I’ll be honest and tell you - I almost quit on this mission…
After the money, time, and energy spent on coaching, the website, and blogging – I found myself embarrassed to tell people I was burned out both emotionally and physically.
Around May, I pulled my hamstring for the second time, which meant I could not pole dance, one of my biggest passions and outlets for stress. Work became super busy with training 13 people, and I finished up with 4 coaching clients. I had got them to a good place but did not feel I had done a good enough job (hello perfectionism and gremlin). I proceeded to beat myself up and EAT my feelings... I found all I wanted to do was to lie in bed in misery… and oh yeah, I beat myself up for that too.
I definitely recognized being in this place before – back in college when my emotional eating was at its worst. I was in pain physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I felt anxious because I wasn’t working – but my original energy and passion for this work had completely vanished.
I don’t tell you these things for sympathy - but to share a lesson on what happened next.
I decided to hire a coach, my teacher from coaching school, who finally helped me shed some light on everything that was going on.
Working together, I found I still had limiting beliefs, such as “If you’re not doing anything, you’re worthless.” Imagine how hard relaxing was for me in that state!
I found that my vision in my business was unclear. I found that the road of entrepreneurship actually felt lonely and bleak – not fun and free as my heart truly desired.
I found that I had been denying my emotions, the very thing I teach my clients not to do. My total loss of enthusiasm was actually a warning sign for me not to go forward on my current path!
I finally gave myself permission to relax. For about a week, I came home and watched Netflix after work -- something I never do. I went out with friends and to parties. I took time for self-care. I nurtured my body and my soul and finally found my energy return. OH, and the emotional eating disappeared too.
I later realized that I had become VERY attached to the results of my external pursuits. I believed that my intrinsic worth came from those external successes - from “doing” rather than “being.” I had forgotten the highest truth that “I am perfect exactly as I am” – so of course I got depressed and anxious when I could no longer physically walk nor coach! I had judged myself for having to rest and slow down, but looking back my experience made complete sense.
I finally had learned the lesson of my pain.
Pain is a gift, a signal to us that we need to slow down, to nurture ourselves, to change course. Pain is something that calls for us to PAY ATTENTION…
Yet how many of us numb out its message with alcohol, drugs, food, sex, work, etc. When we fail to address it, we actually exacerbate the problem - we get fat, go broke, our health declines, etc. etc.
Most of the time, the message comes on slowly and gets louder and louder until we listen. It usually starts as a whisper before becoming a full-blown crisis.
As my hamstring was saying:
“Hey, that move hurts, you probably shouldn’t stretch me like that”
“Heeeeey, not feeling good, please don’t do that!”
“HEYYY, are you even listening to me?! You’re gonna get hurt”
“THAT’S IT, HERE IT COMES.” --- then pop and I couldn’t walk for a week.
Similarly, your soul speaks to you through emotions and recurring thoughts when something is out of alignment. Maybe you start off feeling like your job or relationship isn’t the right fit, yet shut down your feelings and tolerate it long enough until the crisis happens.
I’m not saying that we should all quit our jobs or break off our relationships tomorrow – but if you are getting a clear message now, perhaps it is time to listen and set yourself up for what you really need. Whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, the message of your pain is that it needs your care and attention.
So where is it in life that you feel like you are coping, tolerating or numbing yourself out? What if you took time to listen to the message of that pain? Where is it that you need to take action? Where is it that you need nurturing and self-care more than anything?
(I recommend if you are not sure where to take this to find an experienced professional or someone you trust who can help you through it. I say this out of love for you and your journey, not as a shameless plug for coaching :) ).
I thank pain for teaching me that it’s okay to slow down and relax and that I should work towards a vision that fully aligns with me. In fact, when I take time to prioritize myself in that way, I actually am able to give more to others.
Plus, without it, I would have never started watching Game of Thrones (seriously, great show). I think I’ll turn on some Game of Thrones right now to relax and recharge after this post :).
Lastly, my dear readers, I am proud to announce that I am rebranding to be a “Food and Body Love Coach.” I am on a mission to rid the world of guilt and shame in eating! More specifically, I am working to help emotional eaters rediscover the peace and joy that comes from a loving and healthy relationship with food. I still want to post on different personal development topics I am feeling called to do so but you probably will see more of a focus on this subject.
Thanks again for reading! I wish you the clarity, peace, and happiness you are seeking!