8 Steps to healing by Vanisha May

My 8 steps for healing.

It’s funny, when I think about the person that I was one year ago, it’s as if I’m thinking about someone that I used to know very well. And six months ago, I had never felt so lost and far away from everything that I thought I was. But today, when I look in the mirror I see someone going through growth and change, and I’m really grateful and excited to know that I’m becoming someone different. But the change and growth can be super scary, extremely personal and uncomfortable too. Piecing together the parts of your life that have caused pain and hurt whilst trying to understand how to make peace with it all can be overwhelming and messy. It’s easy to bury it all under a rock, but I’ll tell you now that it will come back to haunt you one day. Embracing the vulnerability and finding ways to overcome all the heaviness in your heart is brave, and the most honest thing you can do for yourself and your life. And trust me, it will all be worth it.

 

So, in classic Vin style, I’ve been doing lots of research, reading and self-therapy, and here are my 8 steps for healing;

  1. Conversation

This sounds simple but talking about what you’re going through is really difficult and brave. You’re probably thinking that people don’t care or won’t understand, but it’s usually quite the opposite and extremely crucial for you. You have to talk about what you’re going through because it helps bring understanding, different views and even answers for you and those around you It’s definitely the first and biggest step. Talk to a friend, family member, counsellor or even braver, the person who might be involved in your hurt. “Those who keep silence hurt more” – C.S. Lewis. Be honest with yourself. You got this.

  1. Be open to change and necessary pain

Sometimes things hurt and it feels like you’re stuck in a black hole that you’ll never get out of. To heal and grow, you have to get to the root of the problem and you might dig deep into things that you thought you’d got rid of and buried. But this is great. Those who experience pain more, experience growth more and love more. Be open to feelings of sadness and hurt for that means you can see it and understand it, and know that you’ll get through it. Life never gives us anything we can’t handle.

  1. Welcome your ghosts then wave them goodbye

Understand that without darkness, there’d be no light. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. People and experiences can cause both pain and happiness. And understand that just like you, things grow and change and nothing ever stays the same. So, make a note on paper or in your head of the things causing you pain and the lessons you think you learnt. That ghost that is ruining your present should be left in your past. You experienced it, you learnt from it and now make peace with it. Let it all go.

  1. Surround yourself with love and joy

Basically stop engaging in negativity and remove yourself from anything that threatens to disrupt your peace. Humans need other humans so, find your people and love them hard. Do things that you love, with the good people that you love and choose positivity and happiness every goddamn day. Because you deserve it and you can have it.

  1. Mindfulness

Live completely in the now and practise mindfulness. If you’re not sure what that even means then do some research in google! But basically pay attention to every single thought and feeling you may have, and just accept it all with no bad or good judgements. There are exercises you can practise that help get rid of anxieties and help balance your mind. Meditation, breathing exercises and appreciation all help. Check out this little list here and try it https://www.developgoodhabits.com/mindfulness-exercises/

  1. Invent and invest

You are the main character in your life ALWAYS. Take a second away from all that energy you give to other people and focus on you. What do you want from life? Who are you? And what do you love? Be creative, explore every option and find your meaning in life. Then bloody go for it! You can be whoever you want to be right now. Invent yourself and invest in yourself.

  1. Do good to feel good

This is a straight forward step and really helps you move away from your comfort zone as well as literally helping yourself and others. Doing good really does make you feel good. So do something good today, for someone else, without reason or agenda. Not only will you feel of use and happier, but karma will love you and bring you more good.

  1. Healthy body = healthy mind

This is so important! Everyone’s on their vegan or veggie tings, and the “hey let’s juice all our foods and lift weights with joe wicks” stages, but there is some sense in it all and it’s great to see so many people eating clean and binning society’s disgusting habits of fast food and dangerous health risks. Eating well and exercising really does lead to a healthier life and mind. I personally love Pilates and have really enjoyed HIIT too, try new classes and see what works for you. Aim for ya 5-a-day too, it’s not a myth, but will genuinely make a difference. There’s so much online – ideas, recipes, weekly routines. Just go for it all.

