‘During uncertain times, the only path onward is the path inward’
~ Martha Beck
At the beginning of this year, for a period of time, I lost all faith in myself – in my abilities, in my business, in my dream of making a difference in the world.
At the time, I was truly exhausted. I had hosted a lot of visitors in the months prior, I had more social events (some in different states) on than usual, I was still adjusting to living in a new city, and the overwhelm of having a small business was getting to me. I had just finished writing and designing my eBook (a mammoth project).
I felt pressure from all angles to be constantly doing something – and it was taking its toll on me, mind, body and spirit.
I was on my way to yoga class one morning when spontaneously dissolved into tears. I called my boyfriend.
I’ve lost all faith in myself, I cried over the phone, and now I’m crying and I’ll probably end up dripping all over my yoga mat.
Beth, he said, when you take the pressure off, everything will fall into place.
Wise words that I often preach + teach to others, but sometimes forget when it comes to myself.
(On that … why are we SO nice to other people, but rarely as nice to ourselves??).
I knew he was right. And so in the weeks following, I did everything I could to ‘take the pressure off’ – in all areas of my life. I stopped making myself available for things – events, phone calls, social gatherings – as much as I could. I saved my energy for my business and myself.
Not by coincidence, my work schedule quietened – and rather than being anxious about fewer client bookings and client falling away, I knew that life was giving me an opportunity to rest. Truly, deeply rest.
I stopped my regular vinyasa flow yoga classes and went to yin yoga nearly every single day. I didn’t do any other exercise, except for slow walks with my sweet dog Winnie.
I stopped eating raw foods and started cooking really nourishing, grounding casseroles, soups, slow-cooked meals, and curries. (In Traditional Chinese Medicine – my favourite holistic therapy – such gently cooked foods are highly beneficial when one is ‘under the weather’).
I stopped blogging. I watched a lot of Offspring re-runs, I read fiction novels (so good!), and I allowed my body to wake up without an alarm whenever I could. I had a glass of red wine most nights because it felt like my soul needed it. I drank a lot of tea. I took the herbs that I so often give to my clients. I took magnesium and iron and fish oil and anything else my body felt like it was craving.
And, I reached out to the person who gets me the most – my kinesiologist.
What’s wrong with me, I said. I don’t feel like it’s anything physical – my health is great. But it’s like my energetic cup is completely empty. Below empty. I have nothing left to give.
Because … you DON’T, she said. Stop doing. Stop DOING. Just be still. Your spirit is trying to get you to be still. And your spirit only talks softly … you can’t hear her over the noise in your life, in your mind, in your ego.
And of course, I know this. Deep down, I know it and trust it. I preach it and teach it. I wrote a book called The Slow Down Movement, for heaven’s sake … I knew it was my body telling me to sink deeply into the lesson that I am here to teach others.
That when we afford ourselves stillness and time, we heal. In every way.
(We teach what we need to learn, so it’s no surprise that this lesson comes up constantly in my life).
I only lost faith in myself because I was disconnected.
I had allowed myself to get out of tune with my own inner knowing of what was right + wrong for me in any given moment.
I’d slipped back into chronic ‘people pleaser’ mode, without even realising it.
I was looking for external validation in ‘how much I could do for people’, without prioritising myself as well.
I lost touch with my strong inner knowing that what I have to give is enough as it is – and I don’t have to compromise MYSELF to be worthy.
I already am worthy.
Worthy of contentment, success, fulfilment.
There is nothing that I need to do to prove that.
I had to remember that it was safe to just be – I was still worthy even if I wasn’t always doing something.
And now – after several weeks of SLOW, I am feeling like my old self again. I am enjoying – loving! – writing, and giving, and sharing within my business.
I have my faith back – my faith in MYSELF and my life. My faith in what I am here to do, my purpose.
This is what happens when we allow ourself to keep giving from a very empty well – things fall apart. And they keep falling apart until we take notice.
Are you taking notice of what’s going on in your life right now?
This is such a common theme for clients. The signs flood in until we finally take heed of them.
Maybe some of what I’ve written here resonates for you. Maybe you need a period of stillness, of LESS doing, just like I did. I’m not suggesting it’s easy to have this. But if things get hard enough, we’re often forced to do it anyway.
So – if you feel like you’ve lost your faith in the beauty of yourself and your life, take heart. You will get it back. And deep down, you already know what you need, in order to get there.
Much love to you –
Naturopath / Women’s Life Coach // Melbourne, Australia / Skype
Stay connected with me.
I work as a Naturopath + Life Coach in Melbourne, Australia, and via Skype.
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