Thank you Liz, owner of Chicago Boudoir, for allowing me a way to rest during such a busy week! For someone who must do something outside of the norm to rest, I appreciate you helping me find a new way to see the gorgeous, brave, and fearless woman within me so I could have energy to empower others!
A couple years ago, I started having real health issues. My blood pressure was too high and my mind was foggy. Instead of taking time to care of myself and my stress level, I started taking a blood pressure pill. This was problematic to say the least…
Early on in my career, I had a vision of standing on the stage motivating others. I would constantly push myself to get up and speak in front of people during conferences and meetings. My body would react with a “fight” response that would cause me to sweat, my heart would beat fast, and my throat to seemingly close up. Because fear of public speaking is common and these symptoms normally present themselves, I didn’t realized the stress of my career choices were affecting my health.
It literally took a Jeep slamming into the driver side of my car to make me slow down! I had just dropped my kids off at school. “Shame on me! Driving my children while exhausted!” Mommas, you know this negative self-talk all too well. When something terrible happens because we haven’t had rest and couldn’t react in time, we blame ourselves. The reality is… I should’ve asked for help.
After the wreck, my health got increasingly worse. I had this numbness and tingling in my arms and legs which cause me serious anxiety. Fear was surfacing, and I did not like it! After I had a headache for three days in a row, I went to the doctor. We started taking a holistic approach to my wellness. The testing found I was extremely low on B12 and D vitamins. I started taking weekly B12 shots which really seemed to help. I also began a regular routine of Chiropractic care and supplements to ensure I was at my best… I thought this solved the problem. However in a short time, it was back. I spent thousands of dollars in testing but nothing concrete was found. I was almost wishing for something to be wrong with me… I just wanted to know what I was dealing with so I could get back to work!
I was searching for answers everywhere on what could be causing these problems. It wasn’t until I attended the John Maxwell conference that everything became clear to me. There were several speakers on how the brain and body work together. Also, a speaker mentioned prescription drugs were one of the top causes of death. After much thought, I quit my blood pressure pill. I know those pills had destroyed my gut health and it was negatively affecting my body and mind substantially! I decided I would find other ways to control my blood pressure. I would start by allowing myself time to rest!
I urge you to listen to your body as it warns you when you are neglecting it.
When you are in pain, SOMETHING IS WRONG.
When you are tired, REST.
When you are hungry, Stop & EAT.
When you are sad, allow yourself time to HEAL.
When you are overwhelmed, allow someone to HELP.
At the same time all this was happening, I had started a new women’s group at my church. We all picked words for the year. My word was Wisdom. I believe I found wisdom through the women who God put in my life to show me how women can truly support women in their time of need.
Last March while planning the Empowering Women in Industry Conference & Awards Gala, I was watching the news coverage of the women’s march. I saw a sign that said, “Women belong in the kitchen” with the verse 2 Timothy 1-7 under it. I decided to look it up and educate myself on why this person would think this. I believe he was mistaken because this is what I found:
“God didn’t give us a spirit of fear or to be timid but of power, love, and self-discipline”.
As I studied more about the verse, it inspired me. I knew I understood the Power & Love part. I feel pretty courageous, and I love everyone! But Self-Discipline, I questioned my capacity!
Since I was going through a lot of health issues, this study started with Self-Care. I set out to learn how-to take care of myself. I took up kayaking, and I cut out a lot of the bad things I was putting into my body. I also looked for ways I could put good things into my body including positive self talk. I constantly told myself, “ I am strong, I am a leader, I CAN with God’s help!” This made all the difference in pulling me out of the darkness.
I learned Self-Discipline doesn’t come easy. It takes work. IT ALSO TAKES REST! It takes being kind to ourselves. Celebrating small steps forward and rewarding a job well done. It takes setting clear goals and being honest about whether you are able to accomplish them. Self-Care is just one area of Self-discipline and it is truly fascinating to see the power the mind has over the body.
This is what self-care looks to me… NO stress on my face!
I encourage you to study what it looks like for your life.
I would like to thank Rebekah Mechtensimer for being a wonderful example for me. Seeing her use self discipline to overcome obstacles while becoming this “best version of self” has made me believe so much more is possible.
I’m wondering… How do you use self-discipline to improve your life?