Am I really unique?
Am I worth the beautiful wallpaper?
I was sexually abused as a child so being around men always felt like there is an agenda, like they want something from me. I would often freeze and I could never say please don’t be so close to me.
We moved a lot when I was a kid. We moved so much that I remember this one time I was so stressed and afraid that the new place is going to be way worse than the one where we live before that I don’t remember even if I packed my bags. I froze. I just left for my grandma's home.
Hello, my name is Monta Vilumsone and you are reading a chapter from my book: Becoming a Human again. I wish you to realize your uniqueness in this chapter.
Scared of the change, I was trying to escape from that moment in any way I could. What if the new apartment we're moving to is horrible and I will be ashamed to have my friends over? What if the location is awful and they never want to come over?
We moved in, it was actually way better than in my thoughts that got me frozen and in fight and flight and escaping to my grandma's home for the moving weekend.
There was one thing though - my room had pale walls, I thought they were boring. My favorite color at the time was yellow and orange, I wanted bright walls and bright curtains.
''Mom, can I have my room redecorated?''
''Honey, it's not worth it. We're just renting this place.''
Staring in the pale walls I hear words echoing inside of me:
'' You’re not worth it ''.
You’re not worthy of a nice, beautiful space.
You’re not worth an effort to make if brighter.
Other things are more important than you.
Couple of years into self-development and various healing practices I bumped into this feeling again, finally, I could recognize where it came from.
I was teaching yoga in Panama and like most yoga teachers - dreaming of having my own yoga studio, doing retreats.
One day after a sweaty yoga class my student Amie came over and asked:
''Monta, you're classes are so great and I know I want to take care more of myself, can we arrange a private one? Do you do privates?
''Yes, I do, of course!''
'' Amazing, what's the rate for a private?''
I had no idea. I felt worthless. I felt like I'd rather run to my grandma's place than name a price.
I couldn’t tell out loud how much money I wanted and I felt sorry for the other person that maybe It’s too much.
I never knew how much I’m worth and I knew others charge less. It never crossed my mind to ask myself - how much would I like to get for this job.
How much was I worth to myself. I'd rather not think about it OR
compare myself to:
other yoga teachers,
Did my ''thinkering'' on others and then you know the time to teach another class or meet friends would come.
If you don't face your fears, they start to creep in other areas as well, and it started a never ending loop of ''thinkering''.
In my private life, I was comparing myself to my friends:
who had families,
their own apartments,
brand new cars.
When I checked Instagram I was comparing my profile to:
others ''having it all'',
digital nomads living their dream life,
working from the beach,
passive income and travel 24/7.
Why wasn't I facing my uniqueness?
Why was I not seeing who I really am?
Was I just budding or maybe I'll never become anything great?
I was busy comparing, competing, and also complaining about life in general. I was living in the victim mode.
Read this again: I was busy. Busy COMPARING, COMPETING, and COMPLAINING.
At some point, it got really bad. I was doing CCC (comparing, competing and coplaing and also SEFL-SABOTAGING).
''Anyone should have access to spirituality'', yes, I started running free classes.
I told myself: ''I’m already doing charity, I'm not waiting till I have millions.''
But deep down I also wanted to be feeling safe. I wanted to have those good looking yoga pants. I wanted to drive a reliable car and live in a cozy place.
I longed for my own desk with my vision boards and green plants.
But what I subconsciously was choosing for myself was living in a victim mode, living in scarcity. Not facing those self-limiting beliefs.
It got extremely bad at some point. I was so busy doing all the free work that I could hardly afford my rent. I became more and more stressed which lead to a burnout.
I was longing to go and visit my family but I couldn't afford it.
I wanted to help the world.
I wanted to share my message.
I wanted to show how amazing life can be but at the same time, I was struggling and not admitting my struggle. I had forgotten about helping myself first.
I fell into depression and more bad thoughts would overcome me, still not realizing that I could just admit That I Am unique.
