This is an actual picture of me in my early twenties trying to figure out life! It is me running 100 miles in the wrong direction trying to win someone else's race. I spent a lot of energy trying to figure it out and 'do it right' as I went through college, entered the workforce, got married, and faced adulthood full steam ahead...and I was running out of steam.
I was all up 'in the weeds' about how this whole 'adulting' thing works, how it goes on the daily, and what I'm supposed to do to be considered successful at it. From the outside perspective, I was rocking it! I was a college athlete, teacher, coach, manager, consultant, wife, etc. I was doing my best to win this 'grown up' game. Internally, I was floundering in my emotions. I didn't feel like an adult. I felt like a girl trying to pose as a Woman. With that mindset, I would never be able to 'figure it out.' Deeper than that, I would never feel a sense of true fulfillment or satisfaction.
Being the lost in the weeds is almost like being lost in a Halloween haunted house. You can't see further than the next turn and the walls keep closing in tighter. Scary stuff keeps popping out at you and the only thing you're trying to do is survive and escape. Being lost in the weeds creates a tunnel vision. This limiting circumstance has an incredible effect on who you're being and what becomes possible (or impossible) for you in life. The walls really begin to close in on your potential and what you say can be done. The unknown becomes a scary place that you have no access to and don't even wish to explore. As far as Freedom, Power, Joy, or Self-Expression goes, you can completely forget that. The only focus becomes surviving.
My emotional walls were closing in on me and I became very accustomed to dealing with anxiety. At one point, I owned it as a part of me. I had diagnosed myself with it. You know the bit: panic attacks, hyperventilating, crying for "no reason," avoiding situations that would trigger it, and of course my favorite, staying busy. I was in a regular chest collapsing, stomach cramping state of being that was so entirely unsettling. I would lose sleep and focus constantly and was always trying to strategize my next move.
Little did I know that if I stopped sprinting around, took a deep breath, and shook myself off, I could actually see an entire vast field of opportunity that I am standing in as opposed to the branch and brush in my eyes. You see when you're 'in the weeds,' you can't see any further than them. It's like talking about the fate of one single tree and forgetting you are in the jungle. I spent a lot of energy on single trees. I would get so wrapped up in what was happening in that moment that I would lose sight of the big picture and the long-term. I also lost sight of the values I had for my life.
I became consumed with acquiring enough money to look like I had it together. I sacrificed my deepest human needs of love, self acceptance, and quality time for keeping up with the Joneses. I could have fooled you though because I talked about houses, babies, and careers like I was ready. In reality I had no idea how to get settled on my current situation. Debt, doubt, and fear consumed me. I was overwhelmed with how others seem to have it down but I was in an internal freak out state. I gave up enjoying the journey in order to not feel left behind.
Believe it or not, I count my lucky stars for my divorce everyday. Stopping this self destructive pattern of working relentlessly at the cost of my sanity and relationships was not even a consideration of mine. I was hellbent on my mission to maintain looking good in my white picket vision of my future. The Universe hand delivered divorce and said "Sit the hell down and think, Abigail!"
Well, I did. I sat. I thought. I cried. I laughed and I got back to being Me. I had to remember my roots. I had to recall my upbringing. I had to remember building tree houses, basketball practices, and watermelon seed spitting contests. I remembered bike rides and tan lines. I had to remember that I am more happy in dirt and heat than sipping mimosas in the AC. Although, I do enjoy mimosas still.... I was forced to go back to the drawing board on Who I am and what I value.
Surviving 'in the weeds' means finding the next meal. It means living to survive conditions and circumstances as opposed to creating them. There is no thriving from the weeds. Once I decided to thrive again, my life choices became so obvious, it was laughable. I quit my job, started my life coaching practice, moved to California, and the rest is yet to be written!
Who I am is Heart, Vitality, Power, Grace, and Light. What I value is Love. I stand for peace and possibility for all. I believe in the greatness of humanity. I strive to create waves of positivity that ripples thousands of miles further than my arms can reach. Without being halted in my surviving ways, I could have lost sight of all this greatness. Because of the work I have done to get back to me, I am getting paid to do 'work' that I love. I am living in a place that makes me happy every day. I am sharing possibility with others like wild fire. I don't have to know EXACTLY how life is going to turn out. I know that if I am operating on the foundation of this paragraph, anything that I create will be pure magic.
Thriving in all that life has to offer can create a life that you truly can't even see from the place that you are right now. It often requires 'clearing the space' you are in order for something new to show up. You must in fact get out of the weeds in order to see all of life. With clearer vision, more becomes available. Clients always want to know "what to do" and I coach them on "how to be." When they Be themselves, they choose their lives with power and grace. It is a spectacle to watch people wave their magic wands and create a life they love.
I challenge you to shake off the weeds.
Get out of there.
There is nothing but more tough life lessons in the weeds.
I understand many of us will remain there until we are extracted but I invite you to take a look for yourself and choose powerfully.
If you are ready to end your surviving pattern and get to thriving, contact me.
You have a life to live, not survive.
It's time to get back to Being You and Live a Life You Love.
(c) James Mitson / Comedy Wildlife Photo
Facebook & Insta: @comedywildlifephoto