|Do you ever have emotional days? |
You know days when you just burst into tears or when everything pushes you past your tolerance limit?
Sometimes emotional days are necessary.
Tears can be cathartic & provide a beautiful opportunity to set aside our bravery and release what we have been holding in us in our effort to be perceived as strong.
I received a text from one of my clients the other night letting me know she was having one of those days. As I sat across from her the next evening during her coaching session, she shared what happened & gave me permission to share it with you.
“I stood in the living room looking at all the boxes & I just got overwhelmed by the mess. I had to get it done before the week started. I just started bawling.”
As we explored the overwhelm & the tears, we found so much compassion for the part of her soul that was longing for more tender care & feeling the weight of unrealistic expectations.
We found that it wasn’t about the boxes of Christmas decorations that had been brought down from the attic waiting for her to display them. She usually loved decorating her home!
But she was so tired; physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally.
She was recovering from her second surgery & had been trying to be really “brave.”
….and trying to stay positive.
Her husband was busy with work & had left on travel just a few days after her surgery.
She was slowly getting her energy back. …then she discovered a leak in her ceiling.
Meanwhile her subconscious mind was keenly aware of all the things that were approaching: things she wanted to do but did not feel like she had the capacity to do. She was anticipating the need to care for and minister to people at the events coming up that week, but she was feeling weak & in need of care herself.
She had been working on allowing help & letting go to shift into a posture of rest and repair but the old childhood narrative that said, ‘rest is lazy‘ and ‘naps are an avoidance tactic’ was still whispering in her ear along with the one that said she was ‘responsible for making sure everyone else was happy’.
Her inner child that had lost her right to be carefree and have need was feeling overwhelmed by the expectation.
Looking at those boxes simply brought it all to a head.
Sometimes emotional days are necessary.
Tears can be cathartic & provide a beautiful opportunity to set aside our bravery and release what we have been holding in us in our effort to be perceived as strong.
As we kept holding space for honest expression, we landed on her fear of ‘playing the part of a victim’ if she kept staying in this place of ‘need.’
…and the fear that people would withdraw from her if she became too needy.
We already knew through our work together that her nervous system held stored memories letting her know it wasn’t safe to have need.
We spent some time acknowledging her brave part but then asked it to please step back so we could hear from the part of her soul that was feeling overwhelmed & needed to be heard.
As she typed up how she felt with radical honesty, you could feel the palpable shift in the room.
Release always leads to relief.
Sometimes being brave feels like a really good strategy but it often blocks the release of accumulated stress.
Next, I had her assume the role of her spirit led self & bring the tenderness and compassion of Christ to this overwhelmed & exhausted part of her.
I asked her to speak encouragement and let her know what was true … about her needs, about rest, about taking naps, about asking for help. I asked her what else was possible when people pulled back or withdrew when she expressed her needs…
By the end of our time together she had such beautiful clarity.
She knew what she needed and what she wanted to do this week.
She knew the steps she needed to take, the things she was delegating or deleting & the things she wanted to embrace.
What was so beautiful was the realization that the things that were overwhelming her were actually things she wanted to say YES to!
She wanted to decorate!
She wanted to invite people into her home for a small group.
She wanted to go to her husband’s Christmas party.
The overwhelm was not about the events themselves but the expectations she was putting on herself.
Expectations that felt daunting.
Expectations she was placing on herself to match her husband’s high expectations of himself.
Dang, if we don’t all do that, right?
We see all these strong capable women and try to match them.
What if they are feeling just as heavy and burdened & we are trying to step into a yoke of slavery with them that they would love to break free from themselves?
What lets us know that everyone that appears ‘strong’ and ‘brave’ and like they have it all together is not breaking down in their own living rooms with overwhelm?
Once she surrendered these self-imposed burdens, she found permission to simply ENJOY TIME with people without having to be responsible for their happiness and a weight was lifted.
Once she landed on the truth that these expectations were way too heavy to put on me or anyone else, she was able to bring that same care & nurturing to her own soul & release the shame she felt for having need.
She found a new perspective.
Her soul settled into peace.
Anticipation was still there, but it took on a new emotion.
