The answer to the age-old problem about replacing that void feeling with one of fulfillment came to me on just an ordinary Monday.
I begrudgingly reached over and silenced the alarm that beckoned me from my sweet, glorious pizza bed.
“6:20 a.m.,” it said.
“Shut up,” I said.
It was one of those days where from the moment my tiny child-sized feet brushed the icy cold floor I just. felt. low.
What does a person do when they feel low? This is what I do: I start looking outside for something to gratify me: “I’ve been working so hard. I have been trying so hard for others – I just need someone to affirm me.”
The checking begins. Texts – maybe he texted something nice about me. Facebook – maybe there was a pleasant post on my wall from someone who has observed my hard work. Instagram. Emails. Somewhere oh somewhere surely there will be affirmation – some piece of encouragement to lift my spirit and nudge me forward.
I had been through this before and I only had to look through each of these apps twice (instead of dozens) to know no matter how much I scrolled, nothing was going to lift my spirit. No one was going to reach out to me to make me feel whole.
“You must look within. The answer lies within.” Some internal wise voice beckoned me. I stepped into a hot shower and shaved my face for the first time (I am not kidding; I was getting laser hair removal on this Monday and that’s the doctor’s orders).
I didn’t even cut myself.
I headed to work to train my first client at 7:15 and mustered a big enough smile and sufficient positive energy for a marvellous 1-hour session. I looked in the mirror and beat myself up. “I look so tired.” “My skin is bad.” (Yes, even I, the selfie queen, beat myself up sometimes.)
I totally get the “look good, feel good” thing, and I think the opposite is also true! I had no makeup on (doctor’s orders pre-hair removal) and no coffee was yet to grace my lips. (Ok, some days I can love my naked face, but some days I also say, “Pass the foundation, please!” – this was one of the latter).
My client went on her merry way and I allowed myself to sink back into the (paradoxically?) comfortable, low mood I had masked for an hour the and the cycle started again. Texts. Facebook. Instagram. Email. Surely someone or something out there will pick up my spirits.
I’m getting smarter at this – I only checked once!
“You must look within.”
Coffee. If I sip on coffee and it awakens me from the inside out, that counts, right?
I returned to the globogym with a steamy Americano in my hand.
I tried to write in my journal, started with some gratitude, and didn’t get much further. “WHERE IS MY BED??” Yep, my Americano was broken and little Miss Motivated was longing to crawl back under the pizza covers.
“You must give away that which you most wish to receive.” Another wise voice buzzed around my head, this time like an annoying, shrewd fly.
I busted open the thank-you cards I had been meaning to get to over the past few days and started writing. My “you-write-like-a-dude” handwriting graced the cards with surprising eloquence and candor considering my current bed-craving mood. As I celebrated individuals for the characteristics about which I most admire them, my mood shifted without me even being conscious of it.
“Thank you for taking the risk to start your business.”
“Thank you for sharing your mind and your physical fitness with the world.”
(Weird, as I am writing this I realize I said to some of these people exactly what I wish would be said to me… totally not planned.)
My next client showed up and she sparkled in that session with progress. I celebrated her for her hard work, shoveled a bowl of homemade soup into my mouth, and trekked off to get my hair follicles scorched by light (science is cool).
Although I was nude and pieces of my body were slowly coated with ice-cold ultrasound jelly, I had a surprisingly pleasant treatment and left further inspired by a woman who cares about how she does business; who cares about client comfort.
The rest of my day was magnificent. I crushed a workout. I schmoozed people at the gym (only authentically, of course). I had an incredible phone conversation with a wise and wonderful woman I hadn’t seen in far too long. Clients for my programs were almost falling into my lap saying, “I feel like this came at the perfect time.”
I returned to my sister’s place and was greeted by the rapid-firing wagging tale of one of the cutest and fattest wiener dogs known to man.
I took Fat Fergie for a waddle and was content.
I returned home and ate my cottage cheese and cucumbers with mild dissatisfaction (I am still not perfect; been dieting too long to make my weight class), but at the same time felt the purest pleasure that comes only from a day excellently lived.
I felt I was living my purpose in every moment today (after the morning). I was able to be myself and uplift those around me. I felt 900% confident in myself and my programs.
I was beat (as those days usually make a person feel) and ready for bed at 9 PM when I went to check Facebook one more time before going to sleep. My thumb hovered over the app, but I paused.
“You found it within.” the voice was no longer a buzzing fly, but instead the usual one I was used to hearing narrate my thoughts. That same voice had whined, “Where is my bed?!” that morning: the fatigue now was just as different as the tone of the narration – that voice now expressed real pride. Real gratitude. Real satisfaction. In no one or nothing but the person she was in that present moment.
The funny thing? When I returned to Facebook after training my second client, someone had written something nice about me. He texted me nice things. Some of my friends reached out and affirmed me. Acquaintances I had seen no sign of in months sent me articles they thought I would be interested in.
The external affirmation erupted when I no longer needed it. It was like the sprinkles on top of an already perfectly iced donut.
You are enough.
Although I am sure you also look delicious like this donut, you are not like it. If you look in just the right way at the core of your being, you won’t find a hole – you will find your satisfaction.
Do not mistake yourself for a donut.
If this resonated with you, check out my program, Projekt Possible, launching January 4th).