This is a long read that will feel short.
I am not putting pics in yet because I want you to have this as quickly as possible because I know it will help you
me adding pics, with my technology skills will take another two hours.
So, here you go…
I just wanted to chat about a subject today that rings true for me and resounds in others. I encounter it in business, having products that I sell — with clients and providing services, and in my own life as I’ve gone through health issues that required me to examine the difference between:
“I can’t afford it”
“I don’t value it.”
Here we go.
Being someone who’s gone through my fair share of health issues, I know what it’s like to be facing an opportunity for my healing that is going to require some investment.
Whether it was 20 years ago and being tested for a myriad of things that cost me thousands of dollars when I didn’t have insurance…
(Do you know how much an MRI cost 20 years ago without insurance? It was slightly less than putting a rocket into outer space.)
Or it was 13 years ago and it meant traveling around the country to go to health conferences for weeks on end — paying for the courses, with all the travel, food and lodging expenses — and to be gone from my businesses for that entire time…
Or it was seven years ago when a new flood of books and CDs came out with more information for my health library…
Or if it was last week for a whole new set of supplements to be replaced.
And my next thing will likely be oils. They’re really calling to me.
As in “Whoa doggie — REALLY calling.”
I know what it is to invest in your healing and education.
And I know what it’s like to have to powerfully choose.
Yes, I will.
No, I won’t.
The ‘No’ Factor
There are great reasons to say ‘No.’
‘No, I can’t swing the 7,000 dollars without risking food and shelter for my family — as well as being gone for two weeks away from my young kids, but yes, I can spend the $299 on the CD of the series and commit to learning from home.”
Or when a doctor is pressuring you to buy in to his elaborate protocol that you practically have to take a second mortgage out on your home,
“No. At least, not right now. I need to do more research and check on this some more.”
And his person who closes the deal looks and you and says, “Oh, this offer is only good for today, after that, the price goes up another 1000. dollars”
Almost definitely ‘No.’
When that feeling hits your gut and you can’t explain it but you’re listening to your inner voice that says, “Something doesn’t jive here.” You look at the supplements and they’ve got weird things in them or the place looks too scheevy to have the acupuncturist to put needles in you — or whatever it is — just something doesn’t sit well with your practical or inner wisdom.
No, I Can’t. As in Really….I Don’t Have It.
We’ve been in that situation, too. I’ve had times of great abundance in my life, and I’ve had times where things were so lean you could practically see through them.
Like when we had just moved cross-country, transitioned jobs and then, I got a new round of sickness with Hashimoto’s about 5 years ago.
Our whole life got turned upside down.
The Ugly, Hairy Story
I don’t tell this story often because I prefer to keep the oxygen of good stories flowing for myself and others and you know, my pride sometimes gets the best of me.
Because on that day in June 2009 when I collapsed on the floor of a store, we were already in a process of rebuilding our lives.
See, we had left our former career of leading full-time in churches to living more of a “love your neighbor as you love yourself” spirituality.
I gave up going to meetings while driving past a neighbor in need, and started actually being there for the neighbor in need. That doesn’t make me more noble, it was just my spiritual journey and peace to me.
Things had shifted for me, spiritually and so we segued from being experts and in demand in that career of 15 years, with a comfortable income, to starting over: Rock switched to an entry level IT job and I began homeschooling two young kids with doing my two businesses from home. We had just moved back to California from a two-year assignment in a little village in upstate New York. So, two cross-country moves, with two little kids, in two years time, left me with barely two nickels to rub together.
Moving is expensive.
It was a full-time effort upon our return. But we were doing it. We didn’t have a lot of margins for error.
So, that day when I collapsed on the floor of the store, I pretty much blew all of our margins.
I ended up sick — but with no diagnosis. Even though I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s for 14 years at that point, we didn’t know that it could morph this way.
I ended up with vertigo — for up to 15 hours a day for a couple of years, with very little relief.
I ended up unable to work — and co-provide in my usual way.
I ended up with medical bills — stacked on top of my regular bills — stacked on top of the basic needs, made my life one big Jenga game.
Only it wasn’t wood, teetering,
it was glass — crashing.
We went from being people who have a non-profit that provided free/affordable counseling to people in need — as well as food for other people who were hungry — to standing on food lines, hoping to be lucky enough to get a bag of stale food that was leftover from the grocery stores.
My life had turned surreal.
My husband was overwhelmed and hiding in his turtle shell, going to work every day at a job that wasn’t meeting our needs. He was checked out of reality on one hand and then, thrust into harsh reality of full-time caretaker the minute he got home.
And I was home, dizzy and sick, trying to make magic happen out of so little in our pantry and two little, growing, sweet, energetic boys staring at me — too young to understand or to help.
All while I was trying to figure out if I was dying or not.
