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From Broken to Badass Step 1 - Rest

As we enter the last month of 2020, a year that has tried us in so many ways, it’s time to take the pain and the lessons of this challenging year and build ourselves back up stronger than ever... from broken to BADASS!

I want to begin this 5 part series by sharing something personal. If you receive my email newsletters or follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might know that I recently sank to a very dark place. Everything I held dear seemed to crumble around me, and the pain was so intense that some days I struggled just to get out of bed. It happens to all of us, so pretending we don’t feel pain, serves no one. Because here’s the deal - sometimes life just hurts. It’s that simple; there’s no way around it.

During challenging times, we have a choice - we can hide from the pain, distract ourselves or numb it, or we can acknowledge the pain, allow ourselves to feel it in all its rawness, and then dust off the valuable lessons that will take us from broken to badass!

I know this makes sense in theory, but when we’re in the midst of the pain, it can be a challenge just to find the first step toward healing.

My motivation in creating the From Broken to Badass Program was to lay out the steps to our comeback from life’s most challenging times, so when we’re in the thick of the pain, and focus feels impossible, we have a roadmap back to our power.

I’m eager to share these steps with you. These are the steps I not only use with the women I coach, but the very same steps I use in my own life when I feel broken.

So grab a notebook and a pen, and let’s do this!

Though simple in concept, the first step in coming back from any major setback, from broken to badass, is perhaps the most challenging of all the steps. It’s something that feels uncomfortable for many of us, and something that tends to cause us enormous guilt. REST Simple, right?

Not for most of us.

Honoring ourselves enough to truly SLOW DOWN and take rest when we need it is anything but simple for most of us.

As women, we don’t allow ourselves to rest. We’re masters of multitasking, taking on more than our share of life’s responsibilities, to the point where we sometimes forget what WE want and what we need. And as a result, we end up burned out and, oftentimes, resentful. But to allow ourselves to rest, to be nurtured, is such a tough concept. If you’re like me, just the thought causes anxiety to bubble in your chest.

Since it doesn’t come naturally to us, rest is a skill we must learn. And it starts by realizing WE ARE WORTHY of care, nourishment and rest. We deserve to rest. We don’t have to be everything to everyone every single moment of our lives.

Yes, we have things we absolutely MUST do, but if we’re honest with ourselves, that list of MUSTS is probably shorter than we allow ourselves to realize.

Grab your notebook and pen and do this now:

Make a list of all the things on your to-do list. Write them all down. Every single thing.

Next, go back through and ask yourself, for each item on your list, “What would happen if I let this slide, just for a day?”

Once you’ve answered that question, ask this of the same item, “What would happen THEN?”

Continue to ask this question, "What would happen THEN?" over and over until you can no longer answer it. You will find, if you’re honest with yourself, that the true consequences for letting a lot of these responsibilities slide, just for a day or two, are actually minor consequences you can live with.

You’ll also see what you TRULY can't let slide, like eating and making sure the children or pets who depend on us are fed and safe.

But could you call in sick to work, just for one day? Could you let the dishes sit in the sink, just for one day? Could you serve cereal and a banana for dinner, just once? Yes. And for those things that absolutely MUST be done, here’s a doozie of a question: Could you ask for help? Could you ask someone else to cover some of your responsibilities for a bit? This one is so insanely hard for me. I get it!

But even if we need to pay a babysitter to get a few hours of rest or have our groceries delivered, we MUST prioritize our own needs and stop putting ourselves on the back burner. We must learn to let ourselves off the hook when we’re struggling and do only what is ABSOLUTELY necessary (be honest with yourself here), and LET THE REST GO. Just for now. Rest is not a luxury. Rest is the foundation upon which we build every other aspect of our lives. If the foundation is shaky, our lives will feel shaky too. And try as we might, over and over, to build a life on unsure footing, it will always feel like it’s ready to crumble again. Until we learn to take care of ourselves first. Rest is not a luxury. When everything around us feels like its falling apart, when our hearts are broken yet again from setback or loss, rest is the first step to healing.

Think about it; if we break our ankle, we don’t push through the pain, expecting it to carry its usual load. We rest it.

So why, when our spirits are broken, do we expect ourselves to push through the pain, pretending everything’s ok. This does not allow us to heal.

Just like the broken ankle, we need rest and self-care to recover, so we can come back stronger in the end. Rest is not a luxury. When we rest, we allow our hearts and minds to process the emotions that come along with the challenging times.

Allowing ourselves to feel the challenging emotions, to bawl our eyes out if need be… this scares the crap out of most of us, because we fear if we open the floodgates, it won’t stop coming. But it will. I promise.

Don’t fear the feelings that surface when we slow down to rest. They are a critical part of healthy healing and one of the key tools in our journey from broken to badass.

Guided meditation is a huge help for me in allowing my mind, body & spirit to rest. I’ll go into meditation a little more in the coming weeks, with a few resources for you if it’s of interest to you. So what exactly IS rest? Rest might look different for everyone, but in your heart you know what truly replenishes your energy.

When I was recently in that dark place, stemming from the loss of loved ones and physical injury, I let myself off the hook and crawled into bed for a nap. Not the “I can’t get out of bed” type nap, but the “I honor you, Dear One. You are worthy of rest,” type nap. That nap lasted 24 hours. My body was so much more tired than I had realized, from trying to carry my usual load and put on a happy face in spite of my broken heart. And when I finally gave myself permission to STOP, my body soaked up rest like a sponge.

Maybe for you, rest is a long walk in the woods or a soak in the tub, a long lunch date with a friend or quiet time with a good book.

I had always considered exercise and running to be my “rest” time. I know, saying the words now, I see how crazy that sounds. While running and strenuous exercise can be amazing for burning off painful energy, it’s not the same as rest.

Yes, it’s immensely valuable, and I’ll talk more about exercise in the coming weeks as well, but at this first stage, when everything feels so tough, rest is key.

Calming that constant chatter and incessant internal voice shouting for us to "go go go!" Slowing down. Taking a breath. Becoming quiet. Giving our bodies, minds and spirits a break. Most importantly, whatever form rest takes for you, do it WITHOUT GUILT. Because if you feel guilty for taking time to rest, your mind is not resting. It’s beating you up. And that defeats the purpose. Remember, YOU ARE WORTHY OF REST.

And for those who would say they don’t have time to rest, you are the dear souls who need rest the most. So here is your permission slip to rest. Take it, Dear One. Rest.

A strong comeback from broken to badass requires a strong foundation, and that foundation requires a rested, replenished YOU.

Next week I’ll dive into the second step in the roadmap to our comeback, but for now, promise me you’ll chisel out some time this week to TRULY rest and honor your body, mind and spirit with quiet space to begin to heal. Everything we do from here on out depends on it.

Rest, Dear One. Just Rest. Xx jen

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