I wanted to take a minute to level-set on the anxiety that’s clouded me (and that I’ve been mentioning…a lot). I just watched Amy Bream, a brilliant one-legged athlete jump rope, swim, do pull ups, and kill in a dead lift. Meanwhile, my sensitive ass bitches and laments that I can’t find time to work on what I want. Like lightening it hit me—I am too much in my head. I am a sensitive soul. That is beautiful for compassion and understanding and I don’t regret those things because they are truly some of my greatest gifts. But I will admit, that sensitivity means I really do need to develop a thicker skin. That isn’t to say be callous or hard-hearted and ignore the injustices in the world but to stop taking things so personally and to be strong enough to be who I am and to share my light.
The truth is the opinions of others are only enough to stop us if we let them. That isn’t to say developing mental strength is easy—far from it. But it is an illusion. The challenges we create around standing our ground and setting boundaries are all in our heads. We believe that saying no to someone is disrespectful or that we need to have a “good enough” reason to not participate in something we don’t agree with or enjoy doing. That’s simply not true. Setting boundaries doesn’t say as much about respecting other people as it says about how much we respect ourselves and our integrity and the time we are given on this Earth. The saying perception is reality is given too much credence in regards to what other people think of us. Who cares if those who aren’t supporting us don’t think we have it? They aren’t fighting the battles we are so let it go. We have the power to change. We just have to DO it.
We also need to learn to cut ourselves a break. When I looked at my life over the last several months in particular, I saw the problem. I’m working full time, managing four unrelated departments where I have to shift gears based upon need, three of them I had to learn from scratch because they are not in my wheelhouse, one of which I’m building from scratch, I’m starting my business, learning how to run a business (reading new books and taking courses), trying to apply lessons, managing four animals, a pre-schooler, a husband, a new home, my parents, trying to get physically healthy, all while we have been over a year in a pandemic, our government has enslaved us, the planet is being killed, it feels like the world is falling apart, and no one listens to anything anymore. And I WONDER why I’m exhausted and on edge. Why I’m so anxious I can’t breathe. It’s too much.
I want to be clear, I know it isn’t hopeless. But how can I pick one thing when so much needs to be done? The overwhelm isn’t imagined, but it is hard to manage. It takes a lot of conscious effort. There is a saying along the lines of, “You’re not overwhelmed, your unorganized.” It isn’t the whole truth, but there is some truth to it. Having a plan and taking decisive action eliminates the anxiety because productive results come from taking steps. But the reality is, so many of us face our lives like this: an endless to do list with things we can’t complete on our own but we are told to do it. So. What I can do now is breathe and prioritize. And that is what I encourage all of you to do. Take a break and get honest about what is going on in your life. Eliminate what you can, prioritize what is in your control, and let go of the rest. And for the love of whatever you believe in, give yourself a break.