In place of angst and overwhelm there was excitement and possibility.
Just in case you need the affirmations she spoke over herself today, here they are!
It’s ok to ask for help.
It’s ok to release those expectations.
It’s ok to say “No.” if it feels like too much
No matter what you are doing I’m loving you.
You matter to me.
I’m proud of you.
What you’ve gone through …you are very strong.
You are growing through all of this.
You went through figuring out your pain & stayed on top of it
You are learning to express your needs, trust your intuition & speak up.
When you need to talk you can call someone & they will be honored to help you.
If they aren’t available, I am here. I will listen to you & comfort you.
Just because someone is not available or withdraws doesn’t mean they don’t care.
They probably want to be able to help more.
Your needs do matter to them.
Take it one day at a time.
It doesn’t all have to be done today.
Step back when you are feeling overwhelmed
When your emotions are too attached, it is helpful to step back.
Naps are not lazy but a God given strategy to wake up with a fresh perspective & clarity so you can find your way forward.
You don’t have to decide everything today.
There is time to step back.
It will be ok.
The world will be ok.
You will have more clarity tomorrow.
It was a good decision to say No to that.
There will be other opportunities.
You are not responsible for other people’s disappointment
Naps are not avoidance; they allow you to slow down & recalculate; to renew; to refresh your brain, find clarity & a new perspective
Taking them is listening to your body
It’s being in tune with your temple
Naps are a way of slowing down and getting in touch
The new belief and action step she uncovered was ..
“When I feel overwhelmed, I’m going to let go of the lie that i have to make the decisions that instant – I need to step back, pause, stop, halt, be still, listen to what would bring me refreshment so I can get a new perspective”
My guess is that after reading about her experience, you are holding the compassion of Christ for her right now.
Do you need to extend that same compassion to your overwhelmed & exhausted parts?
Here is your action step:
1. Print out these declarations.
2. Go stand in front of your bathroom mirror.
3. Step into your spirit led self.
The part of you that is completely connected to His presence within you.
The part that has clarity, confidence & compassion.
The part that has perspective.
The part you embody when encouraging others.
4. Look into that mirror with compassion at the part of your soul that is struggling & maybe feeling unseen. Really see her.
5. Now, read & declare these beautiful truths over her today along with anything else she needs to know!
Praying you find release from any burdens you are carrying today & experience not only a sigh of relief but the peace of Christ flooding your entire being!
It seems the older we get the harder we have to work to BE WELL.
Physically our bodies get strained easier, our metabolism has slowed down, and emotionally, our baggage gets heavier through the years… especially if we don’t take the time to DIG DEEP.
If we want to be well we have to go deeper than the physical and get to the root of what is driving our symptoms.
Healing always happens from the inside out.
A friend of mine modeled this better than I could ever try to teach it.
We don’t walk in the same circles anymore, but her life is still impacting mine.
I knew her when we were both young with THRIVING bodies.
Over the last year she has been battling just to SURVIVE.
Cancer tried to steal every ounce of physical strength from her, but one thing it misjudged was that as it tugged on her, she would become stronger.
She did the work of DIGGING DEEP and everyone that knows her saw her RISE up no matter what position her body lie in.
Yes, she felt sad, depressed, overwhelmed, and weary.
Yes, the pain was excruciating.
But here’s the thing..
Wellness is not defined by how we feel, but by how we move in our discomfort.
How we keep moving.
And how we choose daily to do the work of wellness.
My friend underwent a long and complicated operation to remove the diseased tissues in her abdomen.
They stitched her up and sent her home , but soon realized that under the surface, the wound was still wide open.
They had to go in and open her back up for her to have a chance at healing.
She described the process of having to ‘pack’ it with gauze to make sure they got down deep into where the origin of the wound was.
She described the pain and struggle of letting them reach DEEP no matter how much it hurt her in order to help her.
Making the choice to go back to the hospital and let them dig back into a wound she thought was closed was not something she wanted to do.
She would have preferred to just get on with the outward business of healing and moving forward by starting chemo. But the doctors knew that..
..without addressing that inner wound, there was no moving forward.
Several years ago I found myself UNWELL.
