I recently discovered an app called The Tapping Solution that has given me a great tool to combat my anxiety.  Being diagnosed with high blood pressure was something I denied for many years.  It became apparent that I could not talk myself out of it.  I kept explaining it away with excuses that ran from Whitecoat Syndrome to caffeine.  I was desperate to stay away from medication until one day it got so high that I was turned away from a dental appointment.  Time to face reality Sherry!  

In my need to understand my health situation, I needed to understand my patterns and my inability to change.  Of course there is age and facing the fact that my tolerance for going at all speeds, keeping on extra pounds since menopause and irregular exercise habits were key components to my diagnosis.  But in taking stock of my inner voice, I realized that I always deny that I am not 100% in health or energy. I told my doctor that there is no way that I can be sick or rendered slower because not only do people depend on me — I must always be available to say yes to anything asked of me.   She looked at me and just shook her head — “you need to learn to say no.”

I have been trying to understand what saying no means.  It is such a foreign concept to me that it never enters my mind to use the phrase “that doesn’t work for me.”  It has been a source of pride for me to make hard things easy for others.   This has been my life’s work, making others appreciate what I can do for them.  I do not know how to meet my needs first. More than that, what are my needs?

Always Teaching

The childhood lesson of chores before fun has stayed with me my whole life.  Leaving the house without the bed made or dishes in the dishwasher would ruin the rest of my day.  As sad as this sounds, it would haunt me all day to know that I left before the house was in order.

It seems this thought process follows me everywhere I go in my day.  If there is no time left for fun at the end of the day, then I accomplished something. Fun can wait.  Over time this has damaged my health and well being.  It is not sustainable to never think about what life has to offer other than work.  I need to add play to my life.  Why is it so hard for me  to think about discovering nature or activities that do not lead to a paycheck.  I never learned to value just me being me.  I defined love as what I could do for those I sought attention from.

My brain is hard wired and I need to make changes.  I need to say yes to myself and create a sense of whimsy about my day.  It’s not that I don’t laugh or feel joy — it’s those moments when I stop short of choosing freedom from what I “should” be doing.  Duty takes over and if done, I tap into tomorrow’s to do list.

Tapping and meditation have helped me slow down, listening and paying attention to the moment has given me perspective and the inevitable medication has lowered the high blood pressure that I fought so hard to will away.

I have developed a love of yoga and the calm it brings me.  Implementing the practice — me before work — is creating joy I never knew.  Simple fun — writing this blog, gym classes, green iced tea and my favorite coffee shop are “Yes’s” to me.   Work and play is a choice I make each day. Not one or the other.  Being centered in my life and core is essential to living my life well.  It is okay if others have to learn how to do the hard things without me.

New Goal Each Day