Over the years, people have consistently told me how strong I am. It’s always left me wondering, “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
Well, let’s just say it’s a mixed bag. Being strong and capable has served me well but, at times, has been a huge point of frustration. Today I want to share a little of my personal journey because I know some of you strong, reliable, “never-let-a-ball-drop” women may be going through something similar.
On the positive side, being strong and capable has helped me work through tough situations, take risks, go for what matters to me and show that I bring something valuable to the table. On the negative side, I regularly feel the weight of life and the fatigue that comes with always being strong and being the person that everyone can count on.
Wouldn’t it be nice if life were a bit easier?
Well, I’ve decided that it has to be easier. So I’ve been working to better understand my own role in creating this situation. My biggest epiphany was realizing how much I have been tolerating for years, without anyone really knowing that I have been – including me. It’s amazing the insight you gain when you truly start opening yourself up to the possibility that there’s something you really need to see, learn or do differently to move forward.
As I began to seek new information, I noticed my recurring fatigue and pain. This led me to ask, “What am I missing? What do I need to learn?” From these questions, I began to see the physical and emotional signs that I had been ignoring for years. Maybe you have some too? Whether you realize it or not, these signs hold invaluable insight. What chronic or recurring aches and pains do you have in your body, whether it’s back pain, headaches or something from an injury? How often do you find yourself surprised by the magnitude of your reaction to certain types of situations? The signs are all around us, but are you noticing or ignoring yours? And what are they telling you?
As I started on this journey, I enrolled in a somatic coaching class. This type of coaching is all about giving you access to your full intelligence — intellectual, emotional and physical. In Western society, we often over-emphasize intellect and ignore the rest. So I want to encourage you to get in tune with your body. It holds more wisdom than you realize. Somatic coaching has been very powerful for me personally and as I help others move past roadblocks with this approach.
For those of you running around out there in back-to-back meetings or activities in the flurry of life, start by just taking five minutes a day to simply pause and notice. How are you feeling emotionally? How does your body feel? Where does it hurt? What does all of this tell you? What do you need right now?
For me, guided meditations have become a good way to reflect. As a very physically active person, taking the traditional approach to meditation by sitting still was really hard. So I had to start by doing it my way – listening while I’m running outside. That approach has worked well, but I have also come to realize the power of just being and breathing. I don’t meditate that way very often but when I do, it’s powerful. Today was one of those days.
Here are the words that came up for me in the silence. I think they may resonate with you:
Lighten the load.
Let go of the burden.
You are loved and cared for anyway.
Bring playfulness back into your life.
So, today, I want to challenge all of you women running around out there over-delivering and wondering how you can keep this up, or if you even want to. Yes, I’m talking to those of you who are taking care of everyone else before you take care of yourself or tolerating less than you deserve. Lighten your load. Do something for yourself today. You deserve it. Nothing is going to fall apart. You’ve already made sure of that.
And I’m right here in your corner, cheering you on.