The Balayage Bae

Self Love is a Journey

Working Mom, Faling, HairAnne Sweeney

Over the last few months, I have been on what I am calling, my self love journey. It all started with a simple thought of, “Wow, I feel like a slug and really need to lose some weight.” So, I started working out and eating a little better. I had tunnel vision of losing the extra 15 pounds I had gained over the last year (what?!) but was failing to see where the true problem lied. I could work out as much as I wanted, lose as much weight as I could but none of that would matter if my mind was full of toxic thoughts about myself.

A little backstory: I have had anxiety for like...a really long time but never truly acknowledged it until after Milo was born. I struggled with postpartum depression & anxiety and finally began taking an anti-anxiety medicine to help combat it. The upside? I could finally quiet my constantly worrisome mind and actually focus on being the best mother for my newborn child. The downside, however, was I felt numb. I wanted my worries to be muted but I didn’t realize how it would muffle all my other emotions, too.

So to solve my problem, I did what anyone who watches SuperWhy! would do, I looked in a book! (Yes, that was a children’s TV show reference--I am a mom after all!)

I had stumbled across a book that was aimed at people with any sort of anxiety; generalized anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, you name it and how to handle it without the use of drugs. The book is The Chemistry of Calm by Henry Emmons and I highly recommend it to literally anyone.  I honestly hadn’t read a entire non-children’s book, cover to cover, since...I don’t even know, maybe high school?? So the fact that I read this entire book within a week proves that it was amazing. It made me realize all these things I was doing to make myself feel better but it was always short lived. So then I was inspired to push myself to turn my goal of losing weight into a continuous journey of constant improvement and along with that, I wanted to stop taking my anti-anxiety medicine.

I started practicing yoga. Every. Single. Day. Even on the days that I did not want to do it, I did it and three months later, I am still doing it. I run *most* days especially when I am feeling slightly upset or anxious. I started eating way better than I ever have and don’t even miss junk food all that much.

Just like everyone else, I have my days where I fall off the wagon. And at first, I would hate myself for having a drink on a weekday or not making it out for a run. And then after about a month of a strict diet and workout schedule, it hit me, I AM NOT PERFECT. And I never will be nor do I even want to be! After all, it’s our imperfections that make us human and so uniquely us.

Up until a few years ago, I always felt like I was struggling to figure who I was or who I was supposed to be. I spent so much time trying to look like a certain way or doing things just to be cool because I thought more people would like me and the more people who liked me the happier I would be. Well, for those of you who still think that, newsflash: That is BULLSHIT. Anyone who doesn’t like you because you don’t look like an Instagram model or because you don’t like to go out every weekend, is a waste of your time. It took me a long time to figure that out, but once I did, oh my god, it’s like coming up for air after being underwater.

Fast forward to now, I am so happy and proud to say that I am completely off my anti-anxiety meds, down 10 pounds and feeling more like myself than ever. I feel like I finally am comfortable just being me and doing the things I like. I don't live a life full of frills, but it's a life I wouldn't trade for anything. Being a mother is something I hadn't thought too much about until I actually become one but now it's like, I feel like it was just meant to be this way. And career wise...I can't believe that there was a time where I thought about not doing hair. I honestly can't imagine doing anything else. To have a job that allows me full creative freedom, the flexibility to make my own schedule, and really be doing what I am passionate about...well I don't think it could get any better.  

An added bonus to all this is how it has impacted my work life as well. You know how people always say, you get what you give? I think it’s actually true. I’ve been doing my best to send out positivity into the world and I have been blessed with an amazing opportunity to be a featured artist in the RAW Portland Magnify art show this month! To be asked to participate in this show genuinely fills my heart with excitement and gratitude. I cannot wait to show off my work to so many people.

Even my clients have pointed out to me that my attitude and overall presence is so much more vibrant than it has been in the past. It’s such a validating feeling to hear that from people who have known me for years now and followed me from the first salon I worked at. I am truly blessed to have such amazing clients.

Self love is not something that happens overnight. I wouldn’t even say it’s something that can be fully completed; more so a journey that lasts throughout an entire lifetime. Everyday is a new beginning and it is so easy to forget that. Part of my new journey is to take notice in the things I do without thought; opening my eyes in the morning, breathing, moving, etc. Becoming aware of every sensation that comes from doing such simple, subconscious acts has completely changed the way I go through my day and for the better.

I am not fully where I want to be yet physically or mentally, but the journey to get there has been nothing short of fulfilling and enlightening. I think that if just one person feels inspired to start their self love journey after reading this, it will have been worth it to write this post.

 

Looking forward to updating you all again soon!

 

Peace & blessings <3