The Danger of Taking the Easy Way Out
I am embarrassed to admit it. Not only to the world but to myself. To acknowledge my truth; to label it:
I. Am. A. Quitter.
The number of things I’ve quit before accomplishing is laughable.
I remember my youth and how encouraging my parents were. I was enrolled in every extracurricular activity the Halton Hills Recreation & Parks Guide had to offer. Gymnastics, figure skating, brownies; I went. I tried. Many I really enjoyed, yet neglected to return – to achieve.
Were things ‘too hard’? Nope. In my second month of gymnastics I came in second place in their winter competition for my floor routine, which I remember making up as I went. But there was this little voice inside my head that at a very young age started to tell me I wasn’t going to be good enough, or special enough at this. Something would happen that would make me feel embarrassed, or un-special in some way. And if I couldn’t be the best, then why bother? Might as well give up now. Sorry Mom and Dad, I don’t like this anymore. Can I quit? And they loved me (the best they knew how), so they let me.
The Danger of Taking the Easy Way Out
Over the years, somehow this thought pattern became part of my persona. A deep seeded belief that I could not see things through to the end. I dropped out of art school. I quit my job as a car saleswoman. I moved to Scotland, vowed to make a life for myself there, chickened out and came home. I applied for ESL training to teach in other countries, and declined the acceptance as soon as it came.
Multiple small business plans that I didn’t move forward on, only to see someone else in my community do the very thing I had thought of and succeed. Multiple craft markets where I did well selling whatever item I had imagined up. Even the creation of a one piece jumper made of organic hand dyed cotton I dubbed the ‘yoga onesie’, which was super popular from the get go but I didn’t take the time to learn how to advertise it properly. Nothing stuck. When things got hard, I got to going.
Never mind anything health & fitness related. Even after a wholly transformative 10 day silent meditation retreat in Thailand (which I left after 7 days), I failed to continue with my meditation and yoga practice with any level of consistency. Multiple times in my life I just didn’t pull the trigger. I genuinely believed this was just who I am.
It left me with an eternal feeling of emptiness
Having children really added to this feeling. How could I look my daughter in the eye, and encourage her to achieve, if I had never had the guts? If I’ve taken the Easy Way Out. How could I convince her that she could be anything if I was nothing? Insert feelings of guilt, on top of that emptiness. Then came my son – add a layer of postpartum anxiety and a constant state of overwhelm.
I was trying to find the light from the bottom of a very deep, very dark hole.
Parenting was something I couldn’t just quit, and I felt like I was totally failing. Things came to a head when my son was 3 months old. My anxiety/guilt/overwhelm/depression led to my mother suggesting that “It’s ok to stop breastfeeding and take something (meaning antidepressants) if it means your family will be happy”. I spent some time reflecting on that. I considered whether this was what was meant to happen, and if it would fix everything. Maybe I was who I was because I actually have a “chemical imbalance”! I could just blame my shortcomings on that! Insert awkward feeling of relief…
That week I was blessed to have a visit from an old friend, Grace Edison. She had to come to town for a meeting with a client, and I joined her for the drive so we could catch up.
Insert life changing conversation…
Grace was on the Yogahealer journey. She had completed Cate Stillman’s Body Thrive program, and she was almost unrecognizable – in the very best way.
Calm, serene, present – this was the only way to describe this glowing woman sitting next to me, a woman who at one time fully and completely struggled with many and more of my same issues. A woman who I knew had been down the dark hole. In the hours we spent together, Grace explained her ‘kaizen’ approach to a monumental mindshift.
The Power of Small, Incremental Steps
Grace went into detail on this Japanese word, ‘Kaizen’, that roughly translates to continuous improvement through small, incremental steps. She told me about Body Thrive, a 10 step program for adopting the right habits into each and every day. She told me (she didn’t even have to tell me – the results were right there looking me in the eye with that magic sparkle) of the transformational quality of what are really very simple habits.
Grace gently reminded me that nothing happens overnight, and slips along the way are deemed OK in this program because we can learn and take the opportunity to grow from them.
I ate it up. Seriously, I was like “Whaaaat? I can fail and then get back up and keep trying?” Must’ve been the way she said it. The way she glowed. It projected onto me and I magically believed in myself.
That afternoon I bought the Body Thrive book.
A couple months later I signed up for a 10 week program, run by Grace herself.
And here I stand. No more Easy Way Out. Almost a year to the day from that life changing conversation. I expected to come out of my postpartum slump, and get back into the self I had known before my children came along. What I received instead is so much more.
Confident, calm, present, healthy, focused, motivated.
These are now the words I use to describe myself.
So many changes made. So, so many “AHA” moments had.
In short, I KICKED THIS PROGRAM’S A$$, start to finish
The Body Thrive program, along with the amazing group of women I’ve had the honor of navigating it with, completely transformed my view of myself and the world around me.
I am not a quitter, not at all.
I am strong and brave and extremely excited. I am new, and I am hella shiny, and I cannot wait to share.