Full transparency: I’ve been a bit stressed out the last few weeks.
For one thing, well, the state of the world. (#needisaymore?)
But also, there’s been a lot on the personal front.
Over the weekend, I virtually officiated the wedding of one of my dearest friends, and…my internet connection died in the middle of the ceremony! I ended up officiating the rest of the ceremony via cellphone in front of 150 virtual guests.
It was super stressful to officiate without seeing a thing, & I was so sad that I couldn’t actually see my dear friend as she was taking her vows.
Then, on Monday, my older daughter Penina had major dental work done. It was not pretty. It required a lot of patience and energy from me, as well as rescheduling/juggling work calls to tend to the emergency.
And also, on Monday we still hadn’t had our internet connection back, so I had no idea what was in my inbox or who I needed to respond to!
In addition to all of that, we are renovating our home and therefore staying in a rental, which has been cramped, far away from everything, and far from ideal. The space has really been getting to me.
And finally, as you probably know, we’re in the middle of my Sacred Depths launch. Of course it brings me joy, but it would be a lie to say that launches aren’t a tad stressful.
So, all of this was in the mix last Tuesday.
I’m aware that it’s mostly privileged problems, but still – I was stressed.
I had trouble falling asleep the night before, and then I woke up very early for a meeting. From there, I quick drove home and barreled into catching up on work stuff, and then started my calls and teaching for the day. I coached and taught nearly back to back till 2:30pm and which point I ran out of the house to get to my yearly mammogram appointment.
I got stuck in traffic.
And then there was a long line for temperature check.
By the time I got to the receptionist, I was 10 minutes late and my appointment was automatically cancelled. They wouldn’t take me.
I started the rescheduling process with the receptionist, but at some point ….I just lost it.
I couldn’t continue with the conversation.
I was stressed. I was tired. I was so mad at myself for cutting things so tight.
So mid-sentence, I waved my hands in the air and just blurted out “I can’t do this right now.” And stormed out of the office.
I didn’t scream. I was doing my best to not have a total meltdown or be rude, but clearly was having trouble keeping my stuff together.
I got to my car and started crying. It was part stress, part frustration, and part being really hard on myself. Not just for missing my appointment, but for everything. I could just hear the voice in my head – “You’re a loser. You’re irresponsible. You can’t get anything right.”
It was not one of my finest moments, though truth be told I am no stranger to self-flagellation.
But here’s what happened next:
I found compassion for myself.
I cut myself some slack. I gave myself permission to be imperfect. I gave myself sympathy for having a lot on my plate. I told myself I was doing a great job considering everything going on.
And I was able to move on with my day, mostly unscathed.
If you’re like me – i.e. someone who has very high expectations of yourself – you know that being able to have self-compassion doesn’t come easy. Or naturally. You have to work on it and train yourself to override your self-judgment energetics & habits.
You have to work with your fears regularly.
You have to face your Shadow.
You have to learn to cultivate massive self-love in the face of patterned self-criticism.
It’s not easy work. It’s not once and done work.
But it is some of the most important, sacred, life-changing work you can do in your lifetime.
And it is also some of the most important, sacred, life-changing work we can do with our clients.
And this is exactly why in Sacred Depths we go way beyond learning how to simply “coach” clients to set their goals and make action plans and dive deep into learning how to support clients to radically change their lives. Especially with all of the stress that people are feeling collectively these days, we need these skills to support our clients in order to make an impact.
As you move through this last month of this crazy year, my wish for you is that you find self-compassion every day, in every corner you look, in any obstacle that comes your way.
May you know how to love yourself, no matter what.
May you cut yourself slack and throw away the Myth of Perfection.
May you hold sacred all of who you are and no that your matter.