Let me ask you a serious question -and I want you to take a moment to think about it before you jump to an answer:
Are you walking your own talk?
When you think about what you stand for, what advice you give your friends, what you share on social media, do you really embody your own advice?
Are you in integrity with your own principles, values and philosophies?
I'm not asking this question to question you or the integrity of your word, but I am posing this question, because in all honesty, walking your own talk is really freaking hard.
Over the last 3-4 weeks as I've been recovering from my appendectomy at 34 weeks pregnant and simultaneously preparing myself physically and emotionally for the birth of my second son, I've been thinking about this question A LOT.
Am I walking my own talk? And if I am not, how can I move closer to my own truth and stand in deep integrity and resonance with what I write about to you and what I teach my clients.
Here is the truth: being still, resting, doing nothing without feeling guilty has always been challenging for me. I am a do-er. I love the feeling of being up to something exciting. I feel curious about something new all the time and I love creating things and being in planning mode.
In fact, my husband gets annoyed with me sometimes because I have a hard time just sitting down and doing nothing.
Yet, I know how tremendously important -and in fact, productive!- rest, rejuvenation, and sleep are. I talk to my clients about the value of slowing down, having an evening routine and releasing the guilt that accompanies so many of us women when we feel unproductive. At the same time, I know that these lessons are difficult to implement and I was reminded of just how hard they are in the last few weeks.
To be honest with you, after my surgery, I felt like I was being brought to my knees.
I had so much going on -so many exciting things happening. Well Mama was well on its way and I had a bunch of speaking engagements on fertility, women's hormonal health, postpartum recovery and motherhood lined up before going on maternity leave.
I also wanted to enjoy the time I had with only Felix, my 2-year old and be his active mama who swings him around, chases him through the house and goes down the big kid slides with him at the playground.
I wanted this pregnancy to be like my fist pregnancy where I felt totally fit, active, and light in my feet literally until the day I marched into the hospital.
And yet there I was: moving at a snail's speed, a total lack of appetite (which never happens to me), in pain with a 3 inch incision brightly marking my still expanding pregnant belly, an infection of the incision that sent me seeking help from a Chinese herbalist after I rejected antibiotics from my doctor (which turned out to clear up the infection in 48 hours -yay!), and most prominently, I was just so so tired and exhausted.
On my second day at home, I had a complete melt-down. I crawled into bed and cried, feeling so frustrated, helpless and victim to my physical pain. That's when the question whether I was walking my own talk came into my mind.
I asked myself what I would tell my clients if they were in my shoes?
I realized that, first of all, I would tell them to have compassion for themselves and be patient.
I would tell them that this wasn't the time for major productivity and pressure.
I would ask them what their injury was trying to tell or teach them.
I would ask them to tune in and ask their bodies what they needed.
I would walk them through recognizing the boundaries they needed to create and the support they needed to get to heal and feel well again.
And of course, I would develop a plan for healing foods and supplements that they can use to enhance the healing process.
Once I started this internal dialogue, it was clear to me that I needed to do a few things:
I needed to pause Well Mama and postpone the second half of the course until August as well as cancel/ postpone all of my speaking engagements. I believe in everything I teach so deeply that pushing through and squeezing in all the wonderful materials I want to share with women before my second baby arrives and while I was still recovering, just didn't feel authentic or in integrity with who I am as a coach or woman.
I also needed to let myself rest more and so I've been napping with Felix almost every afternoon. (Honestly, I am ready to move to Spain and have a daily siesta for the rest of my life;) It has felt so incredible and luxurious to just lay down, close my eyes and drift off into sleep in the early afternoon.)
To tell you the truth, I believe that this surgery partially happened to remind me to slow down, to teach me (once more) what it's like to take incredible care of myself and to continue to release the feelings of guilt and impatience that come with not being "on top of my own game."
I've also had the chance to really walk my own talk when it comes to healing from abdominal surgery and be a kind mama not only to my son, but to myself.
I used the protocol I share with my clients who are healing from a c-section incision and was able to experience the benefits of it all first hand.
In a way, I think that this appendectomy is making me an even more compassionate coach, deep listener and insightful adviser to women who are experiencing pregnancy as difficult and tiresome or who are dealing with unexpected difficulties in their lives.
It has humbled me to say the least.
So let me ask you again: Are you walking your own talk?
And if not, how can you step into deeper integrity with what you believe, desire to embody, and advice others on?
Perhaps you are telling your friend she is beautiful and should love the body she has while you are secretly resenting your own and are watching your weight like a hawk? Maybe you are a perfectionist but are telling others that making mistakes is normal and to be kind to themselves, when in your own reality you cannot forgive yourself? Perhaps you are a mama who is secretly anxious and struggling but when anyone asks you how you are doing, you feel like you have to pretend like everything is great?
Walking your own talk essentially means embracing your own authenticity and honoring your own vulnerability. And while the initial steps may be scary, I promise you that on the other end there is an immense amount of freedom, lightness, and wholeness waiting for you.
Sending you love.