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I Used To Feel Empty Inside

I was lucky I guess. I had an amazing family growing up. I had everything. Well, not everything I ever wanted, we weren’t super rich, but we weren’t poor either. I grew up in the country. I had a yard to play in, I had enough clothes to wear, I could go to the movies and out bowling. We had dinner on the table every night. I had parents who loved me, and I had an older brother to teach me.

But there was always something I felt was missing. It was like there was a hole inside me that I could never fill up. I was searching for something that would make my life mean something, make me feel ‘whole’ I think is the best way to explain it.

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I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong

I was always shy, and I wasn’t able to talk with people easily, which meant I didn’t have many friends. I loved baking and cooking, but I also enjoyed eating. I’d always reach for food as a way to try and fill up that hole, to try and make the emptiness go away. And it would sometimes help. Just for a moment, I would forget it was there. I’d feel I was in the right place. But then that moment would pass, and I would feel a sad longing to be happy and to feel like I belonged. So I’d eat to try and fill the gap. I’d also distract myself by watching movies and reading magazines, looking at photos of beautiful people, always feeling like I wasn’t enough; I wasn’t pretty enough; I wasn’t thin enough.

Then I started distracting myself with other things. I got a university degree and got a job, throwing myself into my career as a restaurant manager. I felt like I was helping people in my own way and I became excellent at it. I put everything into it and ended up running a very well known establishment in my hometown that people would fly in from all over Australia to dine in. But that didn’t complete the void either.

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I got into a relationship because that would be ‘it’, right? Like in the fairy tales, the stories you read growing up where the girl finds her prince and lives happily ever after? Finding a partner would fill me up. So, after three years, after getting engaged, after buying a house together, I didn’t understand why I still didn’t feel right. Every now and then I would kid myself that I was happy and fulfilled, but there was always some part of me, in the back of my head that was crying out saying ‘There’s more to life than this’. I decided to end the relationship and find out who I was on my own. So I went back home to live with mum and dad, which at 30 years of age, had not been a life goal.

Soon after, I quit my job, and it was at that point I realised I was really lost. I felt like I didn’t know how to do life. Or, I didn’t know how to do my life. I thought I’d done all the right things up to this point. I’d travelled, got engaged, bought a house, got a uni degree. So, why didn’t I feel whole? Why was there still this emptiness inside of me?

What people are saying about Emotion Academy:

"After many years of training, courses, and counselling in various forms I thought I had certain aspects of my life sorted. Yet completing Emotion Academy showed me that I had been running away from my emotions and not facing them. After Emotion Academy, now I have the tools to engage with myself and win the internal battles once and for all - Neil Welsh, Victoria

Why don’t I just Google all the answers?

You know, I went online once, and searched for me. I typed in my name. I typed in my height, my weight, my date of birth, my parent’s names, where I was born, my qualifications. I wrote everything into the search, because Google has all the answers, right? But when typed in my details and asked Google ‘How I can fill up this hole?’, Google came back with a failed search, ‘No results found’.

I didn’t have the resources to know who I really was and it was at that point that I got lucky. You know those moments when you do something that is so out of character. You look back, and you go ‘Who was that?’ ‘How did I know to do that at that moment?’ What happened was, I went up to somebody who I had never met before, and who I didn’t know but who stood out to me. I tapped him on the shoulder and said: “You don’t know me but whatever you are doing, keep doing it because I think it will help people.” And in return, he gave me the best gift; he gave me the gift of his time. I didn’t realise then, but I used to take time for granted. I let it pass by, watching movies and TV, sleeping, staying in and trying to fill a void with food and other things. Not that any of that is a problem in moderation, but that’s how I was filling my days.

So this person sat down with me asked “What’s your story?” And you know those times when you feel so comfortable with somebody quickly? So I told him.

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Melisa Grigg - Head Coach & Trainer

Melisa was stuck in sadness for 15 years, hated her job, was overweight and her relationship had just ended. Melisa inspires people with her story and now teaches how she sorted her life out. She worked out how to be happy and how to lose over 30kg of body weight.  In simple steps she teaches how you can stop procrastinating, find confidence, stop being so sad and finally start to find true meaning and purpose in your life.

I opened up and shared

I told him about how I’d been sad for many years. I shared how every time I went to see a psychologist, they seemed to ask me to go back and relive the same moments, again and again, ones I didn’t enjoy when I was living them the first time around. And I told him how I felt I had this hole inside of me that I didn’t know how to fill. The next thing he asked me was, “What are you willing to do about it?” “Whatever it takes!” I heard myself reply, which shocked me because I didn’t think I had it in me. In the past, I would have always looked for the easy solution, but this time, I chose to trust. It was uncomfortable, but I knew I had to do something, because I knew keeping on going the way I was, wasn’t going to work.

Life can be difficult, but if I was going to start filling up that hole, then I had to learn how to do it myself. I had to learn the tools to understand myself and be able to change what wasn’t working whenever I needed to. So in that moment of trusting somebody who wasn’t interested in giving me quick solutions, the smallest filling dropped into that hole, and stayed there. The more I trusted, the more that empty space shrunk, to the point that now there is no longer a hole.

I’ve learnt that life isn’t perfect, and it’s not always easy, but I certainly know how to enjoy every moment, and bring fun to every situation. I can face the challenges that come up for me, and I have the gift of appreciating time. Now I know how to enjoy each moment. So if you feel like there’s a hole inside of you that you don’t yet know how to fill, keep looking, and you will find a way.

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