“When your vision is crystal clear, you can fail your way to success and love every minute of it.”
Thirty-seven year-old Lila Beijer is learning not to worry about the bumps along the way and, instead, is trusting that her journey is exactly what it’s supposed to be, bringing her closer to the fulfillment of her wildest dreams. She’s taken great personal strides to get to where she is today. Lila is the proud mother of three, owns her own business and is soaking up everything life has to offer, including committing herself to an impressive list of 36 new things to try this year! Lila has never been happier or more passionate about life, but it’s taken a great deal of dedication to herself and her vision to get here.
When Lila was 20, she decided to take her first big step towards independence by leaving behind her friends and family in Toronto and taking a job on a cruise ship. She wanted to see the world, meet new people and live an amazing adventure. She spent weeks and weeks before her departure packing and preparing for the journey.
When, finally, the day came for her to leave, she panicked. Old stories she had about herself began to resurface and she was tormented by disempowering thoughts: you won’t fit in, you don’t look the way you should, you don’t think the right way, no one will like you, who do you think you are!? She was so upset and discouraged that she decided not to go and unpacked the bags she’d so carefully been preparing for weeks.
Sometimes we get caught up in the games in our heads and believe the stories that our brains conjure up. Yet, it occurred to Lila that she wouldn’t put up with such cruelty from another person – so, why was she putting up with it from herself? With her parents’ encouragement, she remembered that she had big dreams, that she wanted to experience so much more in life and that she had to start somewhere. So, she pulled out her suitcase and quickly repacked all her things – perhaps not as neatly this time, but with great courage. Lila climbed aboard and started an adventure that would last six amazing years.
During that time, Lila continued to work on her relationship with herself and her thoughts. She became very aware of her thoughts and made a conscious effort to erase any negativity from her mind. She was so dedicated to this, that sometimes she would accidentally say ‘Cancel’ out loud when a bad thought weaselled its way into her mind. She was committed to getting rid of anything that would drag her down and, instead, worked on introducing something new and positive to her thought process.
Lila still felt scared. On the ship, she was learning a lot and constantly meeting new and interesting people – including her future husband – but it was often overwhelming for someone who’d lived a fairly secluded life up until then. Still, Lila continued to open herself to the experience and accepted any bumps in the journey with grace.
And it’s her grace under pressure that Lila looks back on from those days and feels most proud of. She had her share of challenging moments and things that she wished she’d handled better, but Lila always stayed true to herself and her learning process. Each day, she became a better version of herself and was proud to see that she was much stronger than she’d ever given herself credit for. Experiencing life and meeting challenges head-on and with integrity has helped Lila trust herself and have the courage necessary to blaze her own trail. Life just keeps getting bigger and more exciting than she’d ever imagined.
Lila feels that she fully owns her life and her decisions now. Three years ago, she decided to quit her corporate job and become her own boss at 34. She helps people who have forgotten how to dream to start doing it again and to create the lives they want. She has three little boys and she’s dedicated to helping them become the best versions of themselves, so they can take on the world and make a difference. They’re already making Lila so proud at just 8, 7 and 4 and they’re a constant source of inspiration for her.
Meanwhile, Lila continues to be committed to learning more about who she is and to showing up in the world as the best version of herself. This year she’ll be checking some life goals off her long list, including going on a wine tour, trying pole dancing and dipping her feet in the ocean, to name a few. Recently, she started focusing more on her health, trying out a vegan diet and getting involved in kickboxing and weight lifting – and she’s already loving it!
It’s a lot of change and newness, but Lila doesn’t mind being a beginner, because she’s learned that no matter what scary moments come up, she can handle them.
You can feel that same level of self-trust too. Lila recommends being conscious of who you let into your life and making sure that you’re surrounding yourself with people that push you to be the best version of yourself. If big change is scary, then make small changes at first. Make a decision about what you want to change and then put your blinders up against the old stories your mind will try to tell you out of fear. Trust who you are, be open to the surprises your journey has in store and know that you can handle whatever life throws your way. Then take your first step forward and don’t look back!
Make time to journal and to practice gratitude – they will help you stay in the moment and enjoy it, while exploring all the possibilities the future holds. If you forget, put inspirational sticky notes around the house, so you can quickly remember who you are and what you’re going to accomplish.
This is such a big world and anything is possible. Life is meant to be experienced and Lila wholeheartedly recommends diving in and exploring. The one thing she hasn’t experienced much of in her journey is regret. Instead, she believes we should all be dreaming big, learning from our challenges and using that knowledge to create bigger and more beautiful lives. After all, as long as what we’re doing comes from the heart, we can’t screw up too badly!
Article written by Amanda Milroy
Amanda is passionate about languages and writing and has a degree in translation and professional and technical communication. She’s honoured to be part of the SheTravels team and to help put these inspiring stories out into the world.