Why I Stay Away from the ‘Good’ Stuff and Make Choices That Hold Me Back

The question:

Why do I stay away from the 'good' stuff - and - instead, make choices that hold me back?

...has come up a lot for me in the past few months.

We have spent the better part of the last year and a half training our very anxious rescue-pup, Mowgli. In November 2017, we finally connected with a group of trainers that are getting through to him (and most importantly, me). Mowgli goes for pack-training twice a week without Alex and I and we train with Mowgli on Saturdays. We received very clear  ‘at home marching orders’ from our trainers when we started our sessions. And, as much as we want Mowgli to be a confident, relaxed dog - I don’t always follow through with our trainers' instructions.


In the case of Mowgli, I often make decisions that hold us back because:

1) I get lazy - the training regiment requires intense hyper-vigilance. I'm supposed to monitor every move he makes and every step he takes.

2) I love him so much and I just want to snuggle and kiss and love on him every single second.

Slowly, we are figuring things out with Mo. Yet, I frequently catch myself doing things that I know are 'bad*' in other areas of my life, as well.

For instance, I have been consciously eating a vata-pacifying diet this Winter. By nature, I am always cold and I can be incredibly ungrounded during the dryer, colder seasons. Recently, on a Sunday night, I declared, “I’m not going to eat ice cream again until it’s 70 degrees outside.”

The very next day, I texted Alex at 8PM to ask him if we could go get froyo together. Immediately after I sent the text, I had an intuitive thought: JULIA DON’T EAT THE FROYO - my mind screamed.

I silenced my internal wisdom and drove us to Yogurtland.

Right after my third bite, I knew something was very, very wrong. Whatever I bit into broke my three-week old filling. Oh, the irony - I’m highly confident that my love of ice cream caused that specific cavity in the first place.

Let me rewind for a moment before we proceed...I am absolutely terrified of going to the dentist. Before my visit in late December of 2017, I hadn’t gone to a dentist in almost 4 years. Alex, more or less, forced me to make the appointment and go.

During my first visit, I quickly learned had 3 cavities. When I begrudgingly went to get them filled the following week, their equipment stopped working half way through my appointment. Which meant I had to go back to the dentist, a few days later, to get my third cavity filled (to be clear, I went to the dentist 3x in 3 weeks).

Then, I ignored my intuition and I landed myself back in the dentist chair - for a 4th time in less than a month - WTF!

The night of the froyo fiasco, I was really disappointed in myself. Why did I not listen to the voice that was directing me to make the 'good' choice? My intuition told me - go home, eat some berries, make a fire, enjoy a cup of tea, read a book, and then go to sleep. What kept me from listening to that intuitive thought?

As I reflected on that - when I say reflected, I mean a mix of agonizing and journaling, meditating, and speaking to my mentors and trusted peers - I came to some powerful realizations that I’d like to share:

  • Self-Growth/Personal Development/Evolution - whatever you'd like to call it - requires self-love and worthiness. In order for me to move forward, I must first 1) love myself and 2) believe that I deserve a life beyond my wildest dreams. Until I can get to that place - a place where I love myself and feel worthy of life’s greatest gifts -  it’s hard for me to go anywhere.

  • Self-Growth/Personal Development/Evolution is hard. It’s painful and sad and confusing. Moving in the direction of my highest-self often means I am learning or moving through a challenging life-lesson. Or establishing a boundary. Or walking away from a relationship that is no longer healthy nor thriving. All of those things feel super shitty and all of those things are necessary in order for me to evolve and meet my destiny.

  • Lastly, I can’t step in the same river twice. When I make the decision to move towards the 'good' - to change, to grow, to develop, to evolve - that means I’ll never return back to this moment - to these feelings, experiences, relationships, patterns. For better or worse, moving on means leaving behind where I am at. And, even though that’s great - it’s tough as hell.

These realizations made one thing very clear:

When I am self-selecting things that ‘hold me back’ or not listening to my intuition, I need to check-in. I need to ask myself:

  • How can I lean further into believing in my worthiness and practicing self-love?

  • What am I holding on to that’s no longer serving my highest-self?

  • And, what can I memorialize right now so I can peacefully release it and move forward?

*For me, anytime I am making “unhealthy” choices or choosing to stay stuck - it a sign of the fact that I am afraid of the unknown.  It means there is still work to be done or something I am not seeing clearly about myself. And, while that may monetarily suck, it’s actually quite beautiful. It’s an opportunity for me to reinvent. It’s a chance to learn something so I can pass along my lessons and inspire someone else when they find themselves in a similar circumstance.