05 March 2015 Last updated

Life Challenge Week 3: Paola Pani

Life Challenger Paola adjusts after a family wedding in Italy

Aquarius magazine
22 Mar 2012 | 02:15 pm
  • Oscar Wilde

    This Oscar Wilde quote reflects Paola's mood during Week 3.

    Source:Supplied picture Image 1 of 2
  • Paola is back from her sister's wedding in Sardinia.

    Source:Rex Features Image 2 of 2

Week three, day six

Step back?

Ciao everyone! I was away for my sister' s wedding in Sardinia, Italy, which meant lots of love through food and constant passing around of all those tasty homemade sweets, which are hard to say “No” to. So, that was my challenge last week. And the food is so good – the freshest of the ingredients and every day is like a feast day and a competition on who cooks the most preferred meal. 

I came back last night so I’m still a bit confused and disconnected… a week away meant that, although I spent quality time with my sisters which is irreplaceable, my support circle was not around me – no gym sessions (although I tried to walk all the time), no Shana, and goodbye light dinners! I tried not to lose control, especially when a bit of guilt prevailed when they wanted to feed me and I managed to refuse few times and had to deal with comments like. “Oh, so you want to be a model? Or, when I refused carbs at dinner, “ You eat like a bird.” On top of it all, I also got the disappointed looks of “So, you don’t like my food?” So my technique was to disguise myself and spend most of the time with the bride pretending to be extremely busy so I managed to avoid a couple of family lunches.

I have to be honest, I am dreading seeing my nutritionist Christina. And I have my last session with Shana tomorrow... and let’s not talk about my first colon hydrotherapy today. I’m trying not to even think about the details of the treatment, but I’m focusing instead on some of the benefits like increasing of energy levels, contributing to liver, blood and kidney cleansing and clearing of the skin to mention just a few. I feel today and tomorrow are big days for me. However proud that I felt in being stronger about dealing with situations back home, I have a slight feeling that I took a step back again... I’ll keep you posted!

Week four, day one

Speaking the truth

I feel I have to sincerely apologise to whoever is reading this as, so far, although I tried to give a glimpse of me and my experience as much as I could, I realise that the ‘true’ me – the little cute crab inside the shell hasn’t come out yet. And that’s it. Unconsciously and purposely, I’ve just given you a glimpse, a small window through me. Because I believed I was an embarrassment. Because I thought my problems were insignificant compared with others. Because my English (especially my writing) was not good enough (whatever that means now). Because I thought I was not funny, or clever, but boring and not inspirational and that I didn’t have anything really interesting to say... Not to mention the belief that I would never be a good mother, that my kids would become serial killers (don’t know why) and that I would never be able to pass on good values to anyone... and so it was.

The Universe conspired to make it happen. But I’m hoping to change all this as of today. And, as Charles Dickens opens his book David Copperfield with one of the most inspirational lines for me, “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show”, I promise I will serve my purpose and be true to myself for myself and all of you so that we can all benefit from this amazing gift. What good is it if you cannot share it?

I also thought that today was my last session with Shana but, to my surprise and happiness, I still have one to go where we are going to discuss my goals. I explained to Shana how strange I felt coming back to Dubai. However, despite my previous belief that I took a step backwards, I actually see progress. Let me explain...

Going back home for me was always a bit of a challenge, almost scary. Family gatherings and obligations, lots of anxiety for words unsaid or said too many, anxiety because of a long marriage and no kids, so people assume you cannot conceive… they make comments and even give you the sorry look. They make their own movie for you, but they never actually ask you why. And for heaven’s sake, never mention that you don’t want kids, as the look is even worse – unacceptable and crazy! So then comes the justifications, lies, pretending everything is good, lots of history… you have changed but people still think you are 22! In short, DRAMA!

The main problem was (note the past tense) that because of my perception of me, I would see a world full of anxiety – I would see myself always a step or two back, always the last one whose opinion doesn’t count. So I would never speak up for myself, and I would have panic attacks almost all the time after unwarranted comments, which I had convinced myself I’d learned to deal with. Well I’m sorry to be chattering to reach this important point but, my progress during my stay was that, yes, I might have still received some unnecessary comments (I cannot control other people’s world, or perceptions), however they didn’t penetrate me. I just took them for what they were – unprovoked and meaningless – which doesn’t translate in to ‘Whatever you tell me I won’t get upset.’ I‘m also proud to say that I played an important role in my sister’s wedding, helping her a great deal with the final preparations, organising bits and pieces.

All this because I finally took the positive learnings from my past experiences and, believe me, for me, those small baby steps were super-empowering. All that anxiety and thinking so low of myself has prevented me from not only being who I truly am and living the life I deserve, but has allowed me to be the punching ball of some of my friends – being betrayed and taken advantage of because I was playing a role for these people and they were playing a role for me… So, as Shana said, all these people who I was serving a purpose for will either have to adapt to my changes, or will slowly disappear. I know it sounds harsh but it’s the truth!

All this because of my past belief system! Now I will rewrite my future. Now I will only allow people in to my life that will serve me, and that I can serve, positively. And this is not a threat, it’s a promise to myself that I will be in charge of my life and that I will make my own positive choices for myself and for the future.

xoxo Paola

Shana Kad, NLP life coach, says: “When I went to see Paola this morning, I noticed that Paola already had so much more to tell me about how things have changed and I could see that she wanted to be heard.

By getting rid of your limiting beliefs, Paola, and understanding and embracing your self-worth with love and loyalty, you are now on the road to giving to others the gift of the REAL YOU. And how wonderful the real you is. Thank you for taking your pen back to write your very own Inspirational Story… So very proud of you. Shana x”



Aquarius magazine

Aquarius magazine

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