What does it mean to be unique?
Well, for me, IKIGAI the Japanese method, helped a lot. It asks you:
what you love,
what you’re good at,
what the world needs,
and what can you be paid for.
I took out my notebook and started writing:
I love yoga, meditation, self-development, podcasts, listening and meeting inspiring people.
I am good at teaching yoga, English, cooking.
I can build small business from a scratch ( I had my own vegan lunch delivery service in Panama)
What does the world need? Hmmm, more peace, healthier bodies, better life quality . Ok, that fits.
Paid for... ''brain freeze'' again, like the time. Yes, like any time I don't want to face my inner fear.
Can I take my power back and not freeze, but decide, try and fail or win or at least just try?
How did I realize my uniqueness?
First, I stopped ''freezing'' and ''running away''.
Second, I faced what I am afraid of. I wrote it down. Fears of talking about money, naming my price, horrible money thoughts.
Thirds, I read on this topic, I took courses, asked everyone, invited podcast guests who
Are you ready to try some of the things that helped me find my Ikigai - uniqueness?
I took classes about abundance and prosperity mindset, in one it was suggested writing down 50 things that you’re good at, wow, 50, that's a lot. Yes, but it doesn't cost you anything and makes your day better.
Try it now!
Working on money beliefs, my most engraved was:
''I will run out of money.''
''People can't afford me''
''If I charge less, I can get customers''
''If I charge what I want, I'm greedy''
From scarcity to abundance - my journey started and is continuing every day. Some of the visualizations that helped me:
I imagined that people have so much and they’re so ready to give that it’s enough for everyone. I realized that I’ve never ran out of money. I looked at all the people who would help me if I would hit the rock bottom and there were many. My new mantra became:
''I’m here now, this is the perfect place and time for me to be here. I’m learning I’m expanding and I’m growing. Money's coming to me effortlessly. I'm so blessed with people paying me for something that I love doing things that bring healing and courage and inspire and make this place a better world.''
So how can YOU realize your uniqueness?
Have a look at these questions:
Think about where you were born, the family you grew up in, the country the language you speak - your unique start package!
Imagine those things as little pieces of the puzzle, of a colorful mosaic. Maybe you like more technical pictures, so imagine yourself as building your life's Lego and those are your building blocks - past experiences, people in your life, environment:
culture & society you grew up in or lived in when you were shaping your persona.
The University you chose
The studies, the courses
People you met there
Experiences you had
Today you are continuing to be the part of the puzzle and the one behind the choices of putting it together. Every day you’re building your very unique self.
Isn’t that magical?
Let’s start, get your journal and let's build your MAGIC:
What is the most amazing thing about the place where I was born and grew up about my family?
What is something I would have never learned anywhere else in the whole wide world?
What did the people who were surrounding me as a kid what did they teach me?
What did I learn from school? Did I learn beautiful relationships or was it a hard-core thing I don’t want to remember but I can relate to others now who are going through some tough situations?
What are the skills talents that I have learned throughout life?
What choices that I made shaped me into who I am today?
If I consciously accepted everything that I’ve ever learned, experienced - the good and the bad?
What, the bad? Yes, the shadow self.
Remember how I started this story: As a kid, I was sexually abused and I always felt uneasy around men.
It’s something that I wanted to forget that I had buried deep down inside of me and it was something that I thought I’ll just forget. It’s fine I’ve forgiven the person whose kid I was looking after in a foreign country and who mixed some vodka in my drink and later tried to rape me. But forgiving is just forgiving.
I didn’t forget. I didn’t forget how scared I was. How ashamed I was and how I felt guilty that it has happened to me and how I wanted to escape I just wanted to feel safe. I wanted to tell this to someone but I never could tell till the day I realized it has shaped me, until the day I when I heard from other women that they’ve gone through the same or even worse and that I can understand them.
Our stories shape us and sharing them allows us to breathe again.
