Oxygen Masks and Flashlights


What if I told you that you don’t have to prove yourself to you or anyone else?

That you don’t have to try so hard to be seen, liked, or loved?

That just by being your true, authentic and beautiful self, You Are Enough.

Would you believe it? Or would you hear the words and come up with some “Yeah buts…”

“Yeah, but this person won’t like me if I am myself.”

“Yeah, but I’m afraid to show others who I truly am.”

“Yeah, but it’s too hard to be me. It’s easier to pretend.”

Much of this year I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery and exploration. I have stepped into my intention of Bold Freedom and have taken so many chances; I’ve spoken my truth and claimed and reclaimed my power. But how many times can I reclaim my power? How many times can I put myself out there, retreat back to my small self, and then shout to the world that I AM HERE?!

What is the cost of this struggle?

In case you can’t tell, it’s exhausting. It’s exhausting to keep starting and stopping. Yet for me, I felt that was how life had to be. There’s a certain high that comes with boldly putting yourself out there, getting praise and acceptance, and then retreating and creating yourself as a victim. Call it the cycle of struggle; it’s easier to struggle than fully claim who you are.

Ever since I started my nomadic journey 6 months ago, I have been struggling to listen and own what I need. I made myself wrong about not working or creating work. I ignored my need for rest and taking a break. I convinced myself that others were against me and waiting for me to fail, so they could tell me “I told you so.” I listened to others time and time again question how I’m doing this journey and offer advice on how I should be doing it.

I finally reached a point where I said, “ENOUGH!”


On a recent 10-day Wildhearted Meditation Retreat in the Sacred Valley of Peru, I set an intention to focus my energy on me; take the oxygen mask and put it on myself first. Turn off social media, notifications, and disconnect from my phone. I’ve spent most of my life focusing my energy on others and trying to be a martyr and solve others’ problems to avoid solving my own. I thought that by focusing on me and my needs that I was being selfish. But it’s not selfish at all. You can’t expend all of your energy on others and expect for it to last; eventually you will shutdown or explode.

There’s a reason you put the Oxygen Mask on first. You can’t help others until you help yourself.

It was not an easy retreat; in fact it was pretty intense at times. It was as if someone was shining a flashlight on all areas of my life that I had been avoiding or not wanting to see.

As part of our retreat, we were encouraged to do a mirror exercise everyday. In the exercise, you simply look at yourself in the mirror. Just be with yourself. See what’s behind the mask and find true connection. I resisted doing this exercise for several days. I didn’t want to look deeper. I was afraid of who I would see. After some gracious and direct coaching, I set my ego aside and agreed to try it on. Once I got away from the noise in my head, I was able to really connect with myself and see deep within. I could see that little girl hungry for attention, approval, and acceptance. I was able to just be with her, and have love and compassion for how hard she’s tried to prove herself. I thanked her for showing up and let her know it was okay to let go of who she thought she had to be. And just be.

What showed up for me is that I am free. I am free to be myself, create, and explore. And I gave myself permission to enjoy my adventures and take the pressure off from trying to force work or things I’m not ready for. I had to make some difficult choices and put myself first.

Life doesn’t have to look a certain way. As long as you own who and where you are, that’s what matters.

Others may not understand my lifestyle, the pace I’m traveling, or the work I choose to take on; and that’s okay. I’ve never done this before, and I trust that each step I take is leading me to my highest good.

Turn the flashlight on and see what has been waiting to be revealed.

Can you turn the light on and see where you’ve been trying too hard or trying to be someone other than yourself? Can you allow yourself to be still and quiet, and listen to who you truly are meant to be? And stop proving yourself and just be you?

There is only one you.

And who you are is Enough. Powerful, Beautiful, and Authentic.