Life isn’t easy for anyone. No one gets a free pass for escaping life’s hard trials. Ember has been through a lot and has learned to choose self-compassion as she battles things that are out of her control. I look up to Ember and love her attitude. Something that she didn’t mention in her story is how she has been crushing her goals and keeping her commitments to herself. Self-compassion is motivating in the best way possible. Thank you for sharing Ember!
As a busy mom of 5 kids over the span of 10 years, I was accustomed to being tired. As the symptoms started piling up, I knew something was wrong. The overwhelming fatigue, hair falling out, unexplained weight gain, anxiety, migraine headaches and depression were starting to dictate my everyday life. I set out on a quest to find out what was wrong. A few months later I found myself face to face with a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease (an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid).
It was a hard blow to me as an active mom, a dancer and an overall healthy woman who enjoys getting out and doing things with my kids and friends. As I searched for answers from medical professionals and started on my healing journey, I realized I needed to be gentle with myself through the whole process.
Once I was able to find answers and work through my medical issues, I embarked on a personal development journey to dig deep and rekindle the fire within me. I really focused on who I really was and accepting every part of me. I was able to manage my thoughts and have a more fulfilling life. I started choosing joy more often.
Then last summer I attended a “Get Out There Girl” Yoga retreat. The retreat was a culmination of many things for me. It was a peaceful getaway where I could just be me. It was a wonderful time to connect with Mother Nature and feel at peace. A safe place to connect with amazing women and learn from their life experiences. It was an awakening for my inner self as we did our Yoga practice each morning and evening. Next came the self-compassion workshop taught by Lisa Goff and it was just what I needed to hear and was a real culmination of my personal development journey. It felt like the last piece of the puzzle fell into place for me.
I realized that I needed to be kinder to myself through the process of getting back to feeling more like myself. I needed to approach this stage of life with compassion and give myself space and time to heal. And also to allow myself to feel and process all the emotions that came along with it. I had been being gentle with myself, but this concept of self-compassion really opened my eyes and empowered me in a whole new way. It has been a wonderful gift that has helped me start feeling great again — both physically and mentally. Best of all, self-compassion is such an integrated part of my life and will continue to help me embrace every stage of life that comes my way.
Amberdaun is one of my great friends. She never ceases to amaze me with her strength and humility. She is strong and gentle, loving and generous. We originally connected through adventure, but have connected through so much more. I will always be grateful for the relationships GOTG brings into my life.
My name is Amberdaun. Because of a previously unresolved childhood trauma, I have always had major self doubt, feeling of no self worth, struggles with owning up to my own problems and severely hurting those I love most around me. I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and actions. It took almost losing everything I had to make me “wake up” and feel the need to make some serious changes in my life, and my family’s life. That’s around when I went on my first Get Out There Girl adventure. I have gone on several retreats since then. One thing Get Out There Girl does is take these women who might not know each other on amazing adventures, and put them together to lift up and be vulnerable with each other and help us all overcome what ever difficulties we each face in this hard life.
I struggle with always comparing myself to others. I would always measure my value on somebody else’s opinion of me, or what I thought their opinion was. I’m always putting myself down, so on these trips I would sit there and say to myself how perfect these gorgeous, amazing, successful, skinny, kind, women’s lives are, and how I don’t compare to them and that I shouldn’t be there. No one on these trips made me feel that way, its just the way I felt about myself. What I came to realize is that none of these women were judging me. I just needed to get out of my own head and enjoy my time in the outdoors, doing something that I enjoyed. It is a constant struggle for me not to compare myself to others, and it is something I am continuously trying to improve on.
Going on these adventures gets me doing something that I would not normally do. During one of the retreats, we hiked through some slot canyons. I am claustrophobic, but wanted a new adventure. During the whole hike, I had to keep taking deep breaths so that I would not totally panic. In one of the areas, it got quite narrow, and at one point, my foot got stuck between two boulders. I really started to freak out and have a panic attack. I’m talking full on crying, hyperventilating, panic attack. I kept thinking this is it, i’m a goner. There was this sweet person named Kristen that kept telling me it was OK, to be patient with myself. I had never met this person before this retreat, but there she was, on my side, helping me through something major. Two of my dear friends were also there to help me with breathing exercises and focus points other than being stuck. Even though I was stuck for what felt like an eternity (in all reality it was maybe 30 seconds) there were these other strong and confident women helping me through this trial and I am so grateful for them.
I’m also scared of heights. I have gone on a few rappelling trips and absolutely LOVED it! I even got my own gear because I liked it so much. Being around the supportive women of GOTG has helped me get over so many hurdles that I would normally not even think about conquering in life. I just hope to be that supportive example to someone else along the way as so many have been to me.
I used to think that I was selfish as a mother and a wife to want time alone. Then I soon realized that I needed time for myself to revive myself, to refill my cup. How could I expect to take care of my kids, my husband, my house and the various other responsibilities that I had when my cup was so empty. Sometimes its okay to take time for yourself and go on your own adventures. That is what Get Out There Girl has done for me. Helped me see past my own insecurities and the good that can come from truly finding yourself, your passions, and forever friendships that can come from spending time in the outdoors with old and new friends.
I will be forever grateful for what Brittany and GOTG have given me and for the friendships I have formed in the process.