ARE YOU DROPPING THE BALL?
What we didn’t anticipate was the deep, personal, intimate and vulnerable conversation that took place as we shared experiences around life’s curve balls.
The women who attended shared that curveballs feel more like brick walls, potholes, being shot at from behind. They shared that they produced fear, anxiety, dread, disappointment, intense resentment and bitterness towards the people they loved most.
As we debriefed later that evening, Billy and I unpacked what was shared and asked, "Why? Why does it hurt SO much? Why are these balls so hard to catch? Why does it always feel like we are failing while we’re being pounded by curveballs?"
Here is what we realized:
On a normal day, most solo-mompreneurs are already drowning. We live in a state of perpetual dread because one curveball and push us under.
And WHY are so many of us drowning to begin with?
1. We are overloaded with “priorities”
The truth is that the burden of solo-mompreneurship is probably very inhumane.
We are setting ourselves up for failure because we are starving ourselves of the raw ingredients needed for that kind of capacity and flourishing. We are starved of support and connection.
If you can resonate with ANY of this, know that no matter how lonely you feel, you are not actually alone in your struggle. In that way we are actually all in this together and we can start by doing a better job of talking about it.
If you could do with some cathartic conversation, and if you think you need some of those pivot plan tools I mentioned earlier - click here to download the replay of that webinar. You’ll be so glad you did.
When I am following Christ and learning how to live from him, the exact opposite of my lived experience would be true. That Christ would lead me away from and teach me how to live free of hustle, burnout & overwhelm! (gasp!)
There was a time when I probably would have been extremely proud at my propensity to hustle.
I am by nature pretty driven and hardworking and when the goal is worthy, I can be extremely disciplined and focused. Basically, I am full-on Type A, and hustle was me in my element.
My hustle does have a darkside though. Discipline and focus becomes ruthless elimination of any distraction - even if that distraction happens to be another human who I love and who loves me back. Hard work turns into self-harm as I feel my body groan under the weight of its workload. Early mornings, late nights, all work, no play or rest - all in the name of strong work ethic and whatever it is I start to believe is worth the cost of my health and my peace.
I think the worst part about all of this is that it actually works (at least for a while) - goals are accomplished, a system flooded with adrenaline feels amazing and even better is the value that an achievement, no matter how arbitrary, can bestow upon a small self-esteem pretending to be confident and secure in who she is, and not what she does.
It works… until it doesn’t. It works until bodies start to give in after years of abuse. It works until marriages and friendships are eroded until there’s nothing left, and it works until your appetite for achievement or value becomes so insatiable that nothing satisfies for long or how it used to.
Here is the real problem with hustle though. The issue undergirding all of that self-destruction is that the energy driving most of our hustle is scarcity and shame.
Hustle is not about hard work or productivity.
Hustle is a posture and an energy.
It’s an expression of scarcity and an experience of danger or threat to who we are.
It’s fight or flight in action.
If you know anything about fight or flight you know that it is a physiological and emotional state that is only supposed to be short term and for extreme, dangerous situations.
Rest doesn't happen there.
Peace doesn’t happen there.
Reproduction and fruitfulness doesn’t happen there.
Real growth gets stunted there.
Healthy energy can’t be sustained there.
Hustle is fear of loss or losing, it is shame and fear responding on your behalf, its self-protection - and it’s also isolation when you need connection more.
If we are honest with ourselves, we can acknowledge that a lot of us structure our lives around avoiding pain.
What if we chose to structure it around pursuing love?
What if the energy we need to succeed in life isnt hustle, what if it is courage infused with love and it's rooted in deep peace and a confidence that we are safe, that we are valuable and that life is good?
What if there is always more than enough time?
What if it were fun and easy?
The commitment I am making to myself, and the one I am inviting you to make for yourself is to consistently examine my foundation and the energy propelling me. Am I prepared to work hard? YES! Do I want to live my life having left nothing on the table? HECK YES! Do I believe it's worth sacrificing my health, love and peace for? Never again.
I can choose to do all of that from a place of already, right-now, in-the-present deep satisfaction and peace.
What about you? Are you ready to let go of the fear and the shame and shine in your love?
If you are reading this and are concerned that your hustle might be starting to take its toll on your health and wellbeing, you might be interested in a free quiz I put together for you. Click here to access the “what is your survival mode score?” quiz!
I first listened to Rebekah Lyons’ Rhythms of Renewal right at the start of the pandemic and back then, it felt like a much needed intervention (because… pandemic).
What I love about this book is how simple and easy it is to read (or listen to), but simultaneously how deep and thought provoking it is.
