By Riva Jean-Paul
How do I start over? This is a question many people are asking themselves, as we continue to navigate the effects of the after-pandemic world. Thousands of people have quit their jobs and started what we’re now calling The Great Resignation. As we continue to be shown how things are not working, from the cost of living, to our school systems, laws, and day-to-day lives, we’re now facing a new pandemic: A mental health crisis. Many aren’t happy and that’s why we’re looking for different ways of living in this modern world, all in the hopes of something new and better. But how do we start over? Especially, if we don’t want to go back to where we were. How do we start from square one again after we’ve worked years, sometimes decades, to create a life we now want to run away from?
I’ve started over more times than I count. Coming from a military family, I moved often and had to make friends, as I found myself in a new world over and over. I’ve now been in Sacramento, CA for 13 years, after moving here with nothing but a few boxes and an acceptance letter to Sacramento State. And even though I haven’t left Sacramento since first arriving, I began to holistically heal and transform over the years. After leaving one career track, I started anew in the fitness industry and when the pandemic hit, my business was destroyed. It was then time to build anew, again, not only in business, but also with my circle of friends and family. You could say I’m an expert at starting over. It’s not easy, but I found it important to always follow my heart.
I would like to share three guiding principles that have been crucial every time I had to start over, whether looking to switch careers, improve relationships, improve health, and/or navigate a transition time.
- Get Support: When a new neuron pathway forms in the brain, it can only do so when a layer of fat has formed underneath. To be clear, the layer of fat has to be laid down first. Without this layer, the pathway will not grow. This is the same for humans: Without the proper support around us, we will not be able to grow, just as the trees would not be able to grow without their roots.
Support looks different for everyone. Some of us need more support and some need less. Support can be working with a coach, asking a friend to help keep you accountable, or finding a community of like-minded people who are on a similar path as you. The more support, the better. But knowing what kind of support you need can only be determined once you know and understand yourself – which leads me to the next principle…
- Know Thyself: What makes you tick? What lights your soul on fire? Why do you want to start over? Understanding these things about yourself is a necessary piece of beginning again and this can only be done through self-reflection and inner work.
Many of us are looking for answers outside ourselves. We are looking for a quick fix or a “6 Steps to the Life of Your Dreams.” But these answers and these realizations can only be found within. When you take the time to look back on the things you’ve learned and the lessons that life has taught you, you can use them to better understand what you want, what has worked for you in the past, and what does not work for you anymore. If you find that you don’t really know yourself, it’s time to move on to the last principle.
- Try New Things: All the practices and experiences that bring me the most fulfillment and joy today all started as some weird, “new thing.” Stepping out of your comfort zone in any way, taking a class in something you’ve always been curious about, having the courage to introduce yourself to someone at that class, walking barefoot on the ground, hula hooping, anything new can open your world to new energies within, a new passion and even path in life.
Each time I surrendered to that little voice within, I found myself closer and closer to my authentic self. However, adults tend to have more resistance to trying new things. I have seen many women in particular suffer from perfectionism and become stuck by their fears of ‘not being good at something,’ so never trying something they may be interested in at all.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
If you’ve come to a turning point in life that has inspired you to change, it is an indicator that what you are doing is no longer working. If there’s a pull on your heart to book that retreat, sign up for that training, move to that new city, follow it, trust that there is a way, and be open to the unfolding of your new life.
Starting over is not easy. It takes time, patience, resilience, and a whole lot of love and trust. Quitting the job, ending the relationship, and deciding to create positive changes in your life – that’s the easy part. After that is when the hard work begins. But hard work is a lot easier when you have support, know yourself, and try new things.
More About the Author’s Offerings:
Winds of Change by Riva Jean-Paul
We collaborate with busy, stressed, and anxious women who are wanting to bring balance into their lives through spiritual connection. Through individual sessions and retreats, Riva provides curated experiences to bring rejuvenation, inspiration, and positive changes into her clients’ lives. Mention WellBEing and your 1st group session is free!
Location 717 K St #509, Sacramento (by appt only)