My Birth Story, 2023 Yearly Reflections, & Embracing Authenticity
As we approach the end of 2023, I find myself reflecting on the past year—a year filled with challenges, triumphs, and valuable lessons. In this extended blog post, I want to share my personal journey and insights gained throughout the year. My hope is that my experiences resonate with you and inspire you to embrace your own authenticity, no matter where you are on your path of self-discovery.
Reflecting on My Wins
One of the exercises I recently undertook was creating a list of my top 10 wins from 2023, which I encourage you all to do as well. It's easy to forget the growth, transformation, and hard work we've put in throughout the year. So, take a moment to review your calendar, photo albums, or social media posts to compile your own list of highlight moments. Here are a few of my top wins:
Birthing a Human: The most significant win for me this year was giving birth to my son, Beckham. My pregnancy journey was challenging, especially in the final weeks when I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. This condition brought complications for both me and the baby. I was put on medication and bedrest, ultimately needing to be induced at 35 weeks due to Beckham's slow growth. It was a tough experience, but it taught me a lot about resilience and the miraculous capabilities of our bodies.
Impactful Coaching: I've had the privilege of working with 34 clients this year, providing both one-on-one and group coaching. I've spent around 180 hours in one-on-one coaching and 116 hours in group coaching sessions. Knowing that I've had a positive impact on these individuals and contributed to their personal growth is incredibly rewarding.
Embracing Support: A major win for me was learning to ask for and accept help. I've leaned into various resources, including my husband, therapist, personal coach, business coach, online community, family, and nanny. As someone who tended to do everything independently, this shift in mindset allowed me to acknowledge the importance of support and collaboration.
Authenticity and Self-Discovery: This year, I've delved deeper into understanding my true self and authenticity. Transitioning into motherhood and a mentor role prompted me to reflect on who I want to be and what aligns with my core values. It's been a journey of shedding old conditioning and societal expectations to embrace my authentic self fully.
Navigating the Challenges
While celebrating these wins, I must acknowledge that 2023 also brought its share of challenges and obstacles. Pregnancy, especially one complicated by preeclampsia, was not an easy journey for me. The physical and emotional toll it took on my body was immense, and I had to dig deep to find the strength to persevere.
The moment I received the preeclampsia diagnosis at 32 weeks, my world shifted. I understood the medical aspects of the condition as a nurse, but nothing could fully prepare me for the experience. Preeclampsia is characterized by an increase in blood pressure due to improper placental development during pregnancy. Despite having no prior blood pressure issues or underlying conditions, I found myself on medication and modified bedrest.
The uncertainty of my pregnancy was daunting. By 35 weeks, I was facing an early induction because it became unsafe to continue the pregnancy due to the escalating blood pressure and concerns for Beckham's well-being. This unexpected turn left me feeling unprepared and overwhelmed. My husband and I were on our own, far from our families, and our support system was limited.
The hospital stay and labor were filled with mixed emotions. As a nurse myself, I was accustomed to being in control and providing care to others. However, being on the receiving end of medical care felt foreign and vulnerable. My labor progressed rapidly, and an epidural that failed added to the intensity of the experience. Beckham was delivered quickly but had to spend nine days in the NICU due to his low birth weight.
Processing the Trauma & Asking for Support
The entire journey, from pregnancy to childbirth and the NICU, was traumatizing. I had to undergo extensive therapy and rely on my support network, including my therapists, coaches, husband, and assistant, to help me process my emotions and continue functioning. It took time, but with their guidance, I reached a place of deep appreciation for my body's resilience and the strength I had tapped into.
Amidst the challenges and triumphs, I found a renewed sense of authenticity. Before this year, I often grappled with a fear of judgment and a desire to conform to others' expectations. High school and college me cared deeply about what others thought, leading to sleepless nights and anxiety over every decision.
However, becoming a mother and navigating the complexities of entrepreneurship and life transitions forced me to confront these patterns. I discovered the power of shedding the old identity that no longer served me and embracing who I truly am. I learned that giving from a place of overflow and abundance, rather than lack and scarcity, creates a more significant impact on others.
The Journey of Self-Discovery
In the quest for authenticity, it's essential to recognize that authenticity is not a destination but a continuous journey. Embracing who you truly are means peeling away layers of conditioning and societal expectations to uncover your core self. It's about reconnecting with your inner wisdom and listening to the whispers of your heart.
One of the key realizations I had this year was the distinction between living for others' approval and living in alignment with my values and desires. The fear of judgment and the need for external validation can be powerful forces that hold us back from expressing our authentic selves.
To overcome these barriers, it's crucial to cultivate self-compassion and self-acceptance. We must learn to be kind and forgiving to ourselves as we navigate the challenges of self-discovery. It's okay to have doubts and fears; they are part of the human experience. The important thing is to acknowledge them and choose authenticity despite them.
Surrounding Yourself with Supportive Community
Additionally, surrounding yourself with a supportive community can make a significant difference in your journey toward authenticity. Seek out like-minded individuals who uplift and encourage you to be your true self. It's often in the company of those who understand and resonate with your journey that you find the strength to embrace authenticity fully.
Remember that authenticity is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Your authentic self is unique to you, and it may evolve over time. Embrace this evolution and allow yourself the freedom to grow and change. Self-discovery is an ongoing process, and as you explore new aspects of your authentic self, you may find hidden passions, talents, and desires.
As we approach the new year, I encourage you to connect with your true self, free from labels, conditioning, or external judgments. Your authenticity is a precious gift, and by living authentically, you inspire others to do the same. Remember that it's safe to be supported, and you deserve all the help you need to thrive.
If you're looking for deeper support on your journey toward self-discovery and authenticity, consider reaching out. I have a few one-on-one coaching spots opening up in the first half of next year, and I'd be honored to be part of your support team.
You can apply for a 1:1 coaching spot HERE.
Wishing you all a wonderful New Year ahead, filled with growth, self-discovery, and alignment. I appreciate each and every one of you, and I'll see you next year!