It’s been a bit of a time over here a Greatness HQ. Things have been happening that I have had zero control
over. And I’ve had to ride it out. In all it’s glory, twists and turns. I’ve had to just go with it and see where it took me.
One thing I have really learnt over the last 18 months is no matter how much work you do on yourself, life will still throw curve balls at you that you will have zero control over.
Eighteen months ago my brother passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly. It was deeply sad, especially for his children. We hadn’t spoke in a long time. We had gotten to logger heads about me wanting more for him. He couldn’t and wouldn’t see it how I wanted him to. But that was my view point. It’s not fair for me to tell what I see has his story, as it’s not my story to tell. But I know that his passing has taught me so much about life and myself.
Somebody said to me after he’d passed “You must feel terrible, you help and support all these people to live great lives, yet you couldn’t/wouldn’t help your own.” I held onto that comment for a while. I was being judged. Just as I had judged my brothers choices. But what I also know is, we are all entitled to hold our boundaries high and live the life we choose, keeping ourselves safe. And that’s exactly what I was doing.
Some people see self-care and self development as selfish. I’ve spoken about it before. I know when we look after ourselves first and foremost, we have so much more to offer to those that want and need our support.
We deplete ourselves when we give, and give, and give, and give without any thoughts for ourselves.
I spent a lot of time helping close family members re-build their new lives after my brother passed along with reconciling myself with the comments made and my own choices. We all got to a really good place.
Then I had a little accident. An old injury I’ve been nursing better very slowly reared its head and literally knocked me on my ass for the best part of 12 months. Then I developed a severe bacterial infection – I never get sick so this was really and totally out of whack for me. My mobility has been limited and then I was having to rebuild my immune system up after catching some obscure bacterial infection.
At times I’ve got really frustrated. I like to work. I like to be out in the world living. I kept looking for the lesson in why this had happening for me. Why was this happening for me, who did all this work looking after myself. WHY?
I gathered my troops, my tribe of trusty advisors, who gathered around me to lift me up to help me move forwards.
I took a decision to focus on my 1:1 work for a little while – taking things a little easier, and it is a HUGE passion for me to work in this way. It felt really good to make that decision and commitment to me and my clients.
A huge digital detox greatly helped too. I LOVE hangout with my online crowd, but I was conscious of being spread too thinly, and I’m also conscious that sometimes we only show the wonderful bits of life on social media, not this shitty bits. So when you’re having a shitty bit, social media can spiral you down to a place thats really hard to get back up from.
I created lots of space to spend the rest of the time thinking about things I’ve learnt about myself in the last 18 months ::
My self development and self care has made me strong and very resilient, only sometimes it doesn’t leave much room for others close to me, my chosen family and my family. I need to be mindful that people need space to feel their way through a crisis in their own time. And I need to give them space to do so. I don’t need to coach or therapy my friends or family.
I’m a voracious organiser. When a crises hits, I go into total organiser, project planner, operations director mode – I get shit done at a whirl wind pace. And that’s not for everybody, and that’s ok.
People saying mean things that are meant to hurt number 1. It doesn’t make you strange when it doesn’t hurt you as much as the person who said it really wants it to. It means that you are doing the work on yourself you are meant to. (Seriously, I struggled with not feeling bad about some harsh words that were said. I had therapy about not needing therapy!)
People say mean things that are meant to hurt number 2. It’s often because they are hurting so deeply they lash out at the nearest person. That doesn’t make them bad, but you don’t have to take their shit either. It’s ok to hold your boundary.
I have tribe of amazing people who are like my family. We stand shoulder to shoulder, helping and guiding each other through this rich tapestry of life. I LOVE them. Really, really LOVE them. They are my chosen family.
People have been saying “You’ve had a terrible few of years, I can’t believe what’s happened”. I’m sorry, I just don’t view it that way. I won’t step into the triangle of drama, the negativity, and play out the victim in all of this. It’s ok for me to hold the boundary on this and maintain my boundary on doing my own work in my own space and keep a huge positive outlook on life.
5 super simple things to do if sh*t hits the fan in your world ::
- Give yourself permission to stop, be still. Get under the duvet if you need to. Get under it for a week if you want to and need to. It’s totally ok to stop and pause, meditate, be still. Take a break and allow yourself to absorb what’s happening so you can get some rest and clarity about how to move forward.
- Call upon your Tribe of friends to support you. Reach out, tell them you need them. Ask them to just listen to you, tell them what you’d like from them. Getting together with some of my Tribe, my greatest friends is a form of therapy to me. We don’t therapy each other, we just listen if that’s all that’s called upon. We support each other. Love each other. We gossip, we be sad, we laugh. We just be together. For me it’s soul therapy on a whole other level.
- Drink a green smoothie! Seriously, if the shit’s hitting the fan this is one thing you can do for yourself to keep your nutrition up, and your energy a little better than it maybe if you don’t. Your mind and body will feel so much better for doing it than if you don’t. It seems super simple, but that’s actually exactly what we need when life’s feeling a little cray-cray.
- Open the front door and go for a walk. That simple. Walk for 15 minutes in 1 direction and turn around and walk home. Exercise will clear your mind, settle your jitters, lift the spirits and give you time to think or think about something different for half an hour.
- Take some time to write down a plan of the actions you can take to support yourself to feel better. Drifting along with no real plan doesn’t help. It can prolong the angst, making things feel even worse than they did to start with. Set out a time table of all the things you know will support you to feel better. Ask a friend to help, ask them to be your accountability buddy. Set reminders in your phone to help you keep on track with your plan. Check in every night with what you’ve accomplished that day and remind yourself what you want to achieve the following day, engage with you to support yourself.
If you do your self development work, get some good self care routines going, in small chunks, big chunks; chunks of whatever size suits you, in whatever shape or form works for you – when the curve balls come, they will still hit you. You may go down and need to stay down a little while, but you’ll be able to get back up stronger, and take a way something you may have needed to learn about that experience.
If you have any great strategies that have supported you when shit hits the share them below, I love to hear what works for you.