How To Bring on a Breakthrough
by Kiki Athanas
May 20, 2019
Last week something in me finally “got it”, and it was exactly what I needed in order to truly begin living my best ever authentic life.
I’ve had “epiphanies” before - usually at spiritual workshops of some sort, during writing activities, after or whilst in an intense yoga or breathwork session, etc. etc. - the classic setting where “breakthroughs” are bound to happen. But this last one was different. It didn’t come on during or after one particular “event” or “thing” that happened. Of course, the reasoner in me was irritated, desperate to trace it back to that “aha” moment so that I could explain the story with more excitement and rationale.
“Until one day it finally hit me when ‘X’ and I realized….”
Except it didn’t happen this way. I don’t even know or remember the exact moment it really "occurred" to me - but I do remember the evening. Finally, after all the years of hearing (and often preaching) the truths I knew to be true...but were never quite in reach for myself (at least not on an often-enough basis) - it all clicked. It all seemed so obvious.
Life is for enjoying. The more I enjoy it, the more I seek the love and joy out of right now, without pain and strain for later, the easier and more rich it will become. Best of all, the results are almost instant.
We’ve all heard the classic “be present”, “enjoy the moment”, and other yogi lingo - whether it’s pasted on a trendy canvas bag or a lit up over a funky plant-wall...but how many of us actually FEEL and LIVE that truth? I’ll be honest, I wasn’t. It felt innately and intuitively right, and I knew deep down it was, but it was so hard to actually “practice” it on the daily. I was waiting for life to get easier, slow down, or to simply accomplish more things/tasks/projects/events, before I was willing to give myself the time (the right) to enjoy it all.
Eventually, this healthy appetite for success (& health) turned from mildly obsessive to utterly unhealthy. I was “maximizing” the utility of everything: time, people, food - and instead of the praise, attention and “success” it gained me in the right healthy doses - it eventually began to consume my mind, and left no room for joy.
Over the past few months I’ve taken a step back to reassess what it is that makes me happy in this world; what I genuinely love and lights me up - not what gets me more likes on IG or has the most potential for financial prosperity. Something that was particularly enlightening was when I took the time to write out everything that’s “holding me back” (an exercise recommended by my friend who’s a futurist and growth coach, Emily Empel). It was surprising to realize that so many of the things that drive me are also the main obstacles that are holding me back from living my authentic truth and serving my highest potential. For example, my food & diet enthusiasm, which brought me a passion, a niche, a purpose - eventually became a sickness of restricting and binging. My fear of not having enough funds, certifications, or experience, led me to put myself out there and take part in events and scenes that I wouldn’t have otherwise (good), but eventually I have to learn how to operate from a place of abundance and contentment rather than fear and scarcity, or it will never feel easy...but rather always like I’m pretending (bad).
Today, I’m happy to honestly and confidently say that I’ve begun to let go of all the tight gripping I had on my life, and after realizing (almost instantly after trying it!) that once you release into the joy of the moment and do (and be) things that you just genuinely enjoy, everything else somehow falls into place quite magically. The less strain, the less pain, the more gain.
It’s hard to share much more details than that without making this post toooooo personal and hence irrelevant to YOU - which I don’t want to do! In fact, the reason I’m writing this all out is actually to inspire and encourage your own “breakthrough” so that you can join me on a path to your most happy & true authentic self. It just feels better.
Here are the practices that I believe helped me reach this “eureka” moment*.
Ask your friends to share a few words/sentences/paragraphs on how they perceive you. This usually becomes an activity in which you are gifted with a whole whack of reasons and things to love about yourself, and that’s okay.
Write out all the reasons and feelings you have to the question: ‘Why are you here?’. Don’t worry about how what comes to mind does or doesn’t correlate to your actual life today, just answer the question from the heart - in single words, jot notes, or a big juicy write-up...you choose what feels right and the most natural way to respond.
Consider all the things/reasons/feelings that are HOLDING YOU BACK. For this one, make sure you’re in a safe and comfortable space and have ample amounts of time. It can bring up a lot of shame, anxiety, and pain...so be prepared to have some time afterwards to practice self-care and recharge yourself with positivity.
“DIY Writing Activity” is what I’ll label the next one. After taking some time for the above (could be over a few days or a few weeks or more), you are ready to expel your insights and deep-rooted TRUTHS onto paper - and it’s going to feel great. So powerful and yet incredibly obvious. Write it all down, look at it, stare at it, knowing that this is your truth. For example, some of my excerpts included:
Finally, take note of all the things you’d like to release & take a break from. Without getting to restrictive and “rule-like” (generally not a place or practice that fosters love and your utmost potential), consider all the specific things you’d like to remove and rework in your life, so that you have a more tangible action plan you can lean on when times get tough or you fall back into old habits that don’t serve you (this will happen - it’s normal!). Finish with a section titled: “Things to embrace & keep in mind”. Think of this like a meditation: those things you want to release (e.g. for me one was ignoring hunger and/or satiety cues and instead following pre-made plans over in-the-moment feelings re food) will come up, and when they do - simply bring yourself back to the things to embrace & keep in mind (e.g. there is always an abundance of nourishing food available to me, and the more I restrict, the more I eventually binge, so it’s easier and more joyous if I simply eat intuitively and enjoy the moment!).
*Note that I’m certainly not saying that I’m “all healed” now, nor that I have all the answers and am 100% all good just living my best ever life and everything is perfect. It’s always a journey. The more enlightened you become...the more you feel the need and want to up-level, and that can be difficult - even painful - at times. All I’m saying is that I’ve recently felt a shift that just feels so right and so easy - and for once I don’t feel the resistance and anxiety behind the changes I know I need to make...and am making. When it clicks (for real), it can feel like work, but work that you feel ready, able, and even downright excited to do. Happy up-leveling friends!