Recently, I posted publicly about my health journey and experience with fatigue (check it out and give me a WHOOP WHOOP in the comments if it applies to you).
Following this post, a woman reached out sharing some of her story:
When I hear the words- “you’re over 40 now”, “you have 3 children”, “this is natural aging”- from doctors... it’s infuriating. I want to scream from the rooftops and get in the boxing ring with professionals that say these things to me. I also get frustrated with words from well meaning experts such as, “you sound depressed”, “you’re trying to do too much”, or “you’re labs are fine. Maybe counseling or anxiety meds will help.” Grrr!!!!!
... then she asked an important question:
What’s working for you? It’s not very often I hear a mom of two in her 40’s say she has more energy than ever before! I love, love, love to hear this!!!! I’m wondering if you’ve experienced change and healing with hormones, minerals, vitamins, diet change, and/or lifestyle change?
She clearly has a sense my approach to health is multi-faceted... holistic.
If you’ve hung around me for even a short-while, you’ve probably heard me rant about the mineral system. It’s my mission to help more and more women understand the way the mineral system is the foundation for their physical health.
That's not the topic o'the day though.
I thought I’d highlight another element of healing
that has helped me EXPONENTIALLY.
It relates to the power of the mind-body connection.
It’s a process my mentor calls SHRINKING THE JUDGE.
The Judge... our Inner Critic... the part of us that instantly shuts us down, shuts us up, questions our every move, and silently criticizes.
I was so accustomed to this part of me, I didn’t realize how powerful this voice was... it just seemed normal (and maybe even necessary... like I needed that criticism to motivate me into action or to make sure I learned valuable lessons from my mistakes).
Because I didn’t realize its power, I definitely didn’t understand how much my energy was being drained by this relentless negative force.
“Why did I say that?”
“I look horrible in these jeans.”
“I can’t believe I forgot her birthday, I’m a terrible friend.”
“Why the hell can’t I get it together?”
“I’m letting my life slip away.”
These days, we have scientific evidence for the impact mind has on body.
These thoughts left unchecked
blasted tension through my nervous system,
activated the stress response,
and wreaked havoc on my hormones.
All of which is exhausting.
Do you relate?
If so, I’d love to offer one simple step you can begin taking today to change this pattern... to shrink the Judge... and stop the process of energy drain from mind to body.
Intentional Health Pro-Tip: “I’m still a good person.”
This ‘tool’ came about through a joke with Jacques.
One day I was venting my frustration about parenting. As I listed all my faults and how I really needed to step up my game, he nodded along to indicate he was listen. When I finished, he simply said, “You’re still a good person”.
What? My Judge was half expecting... half wanting... him to commiserate with me. To tell me all his faults too.
Something inside me tends to think the harder we are on ourselves, the more motivated we’ll be to improve.
Experience tells me that usually only keeps me tense, foggy brained, and ultimately stuck... repeating the same negative behavior.
So. when he caught me off guard like that... all I felt was RELIEF.
I jokingly repeated, “Yeah! I’m still a good person. That’s right,” as if I were shaking my fist at an audience of naysayers. Maybe I was shaking my fist back at my Judge.
From there, “I’m still a good person” became a phrase of choice for Jacques and I... in good times and bad. We’d use it playfully... like when I dropped one of our wedding glasses and it shattered. Or when Jacques forgot to get one of the things I asked him to pick up at the store.
The phrase would surface in difficult conversations, too... like when I would unleash my frustration about Jacques on Jacques (i.e. “you never listen to me”)... he’d retort with, “I’m still a good person”. Or when I over spent on our budget... I’d confess then reiterate “I’m still a good person.”
I’m still a good person.
I love this phrase because it brings another perspective. My Judge wants me to believe I’m the worst of the worst. A failure. A worthless piece of dung.
When my Judge rules, it’s heavy, hurtful, and exhausting.
“I’m still a good person” brings levity... and a bit of release... making the Judge a little less powerful. Just enough to give me clarity to shift my focus.
This phrase reminds me I’m most often trying my best... and even with imperfections, missteps and mishaps... underneath... I still have a few redeeming qualities.
Ultimately, using this phrase to shift the focus is a simple way to calm the stress response... allowing me to reserve some of my physical energy and helping me maintain a healthier level of internal balance.
So, next time you find yourself knee deep in criticism from your Judge, try pulling out this phrase and see how it feels! I can’t wait to hear. And even if it doesn’t work miracles for you... you’re still a good person :-)