I snapped this shot of me a couple weeks ago. If you follow me on social, you know a sweaty selfie is nothing new, but there is something you can’t see in this photo.
The morning I took this photo I was really struggling.
I woke up with what I will call an anxiety hangover because it had started the day prior, but its effects were still coursing through me the morning after. While a good night’s sleep had taken the edge off the emotion, it was very much still there when I awoke. Its dull presence was less urgent than when it initially washed over me, but it was still there. Vying for my attention.
So, what did I do?
I gave it the attention it craved. I listened to its pleas. I validated its existence. I didn’t try to ignore it, resist it, or respond to it. I just let it be.
And I carried on with intention.
I did my workout while battling anxiety. I made breakfast for my kids and got them out the door while still struggling. I journaled to get it out of my heart and head and onto a page where I could see it from a different vantage point. I talked to my hubby and best friend about it - their words echoing the message of my internal coach voice that couldn’t quite find her microphone that morning.
By afternoon, it was less dominant.
By evening, even weaker.
By the next day, nearly gone.
Now, I wasn’t in a rush. I was willing to give it all the time it needed. But I wasn’t willing to give it all of ME. I wasn’t willing to let it paralyze me or derail me. It could come along for the ride, but it wasn’t taking the wheel.
I took this photo and type these words because it is a testament to my journey. A reminder of how far I have come. An example of what’s possible when you start tuning in to your feelings and allowing them versus avoiding, resisting or responding to them.
A few years ago, this experience would’ve probably ended with me in the hospital – convinced that my anxiety was actually a heart attack. That’s what responding to a feeling looks like. It might’ve also ended with me hating myself for being so weak – that I should know better by now. That’s what resisting looks like. Or I could've denied the anxiety a chance to even be heard, which I learned just makes it louder. That's avoidance.
Instead, I get to share this message from the other side of anxiety. With a heart full of gratitude. Gratitude that I took care of me and loved me through it.
These are the lessons I have learned through coaching and I would love to share them with you. If you are struggling, please respond to this email. I can help you.