In our your late twenties, it’s not uncommon to feel the pressure of getting your whole life sorted before your thirty – the house, the relationship, the success, the body, the family – but if life hasn’t turned out as you had expected it to and there’s no clear direction for how to change things, it can leave you asking; Is it too late? Am I good enough? And what will make me truly happy?
Five years ago, I was stuck at this exact crossroad… Slumped over my cousin’s toilet, shouting to her while she’s in the kitchen, I was pinching my stomach in between my fingers like a crab eating a sandwich and asking her if she thought that I had put on weight. “You would be honest with me though, wouldn’t you?” She walked in and looked me in the eyes without a blink at how vulnerable I must have looked: knickers around my ankles, a big purple cast on my left leg, and tears running down my face… “Yes, you have.” I took a sharp inhale.
Honesty hurts like breathing in ice-cold air, but it’s also invigorating. It was refreshing and exactly what I needed to wake me up.
Enough was enough, my life was going to change.
I had moved from Cornwall with all intentions of leaving my partying ways behind me and really sorting my shit out. But breaking my ankle the first month I moved to Brighton had put a stop to my life moving forward in more ways than one.
They say that ill health can be a reflection of what needs to change in your life and, in this case, the feet that would normally have helped me run into the future hoping that it had all the answers could not physically take me. What had happened to the successful girl who left school at 16, was an assistant producer by 21 and owned her own restaurant in Panama at 22? How had it come to this?
I wanted to love my life, love my body, and love myself but the only way I knew how to feel good was to run away and start all over again. But now I had no cash in my pocket—I was on the dole, carrying extra weight (no matter how obsessive you are about exercise, alcohol and sugar win against only one working foot), had no one to lean on (my boyfriend refused to hold hands in public), and was still battling with those damn voices in my head (and too embarrassed to tell anyone about them).
I didn’t have the mental, physical, or emotional strength to hop away, even if I had wanted to. Luckily though I didn’t want to. I had only just moved again and something was telling me to stick it out. Six months later, my life looked very different but I felt even worse.
My ankle had healed and I was flying around the world for Virgin Atlantic as Cabin Crew, trying to figure out what to do next with my life whilst on four-night Caribbeans. As glamorous as it sounds, I spent most of my time sobbing into my hotel room carpet begging for some direction and answers. Those answers seemed to be waiting for the comfort of home to reveal themselves because it was my bedroom floor that absorbed the final sob and showed me the way.
You don’t know that you’ve reached your ‘had enough’ moment until you’ve come out the other side of it.
I thought I was having mine in my cousin’s bathroom that day, but I was wrong. It wasn’t until the voices in my head had become unbearable, saying things that were too scary to repeat, and until I felt truly alone and completely trapped that I broke.
Now I could finally put myself back together again.
Hands turned upwards, palms open, there in child’s pose I completely surrendered to the beige carpet still stained with red wine from the party we had had last Christmas. For once, I realised that I didn’t have the answers to everything and I asked for help. I had no idea who I was speaking to, but when you fall to your knees and beg for something you can’t see to help you, it’s a good sign that you’ve hit you’re ‘had enough’ mark.
I knew I first had to heal my mind and when I finally peeled myself off the floor I had a life changing thought. What if I stopped battling with the voices in my head and instead met them with the words love and peace?
Well, for a couple of months I gave it a go and to my surprise it began to work. Six months later and with this torturous squatter in my mind now evicted I began to find more clarity, which led to making another huge leap: not drinking on New Year’s Eve of 2012.
What happened over the following twelve months was such a huge transformation it’s hard for me to even remember who I had been. All of the layers that had been hiding my true self fell away and I could see that I had been looking for happiness in all the wrong places. I had for so long thought it was about having more, being more, and doing more, but that had never fully satisfied me.
I was trapped in a cycle of saying, “I’ll be happy when…”
The fewer layers of fear, self-doubt, and worry there were, the more happy I became: I completely healed the voices in my head and they have never come back
• I lost 21lbs and have maintained my ideal weight
• I stopped binging on sugar and alcohol
• I created a relationship so full of love I could burst
• I moved to the location of my dreams in Ibiza
• I created a passion driven business that allows me to work when and where I want
• I learned to truly love myself and my body
• I went from being on the dole to having regular five figure weeks
• I found a whole new community of like-minded friends
In that twelve months, I took six important steps, steps which I have now shared in over 1,500 hours of coaching and that I now call my six-step Life Cleanse.
And on Wednesday 29.3.2017 (DrivenWoman evening workshop in Soho, London) I will be sharing tips from these steps so that you can break the cycle of saying “I’ll be happy when…” and discover what it means to be truly happy in the now and how that creates positive change in your life.
Lydia Kimmerling is known in the personal development world as ‘The Happiness Explorer’. She is a Happiness Coach and Motivational Speaker who last year was named ‘Guru to watch’ by The Times, came runner up in Hay House and Psychologies magazine’s search for a new wise voice and teamed up with TV celebrity Ferne McCann (The Only Way Is Essex) as one of McVitie’s Go Ahead! Summer Buddy team of experts. Click here to meet Lydia now, hear more of her story by watching this video and following her on Facebook. Then join her and fellow driven women on Wednesday the 29th at 6:30 pm in Soho, London. (more info and tickets)