My Why - By Libby Rapin, Founder of Something Beautiful
I remember the nights when I couldn’t fall asleep because my mind was constantly racing and fretting about the long to-do list. I would finally fall asleep for a few hours, but be woken up in the middle of the night because I somehow remembered something else I needed to add to it. This was happening so often I started sleeping with paper and a pen next to my bed so I could scribble down these thoughts because I ended up getting even more anxious thinking that I wouldn’t remember to add this to my list in the morning.
I remember the days I would grind my teeth at night because I was so tense and stressed. It got to be so bad I began sleeping with a mouth guard because I was starting to shave down two of my teeth.
I remember the days I would practically be running into the office (though I was on time or early for my first meeting), trip a little and almost lose my balance because my shoe got caught on an uneven brick in the sidewalk. Actually, looking back, I rushed around everywhere I went, even when I was inside my own apartment!
I remember the days I had brain fog. My mental clarity became not so clear anymore and I was forgetting things I had just told myself I needed to do 10 seconds prior, and even forgetting how to perform simple tasks for my job that I had already performed numerous times before. There were also times when someone would tell me something, but then within a few seconds I had completely forgotten what we discussed, or realized I was in a daze the entire time and had absolutely no recollection of the conversation.
I remember the days when I had no idea what it meant to just BE and hated not having plans or overbooking myself because being overbooked was my validation that I was important, worthy, accepted, and loved.
I remember the days I would just cry for what seemed like no reason, but then realized it was because I had become so frustrated with my life and it wasn’t the life I wanted.
I remember the days when I would react in a not so positive way to some of the life experiences that had come my way, get mad at the littlest things (I had no idea what “don’t sweat the small stuff” even meant!) and then ruminate for hours, then days, which turned into weeks, months and years on my past and/or future.
I remember when I finally decided I needed help, said YES to therapy (even though I was ashamed and shy that I might need the help of a professional and kept it a secret) and then found the most loving therapist who helped me get my life back on track.
And I remember the day I received an email from the Chopra Center advertising a live event in Carlsbad, CA, which I ended up attending, and lead me to make numerous life changing decisions. It was on this day when I recommitted to healing my mind, body and spirit and to discovering the life I wanted to live, and then promising to live that life.
When people who knew ”pre-meditation Libby” hear or read my story they’re in disbelief because they had no idea what was really going on in my head. And people who know “post-meditation Libby,” are in awe that “pre-meditation Libby” is actually me, the same exact human being that is now a much more calm, happy and relaxed person.
But you see, I was really good at hiding my anxiety, depression, brain fog, unhappiness and dissatisfaction with my life. Everyone thought I was living the American Dream because I had the great job, a loving family, lived in the big city, had a great social life, good upbringing, have a college education, etc.
The truth is, my perfectionist tendencies and stress became chronic and unmanaged, which was taking a toll on my mental, emotional and physical health. After a lot of self-inquiry, I’ve realized the majority of my stress was due to the voices in my head, my lack of self-love, limiting beliefs, fears, self-shaming and judgement, and the fact that I was measuring my self-worth by the amount and value of my material possessions and external experiences.
Looking back, I’m extremely grateful for the days I felt like “shit” because they forced me to transform. Thanks to a recent conversation with a friend, she reminded me of the analogy of how“shit” is actually fertilizer. What a great, yet somewhat unpleasant, analogy to think about when we’re trying to find our something beautiful. I’ll admit, it has taken work for me to change my perception of those experiences, but I’m a true testament that it' is possible to change your mindset and perception.
And wow, am I ever grateful for the magical web of synchronicities that led me to discover meditation, which has rocked my world to say the least. It led me to realize I had work to do. It encouraged me to face the “darkness,” learn to love myself from the depths of my soul, show myself grace and compassion and taught me the importance of prioritizing my mental health.
This journey has since led me to realize we’re facing a mental health crisis, locally in Michigan, and on a national level. And this realization has lit my soul with a passion to create awareness about the importance of caring for our mental health, shifting the stigma around it and creating access to tools and information in an effort to help people heal.
I didn’t dream of being a mental health advocate as a child, and I can’t remember there being one specific day when I woke up and said this was my purpose. I actually can’t say I even saw this coming, but it has gradually happened over time. It’s been so beautiful discovering this passion, all thanks to my decision to be courageous enough to begin my own healing journey, and to face the darkness, knowing it would lead me to the light.
My hope in establishing Something Beautiful is that our projects and programs will help shift the stigma around mental health and help people discover, and call in, everything their heart desires, so they can live vibrantly. In order to do that, our goal is to provide fun, effective and scientifically proven tools to help people heal, which will ultimately transform their lives and the lives of others.
Additionally, I want to teach individuals how to show more grace, empathy and compassion for themselves, and others, because when we do this, we remember we’re all HUMAN and that we’ve all experienced suffering at some point. I believe we’re all ONE and made of the same source energy, that we have been put on this planet to heal and that we’re co-creators of this beautiful world. Once I finally realized this, my LOVE for others became expansive! Now imagine if we all showed up in this world loving everyone and everything with our entire heart and soul every single day. This could literally shift the level of consciousness on the planet! Can you imagine?!
If you didn’t know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Something Beautiful is sponsoring our first online Mental Health Challenge.
What started as a small idea has become the start of a movement. I planned on posting a simple, daily challenge on Facebook every day in the month of May, and then leaving it at that. As I began planning, I realized my heart lit up every time I was working on this project. I had so much energy and enthusiasm for the challenge that I began dreaming bigger and bigger. I felt surges of energy every time I simply thought about the project!
To learn more about Libby and the Mental Health Challenge visit https://www.somethingbeautiful.co/