My commitment to my education is also a lesson is letting go of some deeply seeded limiting beliefs. When I first moved to the United States, I transitioned from a french to an english school without tutoring or a teachers support. Assimilating was all I could focus on so when I was asked to read an American history paragraph out loud to my class, it took forever and humiliated me. Fitting in at any developmental age felt like the only answer to survival. Being different, even though I never considered myself to be much different, was enough to be made fun of and told to get out of my classmates country. I suppressed a lot of anxiety to just survive and when I’m anxious, nothing would stick in my memory. Unfortunately that reflected in my grades for the first time ever as I started to get poor grades which proceeded to get me grounded. Other than math because as I remember trying to explain to my teacher, it’s universal. After being punished both in my home and school life for not being able to maintain my grades from Canada, I attached myself to the idea that I was just stupid and all I could do was just try and fake my way through school.
As many of you can tell, I’m not stupid. I’m far from it. When I’m passionate about something, I become a master of it. It just took several more years for me to develop a different learning style in order to absorb and retain new information. Reading is a trigger because I was always a few levels behind in english, while losing my french. Languages in general were not a positive topic of conversation because I wouldn’t know exactly how to express myself in either language. Until I discovered that my best forms of self-expression would be developed through movement and writing. As a dancer, I could watch a dance and have it memorized. As a writer, I could explore a thought on paper until I found my answer. Naturally, becoming an esthetician would fall into my lap because of my love of helping others, skin health, and my curiosity with any type of problem solving. Movements in my field were intuitive and felt so aligned with how I wanted to create a career. Writing came in later on when I realized I had so much to share through the endless platforms that would pop up as my career would progress.
Advanced education wasn’t something that I could afford until a few years ago. Coming back into a learning environment really triggered me as I would find myself struggling to quickly adapt to each instructor’s learning style. Some lecture, some are hands on, some are unorganized, and the others are overwhelmed by the endless interruptions by the other students. Working solo in my business has really helped me come to terms that I need complete privacy and silence to fully concentrate. Immersing myself in a class would often wake up my empath tendencies where I could feel each person’s energy too much. The quiet interruption to grab a snack or go to the bathroom felt invasive to my learning environment. At the end of each class, I just take what I can from it and let it sink in as soon as I’m back in my safe space.
Over the last 5 months I have taken Dr. Vodder Manual Lymphatic Drainage course for face and neck as well as the Yakov Gershkovich facial sculpting class and his colleague’s esthetic osteopathic class. Each course was 40 hours and left me with a new skill set that I am thrilled to share with my clients. The second half of the Vodder course was a few months after the initial course and the time in between each class was filled with a lot of life events and personal changes. I went in feeling unprepared to advance my knowledge on the material but just really wanted to get it done. Very opposite of my Yin approach. I went, I struggled, I cried, and I barely passed. Which is so hard to admit to a community who looks to me for educational content. The truth is that my limiting beliefs that I was not good enough, stupid, or completely incapable of absorbing any new information took over as my anxiety was looming over me like it did when I first transitioned to an American school. The other students were also struggling and tried to provide me with compassionate advice but the whole time I just felt misunderstood as I couldn’t really explain how deep this runs within me. This class wasn’t just hard, it was reframing my 2 decades of feeling inadequate.
We all have our limiting beliefs, our existing trauma, our busy lives, and our challenges – I get it. Mine was just all so very present in an atmosphere I was hoping to be able to control it in (very anti-yin). The lesson at the end of it was really to not give up on myself even when I am at my peak struggle level. I almost left class (apparently some people did) but I kept telling myself that even though I’m not learning everything perfectly now, I will learn it as I’m meant to. After passing and making it back to my clients a few short days later, I realized that it took for me to get answers wrong in order to really learn the material. After doing this for 13 years, it’s easy to assume that everything could be a cakewalk for me but nothing could be further from the truth. Plus, at the end of the day, I don’t want things to be easy because I fear that it would become boring. I want to truly commit myself to growth in every area of my life and it feels like each aspect is so interconnected. My comfort zones in both my professional and personal life are testing each other so that I can become the human my soul knows I’m capable of being.