Letting Go So Something New Can Be Born

A Letter to my younger self

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“We must let go of the life we have planned,

so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.”

-Joseph Campbell

My time spent in Miami this summer with family brought out deep self-reflection:


It’s been a summer of deep personal change, ownership and rising into a version of myself I never dreamt I’d be. 


I have let go of a life I planned so as to honor the truth that is rising up within. 


It’s been scary. 


But more than anything, I have been so held by not only my mentors but also by a deep knowing that life is so for me, that my higher self is guiding me, and if I want to receive the life waiting for me, I must let go of what I had planned. 


Sitting in a cafe this week, I wrote a letter to my 20 year old self as a reminder of how sweet surrendering to the “pull” of our soul can be. 


A reminder that choosing our Selves

is the bravest, most liberating act


This is an excerpt of what I wrote:


Madison, you don't know it yet but you will heal in ways you never knew you were wounded. You'll finally accept yourself as an eccentric, free spirited, bold woman who loves to talk and teach and be creative. Because of your healing, you'll finally uncover real friendship, too. 


You don't know it yet, but you're going to choose non-traditional work and your world will turn upside down. You'll work harder for this than you have for anything in your life. 80 hour weeks. Bartering services to get your website off the ground. Bartending, babysitting chickens, catering, doing childcare and feeling so overlooked and less than in exchange for ways to pay for your dream.


You don't know it yet, but the very faith that supports you, sustains you and gives you direction will fall away. You have no clue quite yet how this will be the first big heartbreak of your life, but the loss will resurrect you into a bold, brave and inquisitive woman. You have no idea how your journey through healing your spiritual wounds will cause a ripple effect in everyone's life around you. 


You don't know it yet, but leaving the faith was the only way you could find yourself. Oh I wish you could get a glimpse of Who You Really Are.


You don't know it yet but your success will come so quick. So quick you'll be overwhelmed, feel like a fraud, and face your inner demons while it feels others are watching your every move. (Some are… carry on).


You don't know it yet, but their opinions literally do. not. matter. outside of the fact that they trigger you into your own healing by magnetizing your unhealed parts.


You don't know it yet, but making 6 figures is easier than you've been led to believe. You can do it, trust me.


You don't know it yet, but one day you'll be able to hear yourself fully and with ease. Your inner voice is nudging you with the questions and curiosity. Listen!! When something feels off with the church, with people in power, with leaders, with anyone... listen! Your inner compass is strong, loud, and will speak to you. Keep. Listening. 


You don't know it yet, but your heart has been broken for a very long time. The walls you've built, the way you push away people who get too close, the fear of being seen.... all of it is your broken heart. It will feel like breaking to let love in because in order for scars to heal correctly, the scar tissue must be removed. 


You don't know it yet, but cutting out the scar tissue will mean breaking the hearts of others, being more honest than you've ever been. Your care-taking will end when you finally clear out the dead matter of co-dependence from your cells and move in a new way.


It will hurt, but you'll get free.


You don't know it yet but you’ll close your marriage on your 7th anniversary with ceremony. It will be beautiful and spiritual. You will come to see him as a teacher, a mirror, a lover and a dear friend on your path. The container you created with him allowed for all this magic to unfold. How lucky are you?


You don’t know it yet, but you’re still becoming someone you’re currently afraid to be. Don’t brace yourself, though. 


This journey will be made of the scariest and somehow, the easiest choices you’ve ever made.”



There is still so much I don’t know, haven’t said and cannot predict. But this I know:


No matter what I am called to,

I will choose myself with reverence. 


When life asks me to pivot and change my plans, I will listen. 

When it doesn’t make sense and others turn up their noses, still, I will listen. 

When my body tells me what is true, I will listen. 

When my soul comes calling, I will listen. 


And I will honor every version of myself in the process.


Thanks so much for letting me share my lessons in self-remembering with you.

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If you could write your 20, 30, or 40 year old self a letter that begins with, “You don’t know it yet but…” what would you write?


Journal in the privacy of your own space or tag me in an instagram post. I’d love to read your story.


-Madison


P.S. I share all of this because I have processed it privately. Please refrain from sending advice, “I’m sorry’s” or pity. I feel so grounded and whole in my truth with it. Thank you!


If this is resonating with you,

you can join Hillary McBride, Barbara Erochina and I alongside 16 women for an intimate retreat in Hawaii based around healing & honoring past spiritual wounds and trauma:

3 Simple ways to end the drama and shift to love

 *** This article was originally published as an email sent to the Tribe. If you want  fresh content delivered right to your inbox, >> join! <<

 I love me some juicy drama. 

