Viewing entries in
Balance

Stress Management: Pursuit for Peace

Stress Management: Pursuit for Peace

At the end of 2017 I received the best gift and the most unsatisfying diagnosis of severe hormonal imbalance with Hypothyroidism. Despite my focused approach to “health”, I had some major blind spots. I had to take a long, hard look at what was in my life that didn’t need to be and what was missing.

social-curator-04-2019-44.JPG

How does this happen to a health coach?

I’d gotten lost in the day to day. I was tied to my commitments and obligations. I was ruled by the “shoulds”. I allowed the “chores” to become my beacon of direction. What needed my attention? Who needed something from me? What wasn’t complete and was needing only me to be finished? These days turned to weeks and the weeks turned to months.  My life was much more reactive than intentional.

I focused on my work, my tasks, and “what can I control”?

In this season, I allowed all of the “shoulds” and “need-tos” to consume me. Yet, that wasn’t the part that rendered me ineffective as a wife, mom, daughter of God, friend, daughter, employee, or business owner. The largest missing piece for me was my time with God. I had allowed the excuses of why my health could not be a priority or why my time with God would be compromised during this season of my busy. You see, those things can’t be SEEN. They aren’t necessarily physically in front of me demanding my attention. God isn’t like a child, always pulling at you and grabbing your face to look at Him. He doesn’t give you deadlines to meet. He patiently waits for us to seek Him. I believe there are blessings within our days that God places to remind us of His faithfulness and love.  But you must be still to find them.

There was very little room for stillness. When I found it, I typically saw some shiny object begging for my attention, and there is where my attention went. “Sorry peace, you’ll just have to wait until I complete this project or travel for this conference or create more content” …blah blah blah.

I tend to strive for perfection and sometimes it paralyzes me and renders me ineffective, looking like a deer in headlights. I want to meet the expectations of all the people, I desire to please, and I will sometimes forget that my needs are important too. Does that sounds familiar?

I swapped out my morning walks for email responses and never-ending meetings about the meetings. I missed my time in nature, but God’s creation wasn’t going anywhere, right? So I kept striving. I was working about 50 hours a week in a full-time career and I was building my growing coaching practice. I was still a wife and a mom. I was burning the candle at both ends and pouring gasoline in the middle.

As time went on and the demands grew, it felt like walls were closing in on me. I yearned for time to just be. To be still and just be in God’s presence. My health wasn’t nearly as patient as God. The reminders of the importance of maintaining my health came frequent like an annoying neighbor kid who rings the doorbell every 30 minutes. I was fatigued most of the time, I started gaining weight, I was irritable with most, but especially my family. 

I was trying to manage my stress as best as I could and my symptoms smelled of Adrenal Fatigue but it seemed like something more. After my visit to my primary care physician, I was frustrated and confused. I KNEW something was off and all she could gather was a “mid-life slide”.

You know, the downhill slide you embark on once you hit 40 (and this was just before that)? Your metabolism slides down, your energy slides down, your weight slides up and your boobs and belly button also head south. She made me feel like my extreme fatigue, brain fog, irritability, weight gain, heavy periods and dry skin were just a sign that I had one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel. Her solution? How about an anti-depressant?!

I didn’t have a Xanax deficiency, my body was telling me (loudly) that I had no longer made my health a priority.

In my pursuit of success, I had lost the roadmap I give to my clients to prevent and recover from burnout. I had allowed the voice of social media and “experts” to shift my attention and priorities.

My next best steps?

social-curator-04-2019-31.JPG

FIND SUPPORT:

Thankfully, I had created amazing connections with practitioners that I trusted to help me uncover the root cause of my symptoms. I asked for help. I knew that I couldn’t see all my blind spots. I needed some people to guide me through this time. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and severe hormone imbalance. We are talking crazytown imbalance.

I gained new insight into what was going on within my body and a plan to lead me back to recovery and homeostasis. I had new adjustments to make. I also needed to focus on restorative exercise (yoga, walking, stretching, deep breathing).

REASSESS MY PRIORITIES & GOALS:

As I was working on healing my body and recovering from stress induced hormone imbalance and hypothyroidism, I knew that I could no longer keep up the pace I was running in life. It was time to let go of my full-time position that I had held for over five years as a Business Development Manager of a supplement company and focus on my health, family, and growing coaching practice.

I understand that not everyone has the ability or luxury to take this step; I am so grateful that I could. I worked hard to build my practice and gain new clients (I’m still working on this!) and I desired to build upon what I had started a few years before.

It was time to shift my lifestyle to promote wellness. Again, let me say, the answer isn’t for everyone to quit their job and become a full-time entrepreneur (and this could be more stressful), the point is to dig in, seek God and ask what He has for you. For me, I had a calling to build my business and reach more women.

I allowed myself to build margin into my day. I allowed myself to rest. I allowed myself to just be.

SEEK GOD:

Another “next best step” was for me to lean into God. I had missed the connection, the peace, the growth, and the relationship that I gained when I made time to listen to His voice. I couldn’t move forward without His direction.

This time of physical challenges left me grateful that I was given an opportunity to stop looking inward and instead, focus my eyes back to God. I had been living in my own strength for some time. It was time to get His help.

What did I learn?

social-curator-03-2019-51.JPG

In the past 12 months of changing my lifestyle, my career, my priorities I have learned so much about myself and was able to increase a better understanding of my clients. What were my main lessons?

I was not as much of a time-management ninja as I thought. Being in charge of your own time can be challenging when you do not report to anyone, have nobody expecting deliverables with a deadline, and have open structure to your day. I had to create structure for myself. My time is a commodity and I was wasting it at a neck-breaking speed. I had to implement systems, processes, and time limits to get things done (even writing this blog has a time limit).

Health is not a constant. Once you figure something out and feel pretty comfortable, you may need to make new changes. I have spent the past year doing lots of tweaking, testing, changing, and going back to the drawing board. I feel like I have a good hold of what is working for me to normalize my hormones and thyroid function but I understand that it can change and I will be ok when it does. Being frustrated and stressed about it doesn’t improve my health. I can only pay attention to what my body is telling me and move from there.

Comparison is a thief of joy. Embarrassingly, I spent too much of this past year looking at other coaches in my industry and wishing I was where they are. I wanted the number of clients they had, I wanted my website to look like theirs, I wanted my photos to look beautiful like theirs. I was focused on other people more than I was on my own journey. This creates a root of bitterness and resentment. It makes us discontent where we are. We get so focused on what we are lacking and where we want to be next that we miss the joy of right now.

