Physician, Heal Thyself

Right now I am in the waiting room of Northwest Community Hospital waiting for a family member to get out of surgery.  Honestly I am tired and exhausted, and any attempt at writing a poignant blog is not happening.  I had intended to write about a really interesting quote I just heard.  Instead I am just trying to keep my eyes open.  You see, I have not been living up to what I preach.  Every day I tell clients to take care of themselves first.  I show them different tools to relax, recharge, and center themselves.  I explain how we are no good to others if we have not first taken care of ourselves.  But I haven’t been following my own instructions.

As with my clients, my fall from stress-free living started simply enough.   A client needed to meet with me for an emergency session over the weekend.  Two new clients wanted to start in the same already busy week.  I was asked to speak at some wonderful events.  A can’t miss networking event popped up.  None of these caused my stress.  But all of them together started to add up.  First I started to have too many morning events and my usual morning meditation started to become sporadic.  As my days began to fill up exercising and clear my mind walks started to drop off.  Then my 40 hour work week became 50 then 60 then even 70 hours.  My sleep began to be interrupted.  My beautiful eating habits started to deteriorate as my travel schedule increased.  About a month or so ago, I realized I was really off-track but thought I could push through it.  “I only have to do it through March (April).”  There were just so many opportunities and emergencies to work though.  As I entered this past week, I could feel my exhaustion.  I had hit my breaking point, but I couldn’t break down now.  I had too many important things that week.  So again I pushed on.  Finally on Thursday night, my body said enough is an enough and it sent me a cold to slow me down.  But, of course, I fought against that too.  I have made commitments on Friday and Saturday I needed to live up to.  But after those commitments, I allowed myself to do nothing.  And, as Peter Gibbons said in Office Space, it was everything I thought it could be.

Over the weekend, as I watched chick-flick after chick-flick in between little bursts of sleep, I remembered who I was.  I remembered what it meant to have a life.  What it meant to LIVE my life.  Be IN my life again.  As much as I love coaching, as much as I love working on my business, as much as I love meeting new people through networking, I was missing out on just being me.  I have a history of thinking my career, my profession is me.  Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I don’t love what I do.  But it is not me.  The analogy I might give a client would go something like this.  Michael Phelps is an incredible swimmer and has dedicated much of his life to his sport, but it is not who he truly is.  If he suddenly lost the use of his legs and arms so he could not swim, what is left is truly Michael Phelps.  Everything outside of ourselves – our roles, our jobs, our hobbies, our passions – are part of the fun of this life, but they are not our soul and our true being.  Who we are in the moment, at our core, in the silence, is who we truly are.  And I am so glad that life has once again taught me this lesson.

So instead of forcing myself to write a brilliant blog for you, I am going to stop writing now, because it is what I need to do.  It is what I need to do to take care of myself.  And it is what I need to do in order to be fully present for my family member after surgery.

Have a wonderfully, centered, relaxing, recharging week!

6 comments

  1. It was pretty brilliant, anyway, Melissa! I am kind of in the same boat. The nice thing is, despite a reduction in self-care activities, I am healing anyway, thanks to my Nikken wellness home. Thank you so much for introducing me to Michele and please let us know if you’d like our support for taking better care of yourself.

  2. Thanks Katherine! I am not sure about brilliant, but I am glad that the posting struck a cord.

    Sorry to hear you are in the same boat. I hope that you add in some self-care activities along with your healthy products.

    Thankful I talked to a fellow coach yesterday who helped me break my stress cycle (thanks Susanne!) so I am back to self-care and feeling wonderful!

  3. How amazing that in a moment when you don’t “try for brilliance”- you absolutely exude it….I think part of brilliance is the ability to allow yourself to be vulnerable….I think that blog strikes a cord in all of us. I have “copied a few quotes” to my personal quote book and passed along your blog to many girlfriends and professional friends to remind us who we all are…US…and if we need a little help getting there…there is a WONDERFUL coach out there to help us : )

    On a personal note- my thoughts are with you and your family.

  4. You are truly an amazing person Melissa. Many of us continue to do what you have done these past few months and yes, our bodies do have a way of telling us to slow the pace down. While sometimes I can do that, I truly wonder what examples we are providing for our children and the next generation. They were born in the “fast lane”. Not by choice, but by society in general. I fear that the treadmill is moving faster with each year for our younger generation. It is up to us to help them slow down too! Recharging is great….as long as you don’t feel guilty about it! Take care of you too! Thanks for your insight.

  5. Melissa,
    I came across your blog in the awards list – and am blown away by your posts. I was expecting some guru type to advise me how I can drive my coaching business to high heaven. Instead I get honesty, real life experience, humour, acceptance of what is, and humility.
    You get my vote, and I look forward to reading future posts from you.
    Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  6. Elaine,

    Thank you for your vote and your kind words. Wishing you the best in the Best Blogs of 2010 contest as well.

    Nope, no guru here. We all have lessons in life. I am just fortunate enough to get them daily and to share my humiliation, trauma, and obstacles with you in the hopes you don’t have to go through the same.

    Wishing you the best!!
    Melissa

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