You know how Facebook and Snapchat will show you ‘on this day’ memories from years and years ago? Last week one of the pictures of me jumped up and really hit me. I had just posted a picture for social media that morning and I went and compared the two. I saw me from three years ago and I felt her strain and her struggle. If you’ve read my bio on my website, I speak of my clients looking different when they move from striving to thriving but I hadn’t really paid this much attention to my transformation. There it was.
The word strive means battle and conflict and yet we’ve been using it as a moniker of success for years. The girl on the left was striving big time. Striving to plot and plan her way into success, battling the internal struggles, both real and perceived expectations of her. She desperately wanted to get it right. Whatever it was.
What I find most interesting is my diet and exercise habits are exactly the same. They’ve been pretty much the same for over a decade. I eat healthy but I’m not militant, I work out regularly, I like to run. What’s different about me in these pictures is what was happening in my mind and in my heart. And most of us women go right to diet and exercise when we want to look and feel better. Sometimes I think that just makes the striving worse.
The girl on the left is hopeful but not happy. The girl on the right knows a joy that comes from within no matter the stress and struggles circling around her.
What’s been happening the last three years?
One Saturday morning after an exhausting week of travel, I sat with my coffee, my journal, and my Bible and I exhaled. I wrote, “I wish every morning could be like Saturday morning.” And then it hit me. Why couldn’t it be? Why couldn’t I spend every morning in quiet reflection?
Every morning for at least three years, I start my day in stillness, listening to how I feel, asking myself what I need, letting the Lord speak to me instead of me always begging Him for stuff.
I started to build a relationship with what I now refer to as my Inner Thrive Guide. I began to listen to her counsel and her needs. I let her feel again. After years of feeling responsible for everyone and everything, I had starved out my own needs, wants, and desires.
I needed time each morning to invite them back to the surface. They were buried so deep in the bottom of my heart like scared little pound puppies huddled in the corner shivering afraid they’d get hurt again. Day by day those feelings learned to trust again, they came up one by one and let me see them, let me pet those puppies. Ha. Ha.
I began to see that I was not in control of everyone’s happiness and needs. I learned to let some people go and let others in. My connections and relationships became healthier as my reflection time helped me be healthier. I became more confident in my own needs and desires for building a life I wanted to live in, not just career goals I wanted to achieve. Thriving, to grow, prosper and flourish.
The girl on the right isn’t without pain and struggle, I can tell you the hurts I’m carrying now, but she knows she’s okay. She’s confident that she can navigate these things and still have love, joy, and connection. She knows she’s not for everyone and that’s okay. The ones she’s here to serve will get the very best of her and that’s a bold, badass beautiful thing. Thriving not striving.
I talk more about the details of these changes on the Feb. 4 2022 podcast. Subscribe to The Badass Womens Council Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.