(And Why You Should Too)
No one messes with me and what my body needs. Noooooboooody!
My body reigns Supreme Queen status nowadays.
We are talking the stratosphere of Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga Queendom here, ok?
However, it wasn’t always like this.
In fact, my body and I didn’t always see eye to eye. We spent many years at odds with each other.
At odds is putting it ever so mildly.
We share a personal history, my body and me. Let’s go back a wee bit, shall we.
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In my teens, I simply wanted her to be tinier. Although, if I’m honest, I didn’t really give her the time of day.
In return, she mostly stayed out of my way. We were mere acquaintances.
In my twenties, we started talking to each other, but it became clear that we weren’t well matched. Tense is putting it mildly.
I became a nightmare micro-manager of my body. Incessant nit-picking, ordering her around, demanding perfection.
Try as she might, she could never seem to please me. As a result, she did what every entitled “I’m an adult now” twenty something would do.
She flipped me the bird.
She had a full-on mental and physical breakdown.
Stress fractures, hormonal imbalances, thin bones, exhaustion, fatigue, and disordered eating topped the list.
Add in anxiety, irritability, and a “what’s wrong with me” inner monologue that wouldn’t shut up.
Finally, I started to realize how badly I was hurting her. I agreed to a cease-fire.
Like a couple in marriage counselling desperate to save the marriage, my body and I slowly started a healthy dialogue with each other.
Years of pent-up frustration, resentment, and anger all spilled out in the process. However, the healing process began and we started to become close.
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In my thirties, we entered a new era in our relationship.
I started to appreciate my body like the energetic vessel that she is.
We healed the trauma of our past relationship, however like whack-a-mole, where one thing ends, another one pops out.
This time, it wasn’t overexercise or disordered eating. No, it was much more insidious than that.
The silent killer. The stealthy thief in the night.
Overdoing it. Overwhelm. Overstressed. Overworked. Overcare.
I ignored her desperate pleas.
Let’s put this away now.
You have accomplished enough for today.
Your boss can wait. Go enjoy your dinner.
Let’s think about this before you respond
Just go to bed. Start fresh tomorrow.
I didn’t listen, and BOY, did she ever show her discontent.
Anxiety, fatigue, apathy, irritability, strained relationships.
Thankfully, my body and I were on much better terms than over a decade ago.
So, when it happened again, I knew THIS TIME, a personal reckoning was imminent.
A radical wake-up call with myself.
Layering another strategy, like time blocking, calendar management, and reading the 4 hour work week wasn’t going to cut it. (Love you, Tim).
No, this went far deeper. Rather than ask for help, I asked for what I need.
I began to have 1:1’s with my body just like I have 1:1’s with my private coaching clients.
Just like the 1:1’s I had with my team and my boss when I was an executive.
And I listened.
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Now, in my 40’s, I treat my body like the energetic and sacred vessel that she is. That means I take her for walks every day, no matter what. That means I drink a lot of water. That means I close all tabs on my computer when I am trying to focus. That means I ALWAYS surround myself with women two steps ahead of me. That means I ask for alone time because that’s what my body needs.
My body always knows what I need before I do. What is she trying to tell me? Consider this quote from The Body Keeps The Score:
“Our bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, we often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. We learn to hide from their selves.”
Are you hiding from yourself?
If you’re a successful and high achieving woman like me, ignoring your body is a disaster waiting to happen.
As an Executive Coach, I work with many women are often remarkably out of touch with their bodies and have accepted burnout, overwork, and ambivalence as simply “the price you pay”.
That doesn’t sound very Queen-Like.
AND. If you’re hanging around my campfire, you can be sure that I will challenge you on that one.
Before we start duelling it out though, may I suggest you simply PAUSE and reflect on the following questions.
What is your relationship to your physical body? Is it harmonious, meh, or downright abysmal?
What type of relationship do you WANT to have with your physical self?
Do you regularly schedule 1:1 time with your body self and ask her what she needs from you?
What HAS TO GO?
Do you have the desire and willingness to do something about it?
If you answered yes to the last question, then I invite you to join me at my free masterclass — From High Pressure To Transcendence where the conversation begins.
Grab your seat today! It’s on Tuesday!
Teresa “My Body Is A Temple” Vozza.