The Benefits of Exhaustion

livingroom couchI’m writing this post from my new “office” – the couch in my living room that I’ve been spending most of my time on for the past month. (My body decided that it was time for some enforced rest, which I’ve been giving it – albeit reluctantly and begrudgingly at times.)

I’ve postponed all of my Skype sessions for the time being, cut way back on my work hours, and have focused solely on relaxing, de-stressing, and simply allowing myself to BE.

I’ve always believed that there is a gift in every situation – no matter how painful it feels when we’re in it. And usually, I can go back to each experience and find the nuggets and learn and grow. But this time – with the help of a great book that I’m reading – I’m finding the nuggets while I’m still in the midst of what could be viewed as a not-so-great experience, which is pretty exciting.

It’s my hope that in sharing some of my nuggets, you’ll be able to look at your own present-moment life experiences and find some nuggets, too!

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We started a book club this month in the Soulful Life Sanctuary, and the first book that we selected is The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent: Living the Art of Allowing by Abraham-Hicks. (You can learn more about it here.)

To be completely honest, I have never read any of their books before. I have come across them in the past and felt a strong aversion to them, actually, because of the channeling aspect. (Esther channels an energy/source called Abraham and shares the messages/teachings through her writing.) For my skeptical mind, they seemed too “out there.” However, during my own awakening over the past few years, I have gone from not believing in anything to witnessing such beautiful miracles that I want to remain open to see what else is possible.

I also know that oftentimes when I feel such a strong aversion to something, it’s something to pay attention to. So when this book was chosen by the sanctuary members, I took it as a sign that it was time for me to dive in and see what it was all about.

I’m so glad I stayed open because it’s absolutely amazing. I haven’t even finished it yet, and I’ve already filled up pages and pages of my journal with notes and passages that I want to remember.

This book is about surrendering to what is – allowing ourselves to stop going against the current in our life and give ourselves permission to stop resisting whatever is happening and accept it. Because it’s in the resistance that we feel pain and attract more of that into our life. When we accept whatever is happening and find the positive aspects of it, we raise our vibration and align with the universal flow and our own divine nature.

Like I mentioned above, my first couple of weeks on the couch weren’t fun at all. I was in full resistance mode. I was thinking about everything that I couldn’t do – all of the negative aspects that this exhaustion was bringing into my life. I was feeling betrayed by my body and just wanted it to heal already – I had things to do!

And then, I began to shift (thanks in large part to this book) and also to endless chats with my husband, who is such a wise, loving soul. I began to shift from negative to positive. I believe that we live in a loving universe, and so that means that whatever I’m going through is for my highest good. And when I stopped resisting and started allowing, things began to flow much more easily.

One of the exercises in the book is to take a situation that you’re struggling with and write down all of the positive aspects of it. I did this a few nights ago with my struggle with feeling so exhausted.

I was amazed at how I wrote a full page of benefits in just a few minutes! It was like my soul was so happy that I had shifted my focus, and it was super excited to help me see all of the ways that this experience was helping me.

I saw that without this level of exhaustion, I wouldn’t have made the time to take care of myself. I always wrote about it and taught about it and told myself that it was something I should also do, but I never actually did it – at least not to the extent that my body and soul needed. Being this exhausted has helped me make self care my number-one priority, which felt really uncomfortable at first but feels really great now.

After spending the last 10 years working 80+ hours/week, I have now set boundaries around my time and am working no more than 25 hours/week and stepping away from all work completely after dinner each night. I have talked about doing this for years and never found the discipline to follow through – until now. Definitely a huge benefit to this exhaustion! It feels so good to slow everything down – to relax and have space in my day. To listen to my body and stop when I’m tired. And to work from the couch is pretty sweet, too. (Definitely an added bonus of working from home.) I’ve spent so many years being a horrible boss to myself, and I’m glad that I’m starting to treat myself how I would like to be treated.

I am also seeing that this exhaustion is helping me open my heart more to faith and to trusting the universe. I was so determined to create financial security, and I just assumed that I had to work around the clock to make it happen. I’ve found that the opposite is actually true. The more I take care of myself, the more the abundance seems to flow. And that’s such great evidence for me to continue trusting that it’s okay to relax – and that struggling isn’t a requirement for success (in any area of life).