I remember the day I put all the bills in front of me on the bed. Everything was hazy and fuzzy and I was normally so good at all this organizational stuff.
I called the credit union where my car loan and two credit cards were held. We had been with them for 14 years and had amazing credit. Our cards weren’t maxed and once I knew I couldn’t afford to pay the full payments, we stopped using them. Maybe in retrospect, I should have maxed them all out on doctors and food, but I didn’t think that way. I kept thinking we’d get out of it. And plus, I’m like a Girl Scout. I just felt like that was like stealing. I was probably wrong.
Anyway, I got Maggie in the delinquent department — or whatever they call it when you feel like a freakin’ loser for not being able to pay your bills on time… Maggie was kind of a bitch and while it shattered my fragile dignity, it was perfect for me. Because I needed her to be a bitch that day.
The conversation went something like this:
“Maggie, I have only this much money to pay toward my car payment. I will pay the rest in two weeks but I have no money left for the credit cards at this high payment. Can you lower that payment for a few months?” She huffed and puffed and said, “No, I can’t.” and the people pleasing part of me wanted to sell a pint of blood to make her happy.
I asked, “Maggie, do you have a daughter?” I could tell by her voice she was in her mid 50’s or older.
“Yes, I do.” She had a pinched tone.
“If your daughter said, ‘I have to choose between paying my credit cards or buying food and going to the doctor to get better, what advice would you give?”
Her answer was curt, “I would tell her to pay her credit card bills.”
She said it. And neither of us believed her.
But it was perfect for me.
Perfect Reflections of Imperfect Priorities
You know why?
Because her answer was the perfect reflection of my lack of priorities I had in my life.
I had faithfully paid my tithe, but not set up enough of a savings account for my family to have a cushion.
I had run myself ragged in the name of God and helping others — and whatever part of my ego was attached to all of that –and was really afraid of everything from disappointing people to disappointing God — and I ended up not listening to my body and so very, very sick.
In my exhaustion from overworking all those years, I had prioritized comfort as my remedy instead of health. A big bowl of pasta instead of eating foods that served my health — all because I felt I deserved it after all my hard work.
I didn’t put first things first.
And now, that ‘first thing’ — my health — was screaming for attention.
The Wake-Up Call
Maggie being unloving to me, showed me where I had been that way to myself. Only my lack of self-care was hiding so deeply under noble things that I couldn’t see how unloving they were.
I had some shit to work on. And I got really clear. That bed became a sanctuary and I was like, “I HAVE to take care of me. WHAT was I thinking????”
There were loving people…
We finally reached out to a scant few — god, it’s so hard on the pride when you’re a self-sufficient person — and people helped us through those bumpy times.
Some family members and friends brought food or sent a check — or several. Some sent clothes and shoes for the boys. Some paid our phone bill so we wouldn’t lose service. The love came in overwhelming ways, at just the right time. We didn’t have a lot, but we had more of what we needed. It was hard to receive the help in some ways — pride is not very good at receiving help.
And had we not had kids, I would have done everything I could to not ask a soul. But we had kids and you can’t say, “Hey! We’re going on a water fast until Daddy’s payday” to a three-year old.
So, we reached out and it was humbling.
And others were not so loving…
Some were judgmental and rude — which was humiliating — in the name of family, love or God or whatever. Telling me that God was ‘getting’ us so that we’d come back to the church.
I said, “My God doesn’t ‘get’ people to ‘get’ them.’
So, yeah. Wow. Back to the point.
The point is, I know what it’s like to have to say, “No, I can’t do that concierge, scrillion dollar treatment with the chiropractor because I have to feed my kids.”
I have lived the reality of “No, I can’t.”
And Yet, We’re Powerful
I would be deeply remiss if, in saying there are times when you say, “No, I can’t” that it means you’re a victim.
I think there were many other ways our story could have played out.
I could have called my husband’s family sooner than he did and said, “Help. We need help.”
That could have lessened our suffering.
I could have called on friends more to say, “Please, arrange help for me every day. I need help and I’m too freaking brain-damaged right now to do it.”
I could have called on all the health practitioners I had faithfully hired when I was able and said, “I need some gratis work, or delayed payment — you know I’m good for it.”
I could have created more opportunities.
Or called on my highest self that believes in abundance.
Or worked on healing that inner story, but I was pretty committed to it.
There was a part of me that was pissed.
Waiting for my husband to value me.
To stand up for me.
To reach out for me.
I have a million friends — all he’d have to do was make 10 phone calls and HIS life would have been easier.
But man, I was so busy living in the mixed-up hazy combination of optimism (things will get better) victimization (he needs to prove that he loves me by facing his fears and asking for help), my reality (I’m so sick I can’t even stand in the kitchen to make breakfast) and my story (I’m disposable and unworthy of a good life.)
Every story has a victim and a hero. A protagonist and an antagonist. A problem to be solved that reaches a crisis point and then a solution.
