I would not wish adrenal fatigue on anyone. Bottom line…it doesn’t feel good. It’s an exhaustion I have never felt before. It is anxiety that has made me feel like I am literally losing it at times. It is the opposite of feeling inspired in any way. And yet, it has brought me gifts that I would not exchange as they have changed me and how I live my life.
One of these precious gifts is slowing down. I didn’t see it as a gift at first at all. In fact, I resisted it tooth and nail. I didn’t have time to slow down. I have a husband, 2 kids, family and friends, a business, clients, a house and all the to dos that come with that. How the hell was I supposed to slow down?
Well, I did because I had to. The fatigue I was feeling didn’t give me a choice. I couldn’t imagine it getting any worse and yet, if I didn’t slow down and rest and give my body what she needed, it would have worsened. And quite frankly, I had no pick up and go to do all the to dos. The fatigue forced me to dial it way back and look after myself. So when I finally surrendered and accepted that I must slow down (yes it took a bit because my ego is quite stubborn!!!), I found myself not only feeling better physically but there was a sense of peace that came over me. So much of my energy had been caught up in the chase to be and do more that I was living with a feeling of desperation 24/7. Once I rested and gave myself what I needed, the desperation disappeared and was replaced by calmness.
The desperation didn’t disappear forever, however. It returned when I started to push again and look outside of myself for answers. My body lets me know when I am doing that again by a surge of fatigue and pain. I have a built in alarm system that tells me when I am out of alignment. So then I slow down again and stop the pushing, returning to the peace and energy that is inherent in me. This is what happens when you are creating a new habitual way of being. You slip back into your default (old habitual) way of being a lot until it happens less and less over time. I am grateful to know the signs when I am in my default patterning so then I can choose differently.
I just walked by my daughters’ school and read a sign that says “Slow Down. Lose a minute, not a life.” I realize that it is referring to driving slowly through the school area so that a child doesn’t get hit but it literally stopped in my tracks as it speaks to all of life. Not slowing down means that I lose out on so much goodness in my life, not to mention the detrimental effects it has on my body. Like the times I haven’t stopped doing the dishes or making supper to really listen to my girls or to greet Tom as he comes in the door. Nothing is more important than connecting with my family on a heart level. Nothing. I let go of my to do list on Saturday afternoon and took the girls to the park instead. Being outside in play was more important in that moment than chores. The chores could wait.
And in the slowing down, I’ve been able to access even more of myself. I am able to hear my inner wisdom speak to me and guide me. I am able to be in my heart more instead of controlling from my head. It has allowed my relationship with my loved ones and with myself to deepen and feel more fluid. There is an “isness” to things instead of a constant “doingness”. I am able to relax much more into the peace I feel.
To be clear, I am not sitting on my duff doing nothing all day. I still do things but it is the energy I am doing things with that is different. There isn’t the push or the desperation or the striving or reaching (at least not today;)). I am much more present with how my body is feeling and with the people I interact with. It feels like I am being more of me because more of me is in the present moment vs. chasing something in the future. I hope that makes sense. It is difficult to describe how I feel with words at times as it is more of an experience than anything else.
Another gift I have received is practising setting healthy boundaries for myself. I have become much better at saying “no”. If it isn’t a 10 out of 10 in priority or desire for me, I have been saying no. When your energy is low, it becomes a very precious commodity so all the extraneous activities have gone out the window. It hasn’t been easy as I love to connect with people and help when I can but you can’t give from an empty tank.
Because I haven’t had the energy to do all that I used to, I have also had to ask for more help. I have asked for help mostly from my family. It has meant asking our girls to pitch in more and help around the house. One thing to note about beginning to set boundaries, is that the people in your life are not likely going to like it at first. They are used to things being a certain way and they may rebel against any changes. So when you first set boundaries, you need to be firm and also have compassion for other people and yourself as you go through this transition. Do my girls like doing more chores? Hell no! And do they still complain? Hell yes! But they are doing it anyway. Not only does it help me but it is really helping them take pride in contributing to the family unit and foster a sense of independence, even if their little egos don’t like it.
In fact, a few weeks back, Sophia, my 7 yr old, asked if I could teach her how to do her laundry? Say what? It was fascinating that I felt resistance at first. Is she old enough? Will she do it right? Blah blah blah. Anyhoo, I took her through the steps and she wrote all of them down for both whites and colours and she did her own laundry from start to finish. She was so proud of herself and I was too. Win win, I’d say.
Now here’s a gift that even I have a hard time acknowledging and that is, not having it handled. I excel on having it all handled. I am really good at it so not having it handled doesn’t necessarily feel good. But what it has done for me, accepting that I don’t have it all handled and that it is ok, is that I am more honest and in my heart. I am having more vulnerable conversations with people in my life and allowing more love in. Having things handled was a way that I tried to prove I deserved love but it actually kept people out. What I see now is that I am loved whether I have things handled or not and the world will not end if all is not in order.
There are other gifts too but those are the biggies. My journey has included adrenal fatigue for my own learning and receiving. And it isn’t necessary to go through that in order to bring these changes into your life. You can slow down a little now. You can set healthy boundaries now. You can be more present and in deeper connection with your loved ones now. You can let go of having to have it all handled now. It doesn’t require your body breaking down in any way to make changes in your life. And if your body is speaking to you in a not so great way, I invite you to make the changes in your life before your body has to start shouting louder.
If you desire assistance in deciphering your body’s messages to allow healing to occur, it would be my joy and privilege to help you with that. Just reply to this email and let’s chat.