Having this downtime has allowed me to get to know myself again. I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t taken the time to check in and really see how I’m doing – how I’m feeling. It’s been great to have this time and space to do this. It’s also given me much more quality time with Dan. We’ve worked together for 10 years, so we spend a lot of our time together. But this quality time is different. We’re not so braindead, and we can enjoy each other so much more.

These are just a few of the benefits that this current experiencing is bringing to me. It’s so exciting to see that in writing them down, I could feel myself immediately start to shift. Yes, I’m still tired. Yes, I’m still on the couch. No, I don’t know how long I’ll be here. But here’s what’s happened: I’m allowing myself to be wherever I am. I’m no longer resisting what is. And because of this, I am enjoying my life a whole lot more.

And that’s what it’s all about, right? I mean, I could go back to the way things were and work a million hours a week again and be super productive and super disciplined, but if I’m not treating myself with love and if I’m not happy, what’s the point? I would much rather be on the couch – taking it easy, slowing down, and learning how to treat myself with kindness and love – trusting that life will continue to flow beautifully because I’m allowing myself to step into the universal flow rather than continuing to resist it.

How about you? Would you want to try this experiment in your own life? Would you want to choose one situation that you’re currently struggling with and list all of the benefits that are coming from it? Would you be open to shifting from resisting it to allowing it?

If you’re feeling bad now, then you truly have nothing to lose! I think it’s definitely worth a try. If you do try it, please come back and share how it went in the comments. I would love to hear how you’re shifting!

Hugs,

jodi

What Are You Learning?

each moment copy

It seems the older I get, the more I realize how little I truly know.

It seems silly to admit this – especially since we’re always learning and growing and experiencing and taking so much into our hearts and our minds at any given moment.

And yet, I am constantly humbled by how much I still don’t know. I am constantly in awe that no matter how much I take in and integrate and assimilate, it’s just the tip – the very tip – of the metaphorical iceberg. 

I find that so exciting! I have always loved to learn, and knowing that there will always, always, always be more take into my heart and mind feels quite exhilarating.

I thought it would be fun to share some of what I’ve been learning recently and then invite you to share what you’re learning as well. We can learn so much from each other. In fact, a day doesn’t ever go by when I don’t learn something from someone else. That’s why it’s so important for us to stay connected and stay open to each other – we’re all teachers, and we’re all students.

I also wanted to point out that I’m very consciously phrasing this as to what I’m learning rather than what I’ve learned. To me, putting it into past tense makes me feel like it’s a closed subject. And I don’t know about you, but as soon as I do that and think I’ve learned all I need to know about a particular subject, it immediately comes back into my life and I see how much more there is still to learn.

Here’s some of what I’ve been learning:

1. I’m learning how important putting into practice all that I teach is. It’s one thing to talk about it and a completely different thing to implement it into my own daily life.

2. I’m learning that what I resist truly does persist. And when I give myself permission to surrender, life flows beautifully.

3. I’m learning that seeing myself as I truly am is so freeing – quirks and all! I’m pretty unique – just like each of you, and I’ve spent much of my life feeling that I somehow needed to apologize for each part of me that didn’t fit into the norm. Letting that go and embracing all of me feels so good!

4. I’m learning that not everyone is going to like me or agree with everything that I say. And that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. All I can do is focus on sharing my heart and trusting that those who are meant to hear these words will find me.

5. I’m learning that I am enough. Just me. Not me with all of my accomplishments and all of my doings – just Jodi.

6. I’m learning that life and love never end. I am blessed enough and open enough to see evidence of this every single day, which is always awe inspiring.

7. I am learning that while I can’t always control each part of my life, I can control my response to what’s happening in my life. And that feels good to remember.

8. I’m learning what a great stress reduction cat cuddling can be. Whenever I start to feel stress coming on, I go grab a cat and hold them until I feel better. (Thankfully, they’re used to it and put up with it – for the most part!)

