I’ve been MIA for a few weeks. Life smacked me in the ass this year, and a friend asked if it was “an experiment that you’re writing about?”

It wasn’t.

But since she asked, I considered it and determined that it was, indeed, a good question, worth writing about.

People often assume health practitioners live in a kind of pink bubble of kale and meditation. Let me tell you: we don’t. I face the same issues and challenges you ALL face (And, if it makes you feel better: I, too, fall off the workout wagon when facing them).

That doesn’t mean I’m not walking my talk. A marathon is a damn lot of steps and sometimes we fall or need a break or need someone else’s arm to finish it. So when I go through life in this position of helping you, my clients, and fall on my face sometimes, it means I am a better practitioner tomorrow. Failing to run a perfect marathon means that I can help you when the same thoughts, feelings and realities hit YOUR life.

So what happened in my life? Any of this sound familiar?

  • Feelings of being deeply tired. Not physically but emotionally and mentally fully and completely burned out
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed & so far off the wagons that the horses ran away (and the tracks covered over with snow back in November 😆)
  • Factually being unable to stay on top of things (and certainly having lost any hope of staying there)
  • Factually having a to do list that is building faster than the doing ….

It’s been said that you need to pick three:

  • Friends
  • Work
  • Family
  • Sleep
  • Fitness

That’s bleak and I’ve been “picking 3” for years and it’s destroyed my body, my brain and part of my soul.

So how did I get out? This happened before and it took a year. Sitting alone in my apartment. Even though Facebook might have shown otherwise, there were parts of my life that sucked basically every day and I never actually “got out”, but I was doing what I was told and I was picking three and hiding the rest. If you are wondering what I was picking, here’s a hint: as a single mom I didn’t and couldn’t give up family, and I gave up sleep years ago until I spent a year sick so it wasn’t sleep….

This time, I saw it happening faster and it still took weeks of help from a literal team of friends and clients. Weeks vs a year because I sucked up my pride and asked for help. And I’m grateful to every one of those people who showed up at my doorstep and showed me what community looks like.

So here are some ideas that emerged that need to be permanent changes in my life. I share them with you in case they add value to yours:

  • How about working out with friends? Walking counts.
  • How about combining friends and family by way of dinner parties or afternoon chats?
  • How about combining productive activities such as cooking with friends?

(Why are we culturally promoting lack of sleep, by the way?)

I can’t, and neither can you, live without healthy movement, healthy friends, a healthy family, a positive and productive career and enough sleep to function.

Picking three is killing us. And not even softly.

Let’s stop promoting such externally independent lives and reconnect and reunite as communities. Let’s get rid of the notion of “not my circus, not my monkeys” and form a circle around one another.

  • Pay it forward
  • Stretch on the floor for 21 minutes alone or with a friend
  • Cook in pairs or groups
  • Invite people to your home to make your family part of your friend circle
  • Sleep properly at night and let your mind turn off
  • Brainstorm about work with your friends and family

I’m never going to choose the isolated path I have for the previous years in Calgary. Because it sucks.

My values are more clear: it’s important to me to have a community, not for “help” but so we can share in the risk, rewards, challenges and spoils of life together.

So being MIA turned out to be a worthy experiment, indeed.

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