When Your Inner Voice Tells You: “We’re Not Doing That Anymore”, Just Listen

When Your Inner Voice Tells You: “We’re Not Doing That Anymore”, Just Listen

Before starting: if reading ain’t your thing, you can listen to this story on my podcast.

For this first post I’m gonna share a bit about myself and how I ended up here. Some things might resonate with you, since you ended up here too and you’re reading this.

My story is pretty mainstream actually. Some people call it mid-life crisis, some people call it awakening. I’m calling it “We’re Not Doing That Anymore”.

Life On Autopilot

Most of my adult life, I’ve been on autopilot. Meaning, I followed a path that was mostly dictated by my upbringing, other people values, ideas, fears. Make no mistake, from the outside, it all looked good. I was, as some might say, pretty successful. No reason to complain really – good jobs, social life, steady relationships, some travels…

But I always felt a bit dissociated. Not sure that makes sense, but as if my life wasn’t really my life, like I was living someone else’s life. Something was always missing. It was always this “once I have that I’m gonna be happy and fulfilled”. And once I had that, I was chasing the next thing because I still felt something was missing, something was off. Now I know I was off!

I wasn’t unhappy, but I surely wasn’t happy either. It was more of a general “meh” state. But I was a bit clueless about what to do about it. And I didn’t make time to really self reflect. I just rolled with it, thinking I really didn’t have anything to complain about, and that life wasn’t supposed to be all rainbows and unicorns.

The autopilot was still on and I was blissfully ignorant of that fact.

A Few Wake-up Calls

There is this quote that I love, from Anaïs Nin: “When one is pretending, the entire body revolts”. So, so on point!

I got my first wake up call in 2011. My body started to act out in very creative ways. I saw a bunch of doctors, did a ton of medical check-up, and as a conclusion, everything was peachy and “It’s just stress, you have to relax”. OK. I still felt like shit, so I decided to start a therapy. First step into self awareness and work on myself. I still didn’t connected all the dots despite what my body was telling me.

Second wake up call came in 2016. I got myself a nice Lyme disease. This one was nasty. Not to get too specific, but I gave me 2 very deep realisations. #1 I was taking my body and brain normal function for granted, and #2 Life my be shorter and more unpleasant than I imagined. I slowed down, took a bit better care of myself. Still, in the meantime, I launched my own business – because who doesn’t like a challenge, right? Probably another distraction to avoid asking myself the questions and face the hard truths.

2019, I decided to take a break. Not a two week holiday break. A two month break. Both my personal and professional situation at that time allowed me to do that. For the first time in my life, I was totally on my own, free to make my own decisions, no one to please but myself, and my only compass at that time was to follow what felt good. That took me from Thai islands to a yoga retreat in Cambodia to a small town in Vietnam and it was such a peaceful and blissful experience.

Then I went back. Back to reality as they say. That’s bullshit. I couldn’t adjust, it felt like trying to wear old clothes that were too tight. It only took me a few months to decide it was time for the next chapter of my life. Goodbye Paris, hello Berlin.

Everything went so smoothly – that’s how I knew it was the right decision. Everyone fears (you don’t speak German, you don’t have a job, you don’t have friends, you don’t have an apartment) had  no hold over me. For once in my life, I had no doubts. I found the perfect apartment within a month. Job presented itself. 

Fast forward to 2022. I love my life in Berlin, there’s no question I made a good choice. Still, I realise now I ended up in the exact same old patterns. Exhausting myself physically and mentally in situations that weren’t meant for me. Failing to voice my needs, even failing to be fully aware of them. People pleasing. Not enough rest. No time to self reflect. The autopilot was back on.

And then came the third wave of wake up call, and boy, this one was a hard one. Once again, my body said “Nope, we are not doing that anymore”.  And this time, I heard it. I’m not sure I had much of a choice to be honest. I had zero drive and even getting out of bed felt like an impossible task to achieve.

I also realised how deeply unhappy I was with my job. I quit. I took a few month off to rest. It was so hard for me, not being productive in the sense society wants us to be. But This “we’re not doing that anymore” felt like a non negotiable. 

OK, I’m Awake, What Now?

And it’s all nice but what are we doing then? When you’ve done the exact same things in the same way your whole life, how do you manage to get out of your own ways? 

I felt like a 10 000 pieces puzzle. All the pieces were scattered all over the place, in different rooms, some of them pretty well hidden, and I had to collect them and put them together until it starts to make sense. Until you can start to see the whole picture and what makes you, you.

It was like getting to know myself again. I started with the basics. What do I want? What do I like? What makes me happy? What do I believe in? What are my values? What doesn’t serve me anymore ? How can I evolve?

It was like peeling a giant onion, layers by layers, with all the crying involved. I couldn’t have done all that work by myself – I tried pretty much everything that could hep, and let’s say, for someone who’s always been very rational, I went into some very interesting places.

It took me like 6 months to question everything, put a big part of a puzzle together. And really, it’s not about positive affirmation or becoming the best version of yourself. You are the best version of yourself as soon as you start to embrace everything about you. Your uniqueness. What’s usually called flaws. Things you are not so proud of. Things you always repressed. 

I know I always projected this very composed, self-confident and even powerful image. That was my persona. I realised how stuck I was in my patterns and conditioning, how clueless I was about my wants and needs, how afraid I was of rejection and how little I actually loved myself, always seeking for external approval or validation. How far I was from being authentic.

I’m not going to say the work is over and all is perfect. I don’t even know what perfect is. All I know is I never felt better or more aligned. Most of my fears, anxiety, and limiting beliefs are gone. If they’re not, I’m very aware of them and I know how to deal with them when they come back knocking. While I continue with my journey, my goal now I also to share my experience and learnings. My tricks and my mistakes. My path from A to B. I hope it can resonate with you, inspire you. 

If I could do it, you can too.

 

I’m here to guide and support you on your journey!

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