Check out my latest article in the Elephant Journal.
We need each other more than ever right now. If you need someone, be brave. Reach out.
In my post last week, I said I don’t want to help everyone. That’s a recent revelation for me. Almost every job that I’ve ever had is about helping others. As long as I can remember, I wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of others in some way. Genuinely. Sincerely.
Getting to this point has been hard for me. For so much of my life, I earned visibility by being the helper or what I thought was the helper. In actuality, I wasn’t the helper. I was the dragger of dead weight, and I did it, so I could feel seen and virtuous…heroic.
But really, I was just the unappreciated doer of all the laundry, the chopper of piles of wood, because this is Montana, the midnight shoveler of snow, and the person who’d sit for hours and hours listening to “friends” who wanted an audience of at least one to talk about themselves but who had no interest in doing anything different.
I had to admit that part of why I wanted was to save people was because I so desperately, for so many years, wanted to be saved. Part of me thought if I could save someone, then I’d be worth something.
This is one of the external ways I’ve tried to earn my worth. Other times, I tried to feel worthy by looking a particular way or having a certain job.
What I’ve learned is that realizing I was trying to prove my worth by something outside myself was not a sudden epiphany that “cured” of my insecurities.
It’s more like a constant weeding, a vigilance. It’s more like how I have to continually shave my armpits if I want to look a certain way in a sleeveless dress. It’s continual effort. But in putting forth continual effort, your hands will grow stronger and it's easier to rid yourself of something small rather than an infestation. You’ll spot the weeds earlier. It’s easier to pull some weeds as soon as you see their annoying little face sprout up rather than when you are on a phone call at 2 am with someone who would never pick up the phone to help you.
But here’s the thing, helping people is different from trying to save someone. Helping someone is more like being a guide and saving someone generally means doing more and caring more than the person you’re trying to save. I only want to help people interested in doing the work it takes to be different.
I recently started offering yoga & writing workshops, and I LOVE coming up with writing prompts to help people with self-exploration. Here are some questions you can answer in a journal or just some questions for you to think about.
Hello again to anybody who’s reading this. I decided to get off my ass and start blogging again. Actually, I haven’t been in rest mode. I’ve been working a fulltime job and have been teaching seven yoga classes a week and am still a single mama to my two boys and my daughter.
A lot has transpired. I took my 16-year-old out of high school and enrolled him in college which was a lifetime’s worth of paperwork, and my mom had cancer that is now in remission. A lot of little and not so little things have happened since the last time I wrote a blog post.
Despite all the outward changes in my life, more has changed beneath the surface. I did a metabolic reset program with a naturopath, who is a dead ringer for Clark Kent, and I lost over 30 pounds. In my next blog post, I’ll post a picture of me in a bikini!
Haha. That’s a joke.
There was something about Clark Kent’s kindness and support that was life altering for me. First of all, I reached out for help which is really hard for me to do. I’m always the helper and not the helped, but I needed the expertise and guidance of someone else.
Secondly, he asked me questions that made me think about other parts of my life, not just about the amount of sugar that I was eating. He asked me what kinds of people I spend my time with. Yeah. I have some fucking awesome people in my life who are rock stars of kindness and coolness.
But I also have people that I work with who are extremely toxic and having regular contact with toxic people really sucks for your health. Clark Kent also suggested that I meditate and write in a journal. I also decided to see a new therapist because of the things I realized about myself through journal writing and meditating.
Because of the journal writing and meditating, I remembered how important it is to me to finish my novel. I’ve made more progress on my novel in the last three months than I’ve made in 10 years.
I also remembered that I actually love helping people but not everyone. Change is fucking hard!! In week one or so of giving up sugar, I stopped to tie my shoe and saw an old jelly bean on the side walk, and I stared at it and had to talk myself out of eating it.
I do not want to help everyone. Some people do not want to be helped. They want to be heard complaining. They want some things to be different, but they don’t want to do anything different. They don’t want to do the work.
One of the things I love about teaching yoga is that I am just the guide. The people who show up do the work. They drive to class, roll out their mat, and they move their bodies. They do the work. I just show them what to do. They do it.
In terms of life coaching, these are my dream clients. I am not perfect. I’m a practicer. Yoga taught me that. Yoga is a constant practice that requires one to show up. There is no perfection, only practice, and every day is different.
I want to work with people who are looking for a funny, smart, thoughtful fierce encourager to cheer them on, to help guide them, to witness their success. Have you ever achieved something you were proud of only to have the people around you not notice? Or worse. Be negative and discouraging about your positive changes. I recently experienced this by losing over 30 pounds.
Like I said, change is hard, and sometimes, we have to reach outside our normal circle or widen our existing circle to get some encouragement and support.
I want to work with magical people who are motivated to do the work for themselves, for their dreams, to move closer to who they want to be because we are not meant to make our journeys alone. Sometimes, we need each other.
Today, I wanted to go to church, and I didn’t want to go to church. It’s an hour drive one way. I work every day of the week, and Sunday is the only day I can sleep in, so I got up late and cooked a brunch for my sons.
Then I cooked some soup and did laundry. I debated about driving to church. I really wanted to stay in my pajamas and not wash my hair today. But at the last minute, I decided to go to church. Sometimes, I resist the things I need the most.
Things are not smooth sailing in my life right now because I recently found out a close family member has cancer, yet today, I felt well rested. I felt like I was handling things okay today and maybe I didn’t need church.
I pray every morning, but sometimes, I need more to fortify myself. I realized that I was starting to view church like I view exercise. I can’t do a physical or spiritual practice once and think I’ll be strong. I need to keep practicing to stay strong.
Surrounding myself with people who care about being good and loving and helping others is so nourishing for me. I am not trying to promote any particular religion, but it’s immensely helpful to me to be around people who are on a spiritual path.
I ain’t perfect by any means. I swear, and I drink wine with my friends. But I believe in God, and I care about helping others.
My point with this is that I hope maybe you think about what you are resisting. Are you resisting anything that is actually helpful to you? If so, why?
Sometimes, I resist doing yoga. I love yoga, but there are times when I put my body in poses and my mind starts to quiet down & shit starts to rise to the surface of my consciousness. Shit that I buried by staying busy and distracted, but it’s good for me to face what I need to face. Yoga makes me stronger physically, emotionally & spiritually.
If there is anything you are resisting, I hope you see what it is and let yourself relax in that place. I hope you find things that nourish you and that you soften to those things enough to let them inside your life to fortify you, to strengthen you, to love you.
I hope my blog inspires you to believe in yourself more and feel less alone in the world. I, for one, am inspired by the imperfections of others who continue to rise up again and again despite life's challenges. May we find ways to inspire and support each other.