I couldn’t pinpoint the cause , I just knew my health was deteriorating.
My physical health.
My mental health.
My spiritual health.
I began doing the painful work of DIGGING DEEP to discover the origin.
I had always been a very optimistic person and never understood those who struggled with depression. I just didn’t get it. Why couldn’t they just focus on all they had to be grateful for and quit sulking? Why couldn’t they just ” think on things that were good?”
One of my biggest take aways from this time was that I learned firsthand ..
The work of healing is not simple.
There is not a quick fix.
We can’t just put a band aid of words on people’s wounds. Without DIGGING DEEP , the wound will fester until it affects every part of them..
The depression and suicide we see all around us is the outward sign of people who are in excruciating pain on the inside.
When we notice they are walking with a “limp” and struggling to do life … what can we do to offer real help?
We often try to address their practical needs but are we taking the time to help them find the thorn that is embedded below the surface, often so deep they don’t even know they stepped on it?
We might offer a hand and help them limp along, but if we never take the time to help them figure out what is causing the limp are we bringing healing or just giving them a crutch for their disability?
Are we rolling our sleeves up and going DEEP to find where the thorn is embedded?
Are we sitting alongside them and very gently doing the work of pulling it out?
” I accept you limp and all.” “I’ll give you grace and walk along side you.”
..but they don’t want grace they want someone to pull it out!
Or maybe they don’t…
I think sometimes we get tired of trying to do the hard work of processing through the pain, so we close up and don’t want anyone digging, but the thorn is still there affecting every step ..
We are surviving but not thriving.
I remember sending a text to my sisters once when they were trying to make me feel better about the guilt and shame I was drowning in regarding a decision I had made that was impacting my daughter.
I became so frustrated with their attempts to just make me FEEL BETTER. I didn’t want to feel better. I wanted to figure out how to fix what I was doing wrong. I wanted to stop self sabotaging because it was affecting my child. My sister replied ,”Kate, you need to give your self some grace.” I text screamed back…
“I don’t need grace! I need super glue!”
I felt like I was falling apart and losing my mind and was desperate for someone to make me WHOLE again.
Grace was not enough that day.
I didn’t want a band-aid. I wanted surgery.
I wanted someone to DIG DEEP and pull out all the irrational thought patterns, the destructive fears and insecurities, and then I wanted someone to do the hard WORK of helping me re align and walk in HEALTH again.
Why do we always want to offer a balm on the surface of a wound that is gaping and open?
They need us to get in DEEP and pack it or it will never have a chance to HEAL.
You can’t just sew it up and hope for the best.
It will rot from the inside out.
Superglue was really not what I needed either, but that’s the thing…
When we are in pain we often don’t know how to alleviate it.
We don’t know how to ask for help.
We don’t even know how to form our pain into words or where to begin the process of healing.
The next morning after getting a good nights sleep , I sat down and began doing the only thing I know to do when my soul is screaming.
I vent through my fingers.
I get it out on paper, or a computer screen, and then I start doing the WORK of assessing the thoughts and emotions that pour out.
Most of the time before I discover the names of my hidden thorns, I discover my lack.
It’s easier for my heart to identify what it doesn’t have.
I needed equipping. I needed accountability. I needed a plan to take captive my thoughts. I needed to figure out what faulty thinking patterns were hurting not only me but my children. and more than anything.. I needed to be able to admit my secret shame and how close I came that day to self harm. I needed to be able to say that I was losing my faith and my mind.
At the time I couldn’t even tell my husband and the loneliness of that was debilitating.
Sometimes we as the church, with good intentions, tell people..
“Just surrender and you will find freedom.”
“Let go and let God, and the anxiety will go away.”
“Fix your thoughts on Him and you will have peace.”
“Rest in Him.”
“He holds all things together so just put it in His hands.”
All these statements are true, and I have experienced the freedom, peace, rest, and security from each of these promises…. but sometimes they can be said in a vacuum where there is no oxygen and the life force is not present…
We can read the words, speak the words, write them on post it notes, but if our soul never takes them from abstract to concrete and we never learn to walk them out , then there is no movement, no shift, no step toward health… only frustration.
We think, “Why doesn’t this work for me?
