Living from the Inside Out

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Living from the Inside Out

I am so honored to be on the front cover of SYBIL MAGAZINE – FOR THE SPIRIT AND SOUL OF WOMEN – a second time. Being a contributing writer for the past two years has been an amazing and life changing experience. I hope you enjoy the article.

“Is the life you’re living the life that wants to live in you?

If this question resonates with you, you know it’s possible to live a life that’s not entirely yours.

Let me explain what I mean. 

When I was 20 years old I wrote a list of what I wanted to become: a therapist, a writer, a journalist, an actress or director, an interior designer, an architect or art historian. I was even considering something fluffy like a shaman or a healer. 

Two years later I went off to university to study law. Looking at this list that I just found recently, I’m wondering: what the heck happened? From therapist to lawyer in 2 years – excuse me? 

It is an example of living from the outside in, bowing to expectations and conditioning. I’m the youngest of 3 children and at that time the first one to go to university. The unspoken expectation was to study something “decent” and not something as wishy-washy as interior design. On top of that, I allowed a career counselor to talk me out of psychology because she felt I needed a curriculum with more structure so I wouldn’t end up as one of those “eternal students”. Looking back I suspect she was putting her story on me. Psychology would have served me well on my path.

I managed to get my master’s degree in law and I’m happy to report for my own sanity that I didn’t work as a lawyer one day in my life. However, it took me almost 30 years to become what a wise part within me already knew when I was setting out into life: a healer, a coach, a writer and creative.

Living from the inside out means living from the heart and really listening to what it has to say! Manifesting that higher purpose and calling that we all have. I knew what I wanted to become when I was 20 years old but I didn’t have the wisdom or the personal power to really follow it. But life left me clues and I have followed them – reluctantly first. And after hitting a few low points over the past years with more and more willingness to listen, to find and to follow. Every item on the list has either become a passion or a vocation.

Living from the inside also means finding approval, confirmation, and compassion within and not being so dependent on getting it from the outside. This inner anchoring gives us the strength to make unpopular choices, stand up for ourselves and allow ourselves to be seen.

It took me many years and many tears to realize that while getting approval from the outside can temporarily quench my thirst for connection and belonging, it is a very fragile construct. One cynical remark or feedback, one judgmental look or rejection and it all comes crashing down around my ears. 

I’ve also learned that when I live true to who I sense to be deep inside and I make connections from that place, the belonging feels true and real. It’s belonging not despite of who I am but because of who I am. These kinds of connections have over the years allowed me to relax deeply and have taken off much pressure and unhappiness from my soul. Pressure and unhappiness that comes from feeling the need to hide and adapt and fulfill the expectations of the world. 

Is it scary to live like this? You bet! Do I sometimes feel extremely vulnerable? Hell yes! And still, it’s the only way of living I’m finding worthwhile.”

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