My ideas of life shifted when my assumed identity and purpose were taken away, and my mother of 58 was diagnosed with dementia on the week I turned 28. Two different, yet together life-altering lessons thrust upon me in the same week. Lessons, that I am now forever grateful for, and vow never to let slip far from my mind or actions. At first it shifted me in a helpless, woe-is-me, hopeless way. Then it started opening doors of exploration into what life should be about, and sparked the question of – who the hell am I anyway? Through lots of self exploration and hard work, I began to see the lessons I was now ready to learn from these tragedies. Losing my presumed identity was a chance to delve into finding out who I was, what I wanted, and what was important. Seeing my Mom lose her “happily ever after” made it clear that I had to design, and live, a life I loved now. Life is not a waiting game. If you are busy waiting, you aren’t actually living. And this, I could see, was what I had been doing with my entire life. I realized just how much time I had wasted – not lived.
The lesson solidified the more I grew, and life (not taking any chances), sure had fun solidifying it for me too. Loss of those close to me who hadn’t made it to their much saved for retirement. Seeing sacrifices of life and time for things that never came to fruition. All of this waiting and struggle for something they never got to. The whole “I’ll be happy when…” philosophy, where that magic “when” simply never appears, or you get thrown out of line before you reach it.
It sparked in me a desperate, urgent need to grasp life with all I had and get on with living, right this second. And not just any living, but living with intention. Living a life full of my values. Making choices to create a life I love and to live that life as my best self. I was fed up with the amount of life I had already given up, and now that I knew my choice, there was no way I was going to keep choosing to waste it.
Hence the motto of my life (and my first tattoo); Live FIERCE and Live NOW!
Learning to be fierce involved an exploration into my beliefs and limiting stories (like the “not good enough” story which some of you may be familiar 😉 ); those things that hold us back and keep us stuck. It involved making the choice and taking action to truly love myself and treat myself like I matter. To give up “trying” to and get on with doing it.
Being fierce was never about being fearless; it was about accepting all of those fears and doing it anyway. Letting them be there, but not letting them run the show. In fact, part of my journey of being fierce involved a lot of “fear seeking”, where I’d deliberately put myself in situations I was afraid of (like taking a new dance class or walking on top of the CN tower) in order to prove to myself that I can be fierce and do what I want – regardless of how uncomfortable or afraid I may be. To solidify the choice, and thus, the power I held.
When I look at my life right now, I can easily spot ways being fierce is playing out. I’m in the best physical shape and mental health of my life, I have a healthy tribe, I work at a career I’m passionate about, I design my own schedule, and I even spent a month escaping winter in Costa Rica. Being fierce will look different to everyone and at different times. For me, it didn’t always look like this; it started with acknowledging reality (and not putting on the blinders). Just as it has since the start, being fierce continues to evolve and expand.
Being fierce has transformed my life in many ways; however, there is one thing in particular that keeps the rest of it going. Permission. Being fierce has involved giving myself permission over and over again. Permission to create, live, and enjoy a life I love. Permission to love myself and have healthy relationships. Permission to let go of the stuff that stands in the way of any of that. Oh, and a true appreciation for the fact that we really are the only ones who can give ourselves this permission. Making the fierce choice is choosing to do so.
Demand more out of yourself. Demand the permission. Demand the love. Demand more out of life. Life doesn’t have to be something we just survive. Be fierce and thrive.
Are you ready to be fierce? If you’d like extra guidance and support on your journey of living your fiercest life; come join my online six week coaching program. The BE FIERCE program was developed using my training and skills as a Life Coach, as well as experience from my personal journey. It’s an in-your-pj’s and on-your-own-schedule program, so you can take it at your own pace and truly enjoy the process. The program focuses on how to BE FIERCE – including “Fierce Love” and “Fierce Life”. Providing strategies, assignments, and real-time discussions, to help you love and live fiercely. Don’t wait – check out the link below for more information! Early bird discount for registrations before April 1st!
Mindful Dragon aka Jeana Conalas
CAN Certified Life Coach & Blogger