Who Am I?

 
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Who am I when you no longer need to hold my hand? 
Who am I when you no longer need me to pack your bags + brush your hair?
Who am I when you no longer need me to walk you to your kindergarten door?

The brutiful journey that is motherhood. And, life.

I took this picture on the last day of school. Frozen in time is yet another brutal and beautiful moment of transition.

In nine months, these two nervous + shy littles who clung to their mama's arms were off. Stride for stride. Lost in their own conversation. Laughing loudly as they parted ways to their own rooms.

I walked behind - in awe of how time can both move so quickly + slowly. Eyes welled with tears. Of pride and deep joy. And sadness that another chapter ends. All of it true.

And there again in that moment, I wondered:

Who am I?

I’ve been here before.

As a 15 year old club soccer player giving up the sport she loved to focus on one with more opportunities. Feeling like an outsider, in both spaces. 

As an Olympic gold medalist hearing the words, "you need surgery." Terrified of who I was without this sport.

As an Olympian at 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, who didn’t make a second team. Feeling like a failure. 

As a retiring athlete moving into a world without sport, for the first time ever. Feeling lost without a team. Without structure. Without goals. 

As a teacher turning in the keys to her classroom, to follow her husband’s career. Unsure of what was next. Mourning the loss of what could have been. 

As a mother, unsure if her baby girl was going to survive after open-heart surgery. Lost in the darkness, a mother unsure if she'd have the strength to carry-on. 

As an entrepreneur, leaving behind the comfort of a proven business model to follow her dreams - to bet on me.

I am their mother. I’ll always be.

Motherhood is a part of me; it does not define me.

Words I learned from a mentor of mine, a long time ago. Words I hold close, 19 years later.

Because, it’s easy to lose ourselves in our roles.

In our work and as wives, teachers, mothers - working mothers and stay-at-home...

It's easy to lose ourselves in our roles - as athlete, the overachiever, rule follower, perfectionist.

Somewhere along the way these things we do start to become intertwined with who we are.

And then life happens. Change comes. Things shift. Roles rearrange.

So swept up in the busyness of it all, so swept up in taking care of all the things, we feel utterly lost.

And when those roles shift - whether suddenly or slowly, we find the things that used to excite us, no longer do.

We find ourselves re-evaluating what matters most.

We find ourselves asking the question, like all humans do:

 
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The thing is, though the things around us have changed - we're never really lost.

Who we are and what we do are not one in the same.

We may not know what it is we truly want - or how to pour into ourselves and that's OK. We can relearn + rediscover.

Work I'd love to do with you. In my {free} five day I AM challenge.

Five days. Five coaching videos (under 10 min). Five challenges. One kicka$$ support space.

Open to ALL.

To take the challenge, head over to www.samanthalivingstone.com/iam or click the button below.

Let’s do this. We’re stronger together.

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Samantha Arsenault Livingstone is an Olympic Gold Medalist, high-performance consultant, mental performance coach, transformational speaker, educator and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Livingstone High Performance, LLC., the Rise Free Academy and the online course, Strengthening Our Emotional Agility — inspiring, empowering and equipping athletes, coaches and female leaders with the skills they need to become more mindful, courageous, resilient leaders.

In addition to private and group coaching, Samantha consults with teams and organizations on athlete wellness, Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE), leadership, strategic planning, rising skills and developing high-performance cultures. 

Join Samantha in the I AM CHALLENGE private community space to link arms, connect + participate in her free challenges.

A mama of heart warrior and mama of twins, Samantha and her husband, Rob, live in the Berkshires with their four girls. To learn more about her offerings, go over to www.samanthalivingstone.com