Our hearts are forged in fire. Our souls are purified and strengthened in the crucible. We are as we choose to be.
I’ve found myself in the thick of the fire lately. Everything I thought to be true about myself is being challenged again and again as I face the reality of living trauma-free and taking responsibility for my mental + emotional health. I’ve found myself falling back on old habits of hiding away and isolating myself while I lick my wounds in peace.
No more, though.
The whole point of having a voice is to use it. The whole point of writing this blog is to share my journey with you and help you on your own as much as I can. That’s what I’m here to do; not to sweat buckets over how many people are or aren’t signing up for my Academy and “How soon can I start making money again?”
I’m here to give women a voice as they get clear on what they really want and have the courage to go for it. I’m here to teach what I know, what I believe, and what I trust. Why? Because that’s the drumbeat booming in my blood: Speak your truth. Share your voice. Share your gifts.
I forgot that for a while as I changed one of my meds and dealt with the withdrawal symptoms. I forgot that while I went through a deep funk and fought off a nasty cold that wouldn’t quit no matter what I did. I’ve sobbed into my hands and on my mother’s shoulders as I wailed over how empty my life was and how fricking hard it was to feel good about myself. I’ve felt certain the Universe was laughing at me as I tried and failed to live healthy while growing my business. Hmm.
I’ve found that I didn’t fail, though. I just had my eye on the wrong things and forgot to take stock of what was truly important to me. Yes I crave independence again, but more importantly I crave a different way of living and being that feeds my Soul from the inside out. Yes I’m not as far down the life path as many of my peers, but I’ve had experiences that’ve taught me what I needed to know and brought me to where I am today. Yes I’m not flush with cash, but I’m discovering a different kind of wealth that’s always available to me.
Breathing through the fire is how I’ve been able to bounce back from the edge of the abyss and turn my eye to the sky. Breathing through the fire is how I can come before you today and let you know that the challenge you face doesn’t have to break you; it can break you open so you emerge stronger and wiser than you were before. Sometimes we have to feel the pain of the unexpected before we can learn the lessons life has to teach us. Sometimes we have to cry so we can loosen the hard knots in our chest and soften our hearts to be gentle with ourselves again.
Let me be clear: it’s hard. It’s really fricking hard to keep going when it feels like your life’s turning to muck and nothing you do works out the way you want it to. It’s really fricking hard trusting that there’s a higher purpose when it seems like you just keep getting tested over and over and OVER again. It’s hard, but it’s not impossible. It’s not impossible. IT’S NOT IMPOSSIBLE!
Breathing through the fire is being able to sit still and find the eye of the storm no matter how crummy life gets. I’m not saying you won’t feel bad about anything; I’m saying that how you feel won’t affect what you know to be true. I’m saying that you can find the lesson in every curve ball that life throws your way if you decide to look for it. I’m saying you can ground yourself in your truth, your real truth, so that whatever you experience doesn’t make you lose your hope, faith, or sense of who you are.
I once crashed to the ground because I didn’t know the answer to who I was. I thought, “Who am I?” and the weight of not knowing brought me to my knees. Well, sprawled me on my face more literally. I was lost in a fug of numbness and disconnection from myself, and I kept waiting for someone else to give me an answer.
There is no external answer. No magic pill. No tidy 140-character bio to capture the full magnificence and breadth that is the wonder of my being. There is nothing true anyone can tell me about who I am, unless I accept it to be true. My truth is my truth, not the truth of the world or anyone in my circle. This is why you can reject a genuine compliment because you don’t believe it’s true for you even though it really is. This is why you can feel lost without an external definition of your person because you haven’t yet learned to define who you are and write it in the soft places of your heart.
Today I know who I am. I can answer that question without my brain shorting out and my system shattering into pieces. I can stand tall in my truth and not be moved by external opinion or circumstance.
This is what I know to be true: I can be happy and fulfilled right now regardless of the money in my bank account and the crickets in my business. I can choose to believe in my calling even when I have doubts, and screw up, and almost lose my faith. I can choose something greater and deeper than anything I’ve ever experienced.
I can choose.
So I choose Vision, Mastery, Depth, and Devotion. I choose to feed my faith and bolster my courage. I choose to be vibrant, vivacious, and healthy. I choose to meditate to calm my mind and strengthen my connection to my Soul. I choose to do yoga and stretch beyond what I think I’m capable of. I choose to challenge and expand my being. I choose. I CHOOSE.
I made the choice to live 8 1/2 months ago. I made the choice to grow, emote, and connect. I made the choice to dare myself to greater heights and discover unplumbed depths. I decided to explore, expand, and exhilarate myself on a daily basis. I made the choice.
And as I live in line with that choice, I realise that I’m so much stronger than I imagined. I’m so much purer and brighter than I ever thought I could be. I’m so much more powerful than I ever believed.
It is that strength and power that makes me who I am today. It is that fierceness that guides my heart and influences my art. It is that purity that infuses everything I do with depth and beauty. It is that energy that drives me to exhilarate myself and use what I have to meet the demands of my calling.
I can’t always see my growth, but I know it’s happening. I can’t always feel my faith, but I know it’s there. I can’t always see my art, but I know it’s all around and in me. I can’t always feel my strength, but I know that it’s energising and supporting me.
I can always feel the present moment, however, and I choose to make it beautiful. I can always feel my heart beat, and I choose to let it shine. I can always feel that I feel, and I choose to let me be vulnerable. I can always feel what I have to feel in order to grow and expand, and for that I am supremely thankful.
I can take responsibility for how I want to feel because it shows me that I may not be able to control my external circumstance, but I’m always able to control my inner circumstance. I mean control in the sense of conscious influence, not rigid forcing or pushing myself into anything.
Being responsible for how I want to feel shows me that not only am I stronger than I’ve ever been, but I’m also choosing to stay strong no matter what comes my way because that’s how I’ve learned to breathe through the fire. It’s how I’ve learned to pick myself up from every setback and dust off the fear that clings to my skin as I face my demons again and again. It’s how I’m able to keep going when I walk the fine line between a certain relapse and scaling another wall that’d have knocked me down in the past.
Now when I ask myself who I am, I get a steady flow of words to celebrate my magnificence and own my truth.
I am a gladiator fuelled by desire.
I believe in bolder self-expression, huge love, and deep truths.
I am called to write, live, and love from a pure place of grace, ease, and abundance.
I am a soul of fire and power. I cannot be tamed.
I am wildly devoted to my art and deeply invested in realising my fullest potential.
I am wild, bold, fierce, and magnificent.
I am a warrior with wings of fire.
I am Otiti.
These words remind me that I’m able to stay in the game even when I’m battered and bleeding because I choose to breathe through the fire. Always.
Do you know who you are? Own your truth in the comments below.
PS: Are you a woman ready to rediscover who you are and jump into the newness calling to you? I’d be honoured to share that journey with you.
The Live Raw, Fiery, & BOLD Academy is where you wanna be. Pom-poms and glitter optional. Soul expansion definite.