My weekend spent gardening, talking with my son, spending time alone with his Dad and then at a spa with a close girlfriend showed me many things, positive and negative. The positive things were that I am finally learning to prioritize time with family alongside work and negative were the stress I’ve been carrying around for the last few months which culminated when I injured my back mid-week. Why? I was pushing with exercise. Why? I had to MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME. I was chasing the elusive demon I tell other Moms and Dads to not chase. And here I was just squeezing it in. I also was not using my adult strategies to handle stress as well as I would have liked.
I have learned how to meditate properly, how to exercise properly, but in the rush of Spring Fever, I temporarily got the fever to do it all. Then I crashed. The spa trip with my friend opened my eyes as to how much I’ve been running, both physically and spiritually away from me, from time alone, and more importantly, from tackling fears inside about getting it all done, being all for everybody, moving forward, and not being afraid to go after my dreams. I realized while meditating in this amazing bubble chair in the relaxing warm water, that fear is normal, particularly when you are pushing your boundaries, pushing past what has been holding you back. As a writer and coach, I have been increasingly pushing myself slowly in my personal and professional life. The result has been a growth and confidence that is real, permanent, and that when doubt creeps in, I can recognize as growing pains. I can help other parents see this in themselves, as Michael has helped me see the butterfly in me.
The question is, how do you heal and chip away those old fears? Here are 5 ways I have learned to do it:
- Ask for time alone: No matter how little it is, even 5 minutes a day, can help you to see what you need to do and where you need to make change. Be gentle and tell yourself one step at a time.
- Read great spiritual or uplifting self-help book or attend lectures/classes to help: The more I read these types of texts, the more it is has helped me align my life to greater good, purpose, and when I am off, see how far I am from the meridian and find my way back.
- Gratitude Journaling: This is something I will be going back to. I start my day with a prayer thanking God for the day and life. From there I usually meditate, but know that what is written stays. I believe that writing down what one is grateful for brings it all into focus and helps us learn appreciation.
- Laugh at absurdity and don’t sweat the small stuff: My spa friend and I were talking about this, how important it is to turn unexpected stress into a gift, “what is this trying to teach me?” “what do I need to learn?” and as another good friend is famous for saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” It’s all true.
- Connect with nature, a walk outside, sitting by a river, and on rainy days, looking at pictures of nature or water: This has helped relieve so much stress. It was part of my burnout therapy two years ago and what helped me heal.
The most important thing is to remember that you are a work of art. Chipping away at the granite that are your fears, anger and what not, takes time. One day at a time. Go easy on your selves parents.
Exceptional Parents, how many times have you helped your Exceptional Children chip away at their fears, insecurities and bring out their strengths? You need to apply those same tools for yourself, and it’s not easy. You may need a day, two, a week or more. Take care. Do your best. And ask for guidance from God, the Universe, to show you your path. It will all come at the right time. Until next time.