“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

“I’m in a new relationship. With myself. And it’s a challenge.” These were the words a dear friend of mine posted on Facebook a few weeks ago and when I read them, they pierced my heart deeply. I felt so much empathy because this has been my experience for the past two years but one I hadn’t really come to fully understand or appreciate until recently.

I had been building my wellness business after a big career change and things weren’t turning out the way I expected them to. I found myself completely unhappy doing work I thought I was going to love and I had no idea what I was going to do next. I didn’t have the financial support I needed that would allow me the time and space to take a breath and regroup. My whole life for the past year and a half felt like it was just about scrambling every month, while relying on the kindness and generosity of family and friends in order to just make ends meet. I was constantly in survival mode, completely overwhelmed and exhausted and felt more lost and alone than I ever had in my life.

At a certain point, it began feeling like the walls were coming down on me, that I was a huge disappoint to everyone who had supported me on this path, that I had no idea what the hell I was doing with my life or how to make myself happy. So many insecurities and issues of self-worth (or lack thereof) came bubbling to the surface and I began struggling with depression and anxiety in a way I never had before.

Then, last March things began to crumble further. I lost my two long-term cooking clients who were my biggest financial support systems, I had to put my twenty-year-old cat down the following month after her health totally collapsed, which was devastating. Then in May, I made the very difficult decision to end a seven-year relationship with a man who I loved very deeply. And the final straw that broke the camel’s back was a bed bug infestation in my apartment in July where I lost most of my furniture and other belongings, which I was not going to get reimbursed for.

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ~Cynthia Occelli

The Universe stripped me completely bare. I never felt so raw and vulnerable in my life. I felt like my whole world just disappeared in a moment and I just sat there sobbing on the floor thinking I had nothing left to give. But then, a funny thing happens when everything is seemingly taken away from you. Within this incredible fear and sadness comes a calm, a peace – when there is nothing left to lose, you just surrender.

Even within all the chaos, I knew it was all happening for a reason. It felt like the Universe was forcing me to let go of so much in my life to make room for who I was becoming. To give me the space in order to find clarity and give myself permission to be my authentic self.

I lost my cooking clients because being a personal chef is not what I’m meant to be doing. My sweet cat passed away because she was old and ready to go and her illness had been taking up hours and hours of my weeks. My relationship ended because while there was always an enormous amount of love, there was also a lot of struggle. There was a struggle to communicate with ease. A struggle to feel deeply understood. A struggle to feel safe, secure and supported the way I needed to be in a relationship and I knew that if I didn’t let this relationship go, I would never truly be able to be myself and grow into the person who I wanted to be. And then losing most of my belongings showed me that it was time to start over and begin anew in this new life I was creating for myself.

Even though these have been some of the most difficult months of my life, I am incredibly grateful. All of these events are what led me to reconnecting deeply with myself. They forced me to face some very deep, old wounds that needed nurturing and healing. This time forced me to grow exponentially, helping me to find more clarity on what I want and need in this life. And this journey also led me to some of the most amazing people in the world who have been instrumental in my own healing and growth.

So, when my friend posted about the challenges of being in a relationship with herself, this is how I responded:

Being in a relationship with yourself is a good challenge, a worthy challenge, one we should all undertake.

It’s a beautiful and perfect time to go deep, to look at ourselves openly and honestly so we don’t continue repeating old, unhealthy patterns, to find ways to have more love, kindness and compassion for ourselves, and to remember to speak to ourselves the way we would to our friends, children and loved ones. If we’re able to do that, we’ll be ready to find a healthy partnership that is worthy of that love, find a career that’s in alignment with our values, our passions and where we feel safe to express our unique gifts and finally begin living a life of joy, happiness, and abundance.

While I still have a lot more work to do and haven’t solved all my challenges yet, I finally feel like I’ve been able to take a breath and refocus as I continue on this journey and I wanted to share the tools + resources I’ve been using to help me get through this very transitional and challenging time of my life:

Healing Breathwork
I was introduced to this work through fellow TGWK contributor, Ashley Neese. Her group breathwork sessions have been profoundly healing for me. The intensity of the breath helps to release a lot of old, stuck energy, trauma and grief in a way I’ve never felt. It’s amazing and I can’t recommend Ashley and her work enough. Ashley’s practice is based in LA but if you’re on the East Coast, you should see, Erin Telford who is based in Brooklyn (although does come to LA on occasion to work). I’ll be experiencing her work firsthand this weekend at Wanderlust Hollywood and can’t wait!

7OM Journey of Illumination
If you’re feeling stuck and looking for some clarity while connecting to the stars, then you must do the 7OM Journey of Illumination led by the amazingly wise, joyful and magical, Nicola Behrman (also a TGWK contributor). This journey includes daily writing prompts, weekly guided meditation Journeys and Rituals, as well as a private Facebook group where you’ll receive personal feedback and an amazing support system from others on the journey. It was a beautiful, life-changing experience for me and hope everyone reading this gets the joy of experiencing it as well!

