Let's be real. 3 reasons why 'Self Help' can be a trap

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I have spent a lot of my life as a confessed self help addict.

Since I was 17 and picked up my first self help book - Louise Hay’s; ‘Heal Your Life’ - I have had an affinity with learning about the self, the universe, and really getting deep on how to create my dream life.

Growing up I never had access to this sort of empowerment, and across my late teens and early twenties, I got a real kick off getting more connected, seeing my manifestations appear quicker than ever, experiencing greater health, better relationships, and a passion for life I didn’t know existed.

This self empowerment journey was (and still is) incredibly helpful for my evolution, however I have observed a flaw in this self empowerment obsessed industry (and that I have been guilty of too).

Firstly, there is no one size fits all.

I see this with my clients also. Each person has a unique upbringing, has a different reason to be here, a unique purpose and our own journey to experience. We come to earth with our lessons and karma to move through.

There is never going to be one magic guru that fixes us, but why would we want to give our power away to one person anyway? Without sounding cheesy, we really are our own guru. This is one of the most important truths. We should never hand our power away to anyone. Without a doubt, there will be guides who lead, inspire and expand us. I wholeheartedly believe in coaches, experts, authors and healers, who provide a framework and toolbox that allows us to remember who we are at the core. I don’t believe that there is ever any ‘quick fix’ or ‘one size fits all’ approach to creating our own version of success.

I believe that we must honour what we have learned so far on our path, observe what has worked for us, and continue to accumulate tools that inspire and motivate us. We will get to a point where we outgrow the tools that worked before, and need new ways to move forward and stay inspired. When this happens, let the tools go and lean into the discomfort of ‘not knowing’ what we need next. We are going to need different tools to expand to a new place than before, it’s important to honour this process. I have observed frustration when the tools that got us to great places before,, are not working anymore. Would you expect a 5 year old to play with the same toys that they loved when they were 3? We outgrow tools and need new challenges.

Secondly, you are never broken.

Naturally, we move towards expansion. Naturally, we crave growth. We are born to create, to ask questions, to gain clarity, to move forward. The work is never ending, we came here to evolve. The things that we ask for, will always be changing and growing as we expand beyond shadows.

The self-help industry can empower us, but should never make us feel like we need to do something in order to be fulfilled. We should never feel like without taking this ‘course;’ or thinking a certain way in order to achieve fulfilment, success, abundance, means we are not going to make it in life.

You do not have to manifest like Tony Robins. You are not a failure if you don’t live in a luxury mansion with a Maserati. You do not have to quit your corporate job in order to travel the world as an influencer, amazon reseller, or remote consultant.

Of course, if that is what lights you up - then go for it. But you are not immediately a failure for not wanting it. You can create your own version of success doing anything - do not let others define what success means for you.

Thirdly, let yourself feel.

Scream and shout if you want to. Be angry, say what you really think, and let that shit go.

Anything that makes us feel like we can’t be sad, or we have to hide the ‘negative’ emotions is not creating self expression, it is asking us to hide parts of ourself. It is asking us to pretend we are okay. Which is only creating further shadow. Labelling emotions as ‘bad’ only creates separation from our true self.

We all have shadows, we have parts of ourselves we don’t we don’t want to look at. The highs, the lows, the ugly parts are all part of our human existence. Ignoring the ‘bad’ parts doesn’t mean they don’t exist anymore, we need to embrace and love our whole selves - not part of it. When we love only part of ourselves, we can only show up as a fragment of our entire self. When we embrace our flaws and our beauty as a whole - we experience life fully.

Seeking ‘personal growth’ can become a trap to looking externally for safety, validation or happiness. Part of the process is finding love for where we are now, love for where we have been, where we are going, and everything in this moment.

We really do have everything within. We hold the answers when we let ourself listen.

Self empowerment resources are incredible, and I am a huge advocate for taking power over your own life. But don’t let self empowerment become a reason not to experience life’s quirks. We are not here to avoid pain, we must let ourself process and expand. Our imperfections make us beautiful.

Let's take our power back

Love, Olivia

Hormonal Acne, what actually works?

Since I was 18, I have come and gone from having monthly bouts of ‘unwanted visitors’. Over the past 9 years I have been on a journey of having a few months of clear skin, followed by a big breakout or a ‘bad patch’ of spots for weeks on end.

It started to progress when when I was 20 in University. I became used to spots appearing on my chin a week out from my period, like clockwork. Among my early twenties it seemed to be a common thread of conversation amongst the ‘sisterhood’, that the period must soon be approaching when that first chin spot of the month appeared. It almost felt like a right of passage, and the stress of the spots were relieved by the fact that everyone seemed to be facing a similar issue. With concealer in one hand and a bottle of St Ives Exfoliator in the other, we were tackling the monthly spots together. It never crossed my mind at this point that hormone imbalances existed, or that these monthly spots could be an indicator of something deeper going on.