 

And, that’s it lovers! Below is a little reading list that I’ve put together, check them out. And of course, everyone is different and you’ll find your own ways through whatever it is you might be feeling. But growth is great! It means that you’re changing, developing and not stuck in the same person that you have been. You’re learning and accepting things don’t stay the same, including yourself. Love the flow of life and embrace every growth you experience. This will be the first of many! Enjoy it.

V

X

  • The Art of Happiness, The Dalai Lama
  • Everything I know about love, Dolly Alderton
  • You can heal your life, Louise Hay
  • Becoming: Sex, second chances and figuring out who the hell I am, Laura Jane Williams

Self-love and How to spring clean your social life.

“There’s so much more to life than finding someone who will want you, or being sad over someone who doesn’t. There’s a lot of wonderful time to be spent discovering yourself without hoping someone will fall in love with you along the way, and it doesn’t need to be painful or empty. You need to fill yourself up with love. Not anyone else. Become a whole being on your own. Go on adventures, fall asleep in the woods with friends, wander around the city at night, sit in a coffee shop on your own, write on bathroom stalls, leave notes in library books, dress up for yourself, give to others and smile a lot. Do all things with love, but don’t romanticise love like you can’t survive without it. Live for yourself and be happy on your own. It isn’t any less beautiful, I promise.”
– Emery Allen

 
I’m a sucker for a good quote and fell in love with this one instantly. Pass the sick bucket, this is gonna be ultimately cheese….

I think it’s incredibly important for anyone to spend time by themselves. There’s a fear in being alone, and a safety net comes hand in hand with a partner. There’s so much pressure in society on dating, marriage and finding your ‘Prince Charming’ (and all other types of ‘other halves’), that people forget the importance of solitude, and that it’s perfectly okay standing on your own two feet, thinking for yourself and achieving your own accomplishments and dreams.

“Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.” — Carrie Bradshaw

Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely to sit and daydream about the hot guy you just served at work, but to pursue romantic love all the time is exhausting and we lose sight of the other life and kinds of love around us. I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately, and how important it is to give love, kindness and happiness, but how it doesn’t necessarily have to be a romantic love to give you that similar sense of fulfilment and joy.

Recently I’ve found that self-love and investing my time and energy in my dreams and passions has been extremely positive and rewarding. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I have an achievable purpose and aim for my life. There’s so much excitement, and so much achievement due to me and everything I’ve done for my own life. I know more than ever what I want from life and what I don’t want, and feel pretty positive and able to remove myself from toxic or unwanted situations and people.

Even my social media has changed.  Having a clear out and detox of my twitter, facebook, instagram and even my contacts, felt like one of the best spring cleans everrrr. No longer am I following hoards of random people, silly celebrities and people who would never intend on even waving at me across the street (but love to have a nose!), and instead, I’ve found my interests and narrowed my passions by stuffing my feeds with intellectuals, organisations, volunteer groups and people that I care about, people who inspire me on every level. Along with the odd food pages. Obvs.

 

Anyway, my point is explore yourself and your life, and pursue every single interest that comes to mind. Sit down and decide what you really want, what gets you out of bed in the morning, the things that make you smile and the dreams you have in life. Then remove all the shit that if it disappeared tomorrow, you wouldn’t notice. Delete all the tinder hook ups, toxic friends and nonsense celebrities, and feel that weight fly off your shoulders. Decide what and who you want to be and do it for you, then own it. Be clever in your interactions and fill your life with all kinds of love and everything that really matters to you, instead of forcing things to fit because that’s what other people are doing or because society says so.

This post is 110% my cheesiest and ones I hate the most, but there’s power in positivity and self-love is the most important love, and I feel full of it all right now….

 

And here’s a bunch of quotes I love too….

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as an escape.” — Bell Hooks

“Here is my wish for you and every other child, woman, and man on the face of the earth: Spend one week saying only kind, caring things to yourself. Say thank you at least ten times an hour, direct five toward yourself and five to the world at large. Compliment yourself (and others) each time an effort is made. Notice all the wonderful qualities and characteristics about yourself and those around you. One week. You will never go back. And your whole life will be a glorious meditation.”  — Cheri Huber

 “Falling in love with yourself first doesn’t make you vain or selfish, it makes you indestructible”. – Bridgette Caudill

“Decide. Is this the life you wanna live? Is this the person you wanna love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More compassionate? Decide. Breath in. Breathe out, and decide”. – Meredith Grey