Today, I am thankful

Eight years ago, I was hurt. I felt my life crumbling apart faster than I could pick up the pieces. I didn’t know what had happened; what was next. I felt myself slipping and needed something tangible -something so undeniably real I’d have to acknowledge it, that I’d have to shift my gaze away from watching this life I knew fall apart. So, I started to engage in self injurious behavior.

Four years ago, a wave came crashing over me. I wanted a life beyond what SIB could ever offer. I was scared, trapped by fear, and lost as to what healthy even looked like, let alone how to get there. But deep inside, I knew I wanted, needed, craved, and was worth more.
Three years ago, I was finally ready for more. Changing behaviors isn’t easy, or perfect, but slowly, I started to get healthy. I began to figure out how to fill holes I hadn’t even been able to see were there. I began to read and write and create. I tried to get comfortable in my body. I found people who listened patiently as I tried to explain how I go to here, how I had hidden it for so long, and where I wanted to be next.
A year and a half ago, I got on a plane. My travels across the globe awakened a sense of passion, pride, and joy in me I hadn’t known was there. I opened up my heart and connected with others’ souls. I spent hours looking at out at hundreds of prayer flags and the Himalayas, talking about life, loss, and our place in it all. I came to experience the growth that could happen on a yoga mat. I planted my feet and felt rooted in who I was becoming. I was truly on the journey to becoming me.

Thanksgiving 2014 was the last time I self-injured. Every day, I work to cultivate a sense of joy and peace at my core that cannot be shaken. I have grown to trust myself and listen to what I need. I have learned how to open up and trust others with my feelings.

Like the rest of my journey, this segment has not been easy. But, that’s no longer an excuse. I know the fire within in me burns brighter than the fire around me.
The urges to self-injure didn’t disappear. Sometimes they whisper to remind me how easy it would be to surrender to a quick solution that works. But, usually, that whisper can’t be heard over the roar of the many things that fill my life with magic and make me feel alive.
So, today- I am thankful. The delicious foods I create, the interesting conversations with loved ones, the heartfelt words in my journal, all the asanas, the crazy amount of love, and the every one of the adventures my life is now teeming with remind me that, even in the darkest moments, there’s a bright future ahead.
I share this story to remind each of you not to compare yourselves to others. Wherever you are now, whatever you are facing, you have the strength to overcome it. Inside of you is a beautiful, perfect, insurmountable life-force that is waiting for you to slow down, pay attention, and give yourself some real nourishment.
There isn’t a one size fits all solution. A lot of work and big changes are required to move past where you are and become who you are. I don’t know it all (not even close) but, I’m determined to use social media to encourage others, rather than impress them. I want to use my journey and knowledge to empower you to create the healthy, flavorful life you imagine for yourself.
I hope that wherever you are on your journey, Flavors of Living can serve as resource for you to learn simple ways to honor your mind, body, and soul.
For more help with self injury or thoughts of suicide,
please contact a professional or call 1 (800) 273-8255. 

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