Kari Owens has coached over 2,000 women to better health. She teaches women how to put themselves first to reconnect with their body and soul. With her guidance, women learn to create a deeper relationship with themselves. Kari’s experience comes not only from being Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach, and Certified Yoga Teacher but over a decade of experience working to restore her mind-body from chronic illnesses. You can connect more with Kari on her site, her online community Soul Power, and Instagram.
This time in your life may feel overwhelming, it may feel lonely, and it may feel challenging. There are so many things that we feel when we are deep in health recovery. Whether that’s from an illness, an accident, a disease.
During this time it’s hard to know where to put your attention, and it may even feel like you don’t have the energy to answer that question.
I get it.
Some of my worst days in dealing with chronic illness had me doubled over in bed. Not only was I in pain, but I was mentally and emotionally exhausted by this need I felt to explain myself to everyone around me.
“I am sorry I am so tired.”
“I don’t know why I am in so a weird mood.”
“I know it’s not fun to be around me right now.”
Somehow I felt this need early on in my health recovery to explain away how and why I was feeling the way I felt. Or better yet that I needed some better excuse than, I am really sick and I am working to get better.
Here’s the thing. Recovering from any disease, accident, health scare, you name it, is work. It doesn’t sound great when said that way, it’s much more graceful to say something different.
The reality is that it’s work, it requires a certain level of energy, effort, and attention. Already, in this state of recovering your health, it’s likely you don’t have a whole lot extra of that lying around. I know there were days, weeks, months when I didn’t.
So what does that mean for you as you navigate this season of your life? And let me go ahead and remind you, this season of healing, is just that, a season.
It looks like understanding and self-compassion.
I learned this in my journey to better health and continue to practice it every day.
For me, that meant stop making excuses for feeling the need to cover up or make sure others’ weren’t uncomfortable with my situation. I stopped apologizing for feeling unwell, for being unhappy, for being frustrated or fed up.
I realized that each time I apologized for one of these things it consistently invalidated the true feeling I was having, which then, in turn, didn’t help me move forward, process or feel like I was really making any progress.
I let go of feeling like a burden.
I know, this one can be really hard. It took me a while. I was 15 when I first became sick, and it’s been over a decade of continuing to further my healing. I spent many of those years, feeling like a burden to my friends, my family, and my partners.
What I really had to realize, was the true feeling I was having wasn’t that I felt like a burden. But that because I didn’t feel I was able to express who I really am, a happy, light-hearted, carefree woman, that other’s perceptions of me were disappointed.
I quickly realized that the feeling of burden was my own. And not something that was actually felt around me by my loved ones.
If you feel this way, I get it. Talk to the ones you love to figure out what it is you really feel.
Many of these discoveries, from deep down inside of me took years. But they gifted me a precious gift that I carry forward every day of my life now and is threaded in the work that I do with women who are taking back their vitality and their lives.
That gift is the power of making myself a priority.
In all of this, uncovering these feelings allowed me to let go of carrying all of these false notions I believed the people around me were having about my experience.
I realized how much energy I was waisting daily, that really needed to go back into myself.
I discovered areas of my life that were life sucking or attention depleting.
Once I got connected to how I really felt. I could finally access how I wanted to feel. And that was power no one else could give me.
With that power, I made myself a priority. I believe this is one of the most crucial choices we have to make when we are doing any kind of work on ourselves, whether that is physical, mental or emotional. Or, all of the above!
Making yourself a priority allows you to be more intentional about where your energy goes.
It allows you to create boundaries that meet your needs and don’t leave you constantly depleted.
This process, it’s not easy. Deciding to put yourself first, isn’t always convenient or simple.
But I’ve found that in this season of life, it can be crucial to managing those feelings of overwhelming when your focus really needs to be on yourself.
And, by the way, because sometimes we need permission, it’s okay for your focus to be on yourself.
When we make ourselves a priority there are emotional shifts that happens inside of us. There’s a whisper that says, “I am committed to taking care of you.”
You will thank yourself, again and again for prioritizing yourself in this season of life because you will discover so much of the value not just in the season now, but for the rest of your life.
When we put our needs at the forefront, we’re better able to take care of ourselves, which in turn solves a lot of the feelings we have about not being able to take care of other things in life right now.
“It’s okay to prioritize myself.”
Is one of my favorite mantras. Give yourself permission, each and every day.
It’s the biggest form of self-love you can give.
Journaling helped me so much in my process to deepening my understanding of myself. It helps us connect more deeply to our own inner wisdom to be able to create the life we actually desire. Connect more to your own understanding, emotional balance and live from a place of gratitude with my free journal prompts. Download your own journal here.