You know how ‘they’ say, "you have to go through it, to grow through it". Well here I am in my late thirties, and it took many experiences, not all good ones, for doctors to help me realize that in my life, I have cycles of burnout. First, going hard with self- sabotaging behaviours to numb my mental and physical pain, then I crash physically because my body can't keep up, followed by a mental health crisis. These cycles have happened at least four times throughout my adult life.
Saying this is hard. That’s the uncomfortable vulnerability part.
Saying this gives me awareness. This is the opportunity for change.
Saying this gives me hope. This is the part that moves me forward.
Brené Brown, professor and researcher, say’s that;
It’s for this reason that I’m sharing my journey with you and started to write. If I can encourage just one person to find the courage to share their story and that person finds the courage to share their story, then I know this blog was worth it.
I believe that we are so misunderstood as a society that people are conditioned to think if we share more stories it allows us to remove pieces of our armour. Metaphorically it makes so much sense that we wear armour to protect ourselves and avoid the uncomfortable feeling of shame, and if we are more vulnerable, real, and share our honest experiences then we can remove our armour, and live our truth. Damn, sounds so simple right? Not.
Discovering these cycles gives me hope, because when there is an awareness to something that awareness gives opportunity for change. With the support of my healthcare providers, we are working closely together to move forward so I can live an intentionally slow-paced lifestyle and fully honour my body and live more aligned. I will write more about what self-care and a slow-paced lifestyle look like in many upcoming blogs, so stay connected. These cycles are only part of the journey, health is like unraveling a ball of yarn - it’s messy, complicated, and I’ve noticed some pieces don’t make it and that’s okay too.
The first part in my journey is unlearning and relearning lifelong behaviours that have contributed to these ongoing cycles. It has and will take hard work, dedication, and honestly, a lifelong commitment. And I'm here for it!
where did I start?
Well it was a multi-focused approach, as it always should be, and somewhere in my not so linear journey, Jay Shetty's, Think Like a Monk book was recommended to me. He does a marvelous job of drawing on his “failed” life choices, deciding to become a monk to meditate every day for four to eight hours and devote his life to helping others - wildly different than a life I'd known. This book shares ways to be less anxious and live a more meaningful life which is something that I have always wanted. It’s worth a read from a foundational perspective on the power of stillness and service to others.
All of this stillness and meditation talk and I’m going to burn a candle! And you guessed it! In the next blog post, I share why Pete and I started making candles during the pandemic and why we continued with the hobby. In the meantime, drop me a note and let me know if you’ve read Think Like a Monk and what you thought of the read.