I’m sitting in bed eating chocolate out of the wrapper after a longgggg day. I should really kick my sugar habit but I like the reward that caps off an exhausting day of mommy and entrepreneur too much.
I should also really go to sleep but here I am cracking open my computer and signing into my website that has gathered some dust over this past year. My last post was in January so I’m not doing too well on the blogging entrepreneur front. Meh, I’ve got more important things that occupy my attention. . . like chasing my toddler and keeping my house in a somewhat liveable condition. In saying that, if dinner is prepared before the hubby gets home from work, that is a major win around here.
So like I said, I should be catching some shut eye, but my heart needs to write. It’s pulling me to open the floodgates and let the words flood onto the page, unfiltered and unedited. Writing has always been therapeutic for me and my boxes of journals in the shed attest to my avid pastime.
Life has the ability to serve us up some hard lessons sometimes, doesn’t it? It’s true. Life is the best form of on the job training. And this past month has taught me a tough lesson. I use the word tough loosely because it’s actually a lesson I already know. But it’s also one I often forget, or in actual fact, choose to turn a blind eye to.
This past month has been extremely busy. To the point of sheer exhaustion. Coupled with my badge of toddler-mom, I am also a business owner. Yep, #mumpreneur; that’s me! I have turned my back on the whole 9-5 paradigm and am head-first and heart-fuelled running a collaborative business alongside some of the most amazingly strong, passionate women I know who are changing the world with me. And I do mean that in all literal sense of the word!
I love my job, but at its core, it is a people-business. If I can be honest for a moment: I find people emotionally draining. I’ve been in the people-business a long time. I have a degree in social work and education, so helping people is what I love. But good or bad, when I am around people, I give. I give with my whole loved-up heart. And this creates a problem if I am not careful.
You see, I am the kind of person who craves alone time. I might as well call myself an extroverted introvert. Stillness. Quiet. Silence. Me and Nature. These are the things that recharge me; that fill my cup back up with the love and joy and peace that is my innate birthright. Don’t get me wrong, I love being around people. Coffee with friends, day dates with my hubby and speaking in front of crowds are some of my most favorite things. But I also need space. Me time. God time.
Here is where the lesson smacked me right between the eyes: I haven’t been honoring this truth. A truth I so deeply know about myself but continue and continue to deny. I say yes to everyone, burning the candle at both ends and people-pleasing until my legs fall off.
And then I crack.
My chest feels heavy. I can’t think straight. Even glancing at the pile of dirty dishes on the kitchen bench makes me break out in a cold sweat. Ashamedly so, I even turn mean. Like, towards the people who I care the most about. Why is this always the case? We hurt the ones we love. Gaw.
But, it is always the case. It takes a breaking point like this for me to wake up and realize I have lost touch with my true self. I have neglected my inner compass and let everyone else’s expectations —or worse, my perception of everyone else’s expectations—run the show.
So, here I am. Broken, bone-weary and admitting that something has got to change. I need to change. Maybe change isn’t the right word here. Maybe I need to journey back home. I’ve been working with one of my essential oils recently to facilitate this healing process.
Coriander, the Oil of Integrity, is one I am rarely drawn it. In fact, I’ve owned it for over a year and opened it twice, if that. But yesterday I felt pulled to crack open the lid and take a deep breath in. Coriander is the oil of integrity, specifically with one’s self. A person in need of this oil might be trapped in the cycle of serving others while neglecting their own needs.
Sound familiar, SK?
As clearly as the lesson surfaces, so does the action. I am starting to say no. No to the things that feel like too much. No to the commitments that overcrowd my calendar. No to the obligations that aren’t necessary. And no to the areas of my life that aren’t serving me.
And the powerful thing is, by saying no, I am in turn saying yes. Yes to the people that matter the most. Yes to the activities that light me up and bring me joy. Yes to being fully present with my son and husband. And yes, to Self.
Saying yes to ourself isn’t selfish. I have to keep bringing myself back to this truth. I get so caught in the people-pleasing because I want to serve and give and not let anyone down and make everyone happy and be seen as inspiring and have everyone like me and blaa and blaa and blaaaaaaaaa, freak out! This is not healthy, yeh?
Honoring the Self by listening to the heart and then taking intentional action is a gift we give ourselves. When we are healthy and living from a place of inner peace and love, we are able to serve the world in a much more impactful way. Rather than walking around like a frazzled caffeine-head.
So what does this look like? It looks like a whole lotta “I am not going to be able to do that.” It looks like crossing off days in my diary for “family time” or “work-free day”. Uh, it feels liberating already.
It’s scary for me to say no to people. I cancelled a work commitment for this coming week and I really struggled with feeling like I was letting the girl down. But, holy moly her response floored me. She got it! She actually applauded my honest. Her reply was like a soothing balm to my soul, “You need to give yourself sometime to slow down. Try to focus on yourself and family a bit.”
Yep, she hit the nail on the head.
So, another lesson wrapped up in this big dose of reality-check is to stop playing this huge, false narrative in my head of what everyone else is thinking. Practice grace. Embody love. Say no with integrity of heart. And people will commend you.
Okay, now it really is getting late. And my toddler will be up at 5am. So, as I take that last bite of my chocolate block, I raise my glass (of water) and propose a toast.
To journeying back home to Self,