Finding Balance In An Unbalanced World. 

“Balance is key. In everything you do. Embrace all sides of who you are and live your authentic truth! Be brave and bold and spontaneous and loud and let that complement your abilities to find silence and patience and modesty and peace. Aim for balance. Make your own rules and don’t let anybody tell you how to live according to theirs.”Rachel Brathen

 

For most of my life I felt like I was constantly walking on a tightrope, always scared to lean too far to the left or right. I was always afraid to fall, afraid I would be unable to pick myself back up. Let’s just say balance has never been my forte.

Growing up I always jumped from one thing to another whether it was sports, academics, friends or hobbies. I’ve always had a gypsy soul that never let me focus too hard on one thing for too long.

I used to think that was just the way life was suppose to be, a never-ending cycle of things to keep my mind busy. Sure, I’d find myself completely exhausted each day, but it was so much better than sitting in silence with my thoughts. All these years later I realize that was the unwelcome work of my anxiety.

Three years ago I felt like something was just off in my life. I couldn’t explain the feeling, but it was definitely real. I felt like I would achieve a milestone I’d worked so hard for (like getting my first apartment, achieving a Bachelors in Nursing, having a real relationship, etc) but it was never enough. I was constantly searching for the next goal to check off my list.

One of the biggest ways I used my anxious energy was by giving back. I’d become a Registered Nurse because I absolutely loved helping people. I loved volunteering with various groups and doing what I could to help others. I also loved putting my all into my relationship. These things filled my soul and gave me purpose.

One day as I spoke to my Therapist about my constant need to pour myself into others, she said something that stuck with me. She told me, “you can’t fill the cups of others when your own cup is empty.” I wasn’t exactly sure what it meant at the time, but one day the lesson just clicked.

I’d been trying to do things for everyone else without ever taking care of myself. I’d never focused on my physical, mental or emotional needs and eventually my cup ran dry. I learned in that moment that my life had been completely unbalanced for far too long.

Once I experienced this epiphany, I set out on a journey to find balance in my life. However, I realized quickly the road would be tough because our world is so unbalanced. Sadly, our society is filled with enormous negativity which made it really difficult to try to make positive changes in my life.

Although the journey was tough, I stuck it out. I began searching out ways to find peace and balance in my life. I started practicing meditation, started exercising more and started making more time for God. I started doing things that I thought would bring me instant stability, yet something was still off.

I continued to speak to my Therapist about the tiny progress I was making and how frustrated I was that I still had this uneasy feeling. I still felt like I had pieces of my puzzle missing, but I couldn’t figure out what they were. I thought I was doing everything right, so what was the problem?

At that time she encouraged me to get back to things that made me happy, things that I possessed a unique gift for. She encouraged me to write about my feelings and to start doing things for myself, things that made me truly happy. Honestly, I wasn’t sure where to begin.

I’d had my own band for years, but once I moved to a new city our concert schedule had become somewhat  non-existent. I loved music, but it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind at that time. I’d just moved to a new city with a new job, and that was all I could handle with my anxiety.

After thinking about my conversation with my dear Therapist, I decided to dust off the mic and start writing/recording music again. The mere joy I felt by simply picking up my guitar and playing a song was incredible.

I started booking gigs at different venues along with making connections with some people in the industry. A spark had been rekindled the moment I brought music back into my life, and I felt like I’d found one of my missing puzzle pieces.

I started integrating music back into my everyday life. I began to learn how to balance my professional job as an RN with my fun, expressive musical career. It was a small step, but it was a step in the right direction.

After a few months of playing music, I began to have that dreaded, uneasy feeling. I started feeling the aches of my other absent piece. I couldn’t understand why this feeling wouldn’t just go away. I gave in and started exploring what else was missing in my life.

One day as I sat at my computer, I began thinking about my past struggles and my long time battle with anxiety. I’d always loved to write, and suddenly a thought came to my mind. It was in that moment that I started this blog to help myself, along with others, know that they are not alone in their hardships.

My blog took off and before I knew it, it had become a huge part of my life. I got so much joy from hearing the comments about my writings. I was able to work through my own issues while also helping others. It was a win-win that I could’ve never dreamed of. I’d finally found my last puzzle piece.

Ultimately I learned this important lesson, that we have to put in the work to find balance in our unbalanced world. With balance comes happiness, peace and tranquility. Balance allows us to find our purpose in life and live it out full force.

