Shedding layers, building strength

photo by pixelshoot

Have you ever found yourself trying so damn hard with nothing going the way you really want it to? I’m not sure there’s anything more frustrating. When something is in reach, it feels like the surest path forward is to push hard, to try harder and to wind yourself into a ball of stress while you’re doing it.

Frankly, that approach has always worked for me. When I encounter a problem, I usually push hard, even if that means depleting myself to do it.  I have this sense that when it’s accomplished, I’ll be able to finally breathe and allow myself to rest.

(That never happens, by the way.)

It’s not working for me anymore. I wish it was….you know that whole devil that you know thing. My pattern of pushing hard to force outcomes is rather satisfying because it feeds my sense of control. Things aren’t working? I’ll take care of that, thanks.

This morning I woke up to my back throbbing in pain. In the past few weeks, it’s been a regular occurrence. Instead of reaching for the Advil, I googled the emotional causes of back pain. Have you ever thought of that before? That feelings you’re holding may be causing such tension in your body that they result in actual physical pain.  The connection between emotional stress and physical pain is there. It’s no secret. But truthfully, it’s easier to connect disease and larger medical problems with emotional stress. When you wake up and your back hurts, you usually just think you slept on it wrong. It’s harder to connect the everyday little aches and pains to how you’re feeling inside.

I had a light bulb moment this morning. I’m pretty sure now that my back pain has more to do with the tension and stress I’m holding in my body than anything else. The pushing and trying to mold situations, the stress and anxiety of not being able to control the outcome. Yes, fear too.

I’m ready to release them all. Spring is a great time to shed the things that are no longer working for us and regain our strength and balance.  

I almost laughed when I thought of this. My Spring Renewal program is all about shedding the excess weight/junk and gaining physical and inner strength, but I hadn’t applied it before to something like this. It’s perfect.

Over the next month, my goal is to build up my inner strength and shed the extra layers. Here’s how I plan to work on this, for myself:

Inner strength: At my core, I’m very strong but when something comes up that I can’t control, I have a hard time dealing with that. I’m going to do three things to work on this:

  1. Sitting with that really uncomfortable feeling of just being where I am and not forcing outcomes. This will be hard. Really, really hard for me.
  2. Flipping my mindset and redefining exactly what I want. Because, sometimes our definition of ‘balanced’ or ‘success’ or ‘healthy’ (or whatever you’re struggling with) isn’t OURS at all and we find we’re pushing to meet an idea that internally you don’t really want. Ah, amazing! In one second flat, my coach made me realize that this is exactly what I was doing.
  3. I’m upping my workout game to gain some true physical strength because I know that the two go hand in hand. Working out releases serotonin, which makes you feel good. When you’re feeling good, it’s so much easier not to jump back down the rabbit hole of negative thought patterns. Plus, building physical strength helps build inner strength.

Shedding Layers: Shedding the old and creating the new. This is all about creating new patters or behaviors that support exactly what you want and help pull yourself out of old and unhelpful patterns or behaviors. I’m going to do a lot of letting go and releasing.

Shedding layers, building strength. I’m so ready.


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