This morning, I awoke at 4:50am feeling incredibly ornery. My back was stiff as a board, almost like I had a steel cable running parallel to my spine. I was starting to feel small spasms, which sends me into a complete state of panic. For me, back pain is a sure sign of stress. It rears its ugly head when I am suppressing emotion, thinking negatively, or not addressing something in my life. So I needed to get real clear on the events that happened this week, how I was thinking, and why it was manifesting as physical pain in my body.
After doing a big thought download (something I do often and encourage my clients to participate in regularly) and getting curious as to what is really going on, I decided to look at my current thoughts. Much of the work I do with my clients is based on recognizing thoughts and how they drive feelings and action because everything is tied to your thoughts. EVERYTHING!
First question – what is going on with my nutrition? While I thought I was following my normal eating pattern, I was way off. I had been eating out and taking short cuts by eating pre-made and processed foods. For the last two months, my husband has been traveling extensively and I was starting to lose motivation and momentum and taking easy routes which aren’t always good for my mind and body. In my Sober AF group, I committed to the goal of no flour, no sugar, and no alcohol for the month of May with the exception of Mothers Day. Well that bled into the week leaving me feeling tired, irritable, and mad at myself for not staying the course. Bingo – two red flags here – nutrition was sub-par and I was stuck in a continuous cycle of negative thoughts because I fell flat on my face. The next place I needed to assess was how I was showing up for myself and what I was saying yes and no too? Ahhh – another big one. I lacked structure in scheduling everything that needs to be accomplished from client work to knowing when and where flag football games were happening and everything in between.
As I continued to scan my download and the answers to my questions, it became apparent that I was totally out of sync with my non-negotiable’s.
My definition of non-negotiable’s are commitments you make to yourself in accordance with your values and how you want to live your life while honoring your time, your priorities, and your goals.
To give you an idea, a few of my non-negotiable’s include waking up at 5am, participating in daily professional development, reading to my kids, making dinner for my family, block scheduling my week, and fueling my body with nutritious food. I have a whole list of non-negotiable’s but I think you get the point. After rating myself, I think I scored a 50 on follow through this week. No wonder I was feeling like a scattered hot mess!
I wanted to share this with you and bring to light that no matter how many tools you have or how much you know about what you ‘should’ be doing, sometimes it takes (literally) waking up, surrendering, and listening to what your body has to say. I was ignoring the signs leading up to the back spasms and that’s when I had to get clear on what is really going on in my head. Not living up to my expectations of what my normal should be and failing to follow through with my non-negotiable’s led me down the path of self loathing, self-doubt, pity, and anger. So when you are feeling irritable, scattered, overwhelmed, or feeling pain or weakness in your body, take a few moments to connect with your thoughts. If connecting with your thoughts is challenging, try tapping into how you are feeling. Do you feel tense, is your heart rate elevated, are you taking short breaths, do you feel anxious, sad, or blah? Just noticing these feelings will help you slow down and think about what is going on in that beautiful mind of yours.
In my coaching practice, we dive deep into thought patterns, beliefs, and connecting them with the present and the future. It’s extraordinary work and even for the pro’s who ‘should’ know this stuff, we need to be reminded to take a deep breath and give ourselves some time and grace. It will all be okay.