We are stoked to feature Alex Silver-Fagan’s story of empowerment! Read her words below and check her out on Instagram at @AlexSilverFagan. If you’re not already, follow us @EmpoweredByYou to see what more badass women like Alex are empowered by!
Life is a series of experiences. Some days better than others, some days worse. Some days you wish would never end, and some days you wish you could forget. But that’s where most go wrong. We should never want to forget anything we’ve gone through. Because it’s these defining moments that shape us into the individuals we are meant to be.
Not only is regret a waste of time, but it is also a waste of energy. Energy that can instead be spent in a positive light, working to move forward. And if we are willing, we must first accept our experiences for what they are: experiences.
I am Alex Silver-Fagan, and if you couldn’t tell by now: I am Empowered By Experience.
Most don’t know this about me but I have 4 tattoos. And when I’m asked what they mean or stand for, I always say “they’re chapter markers.” Just like we can’t undo anything we go through in life, my tattoos are permanent. These experiences leave marks and my tattoos are a tangible reflection. We all have chapter marking tattoos, mine I just chose to show through ink.
Now don’t confuse empowerment with definition. Often people make this mistake and define themselves by the things they go through in life. While we are certainly products of our experiences, if we let them simply define us we are limiting ourself. It’s not the experience that creates you, it’s what you do with the experience and if you use it as a source of growth, awareness, and insight or instead let it take control.
This is what I used to do. I used to let my experiences and events in my life have all the power. I’d let situations affect me and react intensely, rather than analyzing, digesting, and responding with a clear mind. I constantly struggle with this, as do we all.
What’s helped me the most to accept experiences and react lightly is yoga. I found yoga my sophomore year of college and started taking classes 3x a week. At the time my practice was in an effort to start letting go of someone in my life that most people never need to let go of. I was committed to shielding myself from negativity for good and only allowing positive people and experiences in my life. But coincidentally, I was aiming my energy at the wrong thing. Instead of trying to control the people in my life, I should’ve been controlling how I handled them.
We are fortunate that we have no true control of the path and the people the universe has set up for us. I say fortunately because these are the moments that empower us. How we react. How we respond. How we live. And thus, we must respond lightly.
Recently I watched an interview of Ronda Rousey. It was her first since losing the title fight to Holly Holms in December, a massive loss for her career and without a doubt a chapter marking experience in her life. After describing her thoughts in the hospital room after the fight, Ronda spoke strongly through tears and said, “Being defeated is a choice. Everyone has losses in their life but I choose to always be undefeated.”
We choose the outcome. Life hands us options and we choose how to handle them. Sometimes it’s a losing a fight, sometimes it’s a life threatening illness, sometimes it’s an addiction, sometimes it’s a parent who chooses not to love, or sometime’s it’s a broken heart. Whatever it may be, we choose how to react and we CHOOSE to be empowered by our experience.
Shit happens. Both good and bad. Be grateful to move on and be excited for how you’ll turn out on the other end.
Be empowered. Don’t be defeated.