Hello, hello again. Does anyone else in DC feel like you are living in a “Groundhog’s Day” repeat loop with all this rain? I wake up, feel the heaviness of the overcast skies and think that perhaps I am trapped in yesterday, bound to live this soggy spring day over and over again.
I can complain about it, but honestly, it’s the perfect backdrop to the big emotional work I’ve been doing of late. Yup, that’s it. I’m at it again. Just when I thought I had made it through some big blocks (a decisive break-up, my father’s passing, a very sticky business time for me last year), a new boogeyman has jumped onto my path.
Simply put, I am working through some deep stuff from my childhood. These issues are old, but they continue to come up in my daily life as over-responsibility, difficulty setting boundaries, and an addiction to perfection and guilt. I know that so many of us deal with these issues. It’s helpful to know that I am not alone as I walk deeper into the source of my pain and practice the courage it takes to befriend these scary feelings inside.
My wise friend Francesca gave me a great metaphor when we met for tea yesterday (FYI, meeting a friend for tea is an excellent antidote to these rainy blues!). She said that working through your personal blocks is like digging a ditch. You dig and dig and dig, and the work feels endless. Your body aches, and you get trapped in the dark, thinking it will last forever. But eventually you’ll see that you’ve dug enough. That’s when you climb out into the fresh air, stretch out your back and say, “Wow, I’m making some progress. Good for me. Let’s drink some water.”
Perhaps this is slightly more complicated for me, because I actually run a self-care business helping other people work through their issues with over-responsibility, setting boundaries, and perfectionism. And guess what? I’m pretty good at it. I help women every day to create new habits that help them feel valuable and supported. Once they feel that value and support, they start to set the right boundaries for them, and begin to love themselves more as they are.
I LOVE watching this happen. I live for it. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch these brave women confront their inner boogeymen and move powerfully forward into enjoying their lives.
But I’m learning that I can’t hide by being the leader. It doesn’t make sense that everyone gets to heal these issues except for me.
Another metaphor that has been guiding me of late is that of a big tree, with deep roots and full branches. I see this tree as my life. If I want the branches to look good, I need to tend to my roots. Once my roots are stable, then I can put more attention into pruning the outer layer branches and sharing that healing with the world.
Please expect new branches ahead. I wasn’t searching for them, but I met two amazing coaches, Doug and Rob, earlier this year. They both have helped me to establish a powerful vision for spreading the amazing, transformative power of self-care further into the world.
My vision is that I want to help people radiate their individual examples of grounded self-care, and from there, to spark a collective, international movement of leading from a more feminine, heart-centered way of being. I think we can heal our world from that place of increased beauty, deepened self-awareness and being joyfully together in community.
That’s a big vision, right? It gives me goosebumps when I write it down. I’m pretty sure it’s my life’s work. To enact it, this means restructuring my programs, bringing in more coaches, and widening the reach of the incredible Beautiful Life Self Care community. This means writing my book (Yes, I sent in my proposal this week! My fingers are crossed, and I’m looking at self-publishing options too. It’s going to happen no matter what. Stay tuned!) and learning how to become a real speaker. In this next year, my branches are going to get much bigger.
When I think about all this, I’m excited and I’m scared in equal parts. I truly believe in my vision, and I’m willing to work through both of those emotions to make it become a reality. Sharing this self-care work more widely with the world feels like what I am put here to do. I have been given so much in order actualize my dreams.
To realize my vision, I also need to do the root work. I need to make sure that I am getting emotional healing, and living the self-care lifestyle that I help my clients establish. I’m so grateful to have found a few supportive spaces to do my deep emotional work. I’m feeling all my feels, big time. Slowly, I’m learning to let go of the reigns a little bit and ask for help when I need it. This is hard for me, but necessary if I want my work to be sustainable.
I’m balancing that work with some awesome and necessary self-care. This week I rode my bike downtown and took a couple of hours to drool over the French Impressionists at the National Gallery. It made me feel good on a soul level. I meet wise friends for tea on rainy days. I’ve lined my front porch with pots of flowering plants. Yesterday evening, I danced around my kitchen making applesauce and training my untrainable terrier, Poncho. These moments ground me in beauty and calm me enough to keep going.
Next week I am going to make some new announcements about the future of Self Care with Gracy, including a very exciting new self-care program that I’ll be offering this fall. Get ready to see these branches grow bigger! Until then, I’m diving back into my ditch and checking on the health of my roots. This isn’t easy work, but it feels balanced, and feels like my efforts are all going in the right direction. That brings me peace.
Before I start digging again, I will leave you with this question, because I wish someone had asked it to me sooner. Get ready, because it’s a big one…
Do you have a vision for your life? Do you sense the bigger picture in some way, or are you spinning in the day-to-day? Is that bigger picture vision big enough to motivate you to do your own inner root work?
If you don’t have a vision, then take some time to think about it, and notice what comes up. Your vision could be that you are here to help people laugh, or that you want single people to feel in community. I think the simplest visions can be the most powerful. Notice what gives you energy and brings joy into your life. Your vision lives there.
Journal about it, discuss it with a friend and please write me if you are feeling stuck. I think knowing why we are here--growing our branches--is the motivation we need to courageously examine the health of our roots. No one can do it for you, but we can help each other stay motivated, and we can walk side-by-side along this path of greater self-knowledge and inspired action.
From here, the sun comes out, and we realize we’ve broken through the rainy-day cycle. The boogeyman was just that--an imaginary block. Our awareness is liberated. We dance around, stretch our backs and enjoy breathing the fresh air. We remember that life is a pretty good deal, once we decide to really live it out in both deep and expansive ways.