"For so long, my body was sending distress signals that all felt the same." - Jennifer's Story
Updated: Jul 13
A true client story
There's a notion out there that says a teacher will come your way when you're ready, and if you ignore the teacher's presence, the teacher will speak to you more loudly. But you still must be quiet to hear the voice of the teacher...
In the case of this particular client - let's call her Jennifer - the teacher was Jennifer's own body. Jennifer came to me as a health coaching client after having an 'aha' moment while going through physical therapy for her cyclical pain cycles (low back <> sacrum <> hip <> thigh <> knee <> and around again she went). At the time, Jennifer was in 'full steam ahead mode', used an 'all or none' mentality, and (you guessed it) never really truly slowed down to listen to her own body's needs and to nourish herself.
Jennifer wasn't taking lunch breaks at her rigorous hospital job. She thought her knee and back were hurting because she wasn't doing enough to stay strong. She would constantly engage in negative self talk for not being good enough, well enough, and strong enough...spinning her into a deeper cycle of anxiety, fear, and depressive moods. And then she felt guilt when she was short-fused with her spouse and son.
Jennifer's body and mind were speaking to her. Directly. Loudly. Until finally - she realized, "I gotta swim because sinking isn't an option."
Our bodies and minds are wired to keep us safe (but not always comfortable)
Whether it's our nervous system, our digestive system, our hormones, our bladders, our muscles/bones/joints, you name it, our bodies are divinely designed to keep us safe. But unfortunately, not always comfortable. Our bodies are one big sensory system. And sometimes we sense things that are uncomfortable. All body systems speak to us when they sense imbalances - they say when we're tired, they say when we're hungry, they tell us when we're cold or hot, they alert us to pain, they tell us real blatantly when we're stressed, and sometimes they yell at us and say "hey, human, something ain't right here so PLEASE do something to manage this situation!!!!" (and when we don't listen and keep pushing forward, the you-know-what hits the fan)
Jennifer was spot on when she said "For so long, my body was sending distress signals that all felt the same - stress, pain, anxiety, depressive moods. My body was always going to the nth degree to get my attention."
Jennifer was ready to discern what her body aches and her emotional fluctuations were telling her. It's true when life gets too busy, too full, and we get immersed in our daily to-dos and must-dos, that we lose sight of what our bodies are trying to tell us.
How Jennifer's doing today
Jennifer is now midway through the Sustaining Mom Program. Once Jennifer started collaborating with the guidance of a health coach, Jennifer found her own meaning of what it is to slow down and listen, both from a physical sense and a metaphorical sense. In the process, I was there to sit back, be present with her, listen, and see her blind spots that she couldn't see herself. Today, Jennifer understands what it means to nourish her body systems with her own intuitive decisions - she eats lunch to balance her blood sugars, she rests her body for recovery when it's been pushed beyond its limits, she gives herself room to feel emotions differently, and offers herself permission to experience positive emotions. And best of all, she's finally giving herself consistent love and compassion for the first time in her life.
Jennifer's journey isn't over. But she's on the right track. She's finally listening to the divine teacher who's been with her all along, with that divine teacher being her very own body, mind, and spirit.