I believe we are co-authors of our story.
And my story was so freakin’ powerful — it was part of my sickness.
Health has a hard time getting through the obstacles that our ‘story’ puts up.
My lack of self-value was part of my story.
My story became my lack of priorities.
My lack of priorities affected my health.
And my lack of health affected my family.
And to this day, it still does.
Because I’m still healing. And rebuilding, after all that, has been quite an ongoing process. One layer at a time.
From the story
and the health issues.
Worth vs. Value
Everyone has to make those determinations in their life about the treatments they’re offered: Is this worth the value?
You have to be able to set your top priorities — health, family, work — or whatever it is for you — and be able to weigh your opportunities according to what you value,
and if it’s worth it.
When you know what you’re saying “Yes” to, your “No’s” become easier.
Do you have a clear idea of what is most important in your life? Are you putting your health at the top of the list?
As in really on the top.
Are you invested?
Like you’re eating healing foods.
And getting out in nature.
And stepping out of toxic dynamics and into healthy relationships — where you express yourself and make room for others to express as well.
And going to bed at a time that allows you to get the rest you need in order to heal?
Are you prioritizing buying your good, healing remedies
over that Venti Caramel Mocha Pumpkin Whatever Latte this week?
Are you doing even ONE of those things?
Are you invested? Because you really need to be clear on whether you’re saying, “I can’t” when you mean, “I won’t.”
Which Brings Me To This Point…
I want us to be in honest conversations with ourselves. If someone has a life-saving help for your dis-ease for 25 bucks or 100 bucks or a thousand bucks and you say, “I can’t afford it.” And you’re posting on FB about your steak dinner at a restaurant that night, your fabulous pedicures, and the new outfit you got this week — it’s not that you can’t afford it,
it’s that you don’t value it.
And that’s different.
At some point, you’re going to have to address the self-saboteur in your life. Because, if you’re not able to distinguish between your ‘cant’s’ and your ‘wont’s’ — it’s because you don’t value you.
People who value themselves
know where to say “Yes” and “No”
and know how to invest in themselves.
It’s just that simple.
And do you want to know the (relatively) fast and (relatively) dirty secret to valuing yourself?
You do the inner work:
You either take the time and/or money to go through that journey of introspection with a counselor or coach, priest or rabbi, partner or best friend.
Or you do the practical work:
You stop waiting for your feelings to rise to the occasion and you eat right. You put yourself to bed and stop waiting for Prince Charming to rescue you from yourself or and you do your gentle exercise without waiting for Jillian Michaels to come punish your ass.
Your feelings will eventually follow.
If you don’t know how to value yourself; learn. Just become a student of people who value themselves and you see what they do.
I have so many friends who are GREAT at taking care of themselves. I could ask 10 of them, for ONE idea each and make a list, and if I did just ONE thing a month, I would have a completely different life.
Or you can read a book.
The Art of Extreme Self Care by Cheryl Richardson is a good one.
Or you can take sign up at Beautiful Life School that my friend, Cynthia Occelli offers.
Or watch some of the 14 scrillion self-help videos for free on You Tube.
There’s really no excuse for you to not taking care of you.
It’s time for you to sit down and have an honest conversation about what matters most and how you’re going to prioritize it in your life.
I’ve gone through that. I still go through that.
You’re not alone.
What do you need to invest in for yourself this week?
Is it some fresh, organic foods?
Is it a BPA-free water bottle so you can get your liquids in?
Is it a doctor’s appointment?
Or healing treatment?
Or time in your schedule for a walk in nature?
Or an app for 2 bucks to help record your symptoms?
Whatever it is, I want to encourage you to sit down and make your list of priorities.
And then, really ask yourself,
Am I treating myself like I matter and have great value —
or am I not?
I have a few ways to support you.
If you have the bucks and want to spend them in a one-on-one coaching session — I offer them at $150. for 60 minutes. I charged that rate 10 years ago. My price went up to $285 but I’m making it more accessible for people and saying this: If you have more, give more. I want you to be helped. Go to my coaching page to read more then, click the button at the bottom of the page to book with me. I’ll send you an e-mail of how it’s done.
If you have 15 bucks, get my book: “You’re Not Crazy and You’re Not Alone” on Amazon. It’s like hours and decades of therapy in a fast-read of 270 pages. Read the reviews on Amazon. People are being helped all over the place.
If you have 2 bucks, pick up my Bloom Beautiful App for your Iphone. It’s bite-sized and deep-souled wisdom for your life 365 Days of Inspiration designed for you.
If you are in that “I just can’t” place, opt-in on my page here to get the free video of “9 Peaceful Practices to Get You through an Anxious Moment” and join our amazing, high-vibe Girlfriends’ Guide to Hashimoto’s Group on FB.
You are loved.
You are worth it.