For instance, a couple weeks ago I did two things that I was supremely excited about – one was a day-long planning seminar and the other was appearing on my local morning news program, The Rhode Show.
Planning has never been one of my strengths, so it was very different for me to dedicate a full-day to mapping out the year ahead. And let me tell you, it felt good. I saw that I didn’t have to carry around all my ideas all the time, to the point that I felt like I should somehow be working on all of them all the time. Not that I ever could, mind you, but only having them in my head made them all feel urgent. I was LOVING be able to look at a 12-month calendar and see what the biggest priority for each month was, and knowing that I’d factored in important events in my and my family’s life so I wasn’t planning to attend a conference the same time that my son would be starting kindergarten and would likely be in need of some extra love and attention.
I just felt like I could see, so clearly, where my priorities are and thus, where my attention should be. Ahhhh. You know I love clarity.
And then for the TV appearance, I have gotten terribly nervous about these in the past. But this time I rolled up ready to talk about my stuff. I had friends in the green room, we were high-fiving each other. It felt great to be seen as an expert by the producers, the hosts, my fellow guests, my local community.
I was seeing and being seen all over the place. So guess what happened?
I woke up the morning after being on TV with a scorching case of pink eye. Trust me, it was disturbing—blood-red, extra goopy eyes. Really? I thought for a moment.
But here’s what I know to be true—often times, when you are gaining a new level of insight and casting off some old beliefs or ways of being, your body has to work that outdated crud out of your system. To my mind there’s an absolute connection between the fact that I was seeing more clearly than ever before and that my eyes had to purge all this gross stuff.
I’ve had this happen to clients – we have a couple of good, eye- and heart-opening conversations where they crack open their world view, and then, bam, I hear from them that they are home sick with a fever or a cough or even a stomach flu.
“Congratulations,” I say. “You are purging some old stuff, and it means you’ve done the work to be able to see and experience things in a new way.”
It’s not a punishment, you are not a wimp and you are not taking poor care of yourself. Quite the opposite: your body is doing exactly what it needs to do to be able to support you as you continue making positive changes. You may feel crappy in the midst of the sickness, but once it has past you will feel better than ever.
This point of view doesn’t make being sick feel and better or more fun. You do still have to take care of your sickness without making too much of a fuss about it – go to the doctor or go to bed early or be diligent about taking your elderberry and vitamin C. But don’t give it so much attention that you revert back to the way you were.
If you’re launching a new program, like a client of mine is, and you suddenly lose your voice just as you are owning that your expertise and point of view can help people, stay on the path of getting that project out there. You don’t have to knock yourself out (please don’t!), but you can spend some of your couch time taking care of administrative things or composing your newsletter. Or you can read educational or inspirational material instead of zoning out with Project Runway All-Stars.
When you can still maintain some level of momentum even when your body is working overtime to burn off some old stuff, you won’t be as susceptible to the big, knock-you-down illnesses.