I am a strong believer in messages. When you’re paying attention, the messages about what you need to change in your life to get the life you want will appear.
For me, that’s most commonly in the form of seeing and hearing the same thing repeatedly. For example, I’ll get on Facebook and see three posts about the exact same thing from three completely different people (one from vet school, one from my mastermind, one from a random friend). Then, I’ll get in the car, and a song will come on with lyrics of the same message (even though I’m listening to Pandora with it’s 1,000’s of songs).
The key is that when those messages start coming through, you have to listen to them.
Otherwise, the messages are just going to keep amplifying, until something happens that you can’t ignore.
Well, I’m there. Despite the fact I recognize the messages, despite the fact I teach this stuff.
Sometimes, I have to learn my own lessons.
For the last two months, I’ve been getting all the messages about how it’s time to finally turn my health around again. How that needs to be the primary focus in my life right now.
Last year, I spend all of my energy on establishing boundaries, eliminating things that were literally at risk of killing me.
But, I had spent so many years making other people happy that when I stood up and established those boundaries, I was left with what felt like huge gaping holes. Those holes I filled with my usual form of comfort… food.
And that meant that not only was my stress high, but I was eating foods that did not serve my body. I’m allergic to wheat, yet I ate the cookies. I’m also lactose intolerant, yet I ate the ice cream.
In other words, I was so overwhelmed with the transformation that I was going through that I didn’t take the time to sit down and figure out what I ACTUALLY needed, I just survived.
And honestly, it worked. I thrived… for awhile… until I crashed.
Removing those negative factors from my life opened up amazing opportunities. We are now living in a house in Park City that we love, and we’re not only affording it because family is giving me a deal. I’m working a job that pays me more for fewer hours than any job previously, with a very supportive boss, and I have several other job offers and relief gigs when I need a change.
So it was NOT a bad year.
Except that I neglected ME.
And now I’m paying the price.
A year ago, I blew my back out while skiing. This wasn’t the first time I’d hurt it, but by far it was the longest time I ever took to recover (especially considering it really wasn’t THAT bad of a fall). It took months. But that was also when all the shit was hitting the fan in my life, and I’ve always known stress sits in my back.
Now, my back has been significantly uncomfortable for the last month. To the point I can’t move some days.
And I’ve been coming up with all the excuses.
“Oh, I’m just on my period, and I get back cramps.”
“It’s no big deal, I must have just picked up a dog wrong.”
“I’ll get into the chiropractor some day.”
(Let’s just say there’s a reason I teach this stuff. Ever heard the phrase that you teach that which you had to learn yourself???)
But I’m finally having to face the truth. The messages are coming through strong, and I’m a month into barely being able to move.
I’m tired of being painful. I’m tired of not being able to play with my kids as much as I’d like, of having to tell them, “I’m sorry, guys, but I can’t move enough to play with you,” all while knowing that I did it to myself.
But the question becomes, what do I do about it?
I was sitting with this question today. My morning meditation and journaling went twice as long as usual, and I felt good but no clear answer yet.
Then I stood up and went about my day.
One of my mentors posted about filling her cup first on Facebook, and how it’s changing her (already amazing, from outside perspective) life.
A friend posted a quote about who is taking care of you if you’re spending all your time taking care of someone else.
And another friend (from a completely different part of my life) posted a meme about how bodies breaking down can affect your entire life.
And that just scratches the surface.
So… this is a new year. I mean, okay, we’re 19 days in, but we still have 347 days left of 2020.
So here’s the plan.
This is my year for taking care of myself. For doing things that I WANT to do, things that feel good to me.
And nothing else.
No more struggling to get things done if they don’t feel right. No more saying yes to things I really want to decline.
No more ignoring the needs of my body because I’ve got too many other things on my plate.
And this is starting today.
Today I’m picking one of my best friends up from the airport, and we’re going to play this weekend. Massages, hot tubs, rejuvenating conversations.
Exactly the things I need in life.
Today is day one.
Are you joining me? What would fill your cup today?