In 2018 I chose a phrase to guide my year and, silly me, I thought it was all about business.
PLAYFUL DARE was my phrase. To me, it meant I would challenge myself to take a risk every day in a playful way. Expand my business in an organic way. Say something I knew to be true. It felt like the strength of a rock, solid and purposeful, yet playful.
Playful daring felt great when I started!
But along the way, I started struggling. Instead of letting the dare happen organically, I was forcing myself to take a risk. I’d lost the play in PLAYFUL DARE. I was relying on willpower and gumption, believing I could rest/take a break/sleep another day, once “all this work” got done.
The problem was that it never got done. And the self care that I promised myself never happened. And my Essential Self , Martha Beck’s phrase for the authentic me that gets buried under the social self that’s out there doing what I think I '“should” be doing, my Essential Self started resenting all this work and no play.
Guess what happened?
My Essential Self whispered in my ear, “You’re not feeling great. You should slow down.”
“Hah!” replied my Social Self. “Watch me tap into my superhuman energy and push through this!” (She’s addicted to DOING.)
Then Essential Self tried to get my attention by tapping on my shoulder. My energy tanked. I noticed I had less momentum in my day. When I sat down, I fell asleep immediately. My brain was cloudy. My creativity went dormant.
I ignored it and pushed ahead.
Essential Self tried again. Turns out the adrenal glands don't like being stressed out with no reprieve. I took some time to understand my bloodwork, got on medication and soldiered on.
Next my Essential Self sent another message, a little louder. Perhaps at volume 5. I got sick with a virus that just wouldn’t quit. “Not gonna quit!” screamed my Social Self.
I coughed so hard that I dislocated a few ribs. I was trying to sleep sitting up to ease the pain and I was miserable. Volume 7.
Social Self pouted and persisted in the Doing… as much as I could. (Are you starting to see the ridiculousness in this???)
The next and thankfully last message came with more pain. Volume 10. I broke a bone in my foot. I literally could not walk and was ordered to stay off my feet.
Social Self finally got the message, loud and clear. There is a clear pattern of No Success in the DOING Right Now. My body needs to do NOTHING.
I threw myself into resting. I rested and slept and kicked back a lot. I gave myself permission to stop pushing. I stopped tormenting my brain with noisy chatter about how I “should” be DOING stuff. I relaxed into BEING.
I learned something profound.
I don’t have to earn my worthiness. I’m here and that makes me worthy. I don’t have to prove anything. I don’t have to DO anything. I’m worthy.
My word of the year PLAYFUL DARE ended up being about daring to do nothing as often as I could for the first half of the year. Daring to say “not now” and “my priority is healing myself and staying connected with my family.” Daring to believe that I am worthy because I am.
Did you get that?
YOU are worthy because you are.
A few months later, I was feeling better. PLAYFUL DARE took on a new meaning. A dare to be playful in my clothing choices, the events I said yes to and my relationship with my husband and kids. A dare to grow my business while being mindful of my energy.
The concept of UNPUSH, my 2019 word, expands on what I've learned from PLAYFUL DARE.
UNPUSH reminds me to slow down, reminds me I don't have to do all the heavy lifting alone. I'm partnering with synchronicity and magical opportunities that show up when I set intentions.
UNPUSH makes me a better wife because I’m focused on me, making myself the best version of me. I’m staying “in my own lane”, instead of nagging my partner to do his life differently. When I tell him what he “should” do, I repel him. When I tell myself how I want to grow, I magnetize him to me.
UNPUSH makes me a better mom because I have no agenda, other than help my kids learn to be kind and confident humans. I’m not attached to the specifics and the labels.
UNPUSH puts me into feminine flow, into the energy of following intuition and effortlessly taking the right next step. UNPUSH allows for organic motion and progress.
UNPUSH taps into the easy flow of water energy and water is vastly stronger than rock.
How about we learn to UNPUSH together?