2020-11-05 Nature vs. Nurture
Nature vs. Nurture - are we "the way we are" more so because of our genetics, or because of our upbringing and environment?
Hard to say which takes precedence, but I think the more noticeable one is the latter.
I don't reckon it's possible to look at a particular gene expression under a microscope and determine, "oh they're going to have solid habits as they age".
It's a lot easier and clearer, however, to look back at our childhoods and pinpoint certain events, relationships, dynamics, and circumstances that impacted us to become who we are today.
As I mentioned in my last message, I felt the time has come to share a bit more as to what fuels me in the way I approach life, and also the work that I do.
I've been talking a lot about discipline lately and how I believe that building resiliency by pushing ourselves to do the hard things that matter to us is one of the highest forms of self-love.
I'm also in the camp that lives by the motto: discipline equals freedom.
On the other side of that same coin, I also have a very deep self-acceptance, as well as compassion and empathy for myself and others.
Being disciplined doesn't mean being insensitive and heartless.
One of the biggest factors that led me to being the person I am now is my relationship (rather, a lack of one) with my dad. I've been estranged from him since I moved out of the house at 19.
I grew up in a very intimidating household and my dad had serious anger issues. It wasn't all bad, but the memories of his physical abuse far outweigh the memories of the bright and sunny days when we'd go sailing on his boat.
Because I didn't have the physical size, strength, mental capacity, or emotional courage to protect myself back then (I love my mom and she must've been scared too) I've put in so much effort and energy and endurance into building uncompromising resiliency and stamina.
It's always been so important to me to feel, and actually be, strong. I voluntarily do things that are difficult and that scare the hell out of me because I don't ever want to be afraid of anything like I was of my dad when I was a kid.
I've gone skydiving from 12,000 ft and bungee jumping 3 times. I've taught women's kickboxing, taken self-defence classes, learned roundoff back-handsprings in my cheer days, ran 18km in snow, done public speaking and live theatre, read countless books on leadership, habits, discipline, healthy relationships, personal healing, and forgiveness.
I've travelled by myself to the other side of the world, gone on hikes in the middle of the night and in fog/rain solo, challenged myself to wake up at 4:45am for 50 days straight to meditate and practice peacefulness, and started skateboarding at 30 years old (which is actually one of the scariest things I've ever done).
Of course my last 5 years as a yoga teacher and wellness consultant helping others do the same has been a huge part of my purpose in life.
It's so much more than just being badass or whatever, which is a comment I get every now and again. It really is about who we become along the way. By voluntarily putting ourselves in situations of positive stress, it allows us to better handle the involuntary curveballs that inevitably come our way.
I'm so grateful to have gotten myself to a place of genuine happiness, with a zest for life and a huge appreciation for my friendships and the opportunities that have come my way because of my hardships.
There's so much more that I could write about this (I'll get my book out one day) but for now, I'll leave my childhood story there.
I know that many people have been struggling throughout the pandemic, even pre-covid, particularly when it comes to following through with their ideas and dreams.
We're now in month 9, my friends. If this resonates with you and you've got a goal that's asking to be brought to life, and if you're desiring presence of mind and vitality to be brought back into your days..
It's time to mobilize into healthy and supported action.
I'll be sharing the final details of my project soon, it's just around the corner now...