Since it’s World Mental Health Day, I thought it was appropriate to share a stigma about my own mental health. Over the past 20 years, I have suffered from Panic Attacks and Anxiety caused by well, the unknown. I go into a place where nothing makes sense to me – my life, the universe, why we’re here, what it’s all for – to such a degree that I will actually think I am dying. Then, flight or fight kicks in and then I really feel like I am dying. And this scares the bejesus out of me because I have no idea where I’ll go. I’ll just be gone.
And the cycle continues. I somehow find my breathe and calm myself down and then I will think “hey, I am feeling great, what happened to that last bad thought? Oh, there it is.” And the anxiety reappears and off I go, lost in the abyss unable to move, function or do anything really accept panic, pace, shake or try and breathe it out. This has happened a few times to this extent in my life but the worst was last week.
I was attending an amazing event in Kelowna with some really dear friends of mine and for whatever reason, I just could not get a grip on this feeling. It took me out. It took me out so badly that I was literally in bed for days. I went to two doctors trying to get a pill or something to calm my nervous system and mind down but I walked out empty handed as both Doctors trusted I had the tools to calm myself. God damn yoga. But to be honest, I couldn’t do it alone.
I voiced that I was really sad. I was really sad that the world and the people in it were struggling. I am sad that so many people have suffered. I am sad that I don’t know how to fix it, I am sad we’re not better to our planet and I am sad that I have no idea what this all means.
I sometimes don’t know why my life has been so good and why I haven’t suffered like some people I know or why I haven’t had to triumph over some super crazy odds. I feel like I won the jackpot in life – where I live, my health, my friends, my husband, and even my dog. I mean don’t get me wrong, life isn’t always peachy, but it’s pretty amazingly sweet.
* I need to take care of my physical and mental health. That means eat consciously: watch what I put into my body and eradicate the addictive habits like wine every night to soothe and coffee in the morning for a high. I haven’t had either for a few weeks now and I am not sure what role they will play in my life going forward.
* Exercise, Kundalini and Meditate every day! These activities are my lifeblood. I need these moments to myself to function in a conscious loving way.
* Don’t take on other people’s suffering. When I am listening or reading about someone else’s sorrow or suffering it’s not mine to ingest and bring into my body or hold or try and fix. I am here to shine a light, offer guidance and support in ways that feel life-giving. Not where I take on the suffering too.
* Input vs. Output. I am steadily watching how many things I commit to and what I give my energy to. I need to make sure my cup is full (you know the saying) before I giveth to others. More so, just to be aware of how much I give, before I give back to myself. So I monitor all my activities to see if it’s an output or input and watch my boundaries between the two.
*I am in transition, and that’s a place too. So often I want to be somewhere, know it already, get to the destination. But in fact, not knowing is a destination in itself and it’s ok to be there. So that’s where I am. I have uprooted my life and moved to the island. I have started a new business which requires me to be completely vulnerable and brave as it’s finding its
All I know for sure is life is a mystery. I don’t have it all figured out. (Sorry Marie Forleo – not sure this one is figure-out-able) and if it is, well I think that’s when we might move on. That’s my theory but who knows for sure.
I am open to
All my love to you today and always.
In my meditation this morning it came to me, “why are we always seeking new things, like furniture, cars, clothes?” Because these things make us feel good about ourselves in some way. When we have those things, we have feelings like “I made it, I am of value, I am better than, I hope I look like a big deal and I supported someone I care about.” I know for me, when I got my dream car (my Mini Cooper) I thought, “I’ve made it! I am now successful.” Yet success or any feeling doesn’t last as long as the thing does, but we think it will.
Feelings come and go as fast as you can purchase them.
These ‘things’ are tokens of our preserved status or hierarchy in our little world. Because you are not really competing with everyone, you are just secretly competing with the people you care about or compare yourself to. “My life is going so much better than yours because I have this or that.” This is a hard truth, but if that new TV or that new pair of shoes didn’t ring some status symbol bell for you, I would call you out on your bull. You don’t buy uncomfortable shoes for you – you buy them for other people to look at. And you most certainly don’t buy the coolest TV on the market without having your buddies over to watch a game.
That was my question.
