This is the halfway point in my guest post series where 10 women I admire share how they shape their truer lives. You can scroll back here if you missed posts. So far I’ve given thought to how I schedule my days, how I push myself when it feels useless, and returned to art journaling to help my mood. Love to hear on our call on September 17th what you’ve taken away from the series. I’ll be sure and ask.
Today is the luscious Kate Northrup. I introduced her to someone once as a peach because that’s what she reminds me of – brimming with juicy life. She’s the author of Money: A Love Story, Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want, which I enjoyed reading very much. She teaches people how to create financial, emotional, and spiritual freedom. We all need some of that goodness!
The barometer of truth that you have with you at all times
My body tells me every time.
A few weeks ago I began waking up at 4 and 5am for no apparent reason. I was exhausted but no longer able to sleep.
Then, for the first time in my life, my sinuses were inflamed and my eyes red, itchy, and puffy from something floating in the air. I’ve never had allergies and there’s no reason that suddenly, this August, I should develop a physical aversion to ragweed.
Then I stopped being able to go to the bathroom. Not all together. Not medical emergency-type constipation. But I was stopped upped enough to notice. And enough to be very uncomfortable.
I don’t believe that illness is random. I don’t believe that we just “get sick.”
Our bodies are barometers for our truth.
Mine has been trying to get my attention for weeks.
Back in April I began a fairly intensive workout and nutrition program to get in shape for my wedding. My body transformed and I felt awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I signed up for another 3 months of the program after the wedding.
I’d been feeling slightly philosophically misaligned with this nutrition and workout program for several weeks. It was feeling really masculine and outwardly focused and I was wanting to listen to my body more. I was wanting to listen for how much to eat, when to eat, and what to eat. And I was wanting to listen for how my body wanted to move.
But, I’d signed up for the program with my coach and paid. I’d committed. I would finish what I started. So I kept on going, even though that little voice was whispering that it was time to be done.
I noticed myself getting irritated in the gym. I noticed myself complaining to my husband about my coach. I noticed myself getting resentful.
Rather than making a change based on the emotions arising, I chose to keep on going.
And then came the insomnia. And the allergies. And the constipation.
It would be really easy to take Tylenol PM, Claritin, and a laxative and simply keep going.
But my mama taught me better than that.
What I truly want is to take exquisite care of my body. What I truly want is to treat it with love. What I truly want is to be in intimate communication with my body to find out what she needs and wants at any given moment.
What I had begun doing was ignoring my body’s desires and pushing through to meet an arbitrary commitment.
I’d lost track of what I wanted and instead was focused on pleasing my coach.
So my body spoke up a little louder in the form of itchy eyes, pre-dawn wake ups, and less than optimal digestive flow.
One morning last week I woke up and I’d finally had enough. I was exhausted. I looked like a wreck. It was time to listen.
I de-committed from the external program and simultaneously recommitted to my body. It was a simple moment of shift. No fanfare. No external declaration. Just a moment within myself where I decided to come back to center and care for myself.
When we’ve gotten off track there are always signs.
We may feel rushed, resentful, irritated, or exhausted all the time.
We may have strange symptoms arise that we’ve never had before.
When we choose to push through the emotional signs that something isn’t working, that we’re off track, our body takes on the responsibility of delivering the message.
I ignored my feelings about my workout and nutrition program and kept pushing through.
So my body became my messenger.
And wouldn’t you know it, the day I recommitted to my body, my itchy eyes went away, I slept without a problem, and things started moving (if you know what I mean.)
Our emotions are guideposts. Our bodies are messengers. They’ll let us know when we’re off track. Then, it’s our job to listen and recommit to what we truly desire.
Kate, I can so relate. The discernment between commitment and what is arising, from the plan and the current reality, is so vital to navigating our truer lives. We’re going to spend a lot of time exploring this in the course everybody, and let’s touch on it in the call too. Thanks Kate, I resonate 10000000%.