Think about those shadow parts that you would love to bury. The ones you don't want to ever remember. It can be sexual abuse, it can be violence in the family, it can be growing up with no parents or with one parent or with violent parents, bullying in school anything that you would want to forget.
Can you shine a light on this now and say to yourself:'' If this has shaped me, I understand the world better now. I understand the people better, I’m grateful for this experience. I might not understand just right now why that happened to me but I accept that as a beautiful piece of the puzzle that is needed for This existence.''
Acceptance brings freedom, acceptance gave me freedom from:
comparing myself to those yoga teachers with doing crazy yoga poses.
comparing to the digital nomads who seem to have it all together
comparing myself to my old friends.
being busy trying to be ''them''.
I stopped comparing because I realized: My life is a unique story and theirs is unique to them. There are things in their life I'd love to try and there are things that I'd never want for myself.
So what's fulfilling me for real?
I think it is birdwatching. Oh wow, so it’s not a party in Bali? You see once you realize what is yours it’s easy to make decisions. It's possible to build your life as you want it but going back to me comparing myself to other teachers, I never realized that I just compared this one little part that yoga teaching part.
I could however compare what life experiences we’ve had, what other things we’ve done how we speak how you approach people what we love with our talents are what our character is our values.
Do you think I would find even one teacher who is like me to compare myself with if I took an account all these things?
I don’t think so.
Not even a digital nomad. Is there anyone who was born and Latvia was the first one in their family who traveled the world somehow with any means just out of curiosity? No, I don’t seem to find anyone like that besides me and it’s not that I’m special but for me I am. For myself, I’m magical.
I started seeing the magic of this unique combination of how these life experiences, my choices my decisions it has truly shaped me there’s no one to compare myself with. What I can do instead is to celebrate.
To celebrate me. To celebrate others.
To realize we’re all on this puzzle on this journey of putting these things together experiencing.
Celebrating other people, how?
I started being nice and compassionate and cheerful for other Yoga teachers, meditation teachers those who were running retreats. I put my guard down - I stopped the ''Be careful, someone is going to steal your students, ideas or marketing strategy'' and started sharing, asking questions.
I became supportive.
I became someone that people would love to have in their conversations around their dinner tables on the weekend trips because I knew my worth and that I’m unique and I saw how unique and amazing and magical everyone else’s how are all making this life puzzle truly enjoyable and worth experiencing.
I notice a thought:
She's also running a workshop, how am I going to get the people for mine?
( me looking from a scarcity mode of there's not enough for everyone)
I honor it coming to teach me - I say:
''Thank you for letting me know I still need some more compassion towards myself.''
I remind myself: I am unique. How I've come into this world, the experiences, talents, skills, and how I view and appreciate life is unique. I can share that with others, they will see a new way of looking at things. I can gift them a part of the experience of being me through my view.
I go further:
''What can I learn from this person, what is she doing that I am not yet doing but would love to do?''
I see that I'd also love to charge that much and have a lot of help at the workshop as she does. I add notes to my next workshop and I thank her for showing my limitations and how I can also expand and do greater.
Today I want to expand:
''What about supporting her and going to her workshop and becoming a student again'' - I allow myself to pay her and appreciate her workshop, to be humble, to learn - maybe get some ideas of how to do or not to do things. Maybe I just need it to say - it's enough, I need to organize mine because I have so many things to share and give and I can give so much value. - I know, even when writing I wanted to compare - ''Her workshop is so bad, I could do better, that's why I'd do mine'' but I noticed it, so I tune in and see - is this what I want, is this what I need now to heal, to grow, to learn more about me?
If it's yes, I go. If it's a no, I don't.
I am unique as I am.
With all that I do and that I don't do.
I am enough.
I chose to come into this world, go through these circumstances to be me today. Uniquely me. In 7 billion people there's no one like me. So are you.
What can I give?
What can I share that will make this day better?
What can I allow to come through me, to be my experience, and then share and inspire others with it?