Last week I mentioned that a few weeks ago, I was feeling knocked over by the world. There was a heaviness and a weariness that had crept into my bones. I was tired. But not only tired, just had lost a little of the spark and fire that had been there around my service and mission in the world. This isn’t unusual given the pandemic and all of the other issues going on in the world. I watched as I leaned heavier on social media, watching netflix or other shows that were keeping me from looking deeply at what the root of the problem was.
One day while sitting down to prepare my university courses, I know that something had to change. I could hear the stories in my head starting about how there was nothing i could do, I had to do it all, and there was no way out of this cycle of the voice in my head saying “there’s too much to do” and the response in my head which was saying “i have to do it all”.
In that moment, I felt the heaviness and the complete and total sadness that was present. I felt what my body was telling me. I felt the emotions in my body and I heard what my mind was saying. And in that moment, I knew there had to be a better way. If you’ve listened to some of my previous episodes, you know that is my rallying cry. There has to be a better way.
So I got creative. I moved things around, shifted some of the class assignments, cancelled what I could, and blocked off time while my kids were in school, so I could have one day with consecutive hours of me time. I decided I could work or not work, the rule was that it had to feel good in the moment. I would listen to what felt most nourishing at the time. It was all for me.
Pretty radical, right? And it was. As soon as I made that decision, the stuckness I had been feeling in my body felt lighter. I actually was walking around in a better mood that night. I started seeing possibilities where previously I didn’t see any. I started feeling more hopeful.
The making of the space was a powerful piece- I hadn’t even gotten to the day off yet! I was just planning the day off and I could feel lighter and happier. I often see this with my clients as well. As soon as they make the commitment to start working with me (or anyone) this is where the work begins! It’s the making commitment to space or eating differently or working with someone or exercising, or setting up emotional boundaries that creates change. The actual time off that I took was just icing on the cake! By the end of that day and getting to experience the nurturing that I needed- that I followed through with taking care of myself- was the medicine I needed. And also in that space, a huge download of information came through. I hadn’t made space for that download to be given to me with all the watching of the videos and numbing out I was doing. The information was just waiting until I had created that space. And then, it was like a floodgate had been released. I had released myself from all the pressure that I had been placing on myself, and that will stop me in my tracks every time.
Now, making the commitment to nurture yourself can look differently for different people- it may be taking the pressure off yourself to do things perfectly, or like me removing the pressure of trying to do it all. The commitment may be what you eat, or how the words you use to talk to yourself, or taking an afternoon off. For all of them, it is showing up for yourself in whatever way you need at that moment.
Your brain may tell you that you can’t do any of those things- that they are not possible. That’s what my brain was saying. It was saying I couldn’t take time off. That is just your brain wanting to keep you small and in the same place you’ve always been. This is just one of the lies that the brain tells you to keep that critical voice in your head, in charge. That you don’t have time to exercise, or eat right, or do the things that you love. These are lies. Listen closely to these lies because it will tell them to you over and over again. Take a sheet of paper and write at the top: THESE ARE LIES and then write down all the things you notice that critical voice telling you when you go to do the things that support you. By bringing awareness and presence to the stories, and recognizing that you don’t have to believe the voice, you can start to make a commitment to yourself that will not only nourish you to sustain you, but also set you up to thrive.
When you recognize the lies the critical voice in your head tells you, then you can start to listen more deeply to what the heart wants. Rest, time, joy, energy. That’s what the heart wants and even if it is only 5 minutes, you can make a conscious choice of support who you are and who you want to be today.