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I'm a creative type, so I tend to create dramas and stories in my head with elegance. They are elaborate, toxic, and they make me feel like sh*t. Yet, I still catch myself making up stories about why I'm not worthy, loved, or wanted.  I'm sure I'm not alone.

How familiar are these situations to you?
She is super distracted and short at work… Is she mad at me?!
He forgets to do the dishes…  I’m not important to him.
My friends haven’t called in a week… I’m probably annoying them with my problems.
The guy didn’t reply… I’m unworthy and will probably be single forever.

Well that escalated quickly, don’t you think? We love to tell ourselves stories about other people’s motives, how their actions are a reflection of our worth, and when they don’t meet our expectations, we take it way too personally.

All of our offense, our internalizing, our grudge holding, all of the stories are rooted in fear:
Fear of being alone.
Fear of being disliked.
Fear of not being enough.
Fear someone else could do it better.
Fear, fear, and more fear.
 

The truth:
People are generally more concerned with themselves than they are with you. When she looks at you wrong, when someone snaps at you, when you’re tempted to create a story about why something happened, STOP. Stop and shift from fear to love. Don’t allow your mind to create fear-based dramas. 
 

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Here are 3 simple ways to end the drama and shift from fear to love:
(AKA from drama to sanity.)
1-Drop the assumptions + don’t take everything personally. 

Trust me, it’s not personal. Remember other people’s actions are more about them than you. You don’t know why they are responding how they are. Let go of the need to internalize it, fix it, or take responsibility for other people. Choose to have a heart of non-offense, you never know what they are going through. 
2-Remind yourself that you are loved, whole, and worthy as you are.
No need for drama, offense, and panic when you feel stable in yourself. Life is so much more freeing this way! If you need a little help, repeat the mantra: I am safe to be myself. And screw the rest…. Just kidding...  (Heck, do whatever it takes!)
3-Review the scripts you already have playing. 
It’s a good time to reflect and see why you are jumping to conclusions. The stories you write say a lot more about you than others, and you're probably looking for ways to affirm the fear-based beliefs you already hold.  What do you believe to be true about yourself and the world?

P.S. Snag my FREE download on writing new stories here!

"ENJOY THIS POST? It was originally sent to the Tribe as a Tribe Letter! If you want to be the first to get your hands on fresh content, all my helpful downloads, and real-talking riffs, join!"

4 Ways to choose your friends for personal health

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4 WAYS TO CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS FOR PERSONAL HEALTH

No one has ever accused me of not being able to make friends.  Although that innate ability to approach people is a gift, through my teen years I somehow still struggled to create meaningful friendships.  I was plagued with a TON of insecurities, and because I did not know I was worthy of healthy friendships (nor was I modeled one), my young friendships struggled.

 Not all of these friendships looked bad from the outside, although some did. From gossip-queens to negative-nancy’s to judgmental-judy’s.  I found myself unfulfilled in these friendships and feeling inadequate as a friend.

The LAST thing a friendship should do is make you feel inadequate.

Through personal growth, counseling, losing a few friendships, creating boundaries with others, I realized that I was a bad picker. I was bad at picking good friends. My insecurities had gotten the best of me not only IN my friendships but also in CHOOSING them. I chose these friends. I chose to hang out with them. I chose to gossip. I was choosing my mediocre life that I hated. And why?

Because we choose in life what we feel worthy of.

Do you feel worthy of beautiful, supportive friends?

Are YOU a trusting friend?

Are you afraid there is no one else out there if you distance yourself from current relationships?    

These are hard questions to answer but worth looking at. When I took time to really answer them, I learned 4 things about friendship that changed my life. 1. I needed to know who my safe people were. 2. I needed to assess my current friendships. 3. I needed to step up into my power. 4. I had to let go of being friends with EVERYONE. I broke down those four lessons into practical, useful tools. Take a look:

1. Know your safe people: 

Some people call this an inner circle, others call this your group of safe people. A safe person is someone who you feel comfortable knowing the real you and loving you just the same, if not more. Honesty, love, support, good hearted feedback, and reality checks roll off their tongue with grace.  These are the spouses, boyfriends, best friends, and moms.

There is only a few spaces in your life for people like this.

As soon as I realized this, my perspective shifted. It is the fundamental piece of creating healthy relationships.

