Do you ever feel like you’re completely, utterly STUCK?
I remember feeling like I was swirling down a helpless sink hole during my first winter in Chicago.
I was in my early twenties (which feels like a lifetime ago) and I was working 12-16 hour days, commuting on public transit to four different gyms and studios all over the city, and I was creeping towards my heaviest weight ever. It’s always difficult to not feel at home in your skin, but I felt an extra layer of shame because I was a fitness professional. It was my job to help people live healthier lives… and here I was, approaching severe exhaustion and extreme hopelessness about my own health.
I don’t know when or how, but one beautiful spring day, a LIGHT BULB switched on in my head. Out of nowhere, I realized:
I don’t have to live this way. This doesn’t need to be my reality any longer.
Money had been my biggest concern, and I let the concern over earning “enough” cloud my vision of how sick, puffy and sad I had become.
Within a month, I decided to quit two of my jobs – the jobs that were draining me most – and decided to start my own fitness business. It was time for me to lean into my personal wellness philosophy, which had less to do with “go hard or go home” or selling clients on extended training packages, and more about fitness as a form of therapy – an act of self-compassion.
I was quite young, I made mistakes, but I learned by taking messy action.
The sadness lifted, the hustle turned to flow, and my winter pounds started melting off.
I was genuinely happy.
Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. I would go on to yo-yo in weight, work-life balance, and happiness for nearly the rest of my twenties, until I stumbled into the value of mindfulness.
When I look back at my 20-something self, I still cringe. Even though I owned a business that supported me more than my splattering of jobs ever did, even though I felt like I was making a real difference in others lives, even though I cut my working time in half, even though I had the best clients in the world…
I continued to feel itchy in my own skin.
I couldn’t find balance.
This feels awfully raw to admit, but I didn’t want to face my own loneliness at a time when my heart was ready for growth, but I couldn’t get out of my own way.
I drank and ate too much most weekends and spent my entire week atoning for my Friday, Saturday and Sunday Funday sins, eating extra “clean,” attending all the yoga classes, restricting myself from food I perceived as a “treat,” and berating myself for falling so far off track.
The weight of my guilt was unbearable, almost as unbearable as the indulgence, guilt, restriction cycle itself.
Once again, I was stuck. Painfully stuck.
On the outside, it looked like it took a move to Boulder, Colorado, a 30-day meditation retreat, enrollment in grad school and meeting my husband to find my true path.
However, I know that one internal shift changed everything.
I gave myself the space to be myself.
What does that mean?
I reflected on why I craved the escape of the weekend… or food… or the strangely satisfying return to my regimented weekdays.
I began to listen to my body and my heart about what I need. Slowly, the “shoulds” and the shame in my mind started to fade into the background.
I faced tough emotions. I acknowledged and eventually released the self-sabotaging patterns. I broke down and I broke through.
Often, we forget how far we’ve come, especially when we feel STUCK in our current situation. We fail to recognize that this season of life is just that: a season. Finding morsels of light and truth in this season will allow us to emerge when we are truly ready, in mind, body and heart.
Today, sweet friend, rather than beating yourself up for where you’ve been or how far you (think you) have to go, use this 3-minute journaling practice to uncover authentic gratitude for this very moment.
It’s not about ignoring your past or stifling future growth, but rather appreciating the true beauty in who you already are.
The video below will teach you my 3-minute journaling method that I have the honor of sharing with our Strong Mama VIP Experience this month.
Watch this video to:
- Learn how to manifest your strongest desires
- Cultivate a gratitude mentality
- Begin healing the relationship between your mind and body
- Learn the transformative 3-minute Strong Mama journaling technique