Coming from the high highs of our Fitness Bootcamp, Week 6 with The Nomad MBA was a tough one for me. Probably the toughest one since embarking on this life-changing journey last year. I had a great weekend exploring some of the hills around Cusco with a few of my tribe members. But when I opened my planner on Monday morning, I saw that it was Week 6 already. Almost halfway through the program! Realizing that had me inevitably thinking about the end of and the time after the program. Unsurprisingly, that made me incredibly sad.
And then my inner critic had some things to say, too. I have always been a very self-critical and perfectionistic person. It’s easy for me to see and celebrate other’s successes but when it comes to myself, almost nothing I do is ever good enough. I had this nagging voice inside my head, asking me what I’d even accomplished so far. All the ways I’d already grown as a person seemed suddenly worthless. Because on paper, looking at hard facts and results, I’d nothing to show. Or at least that’s what I convinced myself of. Within minutes, my mood had done a complete 180. From happy, confident, on-top-of-the-world to sad, critical and disappointed in myself.
Of course, people noticed. And how couldn’t they? Whatever I feel and think directly translates to my face. I would make the worst poker player ever haha. They all told me how wrong I was to feel that way and how proud they were of me for everything that I’d achieved so far. But it’s hard to convince yourself of things if you don’t believe them. My mood simply wouldn’t improve. So during a session with my mentor that afternoon, she suggested that I take the week off and prioritize self-care, whatever that looks like exactly for me.
Recharging the batteries
Because let’s be honest: As much as I enjoyed the last couple of weeks, it had been a lot! And I hadn’t really given myself enough time to process. So I went home and spent most of the evening releasing some long overdue tears while listening to one of my favourite podcasts. I was fully expecting to be back to my usual self the next day, but I somehow couldn’t shake this mood. I tried yoga, meditation, reading, tea and sleeping a lot. And I got a lot of support from the tribe. I mean how can you still feel bad after messages like:
‘Darling you are beautiful and even though you may feel disappointed, I am super happy about how much you have accomplished this month. It’s beautiful to watch you.’
But even after two days, I only felt slightly better. Nonetheless, I decided to go to our weekly workshop on Wednesday. It was about prioritizing your time to get you to where you see yourself in the future. In order to figure out how we might have to change our priorities, we were supposed to imagine our ‘perfect day’ six months from then. I had done that exercise countless times before, so I wasn’t really expecting to get a lot from it. Couldn’t have been more wrong about that.
Not sure if it was because of the general mood I was in or something other than that. However, I realized that a big part of my ‘perfect day’ consists of having someone else there with me. Someone to wake up next to in the morning and to fall asleep with at night. Simply someone to share my days with. The vision of my ‘perfect day’ hadn’t changed at all, I simply hadn’t been aware of the importance of this detail before. This realization hit something deep inside me. And I felt devastated because it isn’t something I can change just by getting my priorities straight. Apparently, things had to get worse before they could get better.
My heart’s desire
Back home in the comfort of my bed, I did some follow-up reading and stumbled over this quote by Rumi:
‘Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.’
And that gave me hope. Because I know my heart is like a max-security prison. I’ve been hurt and disappointed pretty badly in my first love relationships. So much so that it became easier to not develop romantic feelings for anyone. Whenever I meet someone new, I do so with the expectation that it won’t work out. Simply so I don’t get my hopes up, become attached and eventually get hurt again. And, big surprise, it never works out in the end.
So while that may keep me from being hurt, it also leaves me incredibly lonely. I’ve just been to busy to recognize this emptiness inside me and the longing in my heart. But now that I admitted it to myself, I can start to tear down these walls. And who knows, maybe by acknowledging the fact that I indeed want someone else in my life, I’ve opened myself up to just that.
I definitely think it was the first step in the right direction. Because the Universe delivers whatever you put out there. And I’ve always put a lot of emphasis on the fact that I’m doing fine just by myself and don’t need anyone else in my life. That manifested itself in me being single for more than eight years now. About time for a change. I for one am more optimistic about the future now and couldn’t be more grateful for the workshop that led to this.
This together with a lot of love from the tribe and the best ‘bad mood’ cure – a great sleepover – ultimately helped me to get out of my funk. And what better way to celebrate than with a delicious cheese platter and some wine that turned into an epic night out? Still very much in love with Cusco and everyone here with me and I can’t wait to start the next week here on a new high.