The challenge “Make a change for 10 days towards a healthier you”. I say GAME ON!
It’s only 10 days, after all.
So – what should I give up? I ask myself this question every year during Lent. Some years it was sugar, some wine, some alcohol all together…I had to amend that last one a bit at about day 7, though. In recent years, I decided, been there, done that. Instead of giving something up, what can I take on? I took on being empowering and empowered. I took on living in ease and grace. I took on being playful. Not only was I especially conscious about these promises during the Lenten season, I really embrace these ways of being the entire year.
As with my Lenten promises, I really wanted this challenge to get deep into the core of who I am. Because I know for sure, that being healthy is an inside job. The emotional body is in the driver seat of the journey called ‘being healthy’.
I could give up what I put in my body, but it wouldn’t do much good if what’s already in my body is not healthy. You see, as women we are experts in suppressing different emotions that keep us stuck and in dis-ease. When we continuously suppress these feelings, they fester and become the aches and pains we all complain about.
So in getting clear about how I wanted to receive this challenge, I thought about the stories I created in my head about what it means to be a fitness instructor of 20 years; what it means to be an entrepreneur; what it means to feel part of, and excluded from, my community. Where I was going with all that was a place where I needed to distinguish “what is in the way of being fully myself”. Again, my angel, Mark’s voice rings in my ears, “Look Sues, what’s in the way?”
A few years ago I heard a female leader in our community speak at luncheon. She shared her experiences and needs being a mom and a C-level exec. As she said, “The hard thing about women is we’re so hard on ourselves….. and then we’re really hard on each other.”
Yup – so true. I bet you can relate, too. Seeing this 10 day challenge through the filter of contributing to myself and others, I knew exactly what I had to give up and yes, it was an inside job.
I had to give up comparing myself to other women. (gasp a sigh of relief).
And not really ‘other women’, rather the ideas, notions, thoughts, beliefs I made up in my own head about who these other women are. (deep exhale)
My comparisons sounded something like… If I could move like her; if I could look like her; if I could have her job; her life…. Oh geeze. Because of course she doesn’t have any challenges or pain or upsets at all. She can’t! She’s doing what she loves, surrounded by people who love her.
You see, these thoughts not only disempower me completely, they also disempower the women I’d compare myself to. Thoughts, both positive and negative, travel at the speed of light = 186,000 miles per second and not only do they affect you, they also affect those you’re thinking of. Need proof? You’re at your desk working, and suddenly you think of a dear friend. Chirp goes your cell phone; that dear friend has just texted you. You go towards your phone to call your mom, and the phone rings. I bet it’s your mom! You send your job-searching friend a message saying she’s in your thoughts and you’re asking the universe to conspire with her. She write you back saying, “You’re psychic. Struggling today. Really needed that support”. Coincidence? I think not. The power of serendipity? Oh Yes!
Truth is, this story of comparison is not new. It’s an ancient story that lives inside the belief “I’m not good enough”. If you’ve read my MODAvational notes in the past, you’ll know, from time to time, I slip into the mantra, until I catch myself and remind myself, I AM ENOUGH.
So to the women I have compared myself to – please accept my apology for involving you in my ‘less than’ story.
I am grateful for this 10 day challenge; it made a profound impact on my life.