If those feelings can come from the inside without having something tangible to prove it, that’s total victory in my eyes.
We don’t need to prove our worth to anyone but ourselves. I don’t know why this worthiness became such a source of contentment – maybe because people over the years have tried to beat it out of us to show power over our own free will and our spirits have just carried that burden for too long. It’s time to let it go. We can choose differently. We can choose not to associate a full feeling with a thing. We can choose to get it from helping another, volunteering, restoring our planet, meditating, nature, our family, friends or something that truly fills us.
Because at the end of the day, all people are looking for when they purchase something is a way out. A way out of their struggle or unhappiness or their unsatisfactory life that they somehow got themselves in (by their own choices, may I add) and they need a little fix, a little something to bring them just an ounce of joy or delight even if it’s going to cost them in the long run. Not only figuratively – the planet won’t be able to keep up with our compulsion for stuff – but also our wallets.
Keeping up with the Joneses. Who cares about the Joneses?! They are unhappy.
It’s all a part of the rat race, it’s all a part of our need to be, look and feel like something. Why can’t we just BE REAL, admit our craziness, recognize where we’d like to improve and do our best to fix our inner turmoils so we have the energy and time to help the need of our people and planet?
Support charities and organizations that are in the world helping people.
As I move into being an even more conscious consumer, I was reminded of my need for things and wanted to share what intel I received. I hope you are also able to take a look and see where your spending habits come from and if they are feeding a feeling.
Clients, friends or first-time acquaintances sometimes ask, “how did you become you?”
Well, that’s a loaded question full of ups, downs, and circles of course, and I think what they are really wondering is how did I create my life, my business and my way of being in the world. I’ve been told I can be a breath of fresh air from some of the bull crap in the business world.
Well, to make a long story (37-year journey to date) a short one, I first noticed that I had leadership tendencies in elementary school, when one day I was able to convince my entire grade 6 class to go on strike and refuse to go into the classroom as a ‘take that teachers.” I was known as the kid with a smirk who liked to be disruptive, liked to challenge the status quo and always wanted to know “WHY?” It makes sense that I would have a career as an interviewer. I am just so curious, and that curiosity was never beaten out of me by society, by influencers or anyone who told me I was wrong. I just refused to conform to someone else’s ideas of who I would be when I knew damn well that only I would know the answer to that, (thank you, Mom, for that awesome gift) and so I set off on my soul finding journey! (Plug for LIGHT FINDERS here if you are on your own quest).
That journey included 65+ jobs from radio, tv, promotions, retail, hospitality, bindery, bartender, marketing, sales, events, catering, house cleaning, deli counters, door to door sales, child care, producer, director, interviewer, personal assistant, entertainer, speaker, camera assistant, editor, and many more experiences that brought me closer to what really made me feel alive (plus I didn’t go to secondary school, so I built my own college) which all brought me closer to my first ever dream job which was the TV Show that I mentioned in my earlier blog.
During this time of self-discovery, I did a lot of internal work. I went to dozens of retreats, gatherings, and workshops that allowed me to tap more clearly into my truth and purpose. I also had a wild transformational experience in Ireland – (working on the book). So needless to say, the culmination of all of this and more brought me to where I am today. I had years of experiences to draw on that helped me distinguish who I was at my core.
There were a few false starts as an Entrepreneur.
One, when I was 21 and I started a program called D.A.R.E.M for kids to (Dance, Act, Recreate, Energy, Movement) and what’s really funny about that, as I am writing it, I realize now that a) I love acronyms (L.I.G.H.T U.P. come on) and b) this is pretty much what I am doing now, except I am focusing on igniting the passion and purpose of entrepreneurs!
The second false start, I was 29 and I thought maybe I would start a business doing errand running, event coordinating etc. and called it The Go to Gal. Thank goodness I had some awesome friends at the time that could see that I would probably be unhappy doing that and thought it would be cooler as a TV Show idea. So that’s what we did. And the rest is now history. That show morphed into SPIRO Creative, SPIRO Creative had a few offshoots (SPIRO DIY VIDEO and PASSIONPRENEUR TV) both were majorly time sucking and not profitable – which morphed into this site –
the ADERA ANGELUCCI brand where I am putting my leadership and coaching skills to use helping people step out in a bigger way by feeling confident and clear in sharing their message and passion before putting lights and cameras in their face. I get to play here in addition to hosting retreats, speaking and well, doing all the things that make me feel ALIVE IN ME.