What I came to know? I have a journey to experience and teach me. There are no short cuts. I can have a growth mindset or fixed mindset about my journey. I can be positive or negative. It’s up to me. I have a choice. Thankfully, I chose to embrace my place and I have felt the freedom and success that brings.

There are not fast fixes that last. We all want the easy button. I am totally guilty of this. Why draw out a process and the results to be had by taking the long way? Here’s why: Because the quick fixes are often not sustainable. They work temporarily because you can only do the work for a short time (think crash diets, long hours working, caffeine dependency) and they are never something you can build a healthy lifestyle around. I wanted to jump 1,000 steps forward . In my own health and business, I wanted to get to the glory days of success without the work…because that just feels better, right? I mean, why can’t it just be easy? You know the saying, “you don’t appreciate what you didn’t earn”? It’s true. I have earned my success (and I will continue to earn my future success) in my current business and health and family life and it’s amazing to know I put in the work. I appreciate the people, the journey, and the results so much more. The best part? I can keep this pace forever or until God asks me to change my direction.

Community is key. I have had struggles in my path (and some continue) but I asked for help. I knew that I couldn’t do everything on my own. I have an amazing support system between my husband, kids, friends, and experts that help guide me, pray for me, keep me accountable and check in on my progress.

We tend to have a default setting that tells us we can do it all alone; it will be faster, cheaper, and keep the anonymity. If we don’t share the struggle, it’s not really a struggle, right? WRONG. It continues to fester and eat away at us until burnout, breakdown, or both, happen. Gather your people and ask for help. Seek expert advice and trust the process.

What does this mean for you?

I pray that my lessons offer a light of hope for you. In my struggles, observations, and research, I was able to better understand you! I understand your stress (even better!) and I know how to help you increase your energy, focus, time management to improve your success in work, family, and lifestyle.

During this year, I was able to fine-tune my programs based off of feedback and need. Revitalized Wellness is now open and offers you a sustainable roadmap to beating burnout! Click the link to find out more about the 12-week group program that is offering my clients AMAZING results-greater than they imagined!

I am making this journey one of ease for you (notice I didn’t say EASY). I guide you, you become more aware of your lifestyle, choices, and the impact on your health.

Drop the shame.

Lose the guilt.

Feel empowered.

Believe you can feel better.

Accept help.

Make a choice.

I hope you choose you.

In health, Ericka 💜

Additional resources:

Facebook Live - What causes burnout?

5 Ways Stress Impacts Weight Loss

What is Adrenal Fatigue and how does it impact health? - Interview with Dr. James Wilson




How my pursuit of "perfection" led me to burnout

The question frequently asked of me: How does one become an expert in stress and adrenal fatigue? My answer: go through burnout twice and get mentored by the leading expert in Adrenal Fatigue, Dr. James L. Wilson.

Did you catch that? Twice. I suffered through a burnout TWICE.

You would think I would figure out what went wrong in my health and not do that again, right? That seems reasonable for sure; however, my burnouts were a result of two completely different circumstances.

Something to note: it’s not unusual to hear from my clients suffering through burnout for a second time; they slowly slid back into a lifestyle that resulted in the first burnout and leads to a second episode.

That isn’t necessarily my story, but I do find my story to be the same story of most women. I was striving for perfection.

My first burnout (and the focus of this blog post) was a result of over-exercising and under-eating. After going on birth control in 1999, I struggled with maintaining a healthy weight. I decided to stop taking the pill in 2000 after suffering debilitating migraines. I had never experienced headaches of this magnitude before and the pill was really the only thing that had changed in my life that could be leading to severe headaches. After I stopped the pill, the weight continued to be difficult to manage.

Add in getting pregnant and birthing three children in 5 years and weight loss seemed elusive. I tried everything under the sun to lose weight: fasting, Weight Watchers, juice cleanses, Isagenix, South Beach, Atkins, low fat- low calorie, Nutrisystem, diet pills. Everything.

In 2012, I went all in. Whatever it took, I would do. I sought coaching from a former physique competitor and began heavy weight training. I also added in a ton of cardio. I woke up at 2:30 AM to get to the gym at 3. I trained with weights for an hour and then did an hour of cardio.

I would go to work, come home and go for a 3-5 mile run. Sometimes I would play an exercise video on my laptop during my lunch hour and workout in the warehouse at my office.

I kept my calories around 1,200 most days and focused on consuming all the protein. I had two protein shakes a day. I was severely under-eating for the amount of activity I had each day. I became orthorexic. I measured and journaled each morsel. If I ate something that wasn’t “clean”, I added in extra exercise. I felt shame and guilt for not being “perfect”.

This went on for 1 ½ years. During this time, I went through a divorce, became a single mom, switched from a part-time photographer to a full-time business development manager that traveled, got into another relationship that was unhealthy, and now had this obsessive “fitlife”.

I had lost 40 pounds and was the leanest I had ever been since high school. To society, I looked perfect. I never saw it. I was so critical of myself. I was addicted to the creation of my “perfect” body. I yearned for better and continued to drive myself until I hit the wall. In 2014, I got so sick that I was out of work for close to three weeks.

Almost every infection possible had hit me at once (sinus, double ear, upper respiratory, urinary tract, and eye). I went through multiple rounds of antibiotics to recover. I was left weak, fatigued, and lethargic.

The ironic part? I was working with THE leading stress and Adrenal Fatigue expert, Dr. James L. Wilson. In fact, my job was to train and educate practitioners that were treating their patients for symptoms of stress that led to Adrenal Fatigue. I knew what led to Adrenal Fatigue and burnout. I taught medical practitioners how to treat their patients. I had the tools and education. But I didn’t live it. I thought I was living the healthy life!

I exercised. I ate clean. I took my supplements. But it was excessive. There was no rest. No grace for myself. No room to be gentle. Rest days were only for those who didn’t want it enough.

fullsizeoutput_10f9.jpg


The Road to Recovery

This incident of burnout led me to an entire new life and perspective of wellness. Dr. Wilson helped guide me back to a path to healing and health. I found out my hormones were a mess, my cortisol levels were completely opposite of what they should be, and I had some severe vitamin deficiencies. As I researched my way to recovery, I took my mentoring and education to heart. It lit a fire deep within me to teach other women how to avoid burnout and pursue recovery.

I had already begun coaching women on a weight loss journey, but I changed the way I coached my clients after my burnout because I realized I was leading women toward the same disaster I had just gone through myself. And so many other coaches have been doing the same!

