Meeting yourself where you are...

In my personal life I have a short list of friends that I still talk on the phone too. I love those calls. The calls and the people ground me. These talks are special because it is rare to find someone who will carve out time in their day to talk to you. These calls remind me of parts of myself that I have stated that I wanted to grow but often find ways to ignore. These calls are with the people who have never been afraid to tell me when I have gone too far or ask me the hard questions while listening to my overly detailed answers.

Over the past week I have had two of these phone calls that both reminded that my goal of 2019 was to start to “un-do” and continue to work towards slowing down and being present. Even at this moment I have cupcakes in the oven, sweet potato hash on the rack below and am writing this blog post all before 7am. Some of us run on high. Some of us will always have six different projects going. I thrive with those people- I am that person.

I also know that we all need to meet ourselves where we are at and where we are at is an ever moving target. 2019 has been a year of celebration and growth so far outside of my comfort zone that there are moments where I forget to breathe. I know I am not alone in this. This year has brought so much change to a lot of people. If that is you I invite you to join me in giving yourself permission to simply be where you are right now. Take a cue from Brene Brown and actually write yourself a permission slip on a piece of paper.

My permission slip will say that I can spend the next two weeks on vacation and return to blogging when I am ready. It will be a remind to let myself be human and stop needing to be super human. That sometimes the not-doing of things actually brings us the greatest reward.

I invite you to give yourself permission to leave things a bit un-done, to leave parts of your life open. If history and research stand true I wager that you will find magic in the letting go. When we stop holding on so tightly to things around us we will find the space and grace we so desire.

Mary Sanker
Stress is Stress is Stress

As you pack up the kids, run the grocery store for the 8th time this week or hold down the work fort as you seem to be the only person in the office this week I beg you to remember: Stress is stress is stress.

Good stress still wears you down. Being around people 24/7 because there is no where private in the beach house filled with extended family, still wears you down. Not drinking enough water because you laid out all day on your beach towel will still dehydrate you and it will put stress on your body.

Getting married? Still stress. Running a trail race? Still stress. In early pregnancy or just had a baby? You bet- stress.

By now you maybe thinking that all hope is lost. If everything is stress then why bother with all this “self care”.

Stress not! This is a more you know situation. When we zoom out and realize the stress that is present in our life it allows us to put buffers in our days and it especially allows us to mentally give ourselves space and grace to take care of our own needs just a-little bit more than we do right now.

Here is three “stress buffers” you can add today:

  1. Spend 3 minutes during your lunch break to breathe. Set an alarm on your phone. Now count to three as you breathe in and then count to three as you breathe out.

  2. Get up 5 minutes earlier and step outside. Just stand there. Maybe you stand there for a minute or two and take in your surroundings. Can’t get outside? Open a window and watch the morning unfold before you start your day.

  3. Away with family this week? Take a break. Go for a solo 5-10 minute walk (mama’s someone will watch your lovely kids)

When thoughts of “I should be…” arise remember family/vacations/slow weeks at work are kinda stressful too and if your cup is empty then you will be pulling from your reserves to be present which will only cause you to be further stressed out.

So here is your reminder that you are kicking ass. You are doing all the things and yes, even vacations can be overwhelming. Let me know what your favorite stress buffer is on instagram @Be.counseling

Mary Sanker
Challenge the Status Quo

I recently caught myself zig-zaging. I was avoiding sitting down to complete some work and found myself outside power-washing the house. Now even though I fully admit in the zig-zagging, this task of power washing the house has been on my to-do list for the past two years and left me feeling refreshed. It reminded me not to always believe what I think. It reminded me to question my norms.

While out there I realized that I have been accepting a moldy house for almost two years. I had build a pile of excuses that kept me from completing the task. I told myself reasons why I was ok with a moldy house. I let myself believe my excuses. I let the tape in my head run so that I had no way out. I allowed the status quo to go on because admittedly it is easier that way. Change is messy.

Your body and mind want to continue with the status quo because it takes less energy. Habits and patterns are your way to simplify your life. Think of your morning routine or your weekly grocery list, by keeping these the same you are limiting the amount of energy you use in a day. Now think of a time you learned a new skill or started a new job. You were exhausted by the end of the day.

Why? Learning new skills is mentally and emotionally taxing and that playing into our physical exhaustion levels.

It makes sense why we continue to live in the status quo. Change is messy and takes energy.

When we choose to change and when we lay down our excuses we start to see that we are the ones standing in our way. There are situations when staying with the status quo is accepting things that get under our skin and drain us. These situations could be keeping you from the job you desire, the relationship you seek or it could be keeping you living in a moldy house.

I know that standing where you are looking at where you want to be can feel daunting. Sometimes it feels as if all we ever do is change. Here is the thing: we never know what is on the other side of our old habits and “When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure.” (― Pema Chödrön, )

Go seek adventure. Get messy. Find Bliss.

Showing Up

Last Wednesday I joined Sarah Canney on her Instagram live show. Each week Sarah interviews women who have taken big risks towards achieving their goals and dreams. I was beyond honored that Sarah thought of asking me to come on her show. The list of women she interviews is seriously impressive and women I often look up to around business achievements and striving to create a service that is both ethically and clinically sound while showing up as my authentic self.

To prepare to be on the live show my dear friend @kerrilmurphy and I prepared by sending each other daily videos where we tested different lighting, and practiced being comfortable in the camera. I felt prepared and even took the time to write out some thoughts for the live show.

Then Wednesday came and while I was on the show I became aware that my expectation vs reality was not matching up. Sarah was an excellent host. Her questions were on point, thoughtful and gave the watchers some juicy material.

The lighting I had practiced for wasn’t the same on the day of the show, the outfit I had planned didn’t work because it was freezing here in New England and in my head I felt as if I had let Sarah down. The thought became distracting, I forgot my talking points.

I am not going to tie this into a pretty bow and justify away my feelings. I will not tell you that my feelings during that show were not valid. What I will tell you though is that my perception of the events was not 100% accurate.

Sure. It was not perfect. Life is so rarely perfect and when we become fixated on getting everything right or showing up as our most put together self then we actual miss out on the beauty of a messy life.

So maybe that is your bow. The bow that reminds you that your life can be messy and still a worthwhile life. It is a bow that tells you that your life can be fine and not fine all at the same time. Your feelings get to be both/and. When you choose to show up, you have to show up for that day and at that time. Be present. Be messy. Be real. 

Want to view the highlights of last weeks instagram live show? Check that out here.

Mary Sanker