The biggest truths are often the hardest to face.
This is one of the rawest, self confronting posts I've shared.
Today I am celebrating my second born's 11th birthday. He's a creative and sensitive child. Extremely expressive and sometimes overly emotional. A lot like his mother. He feels all the feels, and doesn't always know what to do with them.
The year we celebrated his 1st birthday was the year we moved Down South. I remember that birthday party well. I was a wreck with nervous excitement. I had a job interview with a Hospitality big wig at a prominent wine bar in the city. They were opening a sister wine bar on the main drag of Margaret River. If I got this position, it meant our family could definitely move. Hubby had not yet found work in the south. It made sense for me to make the most of this opportunity and go back to hospitality for a year.
I wasn't wholly present at that birthday party. I was constantly looking at my watch, waiting to leave for my interview. I felt pangs of mother guilt and excitement at all the possibilities.
The ten years that followed were a whirl wind of busy lives, growing a business and managing a family of five and their needs. There were plenty of adventures in nature, this is the beauty of living in Margaret River. I loved rediscovering how content I felt amongst the trees. But there were also challenges.
An underlying element of mother guilt and not being enough for everyone, shadowed me.
I was busy. My massage clinic was growing. I loved the work I was doing. Yet, I was in constant demand. My clients needed me. So did my staff. My kids, husband, friends, school - everyone needed me. And this made me feel stressed out and anxious.
It's a delicate balance, this adulting thing. I've been a Mother for 15 years now, married for 16. And I have always worked in some capacity. The truth is, I need a break.
When I was pregnant with my first born, I thought, there's no way my kids are going to Day Care. I am going to be a Stay at Home Mum. I started doing mobile massage, just once a week when he was 5 months old. Day Care soon followed and then more clients. I went back to University when Jack was 15 months and life got busy.
I was restless for more, thirsty for knowledge and connection.
Fast forward 10 years to 2014. I was sitting in my hospital bed in the Margaret River maternity ward, breastfeeding my 3rd baby. She was 6 hours old and I was busy texting clients back and reshuffling appointments, squashing down the anxiety that was beginning to rise as my sub contractor had just announced that she was needing to leave the business in a month, for good.
What should have been a beautiful transition to maternity leave, became stressful and panicked. It makes me cringe when I reflect on the hours I spent, staring at my computer or iPad, managing my business and breast-feeding my baby for long hours. Is it no surprise then, that I did not listen to the deep ache that was developing in my lower back, nor did I stop to pause when my toes began to go numb.
No, I kept on pushing, because I felt I had to. I couldn't disappoint my clients. 5 months later, I had a very serious disc herniation and sciatica. I listened then and stopped. Fortunately at this time, I had hired a fantastic new therapist to cover my maternity leave. The truth is, the damage had been done. I had an injury to heal from and had set the tone for my maternity leave, which wasn't really leave. I still saw 4 clients a week and spent about 15 hours managing the clinic from home.
You can't pour from an empty cup. I preach this to my clients. Stress Less. Less push more flow. I know this, right?
The truth is, I know it intellectually, I just don't always practice it. The truth is, the pressure of being an expert in my field sometimes makes me feel like a fraud. Especially when it's 11pm at night and I'm watching my 3rd episode of some series on Netflix and binging chocolate, all whilst scrolling Instagram and creating content on Canva.
It's a little more complicated than that.
You see, I really do love the work that I do. Giving Massage and Reflexology to my clients, it's a wonderful gift. Here lies the trouble. I give so much of myself, that I leave very little for me.
My four year old daughter has not slept well or gone to bed before 9pm for the 2 years since our house fire in 2016. That is a lot of late nights for her age. That's time where mums and dads get alone to talk or relax. We've tried all sorts of different therapies from massage and essential oils, to kinesiology and finally surrender. We've just accepted that this is how it is, for now. It's made life easier. She is starting to sleep earlier and in her own bed 3 out of 7 nights.
The truth is though, It's often late in the evening when I finally get that alone time to decompress, by then, my mind is so tired, all l can do is veg in front of the tv. There isn't a lot of time left for my own self care. I am getting better at this though, going to bed earlier, daily meditation, pottering in my garden. These restore my energy, but it's not enough.
I'm not receive nearly enough bodywork sessions or energy balancing treatments to counter the work I do. I run out of time, because 'my time' is during school hours, which is also work time.
Sometimes I cancel my own appointments to fit in one more client that needs it. I don't say no enough. This leads me to feeling restless again, a constant seeking for what's next. I've moved my office 3 times in the last 18 months. I've enrolled and withdrawn from University twice in the last year.
The truth is, I know what I need and want, I've been too scared to admit it, and too scared of letting people down.
With my little one in full time school next year, I thought I would be ramping it up, doing more, treating more, working more. Growing my business. It hit me on Friday, that what I need is the complete opposite.
I need a total break from my Bodywork business. All aspects, the treatments, the admin, the marketing, the book keeping, the networking, the growing, pushing and doing. I need time and space for me. To just be. To write and read. To receive. Lots and lots of receiving. I need time for healing. I need to work on myself and my relationships. It is my time. This is my Soul Connection.
So, I am taking an extended break, from 20 December this year. I am giving myself all of January and February 2019 off, to be Me and rediscover who that is. What I do know, is that I love to write, I always have and want to do more of it.
For now, this is a pause in business. I'll be back in March, however, I'm not sure what capacity this will be.
Thank you so much for your continued support.
Stay true to yourself.