First of all I want to say how grateful I am to be here with you today, feeling as blessed as I do. I am feeling great today but at this time last year I was feeling sad and afraid.
How many of you have heard the saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” Well by the end of 2016 my cup was completely emptied. Due to life kicking my family’s ass my cup was dry as a bone!
In August I lost my beloved sister-in-law stunningly, quickly. In an instant she was gone. I spent weeks hoping that it was a mistake, so I was in lots of denial. But I also cried every day at the possibility that it was true.
In mid-September we finally had the memorial service, so it was a really long wait to finally grieve with the rest of our family. I was so sad that I continued to cry every day.
In October I realized I was starting to fall into a depression. As a way to save myself I found myself a life coach. I had no idea what other events were to come but I knew that I needed someone who would support me, show me the best parts of myself and keep me on my path toward the bright future I desperately wanted.
On the first of November we broke ground on a 9 month building project that impacted our stress levels significantly.
Around that time after much anguish I also left a dragon boat team that I had been on for 5 seasons. Leaving the team was the right thing to do but it left a big hole in its place.
On November 7th our cat of 18 years got very sick and we had to have her put to sleep. It stirred up all of my emotions and I felt the sadness of everyone I’ve ever lost.
The very next night Donald Trump was elected president. Of our country!! I wasn’t surprised. I had an intuition that it was going to happen. I cried that night, woke up when all the votes were counted and cried again and thought Oh Shit here we go!
In mid-November my husband was let go from his job of 36 years. He was fired in a phone call. No warning, no boss flying in to take him out to dinner. There was just a phone call. I didn’t cry because I needed to be strong for my husband who had lost his sister just months before and was now suddenly unemployed.
By the end of November I was feeling ill and had no energy. The stress had taken over, was hurting my body and I was not feeling ok. I had a raging infection that was a constant source of irritation. I went to 4 doctors who just threw antibiotics at me.
I slogged into 2017 feeling pretty overwhelmed. I was constantly reading the news, feared every action taken by the administration and felt like we were all doomed. In all of my sadness I lost sight of the fact that self-care is a necessity, not an indulgence. So I stopped doing the things that keep me full and balanced.
The bright spot was my weekly meetings with my coach, hanging out with my family and date nights with my wonderful friends. In talking to my coach I understood that I needed to glean all the wisdom from this time so that I could help my own clients get through their hard times. That truly was the moment when things started to shift for me.
I used life coaching skills on myself and got super proactive about my self-care. I looked at my life and identified where I was out of balance. I started with a gratitude journal. It wasn’t easy training my mind to be grateful when I was feeling so empty. Some days I could only think of one thing I was grateful for. It got easier in time. I kept at it and would fill whole pages some days.
I began giving vision board workshops and made my own board which allowed me to dream of my beautiful future. I took a 7 day manifestation challenge which required me to start creating that future. I learned from my favorite Whole Foods cashier about a free meditation timer for my phone that I still use to go to sleep at night.
I started to run again and do “old lady yoga” which is awesome! I took electronics breaks and didn’t read the news endlessly. I am once again in control of my health and things are slowly coming back into balance in my body.
Today I have some really good self-care going on. I learned from my crash of last year that I have to do something every day to keep myself afloat. That my well-being matters. That self-care is about self- preservation, not selfishness. And it changes my perspective.
When I am grateful I can see all of the good in my life. When I am quiet and I meditate I can hear my own words and feelings. When I allow myself to dream I can create new realities for myself. When I run, get enough sleep and eat well I feel strong and nourished.
That is what I want for all of you today. I want you to dream, hope, believe and care about yourself. I want you to be your best physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Because you matter to me and the rest of the world. I want you to be a cup full enough to pour your goodness into everything you love.