hi, I’m so glad that you’re here.

The Search for Self was created as a way to support other women from afar as they do their inner work.

I wanted to create a space that gave women privacy. Prior to my own search, I was a very private and independent person (I still can be at times). I took pride in not needing help from others and kept personal things to myself. I wasn’t going to open myself up to potentially be hurt by others. I knew there were things that I needed to deal with that were not healthy (so much negative self talk and fears around death), but there was no way I was going to tell anyone about it. I would continue reading self-help books and figure out how to improve my mental health on my own. That was until I went to camp…

A few years back I attended a three-day camp for creative female entrepreneurs (note: I was the kid who never went to camp before and now I was going to spend 3 days with 80 women I had never met). Even though I felt a bit nervous, I knew that I needed to go. And it changed my life. Even though I know it sounds cheesy, the experience did change something in me.

Suddenly I was surrounded by a group of women who loved the same things I did. They loved making things and were so creative. They were the ones who loved getting new markers, stationary, and notebooks as kids (and grown ups). There were other people out there like me. And it was so inspiring to be with a group of women who didn’t have everything all figured out but were trying to find their own ways. Then they started opening up and sharing stories about their lives, and this was the part that changed things for me.

I can’t describe to you how it felt to hear other women sharing those deep, dark things that I thought were mine alone. Conversations around mental health. Depression. Self-doubt. Self-hate. The questioning of marriages. The questioning of life choices. Family stuff. Struggles with body image. Day to day challenges… I had never heard women have conversations so openly like this before. It made me feel like there was nothing wrong with me. Life is made up of all this stuff and no one talks about it.

At one point, we were sitting in a rec hall with rows of benches facing a little stage. The speaker at the front of the room was giving her talk when she said, You are enough. I thought, yeah yeah. Then she repeated it again. You are enough. Okay, she already said that. This is weird. You are enough. You need to stop.

My eyes started to well out of nowhere. I was going to cry. Actually cry. What is going on? And then she said it again. You are enough. And then I realized for the first time in my life that I honestly didn’t feel like I was. I had spent so much of my life trying to be more or better. Never feeling like enough as I was.

I left camp feeling incredibly raw. I remember walking by other women in our neighbourhood and wondering if they should have been at camp too. If they needed to hear the same thing.

From that experience I learned that something magical happens when you get a group of women together who are willing to open up and be real for the sake of themselves and each other. It gives you something unexpected, something you can’t do on your own. And it made me want to create a place like that where women could have the space and time to do the work on their own, while knowing that there was a group of women out there doing the same thing alongside them. Women they could meet up with, talk to, and then head back out on their own until the next time. The Search for Self was born. You can learn more about what it looks like over here…

As for me, I can actually say that in my life right now, this is the best I have felt in a long time. My mind feels calmer. I am focused more on my family and the quality of my relationships. I am being more silly with the kids and feel fulfilled by the work that I am doing. I’m grateful for where I am right now and feel more like myself. I feel at ease.

The Search for Self isn’t about fixing you. It’s not a program. It’s not someone else telling you what you need to do. It simply encourages you to create some space in your life to start asking some questions and then seeing where it leads you. It’s a messy and beautiful process of slowly coming home to you. To feel wholeheartedly like yourself no matter where you are.

If you feel drawn to this at all, but there’s something holding you back, you can always find me at @thesearchforself. Send me a message and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. No silly questions. I look forward to meeting you.

Take care,

Lainie



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