2018 was a roller coaster for so many people — a wild year of intense lows and challenges mixed with intense highs and blessings. I know I’m not the only person who heaved a sigh of relief on January 1, happy to have survived another year on this journey called life and being so much better for it.
The biggest lesson many of us had to learn in 2018 was self-care/self-love. Our culture generally teaches us that we are selfish if we put on our own oxygen mask first. “Suck it up.” “Deal with it.” “Man up.” These are all phrases our society has created to shame us for feeling weak, sad, emotional, angry, exhausted or sick. The only time we are allowed to put ourselves first is on an airplane!
The problem is, not dealing with the problem, whether it’s grief over the loss of a loved one or feeling burned out from work, can make us feel weaker, sadder, more emotional, angrier, more exhausted and/or sicker. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Just as we can celebrate the blessings and good times in our lives, we must give ourselves the space and love to to nourish ourselves when we feel overwhelmed.
This is why I haven’t posted a blog for a while.
Dealing with college applications, issues with my ex, a promotion and much longer commute, ending a relationship, getting full custody of 3 teenagers, losing a close friend to alcoholism, getting more comfortable with being by myself, having to cancel a vacation due to short staffing… all of these left me feeling as if I had been put through the spin cycle in my washing machine over and over. I had to take a big step back and ask myself in what capacity could I continue to serve. I wanted to continue to live my purpose and my passion, but I couldn’t do it if I was feeling overwhelmed, burned out and without much creative mojo.
Again, I was not alone in this. It was a big theme in 2018 among many of my friends and colleagues, who found themselves asking the same questions.
Taking the time to take a step back to regroup and get rejuvenated was the biggest gift I could give myself. I hope that you were able to do the same.
“Thank you for being bold”
Recently someone sent me an email about my measles blog and in closing wrote, “Thank you for being bold.” I was really touched by this acknowledgement because I had never really considered what I do as being “bold.” Speaking my truth and doing what I can to change our health care system have become part of my self-care. Suppressing that truth is painful.
Then again, she was right.
It takes courage to try to change an archaic, financially-driven patriarchal healthcare system that was created for profit and power, not for the well-being for all, including our planet.
One has to be bold to face the social media trolls whose sole existence is to demean, discourage and shame those who are willing to speak the truth, no matter how uncomfortable that truth might be.
Here’s the reality — YOU are one of the reasons that I can be bold. I know I tell you frequently how grateful I am for your presence and for being a part of my tribe. I don’t think I could tell you enough! YOUR struggles, YOUR challenges, YOUR belief in me all inspire me to take another step forward, even if I have to temporarily take a step back to regroup and course correct.
I’m still determining what steps forward I will take in 2019 to move closer towards my vision of a nature-based, sustainable model of healthcare. I do know that I’m excited for the possibilities of 2019 and what it has already brought me. Stay tuned, because I am going to be asking for your opinions, thoughts and feedback as well. You should always be getting some value from the content I provide. (If you’re not, please tell me what you need.)
In the meantime, how are you going to be BOLD in 2019? What’s one step that you can take to empower — to embolden — yourself, whether with your health, your relationships or your work?
Enter your goal into the comments so that we can support you and cheer you on.
P.S. If you haven't had a chance to read my controversial blog on measles, you can find it by clicking here.
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