Some people may have that one special thing that fills their cup, and others (like me) may have several diverse pieces that make them whole. Each one of us is unique and original. There is no one in the world like you except for you.

Although the journey is never easy in achieving such tranquility, it’s never impossible. In order for us to find our harmony, we have to find the things that make us happy and use those in our everyday lives. We have to locate those missing puzzle pieces that make us whole.

Balance is something I fear our world will never completely find. There will always be tragedy, always be suffering and always be sadness. There will be negative stories and heinous crime. However, we can’t allow the world to dictate the type of life we live.

Someday you will find all of those things that make you into the complete, unique individual you were meant to be. My happiness comes from balancing my life as a Nurse, a Singer/Songwriter and a Blogger. It comes from expressing myself and helping others.

I finally learned how to fill my cup, and now I’m able to fill the cup of others around me who are struggling. I’m able to give back and encourage those who need it most, and all of this is possible because I found my balance.

So don’t be afraid to take the leap. Find the things that set your soul on fire and give you purpose. Discover the things that allow you to refill your cup over and over again…and someday you’ll be walking on the tightrope without fear of falling.

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantell 💋

 

Surround Yourself With Love. 

“Surround yourself with the dreams and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” – Edmund Lee

I realized today that I’ve been single for an entire year, 365 days of only me. If you know me you know this is a huge deal because the last 10 years of my life have been consumed with non-stop long term relationships.

To be honest, I look back on this last year and realize how truly life changing it’s been. This has been the most hectic, lonely, vulnerable, exciting, challenging, heartbreaking, breathtaking phase of my life.

I started the year by leaving a toxic 2 year relationship, packing my bags, and moving to a brand new city. I transported my life to a place where I knew no one and started a new job at a prestigious hospital. I left the security of my family, friends, and a town that had been my home for 25 years. Looking back now, what the hell was I thinking?

To this day I still don’t understand where I got the guts to take this huge leap of faith. As I’ve told my new friends my story, they all seem to have one common response. They each tell me how brave I am. I never really understood why they said that, until now.

I’m really proud of myself for taking a chance on a new start, a new life. It does take a lot of courage to leave everything you’ve ever known for an unknown future. When I first moved here, I kept wondering if I’d made a mistake. I constantly worried that I’d ruined my life, and for a while I let my fear get the best of me.

It’s taken me almost the entire year to finally start finding true happiness in my current life. A few years ago I had a crystal clear dream of what I wanted for my future. I wanted to be married, buy a house, have a baby, and travel.

Sometimes I catch myself grieving that alternative life I thought I’d be living, but recently I’ve began to notice signs of why my life hasn’t turned out that way. At least not yet.

There were many times over the last year that I felt so incredibly sad and lonely. I would curse and yell at God, blaming him for my despair. I had nights that I cried for hours just wishing someone was there to hold me. I know it sounds gloomy, but my emotions run very deep and sometimes dark.

It wasn’t until this “year” mark of being single that I realized there was a bigger purpose to my pain. God has been molding me into the best version of myself in preparation for all the wonderful things my future has to offer.

For so long I tried to fill a void in my life with romance thinking that loving someone else would bridge the gap. This past year I’ve learned to surround myself with positivity and fill that emptiness with self-love.

See, the thing about self-love is no one can ever take it away from you. No one can ruin the compassion you have for yourself. It’s a sacred and beautiful thing, but it also takes a lot of time and practice to master.

I truly believe I’m a good person. I know I have plenty of flaws, but I try to do the right thing and live each day to the fullest. In some weird way I thought being a good person automatically meant I’d end up with Prince Charming and live happily ever after. Yet, I’m learning that life is about so much more.

It’s about loving yourself and those around you. It’s about doing the right thing because you want to, not because you have to. Life is about helping others in need and adapting to your circumstances.

It’s about surrounding yourself with good genuine people who want to see you happy. It’s about chasing your dreams and waiting for the right person to come along. It’s about living.

It frustrates me to no end that in our society being 25 years old and single is like a death sentence. Yes, I am 25 years old. No, I’m not married. No, I don’t have kids. No, I don’t have a boyfriend. So what?

It’s time for our generation to wake up and realize we are unique. Stop trying to fit into a mold just because society says you should. Do the things you love to do, travel the world, follow your dreams. Surround yourself with good people, and you’ll be amazed at how much of a positive difference it makes in your life.

