My journey of growing in the heart and the mind at the same time
Author: Chrissy Haywood
I’ve started something — eek! Something that I’m not sure I can control or understand and it’s causing me to feel… Feelings of excitement for the future, fear for the unknown and desire to explore where this journey will lead. What a buzz!
This journey began a few months ago. A part-chance and part-desperation encounter with a ‘self-help’ person. Now, if I was to be honest, self-help people have never had a lot of street cred’ in this big grey sponge of mine. My mantra was… if you can’t see it, it's not a thing. My gosh, was I misinformed! My background is in Paediatric Occupational Therapy and now Youth Mental Health. So the seeing-is-believing mindset was pretty well ingrained in everything I did and learned. Although, in the past few weeks I have started to realise that my interest in those things outside of seeing had always been there. I understand now that I had spent so much time and energy looking, that I had stopped feeling and I had stopped living. My feet were firmly planted on the merry-go-round of life and I was screaming inside to get off. I just didn’t have the courage to jump.
The desperation part of my journey, the ‘what-the-hell-do-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up’ question, began my search for answers in my professional life and at home. Just to clarify, I’m on the down hill slide to 40, so this existential crisis was possibly a little overdue (or a little early). I had invested so much time and energy to develop a career and now my body had decided that it was time to make a family. This urge was not rational and it went against everything that I thought I had wanted for my life. And yet without invitation there it was, the preverbal tick-tock of the biological clock. So how does one actually reconcile these internal conflicts? The desire to pursue a career and to make a family all at the same time. I was an emotional wreck and I had no clue how to fix it. My rational thought processes of plan-and-understand were not working anymore.
Here is where the chance part of my journey starts, enter the (not so dodgy) ‘self-help’ person. The world of personal transformation was one that had eluded my consciousness. I had seen the multitude of books for sale that made promises to fix everything from emotions to bank accounts. Charlatans - was what I thought of those books. These people had nothing to offer me, I had science and logic. Right… because it was serving me so well. Now my world schema is changing rapidly and this self-help stuff, well it's actually helping. It has also opened my eyes to something else that I didn’t expect. My ‘seeing and understanding’ has given way to a sense of feeling and knowing. I have learned that everything in this world cannot be described. Some things are felt and there are many different ways of understanding.
If you asked me who I was a few months ago, my response was simple, I was an Occupational Therapist and I was proud of being that. There was, however, an empty feeling that came with this response which sat somewhere between my throat and the pit of my stomach. If you asked me that same question today my response is that I am learning who I am and that I’m so excited to find out!
I invite you to share this journey of self discovery with me. Exploring what I have learned so far and my thoughts of what I find next.