Fast forward to my mid twenties, my monthly spots were still hitting like clockwork. Although it seemed at this stage that most of my pals had outgrown their skin issues, and it began to hit home that perhaps I was doing something wrong? I was stumped, as by this point I had spent my my career dedicated to the health and wellness industry. I was the ‘healthiest’ I had ever been, I practised mindfulness, had a balanced wholefoods diet, and even had began making my own skin creams and tonics. I had switched my makeup to entirely organic, was on an extensive list of supplements, and was naturally managing my cycles without contraceptives. This was when I started to seek out a hormone specialist. I firstly went to visit a well known alternative Doctor who specialised in Women’s hormone health. I went onto a course of progesterone creams and adrenal support. 6 months later, nothing had worked.

A year later I sought out a Naturopath, who specialised in Cancer patients and hormonal imbalances resulting from Adrenal Fatigue. I did a hormone test. She put me onto a keto diet, adrenal support, liver support and slow juicing. 6 months later, nothing worked again.

Don’t get me wrong, these practitioners were wonderful and perhaps worked for many others. But nothing was stopping these pimples. And the pimples were getting worse. All I knew that they were related to my sex hormones, and that perhaps stress was a factor. At this point, I had been running my business for 4.5 years, and there was no doubt that I was under immense responsibility. However I didn’t ‘feel’ stressed or anxious – it was more an underlying feeling of constantly having a workload that I couldn’t leave at the front door in the evening. This feeling was all I had ever known.

Fast forward a year, and my skin issues were at an all time high. I no longer had hormonal acne at ‘that time of the month’ - it was now a permanent, unwanted friend that had turned up and wasn’t going anywhere. It was really hard, on my self esteem and mental health. I started to feel like an imposter. How could I be an authority in the wellness industry and represent a healthy lifestyle, when it looked like I personally had a very imbalanced internal body? 

Despite my love for natural and organic, I started to look for options that would cover up the state of my skin. I got desperate, and started looking for products that would at least give me some quick relief. It seemed to me at this point, it didn’t matter what I ate, or put on my skin – as nothing made a difference.

At this point of my life, I had never been under as much personal, financial and business pressure. I was in the process of selling my business of 6 years, (a process which is highly stressful). The pimples had spread from my chin, up my cheeks and down my neck.

It was at this point that I started to consider, a hormonal pill to regulate my hormones again. Going down this track is an option that I had tried to avoid my whole life, however I was really at my wits end. 

A few months passed and finally my business had sold, I had slowly started to unwind the pressures and responsibilities I had previously, and finally I had time to really address the issue.

I was at a yoga class one day, when a friend (also a Naturopath) saw my skin, and said she could help me. I initially felt really uncomfortable that she had so clearly seen that I was struggling with it. But I went ahead and took a session with her.

She said it would take three months at least to heal the skin and the scarring would take the longest to heal – but that she could definitely help me. I was a little sceptical, as I had heard this before, however I took her advice and immediately started the therapeutic herbal tinctures she blended me. I also took a practitioner grade Vitamin E, Zinc and Iron. She said it didn’t matter what I used externally (creams, make up) – it was an internal issue that needed to be fixed. 

No word of a lie, within 2 weeks my skin had started to change. The new pimples had stopped cropping up. I thought it was too good to be true, that it was a fluke, so I waited longer. A month later, still no new pimples, and scarring had started to reduce too.

Post Hormonal Acne

Post Hormonal Acne

It is now about 2 and a half months in. I am on my third bottle of herbs, and I will keep going. My skin has improved dramatically. Every morning I wake up and touch my skin to make sure no new friends have arrived, and so far – so good! My periods have also changed – they are longer, more regular (I have always had very light, short periods with 7-8 week cycles). I do get an odd spot occasionally, but I am absolutely okay with this. I have made friends with my body and respect that it’s learning how to come back to homeostasis.

Energetically, it feels like my body is slowly restoring itself. I think long term stress has played a really big factor in my hormone imbalance. I am trying to really let myself slow down and not put pressure on myself to push forward - patience is something I have always struggled with. I am prioritising my mental health, balance between home and work life, and staying kind, gentle with my body.

My experience with hormone healing is clearly unique to my own body, however I do believe finding the right Naturopath is key, and therapeutic herbs have been more powerful than I have ever experienced. Natural body products are clearly important, but what I have learned is that they won’t change the state of the skin from a deep level.  

If you’d like the details of my Naturopath, get in touch. Would love to hear if you have had a similar story – or any techniques that have worked for you.

Love, Olivia

x

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