Ugh. During the past year or so (maybe even more), I wasn’t walking the talk and I felt like a big fraud.
My life got off course and out of control. I was stressed (understatement of the decade), overwhelmed, overworked, underappreciated, ashamed, sad, depressed, fearful, hopeful, curious, HUMAN.
Just because I am a life coach and intuitive soul advisor doesn’t mean I don’t face my own trials in life. I have good days and bad days like everyone else.
I will be quite honest with you – I make mistakes. I struggle. I do the wrong thing and I learn (hopefully). I need support and encouragement. I need an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on, just like everyone else. I am no island.
I wanted to get this all off of my chest so that you could, perhaps, find some sort of connection – something that said, “Oh, if SHE is facing and conquering all of this shit, I can do it, too!”
So, where should I start the story… Hm. It seems like it might have started with the birth of my boys… with me taking a lion’s share of the responsibility for being awake at night and in the morning and feeding them and doing all of their care because I was just used to doing things myself. (My husband is a pilot and, for various reasons like his responsibility for the lives of hundreds of people during his workday and fact that he is out of town most of the time, I felt his sleep and rest were a bit more important than my own.)
We live in Austria, which is literally hours away from his family and an ocean lies between me and my own family. We don’t have a nanny or even a babysitter or a housecleaner (housecleaners are common here, FYI).
I struggled with a newborn and terrible twos and puberty – all at the same time – and mostly all alone.
Four years of sleep deprivation and elbowing my husband out of the responsibility chain took a toll on our relationship. I was griping at him when he was in the mood to clean and then feeling resentful of his lack of support – even though he did try when he was home.
During that time, though, I was hell-bent on making sure that I “attended to my needs.” (Thankfully.) It was a good time for me, spiritually, and also for learning the ropes about how to build a website and run an online business.
I wrote two books, numerous courses and presentations, created and abandoned websites and a couple of businesses, was attuned to Reiki, ran a 10K, worked on mastering cartomancy, got all of my certifications, became a life coach, etc., etc. I met some fabulous people.
It was a prolific time, overall. But I was shining in some areas of my life and drowning in others.
Ultimately, I found out that I was pushing myself too hard. I took on mountains of responsibility – added to raising 3 children as a married, single parent.
For the first few years, I was able to just ride on the energy of it all. I was stressed but felt like I had it under control.
Mostly. Or maybe not. Things fell off the plate, to be quite honest. And I was starting to crack, but I felt like I needed to power through.
All of this happened to me despite the fact that I know better. I share information with others about living their best lives by:
- saying NO when you need to
- being honest with yourself about how you spend your time
- standing up for your worth and value
- getting rid of anything that doesn’t serve you
- not worrying
- not angering
- being grateful
- creating an honest living
- respecting all life
- nurturing yourself
- making time for your own hobbies
- honoring your priorities, etc.
All of the things I should have been doing, but wasn’t.
Getting off course oftentimes starts with someone heading down what they think is the right path or heading down the right path at the wrong speed or with the wrong companions!
About 15 months ago, I found what I thought would be a good combination between my love of helping other spiritual entrepreneurs find success and satisfaction in their work and a platform to highlight those newbie business owners.
I threw my usual 150% into it and the first three months were great. It seemed like the site was prospering, as were the spiritual entrepreneurs who worked there.
But my kids often sat waiting for me to pay attention to them.
My husband surfed the internet while I attended to my responsibilities. He cuddled with the dog instead of with me.
My garden grew weeds instead of flowers.
My booty got bigger (in a not so good way) and my posture suffered.
And, 150% wasn’t enough.
There was always more to do. More blogs to write. More videos to make. More live broadcasts. More responsibility to take on from the site. More issues to investigate.
More clothes to wash. More dog hair to clean up with the vacuum. More Legos on the floor. More dishes, more toilets, more taking out the garbage and sorting the recyclables.
More issues with my kids who weren’t getting my attention.
My phone started pinging before 7 am and I often worked until 1 or 2 am. I still had to get up at 6:25 am to get the kids ready for school. I went back to bed after I dropped them off. Then started the whole thing again when I woke up at like 10.
And my mental health was suffering from the constant need to be doing what seemed like everything for everyone.