2. Assess your current friendships:

Are they safe? Are they toxic? Are they a good friend, but not exactly safe?

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This step was really hard for me. I don’t like putting people on a scale. It seems harsh, but sometimes the extremes help us see the reality we choose not to see otherwise. I have had to lovingly step back from a few friends.

Ask yourself hard questions:

“Can I be fully myself around them?”

“Do I leave their presence feeling uplifted or drained?”

“Do they talk highly of others?”

“Do we mostly gossip about other women?”

The answers to these questions will reveal a lot to you about the safety of a person in your life. This does NOT mean they are less worthy of love, it does not mean you need to “ditch” them. It does mean you have a clearer picture of the reality of the friendship and you now have a choice on how to engage the friendship.

3. Realize the power you hold.

Simple right? You are powerful. You can make hard choices. You can have tough conversations. You can say yes and no and mean it. Once my friends started seeing that I acted like a powerful person (because I finally believed I was one) I started noticing that more powerful women surrounded me. I was attracted to confident, driven women. The petty water-cooler talk started having less and less appeal to me. People notice when you have higher conservation standards for yourself.

Become the powerful women you would want as a BFF. That is the magic secret to making sisterhood friends.

4. You don’t have to be everyone’s BFF.

You don’t. And thank God.

You do not need to be everyone’s friend, and everyone does not need to know you. This was the hardest for me to put into action. Saying no to fun events you just don’t have time and energy for is hard. Some crazy part of me wants to be involved in everything and know everyone, but that is just not healthy. (Trust me, I tried this and it gets you a lot of acquaintances and no real friends.)

Be lovely and kind to everyone you meet. If you hit it off with a new friend, awesome! But do not feel obligated to invest in everyone. You physically, mentally, and emotionally can not do it. You weren't created to do it.


 

When you learn to find your safe people, allow yourself to be fully seen and fully loved, step into your power, and become a good picker, your friendships will truly change. YOU will change.

You'll become the friend you want, and in return, attract the kind of friends you need. 

 



How I Satisfied My Need for Approval

How I satisfied my need for approval through self love, plus 10 affirmations to help you find self acceptance.

Self love. Self approval.  They are possibly the the biggest trends in personal wellness right now. When I was first introduced to the idea of self love, I wanted to reject it. It felt prideful and self indulgent.  I thought (in hindsight), that I was better and tougher than needing to love myself. I have learned since then that self love is a necessity to thriving as a healthy, whole person.  The shift for me did not come all at once, but one way of thinking truly helped me stop seeing it as indulgence and start seeing it as necessary.

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It was the shift from self love and approval to self acceptance.

One of the biggest struggles I have faced in my personal growth is a deep need for the approval of others.  In a life coaching session with my first life coach, I realized not only did I tend to seek approval from others, but I wasn’t even comfortable with the thought of loving and approving of myself. It was quite obvious that the reason I so deeply sought approval from others was because I refused to approve of myself. The word approval made me feel like I had to do something to earn it. I felt that if I approved of myself then I must think really highly of myself and must think I have “arrived” so to speak.  My coach was amazing at helping me see a new perspective and asked me if I knew of another word for approval that I may be more comfortable with.

   Self ACCEPTANCE.

As I spoke it out loud I felt my spirit shift. It was a huge “ah-ha” moment for me. Acceptance of myself felt more gentle. It came with peace and ease. The definition of the word refers to welcoming, having favor for, or receiving what is offered. (dictionary.com).  

Self acceptance gives room for the real you. It does not base your self love on whether or not you feel worthy.  It is not complacent.

SELF ACCEPTANCE IS THE RADICAL NOTION THAT YOU ALONE ARE ENOUGH. 

You are enough today. In this moment. As you are. This is your journey. Your path. Your body. Your mind. I promise you, when you make peace with who you truly are you will no longer desire the approval of others.


Here are 10 affirmations to shift your thinking to acceptance:

  1. I  accept myself just as I am.

  2. I am open to love.

  3. I am worthy of good things.

  4. I trust that there is a divine plan for my life.

  5. I am happy in my own skin.

  6. My body is a blessing.

  7. I am able.

  8. I attract love and give love freely.

  9. I honor myself with my thoughts.

  10. I only compare myself to my best self.


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Let's get the convo going!

leave a comment with your story below & how self acceptance changes your self love game.

+++feel free to share this truth-bomb on insta, facebook, pinterest, or print it out for your bathroom mirror!

xx, Madison