We have women chasing this “ideal” and compromising their health in doing so. I have made it my personal mission to offer a comprehensive and holistic approach to prevent and recover from burnout. It’s not enough to give a client a meal and exercise plan; we must address the emotional, lifestyle, and nutritional changes that need to take place for sustainable results.

The effects of stress on the body are of enormous proportion. When a stress response is kicked on (and stays on in times of chronic stress), EVERYTHING is affected: hormones, blood sugar, digestive system, brain cognition, immune system, tissue health.

IMG_1652.JPG

Adrenal Fatigue doesn't have to be permanent.

Adrenal Fatigue is completely preventable when you are intentional towards a holistic approach to health. Stress is a choice, burnout is a result.

If you think you may be suffering from burnout, click the button to download “5 SIGNS OF BURNOUT” to understand the symptoms and steps needed to promote recovery.

What questions do YOU have about adrenal fatigue? Let me know in the comments!

Stress Management: Shift your success

Stress Management: Shift your success

I want you to think back to a time when you had stress and it was affecting you professionally, relationally, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I mean, stress has the ability to do that! Stress is a choice and you can decide how much you allow in your life.

A lot of people don't necessarily like it when I say that because they think stress isn't a choice. The belief is stress is something that happens to you and you just assume that negative consequence that comes along with it. I'm here to say no absolutely not!

You have a choice…

Now you might be thinking, “Well, lady, what about those situations that I can't have control. Well, you still have a choice in how you respond. When I work with my clients there are three key things, three questions that I give them in order to ask themselves when they have a stressful situation that they are facing.

Can I change the situation?

When I say change the situation that may be that may mean that you are either removing yourself entirely from that situation which I've done, I've completely just walked away from the situation because I realized it wasn't helping me emotionally or physically and it was making life pretty complicated for those that were surrounding me.

You have the ability to look at a situation and ask yourself, can I change the situation? And even if removing yourself isn't the answer can you change it can you make a situation different by just changing the overall environment?

Can I change my mindset regarding this situation?

This is probably the most important piece because like I said stress is a choice. We have the ability to change how we think about stress. If you have a situation at work that's impacting you maybe you going in every single day with dread and anticipating that it's going to be a terrible day. Maybe that's actually what's instigating the stress within yourself and it's making the situation seem way worse than it actually is.


Can I accept this situation for what it is?

Can I look for other ways to manage my stress while I'm dealing with the situation as it is? If there is a situation and that can be a sickness it can be the death of a loved one. It can be the loss of a job or a relationship, you may not be able to change that situation as it is. You have to maybe accept the past for what it has taught us and move forward in a different light. In the meantime, you have to look for ways to heal and to recover in order for you to manage your stress.

When we take those three questions and we apply it to our everyday life three things happen as a result.

Results

  1. The first is that you become proactive rather than reactive. And how good does that feel when you're managing your stress, and you're getting a hold on it rather than feeling like you just have this anxiety around you and your worrying about a situation but you're taking steps to actually be proactive to change the outcome. It's free.

  2. You become more focused because you have a plan. One of the things that I work with my clients is that we actually go through a goal-setting process. Their Goal very well just might be to increase energy and we create a plan for them to feel more energetic throughout their day. It could also have something to do with lessening their social obligations that they are committed to. When you have a plan in place it allows you to be much more focused and intentional.

  3. You become thankful. Thankfulness begets Joy. It's simply impossible to have a constant state of anxiety if you are in a state of gratitude. Another tip that I give my clients is I encourage them to journal and to find three things every single day that they are thankful for. It can be anything literally anything you are thankful that the sun is shining and you're not covered in snow. I live in Arizona. We don't have snow here so I'm pretty thankful that I don't have to shovel my way out of a driveway every day. Or it can be something as simple as you're thankful for the cup of coffee that you're enjoying in the morning or you're thankful for your favorite pair of leggings. Whatever it is find three things to be thankful for and I guarantee you that completely changes just your approach to your day.

I have some more practical advice. A lot of my clients what I noticed and then women that I talk to is that there is an overwhelming feeling of anxiousness and you're worried, you're comparing and you're trying to do so many things. Simply by changing our mindset and asking yourself those three questions whenever you feel that gnawing feeling in your stomach of you know this is feeling like I'm not in control and there is something bad about to happen.

I have a Bible verse that I continually refer to when I am stuck in a cycle of worry: “Can any of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life ?”

How does worrying, going over the issue again and again with anybody that will listen and in your own mind, how does it change the situation? It doesn't. It only adds to the dynamic of the stress that you are adding in your life.

Taking steps

Today I encourage you to ask yourself those three questions:

Can you change the situation?

Can you change your mindset regarding this situation?

Can you accept this situation for what it is in order to move forward in healing and restoration?

If you are struggling with stress in your life and it is taking a toll on you and impacting how you are performing in life, negatively impacting your relationships, then I am inviting you to come alongside me and other women in our 12-week intensive group program Revitalized Wellness!

Revitalized Wellness is an experience where we get to the foundation of health- managing your stress. We take a look at your mindset, your lifestyle, and your environment in order to make changes in your diet, in your exercise, and your overall stress response in your body.

Today is a new day and today you have a choice to change your perspective on your stress and decide that you are no longer a victim but instead you are taking action. You are going to be focused on a plan for 2019 to make it the best most impactful year ever.

In order to increase success, we must manage our stress. We must make a change because what we have been doing isn’t moving us forward.

I have put together a comprehensive 12-week program that gives you a PLAN for ACTION to manage your stress, move you forward in your health and get to feeling revitalized, my friend! Join the waitlist for Revitalized Wellness


5 reasons you are struggling to lose weight

5 reasons you are struggling to lose weight

Why can’t I lose weight?

Today I am talking about something that I get asked a ton about and that is why can't I lose weight? So many women out there are struggling with uncovering the magic answer, that mystery pill that's going to solve this problem weight loss, right? The weight loss industry is actually a 60 billion dollar industry, which makes complete sense to me because we are a stressed society and this stress is causing us to gain weight. One of the major symptoms of stress is weight gain.

So many women want to know what the magic answer is to lose weight. I'm here to share my five reasons why you're having a really hard time losing weight because of stress.

My personal experience….

I share these five things because I've gone through them when I talked about, and I've shared my personal stories of burnout. There were multiple errors, there were two burnouts and there were both different reasons. The second burnout was actually from a lot of good things. It was just my inability to say no that really caused me to just hit that wall, and ultimately that is what led to some severe hormone imbalance, and some blood sugar imbalance which led to weight gain. Because Of this I'm able to share the five things, the five reasons on why you can't lose weight.

