OUR FOUNDER'S story
'I was newly diagnosed when I started coaching.
I was really struggling with constant burn-out and rumination.
I would generally have 3 really good days, where I was happy and energised. Then I would have a day of extreme hyperactivity and excitement, and then I would have 3 days of absolute exhaustion. And that is when my rumination would join in!
Firstly, I need to admit that although I am a woman that menstruates every month, I completed ignored the effect that hormones have on my mood and symptoms..
Now, try to add those to the hyperactivity, exhaustion and rumination and you should have an idea of the kind of party I had going on in my body and mind!
It truly was like going out, getting drunk - then cry with anyone who you have just met in the club's toilets - laughing, eating the whole lots of funky combination of food, and then wake up the day after feeling like a total mess, and decide it would be much better just lying in bed all day. With the difference that... I did not go out at all and I did not drink!!! So then I felt guilty for not being productive...
But I mean.. how to be mad when you get the whole experience for free, without hangover and extra money spent on taxi?????
However, I decided to get some support and to see if I could create some balance in this fun life of mine. So I started coaching.
The first thing I learnt was: PAUSE. BREATHE. And now be KIND TO YOURSELF.
It seems so easy to do this. But it is not when you live 1000 miles per hour (who am I kidding... per minute??) and forgot that you have breaks in your car.
And also... kind to myself? Are you sure I can? Because the last time I checked, I let my fears take over and dressed them as perfectionism, so I could sabotage my entire life and desired outcomes and have an excuse not to ever finish things. And in all of this, I definitely forgot to breathe. Surely I do not deserve kindness.
However, that pause was the beginning of my new life. That pause, is the action that calls my Prefrontal Cortex to take control and to pay attention to the other parts of the brain, like my amygdala and my emotions.
'What do you choose to pay attention to today? Remember that 'what you pay attention to, it grows'.
So true. I kept on choosing to pay attention to how much I needed to do, because my old beliefs were based on the story that I had to hack life like everybody around me did. I had to be perfect, because otherwise I would never be good enough. I had always to learn new things not for the pleasure of learning, but because I thought I needed to know more to be perfect.
But, all of these expectations that I landed on myself were bringing me to exhaustion and then rumination.
I have learnt to pause and refrain. I have learnt to anchor my truth. I have learnt that perfection is not realistic.
So now, I use the boundaries - that I never had!!- , to protect myself from anything that does not serve me. Even from myself!
Now, I pause and ask myself 'What do you need?' and I give myself permission to do it.
I need to rest? I sleep.
I need to eat? I cook.
I need to relax? I take time.
I need to exercise? I go boxing.
I need to get out of my house? I take a walk.
I need to say no? I kindly say it.
Now I know, that to maintain a certain level of sanity I need to listen to myself and allow myself to be true to who I am.
'People pleaser Fran', does not longer exist. 'Kind and Loving' Fran is the new lady that lives in my mind.
'Ruminating Fran' still likes to show up sometimes. But 'Brave and Compassionate Fran' is the new lifeguard I hired.
'I can do it all on my own Fran' has left her place to 'Team Fran'. The new secretary who likes to pay people when she cannot do something or when she does not want to do something, because she knows she will struggle with it.
'Adrenaline Fran' is training with 'Savour the moment Fran', to learn to stop and create memories.
Now I experience less burnout; I can prevent it or I allow myself to deal with it when I have no options - i.e. sensory overload.
Now I can stop myself from ruminating and take the reins of my life back.
Now I can live in integrity. Because who I am is what I do.'