Kristina's Journey: What 2023 Taught Me

kristina's journey Dec 31, 2023

By Kristina Todorova, founder of The Co-created Hub

Last year, I started this tradition of reflecting on and summarizing some of the key things I learnt in the past 12 months and today, on 31st December 2023, I am writing about some of the main themes I experienced in 2023 and what I took from those experiences. I do not want to dwell on the challenges (April and December 2023 were probably the most “testing” months in my life so far) but focus on the actual growth opportunities and how this has shaped who I have become and what I will be focusing on in 2024. I will try to condense this piece so it is more of a quick read like most of our articles but – since I am writing and not editing the words of self-reflection as they are coming out, I cannot promise how lengthy this article will become, so if you’re intending to read it, grab a coffee and enjoy! Hopefully, you will take something out of it that you can implement moving forward.

1. You are not responsible for other people’s healing

Whilst I have always known this theoretically, I had to really put this belief into practice in 2023, in my relationship with my family and my romantic experiences. Everyone is on their own journey of self and soul development and as difficult as it is to be witnessing other people’s emotional responses and the choices they are making, consciously or unconsciously, it is not your responsibility to heal them.

When we deeply love and care for those who are close to us, it can be heartbreaking to see them feeling pain and facing their shadow selves. What we can do in such situations is offer compassion instead of judgment. On multiple occasions, I caught myself judging the choices of others because I, selfishly (out of conditional love), wanted to see them as their best, thriving, happy selves but this is a choice that they themselves are responsible for making. A hard realisation. Connecting with the energy of compassion in my heart, trying to hold on to the feeling of love and consistently reminding myself that they are on a journey has helped me to not completely lose my sense of centeredness. It has also helped me to draw boundaries, removing myself from situations that are not mine to deal with or fix or aren’t in alignment with what I want to be experiencing.  

2. Being vulnerable is a sign of strength, detachment from others’ opinions of you and embracing your authentic self on a cellular level

What does it mean to be yourself, fully, on a cellular level? Being, speaking and interacting without a fear of how you will be perceived and in a way that feels so aligned with who you are, and so right in your gut and body that it feels liberating. This was what I had deprived myself of for most of my 20s and early 30s, purely because I had always identified with someone I thought I needed to be to feel worthy. And, that somebody was strong, independent, always having a sense of direction and achieving the things I wanted. So when I was struggling and not achieving what I had set out, I did not feel comfortable opening up about it and would wear the mask of “I have it all together” because I did not want to be perceived as weak as, if my perception of my self-worth was rooted in the necessity to be strong and a "high achiever", then how can I let myself be “weak” and "un-achieving"?

It was April 2023 when, after a severe burnout and consequent depression, because of a few challenges I was facing at the time, I decided to take the mask off and open up to others about what I was facing and where I was mentally, emotionally and in my life and business. This was when I discovered vulnerability.

As I did that, I realised that many of us go through the very same challenges but, out of fear of how we will be seen or of being judged and the repercussions this would have on our careers, businesses and relationships, we choose to not openly speak about them, especially in the world of entrepreneurship. This realisation and the feeling of connecting with others on a much deeper level gave me the inspiration to launch the Co-created Hub and create a community and collaboration-based membership where people feel safe to openly speak about where they are at on their business (and life) journeys, receive ongoing business and well-being support, and collaborate with other entrepreneurs as a means of growing their businesses. The biggest blessing of discovering vulnerability, apart from the authenticity and the feeling of freedom that came with it, was the incredible people I connected with and the support they gave me. This is exactly what I want our members to experience in the hub and, in the upcoming year, we will continue to work on growing the community, giving our members the opportunity to find their tribe of like-minded people in the hub and continue to learn and build their businesses in a supportive environment.

3. You can’t change the past so you may well choose to heal from it instead of holding on to anger and other disruptive emotions

If you ask my ego self about the last four years of my life, she will talk to you about multiple "failures" (aka setbacks) in business, heartbreaks, illnesses, loss – you name it, she will tell you she faced it. Because she did. If you ask my Higher Self, she will tell you a different story – she will tell you she learnt so much that the vision for her now life and business and who she has become would not have been possible without all that happened in those four years.

Did you spot the word that holds the key to healing from your past in the above sentences? I will tell you if you didn’t – the word is story. We may not be able to change the experiences that created pain but we can choose to change the story we attach to those experiences so that we can begin to heal and focus our energy on the future we want to create.

Changing the story has not been easy for me, especially because the last two months brought their own challenges and the way I perceived these challenges emotionally triggered old trauma in my body and I felt overwhelmed with emotion. My ego wanted to hold on to the old story and as much as I tried to see things differently, I couldn’t. The truth is – I am not there yet with crafting the new story. But I am aware of it, and I am consciously choosing to continue to release the old energy, elevate my whole being (mentally, emotionally, energetically, and physically) and trust that, in time, as I continue to grow, I will realise the dreams I feel pulled to manifest and experience in my life.

4. Choosing yourself is a form of trust in what’s to come (like no other)

I wrote this statement a few years ago and I am re-sharing it today as a lesson I am continuing to learn. What does it mean to choose yourself? Walking away from relationships that are not a source of the things you truly desire to experience? Saying No when you feel obliged to say Yes? Setting boundaries even when it feels uncomfortable? Openly speaking about your needs without worrying about others’ reaction to your vulnerability? These are some of the questions I am continuing to reflect on because I realise that choosing myself will look different from year to year.

So as 2024 begins, I urge you to reflect on what choosing yourself will look like for you. I urge you to re-write the stories that are preventing you from living the life you came on this Planet to live. I urge you to think of what fulfils you, of what success means to you, of who you want to become and how you want to show up in your relationships, life and business. And if you’re looking to connect with others who are on a similar journey to you, I invite you to join us in the hub membership where we can continue to grow together. Happy, prosperous and fabulous 2024!

Sign up for our bi-weekly WeekendĀ Read series toĀ receive our articles, interviews and free resources from our Service Directory straight into your inbox.