Stress starts in the mind

The very first one is stress starts in the mind, a chronic stress response is kicked on despite you being chased by a tiger or you just have a really hectic lifestyle. Your brain does not know the difference and if you're going into situations with a negative mindset, or just this over whelming feeling of despair and negativity towards the stress, then that is the first part of the problem because that is where the stress response starts, in the mind. The hypothalamus is telling the rest of your body that there is a stress happening within your body or around your environment and it needs to protect you. So the very first thing that you have to address is your mindset. Often we see that the solution is maybe an extreme diet or an extreme exercise regimen or maybe you just need to eat these magical ingredients in your diet, and that'll burn the fat or you're looking at some weight loss drugs or supplements or even more severe have a surgery and that'll fix it. But my friends I am telling you that stress starts in the mind and in order to drop that weight we have to address Mindset.

A lifestyle change is necessary

The second thing  is a lifestyle change is necessary, I know this is one of the most difficult things that I have to address when I'm working with my clients, because so many feel that there just is not any room to give or there is no way that changes can be made that aren't going to drastically impact their life their family or their work. But I'm here to tell you that even the slightest changes to your lifestyle will make a huge impact. And so I work with my clients to really assess what is on their plate, what are they taking on and what can we either minimize or eliminate to help them so that weight loss is not as difficult. If You don't address the lifestyle piece then you're going to have a really hard time sustaining a weight loss.

Your diet and exercise don't match

The third thing is that your diet and exercise don't match, what I mean by that is that you're not eating to support a healthy stress response. When you are in a stress response your body requires extra nutrients, and if you're not getting that because you're limiting what you are eating or you're limiting the types of food that you're eating or even completely eliminating a certain type of food group, then you are not fueling your body the correct way. The other piece of that is that you're over exercising and under eating. So what you eat and when you eat it matters and that is determined by the amount of exercise that you are doing on a daily basis. And so I work with my clients to talk about the specific nutrients that are really needed to help your body recover from chronic stress as well as kick that fat burning mode on so that you are healing as well as feeding your body for stress and for an optimal lifestyle.

Stress causes a blood sugar imbalance

The fourth thing is stress causes a blood sugar imbalance. Basically, when your blood sugar is imbalanced that makes it really difficult for you to lose weight because you have an excess of glucose in your bloodstream that your body is storing as fat.

Stress disturbs your sleep

The fifth thing that I'm talking about today stress disturbs your sleep. Now this is huge because we have this hustle mentality within today's society, right? Busy is better. Busy is the new black and in fact people wear their busyness like a badge of honor. But there is a fallacy in that thinking especially if you are allowing it to impact your sleep because a lot of people feel that they will sleep when they are dead, right? That's when we will get the rest because we need to do more now in order to be the most productive that we possibly can be. When you are not getting enough sleep your circadian rhythm is completely off balance. You are not in line with what a normal balance should look like; when that happens you are unable to produce melatonin which is the hormone that allows you to sleep and it promotes sleep. You also have a diminished ability to respond to insulin signals which goes back to your blood sugar imbalance. So it's kind of this vicious circle. Basically, what happens is that your hunger hormones leptin which is what tells you that you're full and grilling which tells you that you're hungry those get completely thrown off. There was some research done from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, where they found in their research that if you slept fewer than six hours that it greatly reduced your leptin hormone levels and it increased growling which means you are more hungry but less satiated when you eat. You're basically working against your body when you are not sleeping.

Join my wait list….

Maybe some of these things are triggering something inside of you and you're thinking oh my gosh this is probably the reason why I can't lose weight. I want to invite you to join my wait list for revitalized wellness where I address diet as a key component to stress and weight loss.

Together In this group program that is 12 weeks long, we take a look at your lifestyle, at your sleep, at your mindset, and most importantly we help you figure out why you're not losing weight and how we can get your body recovered in order to get that weight back off.

I would love to have you join me and connect with me on social media and get more information to help you manage your stress every single day.





Is Adrenal Fatigue a real thing?

Is Adrenal Fatigue a real thing?

Hello sisters,

This week we're going to talk about adrenal fatigue. What is adrenal fatigue and what are some of the symptoms? Is it even a real thing?

Why do I know anything about Adrenal Fatigue?

Just to give you a little bit of background information, I have studied under the leading expert for stress and adrenal fatigue, Dr. James L. Wilson, for almost the past six years. Through his education, training, mentorship, and his knowledge, I have been able to help so many women (including teaching other practitioners to the same for their patients) beat burnout, by addressing these symptoms of stress and helping them overcome the obstacles that are preventing them from leading the best life that they possibly can.

Going through my own journey of recovery from Adrenal Fatigue has helped me help others. It also drove me to continue my education; I became a certified wellness coach to focus on guiding my clients through a change model to get to the root cause of stress and Adrenal Fatigue.

I also became a certified nutritionist to help my clients promote healing through nutrition.

What is adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue was coined as the Twenty-first-century Syndrome by Dr. James L. Wilson. It's considered the twenty-first-century stress syndrome simply because of the lifestyle we lead as a society; our constant need to be more efficient, to always be doing more, to always be busy, and to be accomplishing all the time is causing chronic stress. There's very little room for rest.

Adrenal Fatigue is considered to be a collection of signs and symptoms which are often stress related and there have been many studies on the impact of stress to your health. Specifically, there have been some recent studies by the American Psychological Association and the Journal of the American Medical Association, where they have shown that approximately 60 to 90 percent of all office visits to a primary care physician are to address symptoms of stress. That is such a staggering number!

That means that we are so stressed out that we're causing all of these symptoms and a majority of what doctors are seeing in their offices every single day often has to do with stress, and that's just staggering to me because it's completely preventable, for the most part.

What are some of the stress-related symptoms? What are symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is really a way of giving a name to something that's happening within your body. Your body is basically under a chronic stress response (fight or flight) and it becomes unable to deal with the demand to respond to heightened stress after a prolonged amount of time.

The busier we are, the frenzied state and emotional distress becomes a playground for inflammation as elevated cortisol tries to bring our body back to a parasympathetic state (rest and digest). Leading to many of these symptoms because of chronic stress, we become a society that is facing the epidemic of burnout.