I am clinging to and praying these promises and I still feel like I am dying.
My soul is in agony.
Why can’t I just surrender?
I want to let go but I keep picking it right back up.
I want His rest, but I am so used to trying to fix it myself.
We have to let the words that can shift our soul from UNWELL to WELLNESS penetrate DEEP.
We have to pack them way down and then let every cell soak up the truth.
Not just once, but daily until regrowth begins to take place and new cells start to form. .
It may take someone coming alongside and doing the packing for us because it is too painful.
We may have to say, “Tie my hands down and just do it!” We may need something to bite on as they dig. and then ..
We have to be willing to do the work of healing.
THE WORK OF WELLNESS takes time.
There is no quick fix.
It takes repetition.
It takes replacing the diseased cells with regenerating ones.
The lies with truth.
The faulty thinking patterns with ones that bring life and transformation, a hope and a future..
For awhile I had a leak from all of my open wounds. Tears sprung up without warning. I desperately wanted to just MOVE FORWARD. I was so tired of hurting. I wanted to be HEALTHY again.
I wanted to be able to sing ‘IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL,’ and mean it.”
I wouldn’t say I am healed. I have a new perspective on health now. I believe complete healing does not come until the hereafter.. For now, this side of eternity, It is ever-changing…
The goal is not to achieve WELLNESS but to WALK IN IT.
Health is a process and a path we journey.
To LIVE, MOVE and BE WELL is a choice we make daily.
Why do the hard work of our WELLNESS? Why DIG DEEP?
So that the next time someone says “I am fine,” you know better.
Because of your experience you are now equipped to DIG DEEP with them.
As WE learn to MOVE in HEALTH, we are able to mobilize others from pain to purpose so that together we can bring His healing to the world.
I am so thankful for my friend who has endured so much pain.
It is easier to walk through our own pain when we know we are NOT ALONE.
We are all humans longing to someday transcend above the limitations of our bodies.
In the mean time, let’s keep fighting for our souls to RISE up.
And if you see someone who has been disabled by life, grab their hand and offer to walk with them.
“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD” ~ Jeremiah 30:17
What do you WANT for Christmas this year?
Is a little more PEACE at night on the list?
If so, you’re not alone.
Peace seems to be the #1 desire of 80% of my clients this year.
It’s the longing of most of the Christian women I’ve had the pleasure of sitting across tables in coffee shops with.
It’s what I was desperate for a few years ago.
I still have to fight for it when overwhelm starts to rear its ugly head, but I’m learning how to shift back into it a little quicker these days. It helps when I remember my vow statement.
” I can’t bring hope and healing to the world if I am not healthy.”
To be healthy means to be at PEACE… in my body, my mind and my soul.
One of my favorite things to do with my clients is to help them create their vow statements or “anchor” words.
We dig deep to uncover their Big MOFA.. or motivating factor.. for change.
When we know WHY we are taking steps to do things differently it becomes easier to make choices that are in alignment with what we want to be experiencing. I have them use their senses to create reminders all around them that serve as mini coaches in between their sessions, reminding them what they are going for.
I thought it might be nice to commemorate their journey and celebrate all the change they created this year by putting their anchor word on an ornament.
I have always given my kids ornaments in their stockings each year marking a key event in their life; ballet slippers if they started pointe that year, a football if they’d won a state championship, a cupcake if they had picked up a love for baking.. or maybe just a photograph in a frame from a special time.
So I pulled out my sharpie and started handwriting the words that had sprung from my client’s hearts…
That’s a lot of women longing for more peace, isn’t it?
When I first ask them what it is they really want, it may start with …
“I just want to feel better.”
” I want more energy.”
” I want to be healthy.”
” I want to be ME again… happy and joyful.”
” I need more capacity.. more space in between to breathe.”
” I want to be less anxious.”
” I want to stop doubting my decisions.”
” I want more quiet space.”
” I want to feel better about myself and be content with who I am.”
” I want a simplified life and schedule.”
” I just want to feel settled and get rid of the restlessness.”
” I want to be able to sleep at night.”
” I want contentment in my soul.”
