This blog has been a long time a comin’ – but it’s only now I’m beginning to feel semi-well, that I’ve been able to write again (and I’ve so missed writing for you guys!).
Where do I begin?
Two years of persistent anaemia which I glossed over as ‘normal’ for someone who has been semi-vegetarian for 20 years. Then, two months ago, increasing bouts of nausea and dizziness that would sometimes develop into hours of vertigo, slurred speech and visual disturbances.
Fortunately I’ve been privy to some Grade-A specialists and the healing love of a man who’s provided me with equal measures of supporting strength and vulnerability.
In the midst of this, I’ve experienced lashings of petulant resistance, learning (and re-learning), plus a few reflections that I trust will be of value:
Too busy to be well
2015 was all set to be ‘My’ Year. I’ve ran two successful programs, coached dozens of women, been paid to speak at events, was offered a book deal, and joined an exclusive Mastermind Group to sustain my efforts. I’ve also been solo-parenting my daughters a lot of the time, as Luke works till from 10 to 10, most days.
I placed enormous pressure on myself to perform, to be insanely productive and to push through at all costs (even when my body was quietly imploring me to stop).
When my energy began to falter, I’d push myself harder and view it as a personal shortcoming that that I was no longer able to maintain the fast paced momentum I’d created. I’d compare myself to other entrepreneurs who appeared busier and more successful, yet maintained the online appearance of continual open-mouthed smiling serenity.
If they can do it, why can’t I?
And isn’t that what so many of us do? Engage in a cycle of working furiously and resting for as little time as possible so that we can resume the hustle the following day?
What if we need more time to rest and recover?
What if extended periods of busyness require extended periods of downtime? Even equal time?
Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.
My choice to be as busy as possible in the first 6 months of the year may not have caused my illness, but it’s certainly exacerbated it. It’s also brought me face to face with my 50 shades of ego.
Lesson learned…and learning.
Let it Go
Sometimes things happen to wake us up to what’s really important. We’re forced to make decisions that honour and reflect our true needs. Needs that won’t be ignored, even when we smugly insist that we know better.
This has certainly been the case for me and I’m slowly (snail-cruisingly slowly), mastering the art of Letting go.
:: Letting go of busy as a status symbol for success.
:: Letting go of the need to equate my worth by my creative achievements and the accumulation of gold stars.
:: Letting go of what many entrepreneurs view as the holy grail of success (yes, that means letting go of the book deal).
:: Letting go of what other people think about a life coach who is a fierce advocate of self care, yet sometimes continues to ignore her own needs (actually, we can rephrase that to letting go of the stories I choose to engage in about what others may, or may not think!).
:: Letting go of the attempts to disown my challenges in life, in order to appear more acceptable.
While parts of my illness are resolving with treatment, it’s likely that my vestibular condition is here to stay – which means managing it and being aware of specific triggers.
Spending hours in front of a computer is a trigger for me. There are times where I can’t articulate my words well and moments when following a simple conversation takes so much mental energy that I need to rest afterwards.
This is requiring a lot of patience, acceptance and the practicing of courage (which coincidentally, happens to be my guiding word for 2015).
:: Courage to accept that while it’s important to figure out ways to work smarter; sometimes it’s as simple as working less. To see that your energy reserves are not limitless and that good things happen in their own time.
:: Courage to accept this new, less robust version of myself and to write about it in a way that is helpful without being self-indulgent.
:: Courage to get up after feeling like I’ve been massively failing at life…but I’m not failing at anything, and if you’re sitting there, reading this while finding yourself in a similar position – You’re not either!
Let me reiterate what I’ve been kindly reminding myself of, most days lately – This is another opportunity to recalibrate, to figure out what living with integrity looks like and to own our more difficult stories, while choosing to respect ourselves.
We can do this.
Health is wealth. And should you lose yours, nothing will be more important than getting it back ~Robin Sharma.
A Final Note
The time I spend with my one on one clients and course participants is incredibly rewarding. You guys bring pleasure and purpose to my life and feed my desire for deep connection. At the moment, I’m taking on less clients than usual and as such, my coaching practice is fully booked until October. You can jump on my list to hear when a spot becomes available.
I’ll be back to providing more value based blogs moving forward. If this one hit the spot for you, please share it with your friends. (Thanks for that!)