Chronic fatigue

One of the top signs and probably the most complained about symptom is chronic fatigue. This is a fatigue that is not relieved by sleep. So even though you may get eight to 10 hours of sleep at night, you still feel exhausted throughout the day. You have a really hard time waking up in the morning and, in fact, if this is really true for you, you are often hitting that snooze button or sleeping through the alarm, and then finding yourself panicked and rushed in the morning because you've slept completely through your alarm. Worst part- you're not waking up feeling rested and rejuvenated!

Zero Energy/Energy Crashes

Another symptom is zero energy. You feel completely rundown and totally lethargic and that lack of energy continues throughout your day so much, leaving you completely dependent on caffeine and sugar to keep you going throughout the day. This leads to a temporary burst of false energy that is followed by a severe sugar crash.

And the cycle continues. Coffee. Candy. Crash. Repeat. Welcome blood sugar imbalance.

Brain fog

Brain fog is a terrible thing because it makes you feel like you're almost losing your mind. You can't concentrate on anything, your memory is terrible, and you're just not thinking clearly. In fact, you may even be making some poor decisions because of the fact that you are having chronic stress symptoms.

And it's leading to a decreased cognitive function when stress increases, your brain is working a lot harder and not as efficiently as it could be. You may have trouble sleeping because of the stress and imbalanced cortisol. And even though I previously mentioned that you don't feel rested and you feel so tired all the time, your body is completely unable to wind down. So you lay awake all night long thinking of all the things that you need to do and really wishing that you could just fall asleep.

Your body is not able to regenerate cells and repair tissue because of the stress and lack of sleep, therefore increasing the brain fog.

Sick often

Another symptom is you are getting sick often. Your immune system is compromised because all of the nutrients and the vital minerals that are needed to promote a healthy immune system are being shunted away from the processes of keeping you healthy and to recover faster through a built-up immune system. The vitamins and minerals are being shunted away to protect you during times of stress and aid the stress response system within your HPA axis.

Something to note, the adrenal glands demand the most Vitamin C than any other tissue or gland in the body and that need increases exponentially as stress increases. Vitamin C is critical to the immune system as it gives antioxidant protection

You may also have difficultly getting over sicknesses. Colds and infections linger longer and it seems like you never fully recover. Ever had a month of sickness? This is a sign of stress.

Decreased sex drive

Another symptom of adrenal fatigue and chronic stress is you have a decreased sex drive and how horrible is that?!? I mean at least you could enjoy that, right? Unfortunately, your hormones are completely imbalanced because your body is saying you are so stressed and now is not the time for reproduction. So again, it's shunting away those resources that lead to a healthy hormone balance to instead keeping your body in that fight or flight response.

There can be other repercussions of hormone imbalance: weight gain, fatigue, irritability, increased PMS or menopause symptoms.

If any of these symptoms ring true for you then you very well could have adrenal fatigue. In fact, in some studies, it has been shown that approximately eight out of ten people have some degree of adrenal fatigue. It could be mild, moderate, or severe and any where in between those lines.

If you feel that this is something that you are dealing with I encourage you to download my five signs of burnout, where I go a little bit deeper into some of these signs that could be leading you to a burnout very quickly. If you go to erickaeller.com/burnout, you will get your hands on that PDF immediately!

You can also read more about Adrenal Fatigue HERE.

In the meantime, if you have any questions feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you!

Whole Health. Whole Love. Whole Success.

~Ericka

How did I burnout with filling my life with lots of good things?

How did I burnout with filling my life with lots of good things?

Today I am going personal once more as I share about my burnout journey. I am sharing my story about burnout number two that is. If you can believe it, yes, I did it again, but it was completely different from burnout number one.

Last week I shared how I achieved burnout number one by over-exercising and under-eating. I don't know if I call it an achievement but that's what I did. But today I'm talking about burnout number two, and how that happened basically by filling my life with lots of good things. And you might be thinking, “How in the world did she burn out if everything was good?”. Well, sister, hang on! I'm about to share how I hit the wall AGAIN.

In order for me to coach and help high achieving women increase their net worth both financially and relationally, by beating burnout and revitalizing their health, I had to go through burnout. TWICE. Like you, I am also an over-achiever.

So, as a woman who is a wife, a mom, I was an employee, I had my business on the side and trying to be a good friend and have social connections, I was struggling to keep up. It was taking a toll on me. But all of it was really really good stuff. And when I work with women that's often what we find, there are a lot of good things in their life that are happening but sometimes it's just a little bit too much and sometimes, it’s a LOT TOO MUCH.

After I recovered from my first burnout, I did a revamp of my life. I got rid of relationships that no longer served me. I was basically realigning what my priorities were, WHO my priorities were and who I wanted to be, who I wanted to show up as to be the best version of me that I could for my family and those that I love the most.

I was doing that assessment of my life… but also, I am a pretty driven person. I have a lot of goals and a lot of dreams that I want to achieve in life. And sometimes as a high-achieving woman, it's really hard to prioritize because we look at all of these things and struggle to know what is most important.

We take a look at our jobs, our finances, and our relationships. If we have kids that's a pretty big priority alone; yet, we must also place a high priority on our marriages, other relationships, our careers, connections, obligations that we might have, and volunteer work.

Out of all of those things, does any of that sound bad? It doesn't sound bad, It's not bad. But what's not healthy is when we can't say no to certain things. And… that's basically what happened to me in this stage of my life.

And as I was taking things away, I was also adding more. You might remember I had mentioned that I started grad school …that was part of that first disaster, ahem burnout. While that recovery was taking place, for whatever reason, I just thought this is a great time for me to go back to school! What?

And it wasn't even that I was necessarily needing to do that for a particular position in my company or something within my own business that I was looking for. Yet, I was basically hearing that a successful woman will continue her education and will keep going forward with that to continue the corporate climb.

The problem for me in this situation was I trying to recover from Adrenal Fatigue (burnout) and I jumped right into any huge responsibility because I felt like that was expected in order to be successful. Boundaries aren’t my strong point and I've always had a hard time at placing boundaries in my life. And so that's become a lifelong work for me, to put those healthy boundaries in place and to know when enough is enough.

What women in society are facing right now is a superwoman complex where we are being told and believing that we can do all of the things; and we can do them really well. We can be that super mom. We can be that awesome wife. We can have that high powered job or that really successful business and we can be really involved in our community. And we should still have time for ourselves and also, by the way, we need to look perfect while we do all that, right? Our house needs to be Pinterest perfect and our kids need to look like they're straight out of a catalog. That's just not reality; at least for me it wasn't and isn’t.

