life is long and so is this – My spiritual journey – age 0-27
I started out as a creative and free child. My mom always said that I led the other kids at day care and that the teachers would love to have me around because I would entertain the other kids. I was a happy child. A positive chid. As the years went by I started getting a bit more self-aware as you do when you start school. You become aware of your appearance and to fit in becomes priority. At the same time, I moved around a lot. My father was very focused on getting his career going so my family (of four) had to move wherever he got a new opportunity. I changed schools like four times in a year during first grade. That, you can imagine, has an impact on a child. I became more and more self-conscious and retreated into myself. I learned not to draw attention to myself to blend in. I was constantly the new kid. I even got teased at one of the schools for not knowing English very well (Not my native language) when we moved to the US for half a year. The years went by and I started to detest that I was shy. It was like I was inside of a box and couldn’t break free. I felt trapped in my own mind. When I reached my teenage years my father started working from home more. He is a very hot-headed opinionated man who likes things his way. I, being almost only raised by my mother until this point, was not accustomed to his presence. We clashed. A LOT. He was mean and I was mean back. And it got worse. He called me all sorts of things. I pretended I didn’t care but the fact was that it ruined me. It ruined every once of selflove I could have ever gathered at that age. I was shy in school and had two friends. As my problems at home grew and now affected my whole family’s dynamic, I started to skip school more. I developed social anxiety. My best friend got tired of my absences in class and stopped being my friend (who could’ve blame her..) I manage to finish high school with an extra year added so I could complete all my courses. That extra year I focused only on myself and I read every selfhelp book I could get my hands on. It was at this time I first read “the power of now” by Eckhart Tolle. It was the first glimpse into spirituality I experienced. It resonated with me but I couldn’t yet apply the content to myself since I hadn’t yet lived in the real world. I was still stuck in my anxiety filled mind. All about me me me. Everyone is looking at me and thinking of me – that I’m ugly or why I’m looking or doing this and that etc. I had such hatred for myself and for my appearance it is kind of insane when I think back to it. I spent all the money I got at that time on buying makeup and products to try and find my “look”. To explore and try to reach a level of beauty that I thought would make people accept me. So toxic, oh so toxic. I hoped and longed for a guy to come save me. I thought getting a boyfriend would solve all my issues with myself. Oh so toxic. I did not know a lot about life back then..
I moved to London at the age of 19. I thought moving away from my country would solve all my problems. The idea I had, that I would be someone else on the other side of the fence, where the grass is greener, motivated me to push myself to actually move. Me and a friend got an apartment there. I got my first job working behind the scenes at a clothing store. I was so nervous when I went on a job-hunt with my resumes in hand. At one place they said to come back when I’d been in London for a few months, when I toughened up. Ha-ha. But the clothing store, they gave me a chance. I remembered the manager that I spoke to. She’d looked entertained when I approached her, all nervous, and asked if they needed staff. I was so happy when I got the phone call afterwards. I felt my first little jump of confidence in myself. Later I realized that they hired basically anyone just to get workforce because the pay was shit but oh well. It still did loads for my confidence. After a year there I grew. Met my first boyfriend. Met new people. I had also became a vegan this year. It felt like an answer to me. All my teenage years I’ve struggled with diet. I had a binge disorder and I was a bit chubby. I didn’t know what to eat and I couldn’t get myself to exercise. Veganism felt like the answer to me. So this year was also a lot about exploring that world. Learning not to fear food.
After that year I wanted to do something else, jobwise. The salary was shit so I applied for another job. I got a job as a customer support representative for a company that sold home appliances. My younger social anxiety teenage self could’ve never imagine I’d have a job answering phone calls. I couldn’t even call to order a pizza before. Now I talked to 50 + people a day. Growth!
Eventually thing ended with the first boyfriend, I felt like something was missing so I mustered up the courage, which was one of the hardest things I’ve done up to that point and broke things of. As you can imagine I was a needy girlfriend. I needed attention and acceptance. Cutting that out was hard. But I knew I didn’t want to settle and we had different goals in life. We continued seeing each other which was kind of dysfunctional but I was never good at cutting people completely out of my life all at once. After living in London for two years I moved to Barcelona. I needed a change after my break up and I knew I wanted better weather. By a coincidence, my roommate at the time had a friend that wanted to move to London from Barcelona so she took my part of the rent and I moved there. Alone this time.
My time there was a roller coaster. I looooooved the lifestyle I had there. I had a callcenter job there as well which was fine. I loved the people I worked with. The people I met. The weather. The fact that drinks were relatively cheap so you could go out for drinks and socialize in the sun multiple times a week. I loved the beach and the buildings. The openness of the people and the liveliness of the town. There was always something going on. I met a guy there as well. On tinder this time. It was a train wreck. I was not sure about him from the start and we broke up maybe twenty times over a year and a halves time. One thing though was that he made me more open as a person. He taught me a lot about life and how to live. For that I am grateful. But he manipulated me like no other. The back and forth even has me exhausted now trying to think of all the ups and downs we had so I’ll save you the details. Bottomline was that it was a big mess. Cut to my last year in Barcelona where I realized I needed guidance in my spiritual journey. While living in both countries, I had continued reading books about selfhelp and a few about spirituality but I felt that I had lost touch with that part of my life. I had been so distracted with external things like different jobs, friends and boyfriends, moving, everything being so fast paced, repressed anxiety with just forcing myself to do stuff. I never really got treated for my anxious thoughts.. So I felt like I knew what I needed but I hadn’t prioritized it. It’s funny, how it’s often like that.. We know what would solve our problems or make us happier but yet we don’t do it.. Huh.
