I recently answered a call out for an article that asked "What have you given up to make your life better?" My answer was about my journey to becoming the best version of myself and giving up worrying, shyness and fear in order to achieve this. The process to become my best self will never end. There will always be something to work and improve upon but when I look back at who I was 3, 4 or 5 years ago I see a completely different person and I love how much I have changed! This is not a physical change and its not something many people would notice. This change has been within me and it was a change that I wanted for so many years.
So, answering this call out got me thinking that I really should share this very personal story because being a Naturopath is much more than just advising on diet and supplements. For me, being a naturopath is about helping people to truly be themselves and I often share snippets of my story with clients who I think will benefit from hearing it, but this is the first time I have actually written it down and shared it properly. I really hope that it helps anyone who feels a little lost and out of touch with who they are or like me, if you know who you are but just have trouble expressing it and being comfortable in your own skin.
Who I was - Shy, self conscious, fearful, day dreamer, worrier, judgemental, insecure.
I was pretty good at keeping all of that negative stuff to myself. And I was still a nice person and happy and functional and normal! I just wasn't me. I knew who I was inside but I didn't feel like I was being that person on the outside. I haven't actually changed at all. It's just that now I have cleared a lot of the mental rubbish and I can allow myself to just be me without worrying if people are judging me.
I think judgement was my main issue. I knew that I judged other people and I just expected that everyone was judging me. I think this fear of being judged all started when we emigrated to Australia. I was 9 years old and I guess I didn't really like being teased about my accent or about saying words 'wrong'. I lost my English accent pretty quickly just to fit in and I suppose to stop nasty kids from telling me to go back to my own country. I can still vividly remember the day in year 5 when I did a topic talk and afterwards in the questions and comments time a girl in my class said "It was very good but its actually viiiitamin (Aussie pronunciation), not vitamin (English-ly pronounced)." Even though the teacher told her that there are two ways to pronounce vitamin I still felt silly knowing that all of the kids had been sitting there thinking I didn't know what I was talking about.
Its amazing that little things that happen when you're a child can so significantly impact your adult life. I used to be so self conscious and shy that talking to clients in the waiting room or being in social situations where people were listening to me talk would turn me bright red and nervous. As soon as I felt myself going red I'd try to end the conversation and pretty much run away. It got to the point that I'd be saying in my head "don't go red, don't go red, don't go red" instead of concentrating on what I was saying or doing.
I was fine around my close friends but when I came to meeting new people or mingling with my boyfriends friends I would be so nervous before hand and worried about what I would have to talk about that I would feel sick and really not want to go out at all. I felt embarrassed about starting conversations or about jumping in to a conversation that someone else was having so I would pretty much just not say anything unless someone specifically asked me a question.
I had a hundred and one fears including public speaking (obviously), the dark, bridges, tunnels, trucks, ships, pipes, lifts, cockroaches, apple stickers, going red, introducing myself in class, well anyway, I can't remember them all but you get the gist!
I would also worry about things that hadn't happend and find myself in deep day dreams about these negative scenarios (things like a loved one dying) and then feel so guilty that I'd even thought about it! I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. I knew it was just a fear of those things happening that had me day dreaming about them but I just couldn't understand why I couldn't stop myself from doing it!
My transformational journey
When I started my naturopathic studies I also began a journey to improve myself and I decided a few years ago that I was on a mission to become the best version of myself.
My transformation started very slowly and has sped up significantly in the last three years. I tried a lot of different modalities to clear my clutter and if you're inspired to start a journey to clear your own clutter the best piece of advice I can give you is not to give up. If you try one thing a few times and don't see any changes, try something else. Everything I have used over the past few years has worked. And I actually think the combination of modalities has made the transformation stronger.
The first thing I noticed that made a significant change was Bach Flowers. We had to choose one to take for an assignment so I took mimulus for 'known fears'. After a few months I noticed that I no longer ran to my room after turning the lights off at night, all of a sudden one night I went 'hang on? something's different?!' and realised that the house was dark but I was WALKING to my room! Crazy! The other thing I noticed was that I was able to actually kill a cockroach instead of descending into a full on panic attack! I still hate cockroaches A LOT but its nice to know that if I'm home alone and one comes to visit, I can deal with it if I have to.
Then, as part of my studies I started using Homoeopathy and was seeing a great Homoeopath and Astrologer in Sydney, Michael Neil, who taught me a lot about myself and helped me calm down in public situations.
For a while I worked in a clinic with a Hypnotherapist. I think I had about 3 sessions with her and I found it quite amazing. She would get me to identify the negative thought patterns and replace them with positive or constructive versions. After the session I would know what we had worked on but I couldn't, for the life of me remember what the negative sentences or thought patterns were!
And of course I've used a lot of Herbal medicine and Nutritionals for my nervous system and adrenals. Magnesium, B vitamins, Withania, Codonopsis, Lavendar, Oats, Rehmannia, Liquorice, Passionflower, Magnolia, Rhodiola and so many more! Luckily for my clients, all of this experimenting on myself has lead me to find the stress and anxiety supplements that really work. So the same tablets, powders and liquids that I've taken are still available in my dispensary today.
The two things that have made the most significant change to my emotional wellbeing are Kinesiology and Energetic Healing.
First the Kinesiology with Barbara Smith helped me to stop worrying about being judged and this stopped me from turning red and going silent in social situations. I still blush from time to time and I'm still pretty reserved but I can now comfortably and confidently be myself and converse with people naturally.
Then the Energetic Healing with Sarah Binet has allowed me to let go of the unnessesary worrying and story creating and has freed up my mind for greater things! I don't get lost in elaborate day dreams, I don't worry all the time and I just feel so... me! I am going to be working with Sarah for quite a while I think as there are many more layers to get through but so far the changes have been amazing!
When I look back over the past couple of years I can see such a huge transformation in myself. I am happier, more comfortable in my own skin, open and accepting. I'm not a different person, I'm allowing my true self to shine through instead of worrying what people will think! I am a better person and a better practitioner because I have released my insecurities. And now I get to help other people on their path to find their truest self and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world
Laura Burton today - happy, content, true, present and still a work in progress!