9. I’m learning that I am surrounded by much more love than I ever even knew was possible. I had an inkling, but it’s pretty amazing to really feel it.

10. I’m learning that I am human. And through realizing this, I’m releasing the self judgment that comes with not being able to perform at superhuman levels. I’m able to exhale and feel so much relief.

11. I’m learning that slowing down isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s actually a sign of strength. Allowing ourselves to slow down means we are trusting the universe, our body, our soul, our heart – everything. And that feels pretty grounded and strong to me.

12. I’m learning that while I may not be ready for someone’s teachings at one point in my life, that doesn’t mean that I won’t be ready for them at another point. I’m learning that people tend to circle back around when the time is right, and it’s helpful to stay open to this.

13. I’m learning to say no to anything that no longer feels right. Even if it’s something that I thought I would continue doing. I have permission to change my mind as I change and grow. And someone else has permission to do the same.

14. I’m learning that when my body doesn’t work the way I want it to, it’s not because it’s failing me. It’s actually helping me get back on track.

15. I’m learning that my angels and spirit guides are so powerful, so loving, and always have my best interest. Even when I don’t agree with what they are doing and even when I get angry with them because I want the outcome to be different, they never waver and always surround me with so much love.

16. I’m learning that I get to choose where my energy goes. If I focus on low vibrational thoughts (such as fear, anger, depression), then I will continue to stay in a low vibration and feel disconnected from my soul. Conversely, if I choose to focus on high virbrational thoughts (such as love, joy, gratitude), then I will stay in a high vibration and attract more thoughts and experiences like that to me. It’s so empowering to fully realize this.

17. I’m learning that my business flows when I come back to being of service. Always.

18. I’m learning that my life flows when I love myself and step back into the flow.

19. I’m learning how truly blessed I am. Each moment of each day. I have an amazing life, and I am so grateful.

20. I am learning that deep, spiritual love is real. The man that I get to spend almost each moment of each day with is beyond anything I ever could have dreamed of. For almost 13 years, he has shown up each moment from a space of love, and his love has allowed my love to continue to flow.

21. I’m learning that love is everything. Absolutely everything.

Now it’s your turn! Please share some of the things that you’ve been learning in the comments below! Let’s all learn from each other! :) 

Hugs,

jodi

P.S. – Thank you so much to everyone who has sent love and well wishes about my health. I’m still resting, but I’m starting to feel stronger and feel confident that I’ll be back to vibrant health soon! Your prayers and healing love have been felt and are so appreciated!

This special goes through Sept 8th, so be sure to order it before then!

Let’s Stop Rallying

body-and-soulOver the last few months, I’ve been realizing more and more how I’m human.

My soul knows this. My body knows this. And yet, a huge part of me hadn’t yet caught up to this fact – the part that thought I could do it all and continue to push myself harder and harder. The part of me that both naively and arrogantly assumed I would always have the reserves and the energy without ever needing to take time to recharge. The part that thought I was immune to the things that humans needed: balance, self care, nurturing. You know – that part.

Yikes. I am currently in the midst of a huge reality check/wake-up call that has forced me to admit that I am, in fact, human. And, to be honest, it hasn’t been a lot of fun to have to come back down to Earth.

My adrenals have decided that they are tired – really tired. And they have made it clear that if I wasn’t going to slow down, they were going to force me to. I felt the warnings, and I saw the signs that asked me to slow down, take care of myself, just be. But I ignored them and assumed that my body would rally once again – that it would support me and swoop in and help me keep going.

I mean, this was the routine throughout my life. I pushed myself beyond what was human, expected more from myself than was oftentimes possible, and when I felt tired or worn out or overwhelmed, I pushed even harder. And for years my body supported me in this lifestyle. For years, my adrenals kicked in and got me through the late nights and the working around the clock and the daily stress that became such a normal part of my routine that I didn’t even see it as stress. And I just assumed that I would always be able to live this way.

