Warning: personal post follows… I am frustrated I’m not as productive as I want to be right now, but am trying to take advice from doctors and loved ones that I need to learn how to rest. Here I sit with a case of shingles. Thus more reading and reflecting. This post is contains some intensely personal journalling which –color me surprised—I felt compelled to share. After editing somewhat for readability, here goes…
So how did I end up here?
I have experienced a repeat pattern my whole life which is Go, go, go, go, crash! Illness and injury have been my way to slow down and check in with myself. I thought I had broken this pattern FINALLY, but here I am in the throes of shingles (from the chickenpox virus that lies dormant and comes back in adulthood and affects the nerves on one side of the body for roughly 3 weeks of hell). Perhaps it has something to do with my upcoming birthday and my tendency to reflect and recommit to goals. I suspect the pressures I put on myself to achieve certain things quickly, tangibly, and to get my ass in gear into hustle mode led me precisely to this experience of being sick. Again.
Now my reduced capacity- both mental and physical- ensures I am “forced” to reflect and regroup.
I’ve realized I need to address my lack of true relaxation. I carry SO much tension in my body. I didn’t think it was a real issue since I don’t feel stressed. I am a happy person! I am grateful every day, and I can find joy in almost any circumstance. Yet professionals who care for me continue to be amazed by how tight things are. So I’ve worked at it for years in a variety of ways. For example, I have been meditating almost daily for over a year and have DEFINITELY felt positive benefits. Yet it seems I have NOT ARRIVED YET! Ha, I know damn well that little “program” in my “operating system” about achieving quickly is buried deep, and I’ve been attempting to override it somehow by sheer force of will. Hmmm…the story line emerges…
It’s time to learn how to stop the incessant drive to be something I am not (yet?)-and to expect it to happen all according to my plan and timeline!
In addition to the many aspects of my business I am working to improve, and many goals in my personal arenas, what feels most relevant today has to do with my physical body. I am generally considered healthy, but am somewhat obsessed (conditioned!) with not being happy with what I look like or my fitness level. I have gained more weight than I am comfortable with in middle age and have been beating myself up about it for the past few years. Unfortunately it seems this has made it worse. I am aware (as we all are) of the power of the mental component as a tool for changing results. Also, I am aware of the effort and time it takes to make shifts that matter.
I want to love every cell of this amazing, beautiful body as it is. And to revere it every day. I understand the concept of “my body is my temple” and I am so sorry for the small daily abuses I have subjected it to. When I stop to think about it, I truly do appreciate my health. I appreciate the vast capabilities of my body. But the old story line runs under the surface and shows up in sneaky ways. I want to hold an aura of love consistently when thinking of, and feeling as, this physical miracle. I want to release all my false projections and old conditioning, old body images and standards. I want to move past the complex challenges from sexual trauma in my youth, and stop “protecting myself” to the point of causing myself pain in other ways. I am tired of this fight. I am tired of the struggle. I am weary of feeling disappointed in myself for not having healed YET. I am frustrated that I need to spend time on this when I think I should have it all figured out by now. Sigh.
I want to be compassionate and loving toward myself, as I am toward others (OK, most of the time).
How will I resolve this duality? How do I shift into more loving patterns? I have been courageous and opened up to allow healing. I have sought experts. I have done the work. And…I have been unwilling to accept that this is an ongoing experience. I want to embrace the idea that the healing experience takes as much time as it takes. That there is no point to hurry it, which only seems to set things back anyway…
Again, this incessant drive to be different from what I am now, to change my behaviors and results for “better,” and to see constantly what is not done yet, what is not good enough yet, what needs fixing, what needs polishing…seems to be the cause of all the trouble. I ABSOLUTELY want to continue to grow and improve. It’s time to learn a new approach.
Even while I am serving and helping my clients as they grow and evolve, and they see me as the expert who has all this figured out, I feel like a fraud some days. While I DO walk the talk in so many ways, I am still human and struggling and lose my way in some area or other from time to time. So I know how it feels and how it sucks when you realize you are not perfect, and how it feels so much better when you realize no one is perfect and people actually prefer to see the human side of their experts and gurus. BUT then again not too much…and so there is always some pressure from within to be something better, a more polished version of myself. Someone who is leaner, wears more stylish clothing more consistently, does her makeup and dresses up even when working from home (haha, not with a large dog who sheds and needs to go for walks!), follows up so quickly it’s damned impressive every time, has brilliant questions and ideas in every single coaching session, isn’t afraid to take risks in sales and other aspects of business, can do every video, podcast, and blog post in one take and people love it, has an ideallic family life and enviable travel calendar, etc… Ugh- no one can handle that kind of pressure without breaking down (as in: bursting into tears randomly while alone and wondering “where the hell is this coming from?” or that weird irritated/angry state that doesn’t seem connected to anything).
Epiphany time. The underlying story line hasn’t changed: The drive to be better isn’t bad; but the goals and the way to go about making progress need to connect with my core self.
And I am not alone.
It’s time to shift away from the incessant pressure to be a different version of that which we are here to be- joyful, silly, imperfect, experimenting, going for it, finding our voice, making bold decisions that feel right and not giving a shit about others’ petty judgments, using our intuition to navigate our adventures and feeling confident enough to act on it every time, learning to listen in stillness and allow our own spirit’s connection to guide us to the next step again and again, while finding peace and calm in the certainty that all will be well when we act from this lit up, loving, inspired state of being.
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The drive to be better isn't bad, but it's time to check what's driving your hustle!
Back to meditation. It calms me, and well- there’s much more to it.
In a memorable meditation session roughly 6 months ago, I uncovered the clear directives of “Love Every Cell.” And “Say What Needs to Be Said.” as tenets on my path to fulfilling my purpose. I have come back to these again many times, seeking to use them guidelines for what to do, how to proceed, how to be. They have meaning for me, power, and positivity which all feel great. Also but also they feel far too nebulous most of the time for me to make decisions on a dime, or even to determine which project to pursue next through my business. I believe the way will be shown and these will prove more and more useful as time passes. I feel conflicted by wanting to lament that I don’t know what to do and need help – and on the other side admitting that I DO know what to do. When I am feeling a bit overwhelmed or scattered, I know quite certainly that through meditation (and prayer) I can find my way. These sessions, even if short, coupled with expressions of gratitude and affirmations never fail to light me up and I trust completely that when inspired to act from this state of being, ALL WILL BE WELL. So why do I still sometimes resist sitting in stillness and connecting to divine energy? How have I not made this a non-negotiable morning habit along with drinking my water or brushing my teeth? I wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without a few specific habits completed, but meditation seems to be pushed to “later” many days.
Why do we resist that which we know is good for us, even when we’ve proven to ourselves time after time that we will feel better and will experience a more comfortable, joyful existence? Aaah, this must be the great mystery of the human experience.
I have a sense of peace and adventurous fun (and joyful tears welling) as I think about posting this publicly (which normally would TERRIFY me). What began as a journal entry from a place of frustrated seeker was transformed into a bit of a mini-manifesto from a business owner acknowledging her path and reveling in the possibility that sharing this openly, while scary, is very much aligned with my purpose.
While we all feel alone in our fears, failings, and frustrations at times– in reality, we are not alone and there are always options.
My wish is that this glimpse into my own experience connects with you and helps you to continue having the courage to open your heart, mind, and soul to new possibilities!