A Year in (Relative) Isolation

I was isolated for the majority of 2016 as a result of both chance and choice. This wasn’t the first year I have been in this place.

My journey towards finding a work-life balance started in 2013, what I didn’t know is that it was the beginning of having moments when would be alone or feel isolated. Seeking a balanced life led me to find my voice, which led me to face my fears i.e. any fear that I encountered. Finally, I found myself at a cross roads: Live life as you have always lived it, which for me meant take only calculated risks, or take a leap of faith.

I chose the leap of faith. My life has not been the same.

The first year of “my leap” was the hardest. During that time I was learning how the universe works, my patience was tested, my trust was tested, my comfort levels were tested and I found myself in a three month struggle with the universe.

What I could not see from my perspective, was that I brought that struggle into my life. I told the universe that I would trust it by my actions of taking the leap, yet when it started to do the work that needed to be done, I resisted. It wasn’t until I fully surrendered to the struggle and journey the exact thing I needed fell into my lap.

My life has been easier since I learned the importance of surrender.

During my deepest struggles of my leap of faith, there were times where I felt very isolated in my experiences. I know vulnerability is what connects us to each other and helps us see that we are not alone through shared experiences or feelings. However, there were times when no one in my network could understand the new perspective or understandings I gained as I pushed myself towards my edge.

You can only fully understand what pushing yourself to the edge feels like, when you’ve walked that course.

I remember getting frustrated when I tried to communicate experiences and my friends could not wrap their head around it. I remember how much I prayed for the universe to bring someone into my life that would understand my path so that I could have someone to talk to about my new experiences. It took one full year for that person aka “my answered prayer” to come into my life.

The isolation I experienced this year was different. I was on location working on movie in Los Vegas at the start of the year and it was there I realized that LA is truly home to me. This was a huge realization because since I moved to LA, in the back of my mind I always thought “I can always move back home.” I no longer have that thought.

When I was back in LA, things felt different. I was able to catch up with a few friends, but then 2.5 months later, I traveled to my next location. For two months last summer, I taught a writing workshop and chose to unplug from my personal social media, phone and email to focus on writing. I didn’t write like I intended, but took many classes that deepened my spirituality and expanded my holistic knowledge.

I haven’t been in one place long enough to connect or re-connect with old friends, yet I connected when I could.

The beauty of last year, was meeting many conscious strangers that provided support and strength when I needed it, guidance when asked and wisdom that became mantras or themes of 2016.

As the world was loosing it’s shimmer and glow, I was flooded with love from strangers that built me up, not knowing they were preparing me, to take even more strides and “leaps” towards my calling.

All the time I’ve was alone this year I was never fully alone. I was given the space to think uninterrupted and be in stillness so I could see things clearer. I could not have come to this point, had I not embraced isolation or solitude. Nor could I have been in this place had I not taken my first “leap”.

Isolation isn’t always a bad thing, but you need grit to endure it.

For 2017, take extended moments for yourself to be alone to think and breathe. Don’t let others wants and needs influence you and your desires. Take a staycations or a weekend trip for you to regroup and rest.

As a woman we are raised to nurture and put others before ourselves. As people we are told not to be selfish.

Self care isn’t selfish. Taking time to nurture yourself is needed in order for you to be at your best when others need you.

If you need permission to nurture yourself, consider this your permission from the universe. No one in this world is super human. Breakaway from your status quo and connect fully to yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

Remember, you are worthy of your time, love and attention.

Love – Stephanie XO

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