2020 Update: Forward Ho!
“You know I’m still standing, better than I ever did. Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid.” ~ Elton John
Hearing these song lyrics in my head the other morning inspired me to write and spill my beans on here. Something I’ve been putting of because “it’s not ready” yet. Whatever…I’m full of excuses. Just ask me and I’m sure I can come up with more. 😜
After hemming and hawing for months, I finally made the decision to redo this platform. It had been the same theme and style for the almost 10 years. The main goal of my website when I first started, was basically to promote my business. It was all about “Finding You”: life coaching, living passionately, finding more joy, etc…I wrote a handful blog posts here and there, but never really stuck with it much. In my personal life, I vacillated back and forth between trying to build the business, and taking breaks to deal with the constant pain in my body. My health, or lack there of, was the main catalyst for starting my biz. It was also my excuse for not being successful in it.
It seemed whenever I pushed hard and “brought things to the table”, so to speak, my body pain escalated and mental faculties wavered. The overwhelm of it all, would throw me into a depression and I felt like I was starting over again and again and again. While the depression didn’t keep me in the depths for long, it also never went away, lingering on the surface, ready to pull me down every chance it got. Such is the roller coaster life of a person with an autoimmune disorder.
On one hand, having my body crap out on me in 2010, at the age of 40, felt like a cosmic 2×4 wake up call to pay attention to myself. After gently scolding and poking at me for years, my body finally yelled at me with an intensity I could longer ignore. Realizing my life was no longer going to be the same, rather than play dead, I got to work in whatever way my body would allow. Trying to keep my home and continue care for a teenager and cats, I dove into all my personal crap, got life coaching certification, found myself again, and planned on using what I learned to help others do the same. It gave it all a feeling of purpose.
Except when it didn’t…
While the one hand help me up in my “wake up call”, living a seemingly happy life, the other hand held me down in the depths, shoveling through my crap, gasping for air.
“Who am I to life coach anyone? I don’t have my life together yet.” “How am I to sustain a business when I am in so much pain and feel like crap?” “Where is the stamina other people seem to find to be successful?” “Why can’t I figure this out?” “Why can’t I just effing feel good?”
Those were some of the questions that plagued my mind.
Good God, I must have tried every free self-help product or service that came my way. I also put bills on hold, ran up credit card debt, and ate oatmeal for weeks so I could invest thousands of dollars in the “best” programs, products, people, and coaching for myself so I could get my crap together, feel better, and be the best life coach I could be. I dove into business building courses, public speaking, personality typing, meditation, and darn near anything that claimed to provide a miraculous key to healing for my body. People who thought they had answers for me asked me to join their mission, offered their services, and recommended I try this, that, and the other. Grateful, I partnered up, accepted most of those offers, and tried this, that, and every other. I was determined to figure it out.
Fast forward to November of 2020 and I may have finally done it! I figured it out.
Spoiler alert: That’s not really true.
I haven’t figured it out. In fact, nobody has. That’s what makes life the perpetual journey. Perfectionism has no place in this human experience. The only thing that is certain is death (and even that is questioned in some of my circles). The only thing I may have figured out is me.
Until life throws me another curve ball, I strike out, or choose another game to play. The figuring and strategizing will be as constant as the learning. There is no real end goal here. “Game over” means you’re dead. So, I’ll keep playing until then and choose the games I like the best. For me, it’s no longer about winning, it’s simply about taking the time to figure out, explore, and enjoy the level I am currently in. The figuring never stops and I am no longer trying to get somewhere, win the game, or compete with anyone else besides myself.
This realization started to set in last spring, when after putting all I had into re-launching my biz locally, I hit the brick wall for the umpteenth time…hard. My health had begun declining again. I was in debt up to my ears, exhausted, depressed, trying to sustain another relationship, struggling to get out of bed, and feeling not only hopeless, but pretty darned pissed off.
It was then that I put my life coaching and workshop services on hold again…indefinitely. I was done trying to make something happen and turned tail back to basics. My priorities shifted from trying to build a business, get out of debt, and be a success, to clean up my cluttered home, listen to my body, and work with/appreciate what is right in front of me.
I started out 2020 committed to being “all of me” and dancing through life at my own pace. My motto has been “Forward Ho!”. And, hey, it works for me.
Since I’m no longer trying to win at anything, having patience with myself and taking consistent baby steps seems to be have gotten me farther than anything I’d tried in the past. It is an ongoing process that I’ve had to come to terms with. Taking the time to slow down, be with myself, ask important questions, and dig in my own dirt, has unearthed all the excuses, BS, and feelings of inadequacy I hid from myself and others. It has been the best investment I have made thus far. Learning to understand, love, and accept all the parts of me (the good, the bad, and the ugly) is hard! It is also well worth it.
I am worth it.
Although I had said this in the past, and believed it for a spell, it didn’t stay on the surface. The unacknowledged parts of me and my life, that I ignored, pulled it back into the darkness where it would get lost until I dug deep enough to find it again. I finally realized, this hole, this darkness, that I was constantly trying to dig my way out of was part of me for a reason. It didn’t have to be scary. It didn’t have to be dismissed. It just is. Everyone has this. It’s what makes us human. You can’t be all “love and light” and pretend that “fear and darkness” don’t exist inside of you. It doesn’t work that way. At least, not successfully. Both are equally important. To be real and to be human (and spiritual) means to acknowledge both sides and learn how they work together. At least, that’s my take on it.
This year I’ve come into myself in a new way. Or maybe in a true way. I’m not trying to “be” anyone or anything in particular. I’m just out to experience being me, in this human body, on planet Earth for as long as I have here. I’ve relaxed a little and am worrying less and less about being right, good, or even liked. My filter is coming off and I find myself cussing publicly (pfft! I do it at home, anyways), cracking jokes, dancing in front of video cameras, and openly talking about difficult subjects with people I love and care about.
Committing to discovering me, uncovering me, accepting all of me, and being willing to be seen authentically, is a huge undertaking. One that I am excited about! The old “Passion Coach” in me is proud at how far I’ve come.
“This Human Experience” is the new theme of this site. Less about business and professionality, more about authenticity and being human. The goofy edutainer in me wants to come out to play. Yet, I still want to inspire, go deep, and share my thoughts and experiences along the way. I hope you’ll have the same patience, I’ve had to have with myself, as the design morphs, bit by bit, along with the content. This blog is for me, AND it’s also for you.
~ Jody Pogo