So what did burn out number two look like specifically? I was focused on being a people pleaser and wanting to make sure everybody was happy all the time and I'm doing the things that I feel like I need to do to get ahead in life. I also had a demanding job and my responsibilities were increasing. I loved it, It was exactly what I wanted to do. I was really good at it but I was also wanting to be a really good wife and a really good mom. That weight on my shoulders was a lot and I wasn't stopped eating well. I was looking for quick, easy meals. Nutrients were not always at the forefront of my mind. I wasn’t asking myself how that food would make me feel. I was also probably eating just to numb the constant feeling of not being good enough. Eventually, I started feeling poorly again.

What I noticed was that fatigue, that never-ending tiredness had started to come back. And then weight gain was starting to come back. But that was coming at a rapid pace! That mental fogginess that I talked about in my other video was definitely back and this feeling of lethargy, and I didn't feel like I was being effective in any role that I had.

I was doing all of the things but I didn't feel like I was doing any of them well. I didn't feel like I was being a good mom, being a good wife, I didn't feel like I was being a good employee, and I was definitely not paying attention to my business the way that I wanted to be. And I wasn't getting out of life what I wanted to be getting. I was basically allowing life to happen to me because I was just letting the schedule dictate what I was going to be doing and when. But it wasn't feeling right to me.

The result of all that was I ended up developing hypothyroidism and I was diagnosed with PCOS, my hormones were completely out of whack.

Thankfully my sleep was still good but I was just feeling an insane amount of tiredness. I wanted to be exercising to gain energy but I was just so exhausted at the end of the day. This manifested in such a huge way where I was just kind of at that breaking point where I thought, “I can not do one more thing”, and that's probably resonating with some of you right now.

Once again, it took me stepping back and evaluating what in my life needs to go, what can stay, what can I delegate, what can I get rid of, what are the things that I enjoy.

So, I basically had to do complete 180 on my life and had to say no to some things and said “hold on” to a few other things for a later time. Some of them it was just time for me to let them go and then there were the things that I absolutely love, like coaching and helping women, that I really wanted to pour my heart and soul into.

I had to make some decisions to do that. But with that, I had to get back in line with practitioners and finding out what I could do to help myself thrive again in my health. I wanted to feel the best. I'm not just doing the best and not necessarily only “look” the best. But I wanted to feel the best. I wanted to have that energy back.

Changing that perspective was difficult. We are engrained to believe that our worth is tied to our appearance. It also took a lot of time for me to really be intentional in my diet, instead of processed foods, I started eating whole, organic and unprocessed foods as much as I could. I focused on making sure that I had a very balanced meal. I definitely now have the carbohydrates, the proteins, and the healthy fats. All of that is part of every single meal that I have. Making sure that I'm taking the steps that I need to take in order to feel well and so that has been truly the game changer for me.

Like I shared before, there is never a time where we just “arrive”. It's more of a continuous lesson and a continuous practice of what's working right now. It may not work tomorrow. It might not have worked yesterday but we're going to try something today.

Always listening to your body and knowing when the time is to rest; rest was definitely not a part of my life. It's OK. Now, I give myself the permission to take a day off or not be hyper-focused on what I am accomplishing.

The reality of life is nobody is going to die if I don't get something done today. It's really taken again a total different mindset shift and I think that's something that we're always working on and moving toward each day. As I share my story of burnout, know that you absolutely can achieve revitalized health! You just need the right guide; you need the right tools.

Revitalized Wellness will be starting again in January. It is a six-week group program that is going to be amazing because it's going to give you all of those tools and tips and resources. I'm going to coach you through of it so that you feel more in line with the person that you want to be.

We are imperfect people looking at other imperfect people but expecting perfection from ourselves. So… let's drop that baggage and instead let's vow to get the help that we need. Asking for help prevents burnout so that we can show up as the best us in all the areas of our lives and effectively creating more success in both work and relationships.

You can join the waitlist right now to be sure that you get first shot at joining Revitalized Wellness in January. Join HERE.

Did you miss the video about my burnout? Click HERE.

How Do I Fix Stress -3 Lessons To Improve Health

How Do I Fix Stress -3 Lessons To Improve Health

How Did Losing My Dogs Teach Me 3 Life Lessons for a Healthier Life?

This past weekend my two dogs became escapees after shimmying the gate open in our back yard. They were gone for approximately 36 hours and I was a wreck. …

Stress Management: Women-Balance, Self-Esteem, & Body Image

Stress Management: Women-Balance, Self-Esteem, & Body Image

I interviewed Dr. Ariane Machin, co-founder of Conscious Coaching Collective, to discuss modern issues that we, as women, deal with. There are impossible societal standards that are placed upon us requiring unachievable perfection. It negatively impacts our body image, self-esteem, relationships, and overall self-worth. This discussion is rich in grace, humor, and balanced perspective that gives women permission to say no and embrace your space. 

I hope you love this interview as much as I do! Isn't Dr. Machin the greatest?!?! I could talk to her allllll day. If this spoke to you the way I think it will, then make sure you head over here to get on the waitlist for INTENTIONAL WELLNESS! It is a whole wellness program that flips "diets" on their heads! It's time to look at stress management, gain energy, and feel healthy & whole again. JOIN THE WAITLIST!

Until next time, sisters!

Whole Health. Whole Love. Whole Success. 

Stress Self-Care for Working Moms

Do you remember the commercials in the 80's of the frazzled mom who would exclaim "Calgon, take me away!!"? The next scene would show her up neck deep in a frothy bubble bath and suddenly all was right in her world.   When stressors present themselves in your busy life of running a business, raising a family, maintaining relationships, volunteering, and the list goes on and on...you may feel like you are going to lose your mind. How can you fit one more thing on your to-do list? That is when self-care is so critical. Taking a step backward to change your point of view. Evaluate the bigger picture. Taking a deep breath and asking God for guidance. Giving yourself the gift of self-care.   Yet, sometimes the stressors come in the form of environmental toxins and chemicals you knowingly put in your body and not from your schedule or obligations alone. Those toxins instigate a stress response because it is foreign in your body and causes inflammation. Eliminating those from your environment and, more importantly, your body will begin with self-care.  I invited my friend, Kristin Szerszen, to share her top tips for natural self-care that rejuvenate, reduce your inflammation, and minimize your stress. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to essential oils and the benefits for your health. I am so excited to share my blog with her!    

Do you remember the commercials in the 80's of the frazzled mom who would exclaim "Calgon, take me away!!"? The next scene would show her up neck deep in a frothy bubble bath and suddenly all was right in her world. 