When I ask them what’s important about feeling better, having more energy, being healthy or happy or having space to breathe, and their soul finds permission to voice what it has been trying to communicate through the body.. through fatigue, aching joints, digestive pain, tension… it whispers..
“Please give me peace.”
Can we just sit with that a moment?
Or better, yet, can we all just gift ourselves 2 minutes of peace right now?
Step away from the computer.
Put the phone down.
Go find a place where you can just sit and ground yourself.
If you want to light a candle and turn on some music, go for it, but it’s not required.
Peace is not found in the external. It’s internal.
We just need to give ourselves permission to BE with it.
Or maybe I should say be with Him.
Clear the mechanism of your mind and simply Be.
If your to-do list starts bombarding your mind, just notice it, and then shift your focus back to your being. To your body. Feel where you are in space. Feel the breath moving through your chest. recognize the color of your eyelids.
Give yourself the gift of PRESENCE.
He’s waiting for you there.
I’ll be waiting for you here.
How was that for you?
I hope it was refreshing.
Maybe it felt settled. Restful. Maybe you feel just a little bit better.
If, not, I will say it again… you’re not alone.
I find that for most people it feels hard. That’s ok. Your brain just thinks you’re crazy. It’s not used to it. It’s foreign. That’s where those anchors we create come in.. to remind you that on the other side of discomfort there is
This Christmas we celebrate THE PRINCE OF PEACE.
The GIFT of Christmas is the PEACE he gives.
He has already given it.
His peace is available to us every day. We simply have to stop waging war with ourselves and start living in it.
We often blame the enemy for stealing our peace, but I’m finding that more often the foe is me.
We can be our own worst enemies.
Webster’s defines PEACE as …
- freedom from disturbance
- the absence of war
- freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts/emotions
- harmony in relationship
- accord or agreement
- to be settled
and I love the verb form…
Peace is … TO BE, BECOME or keep silent or quiet.
One of my clients made an action step for herself to create more space for peace over the holidays. She created an anchor to remind her to keep silent when she’s tempted to come to the rescue of her child with her words. She realized that space is what both of them needed to return to peace quicker and that her attempts to bring peace immediately by trying to fix or control the lack of it often backfires. She has learned that PEACE STARTS WITH HER.
What if in 2020 we all agree to a ceasefire on all the things that are robbing us of our peace?
I’m not talking about abandoning your family or quitting your job tomorrow.
I’m talking about taking personal responsibility to BE PEACE. To BECOME PEACE; to begin walking in step with HIM in a way that feels better, more energizing, less anxious, more settled.
I got a sweet note from another one of my clients after she received her ornament. I loved what she said and wanted to share it with you…
” Thank you for my beautiful gift!!! When I opened it, it gave me overwhelming peace. It’s like my heart melted and the walls I’ve built-up came tumbling down. The first thing that came to mind was the song, ‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.’ Wow! What a break thru!”
LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME!
What if we all decided that this year we are going to
let peace begin in us?
One of the mantras I learned in my training this year was…
Transformation starts with you.
If we want a more simplified life and schedule
If we want a more peaceful environment
If we want better relationships
If we want peace in our worlds, we have to begin with us.
What do you need to BEGIN 2020 from a place of PEACE?
- Do you need to stop waging war on yourself and start fighting for freedom from the thoughts that keep you up at night?
- Do you need to start creating order in your external and internal environment by decluttering what is robbing you of your peace?
- Do you need to create peace in your physical body by clearing out the toxins of processed foods and excess sugar and gift yourself with more energy, a stronger immune system, and a healthy vessel to carry out your mission? Maybe you just want to be comfortable in your body again so you can focus outward. I’ve learned firsthand that our bodies and souls are interconnected. Sometimes it’s easier to start with the physical peace.
- Are you ready to say YES to the longings of your soul by getting really honest and voicing them?
- Do you need accountability and support to start stepping into more peace?
What if we learned how to step back, let go, create more space, find more energy, and commit to a pursuit of PEACE?
If Peace is on your Christmas list this year, and you don’t find it wrapped under your tree or in your stocking, try looking within you.
Close your eyes and hand her the gift yourself.
Praying for each of you and wishing you a Christmas filled with the peace that passes all understanding!
