Occasionally, someone has to be the bad guy. You know that one friend who really wants you to succeed so they tell you something you really don’t want to hear. Well, that’s me today.
Life is going to be a million different things for you. It’s going to be beautiful and brilliant one moment and the next is going to suck big time. You’re going to be up one moment only to be smacked down again a minute later. You’re going to be minding your own business going to your “routine” doctor’s appointment and then you get told that a few more tests are needed. So you panic…and go from point A to Z in your head in a matter of minutes. But the bottom line is, it’s your reaction that counts. It’s what you do in those terrible moments that define you.
I remember getting the news that I had a few incurable diseases. If not treated, they could have killed me, yes. But I was 23 years old so you know, I probably had the same amount of time as others ahead of me. That was before I was even married, before I even really thought about being a mom, before I said yes to my first real job and before I had ever even bought a house, experienced the joy of paying bills and taxes and whatever being an adult encompassed.
Some of you have heard this part before, but for those who want to learn more here are a few posts from the early days, and the rest of you can keep reading after this:
So, I do get it folks. I do. In full disclosure…I don’t mind pissing people off with the truth. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it’s liberating, sometimes it’s messy and ugly and then you wake up the next day and you feel amazing! Why? Because maybe you weren’t fully being honest with yourself about who you are and maybe you were hiding living in your truth. So that “courage” it took you to finally speak your truth feels better. Like you are finally living in your own skin. Well, it’s time for you to stop telling yourself these things.
Lies that keep you from moving forward:
- I will never _____. The truth is, if you start something off with that, you won’t. Period. I will never find a person who loves me (says your mind, or your status). I will never get that promotion. Oh that can never be me. It won’t. Not with that attitude. So what does one do with this? You take baby steps with your mind. Okay, right now the situation seems out of my control. So what can I control? My reaction. My thoughts. My ability to change me. I will one day feel amazing again. I just know it. <<< So that was my head after 5 years of pain. Straight and constant pain daily had almost gotten me to I will never…and I realized that I had to do something drastic. I had to start saying “One day I will….” and I got there.
- They are just lucky. You have convinced yourself that someone else is more entitled to a share of luck than you are. You are therefore not as lucky and will never have whatever it is. What you don’t know is that “they” have worked their ass off for whatever it is. They have felt defeat so many times it wasn’t funny. They were trying their best one day and were on the 50th time of trying to get ahead when it finally happened for them. So what can you do? Start small again. This is exactly what I teach my Club. Look, I never knew the word “manifestation”. I didn’t watch the “Secret” and I don’t care what that secret was because I know I have it figured out. I believed that “it” whatever it was, was going to happen for me. So in the beginning, it was just to live without pain. That was enough for me because it would mean I had my life back again. I was going to create my own luck and that is exactly what I teach.
- The past or future is better than right now. Achoo bullshit. Sorry. I call it like I see it. I miss the past too sometimes. And yes, there’s grief for people I lost, but I know for a fact they wouldn’t want me to live that way. I did take an entire year to grieve once and I don’t regret it. But then it was time to pick myself up and keep moving forward. Of course, shortly after that I was diagnosed with my first disease, but I did keep moving forward. So what can you do? Create Mindful Moments. If it is very hard to live in this moment right now, try to notice when and where your thoughts wander. Gently pull them back to the present moment. I am not saying yoga cures everything, but it does actually change you. I brought myself to my mat and practiced what I needed to do. Time and time again until it became less practice and more second nature. If my mind strayed to the pain, I would then focus on the way my hand was pressing into the mat. The way the next day, it was easier to hold a position for a few seconds longer than the day before. Until one day, I did something I worked on for an entire year and I will never forget the way my buddy smiled at me as I said hey, look at me!! I did it. There was this internal glow that I created all for myself and I had that power within me…so do you my friend.
I’m not saying that I have all the answers because I don’t. I just know that you are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for. Over the course of my 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training, I doubted myself more times than I can count. I would come home and soak in the tub and be in immense pain. I would look up at the heavens and ask why me. But the answer was always the same “why not me?” and so I learned to stop telling myself lies. I really could do this.
If you’d like more information on my journal therapy/yoga mindset/learning to live your truth Club, here it is >>> Head|Heart|Health Club <<< Click there.
Did you ever look back on a relationship or friendship and think to yourself that the signs were there all along? You were so busy making excuses in your head for the other person that your space, your wants and needs, were clearly being victimized over and over again. It could even happen at work. I was once NOT a master at setting boundaries. I had clients who walked all over me, and messaged me morning, noon and night…like right as I sat down to have time with my family.
I would see the blinking phone light and then see who it was and always be prompt with answering them. I valued my great customer service as I had the highest number of clients in my business group at one time other than the person above me making 10 times what I made. But for me, it was about building good relationships. While I still believe in great customer service and value my clients, I recognized that I let people drain me both physically and mentally in my life. It was time to put an end to what I was letting happen TO me, and take control so that I could make things better FOR me.
How did I start setting boundaries that were good for me?
- I looked at how it made me FEEL when these people didn’t value my time. It was lots of people. Friends, clients, and people who were part of my business. What was the underlying reason I allowed this? I realized that I let the other person’s “stuff” get to me like it was my own. Interesting. What made me a good listener was my empath skills and how I always put myself in the other person’s shoes…sometimes almost literally as I could feel so much more than they told me; however, this was not helping me help them. I had to learn to separate myself from their feelings.