After a year of just me I now realize what’s really important. My new goals don’t depend on a ring or a man, they stem from a deep desire to do what’s best for me. My soul is finally free, and I’m ready to follow my dreams wherever they may take me.

If there are people in your life that are holding you back or not contributing to your happiness, delete them from your life. Wash away the negativity, and you’ll see the world in a whole new light. If you’re struggling with loneliness just take life a day at a time. There is someone for everyone. When it’s right you’ll know, and you’ll be so glad you waited.


XOXO
,
Myka Shantell💋

The Inner Warrior Awakened.

“A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong.” -unknown

My journey over the last year and a half has been full of hardships and pain, but this week I finally had a breakthrough. This week was the first time in my adult life that the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders. It was the first time that my anxiety finally lost its grip on my soul. This week, my inner warrior awakened.

This whole path of transformation I’ve been on has had one purpose…to help me become the warrior my soul has always wanted me to be. I’ve been working so hard to get to a place of true happiness and joy. I’ve been climbing an unimaginably steep hill, and I honestly thought I’d never make it to the top. Nevertheless I made it, and let me tell you the view is extremely beautiful from here.

This whole journey has been one in which I’ve had to put in hours and hours of therapy, meditation, new practices, reading and research. I’ve had to dig through layers of emotions and feelings I didn’t even know existed in my core. This process has required me to be completely open minded and 100% honest. It’s forced me to be vulnerable which was really uncomfortable at times.

This whole process began the day I found my therapist. I had just experienced the most heart-wrenching breakup of my life, and I was at rock bottom. I had debated on seeing a therapist before to help me with my anxiety. However, I’d always chickened out. After my relationship abruptly and unexpectedly ended, I knew I would need help to survive. I’d never felt a pain so deep, and I knew I couldn’t handle it on my own.

I remember using Google to look up therapists in my hometown. I looked through quite a few (as I constantly wiped the tears from my eyes), unsure of what I was really trying to find. Suddenly I saw my (now) therapist’s picture, and I instantly knew she was the person who would guide me through this terrible time in my life. Little did I know she would send me down a path of discovery that I never knew my soul needed. I thank God every day for placing her in my life.

I’d always thought I had my life exactly the way I wanted it. I was a pretty successful athlete, high school Valedictorian, musician, writer, Christian, independent, and a Registered Nurse. All I thought I was missing was a husband and kids. Turns out I was completely wrong. Despite reaching all of these incredible milestones in my life, my soul needed more. My heart yearned to make an impact on the world, to become the warrior within.

From the day we’re born, we’re taught to always have goals. You see, one of the biggest mistakes we make as humans is thinking life is a bunch of tasks we can check off our list. We think that getting a degree, a house, a job, money, or a family will bring us true happiness. Believe me I understand because I was one of those people. I couldn’t understand why I was still unhappy after accomplishing so much. Achieving milestones in our life does give us temporary joy, and it can make us successful. However, it doesn’t fill our spirit.

One thing I’ve learned in the past few months is no matter how outwardly successful we appear, we are empty without a soulful purpose. Here’s an analogy my therapist and I came up with during our last session. Our souls are like cups. Throughout life we constant try to fill our “cup” with external worldly things (relationships, success, jobs, money, family, ect). However, each of these things only give us a temporary high, and then we are once again left with a feeling of emptiness. True purpose and understanding happen when we learn to fill our “cup” with our beliefs, our thoughts, our dreams, our desires…things that are ours.

I’m happy to say that my cup is now completely full and the emptiness I felt for most of my life is finally gone. I’m overwhelmed with true happiness. I’ve refilled my soul with things that are entirely mine. I’ve finally allowed myself to take full control. It’s almost like an outer body experience, but it’s been one of the best things to ever happen to me. For so long I was searching for purpose and meaning, and it was in me all along.

I hope you take some time to really evaluate your “cup.” Is it full of temporary highs and worldly things? Are you constantly searching for purpose and meaning? Are you wondering why you don’t feel true happiness after completing all the milestones you’ve worked toward your whole life? If so, I pray you empty your “cup” and fill it with things that only you can influence. You will find that there is serious power in being in charge of your own destiny. Don’t be afraid to dig deep and awaken your inner warrior. You may be surprised at just how amazing and strong you really are.

XOXO,
Myka Shantell💋