A letter to the mama who thinks she’s the only one drowning.
Sometimes, I walk down my street, and picture what’s going on behind closed doors.
As I walk past the various homes with their perfect-looking exterior, I think about all the realities that are going on inside. After years of coaching mamas and getting glimpses into their homes and their lives, I now know for sure that what we see from the outside is never the same as the inside.
At one point or another, we all yell.
We all struggle, we will fight, we all rush our kids out of the bath and into bed so the day will come to an end.
I know that now because I have had the honour of stepping into the world’s of so many women, and so I have learnt to look beyond the social media perfect images. What breaks my heart, over and over again, though, is just how much the mama I am speaking with believes she is the only one drowning.
My 40 Day Reconnect Program has just started again, and just like every other time I’ve run it, the very first breakthrough amongst all the beautiful mamas is the realisation that they are all feeling the same thing. The circumstances are different – age of kids, partner’s work, health struggles – but underneath it all, they are the same. They are craving connection and a sense of pride in how they are living their lives. They are ready to make changes. They are certain that it should be better than this.
And there’s the biggest challenge of all:
shouldn’t it be better than this?
I have had that question roll around in my head numerous times over the past nine years of mamahood too. But shoulds are poison to our souls, mamas. When we get lost in the shoulds of our lives, we begin to judge the very parts of our lives that are pushing us to grow.
As the amazing Elizabeth Gilbert wrote:
“you’d have to be a real psychopath not to have a shitty day.”
Bad days happen. And they are happening to all of us, all of the time. But bad days don’t mean you’re a bad mama, or your life is bad. That only happens when you put all the stories and judgement around the ‘bad’ thing.
What if those really tough times are your greatest opportunity to heal? To grow? To stop and check in with yourself and say ‘Ok, this sucks and I don’t want to feel like this anymore?
What do I really need right now? What’s really going on?’
What if the contrast between the great and the miserable is there to show you what you really do want, and what you really don’t want?
The universe needs clear messages. And the very best way to send a crystal clear message is to experience the absolute opposite of what you truly desire. Abraham Hicks calls it the contrast we need to launch our rockets of desire: or, in other words, the pain is what we need to send out a super clear signal to the world that ‘this is not what I want’.
So – what do you want then?
Hundreds of women have shared with me what it is they don’t want, in minute detail. But ask them what it is they do, and the answer is usually pretty general: to be happy, to be present, to feel connected, to slowdown.
We all want the same things. And each of our struggles are helping us get even clearer on what that is.
Don’t torture yourself with the false idea that you are the only screwing this up at times. We all are. But you can be one of the ones that uses those broken moments to get really clear on the message you are sending out.
What is it you most want?
What does that really look like, taste like, smell like, feel like?
Don’t get so caught up in the story of struggle in your mind. Use that beautiful imagination to start creating the world you do.
And when it does go to shit, as Elizabeth Gilbert would say, be grateful for another chance to realign. Loose yourself in the joy of shifting focus back to knowing that this is all part of the greater plan: you are being led to a life that is happier than you ever dreamed possible.
We’re all just learning how to swim through it.