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Crying on my way to work

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4da8qiExwr70267GUO4gLAtQ4TbUjPGNx9c5Ikgth2ACirca mid-2004, my life looked perfect. I had:

a healthy 6-year-old boy and 9-month-old girl
a happy marriage
a nice house with a two-car garage
a dual income household
a cushy part-time role I created for myself at a respected company
a great boss and co-workers
an influential career working with appreciative colleagues

So what was the problem?

Every single morning on my drive from day-care center to office building, I reflexively reached toward the CD’s for my Coldplay fix… cranked the volume, and commenced crying buckets of tears. Something was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Have you felt this way before? Did you let it well up until within some safe space (alone in your car on the way to work), or did you bottle it up so as not to disrupt your perfect life? Did you wonder if you might be losing it, for real?

I felt trapped.

I remember working really hard to keep it all together. I posted sticky notes on the door to the garage so my chock-full brain wouldn’t forget any of the items required at work/school/daycare (lunches, pump, freezer packs, extra diapers, laptop… you get the idea). I had a stack of personal growth books on my bedside table, and a fledgling meditation practice. I attended women’s circles and met friends who could help me. But even though these seeds were newly planted in the soil of my life, I had lost a touchstone. Myself. I couldn’t quite recognize me, and I didn’t know where I was going. Still lost, and trapped in a life I thought I was supposed to want.

I’m grateful for those seeds. Over the coming decade, they grew in a vibrant garden of self-care practices. These bloomed new plants and scattered seeds, which attracted birds (new women I would learn from) who brought more growth into my life. These I hoed into practice and a life that continues to grow, enrich, deepen, evolve. Today and every day I tend to my vibrant life and this beautiful garden. I shed tears and I laugh, compost and cultivate.

I got out of that trap, found and designed the life I really did want.

Now, I practice self-care daily. Why? Because self-care isn’t selfish. It’s required training for anyone who wants vibrant relationships, health & vitality, extraordinary livelihood ~ for themselves and for their loved ones. But for themselves first. Yes, you are the top sticky note, the one thing you are required not to forget. Trust me on this, the ripple you create takes care of everyone else you love.

Today, I share my tools for practicing and the lessons I’ve learned, constantly.

As a master gardener in my vibrant, multi-hued life – I feel bound to expand the virtual circle of women who honor, practice, and in-turn share what they have learned.

Let’s begin with you. CLICK HERE to download ‘Twenty lovely little ways to infuse your life with love‘ and receive regular inspiration to create your own healthy + beautiful life, right in your inbox.

Welcome to my garden, to our women’s circle. Let’s expand this circle by inviting others in. Many women feel trapped. Think of this invitation as a way out. Will you share it? Let’s begin…

Love,
Maddy

 

2 Responses to Crying on my way to work

  1. I recognized myself in your story Maddy. It wasn’t until a close friend of mine died from brain cancer suddenly, that I asked myself, “Am I truly happy?” I broke down into tears with two close friends and I realize the answer was no.

    That was 5 years ago. I asked myself, ” What am I willing to do about it?” Fortunately I had had a very vibrant self-care practice of daily meditation, healing visualization and meditative journaling for several years. But I couldn’t use my spiritual practices to make outer change. I had to act.

    I finally decided that I, too, deserve to be happy. Everything about my life changed in the next year, except my job. Now in this past year, my work has also changed radically.

    The nugget of gold for me in my practices, has been the realization that mindfulness helps me to discern when it’s more masterful to accept things as they are and when it’s more masterful to change.

    • Hi Lisa, Thank you for sharing your point of recognition! Moments of crisis within our circles are women are so often our wake-up call. I believe the resonance I feel with self-care goes way way back to the suicide of a friend during my college years. As though she’s an angel cheering me on or a dire warning. She and I had many spiritual/philosophical conversations as roommates that come back to me now, years later, as Divine truths. “What am I willing to do about it?” is a fantastic urge to action, with the power to transform our lives, as you attest!

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