During a discussion on how much we enjoyed it, one of my friends (Aoife Stone), made a good point when she mentioned that she thought the title was a bit misleading. Someone not struggling with stress and anxiety may walk past it assuming it's not for them… however - anyone wanting more peace and balance in life (nearly all the humans) should absolutely pick it up!
I read it again about 3 months after listening to it for the first time, and while I had already made many significant changes to my life after the first sitting I had with this book, even within such a short period of time I was able to identify really constructive wisdom and make even more positive changes as a result of fresh eyes and coming at it from a slightly different perspective.
I am really glad I got myself a hard copy - this book is probably going to be something I use to take stock of where I am at and where I want to be at least annually - and yes, it really is THAT simple and easy to read that anyone should be able to squeeze it into their lives at least once a year and have it add tremendous value each and every time.
So in summary:
**Rhythms of Renewal ** is an incredible read for the season we find ourselves in, and beyond.
It is incredibly easy to read: the chapters are short (so you could pick it up and finish one or two in one sitting), simple and to the point. At the same time it is incredibly DEEP and thought-provoking.
My book club sisters and I also appreciated how holistic it is - it covers every area of who we are and helps us to think about ourselves and what we are experiencing from a number of different angles.
According to Lyons, the 4 rhythms each of us need to cultivate to experience continual renewal are:
When I went through it 3 months ago, the rhythm I needed to lean into most was Creation, as of last week… it is Rest… how about you? Which Rhythm do you think you need to cultivate more intentionally? Have YOU read Rhythms of Renewal? What did you think?
You can pick up Rhythms of Renewal Here:
And if you think you could do with a tribe of fearless women making big moves to banish burnout and bitterness and flourish in all things, why don’t you head on over to our Free Facebook Community? We can't wait to have you!
Here is what she says about her experience of the Stress & Self Care Reset:I just wanted to touch base since I wasn't able to speak with you last week. Even with all the chaos last week threw at us unexpectedly, I was able to continue participating in almost all aspects of the reset. In the few days that we've been home this week and settling back into our usual pandemic work/life routine I've finally had a chance to reflect on impacts I've seen from the reset.
I just wanted to touch base since I wasn't able to speak with you last week. Even with all the chaos last week threw at us unexpectedly, I was able to continue participating in almost all aspects of the reset. In the few days that we've been home this week and settling back into our usual pandemic work/life routine I've finally had a chance to reflect on impacts I've seen from the reset.
Two places in particular where I saw changes were in using the Superfood supplement and identifying and using a daily mantra/affirmation. I have a deep and abiding love of Coke, and while I have mostly eliminated it from my diet in times of great stress and overworking, I find excuses to let it back into my life and while it's not the couple a day habit i used to have, even a few during a single week is not something I really want. It just has a noticeable impact on my physical and mental health. Anyhow, that's where I was when we started and without even making a conscious effort, I found that a few days into using the Ningxia Red that I no longer had that mid afternoon craving for a coke. In fact my afternoon fatigue seemed to be gone in general.
The idea of using a mantra or daily affirmations isn't new to me. I do them with my kids regularly, but it's not something I've actually focused on for myself. When we first started the reset, our family was reading through Romans in the mornings together. And there were some parts of Romans 8 that just jumped out at me. So I began with the daily affirmation of I am free. (Romans 8:2) I am fearless. (Romans 8:15) and I am never alone. (Romans 8:38-39) Coming up with the daily affirmation forced me to really think about what it is I needed to hear and tell myself each day to remind me of who I am and who I want to be. Not knowing when we started what the second week would bring into my life, I relied on those affirmations often throughout the day on our trip to my hometown to say good-bye to my grandmother and spend some time with family. I won't go into detail, but leaving that town was my greatest goal from the age I first realized it was an option. My parents have always been a stress trigger for me starting with a diagnosis of a stress-induced autoimmune disease when I was a teen. I've spent a long time learning to deal with the impact of stress to my body and mind and how to manage and prevent it and how to stay healthy while having a relationship with my family of origin. I didn't realize how much I was relying on those affirmations until I sat down to reflect.
I have also been using the other protocol tools regularly. I very much enjoy integrating them while I spend a few minutes meditating in the morning or when I was traveling I used it on the short 10 min drive from our cottage to visit my grandmother. I haven't usually used something like that during my morning meditation time, but I plan to continue the entire RESET protocol through the summer.
All in all, I'm very grateful to have participated in the reset...it did just that for me, helped me reset to healthier ways that I feel empowered to build on. I plan to keep up all the things through the summer and hopefully catch up on the journaling too. Thanks so much for offering it!
If you would like more information about the Stress & Self-Care Reset: Visit the webpage here.