I'm a Success Story

You know when someone is talking about self-improvement, whether it’s your next door neighbor selling essential oils, or a famous spiritual leader speaking about miracles, don’t you always feel skeptical if their life doesn’t appear to be absolutely perfect?

Like, if you’re so enlightened and blessed, why don’t you have a perfect body or millions of dollars in the bank?

I have to say, I’m very guilty of this. When I would hear people speak about total transformation and personal growth, I would always critique them a bit and wonder why their lives didn’t look like fantasy lands.

To me, transformation used to always be about tangible, material things. Like if you were actually happy and your life was so great, you would naturally have a huge house in the perfect place and drive a really impeccable car and your kids would get straight As and your husband would look like Bradley Cooper. Right? Isn’t that what everyone wants?

As long as I focused on that kind of stuff, I stayed stuck. It actually took an embarrassingly long time for me to realize that living in a big fancy house or having everything appear to be perfect was a complete waste of time. And would not really make me happy.

Happiness is about something much deeper. My transformation has taken the shape of self-confidence, a peaceful heart, and a spiritual foundation that I can rely on in any challenging situation.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to know how to handle anything by coming back to the core of my beliefs. It feels easy to navigate every situation when I remember to live from love, that the only person I can change is myself, and that I have total free will when it comes to deciding what circumstances to give my attention to. Oh, also that there is a much higher power in charge, and I don’t have to figure everything out on my own. You can literally get through anything with a smile when you stick to these basics.

Where’s the evidence of my transformation? Well, there have been huge miracles. I’ll give you a couple of examples so you don’t think I’m just blowing smoke.

In the summer, I started the process of getting legal custody of my son. It was supposed to take about 6 months from the time all the paperwork was filed. It was the fall before everything was filed, and our first “scheduling hearing” was on the calendar for mid-December. I was told time and time again, by the court and my lawyer, that this hearing was just a minor first-step, would take about 15 minutes, and my husband and I were the only ones who needed to attend. I assured my family that there was no need to come, and I didn’t get my son out of school.

Long story short: all the parties to the case showed up (my first shock), we got in front of a very friendly magistrate who offered to have the entire custody hearing that same day since we were all there, my lawyer didn’t have any other appointments that day and was free to stay, they got us on the docket for early that afternoon, and I left the courthouse that day in time to get home and walk my dogs with full legal and physical custody of my son. And it was my daughter’s birthday. I literally felt the hand of god guiding us through that completely unexpected and magical turn of events. It was a miracle, without question.

Exhibit B: We recently had a very tough financial situation. A series of events led to us being in an extremely scary spot, and I really didn’t know what we were going to do. I think it was the lowest I’ve been, worried about my family, feeling like a failure, and really having no idea how to fix it. The only choice I had, rather than lying awake each night and stressing, was to turn it over to the Universe and ask for help. I renewed my faith, I prayed, I maintained gratitude for everything I had, I imagined miracles, I expected transformation, and I asked for help from the people around me. Do you know how hard this is when you’re so low and so worried and feel so threatened? It was all I could do to maintain my optimism and know that God was lining something up for me. Long story short: 3 weeks later there was $66,000 in my bank account.

It doesn’t matter how. That’s the kind of stuff I used to obsess about...HOW did you do it? What do I have to DO? What’s the secret?

There isn’t one. It is your mindset, and the energy you’re putting out in the world that will bring miracles into your life. There was nothing I could have “done” in either of those situations to bring about the incredible synchronicity. Maintaining my frame of mind, keeping myself positive, praying, visualizing, and expressing gratitude was all I could do. And that’s all I needed to do. I took action where I could, and turned the rest over to the Universe.

But those big things aren’t even the best part of this transformation. I mean, they’re completely awesome and make me jump for joy every time I think about them, but the best part is noticing the changes in myself on a daily basis. The big miracles are great “evidence” that this all works, but the daily improvements are what really make this all worthwhile.

I think the first thing I noticed was that I didn’t freak out if the house didn’t get vacuumed on my schedule. We have a lot of pets and a lot of kids, and things get out of control really quickly if I’m not vigilant about the cleaning. In the past, missing a vacuuming day would have sent me into a complete tailspin -- I mean, seriously hijack my happiness and cause unbelievable stress. Now, I just go, “Oh well..tomorrow!” That’s HUGE for me.

The second big change I’ve been in myself is being able to navigate stressful personal interactions and stay completely calm. I mean, my buttons still get pushed, but more often than not, I can stay centered about peaceful even when crazy shit is happening. Here’s an example: there are 6 teenagers in my house right now. Even though I was woken up by them 3 times last night (one time with the smoke detector), and even though I should probably be making them breakfast right now, I’m calmly sitting at my computer typing a blog I felt inspired to write because I noticed how calm and happy I felt despite some challenges. For someone who has wrestled with paralyzing anxiety for her entire life, this is HUGE.

The third biggest change is that I look forward to my productive self-care each day. In the past, getting home and fixing a drink and eating a huge dinner was literally the only thing that got me through each day. Now, I take 45 minutes to take a hot bath, fix a cup of tea, and talk to my kids. I don’t want to check-out anymore -- I want to stay completely present and actually enjoy everything that’s happening.

So, no, I don’t have a huge, fancy house (in fact, I don’t even have a particularly clean house). And my car is usually pretty dirty. And my kids don’t all get straight As (although one of them does, but I can’t take credit for it), and sometimes we eat junk food, and the laundry piles up, and I am not always super mom.

But I’m happy, more often than not, and I’m peaceful, more often than not. And I know in the very depths of my soul that everything is happening perfectly, and I’m always learning exactly what I need to learn, and that I don’t have to have everything figured out, and that the world doesn’t implode if there’s a shit-ton of dog hair on my carpet. For a type-A, left-handed Virgo, this is HUGE.

So when I talk about transformation, I don’t know exactly what yours will look like. But I know what mine feels like, and it’s incredible. Your life can and will get better. Your upward trajectory may look a lot different from mine, but it still counts. Be sure to pay careful attention, because the changes are sometimes subtle, but they’re still magical. And eventually you’ll look back with disbelief at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve changed. I promise.

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Teddey HicksComment