Hey guys! Happy Wednesday 🙂 I hope your week is going great, and you are kickin’ butt in the name of your health + happiness.
You may remember this post I wrote back in May, where I shared that I decided to seek out professional help to work through my anxiety + other personal things. Well, I can’t believe that 3 months have passed by already (!), and my weekly visits are coming to a close. It’s been pretty challenging, eye-opening + life-affirming, to say the least. So, with all that to say, today I wanted to share with you all three of the life lessons I’ve learned over the course of seeing my therapist.
Listen to Your Gut.
If something doesn’t feel right, pay attention to it. That feeling shouldn’t be negated or “pushed through,” especially if you are in a fragile place of vulnerability. Even though I would describe myself as a very intuitive person, this was a hard lesson for me to take action on. Pretty much my entire life I’ve tried to be “all the things” to all the people. Something that eventually drained me to exhaustion, until I wasn’t inspired to love, create or take care of myself. It’s a daily practice, but if you learn to listen to your gut (your body is more than just a bunch of cells, people!), it will let you know the answer for the decision you’ve been fretting over.
HOW TO PUT INTO PRACTICE: When you interact with someone or participate in something, notice how you feel. The sensations in your body, your mood, your feelings, your energy levels. Does that person/experience feel right? Or feel off? Do you feel inspired? Or do you dread it? It is amazing what your body will tell you if you pay attention to it long enough.
Identify + Communicate Your Feelings.
Learn to identify your feelings, and FEEL THEM. If you are sad, IT’S OK. If you are pissed off, IT’S OK. If you are in a blue mood and have no energy to do anything, but don’t know exactly why, know that IT’S OK. Don’t be afraid to feel your feelings fully. We tend to shut them down at the first sign of discomfort, because we’ve been conditioned to think that if you feel sad that equals bad, etc. YOU HAVE FEELINGS FOR A REASON. SO FEEL THEM! And newsflash, people can’t read your mind. *gasp* WHAT?! If you are upset by something, don’t sweep it under the rug. Communicate with your partner, friends, colleagues.
HOW TO PUT IT INTO PRACTICE: Figure out why or what it is that has evoked this feeling in you. Don’t judge it. Feel it. Is it a small thing that can be easily mended or did a small thing spark this deep-rooted emotion that you’ve been carrying with you? Be honest. Chances are, the more real you are with the people you are around, the better the relationship will be for both of you.
Strengthen Your Core.
Define what values matter to you most, and honor them. I remember reading Essentialism last year, and it is all about defining what is essential in your life, and learning to make room for the things that are important, and how to cut away the things that truly aren’t. You see, if we say YES to something that we aren’t really wanting to do, but we feel obligated to do it because of whatever reason, that means in a round-about way that you are saying NO to something much more important to you. It might not be a direct chain of events, but the more things you add to your life that you don’t want to do, the more they can squeeze out the good things that you love.
HOW TO PUT IT INTO PRACTICE: Learn to say “No.” This is a lesson that has also been hard for me to learn, especially as an entrepreneur. NEWSFLASH: Yes, if you say “No,” you will disappoint people. It happens. And it’s ok.
As I noted earlier, trying to be all the things to all the people means you end up sacrificing your own health + happiness. At the end of the day, YOU MATTER THE MOST IN YOUR LIFE. Now, before you get all huffy about this sounding selfish, you have to realize that this ONE life you are living is yours! The people in your life are in your life because YOU ARE HERE.
You can’t be who you are meant to be or love on the people in your life who are so dear to you, if you don’t stand up for what matters to you most + take care of yourself first. It’s an inward to outward flow: More love for yourself = more love you are able to show others.
Think of it like putting on the oxygen mask on the airplane… you can’t help your child, your grandma, or the random guy next to you if you are PTFO.
Put your mask on first. Get your oxygen. Strengthen your core. Let the love flow outward from you.
So, moving forward, am I still going to go to my therapist? You better believe it. We won’t be having our weekly meetings anymore, but she will be checking in with me at least every other week. She helps me stay grounded by talking things out, wrestling with the questions + and leaning into the discomfort that comes with growth, as I navigate life, marriage + entrepreneurship.
If you have ever considered seeking professional help, I highly encourage you to just do it. Feel free to email me, and I’d be happy to talk with you more about my experience thus far!