Confessions of a Very Human Recovery Coach
In a world filled with experts and people posing as wisdom keepers, I know myself simply as a woman amongst women. A human amongst humans. A soul amongst souls. Why do I say this? Because with my credentials and accomplishments I could write a list of what I offer and what I have done. I could pretend it makes me important or gives me more value. I could read you my list and then you can read me yours, and our egos can then dialogue based on worldly merit. I believe that we are more alike than different, and no matter what paper or even our mouths say, we all struggle with similar things.
Credentials, press-releases, marketing campaigns, and highlight reels can serve a purpose, but they also have a shadow side. The more we try to “be” anything, the less we are in direct contact with the authenticity of our experience. In the decades of work I have done on myself and with others, I have learned that we are not going to arrive, circumstances change and deeper layers of inner-work comes up to be healed in the process. And while different situations may trigger different things within us, we all have core traits that are ours to work with and overcome in this life.
How I Relate:
One of my biggest opportunities for growth has been my own thinking. My mind is not the easiest to work with. It shouts demands, nudges me into thinking I need to change this or that about myself, and can even land me in a state of depression or anxiety. Somehow, by the grace of God it has been shifting monumentally as I have stepped out of a tremendously challenging few years. What was once bleak is now open for possibility. I simply had to go through this time to get to where I am today. And, I imagine, this continual unfolding will continue. There are always new layers to be peeled away and new heights to reach. One of the biggest sources of challenge for me has always been my own mind! I have not mastered it and am weary of those who say they have. What I have accomplished is knowing what works for me and what doesn’t.
With such a vociferous mind, I have learned that my heart is the key to my salvation. It is my breath, my home, my connection to all that is. When my mind wants to run off with whatever it’s currently obsessing with, my heart brings me back home. People often say that you have to think positively and control your mind. I find this ironic considering the very nature of our thoughts are to continue flowing, so for me it’s about going somewhere else. It’s about finding a way back into my heart and my body so that I am present. I cannot use the mind that is running away with me to come home. I have to find another way.
I have learned that my power lies in my body. I have learned how to focus on my body and my emotions more than my thoughts as a vehicle for slowing the thoughts down. If I can open my heart, my entire being shifts into gratitude and love. I soften. I become quieter. And today, I want to share a bit with you about how I do that.
Methods for Recovery
One thing I do is lay on my back and play music and start to pay attention to my body. I will sing, and cry, and allow whatever is in there that needs to move come on out. Here is a secret that I have learned over the years… every single time my mind is racing or clinging, it’s because there is an emotion lodged in my body that I have not processed. There is something I am trying to steamroll over by focusing on goals, looking better, finding love, figuring out where I can travel to, or God knows what else. When I stop and go into my body, what needs to be released comes out and naturally after that my mind slows way down. I feel connected again. I feel like my heart is leading and my mind can become its servant rather than the other way around.
Another way I help my mind chill out is through movement. I find exercise to be necessary for my mental health. Quantum physics tell us that we are energy and energy can get stuck within our body. It can sit there based on a heavy emotion or repetitive thinking. By getting the blood flowing and oxygen circulating, the mind starts to calm itself without us even trying!
In addition to listening to music while connecting to my body’s sensations and working out, I also pray. Prayer is scientifically proven to help us, but it may not be in the way that you are aware of. Another secret I have discovered over the years is that it’s our internal shift that is so powerful during prayer. Let me give you an example. If I am heart-broken over something, and I am mentally running thoughts of resentment or feeling that I am not enough, I continue in the same predicament. I keep reinforcing these thoughts and feelings by continuing to stay so attached to them. But if I get on my knees and pray, I shift. I go somewhere higher so to speak. I ask God to help me see the truth about myself. I say “Show me the truth! Let me see myself as You see me!” In those moments I am moving into a place of openness and surrender. I am admitting that it is my own faulty thinking that is causing the pain. I shift from the problem being “out there” to asking for deep healing within my own psyche. This is gold because in this position we are open, humble, and lining our thinking up with the solution, even if we don’t know when it will come.
Simplicity in Recovery
I realize that these three simple methods may seem insignificant, yet I can assure you that simplicity is often the most powerful. As someone in the helping profession, I see so much marketed and all of these promises being offered to people. The reality is, the solution is always inside of us, and we just have to find what works and stick with it. As lovely as it would be for someone else to come with their magic wand and take away all of our troubles, we are responsible for our own selves. It is up to us to put the work in.
So now that I shared a bit about my own areas of challenge, have you given thought to yours? And if you are able to identify them, what are you doing in your life to help the situation? My invitation is to slow down and write, pray, meditate on it. The inner-guidance we carry is astounding! More times than not, it’s just a matter of us carving out the time to listen!