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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

ūüźĽ Coming out of hibernation

Last year, I ran into some problems.

First, I’d gained about 25 pounds.

My weight had crept up so gradually, I wasn’t aware of just¬†how¬†heavy I’d gotten until the doc looked at my chart. He said, “I hate to tell you this, but you’re up 25 pounds since I saw you last.”

I argued with him, “I started working out a few months ago, it must be muscle.”

Doc laughed and replied, “I’ll be generous and give 10 pounds to muscle. Which means you still need to lose 15.”

So that was a fun way to start 2018.

Second, I’m pretty sure I turned¬†all¬†my water into wine.

Which explains, in part, the 25 pounds.

It was easier to drink cabernet than take a hard look at what I didn’t like about myself. I also discovered “craft beer,” which gave me a second tasty way to avoid what was nagging me.

Third, I was starting to dislike my writing work.

I did everything the online gurus told me to (whether I thought it was a good idea or not). The constant demand to deliver free content and be everywhere on social media made me salty. Grumpy. Frustrated. Curmudgeonly. No matter how good or bad things were going, I acted like Nick Saban on the sidelines.

Fourth, I was burning the candle at both ends.

Staying up late, watching television, feasting on my secret snacks. Then getting up to kick the rooster (even though I didn’t ‘go to bed when the rooster did.) I was missing precious, restorative sleep. And it was showing. In my health, my attitude and the bags under my eyes.

Fifth, I wasn’t prioritizing my time efficiently.

I had this long list of things I¬†said¬†I wanted to do. Like write a book. Be more present at home. Work less. Observe Sabbath. But I wasn’t making the necessary trade-offs for those things to actually happen. I was a whole lotta talk¬†without¬†the walk.

Clearly, I needed to get my sh*t together.

So I spent most of 2018 doing just that. Learning how to eat better. Learning how to show up at the gym regularly. Learning how to drink in moderation. Learning what work I¬†wanted¬†to do verses the work some “expert” told me I must. Learning how to reorder my life to get good sleep. Learning how to live my priorities. Learning how to stare down my demons. Learning how to take responsibility for my stuff instead of pointing the finger at other people.

I’m still a work in progress.¬†I always will be. But I’m definitely more content with my choices than I was a year ago.

During project “Get My Sh*t Together,” I discovered something.

I’ve spent my whole life believing I am supposed to please and put everyone else¬†first.

Okay, I¬†knew¬†that part. And I¬†thought¬†I’d dealt with it. But deep down, I¬†hadn’t.

Deep down I still believed “taking care of myself” was selfish. I believed focusing on myself was a “sin” on some level. I’m not even sure I understood I was¬†worth¬†taking care of. I believed putting others first was the only “moral” thing to do.

And I worried what other people would think if I did what was necessary to take care of myself. If I stopped sacrificing my own needs and desires on the altar of people pleasing, would my reputation go up in judgment and flames?

Besides,¬†I didn’t have¬†time¬†to take care of myself, what with trying to “fix things” for everyone else.

And the guilt. Oh the guilt I would incur if I did something for myself at “the expense of someone else’s needs.”

I’ve been wrestling with these issues my whole life.

Unbeknownst to me, they have largely driven my behavior and decisions.

In 2018, I woke up.

Owning my patterns was a big, chalky pill to swallow.

But I’ve learned,¬†I’m not alone.

In my work with other women, I’ve realized we are nurturers at heart. And we have largely been taught to nurture¬†everyone¬†but ourselves.

We’re also fond of “fixing” everyone but ourselves.

So, with God’s help, I decided to write a book about it.

It’s called…¬†Me First¬†in the Mornings: 6 daily steps to your strongest, most significant self.

I am thrilled and petrified to report that I turned my draft over to the editor last Friday.

The book is about learning to love and expand ourselves first.

It’s about¬†why¬†we must learn to care for ourselves and¬†how¬†to specifically began doing so.¬†Me First¬†is an acronym for the 6 step process that can be completed on a daily basis. I suggest we do it in the morning, but any time of day will work. The important part is-¬†that we do it. That we learn to truly¬†see¬†ourselves, take responsibility for our part, and do the work that is ours to do. No more. No less.

It’s only when we began nurturing¬†ourselves¬†that we can genuinely¬†serve¬†others from a place of love and compassion. It’s only when we begin turning our desire to “fix” things¬†self-ward, that we can make real progress.

It’s an inside job¬†first;¬†The Bible tells me so. “We must love our neighbor¬†as¬†[we love] ourselves.”

I believe we do this by making ourselves a priority.

We must take a hard look in the scary, up-close mirror to learn who we are created to be. We must realize and own our value, so we can pour out from it. We must learn to nurture others from our power, strength and significance, rather than some sorry substitute we manufacture through obligation, guilt, and fear.

We will only be able to truly love and serve from a healthy, helpful place, by first loving and caring for ourselves. By knowing who we are and Whose we are.

And this takes focused, uninterrupted, prioritized time.

It also takes a solid plan.

I want to help you uncover your strength and significance.

So, I’m coming out of hibernation to do it.

I’ll help you by sharing what I know as we go. I’ll write about what I’ve been learning. I’ll find more new things for us to try. I’ll be real about the highs and lows of the process.

I hope 2019 is the year you decide to get¬†your¬†sh*t together if it’s time, and uncover your strength and significance!




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