And then eight months ago, my dog-ter, Xena, died. And because of the way she died (having a violent seizure in the middle of the night), I wasn’t able to sleep without reliving it for months. And I haven’t slept through the night since. Through this intense grief, my body helped me remember the grief that it felt for the kids that I would never have. Because in my head I knew that this was right for me, but my hormones weren’t as sure. And this all spiraled me into a grieving, non-sleeping cycle that piled on top of years of caretaking and overworking and overstressing. And all of that landed me here – to a crash unlike any other that I’d been through before.

Much to my surprise (and anger), the rallying didn’t kick in this time. My adrenals were tired. They were on vacation, and it felt like the only choice I had was to join them (after much kicking and screaming and pleading, to be quite honest).

This is my wake-up call. This is that moment when I come back down to Earth and embrace my humanness. This is that moment where I share my truth and my vulnerability and let it be known that I am doing the best that I can.

Because here’s where I am right now: I am oftentimes so tired that I can hardly get out of bed each morning. I am so tired that taking a shower oftentimes feels overwhelming. I am so tired that the thought of brushing my hair and putting on clothes other than pajamas can send me straight back to bed. I am so tired that every. single. thing. feels. completely. exhausting.

I have been feeling this way and getting progressively worse for months now. And I’ve been letting go and prioritizing each part of my life. I knew this was bigger than what I could handle on my own, and so I started asking for help. I knew I needed to change how I lived. I knew I needed to love myself enough to know that it would be okay if I stepped back and relaxed and stopped trying to control every single thing and be there for every single person all of the time. I knew that what I needed more than anything else was sleep and rest and quiet and calm.

And that’s where I am right now.

I recently went to the doctor and found out through my bloodwork that my adrenals are in serious trouble. I like knowing the facts. I like knowing where I’m starting from, so I can feel good about any progress that I’m making along the way.

I feel hopeful that with some serious lifestyle changes (including hormone/vitamin supplements, diet changes, meditation, stopping work earlier, not taking on more than I can handle, delegating, and giving myself permission to rest), I’ll come through this and will be back to my vibrant self soon.

Part of these changes means that I’m admitting I’m human, which is something that you already know but still feels vulnerable for me to write. It means that I’m asking for your love and support while I learn to take extra care of myself and turn some of the love that I’ve been putting out back toward myself. It means that I may take longer to respond or may not be able to respond sometimes at all. It means that I am doing the best I can to be a whole person who can receive just as much as I give.

I know that I’m not the only one feeling this way right now. I know that so many of us have pushed ourselves to the limit and are currently facing levels of fatigue and overwhelm that we didn’t know were possible.

My purpose in writing this and in sharing where I currently am is to hopefully give us all permission to stop rallying – to let us know that it’s possible to stop pushing ourselves and start easing up on ourselves – to know that we can get through this in a loving, supportive way that honors ourselves and also each other. 

I am such a huge believer in sharing our truth. Because I believe that when we do so, we set ourselves and others free. We give everyone permission to share their truth, and it has such a beautiful ripple effect.

So that’s what I’m doing. And it’s my hope that if you’re in the midst of rallying, you’ll ease up on yourself. It’s my hope that you’ll listen to your body and give it what it needs. It’s my hope that you’ll give yourself permission to rest. You’re so deserving of that. We all are.

That’s what I’ll be doing, and I would love to know that you’re doing it right alongside me.

Hugs,

jodi

Strength in Our Dreams

biddle on table

Our sweet Biddle.

Do you pay much attention to your dreams? Dan and I have a routine where each morning we sit with our cat, Biddle, and watch him eat. (This is one of those silly things that started when he was a kitten and continues five years later.)

Anyway – while we sit together, we take some time to check in, see how we slept, and inevitably our conversation always goes to the dreams we had the night before.

While neither of us are expert dream interpreters, we do know enough about ourselves and what’s happening deep within our souls to know which dreams are just silly collages of the previous day’s events and which ones are powerful messages that are meant to be paid attention to.

So we talk about them. And analyze them. And share how we feel about them. It gives us a chance to reflect on what’s happening within our subconscious and also open up to what our angels and spirit guides would like us to know.

The other night, I had one of these message dreams that felt so powerful and so real that it took me a few moments after waking up to remember that it didn’t actually happen. I woke up with a jolt and a pounding heart.

