The past week has kicked my ass.
A week ago a stomach bug and a nasty virus took down three out of five in our house. I got both. The virus is still hanging on (just to me!) and today I had to get a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia (thankfully, I just found out that the X-rays came back normal).
This week happened to also be a week when I had a bunch of clients - the most since launching my coaching practice in August. Yay!
A little background: It took me a REALLY long time to get to where I am professionally. Last year it finally came to a point where I felt like, if I don't start doing the work that I feel called to do I'm going to die!
The combination between how much I love my work and how much I hate disappoint people makes cancelling on clients excruciating for me. Nevertheless, I cancelled my Thursday and Sunday appointments.
By Monday I decided that I had rested enough and that I just needed to tough it up and see my clients. But that decision was not based on reality. It wasn't based on checking in with my body to see how I was actually doing - because I was still really sick. The decision was made by a little voice in my head that I'll call the "Judgemental Taskmaster" (JT for short). JT never misses an opportunity to tell me that my self worth is directly related to my productivity - and she's really convincing. She says things like, "if you cancel on this client she's never going to come back to you" or "or cancelling clients means you don't have what it takes to succeed". Yeah, she's kind of a bitch - and I bet she might visit you sometimes as well.
Last night with the onset of a fever my body repeated her very clear message: You need to rest! So I'm listening. I cancelled clients again. I'm surrendering.
I had a sweet text conversation with one of my clients today. She's a new client that I'm very excited to meet and who I've had to cancel on twice in the past week. Here's what I said: "Even though I'm disappointed that our meeting has been pushed off several times, I hope that I'm modeling self care". Turns out she is also trying to have more self care in her life (funny, how that works, right?). When we can really be with ourselves in a way that is vulnerable and compassionate it paves the way for others to be that way as well.
I'm not saying that we should never push ourselves. There are plenty of things that only come into this world with a good push (like the obvious one!). But all mamas know that after childbirth, there needs to come rest. There's a popular idiom that says, live like there's no tomorrow! That's a good thing to do when you are in push mode. But sometimes we have to live (and rest) like there are plenty of tomorrows. To trust that self care I do now is only making a stronger foundation for the actions that I will take after I've healed - no matter how long that takes.
It's not always easy to know when to rest and when to push and I will continue to write about this and explore it from different angles. However, one thing is clear: don't let the Judgemental Taskmaster (or whatever your own version of fear based decison making is) drive the bus.
Much LOVE to you!