Kundalini Yoga
I’ve been practicing Kundalini Yoga on-and-off for fourteen years and it has been one of the most effective tools I’ve used in positively transforming my life. If you live in LA, do yourself a favor and take one of Kjord Davis’s Indigo Lab classes at Wanderlust Hollywood. His classes are simultaneously powerful while creating an incredibly supportive and nurturing environment. Get ready to go deep.

Mindfulness + Meditation
While I practice mindfulness and meditation on my own, I’ve decided to take my practice deeper. I’ve just enrolled in Insight LA’s Mindful Self-Compassion 8-week Course in LA because I think we could probably all learn to be more compassionate and loving with ourselves. They have classes in Los Feliz , Santa Monica, Long Beach and Hermosa Beach.

“Be alone. Eat alone, take yourself on dates, sleep alone. In the midst of this, you will learn about yourself. You will grow, you will figure out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams, your own beliefs, your own stunning clarity, and when you do meet the person who makes your cells dance, you will be sure of it, because you are sure of yourself. Wait for it. Please, I urge you to wait for it, to fight for it, to make an effort for it if you have already found it, because it is the most beautiful thing your heart will experience.” ~Anonymous

I would love to hear from you – what tools have helped you learn to be in a relationship with yourself? Is this something you’re working on? Share any insights you have with us in the comments below. And sending you much love on this brave, courageous journey!


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  1. The article you wrote “Being in a Relationship with Yourself” was very inspiring! It made so much sense and couldn’t of come at a better time for me. I admire your honesty and courage to do what you do. Thank you for your fabulous words!

  2. WOW how time flies. I really felt like I had lunch with you not that long ago. I am so surprised at what’s happened but know it was for the best. I really loved this piece and just keep on keeping on!

    1. Love you, Jessie!!! And yes, it all happens for a reason. Not easy going/getting through it all but I know deep down that it had to happen like this and it is preparing me for whatever is next in my life. I want to see your face soon! xx

  3. BRIANA: loved this story .. I believe something happens with chaos to sprout new beginnings. I admire your path and courage. And to share that when things break down and crumble trust that a new light will emerge: something we all need to know and have faith in our hearts. I can relate to these 2 very difficult years also. Much love! Blessings and cheers to new beginnings!

    1. Thank you so much, Vanessa! I truly believe that too. I also believe that I needed to get stripped bare to help me let go of a lot of old patterns, beliefs, things, people that no longer served me. I feel like I’m finally stepping into my authentic self and it feels amazing even though there are still some scary things I need to get through. These lyrics from Leonard Cohen so speak to me right now: “Ring the bells that still can ring – Forget your perfect offering – There is a crack in everything – That’s how the light gets in.” I know these past couple years have been difficult for you too but we are emerging! It’s beautiful. Hope you come to LA again soon. Would love to see you. Much love!!! Bri

  4. Thank you so much, Erin!!! I so appreciate your kind words, means so much and glad that it resonated for you. Sending lots of love to you! xx

  5. Loved this article Briana! I just went to a mindfulness workshop with Byron Katie one day and James and Jane Baraz the next. A common theme, “Who would you be without your story?” Sometimes life strips you down so that you can find out. Enjoy the journey inward!

    1. Thank you, Jill!! I believe that’s all true. Shopworn those workshops were as amazing as they sound!!

  6. Thank you for this soulfully wise post, Briana. One thing that has helped me tremendously is my early morning journaling practice. Pouring everything that’s on my mind and in my heart onto the page helps me stay grounded.

    On the first day of summer my husband broke his back and I became his 24/7 caregiver. He was physically disabled and mentally impaired on narcotics for over three months. Worst. Summer. Ever.

    Journaling helped me express my shadow and my light. It helped me remember who I am at the deepest level as I was reminded over and over again that love comes first. Wishing you courage and curiosity on your journey. xo

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thank you so much for your kind words, I truly appreciate it. Journaling has been my saving grace. I agree that it helps to keep me grounded. And I think we sometimes need to delve deep into our darkness in order for our light to shine. It’s incredibly painful when you’re in the midst of it but then, the blossoming comes if you’ve been brave enough to face it and walk through it.

      I’m also so sorry to hear of your husband’s accident. Is he doing okay now? I hope you’re doing well too. Wishing you lots of love, courage and curiosity right back. Thank you again for sharing with me. xx, briana

      1. Thanks for asking Briana. My husband is doing better. He’s off the heavy-duty pain meds, can drive again, and is taking himself to physical therapy three times a week. He has a long road ahead to get his strength back but we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And lately I’ve been enjoying the freedom to do more of what brings me joy. 🙂

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