Hello, my beautiful friends! I hope you all survived and thrived throughout the holiday season and are ready to step into 2022. Just a heads up this week’s message maybe a little longer than normal, but I promise it’s worth the read.
My feelings about December
Similar to some of you, I have separated myself from my religious upbringing. I don’t believe in the same concepts that were taught to me. And because I love all things witchy, I’ve done a lot of research on paganism and holiday traditions. So when I think of Christmas (and a few other holidays), I upset myself thinking of the persecution some of our ancestors went through that changed the meaning of these sacred holidays into what they are known for today. Let’s just say I know I have some work to do in this area around puritans and the crusades.
*Also, a part of the irony in this is that I am also a descendent of the original Santa Clause/St. Nicholas (according to an old family history book)–this is how I like to justify my physical stature (belly and beard )😂.
Additionally, as you saw a few weeks ago, I have a December birthday. Most December babies I’ve talked to dislike December–myself included. To give some additional context, 4/5 members of my immediate family growing up have birthdays in December. If I calculate birthdays for them and for grandparents, cousins, friends, holiday parties, etc. there could LITERALLY be some type of celebratory event every day of the month. As an introvert and homebody, this is what we call a NIGHTMARE!
As soon as I saw December approaching on the calendar, I started thinking of the nightmare that it would be. Even though COVID changed how people get together and celebrate, and there wouldn’t be as many events as there were in the past, the idea of it all was still terrible. Especially when I thought about figuring out how to take time off to unplug and relax.
Lead Into the Holidays
So I decided to really hone in on my calendar and work extra hard so I could take the 16th (my birthday) and the 31st (NYE) off, but still get everything done. What I really wanted to do was to take the last two weeks of the year off completely, but didn’t feel like it was realistic (yup, I turned that thought into reality). So I worked 11+ hour days M-F, and 4+ hours on Saturday, and slept most of Sunday. All of this so I could have two days off. WTF, right?!
It was about mid/end-week after I had been coaching on my schedule and calendar for a couple weeks that I decided to take back some more control. I made the choice to cancel my personal clients for the last two weeks of the year so I could focus on business planning for 2022–and my best ideas come when I’m giving myself space to just sit and think.
Even though I had canceled my personal clients, I was still coaching clients a few hours a day for my contract gig and doing some other work in my business. No problems. However, as Christmas day approached, my thoughts grew more negative (yep, those damn puritans get me every time). I’m still lucky enough to have family members and loved ones around to celebrate with, which you think would make me look forward to the day. But even though I love seeing my family, I’m still an introvert and homebody at heart.
New Year’s Week
The Sunday after Christmas I woke up with a sore throat and was tired. No biggie; thought I slept with my mouth open or something. Took it easy and went to bed early. Monday morning, I wake up and my throat felt raw like it was peeled with a potato peeler. And my uvula was so swollen that it made swallowing and talking painful–like to the point where I couldn’t talk without making awkward painful cringy faces several times a minute.
As a homebody, I hadn’t been anywhere for potential exposure except for Christmas celebrations with my family. When I woke up sick, I immediately wanted to find someone to blame. I then found out that no one from my family had been sick, and someone pointed out to me that I may have just run myself out. Now, because it was my fault that I was sick, my mentality and mind management started to pick up speed…in the downhill direction!
On top of feeling terrible both physically and mentally, I had coaching clients booked through my contract gig that I needed to find coverage for or cancel. This was a first for me so my brain went NUTS:
“You’re just being dramatic. You should be able to push through. Your colleagues are going to judge you because it’s right after Christmas and the week of New Year’s. You’re letting everyone down. You can’t handle your own shit. They’ll think so much less of you now. All the time I spent stressing and crafting my schedule was a complete waste! Merry f*cking Christmas to me. If this lasts for more than a couple days, I’m f*cked.”
Thoughts like this continued and escalated throughout the week. And as you can assume, none of them were helpful. I totally fell into the pit of victimhood–“Pity Party for one, please” 🙋🏼♂️ I got the coverage for several appointments and had to cancel several others. The feelings of guilt, shame, and disappointment were so heavy and intense–on top of everything else I had been feeling about the holiday season!
I hadn’t felt like that in such a long time. And even though I slept the majority of the week (12+ hours a night and several 1-5 hour naps during the day), it was probably the second or third worst week of 2021 for me.
The first several days of the week, I was completely unaware of what my brain was doing. I believed every thought it presented to me. About mid-week, I started to catch on but still didn’t feel like I had it in me to challenge my narrative or try to think differently. I discovered I didn’t want to–I just wanted to be consumed and isolated by it. It was at this point I realized I had been resisting feeling these negative emotions by thinking “I don’t like this and I shouldn’t feel this way.” Then I asked myself two powerful questions:
Of course I felt sh*tty! I was physically ill and had things I needed to figure out. My carefully planned schedule was completely blown to smithereens! And what if that was okay?
Now that I allowed myself to feel sh*tty about my perceived reality, guess what happened? Those negative feelings didn’t feel as heavy. I was now in a mental place where I could talk to myself in a much less intensely negative way AND in a way that wasn’t black & white or all-or-nothing. And this is what I practiced for a few hours (previously, this would have been DAYS)–meaning, a negative thought would naturally come up (like they do), and instead of immediately believing it, I started talking to it like I would if it were one of my sons or nieces or nephews.
1. Our brains will offer up old thoughts we’ve had before – WE DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE THEM.
2. Physical illness sucks, but it’s best used as information–what is your body trying to tell you?
3. Remember, when things don’t go your way or go as planned, it wasn’t meant to happen that way–AND THAT’S OKAY.
4. Confidence is having your own back. However, sometimes having your own back means disappointing others. Sometimes it means asking for help. Sometimes it sounds like “no.” Most often it’s not loud or showy, it’s quiet and intentional.
At first, I was nervous to share this intense behind-the-scenes view of my mind. But then when I started to see my lessons learned, I knew there would be others that could benefit. AND I absolutely am not and don’t want to be the kind of coach or person that only posts positive life highlights. The truth is, self-development isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s stormy, wind-torn, muddy, etc. But when you learn how to navigate the storm, you also learn how to embrace the intensity of a single sunray and build upon it until the rainbow appears.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. Thank you for not being perfect. Thank you for not hiding your pain. Thank you for reaching out for help. Thank you for every minute of trying–whether it’s easy or hard. Thank you for being you. 🧡
Happy New Year and let’s make 2022 our b*tch! 😈
Exciting Things Coming in 2022
Make sure to join my free Facebook group, CONJURING CONFIDENCE before next week…
In 2022, you can expect:
- MORE free challenges (let’s take some small steps together that will make a BIG impact),
- MORE free live group coaching calls,
- MORE free virtual face-to-face chats,
- and MORE.
“CHANGE HOW YOU SHOW UP IN THE WORLD, THEN GO OUT AND CHANGE THE WORLD!”— Cameron Nichols