When stressors present themselves in your busy life of running a business, raising a family, maintaining relationships, volunteering, and the list goes on and on...you may feel like you are going to lose your mind. How can you fit one more thing on your to-do list? That is when self-care is so critical. Taking a step backward to change your point of view. Evaluate the bigger picture. Taking a deep breath and asking God for guidance. Giving yourself the gift of self-care. 

Yet, sometimes the stressors come in the form of environmental toxins and chemicals you knowingly put in your body and not from your schedule or obligations alone. Those toxins instigate a stress response because it is foreign in your body and causes inflammation. Eliminating those from your environment and, more importantly, your body will begin with self-care.

I invited my friend, Kristin Szerszen, to share her top tips for natural self-care that rejuvenate, reduce your inflammation, and minimize your stress. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to essential oils and the benefits for your health. I am so excited to share my blog with her!    

Did you know... the average person applies 300 chemicals to their body every single day, and 80 of those chemicals before breakfast?!?

Most of these chemicals are from four things --- soap, makeup, shampoo, and hair care. The biggest pollutants in our home are fabric softener, dryer sheets, air freshener plug-ins, and candles.

Health & safety data only exists for 15 percent of all the chemicals out there, even though so many are known to cause asthma or endocrine disruptions! I highly suggest you open your cupboards and start researching the products that you are using and the ingredients that they are formulated with. I found the phone app called 'Think Dirty' to be very beneficial and helpful in my research. 

Essential oils are a safe and natural option to use in our homes and as a part of our care routine. There are some very easy and affordable ways to incorporate these products into your life. I am going to share some solutions that you can easily implement into your beauty and self-care regimen!

Aromatherapy:

It's amazing that scents can have such a powerful impact on our bodies! Therapeutic essential oils are extracted from plants. These oils help plants thrive and maintain wellness so by using them we are able to gain the benefits that plants do from having the oils inside.

Essential oils can help you stay above the wellness line as opposed to always be treating symptoms and putting a band aid on things. They support body systems the way that they are meant to optimally function.   

Using essential oils aromatically is an easy and effective way to get the therapeutic benefit of the oil that you are using. You can simply open your bottle of oil and smell it, wear diffuser jewelry that holds the oil, and use a diffuser to disperse the oil in the air in your home.

I use the diffusers in our home throughout the day. In the morning, I will use oils for alertness, focus, and to help wake our minds and bodies up for the day; my typical go-to selection is a citrus oil like Lemon or Orange. Throughout the day I will use different oils based on what may be going on for us; as a mom of a two-year-old, I find myself diffusing the oil blend called Stress Away most of the time! At night, I use calming and grounding oils like Lavender and Frankincense to help us unwind from the day. You can also use your diffuser during your detox Epsom salt bath, I often do!

Epsom Salt Bath with Essential Oils:

Who doesn't love a great bath? I have found that incorporating a relaxing detox bath with Epsom salt into my routine helps me destress and unwind. This is my favorite and most used thing in my self-care routine so I will go into good detail on this.  ;)  Oil and water do not mix so mixing the essential oil with Epsom salt is a great way to add two amazing products to your bath!

Find an Epsom salt that only contains magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) without any fillers or additional ingredients. Epsom salt has 7 amazing benefits: boosts magnesium levels, reduces stress, eliminates toxins, relieves constipation, reduces pain & inflammation, improves blood sugar levels, and volumizes hair.

Take about 1 cup of salts and mix with your preference of essential oils. I typically use about 5-8 drops per cup of salts. By using essential oils with the salts, you will also benefit from the therapeutic properties of the oils. Lavender and Frankincense oils are my favorites to use for when I want to relax. For those days that I have a tough workout or have worked hard in our yard, I use Peppermint to relieve sore muscles. You can even use Eucalyptus oil to help if your breathing needs some support! The oily combinations are endless so you can truly customize your bath experience however you want!

Once your oil is mixed with the Epsom salt, pour into your bath under the running water and mix it into your bath water. I keep two glass jars of ready to use Epsom salt beside my tub with my favorite two oily combinations; this way I don't have to mix it for every bath. 

It is so much fun to be able to create your own spa experience at home! Enjoy!  

Skin Care & Personal Care Solutions:

26 seconds is all it takes for the ingredients in your personal care products to enter your bloodstream! Once I learned this statistic, it became more important than ever for me to make sure that the products we are using are safe for our bodies.

I switched a lot of products that we use to simple DIY options or researched safer options to purchase. Please visit my blog at www.KristinSzerszen.com for recipes to make things like facial masks, hand soap, makeup remover, rash balm, anti-aging facial serum, bar soap, sugar scrub, and a recipe that I am working hard at perfecting... body butter that is smooth yet not greasy! If I started listing all of my recipes and specific solutions in this post... it would be never ending, so I'll be respectful of your time and point you to my blog where I am posting all of my recipes. 

If you are not a DIY type person, don't fret! There are solutions available for purchase that will meet your needs.  I always suggest to research ingredients!  I am happy to make suggestions on our favorites so please don't hesitate to reach out!  

Essential oils are a very versatile and safe solution to use for personal care and beauty care. There truly is an oil for everything! The therapeutic properties of oils can be used to help make product swaps in the effort to achieve a toxin free lifestyle. I would be so happy and honored to help guide you and offer any suggestions in using essential oils. Please email me at Kristin@KristinSzerszen.com with any questions. 

Thank you to Ericka for sharing her blog and having me as a guest!  

 


As a gift to my readers, Kristin is giving away this awesome diffuser necklace to one of my lucky readers! Simply leave a comment below to be entered and I will pick a winner on 7/15/17. She is also offering a 10% discount at her website on any purchase with the code: ErickaEller. Yay!!! 

Surviving Stress

Surviving Stress

You’re exhausted. Burnt out. Done. You’re trying to do everything. All the things. All the time. But you’ve hit a wall. You wish for moments of complete silence. Time alone, doing nothing. How do you manage the stress?...

Happy International Women's Day!

pexels-photo-167921.jpeg

It’s about time. The world gave ME a day….today is International Women’s Day!! I have one day to bask in all of womanhood and delight in the estrogen flowing through my body. Break out the piñata! Fiesta! Such joy! 

However, the ironic humor is that this very celebrated (everybody celebrates, right??), festive, pinnacle of all peaks, day that the world has given ME…..is the day that nature gives me the swift kick in the pants and I get my period. Of course. Happy International Women’s Day to ME. To begin the celebration, here is the fiercest of cycles! Of course. I feel like my body turned on me. 