Imagine feeling like this every day…
I was expected to be available for work 7 days a week. Unfortunately, the level of responsibilities wasn’t reflected in my pay, so I needed a side hustle to do anything more than cover the basics.
My family also needed me 24/7. They should have been the priority, but they weren’t.
I didn’t get many days off. At all.
I didn’t spend time doing art or dancing or creating what resonated with me.
I spent my days constantly trying to keep up with an ever-expanding to-do list.
And I wasn’t feeling awesome about what I was doing – really. There were parts I enjoyed – mainly the people who I worked with – but the rest was like a sledgehammer repeatedly beating on the entirety of my being.
Aside from not feeling happy, I wasn’t liking the person I was becoming: moody, bitchy, angry, nagging, volatile, unhealthy, sedentary. So. Not. Me.
It was time for me to take a step back and evaluate what was working in my life (besides me) and what wasn’t.
When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, it is time to get back to the basics!
The first thing I needed to do was reaffirm my commitment to my priorities:
Making a positive difference in the lives of others
Honoring myself and my time
Then I had to be totally honest about how I was spending my time. Was I truly prioritizing the things I had said were most important to me?
The answer was a resounding NO! and I had to make some adjustments to my *ahem* schedule, which included cutting my working hours drastically. Of course, my boss wanted to keep my old schedule and responsibilities intact.
But, I had to really look at my life. My kids NEEDED me. This wasn’t a dress rehearsal – my littlest was having some MAJOR issues in school and while cutting my hours had helped, we had a long way to go.
I decided to quit my job. And it felt GOOD.
It felt scary, too – I must admit.
I had grown accustomed to making that money every month, so I had to find a way to make sure that my income level wasn’t affected by the change.
The funny thing is that sometimes you do more (for yourself) by doing less for others. I was able to expand my passive income and I applied to busier sites.
(Speaking of passive income… If you are a spiritual reader/psychic looking to join a busy site and even to make money for referring new psychics, check out Zodiac Psychics! Please use my link to sign up so that I get credit for referring you.)
Of course, the adjustment took a bit of effort – figuring out what the busier sites were and also figuring out that some were busy, but not for me. (See Keep That Thing In Your Pants!)
I also had to take a look at what I was using busy to avoid, like screaming children, for example. <—- That is honest.
If I was “busy working,” then I could somehow rationalize just a bit more computer time for my kids or not forcing them to go outside.
Man, now I am thinking about the ‘busy excuse’ and how I used that to avoid LIFE! I feel another blog post coming from that!
I had to get honest.
I had to see how my choices had led me to a place where I felt my well-being was declining. On one hand, I had met some wonderful friends while working, and that was fabulous for my happiness, but many of them were farther away than I had time to go because I needed to be available to pick my son up at a moment’s notice or couldn’t afford airfare.
I had to get honest with my husband about him spending his days off hanging with the kids so I would have time to visit local friends, go to museums, and take dance courses (check out S Factor), and even to just sleep in one time a week. He was totally fine with that. Gotta love that guy.
I also had to admit that I needed some help with helping my son (and myself) get better. I enrolled him in therapy and even started seeing a therapist of my own.
Things started to change…
In order to keep the positive changes happening, I had to commit to the changes that I was making. And I had to create boundaries and stick with them.
This meant not working when the kids were home from school. Summers are hard because they are always home! LOL! But now I work after bedtime and while they are at sports.
This meant committing to getting off my butt and working out more often. YOGA!!!
This meant getting outside and working in my garden (which is a source of pleasure for me).
This meant fighting the necessary fights with my kids about their screen time and shutting the computer off when my hubby is in a cuddly mood.
For now, it is going well.
Of course, I have to be vigilant about directing my life in a way that brings me more joy.
The important thing is that I recognized my unhappiness and worked to resolve it. I allowed myself to be sad and mad and angry and frustrated and I used those negative feelings as starting points for analyzing what was wrong with my life. I worked through my issues. I learned from my mistakes.
I made changes that affected my day-to-day in a positive way.
And that’s the best I can do.
Things aren’t perfect now, but they are better. That’s all I can ask for.
Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better. ~Emilie Coue
Are you?? I hope so!