Sometimes life feels like a bunch of paradoxical puzzles I cannot see. Then there’s that period of suffering (read: Ben & Jerry’s on the couch and the latest trending Netflix series) where my brain/body/soul are all trying to make sense of it. Once that clarity arrives, it hits me that the only thing that really changes (a vast majority of the time) is me. The exterior environment ebbs and flows, sure, but generally the biggest change happens in my mindset. My heart releases whatever fear it was clinging onto, in order for me to push past the clouds and the storm and reach that clear blue sky.

The paradox is this–in order for the shifts to really start happening, I need to stop resisting, and let the universe take its natural course. The BEST thing I can do for myself is to step out of my own way and be open to the changes I have been praying and dreaming about for days weeks months years.

Real talk, y’all, this concept used to confuse the shit out of me. “So, wait, I just do nothing and wait around for the universe to drop my dreams into my lap?” No, young Mabel, not exactly. It does require action on my part, it just happens that this action is often scary and uncomfortable. So, my safety alarms go off and my fear shoots up and my heels dig into the ground–totally subconsciously, of course,–but man is it strong! When we’re talking about letting go, it doesn’t mean turning into a sedentary blob. It means letting go of that airtight grasp on old ideas and self-destructive patterns.

And–no–it’s not easy. And–no–it’s not fun. But, the payoff? It’s ten-fold, at least in my experience.

You’re frustrated and sick and tired of being stuck in a cycle? A plateau? You’re not being heard? You’re not being seen or understood the way you hope to be? It’s time to switch it up. Make a move that makes you so nervous and terrified that you become nauseated even thinking about it. Growth cannot happen until you make room for it. Nothing is going to be different if you keep applying the same formula. It takes courage and creativity to make room for change.

Terrified? That’s cool. We all are. But, you know what I didn’t say? I never said you have to do it alone.

Find your tribe, the people who push you and support you and encourage you and challenge you to be the best version of you. Shout your dreams out to the universe and ask for guidance. Write it down on paper. And be gentle with yourself.

My girl Jessica–she’s not a huge fan of having her photo taken! Would you guess that from viewing this gallery? Nope. Why? A couple of reasons. First, she made the conscious decision to put herself in a place of discomfort with the intention to grow from the experience. Second, she had help. As her photographer, I directed her, guided her, and celebrated every fun pose and awesome shot we took together. This boost offers fuel to push through that discomfort, and a validation that ‘yes, I can freaking do this!’ When you combine that courage with the proper support…that’s when the magic happens.

So, take a leaf from Jessica’s book and put yourself in a bit of discomfort for the sake of some personal growth…but don’t do it alone.

xoxo ma belle

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