A Journey With No Finish Line

 
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This crew was at Boston Children’s for our Heart Warrior’s annual checkup earlier this week. Yesterday was #worldmentalhealthday. And today I completed my 37th trip around the sun.

All three intricately woven together.

I see you, Universe. 

//

The trauma I experienced around Mia’s open-heart surgery five years ago cracked me wide open. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

It’s been a brutal ride — learning how to navigate life after trauma. 

Flashbacks. Nightmares. Night sweats. Random physiological triggers. Disassociation. Sensitivity to noise. Rage. Panic. Startle reflex. And on. 

And.

There’s something about being forced to face death that gave me life.

Learning how to heal through the pain has set me free.

Healing meant moving toward the very things I wanted to avoid. Like crowds of people. Parking garages. Driving at night. Stillness.


Healing meant challenging old narratives about what success looks like. And rewriting bs beliefs that buried me under the heavy armor of perfectionism. For so.many.years.


Healing meant accepting help. Without judgement. 


Healing meant shedding years of shame. And revisiting old wounds still open. 


Being diagnosed with PTSD changed my view of what mental health means.

And forced me to rumble with the illusion of control. 


And still does.

Because, healing is a journey with no finish line.

Because, I cannot control the what / where / when / whys of triggers. 

Or when the anxiety comes knocking. Or the voice of ED. Or the panic. 


Struggle is a universal part of the human experience. Suffering doesn’t have to be.

While we cannot control the what / where / when / whys of curveballs thrown our way,

we can control how we respond.

To the triggers. Anxiety. Anger. Inner critic. Or the million other messy + hard things.

//

As I move into this 38th trip around the sun, here’s what I’m asking myself:

Am I responding with judgment or kindness? 

That kindness part️ is everything. 

For YEARS my default was judgement.

No more.

I can’t tell you how much of my life I wasted in the black hole of judgement + constant comparison.

Too much to count.

All for what?

We aren’t guaranteed time.

So our question becomes — HOW do we want to show up?

In judgement and fear or in kindness and love?

Every day is a gift — which can feel like a burden when we’re trying so hard to hustle for our worthiness. Trying to look a certain way, act a certain way — trying to do it all perfectly. The proving + pretending. The relentless chasing. The ruminating. Self-doubt. Consumed by the fear of what others will think. 

That level of hyper-vigilance isn’t sustainable — and it actually blocks us from feeling deep joy. 

I know that place so well. 

We’re not going to nail every moment of every day. It doesn’t work that way.

What if we gave ourselves permission to be who we are - to live in alignment with our values - to be kind to ourselves instead of shredding ourselves to pieces? 

What if we gave ourselves permission to release all the shoulds and have-tos — and asked ourselves what it is we really WANT? 

What if we ended each day with a reminder that who we are isn’t the same as what we do? And reminded ourselves that we are enough?

Because we are. 

//

It may have taken me nearly losing my baby girl to realize all of this — and, I’m here now. 

And.

I’m ready to link arms with you. To pay forward all that I’ve learned. 

If you’re ready to shift into alignment. To quiet the noise and tune in to you. To free yourself — and open up space for inner peace and deeper joy. 

Cultivating connection — and being surrounded by others who lift you + honor you — is deeply healing.

On October 22nd, I’ll be linking arms with members of the Rise Free Academy. 

Walking. Lifting. Guiding. Teaching. Empowering.

Mirroring back to them the greatness within.

And, equipping them with the skill set — and mindset shifts they need to quiet the noise, shed the should - and unapologetically step into their light.

You ready? Let’s go!!

{Here’s my birthday gift to you :: Use the coupon code readytorise at checkout to save 15% off enrollment!! }

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Samantha Arsenault Livingstone is an Olympic Gold Medalist, high-performance coach, transformational speaker and mother of four girls. She is the founder of Livingstone High Performance, LLC. and the Rise Free Academy. 

Samantha helps female athletes, coaches and women who lead to cultivate the habits, mindset and skill set needed to quiet the noise and unapologetically step into their light, so they can achieve, AND feel fulfilled along the way.

Samantha earned a master’s in education and spent six years teaching science in Gwinnett County, Georgia. In 2014, after a traumatic and perspective-shifting experience involving her young daughter, she took a leap into the world of entrepreneurship to live her dream.

Samantha candidly shares her battles with her inner critic, depression, perfection, PTSD and parenting as a working mother because she believes in the transformative power of story – and the strength that comes from knowing we are not alone. She is on a mission to pay forward all that she’s learned to help others find joy and live free.
  
A mama of heart warrior and mama of twins, Samantha and her husband, Rob, live in the Berkshires with their four girls. You can learn more about Samantha at www.samanthalivingstone.com.