I’m learning that everything, and I mean everything is an inside job.
Happiness, warmth, health (mental and physical) and emotional well-being is all an inside job.
So often in my lifetime I have looked outside of myself for validation, for recognition, for love, for happiness. My search has spanned from coast-to-coast and back again, through failed relationships, friendships, jobs and opportunities.
Through triumph and through disaster, I have searched for the key to the things I have been longing for my entire life. All along I have been holding the key in my own hand, yet not being able to find the lock. It has truly been my own responsibility to do something about it.
I have been toying with this idea for quite some time but only recently have put it into practice more in my own life. I was tired of pointing the finger at other people or situations to make or break my happiness. I’m bored to death with my story, my patterns, my inner struggles. I was sick of my moods affecting others, it’s unfair, and I don’t want to be that person anymore. I am ready to write a new story to do things in a new way.
It dawned on me one day when I was at my old workplace and I was cold. I had closed the door and put on slippers, but was still freezing. I hate being cold, it makes me moody and anyone who knows me knows that my energy is powerful, whether it be in a good or a bad way, my mood permeates the field around me. I started to complain about how cold I was when it hit me: it’s an inside job.
If I’m cold it is up to me to do something about it rather than complain about it. Just as everything else can be created within our own being, heat can be created in our own bodies. I immediately started doing squats. Everyone around me looked at me like I was nuts, although it was a yoga studio so it wasn’t that out of the norm to see people doing strange poses in the lobby. When asked why I was doing squats I replied, “I was cold, and everything is an inside job.” This small act is something that I employ often as a step along the way to creating my own contentment.
I’ve also taken back the key to figuring out my own dilemmas. Ever since I made the trek across the country to live in California once more, I have felt somewhat lost. It’s not surprising considering the circumstances in which I left. You cannot run away from your problems and most importantly, you cannot run away from yourself. It feels like I have been trying to find myself all this time, and in that search I looked to others to help me find me.
I would talk to anyone who would listen about my own personal struggles or the struggles that I had going on in my life at any given time. I had lost trust for myself so much that I didn’t believe that I had the capacity to do anything about it on my own. In looking outside myself for the answers, and letting everyone in on my inner landscape, I made myself completely vulnerable to the judgement of others, and I lost myself even more in the process.
I made the decision to remove myself from the intimate setting in which I went to on a daily basis for the past two years to reclaim my own personal strength. I felt the need to turn inward and go back to the basics of working on myself, by myself. No more group yoga teacher trainings or leadership trainings where we all bare our souls, no more talking with co-workers disguised as friends about the details of my inner workings, no more looking outside of myself for the answers.
I am learning so much about myself through this process, but most of all I am learning where I fit into my own life best. It’s like I’ve been wearing a pair of jeans that looked so great all folded up on the shelf, but then when I put them on I felt restricted and uncomfortable, yet I kept putting them on in hopes they would fit one of these days.
Sometimes you gotta just try a new size, or an old size. Maybe it’s time to dig out the ones that are at the bottom of my drawer from years before, worn, loose fitting and comfortable. I had stuffed them aside because “they just weren’t me” anymore. Or maybe it’s time to try a new pair all together, one that isn’t quite as worn, or as new as the other pairs. It’s time to find my own perfect fit, for myself.
The best thing about these realizations is that I finally get that I am truly holding the key to whatever it is that I want to create in my life. I have known of this concept for most of my adult life, but I looked at it in a very different way. Like if I focused on something enough, I could make it happen just as I imagined. But, I have learned that not everything manifests just because you put energy and thought into it, and certainly things rarely show up the way we think they will.
The most useful thing I have learned in this process? If you want to create something, create it within yourself first, and then you will find it everywhere.
That my friends is the lock, now let’s use our keys.
Author: Tiffany Davis
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Flickr/Justin Wolfe