Anyway, I accidently scrolled past a post from a woman that offered zen coaching. I never heard the term before but kept on reading. I knew of the word zen. I heard that before. As I kept reading I felt intrigued. I felt hope. It felt like what I was looking for. So I messaged her and she responded by giving me her cellphone number. To my surprise the number was not a Spanish number but one from my home country. It felt like a sign. We decided to do a test session. I came to her apartment and we sat down together. We started with a quiet minute where we landed in ourselves. Then we started to explore different aspects of how I felt. Different issues or limitations I experienced in everyday life. Anything that would come up basically in that hour. The time went by so quick. I remember afterwards being in shock. It felt like time literally didn’t exist. I never experienced that before. I was excited and recorded my thoughts afterwards on my phone. I kept doing that. Going to her every week and afterwards documenting my insights. I had a lot of them. She helped me so much. I explored my inner child. I realized I needed more self-compassion and could work on it with the help of trying to create a relationship to my inner child. I realized I stress about time. That I want to be productive because if I’m not I don’t feel good enough. We touched on so many different topics that since then have now become a part of how I think in everyday life. It was like those were the introduction to a new way of thinking. It brought light to my old reactionary thought patterns and helped unravelled them; I questioned them and tried to redirect my thoughts on a new wiser path. I had bought ten sessions with her. The last ones we did over Zoom since I decided to move back to my country to start studying nutrition. My interest in veganism had grown and I felt that I wanted to get a degree to not only learn everything on a university level but also get credibility to start my own lifecoaching/nutrition-planning business. I wanted to help people who struggled with binge eating and give them veganism as the answer. Plantbased foods are often lower in calories (whole veggies and fruit mostly) so you can eat a lot (“binge”) and still don’t gain weight. It had helped me. I had lost twenty kilos. I was now for the first time ever kind of okay with my body. I felt like it was a secret I had to spread.
After those ten sessions I didn’t feel like continuing. I had a lot of school and blamed it on economy; now a poor student so I couldn’t justify renewing my sessions and kept my time focusing on school instead. I had also broken up with the boyfriend in Barcelona and was heartbroken and kind of destroyed from it. I felt like the growth and insights I got from the zen coaching couldn’t apply fully to my normal self since my environment was so unstable with the relationship I had then. The coming three years of my school I kept on studying nutrition and reading selfhelp/spiritual books. Then I met a guy, again.. hehe. This time a good one. And it wasn’t until then. When we got together at the start of my second university year that I began to heal. I for the first time felt appreciated and accepted for me. I didn’t have a relationship with jealously and doubts. Playing games every day. This felt healthy and right. In hindsight I’ve realized that I probably needed the guy in Barcelona to be able to appreciate the guy I’m with now fully. Even though the time with the barcelona guy feels like bad memory I do feel grateful as well (everything happens for a reason.. <3) The new (right) guy was completely different from my normal type. My first boyfriend was the funny guy. The second was the extroverted and charismatic. And this guy was calm and collected. Very handsome and secure but also introverted. And as I’m introverted as well I’m usually attracted to the opposite. But I gave this guy a chance since my friend encouraged me to go out with him in order to forget about my toxic ex and I’m very happy she did. We have now been together for almost two years. He taught me soooo much about life. He is not about stressing; he likes to take his sweet time. He doesn’t want to learn how to multitask; he rather do one thing with his full attention so it’s done correctly. He loves how things used to be; he likes the seventies. He is a minimalist; he has a van haha. And we have now been van-lifing for two summers in a row. It’s a very special thing, van life. I’ll make another post about it eventually but the fact that you can go wherever you want with your house hahah. The freedom. That everything isn’t as comfortable like it is in an apartment makes everything take time and you have patience and appreciate everything more. It’s spontaneous. It’s fun. The hippies knew what was up.
SO! Today then.. haha.. this will be a long post. But now I’m almost done with my school and my priorities have changed. Food doesn’t feel like the most important anymore. I wan’t to go deeper than that. I want to connect with people and be apart of someones journey. I’m going to start with zen coaching sessions again over the summer. I will do it again but with a stabile mindset. And during the summer i got a job in a health boutique. After the summer me and the boyfriend have plans on either moving to Indonesia for a year while studying or working OR depending on how the situation is with corona if it’s easier to travel inside Europe we want to take the van to either Portugal or Greece. Either or we have plans on moving abroad. That year will be a year of living life together and experiencing new things. After we feel done with that (and who knows what life has planned.. anything could happen) I’m thinking of taking a course to become a zen teacher myself. In the meantime I want to:
- Continue with the blog. Write posts about different topics!
- Eventually start a youtube channel. I would love to vlog about our life in the van or our trip to Indonesia. I want to document and share our experience 😊
- Continue with routines that make me feel good like – yoga, meditation, taking slow walks, reading spiritual books, watching youtube etc
- Continue growing with other people. Practising on being aware with others to deeper connect.
I don’t know exactly what will happen this fall but I know i have to be flexible and adapt. And while doing that I will keep writing here :3