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Ignition - a place to start

Oct 17, 2023

Beginnings. Like endings, can be hard. Painful, even. But there's something about the process of beginning that's always excited me.

Beginnings offer hope, like the first day of school when you were a kid, walking up to the door wearing your new school clothes and wondering who was going to be in your class this year. Wondering would this be the year when you figured it all out, and had a great year? 

I know it’s is hard to believe that at 51, I am feeling that same giddy feeling this year. I don’t know if anyone really “figures it all out,” because that would imply that we somehow arrive at a destination filled with all of the good feelings we have been seeking like joy, hope, peace and that special spark of excitement when we feel we have found our purpose, or are beginning something new. 

Hope, peace and joy are not a destination, but something we carry inside of us, along with every other emotion that we can access at any time. The problem is, emotions are messy, and we often experience them together in conflicting intensity. 

Feelings like peace, joy, fulfillment and excitement are often experienced at the same time as disappointment, anger, pain, betrayal and fear, just to name a few. 

 It’s hard to know how to access the good stuff when the painful feelings are so strong. 

It’s hard to accept that while I am filled with excitement and hope about the new beginning of stepping out to live out my life long dream to become an Author, Transformational Life Coach and Thought Leader, that I have also been actively managing the feelings of betrayal, loss, and disappointment of my previous business ending.

A business that I spent 10 years researching and 5 years pouring my heart and soul into it. I was working so hard, but I kept going even though I knew I was overworking myself, and I needed to slow down. I kept telling myself that in another year, when I got through this growth or this phase I could finally rest, and make my health a priority. I could find some of that joy, peace, spark, and creativity that I had lost.

But as each year passed, and there was more and more expected from me—I did not feel happy or fulfilled. I didn’t want to face my true feelings, that no matter how many times I tried to tell myself to be grateful, the truth was I felt trapped, drained, defeated and exhausted. 

People kept congratulating me about the success of my business. I was a co-owner of a thriving private practice. I was finally making an income that could support buying a home and maybe paying back my student loans someday after 22 years of being a therapist. I was finally able to help out my family, and finally didn’t have to constantly worry about money, or how the bills would get paid.

I told myself I “should be grateful.”

I love working with my clients and seeing all of their success. It is such an honor to see them heal and go on to build a life that ignited their peace and joy. I love being a therapist and life coach, and this career is so fulfilling, but the business of therapy can be complicated. Navigating billing issues and paperwork can really get in the way of delivering great therapy while also finding a balance to have energy to take care of your own health.

All of the sitting and emotional stress take a toll on your mind, body, and soul after awhile. The truth is that many people in the healthcare and wellness industry in general, struggle with multiple health issues, including anxiety, depression, high cortisol levels, slow metabolism, weight gain, chronic pain, addictions, relationship issues, and vicarious trauma.

In addition to this, we are often the people out of our friends and family that everyone comes to for help. We may have even grown up with Complex PTSD, and while that can be our super power when it comes to holding space for hurting people because it has developed our emotional strength, it can also make us vulnerable if we don’t take time, or don’t know how to practice self care, get help and support, and make our own health a priority.

But who do you go to for help, when you are holding space for some many?

Who is strong enough, and able to hold space for you?

Who can understand the challenges you face, when people say to you, what do you mean you don’t how you are feeling, or how to take care of you?

Aren’t you a doctor, a nurse, a therapist, a life coach, why would you be struggling with burn out and fatigue? 

For myself, it has been difficult to accept that while I was helping my clients ignite their spark and dreams, I was neglecting myself, my mind, body and soul and my joy, energy and positive spark  had faded to a very low ember. 

When you see embers the fire isn’t finished yet, but it’s almost done. I was really close to burn out and my body was sending me major messages that I needed to change and change quickly. 

I suddenly knew that there was never going to be a magical day where all the conditions would be perfect for me to make the changes I needed to make.  I was just going to have to make some changes NOW, because my mind, body and spirit couldn’t take the weight of the stress anymore.

I was just going to have to stop listening to the “shoulds” and limiting beliefs that were stopping me from taking care of me. I knew there would never be a perfect time, I would always be scared and the only one who could make me a priority was me.

I don’t know what your story is, or what is making you feel stuck, drained or fading from the weight of the stress in your life. Maybe you are a therapist, life coach, doctor, nurse or wellness business owner, who has dedicated their life to helping people heal. You still love your work, but you have spent so much time focused on supporting your clients or your business that you are now finding that you are suffering in your mind and body to the point that you feel your energy and spark are fading, and you might be close to burn out. You know you need to change, but it’s hard to find a way to do that when your energy is so low. You are needing some motivation, some steps to get your spark back and a community that can hold space for you, so that you can go share your light and your spark with the World each day. 

No matter how you low your ember is burning there is always hope. You can get your spark back. It isn’t easy, and you will need support as you start to look at your life differently, and discover what you need to find a healthy life/work balance, make yourself a priority, find a living that brings you more joy and peace, learn to make time to take care of your own health so you have the energy to give to your business, clients and family.

The following are 5 Steps to get Igniting Your Spark Again:

  1. Start taking 10 minutes at the beginning of your day to quiet your mind, and just breathe. You may want to sit outside in nature and listen to birds, or feel the wind, or listen to your favorites music while you drink your coffee or tea, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you take 10 minutes just for you to relax and breathe to start your day. 
  2. If limiting beliefs or overwhelming thoughts start to pop in, that’s ok, just notice them and turn your mind back to your breath. This will get easier with practice.
  3. Visualize and Soothe- Once you feel you have quieted your mind I want you to close your eyes and picture the last time you felt joy. Try to picture the sights, where were you, who were you with,  what were you doing? What were the smells? Just sit here for a moment and breathe this in with all of your senses. This is the feeling we want to feel. This is the feeling that brings the spark. 
  4. Now I want you to imagine, if a miracle happened and when you woke up tomorrow your life looked exactly as you wanted it to, what would you be doing? Who would you be with? What do you see, smell, taste? 
  5. Take a minute to write down a list of whatever comes to mind, and circle one thing from this list that you could do today. It could be anything. For example if you said you would be traveling, maybe you start looking at places you can travel to online. It could be as simple as calling a good friend to chat for 10 minutes after work. Just choose one thing, to ignite that positive energy and joy inside of you. It may not seem like that big of deal right now, but if you remain open and practice this daily this spark will ignite a whole fire of new possibilities for you. 

I hope this offering has ignited a little spark in you and a feeling of hope that things will get better. If you want more resources, you can check out my podcast Sparks and Embers, check out my social media, or my community The Embers where we givers gather to support one another on learning to find balance, take care of our mind/body health and ignite our positive energy and spark again.  

The light in me honors the light in you 







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