- I had to decide what my core values were and then recognize HOW this person was crossing them. What matters most to me is honesty, and once I felt this boundary line in relationships being crossed or tested, I was able to see that it made me feel quite literally “sick” and used. This feeling would come up immediately and I knew it was time to let that person know right then and there that they either weren’t telling me the whole truth, or they were flat-out lying. It did lead to 2 friendships being severed that were draining…mostly because they were married, but not to each other, and things were getting out of hand with their stories. I insist on trust in my marriage with my husband of 18 years, so naturally what they did made me feel “sick” again in my stomach. It was a sign that I had been ignoring…but not anymore.
- I couldn’t change their actions…so I changed mine. I didn’t want to keep repeating Einstein’s definition of insanity. They kept treating me the same and I kept expecting different results. The problem was, I was changing. I was starting to see things clearly and see what I needed to do to surround myself with positive feelings. Here’s the deal, the grandma who says the same things over and over, the co-worker who gossips about you all day long, the spouse who repeats the same behavior over and over, they aren’t going to suddenly change. Why wait for what ifs and maybes. Start putting up those clear lines by changing how you handle them.
- Decide clearly HOW you are going to set that boundary and WHAT will happen IF someone crosses the line. In some cases, it’s only a matter of time before they do x,y,z that you mentioned you don’t like. Stop. Assess your feelings, and if you have told them in no uncertain terms not to do this, then it’s up to you on how you move forward. I realize that people test this, but I am a person who doesn’t mind cutting off ties if it means that my emotional health is still in tact. Boundaries are all about your needs, and not the other person. Does this sound hard to do? Not to me anymore. Here is why, I had gotten so sick and so drained from trying to take care of everyone at once that I wasn’t able to take care of myself any longer at all. For me, it was really about living a healthy life again. I simply had nothing left to give these people who were taking. I knew that my boundaries were deep inside of me and attached to who I was and that every time I let someone walk all over them, they were showing me that they didn’t value me at all.
- I had to mean exactly what I said and then, in order to move forward, I had to let go of any feelings of guilt. I had to get grounded so that I wasn’t made to feel like it was my fault. Clearly, you need respect in any relationship. My emotions were valid for me. It was not about them as I simply had to take care of myself. Sure we are sometimes afraid of telling people the truth, but if you do, and the other person sends you a hate filled e-mail or writes about how THEY would deal with that situation, or even worse, tries to change your feelings like you can’t and aren’t allowed to feel the way you do, well it’s bye-bye time for me. They don’t see me again for many years. Trust me when I tell you that it was hard at first, but has gotten to the point now where I can tell who is going to test this, and who is going to respect this. I have to ground myself daily, and I can’t go into the space where the negative energy lies. It serves no purpose and I know what my purpose is. It is really and truly to help others move forward.
Adversity. What does it mean? It means difficulties or misfortune, and believe me, I don’t know many people who have not faced difficulties in life. The difference between the people you see still smiling after misfortune has occurs and the people who are still talking about that “thing” that happened to them years ago is all in how they deal with it.
The people who have trouble moving on, bring up the pain year after year. They live in this past world they have created for themselves and the certainty is, they may never move past the problem, difficulty or misfortune because the fact of the matter is, they identify with it. It is now who they have become. They are no longer BOB. They are Bob, who was trying to make a living when the stock market crashed and lost everything. They are their tragedy. And that my friends, is the true tragedy.
How to overcome adversity?
- Acceptance might take a while, but embrace it when it comes. I will never, ever forget the day I was told I had my first potentially life-threatening disease. I was devastated. I was 23 years old. These types of things did not happen to people who appeared perfectly healthy…but in fact, were not. Suffering is optional even when you think it isn’t. A life time of blood being taken proved a point. I could embrace this, or be pissed. Either way, it was happening whether or not I wanted it to.
- Find your strength. I felt helpless. I couldn’t be out in the sun for long periods of time. Who in their right mind wants some crazy disease like that? Well, nobody. That’s just it. I had to woman-up and put on my big girl panties. I bought SPF 50 and started looking at a magazine with clothing that had sunscreen. The heck if I wasn’t going outside. I bought a beach umbrella…never in my life had I sat under one. Well, at least now I won’t look orange like some people do (you do what you have to do to give yourself a pep talk).
- I found support in people I didn’t even know. I was the youngest to have porphyria cutanea tarda…and years later hereditary hemochromatosis and erm well read about me or we’ll be here forever. But each time some ridiculous disease tried to knock me down, I got back up and found new friends.
- I took inspiration from others who had dealt with pain, loss or adversity of some kind. Helen Keller didn’t give up…I would think. There were times I wanted isolation from the world, but slowly people would find a way in. Don’t let it be two years before you look up and realize others are there for you and yes, others have been where you are. Okay, maybe this doesn’t help some people, but it helps me. I am not alone. You are not alone. You really aren’t.
- Determination to get my old life back became a goal. I could not go all the way back, but I could be me, living with these obstacles. I could still have a life. It was going to require more effort. There truly was not an easy button just waiting for me to press it…and I hate that commercial anyway. Stop setting us up for failure office supply people. Anyway, just do you but in a new and different way. Remember to find the value in what you went through and use it to your advantage. You did not go through all of that for nothing because you are evolving. You can do this.
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