For most of my life, I searched outside of myself. I searched in other people, in experiences, events, relationships, dynamics, and so forth. I traveled, dated, had sex with people I loved, had sex with strangers, joined groups, left groups, and even went to a school where the main focus was to look within myself. But still I searched because there was still a small part inside me that felt that what I truly needed and wanted was something that was going to come from someone else, or an experience where my attention was turned outward. Months ago, when I realized this validation wasn't coming from my long-term relationship, I ended it and moved on, convinced that the "thing" or "spark" that I was looking for could be found in someone else. And every time I didn't find this in someone, or in a group or class or exercise program, I felt disappointed, let down, and defeated.
Eight months ago, I met someone who changed my life. And when I say "changed my life," what I mean is that he helped me see my life and my experience as both a soul and a human from a different perspective. How he changed my life is he helped me to change my own life by showing me over and over that nothing I was looking for could or can be found anywhere but inside myself. We began working together in a coaching-type situation because the dynamic is what came naturally to both of us and it worked out well. He held the space for me while I ran around in circles (or how it seemed at times, anyway) stepping out of one awareness and into another, over and over again. I danced my circles of self-awareness and awakening around him as he stood solid, consistent, and more loving than anything I had ever experienced. In the beginning, I kept waiting for him to "do" something -- either to validate me or fulfill me or "make" me feel special. But he didn't. In fact, he really didn't do anything except be true to himself as he held for me. After years and years of "trying" to find fulfillment and happiness in myself THROUGH other people and outer experiences, I felt exhausted, worn out, and for a lack of better words, completely broken down. In some ways, I had lost trust and faith in myself. I felt like I had done something wrong because I just didn't feel connected to myself. I had come so far yet I felt so far behind everyone else -- and society as a whole. I looked to this beautiful new soul in my life and wondered how he was going to help me. And after a few months I began to realize that he wasn't actually going to "do" anything for me except love me and encourage me to take a deep and long look inside myself and find the love and validation that I had so desperately been searching for everywhere else.
Up until I met this person, I hadn't really ever given myself a safe space to just be me -- and experience myself authentically. I hadn't given myself the opportunity to experience the rawness of who I was when no one else was around. I had spent so much time distracting myself with one thing or another -- one relationship after another or one text message after another -- that I hadn't even given myself a chance to get to know ME. The beautiful, bold, loving, sexy, courageous, soulful, free-spirited ME. And finally, in the presence of someone who truly loved me and believed in me, I had the opportunity to create a safe space for myself -- a nest, so to speak -- to slow down, get real with myself, and take a really good inventory of my needs, without turning to someone to fulfill them. And so I began my journey to really knowing my soul. I laughed and talked and shared and opened up. I turned off my iPhone and logged out of Facebook and just let myself BE. And he sat and he listened and he added to my safe space as he looked deep into my eyes. And in his eyes I could see the reflection of my soul that he could see so clearly and it was there, with him on that beautiful winter morning, where I truly saw myself. And my world broke so wide open that the only thing I could feel was love. And in that very intimate and tender moment, I knew I had found my "me spot."
The truth is, we live in a world where distractions are present at every moment and the temptation to seek outside of ourselves is very strong. And in fact, these distractions and temptations really take away from the meaning and importance of BEING present, in the moment, with OURSELVES. So many of us spend our time searching outside of ourselves. For love, comfort, joy, fulfillment, peace, clarity, abundance -- the list goes on and on. On some level, most of us want validation from others. We want that sweet text message or loving gesture or validating comment on our Facebook status. We WANT to feel good about ourselves so a lot of the time we look to things or experiences or people to fulfill that. But what if we all just took a chance? What if we all just decided one day to turn our phones on silent and turn off our Facebook notifications and not give in to that ego-centered mind chatter that leads us to look anywhere but inside ourselves for fulfillment and happiness? What would happen? Where would our minds go? What would happen if we just let all of that drop away and we sank just a bit lower into ourselves and allowed ourselves the time and space to create a safe nest? We have been trained in this society to look outside of ourselves on so many levels -- emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Even when it comes to sex, as women we are taught to help men "find our G-spot" -- a magic place that exists inside that only someone else can touch yet it provides the MOST fulfillment and pleasure. But what about the "me spot?" What about that place inside that only WE can access for ourselves? Something so good and so amazingly fulfilling that can only be accessed if we allow ourselves the opportunity to turn off everything else except the loving voice inside that reminds us of who we really are.
I had the amazing opportunity to work with a coach who held this space for me in the sense that he reminded me it was OK to do this. He reminded me time and time again that I was safe and loved because I was safe with myself and wrapped in my OWN love. And I know not everyone has the opportunity to work with a coach or a therapist, but there are so many other ways to create and have a safe space. The "me spot" can be anything from a local cafe where you drink your favorite tea for an hour each week, or a corner of the library where you read every Saturday morning. In fact, maybe it's time with a close friend, or a walk on the beach, or a cozy night hanging out at home alone or a yoga class, or even singing in your car as loud as you can. The "me spot" can be anywhere because it isn't so much about the physical place or even the experience, but about how YOU feel when you are with yourself in those moments. It's a time and space to experience the raw, unedited, vulnerable, beautiful part of YOU. The "me spot" is really just about that special place inside that allows for reflection, guidance, inner knowing, and a sense of safety, comfort, and endless and unconditional love and support -- coming from yourself. Because really, we spend so much of our time outside of ourselves, interrupted every seven minutes by a buzzing neon LCD billboard or a text message or an iCal reminder. But what I learned is that the beauty and magic that can happen when I go into my own "me spot" and close my eyes, take in a deep breathe, and settle into myself is more meaningful than anything I will ever read on Facebook or experience while I am searching for answers anywhere other than inside myself.
As a health coach, moving into my own practice, my feedback to others, based on my own learning experiences, is to make the time. Making the time and creating the space to feel safe, held, and supported, is a PRICELESS gift that we can give to ourselves over and over -- multiple times every day if we want! And unlike the "G-spot" the "me spot" is something that only we can access ourselves, in the quiet of our minds and the solitude of our own inner peace. So do it, make the time, turn off the outside world and open your eyes to the light inside YOU. It's there and shining and waiting to be discovered and can be such an important space for growth, as I learned while working with my own coach. Without the safe space that I first created in the presence of him -- and now have created just in the presence of myself -- I wouldn't be where I am today. In fact, I very well might still be searching outside of myself for that fulfillment and validation. And what a blessing it is to know that no matter what I can access that place inside where I can just be ME. In a world of chaos and non-stop movement and technology and distraction, it feels pretty good.