Guest Post by Britt Bolnick, In Arms Coaching
Six years ago was the worst time in my entire life.
I was a fairly new mother to a 12 month-old girl, living in a house that I hated and could barely afford. I had a husband who was cheating on me, almost never home and about to leave me. I had little to no close woman friends, worked exhausting nights in a restaurant waiting tables and bartending and lived in a neighborhood where I had no community at all. My daughter was (what I later learned) a high-needs baby — she needed to be connected to my body most of the time and still nursed through the night, leaving me completely drained and exhausted physically and energetically.
And then things got better. My husband left me. I couldn’t afford to live in the awful house anymore and had to leave. I quit my day job. I moved back into my mother’s apartment with my baby.
I’ve noticed that when you take the time to get quiet enough to listen to your heart, something interesting happens. Sort of like a massive centrifuge, your world begins spinning and everything that’s from your heart flies into the middle and wraps around your center. Everything that’s unnecessary, that’s extraneous, that’s no longer serving you, that doesn’t belong, just flies off into the universe in bits and pieces.
And when your world stops spinning, what’s left is that which is essential to your core.
Fast forward 5 years. I have work that I absolutely cannot wait to get started on each morning. I have a self-care practice for myself. I have lots of flexible time to spend with my daughter, and the amazing, supportive, loving community we’ve built around us. I have my mother in our life to take care of my daughter on date nights, or when I want to run errands without dragging an almost 6 year old around with me. I have date nights! I am out of debt and saving for our own home. I have an awesome relationship with an old-love-turned-new.
When I wake up each morning what I taste is freedom. Freedom from fear, freedom from scarcity and loneliness. Freedom from work that drains me and undervalues my self-worth. Freedom from dread and exhaustion.
When I wake up each morning it’s to a day filled with amazing private client calls, laughter, sun, love, bike rides, lunch time on the roof in the hammock, long days sitting with my laptop dreaming up ways of serving women, finding new ways to connect with women, using my time as a structure that serves me, and in turn, supports me in serving other women.
My vision is for women everywhere to wake up loving their days.
How much do you love your days on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being “Can’t even get out of bed in the morning,” and 5 being “jumped up smiling?”
How did I get from trapped and miserable to joyful and free? Here are a few of the really crucial steps that I took and that I guide my private clients through in our work together.
1. Identify and prioritize what kind of support you need. I stretched myself further than I thought I could financially to enroll in an amazing life coaching program for women and that was literally the rope I used to climb out of the hole I was stuck in. I also began reaching out and building a small community of other women for help, an ear, company, and inspiration. I moved back in with my mother for a time to save money and get crucial help with my baby.
2. Begin the work of reconnecting with yourself. In the stress, shock and difficulty of the last year I had totally lost my connection with myself — my guiding force, my inner wisdom. I had no idea what made me happy, what I needed, where I wanted to go from the place I was standing in, or how to get moving forward. I had to stop and focus inwards to get that information. Once I was able to reconnect with myself I found that I had all the answers I needed — from within.
3. Decide you are ready to commit to change. It’s said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Yet we live the same way, from the same old beliefs and behavior patterns, in the same old relationships, and we wonder why we can’t change our lives! Healthy, positive, and sustainable change takes commitment to examining what you’re doing and why, and then changing the parts that no longer work for you. Sometimes that’s hard to do using the same old beliefs and tools that haven’t been working for you all along. Often you really have to step outside of the box you’ve been folded up inside.
But I can’t tell you how brightly the sun is shining, out here.
Britt Bolnick is the joyful owner and master coach of In Arms Coaching, a life coaching opportunity for women. She is passionate about supporting women in living each day from a place of personal power and joy, while building meaningful work, healthy, loving relationships and a deep connection to self. She is a single mama splitting her time between NYC and Portland, Maine. Her website is http://blog.inarmscoaching.com.