It’s a work in progress and I am still trying to define exactly how I help and the funny thing is that I can’t yet. My work here is intangible because it affects every person differently. It’s whatever that person needs to experience and feel the most to set them on their path for their highest good. I know that’s what I do. I love supporting good people on a mission to be all they were born to be and to share their message with clarity confidence and power. What I dream of now is building an army of change-makers who help to awaken our spirits.
My tips on starting your own dream journey are this: If you have a nagging heart that won’t let up and is encouraging you to go after something more thrilling and exciting then you could possibly imagine, then the first thing you have to do right now is:
START: Start something. Start meeting people, start imagining, start playing because the more you do the more it will lead you to where you truly want to be. You are ready for whatever comes into your life.
TALK: Say to as many people as possible what you are wishing for, what you are dreaming about. The ones that poo poo you, you know not to talk to any more about it, and the ones that support you will become your people. Hang with those people.
LISTEN: Learn to listen in, listen to your hearts message and trust that it’s there for a reason. Do activities that make it louder, and be willing to go within as much as possible and start to act on the things you are hearing.
You could live a mediocre life or a freakin rockstar one! It’s totally up to you. If you choose the latter, I am here to support you every step of the way. The first step could start right now if you are willing – all you have to do is go here.
Wishing you a life of true fulfillment and heart smiles. The world needs more of those.
Now it’s your turn, I’d love to hear from you!
What dream do you have brewing? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Well, I am sure you’ve witnessed the big move Ryan and I took to Vancouver Island. Some people have asked, “what was with the move, were you always planning on moving to the island, what influenced your choice, how is life over there?” So in this post, I will sum it all up.
First, Ryan’s family lives on the Island so we tend to come out a few times a year to visit and every time I do or when we’re here on business, I always think to myself, “Man, I love this place. Life feels easier, calmer and more nurturing than the mainland.” It was just a certain feeling I got when we stepped off the ferry. I think you can relate if you’ve ever visited the Island.
I was fortunate to attend Isabelle Mercier’s Island retreat in January and I remember sitting in her beautiful spacious living room looking out her big windows at all the nature surrounding her property and thought, ‘huh, I want this. I am moving to the island”. Now to get Ryan onboard.
So a few months went by, we were traveling all over the place for work and dreaming up what life might look like on the island with work, friends, family and all the other ties I had to the mainland. We figured that with our video company we could pretty much live anywhere close to the mainland as we travel for shoots all the time.
Next, I didn’t want to be a renter anymore. So if we were moving, we were going to buy something. I don’t know if it was great timing for that, but I felt adamant about owning. To own, we had 2 options (price wise) one, move to the interior, or the very outskirts of the lower mainland, or the Island. So we jokingly asked ourselves, “did we want to be red necks or hippies”? We choose hippies.
Ryan and I have been blessed to live a block from the ocean for over 5 years and so we really didn’t want to give it up. It had become a part of our lifestyle. So when our landlord unexpectedly gave us notice to move, I took it as a sign and got moving. We went to the island once to look at places (3 to be exact) and put an offer on the 2nd one we saw.
We moved here within a month. Now, what’s so cool about where we live (there’s a unit for sale right next door for $20K less then what we paid!! hint hint. I may be trying to get more people here. LOL) is the space, nature, and lifestyle. Ryan was really worried I would be super bored and depressed living so far away from the action and my life on the mainland but in fact, I find this place so soul nurturing and rich I couldn’t be loving it more! It’s a beautiful balance from my crazy fun work life and my need to retreat, create and expand.
So there you are. The full story revealed. Our place is so beautiful, it feels like we live in a vacation. We have trees in every window, a creek running in the backyard, a gym, hot tub, pool and my favourite part (from living in basements ALL MY LIFE – no joke) I am on the second and third floor!! We have stairs and double the amount of space I have ever lived in before! It’s so glorious, I count my blessings every day that we were able to make this work.