Nonetheless, I do celebrate being a woman. I celebrate all of my femininity each day.  I don’t need a day to celebrate or acknowledge that I have a uterus. I celebrate all the good and bad of being a woman. The best part for me was that God made me a woman because He knew I could do hard things. Each day I am given breath, I am thankful for the women who have gone before me and done hard things. I am thankful that I have gifts and talents and I can share those with others. I am grateful that I have a chance to impact my children in a positive way, especially our daughters. I am grateful for women who will come alongside and help mentor me to become a better wife, mother, leader, and friend.   

I celebrate the hormone shifts because it reminds me that even on my fiercest of days, when it seems as though I have no heart, I can still cry at someone being compassionate to another human. I celebrate my changing body, because I grew three babies inside and they are miracles! Who cares if it’s softer and I have stretch marks?!! Without this body, those amazing people wouldn’t be here….there are days I wish I could shove them back inside to give me some quiet, but they are still amazing and I love them with all my heart. I celebrate all that I have accomplished. Life is tough and we have each been knocked down. There were times that I thought there was no way I could get back up. But God. He has a way of leading us down the dimly lit path. I celebrate having courage. I celebrate having faith. I celebrate being bold. I celebrate being quiet. I celebrate being thoughtful. I celebrate being scared. 

 

We are busy. We are tired. We are overwhelmed. We are over-scheduled. We sleep too little. We worry too much. Sometimes, it’s just one day at time. And that’s ok. We are loved. We are precious. Take a deep breath. There is always something to be thankful for. 

Each day, I choose to celebrate and love myself so that I can also love others better. It’s a choice. I haven’t perfected it. Some days are easier than others. Each of us, as women, have gifts that we must share with the world. Don’t keep it to yourself. You are a gift. Celebrate it. Make a cake...You are THAT special!

Today, try these three things to celebrate yourself:

  1. Be thankful. Take time to write down 3 things you are thankful for right now. Anything. Gratitude breeds joy.
  2. Do something kind for someone else. Nobody ever feels bad after doing a good deed for someone else.
  3. Love yourself. Speak kind words to yourself.  Take some time for you. Take a nap. Whatever you need today. 

Don't just celebrate being a woman today. Celebrate every single day. Celebrate you. Don't forget the cake. 

 

 

 

 

 

Room To Grow

This past weekend I decided to tackle the most giant of tasks. The Goliath of tasks. I didn’t want to. I thought it wasn’t bad enough. I’ve procrastinated for months already. Life was still continuing to move forward without this task being finished. I was getting by. 

What was the task that made me feel a little nauseous every time I thought about it? Purging and organizing my closet. I can hear the collective groan from all of you too. I dreaded this task. But I couldn’t stand it anymore. 

Many of you may know that I became the happiest of brides last September. God heard my most fervent of prayers and blessed me with an amazing husband. Jeff moved into the house and it was a challenge to find room for his things. I didn’t realize the amount of shifting, moving, donating, and selling that we would each have to do! I thought he was coming with his toothbrush and a bag full of underwear and socks and we would live happily ever after. I figured I would give him my side of the bed (because it turned out we both slept on the left side of the bed on our own and I can compromise) and it would all be good. Then I see a moving truck pulling up. And it was FULL. 

Fast forward to the master bedroom closet. We needed to make room for his clothes! I let go of 5 tops and what felt like 1,000 pairs of shoes and it didn’t even look like I made a dent, but we carried on with the tight closet. I knew I needed to get rid of so much more but I just couldn’t. I’d sacrificed so much already! I NEEDED all of that stuff! I put it off and procrastinated. Then finally I decided it was time to rip off the band-aid. 

I had been inspired last week when I listened to this podcast on closet organization by Chalene Johnson. She inspired me to make the move I was dreading, my conviction and need flipped the internal switch and I began the dirty work. Within two days of listening to Chalene, I went through every single piece of clothing and purged what was no longer in style or fit. I was ruthless. It was liberating. 

Cleaning the closet made me think…how many times have there been things in our life that we are afraid to change? How often have we known that in order to grow, we need to move past something holding us back? How often have we let fear of the unknown prevent us from experiencing a “clean closet”? How many times have we told God, “not now”?

You see, there can’t be growth when things remain unchanged. In the same way, I couldn’t appreciate so many pieces of great clothing because they were being hidden by items that I would maybe one day wear again. Never mind that it has been over a year or more since I’d worn it, one perfect day, when all was right in the world, I would be glad I hung on the cardigan with layer upon layer of ruffles or that skirt or blouse! Those extra, unnecessary, items were preventing me from having an organized, open space. I was being greedy and selfish by holding on to items of material worth. I wasn’t willing to let go and allow someone else to be blessed by what I no longer used. I wasn’t allowing myself to dwell in the place of contentment of what I have. Cleaning my closet allowed me to see my blessings and find contentment. 

Similarly, we prevent our own personal growth because we allow the clutter in our lives to hold us hostage. We don’t allow God to use the old to bring forth the new. We don’t allow the growth. We seek “perfection”and acceptance through new things. 

We allow the fear to creep in, we stay safe. 

We don’t share that idea at work because nobody will care, or worse, they will think it’s dumb. 

We don’t reach out to that person because they probably aren’t interested or are too busy to have another friendship. 

We don’t participate in groups or activities because we probably wouldn’t fit in. 

We don’t change our diet and lifestyle because it’s too hard and we won’t be successful again. 

We don’t jump forward with the business plan because we would probably fail. 

We don’t leave toxic relationships because what if we end up alone?

We don’t join in conversations because what we have to say is probably not valuable. 

We don’t submit our resume because we probably won’t get the job. 

We don’t give up the addiction because it brings us comfort. 

Think about this. What if we did? What if we said yes to what God has placed in our hearts? What if we stepped out in faith and allowed God to work through us? What if instead of fighting the pruning that will come anyway, we submitted? 

I have had some hard lessons in life. I have regrets. I’ve hung on so tightly to things, and sometimes I still do. I’ve looked for people and things to fill my needs. Slowly, I am learning that when God says it is time to move forward, it’s at that time I need to obey. Letting God do what He needs to do while I have a willing heart is so much easier than acting like the toddler who you’re practically sitting on to get the medicine in their mouth because they NEED the medicine to get better.  If I just took the medicine or washed my hands so that I wouldn’t get sick in the first place, it’s much easier to handle. The medicine can still be bitter but it allows us to grow, regenerate, and stay healthy. 

I know, such a life lesson from a closet about to explode, right?  But God uses everything. And there lies the blessing.