Last week I was on my first coaching call with a woman who had been going through several months of feeling depressed. "I'm in a rut. I don't wake up feeling happy like I used to. I know I'm a happy person, but for some reason, I can't access that feeling right now. I don't know what to do or where to start," she said.
I asked her questions about her life and found out about her stressful 50+ hour per week job, challenges in her relationship, and lack of connection to her body because of how much she was working. As I listened actively with compassion and acknowledged her for all she had been going through, a lightbulb went off in my mind and I knew the exact next questions to ask her.
Through my years of coaching women to find their voice, face their fears and manifest a new vision for their life, I have found there are four key areas that we can look at to lead us to greater joy, love and fulfillment. I have found when I am sharing my gifts, facing my fears, taking care of my body, and creating structures of support around myself, I can't help but feel happy.
The next time you are going through a rut, or feeling depressed, I invite you to ask these 4 questions:
1. Am I sharing my gifts to the fullest capacity?
It can feel pretty hard to be happy when we know we have strengths and skills that aren't being utilized. This is why even when my clients are working at full-time jobs and don't plan to leave, I encourage them to find ways to share their natural and innate gifts either through their work or outside of it. I also support new entrepreneurs who are ready to turn those gifts into their full-time work. Every time, I have seen when we are finding ways to honor and share our gifts, it leads to a sense of fulfillment, wonder and joy.
2. When was the last time I stepped outside my comfort zone?
I need to consistently step outside my comfort zone in order to feel more alive. I used to be so afraid to teach yoga, it was one of my biggest fears, but when I jumped in and did it anyway, I felt so full of life and proud of myself. Now I have to find new ways to challenge myself, so twice a month I show up to a public speaking group where I get to tap into that feeling of nervousness and then feel proud of myself after giving a speech.
Eleanor Roosevelt says, "The very next thing you should be doing is what scares you the most." So what is something that scares you? Can you commit to facing that fear, knowing how good it will make you feel?
3. Am I listening to my body's wisdom?
Our bodies are full with wisdom and send us very clear signals when something needs to shift in our lives. We develop pain, skin problems, or other symptoms when something is not right. It is our job to listen to those signals instead of pushing them away.
I believe intuition is so important because it guides us closer to our purpose. When we numb out the wisdom of our bodies, we lose our connection to divine guidance, we forget why we are here, and as a result can easily suffer from depression or feelings of meaninglessness.
When we use our intuition, we are guided to our highest potential as beings and are able to live more meaningful, synchronous and connected lives.
The place to start, is simply taking good care of your body. Eat well, take time to rest, exercise, do yoga, meditate. When we are doing the simple acts of self-love and self-care, our body's wisdom will start revealing itself to us and we will know the next steps to take to lead us to greater joy.
4. What kind of support do I need?
I remember recently when I was going through a difficult time, I found myself relying mostly on my partner. However, it became really difficult when my partner went away for two weeks and I didn't have him to listen to what I was going through.
I told my friend Kevin about it and he shared a metaphor with me. “If you’re only relying on one person in your life, it’s like you’re standing on top of a flagpole. That’s a lot of pressure on one person, especially if his or her life is calling him or her to be elsewhere.”
I imagined myself standing on top of a flagpole, shaky and worried of falling.
He continued, “However, if you become like a spider, with many legs supporting you, it’s okay if one of them takes a break. You still have seven other legs to lean on.”
When you are supported in all directions, your weight is evenly distributed. It is so much healthier.
I think it’s really easy to get swept up in relying on just one person for our emotional, physical and mental needs.
However, when we create more structures of support through friendships, therapy, coaching, healers, and especially in community, we can really thrive.
So what kind of support could you need through this hard time? Is it more friendship? With women? With men? Or could it be a therapist or coach that would be the best kind of support to you?
When we are able to set up multiple layers of support around ourselves, no matter what happens, there will always be someone to turn to when you're looking for someone to listen.
If you don't know where to start when it comes to sharing your gifts, facing your fears, listening to your body's wisdom, I invite you to ask for support. I would love to connect with you more, hear what you have been going through and see how I may be able to support you, or point you in the right direction. You're always welcome to contact me personally here.