A DAY IN THE LIFE ON THE ISLAND:
My day rolls out in a few ways… I either grab a coffee and go for a beach walk with Indy and hit my computer to work, or I head out to meetings or networking events, or Ryan and I cut loose early and go for a hike to the falls or adventure to some gorgeous place to explore. We love visitors, so we tour around wineries, find nice restaurants and enjoy the serene escape. I have an amazing yoga community here and loads of friends who have moved to the Island or have been here for years. I also have space to hold intimate gatherings and retreats, which has always been a dream of mine. So all and all, the move has been perfect.
I’m white and privileged beyond my comprehension. I need to evolve that comprehension and enact it.
I want to preface this post with this event page: http://makennaheld.com/leadershiprecipelive/ I had NO IDEA we would dive into white privilege, colonialism, racism, cultural appropriation and other corrupt systems. In my naivety, I really thought it was just another women empowering event.
FUCK ME. I was wrong.
It was so much more.
I researched one of Layla’s posts and now I am skimming the surface of a deep ocean without a mask or snorkel and the waves of emotion make it hard to breathe.
Here’s my understanding thus far. I am at the beginning of integrating this journey, so bear with me as I unpack this mess with time.
We all experience hurt.
I believe it’s a part of the human condition.
Some far more than others.
A heart that feels broken is different than a heart that has been suppressed, extinguished or marginalized.
I’ve never experienced these ‘differences’ before.
I was told to “sit” in the uncomfortableness that arose, so that it may resonate and provoke awakening.
I didn’t realize in my ignorance and innocence that it was because of my white privilege.
Now I must sit with that.
I didn’t know that I was looked at as the “sparkly white girl” or that was even a term. I didn’t know that even if I hadn’t physically caused violence in this lifetime that I was perpetuating violence still by not speaking up, or that I had a saviour complex that wanted to ‘save the world’ without even really knowing the systems at work that got us into this segregated state in the first place.
Now I sit with that.
I sit with the hurt, the blame, the shame, the discomfort, the ignorance, the innocence, the guilt, the deep sorrow that comes from realizing that what you’ve known up until this point has been a huge fucking distraction and at the same time exactly what I needed to get me here.
Thinking outside of myself and stepping into the shoes of another that has had a human experience in complete contrast to mine and not changing or taking a damn thing is peace.
Allowing people to have their own sacred practices, their own identities, their own culture and their own expression in the world without saying otherwise is harmony.
Being open to change, togetherness, celebration, forgiveness, and unity will heal our wounds and our hearts will have an opportunity to expand and educate.
Asking the questions: Who fought for my survival in generations past so I could live the life I now occupy? Who has my gene line hurt? What did they take, and from whom? These questions are mandatory. How will I truly evolve or avoid doing it again without the knowledge of my ingrained history?
Up until this point, I hadn’t seen the significance of looking back. I had kept my eyes looking forward and around. Asking for ‘light and love’ to be the change, instead of diving deeper to uncover and acknowledge my own historical facts.
I sit with that.
I didn’t know I had a colonial mindset. That in fact “having anything I wanted” is basically UNTRUE. I am not entitled to it all. Some things will never be mine even if I thought I was upholding or honouring tradition.
Holy fuck. This alone has me seriously unpacking.
I didn’t know that not all people of colour are willing to work with me through this dismantling. And if they are willing, they should damn well be greatly compensated for it.
I’ve already taken so much. It’s NOW time to honour, respect and uphold other cultures as if they aren’t my own and never will be. They can be admired and encouraged from afar unless otherwise granted.
Cultural appropriation is a new term for me to find equilibrium with.
I sit for real on that.
Life hasn’t been fair to all races. We know this and by not acting in a way that could bring about social change and justice, we are silently still causing the disconnect and denying basic humans rights.
We cannot live like this.
I don’t know exactly what an OUR WORLD looks like. It’s always felt like mine and now I have come to realize that that thought alone has been my privilege and we have to make some huge pivotal shifts to create a globe that embodies this term. A lot of new and emerging voices must be heard. “White sparkly women” need to take a back seat and learn and listen to the others who are fighting to have their voices heard. The real warriors.
I sit with that. And listen.
Thank you to Makenna Held for holding this space for us to explore new truths.