Learning to slow down and hush the inner critic is undoubtedly a celebratory feat. However, it is challenging to maneuver those pain points within ourselves and come out a victor.
I went on a two-month hiatus from writing because I felt stuck. Yet, only to realize that I was actually feeling burnt-out. The inner critic in me was starting to have her way, which led me to believe that I wasn’t doing enough. I had slowly been feeding the rain cloud on top of my head, which I truly thought, I had shrunk from its existence.
The truth is that I took 2020 as a sign to work hard – real hard. In working hard, I started neglecting my inner child. I mean, I was working on my mental health, booking regular therapist appointments, investing in a coach, reading a lot, meditating, and going for walks. In theory, I believed I had it all covered.
OH boy, was I ever wrong.
December hit, and I felt drained from showing up on social media every single day, keeping up with writing blog posts, researching SEO, backlinks, following social justice concerns, working two jobs, and isolating because of – COVID.
Of course, breaks are necessary, so I was sure to take a full day off every week, but even when my hands were resting, my brain was working full speed. I refused to listen to my body, and I sure paid the price when I sat there numbing my feelings and forcing myself to show up, all while wondering why me?
Then I hit a new low of comparing myself to others. Parents with kids were running businesses. Yet, I couldn’t even write a new blog post without bursting into tears. People around me were working away and ticking off their goals, but I couldn’t see myself fit this equation.
I was working away and doing all the things I thought were right. At the pace I was going – why wasn’t there more to show? I mean, I did the inner work and followed up with the outer work, but it wasn’t enough.
Suddenly, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was doing what my parents did when I didn’t get A’s on my report cards while in school. That’s why my inner child was angry with me. I was doing it wrong. I wasn’t allowing myself to love me for my worth – I was starting to treat my shortcomings as a bad thing.
[bctt tweet=”I’m a believer in therapy, but I don’t think all our problems are things that we need to fix about ourselves.”]
Cue – the people in my life that kindly reminded me that I’m no Usain Bolt and I needed to slow down.
As I started to slow down – I began to reflect, and in doing so, I discovered five ways to train your mind to work for you instead of against you.
- Stop ruminating and start focusing on ways to dismantle unhelpful thoughts.
- For every moment of doubt – remember and write down a moment; that’s the opposite.
- Enjoy the journey. The fun is in the journey and not the destination, so have fun.
- Listen to your body because the truth is the truth and your body keeps score. Slow down.
- Trust that all that is meant for you will meet you where you are.
I finally pumped the breaks.
Healing had to take the driver’s seat, and everything else was either getting thrown out the window or taking a backseat and waiting patiently for my return.
Currently, I am learning to reset. To effectively time block my day and show up out of intent instead of believing that I need to do this or that. I’m breaking out of my self-imposed hurried woman syndrome and going back to the basics.
We’re starting again. Unraveling and becoming.
There are plenty of things that I don’t share publically that have been painfully traumatic, and aside from nursing those wounds – I am now truly working on listening to the needs of my inner child.
In an age where everything is go – go – go… I’ve finally reeled it in and decided to slow down and listen.
It’s no longer a matter of when it will be my turn but rather knowing that my turn will come and I will meet it when it does. There’s no embarrassment in accepting defeat and starting again. So, this is me – trusting myself and trying again. Not trying harder but taking a different approach – one rooted in my healing.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can only work as fast as I am meant to, and if that means today is a no-go, then that’s what it is. It’s okay if this activist, that content creator, or blogger friend, is moving at a rapid pace and achieving new heights. That isn’t your journey.
Your journey is yours alone.
You may not have all the answers, but listen, honey – you aren’t meant to. You’re learning. Give yourself grace. Hold your head up and brace yourself for the unknown.
Whether or not I accomplish everything I set my mind to this year – the one thing I will be doing is honoring my needs, and I hope you find it in yourself to do the same.
Healing isn’t linear – it’s a continuous journey with ditches and bumps on the road, and whether you like it or not – you’ll have to find a way to maneuver it. Here’s to learning to keep on going, but at a pace that fills your lungs with fresh air, greets your face with warm tears, and fuels your soul with unwavering adventures.
Do you struggle with taking it slow? Share your thoughts below.