5 Women And 5 Lessons We Can't Ignore
Confession. I go through seasons where writing isn't my main form of expression. Nothing comes out. The pages remain empty and I can't seem to get ANYTHING out on paper. Or online. Or anywhere.
Now.....talking? On fleek. Writing? Not so much.
My well has been filling up over the past few months though. Has it ever.
For the past month or two, I haven't really written anything because I've been in a bit of a transition myself, but in the meanwhile, I've deepened friendships with some women I look forward to getting to know more about, reconnected with a few, and heard amazing testimonials of things happening in these women's lives.
So essentially, when I felt I had nothing to write about, I waited. And waited some more....
I started noticing an emerging pattern. I was having these meaningful dialogues with amazing women in my life, watching things unfold in our lives, and it hit me a few days ago - we're all in some form of transition AND there are lessons I'm learning from each one.
So those conversations - Facebook messages, mini coaching sessions, phone convos, emails, lunches, brunches, and the like, have led to this catalog entry.
It's not short, so put on some hot tea or pour a glass of wine and read these amazing stories I'm sharing.
A few things you should know:
- I want you to feel empowered by these women's stories, not just observant of them
- I want you to find yourself in the one that feels most like you
- I want you to figure out how you can immediately apply the lesson from it
The reason this is important has to do with what one of my favorite coaches, Marie Forleo, teaches us. "Insight without action is useless."
And she's right.
It doesn't do any good to read something that can help us be our best selves, then ignore it and not allow it to work for us.
It's time for us to be able to step back and look at the big picture facts:
- We're not the ONLY woman on the planet facing what we're facing (even though we might feel like it)
- There's more than one way to move to the next step
- There's someone out there who wants to walk through it with us; even if we haven't found them yet
Knowing all of that, I'd like to introduce you to 5 short stories and 5 women. These women and their respective stories are all very good friends of mine and real. However, I'm not using their real names for obvious reasons. However, their stories are very real and very recent.
My hope is you can find yourself in one of them and learn a little in the meanwhile.
The One Who Knows
A few weeks ago, I posted a picture on Facebook about my weight loss journey. After I posted that pic, the one who knows wrote me on Facebook Messenger. Immediately what I noticed was how self-aware she is. In a nutshell, she pointed ALL of this out in one big paragraph and probably didn't realize it:
- I'm an all or nothing person when it comes to food and exercise
- I've gotta do better at the whole balance thing
- Through some diets, I have dropped weight fairly quickly
- Eating this way has worked for looking AND feeling better
- My struggle is portion control
- Grains are bad for me
- I can eat a lot and not look back
- I'm an emotional eater and that doesn't help
- I know what works, but I'm not disciplined with it
- I struggle with not feeling worthy enough to look AND feel good
- I have felt like crap lately physically and emotionally and I'm tired of it
- I'm not getting any younger and it's only going to get harder
- I want to feel fierce but have some inner things to work out before I can address the physical stuff
ALLLLLL of that in one paragraph let me know, "this is a woman who knows herself." Or at least knows a LOT aboutherself enough to walk me through the struggles she's having.
She also knew enough to know where her weak areas are, and I honored her for that in my response to her.
In my opinion, this is a healthy woman - she has a healthy self-awareness about herself, where she can grow, and she's okay enough with vulnerability to write me on Facebook. (We haven't seen each other physically since I was in high school). That also showed me a level of trust that exists between us.
Not only was I honored to hold space for her right then, but I took time to craft a response I hoped would truly help.
And I shared my personal story with her about my weight loss journey and losing 45 pounds this year.
This is the one who knows.
What Do I Do?
"What do I do" wrote me on Facebook for advice after our latest podcast episode.
She said someone was spreading rumors about her that weren't true IN HER CHURCH. Ugh - don't even get me to go there.
She asked for my advice because she genuinely felt she didn't know what to do.
I gave her my advice (which closely mirrored what I teach in my ecourse on assertiveness along with that podcast perspective above).
About 2 weeks ago, she wrote me and told me how she handled the situation. You know what was interesting? She actually made a different decision than the one I gave her. And I honored her for it.
I'm no one's guru, and my job and calling is to give you things to consider and weigh in your own experience, not tell you my way of thinking is what you need.
What I love about "what do I do" is she chose, she listened, and she acted.
When we don't know what to do, it's essential we make forward-moving choices, listen to all that's coming in, filter it accordingly, then take action.
It may be the wrong action, we may piss someone off lest we don't take their advice. But the importance is in the action itself. Anything forward-moving is progress!
