a couple of hours sleep, and then get up and go and do it all over again. But trust me, I was fine! FINE.

In no way was I attempting to numb the cold emptiness I felt inside. I was absolutely not trying to dull the frozen ache of loneliness and longing in my heart, to ignore the fact that something felt utterly and mystifyingly amiss. I definitely didn’t feel unfulfilled or uninspired.

We’ve all been there, right?

When I look back on those days, I can’t help but smile. I was trying to fill my life with all the things that didn’t matter, living at breakneck speed with no time to tune into my needs. I had no idea what fed me, what nourished me, what made me feel alive.

I Am Nothing, Going Nowhere

The truth was, I avoiding feeling much at all. I was just fearful and afraid that if I began to pick at my unhappiness, I would break—beyond repair. Of course, it happened anyway.

For a while, there was nothing. I was floating in the abyss of nowhere, clutching nothing but my yoga mat, whatever courage or craziness I could muster, and a dream that one day, I would be happy. I chose to dive into my loneliness, to explore my emptiness and embrace my solitude.

I asked my heart to open and show me what was missing.

And, guess what? It turned out that facing what I had been running from made me strong. I began to see that there was very little missing; my attention was simply misdirected as I focused outward, rather than looking within.

Breathing And Breaking Free

Mine has been a journey of change—a gentle unravelling that became revealing. Before, I felt trapped: locked into a life society dictated as suitable. Then, yoga showed me how to bend so I didn’t break. And then, I broke free.

If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have hesitated to hurl myself off the cliff edge of conformity. I can’t help but wonder, what would happen if more of us stopped running and faced whatever it is that makes us feel ‘FINE?’

The truth is we each have the power to be an active participant in our story. I took that nothingness and filled it with a vision of life that was my own conscious creation. I took control of my own transformation.

Here are my top six power tools for personal transformation, so you go from ‘FINE’ to feeling free.

1. Do yoga (of course).

Unroll your mat whenever you can. It will help you get out of your head and into your body, heal the past, and clarify the future.

2. Sit still, in silence – try Vipassana.

Imagine going completely off the grid and disconnect from all the things that usually demand your attention. Explore what is going on in your own head and heart without all those distractions. It’s eye opening!

3. Read.

Through the written word we can be transported, uplifted, and inspired. By reading about the experiences and journeys of others, we feel less isolated and alone. Reading between the lines, we often find guidance.

4. Connect.

Speak up about how you’re feeling and what you’re going through. Connect with like-minded people and cultivate a community of new friends and allies who are in your corner and who understand.

5. Consciously and constantly try new things.

Grow your comfort zone. Challenge and test yourself to discover things about yourself you didn’t know. Get playful and curious!

6. Move.

If you feel lost, stuck or stagnant—move. Change something. Shift. Transform. You don’t always have to make the ‘right’ move, sometimes a new place or a new perspective can be enough to stimulate insights and inspire.

Now, things are great. So great, in fact, that I find it mildly unsettling and am left contemplating, “what’s the catch?” Because the truth is, the life I have now would have been virtually unimaginable a few years ago. I am genuinely, authentically, and fully happy for perhaps the first time ever.

So let this be a reminder; if I can change, so you can you! If something doesn’t feel right, there is usually a reason for it. So be bold, act brave, and dream big.

Featured in New York Magazine, The Guardian, and The Washington Post
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