In the dream, I was in my home (not one that I had ever lived in before) sitting at the kitchen counter working on my computer. It was a townhouse that shared a wall with the neighbors – our kitchens were connected by double doors. I could hear extra loud laughing and roughhousing going on on the other side of the door, and I was having a hard time concentrating. I stopped what I was doing, looked up, and screamed, “Shut up!” I wondered why they were so much louder than usual, so I walked over to the door and saw that it was partially open – I could look inside their home and see that they were all sitting around the counter watching a football game. I then panicked because I realized that if I could see them, they could also see me. And as an extremely private person who relishes my cocoon-like home, this was both unnerving and upsetting.

Dan came into the room, and I told him about the door. By now, it had opened even more – where they could easily look into our home. I ran to the basement to try to hide from them and collided with a woman on the staircase. I was shocked that one of the neighbors had come into our home without my even realizing it.

I grabbed her by the shoulders and yelled at her to leave, but she was belligerent and said she wasn’t going anywhere. She said that she had just as much right to be there as I did. I warned her that while I may be physically small, I have all of the strength of the world inside of me. And that if she didn’t leave, I was going to physically make her do so. But she didn’t believe me, and she wasn’t budging. So I did something that I’ve only done once before in a dream, I physically hurt her. I squeezed her so hard with so much anger and force that she withered away in my hands. I had gotten rid of her.

And then I woke up.

I rarely have dreams that are this violent – especially dreams where I’m causing someone else physical pain. And so I knew that it was something to pay attention to.

After taking a moment to be in this half dream/half awake space, I felt such power within me – such strength. While I have always had this fierceness inside of me when it came to protecting others (Dan, my mom, my furry babies, people who were being mistreated in any way, etc.), I have rarely channeled it to protect myself.

Over the last few months, I’ve been on a journey where I’ve been tapping into this inner well of strength and consciously welcoming it back into my heart. I have let go of so many friendships where I felt that they weren’t there because they loved me but rather because they wanted something from me. I have put up strong boundaries and made it clear how I deserve to be treated. And I’ve said no to anything and everything that no longer fed my soul.

xena snarling

Xena – my protector

Throughout this journey, I’ve had a helper on the other side: my sweet dog-ter, Xena, who passed away last December. She was my protector here on Earth. She was a perfect model for strength – she was completely docile and loving and kind the majority of the time. But she also had an inner fire that came forward when she protected herself or us.

Since she’s been on the other side, I’ve felt her strength running through my veins. I’ve felt this endless well that I can tap into at any time. And I’ve felt worthy of my own protection. I’ve remembered that this strength doesn’t have to be used for others only – I can use it for myself, too.

So this dream was a perfect metaphor for this inner change that I’ve been experiencing. It showed me how serious I am taking it. It was evidence that I’m not going to allow anyone to invade my home (literal or figurative). It showed me that I love myself enough to set boundaries and honor my own needs with a deep fierceness and fire.

And knowing this feels really good. It feels strong and powerful and loving.

All of this from a dream. :)

We truly can learn so much from dreams, and it all starts with being open and paying attention. I’ve found that I don’t have to do anything special to remember them either. The ones that have the messages attached will usually stay with me vividly throughout the day. I have found that it helps to share them with someone else – that way we’re vocalizing them and bringing them from the sleeping world to the waking world. I feel that there’s something powerful about doing this. And then just giving ourselves permission to sit with these dreams, journal about them, and take in whatever messages we’re feeling around them is a great gift to give ourselves.

We have so many great tools that help us connect with our soul, and paying attention to our dreams is one of my favorites. 

Have you had any dreams recently that came with messages? I would love to read about them in the comments below. We just started a Dream Interpretation discussion inside the Soulful Life Sanctuary, too! So if you’re already a member, be sure to check it out. If you aren’t, you can join us here.

Hugs,

jodi

P.S. – I have a special happening right now: our Soul Clarity Cards are on sale for $8.95 in the Soulful Life Sanctuary shop! It’s a great time to stock up! :)

soul clarity cards deck1

Free Soul Clarity Message + 1/2 Off Soul Clarity Cards!