Something Changed And There's Nothing I Can Do About It
"Something changed and there's nothing I can do about it" and I sat down for lunch on a Sunday to eat tacos. She's getting divorced. Not only had I not ever spent a lot of quality time with this woman, but I had no clue they were even having trouble.
Almost as soon as she started telling me about it, tears started streaming down her face.
And, as highly sensitive empathic me would have it, I also teared up. I felt what she felt in that moment.
It got me in the gut.
The phrase I'm not even sure she knows she kept repeating was "Something changed and I knew at some point there was nothing else I could do about it."
This woman has been on a roller coaster ride she didn't want to be on. And, like a train, there is no slowing it down.
"What do you do", she asked me, "when you stare into that person's eyes and all you see is anger and you don't know who they are anymore?"
Sigh. I didn't even know what to say to her.
Yea, though I've never been technically married with a piece of paper, I have basically been common-law married before, and I KNEW the feeling she was describing. Only, in my situation, I didn't know myself, not the other person. (Sometimes it's ourselves we look up and see in the mirror and don't recognize).
Good news: Something changed and there's nothing I can do about it has learned how to accept that there's nothing she can do. And, she's so self-aware and involved with her own thought and heart process (a beautiful woman, this one.....shoot!), that she is figuring it out along the way.
And she's doing well with her transition.
Something changed and there's nothing I can do about it has figured out how to exist with herself in a gorgeous peaceful transitional space knowing she can't change another person. I learned SO much from her that day.
The Root Issue
Oh, the root issue. This woman is dear to me because she's finally getting to the root of things that have been there for years.
It was my delight to hold space for her when she called me a few weeks back and told me she had been diagnosed with an eating disorder and was finally getting to the root cause of it with a holistic plan and counseling. (I'm not a believer WHATSOEVER in medication unless absolutely necessary, and I think it should almost always be heavily monitored and/or accompanied with counseling).
But I stood proud of her. Proud of her for identifying the root issue, being willing to talk about it with a complete stranger, vulnerable enough to admit it out loud to her close friends and spouse, and work through it.
And she's still working through it.
But I love watching the process. Her heart is right, and I am so happy for her. I said to her, "I honor you for being honest and going for the change."
What a gorgeous human. What a gorgeous lesson in true humility and vulnerability.
Now and forevermore, I loveeeeee the root issue. Both metaphorically and literally. There's nothing like it!
Occupy the Space
Occupy the space and I had a chat about her closet. LOL
Now, before you go making assumptions that this is about a stylistic hocus-pocus, listen up. This woman had a moment!
She shared with me how she was cleaning out her bathroom and realized how lazy she had gotten since her divorce 9 years ago. Stuff being left out, stuff all over her counter, eating poorly, and not even being able to find clothes in her closet.
Occupy the space was realizing she really wasn't occupying the space!
She told me that she realized one of the reasons she probably wasn't meeting someone was because she really wasn't ready. The space where her ex-husband's clothes use to be in her closet was still there - empty! When she could've been using the whole closet this entire time.
And I pointed out to her that, spiritually, she was blocking it because the physical is typically a manifestation of what is happening spiritually, not the other way around.
She agreed with me. About a week later, she told me, "Tamisha, I cleaned out my closet and I found clothes in there I forgot I had!" She was so excited to relay, "I feel like I went shopping. I reorganized everything and spread everything out - no more empty space."
My heart was literally SO warm from this conversation because I knew exactly what she meant.
What she probably didn't realize is that "occupy the space" is a concept I teach in my assertiveness course because it works and it's real. Even the fact she used that wording was amazing to me because I don't think she's taken the course!
This is a real, real thing we do in many facets. And, don't get me wrong, space is needed in some forms; required, even. But this type of space is begging to be occupied - it's the kind of space that wants to fill and light up your life.
Occupy the space teaches us to dig deep and find what's missing - what needs to be cleaned up - what can be reorganized.
Metaphorically, occupy the space reminds us that by inhibiting ourselves then asking for abundance is like taking a teaspoon of sugar and asking for a whole cake - it's not possible. You gotta get your hands dirty and give it your all, even when you don't have the job, the husband, the car, or the income yet - occupy the entire space of the breadth of your environments, then watch what you desire be added unto it.
Which one of these women BEST represents you? What is one thing you learned from her and one thing you can put into action today, as a result?
Make sure to share in the comments and with your best gal pals around the web, and thank you for reading as always - you're a gem!