I just got home from a massage that I had been putting off for, oh, a year. My normal massage therapist comes to my house, but I needed someone new, who didn’t know me, nor know of my love of coffee, chit chat and great lipgloss.
What was supposed to be time to tune out and find bliss turned into 90 minutes of revelation.
I am slowly killing myself.
I am a textbook Type-A perfectionist. Not only do I want everything done perfectly, I want it done yesterday. I set aggressive timelines for myself and when I don’t perform up to the unachievable standards I’ve set for myself, I crumble and can’t accept that I am human and susceptible to failure. Which is how I found myself crying over a spelling mistake sent in an email to women I respect and admire last week — for an hour.
That’s not normal. Unless you’re a perfectionist with unrealistic ideals no one expects you to live up to.
I have to change my life.
Did you know you can see a lot of the stress you’re holding by looking at your neck? Turns out, I’m losing my neck because of how I hold myself. The muscles are slowly compacting and tightening. I come from a long line of family members who are short of neck and stature, but even I had noticed that recently my neck was looking funny. Since my massage I have a neck, but there are things I have to do posture and stress wise to keep my shoulders where they are supposed to be –not connected to my chin is a good start.
During my massage, I saw my friend Elena looking at me so clearly saying “Lisa, now do you realize you have to change your life” when she hit a spot during the craniosacral portion that was so tender, I cried. It wasn’t a bad thing, but it was intense — the trigger point and the vision.
Tapping into your subconscious on a massage table and it telling you that you’re going to die if you don’t change your life is a wake-up call.
I also thought about my friend Allan. He recently wrote about the impermanence of life, stillness, fear, all of those things you experience when you go through a profound change in your life. In it he discussed life’s rhythm and how he finally gave up trying to keep everyone and everything around him still. He did that out of fear and said,”I’ve finally embraced that rhythm and gave up trying to keep life and everyone around me still. Stillness does not lead to happiness. Statues are cold and grey.”
“Hope is a function of struggle.” ~ Brene Brown
I’m struggling. Anytime we start going through a profound change, or period of personal growth, we struggle. Brene Brown learned from her research that “hope is a function of struggle.” After all, we can only hope that when we get to the other side we come out of this bleak period a changed person, for the better.
She also said, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
Simply put, I have to realign myself and my goals.
I was swimming along in my life goals, until I encountered massive writer’s block over the summer. The story I have been developing is my darling. All writers have to kill their darlings at some point, but it’s not fair to kill my darling before I even finish writing it.
Actually, I wasn’t swimming, I was dog paddling. Poorly. Right now, I’m on my tip-toes with my nose poked out of the water to breathe and that’s good enough for where I am.
Yesterday, I was in a meeting and one of my co-workers said, “you are exactly in the place you’re supposed to be right this very moment.” She was right. That’s a huge lesson to take away.
So here I am, incredibly vulnerable, out of sorts, feeling fear fill every cell in my body and I’m stepping in and embracing fear. She’s a fickle, cruel mistress but I am wrapping my arms around her, gratefully.
What do I have to do?
I have to let go.
I have to let go of perfection.
I have to let go of my Type-A attitude.
I have to let go of aggressive, internalized schedules.
I have to quit trying to make everyone I’ve ever met happy.
I have to quit trying to make everyone I’ve ever met like me.
I have to let go of people who fill my life with negative energy.
I have to focus on me.
What am I going to do?
I’m going to listen to the wise women in my life who guide me, which means letting go of things and not caring as much. Caring in itself is good. Caring to the point I make myself crazy is not good.
I’m going to do more to take care of myself physically.
I’m going to do more to take care of myself spiritually.
I’m going to do more to take care of myself emotionally.
I’m going to watch my posture so that I don’t lose my neck.
I’m going to open myself up to opportunity.
I’m going to open myself up to creativity.
I’m going to open myself up to new friends.
I’m going to open myself up to my breath.
I’m going to open myself up to good enough.
I’m going to take the time to learn who Lisa really is. I might actually like the person in the mirror instead of just barely tolerating her.
There is a whole world of possibilities and so much life I want to experience. I will never experience it unless I take the steps to find me.
I’m going to be gentle with myself during this process and I ask that you be gentle with yourself, friends. Always.