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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Funkhouser


Do you have the desire to grow, but you don’t know where to begin?

This was me three years ago. I knew I wanted to learn how to be comfortable in my own life, but where do you go to grow?

I’ve settled into the notion that life is one big growth journey, and its ok to change, its ok to transform continually (and you should be) and its ok if my friends and even my family sometimes wont “get it”. As I lean into transformation and change, I become more and more comfortable, and settled into myself. That comfort allows me to explore so many different realms of life.

I’ve changed so many things this year, and not all of it has been easy OR comfortable. I can say that I have never felt more secure in who I am, and what I’m doing here.

Easy changes- chemicals, I’ve eliminated chemicals from my day to day life, cleaning products, skincare products, even food. I’ve eliminated antibiotics as much as possible from the food my family eats - here is where that started: At the beginning of the year my health issues came to a head. I went to see my doctor to get answers - I couldn’t eat anything without feeling sick. I was missing out on my children, work, and things I enjoyed doing because I was either sick from eating, or sick from not eating because I was afraid to feel sick FROM eating. I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy, they both came up with zero answers on why this was happening. I’ve told this story before- Western medicine could do nothing for me. I turned to Eastern medicine and my brother (who is a doctor of eastern medicine, lucky me) reminded me that gut health has absolutely everything to do with how your body processes and breaks down food, feeds your body, balances your hormones, mood, energy levels, etc etc etc. How I spent 3 years feeling progressively worse without saying a word - is beyond me. So I did a lot of research, changed the way I was eating, started an amazing probiotic (Seed is the brand), eliminated fast food almost completely, went back to basics. I even found a meat delivery that is hormone and antibiotic free. Fast forward to now - I am living again. I feel much better, I still have moments where I don’t make the best choice for my body (humans), and I regret it almost immediately.

The not so easy changes for me, come in the form of relationships. I would say I care too much. I say that because I make myself absolutely sick with worry about what people think about me (recovering perfectionist), and how I’m making people feel whether I’m doing anything directly to them or not. We are conditioned to believe that what others think or feel about us, matters. My lessons in this area have broken me down, and built me back up. I’ve learned that you absolutely must have that person who says that they very strongly do not agree with, or do not understand what you are doing or why- in order to push you into that WHY space. The lesson is - what you are doing in your life is for you, it can’t be for anyone else. Your life purpose has nothing to do with that person or what they think you should be doing. The more you become authentically yourself, the less you worry about how others perceive you. It does get easier. Your energy speaks louder than their words. Your purpose is more focused. Ultimately, you end up happier and more confident than you started.

Life is about losing your way, and coming back stronger, and better. Mistakes are the lessons we need to learn to grow. Life is not about perfection, its about the mess.

Back to - where do I go to grow? It’s going to be different for everyone. There is no one answer. Start in the areas that make you feel like you are learning to be a better being, do things that come from a place of love and kindness.

These are things I do personally, and keep in mind that they may not be right for you:

*I meditate in the shower. This is one space where I can fully focus on the sound of the water, I visualize the water washing away any feelings of anger, stress, worry, sadness, hurt. They wash down the drain and I visualize myself being filled instead with love. It also insures that I do even a little meditation every day.

*1 minute plank, this is something I started to do with Connor (my 10 year old) before we go to bed. We make it a fun competition to see who can plank the longest, but our goal is one minute. It’s just a little thing that helps get feelings going. When you FEEL your body, you start to feel your feelings in general. We start our night time talks this way, it helps strengthen our connection!

*I go outside and water my garden. It’s a work in progress, I have only a few little plants for now - but the point is, I get outside, in the sunshine, in the earth, I prune and direct vines, and grow something. This could be a little potted plant, a little patch of grass, it doesn’t matter. Getting your feet and hands in the earth is scientifically proven - good for you. And it doesn’t cost anything.

*I do one growth lesson a week. Usually it ends up being more than that, but one a week is my only goal. This could be a podcast, a book (audiobooks fit into my schedule better than hard copies), anything that expands my brain outside of my normal.

*I keep a gratitude / growth journal and write/type. Little things I hear that speak to my heart go here.

*I try to get to ONE class a week, yoga, Pilates, sound healing, acupuncture, whatever it is.

As I transform into who I really feel I am authentically, this list grows. Cutting out things that do not serve my life’s purpose, and replacing them with things that do just makes more sense. I’ll continue to grow until I leave this earth, that is my promise to myself.

Just for today, grow.

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