***Thank you so much to everyone who participated this month! I’ll be back again on September 1st to do more free readings! See you then!***

Happy August! It’s that time again where I’ll pull one Soul Clarity Card for each person who leaves a comment below!

I do this on the first day of every month, and it’s always so much fun to offer these messages straight from my soul to yours.

Before we start the messages, I wanted to share some exciting news!

The Soulful Life Sanctuary shop opens today, and I’m kicking off the celebration by offering my Soul Clarity Cards for 1/2 price this week! (Yay!)

Soul Clarity Cards

The Soul Clarity Card deck includes 48 cards to help you get clarity on what your soul wants you to know. They come wrapped up in an organza back and include an amethyst gemstone (which helps you connect with your soul).

My soul speaks to me in concise phrases, and so these cards were created with that in mind.

Each card contains a guided action for you to consider – something to help you live soulfully and mindfully.

I believe that the answers are always within us, but sometimes our light gets covered up by life – all of the to-dos and the shoulds and work and errands and hurt and anger and all sorts of gunk. And it can be hard to sift through all of that and find our way home – back to our soul. These cards are a tool to help you on your journey back home.

Each card contains words that your soul needs you to hear. And whichever card you choose will be exactly the one you need in that exact moment. That’s just how it works!

weekly special template copyWe’ll be offering soulful products each week for 1/2 price in the sanctuary shop, and I’m so happy that these cards are the first special!

They normally sell for $17.95 per deck, and if you order them between now and August 10th they are just $8.95!

Click here to order your deck(s)!

They make wonderful gifts, so this is a perfect time to stock up!

I’m so excited to share the shop with you, too! It’s filled with soulful products/services that are offered by the sanctuary members! You’ll find all sorts of goodies there – ecourses, intuitive sessions, meditations, ebooks, aromatherapy, and more! We’ll be adding new items often, so please bookmark the shop and check back regularly! It’s a wonderful way to support the members and spread the love about what they’re offering to the world.

If you would like to have your products/services in the shop, you can do so once you become a sanctuary member!

Absolute Last Day to Join the Sanctuary & Receive the Discount + Bonus Gifts!

I’ve decided to continue the sanctuary special through 11:59 pm pst today (August 1st)! If you join today, you’ll receive a $50 discount + over $800 in bonus gifts!

We received another donation to the Angel Fund yesterday, too! So please email me (jodi@jodichapman.com) if you would like to arrange extended payment plans and/or receive from the fund in order to join the sanctuary! There’s almost $500 in it at the moment, and over 20 people have already received from it! (Click here to learn more about the Angel Fund.)

Click here to join us in the sanctuary!

And now, it’s time for your free message!

Here’s how it works: I’ll pull one card for anyone who leaves a comment at the end of the post by 11:59 pm pst today (8/1/14)! If your comment is posted before then, I promise I will pull a card for you. Each month when I open this up, I receive hundreds of requests, so please be patient with me – especially this month with the sanctuary opening today as well. (If you happen to miss this deadline, please know that I’ll do it again on 9/1.)

All you have to write is “Yes, please!” or something similar. Please don’t feel that you need to share what you are looking to heal or what you would like guidance for. You are more than welcome to, but it’s not necessary. I know that this can be very personal, and your soul and the universe already know what you need. (If you are reading this via a reader or email, please click here to be taken to the post.)

A technical tip for you: To be able to find your comment and not receive a barrage of emails by subscribing to comments, you can go to the comments page and do a search for your name. (On a PC, you press the “control” button + the “f” button.) This makes it super easy to scroll to your name and your reading. :)

Big hug to each of you.

Please spread the love by sharing this on Facebook and Twitter! 

P.S. – Remember that the Soul Clarity Cards are 1/2 off this week only! Be sure to stock up by clicking here!

And today is the absolute last day to join the Soulful Life Sanctuary and receive a $50 discount + over $800 in bonus gifts. I hope you’ll join us – it’s such a loving space. Click here to join us! (Or click here to email me about an extended payment plan or receiving from the Angel Fund.)

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