For a child has been born- for us!
the gift of a son- for us!
He’ll take over the running of the world.
His names will be:
Prince of Peace.
His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
Isaiah 9:6 ( Message )
I helped my daughter pick out some flowers for her teacher this week to show her appreciation for ALL THE THINGS she has done for her this year.
At the last minute Friday morning, she scrambled to find a message to go with them. She had already made her a giant sized card out of poster board, but this girl doesn’t do anything half way. She copied these words on a little card, glued it to a dowel stick and inserted it into the vase and was finally satisfied with her offer.
These words can be found on countless Mother’s day cards, and who knows, maybe you will get one tomorrow with a similar message, because after all , isn’t that what we do?
ALL THE THINGS?
Our families are grateful.
Maybe that is the outcome we desire;
To be appreciated.
My question for you this morning is ,
“What is it costing you?”
Have you ever stood in the shower and watched the water level start rising around your feet?
It doesn’t take long to realized that something is blocking the flow of water.
Yesterday, as I stood ankle deep in a stagnant pool, I lifted the drain cover to reveal a mass of hair clogging the passageway. ( insert gag reflex)
As much as I dread digging into the scum encased tangles of who knows what kind of hair , if I want the water to start moving again, I have to get rid of the blockage.
I don’t know about you but I CHANGE MY MIND a lot.
Maybe I have a little perfectionism in me or it’s just that I like to weigh things carefully and consider all of my options.
My indecision can drive my husband crazy.
Anyone ever used this comeback when your man started rolling his eyes at your vacillation?
” I’m a woman. I have the right to change my mind.”
But seriously, this is why I practice minimalism as much as possible. The fewer decisions I have to make, the better.
I’m learning, however, that CHANGING MY MIND can be a good thing.
I came in the house the other night with my emotions leading the way.
They led me straight to the refrigerator where my brain came up with the best survival strategy it knew: peanut butter and chocolate ice cream. I took my bowl and sat down to digest it hoping that it would make me feel better about what I had just experienced. It tasted good going down, but when I got to the bottom of the bowl not only were the negative feelings still there, now I had a lump of ice cream just sitting in my gut along with my undigested emotions.
Instead of taking the time to digest my negative emotions I opted to ingest something more pleasurable.
I just wanted to FEEL BETTER.
Sometimes when a storm starts brewing inside of us we, with good intentions, go into survival mode by trying to make the best of it. We reach for our go to solution that has “served us well” in the past.
For me it’s ice cream; for you maybe it’s a glass of wine.
Most of my life I have struggled with the Why of being in a place that is hard.
I am passionate about people thriving and being in healthy environments. I believe that passion is ‘God wired’ and we long to thrive because “He has set eternity in our hearts.”
But does that mean if I find myself in an environment that is hard and full of unhealthy ingredients that I tuck tail and run for cover?
Does that mean that people only thrive in the best of circumstances?
…and what exactly are the ingredients to a healthy thriving place?
Ever had one of those evenings where you are racing against the clock to get things done? Afraid that if you stop and sit down you will be unable to DO all the things..
You know those things that NEED to be done.
Those things that every good mom, wife, or strong woman gets done in a day.
Those things that often keep us DOING and stop us from BEING.
What does that even mean? To BE.
I am all about ACTION VERBS.
When I read my Bible , those are the words I highlight.
GO. SET OUT. MOVE. RUN. REACH FORWARD.
Those are the commands that get me fired up. I’m like ,”Yes! Let’s do this thing!” It’s empowering.
It feels good to MOVE.
But those BEING verbs… those are hard.
Be Still. Be Strong. Be patient. Be content.
How DO you even learn to BE in the midst of all that needs to BE DONE?
I have been doing a little experiment with FOOD the last month.
I started my training to become certified as a HEALTH and WELLNESS/LIFE COACH and decided I needed to join in on the cleanse they were doing.
Y ‘all I am so not into FOOD FADS. I am too frugal to shop in the organic section of the grocery store, and I despise quinoa!
I decided to try this Cleanse/Healthy eating thing NOT because I am passionate about nutrition or getting some kind of result, but more out of curiosity…