Conversation: Annia Baron of REMIND YOURSELF
1. Your biggest rock bottom/crying on a floor time in your life.
I was 19 when I got the call that my dad had died. I was on the way to the airport to see him again but in that moment, the world stopped. I remember my heart filling with a deep sadness and fear of what things would be like without him.
I spent the next few years drinking and drugging myself. I noticed myself becoming increasingly impulsive, began experiencing anxiety attacks, and wasn’t coping with my job.
On the outside I looked like I had my shit together. On the inside I was falling apart. I wanted to run away from everything.
I remember spending 4 days alone in my apartment. I didn’t shower. I just ate. I took my food into bed where I numbed myself to sleep. Eventually, I left the house with a jumper over my pyjamas to buy Polish doughnuts from up the road. I ended up taking them into the shower with me, mindlessly eating them as dark plum jam spilled down my forearm. I remember thinking to myself how red the water looked as the jam flowed down the drain and terrified myself with thoughts that I could easily use the razor to cut my forearm and bleed out in the shower.
I realised then just how much I missed my dad and how much I was avoiding painful emotions. I sobbed and sobbed and shrivelled under the hot water for so long. Eventually, I got out, slept some more and reached out to my best friend who encouraged me to speak to someone. I’m so grateful he did.
2. Today what would you tell to yourself at your lowest point?
My dearest one, I see your pain. I see your suffering. Know that you are whole just as you are. You are worthy, no matter how unworthy you may feel right now. Let yourself be with your suffering. Suffering is a gift and your heart is capacious enough to hold all that it gives you. You are not alone in your pain.
You are courageous. You are compassionate. This is an experience that will not keep you from becoming who you are meant to be. In fact, it will crack you open with so much love, that your love will have no choice but to burst out into the hearts and minds of others. Listen to your heart. Hear what it tells you. Follow it always. I love you. I am always here for you. You can come back to me anytime. I am your home.
3. The most healing tool/practice you found
Finding a small window of quiet each morning to write down things I am grateful for. This, along with practices such as yoga and meditation, has been the most powerful form of healing and growth. Shifting the focus to what we can appreciate in our lives has a profound effect on our wellbeing, how we interact with the world, and how we treat one another.
4. The most humbling moment you have ever experienced.
In Winter of 2017 I walked solo from Hobart to Launceston to raise money for getting more music into aged care homes for sufferers of Dementia. It was the year my mother was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and I wanted to turn a heartbreaking time in our lives into something more positive for others.
On a particularly cold, harsh day of walking, feeling alone and emotional and stuck with nowhere to sleep that night, a stranger heard of my story through FB and contacted me to offer up their family cabin for the night.
Upon arrival I was taken aback. Not only had they lit a fire for me, they had laid out a tray of cooked food, milk, juice, and muesli for me to enjoy for breakfast the next morning, along with a little note of encouragement. I remember being overwhelmed with tears of joy. It was such beautiful reminder of how kind and thoughtful humans can be and how our true nature is one of compassion.
5. When was the moment you felt adequate and told yourself ‘You know what? I’m actually good at what I do!’ ?
I think I was 26 or 27 and there was this one morning that everything felt like it was going wrong – everything! I was all up in my head and I needed an antidote to the rumination.
I decided to walk up to a random stranger for the sole purpose of wishing them a lovely day (because mine certainly wasn’t feeling so good!). I said something like, “Excuse me, I know you don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I hope you have a truly lovely day ahead.”
The response was genuine surprise and delight and I realised that in an instant, I had just brightened up someone else’s day.
This was the moment I realised I was enough. This was the moment that I realised we don’t need to do extraordinary things to make the world a better place. Sometimes we just need to step outside our comfort zone with the intention to help one another feel better.
To this day, I still love this practice. Sometimes I get smiles or hugs. Sometimes I get strange looks. It doesn’t matter – I welcome it all.
6. The limiting belief you still working on today.
All my life, I grew up trying to fit in. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to ensure people always thought positively about me. I was a shy girl and observed the way people acted. It seemed that if you did things the ‘right’ way – wore the right thing, had the right body, drove the right car, or had the right house – you were liked.
It has taken me a long time to undo this belief. And it is one that I am still working on today. And truth be told, it’s one I always want to work on. So, I tattooed the word ‘freedom’ on my wrist. It is my personal reminder to live life truest to my heart. To be courageous in my pursuits. And to do all things with love.
7. If you would have a billboard with a millions of viewers what would you say on it (slogan, quote, expression- not a commercial agenda)?
Above all, know that we are so fucking worthy of love. Come now, let’s spread ours like wildfire.
8. What book/resource of information have you gifted/guided people the most (any field of life/industry).
Books, books, books! I love sharing books. I send pics of books to my friends all the time. I may need to stop annoying them. My most beloved book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Every so often I open the pages again and find new teachings and deeper joys.