I’ve been quiet the last couple of months as I unexpectedly entered a time of deep healing. It wasn’t a time I’d wish on my worst enemy. I work with others on being selfish with your self-care. We discuss how it’s impossible to care for others in your life if you’re not caring for yourself first. I had forgotten to model that very important idea. I wasn’t going to share this publicly but realized if my story can help even one life, then it was worthwhile to share.
We talk, read articles, listen to podcasts or discuss the importance of our self-care. For those in the holistic and wellness fields, we teach it daily. We know the consequences. But how often are we taking our own advice? How often is our self-care first?
In February, I was busy with clients, travel and Reiki classes. Mocha, my rottweiler, had started limping slightly. He was almost ten and everyone figured it was arthritis in his shoulder. I was zipping to Denver so made the x-ray appointment when I returned the next week. Life was moving too fast and I couldn’t take myself off the hamster wheel. Too many people were counting on me. Sound familiar? I looked at his doctor and explained I couldn’t deal with any bad news. I was still grieving over the loss of his sister Lexie in late October. Clue #1.
I returned from the whirlwind trip with a new week of clients and travel to Atlanta, followed by the largest week of clients ever. People were booking spots using the online booking system faster than I could close out the space. I was getting stressed about how I would be able to serve everyone to the level that I wanted. I didn’t have the heart to simply call a few people and see if they’d be willing to let me reschedule them for the following week. Instead, I put on my superwoman cape and moved full-speed ahead. Clue #2.
On Monday, February 20th, we made it for the x-rays. It’s one of the most painful days of my life. Those who know me realize the deep bond I have with animals. Mocha was much more than a “dog” to me. My fur baby. A member of my family. He listened, shared his energy when I needed it, licked away my tears, danced to my successes, and shared his thoughts on my content in animal classes. He actually helped me create my Animal Reiki class. Mocha, who was part of my heart in many ways, was diagnosed with bone cancer in the shoulder. I remember the heart-wrenching, guttural screams I made as I drove to pick him up. The pain was raw, deep, and I allowed it to flow. My “rock” was going to leave me, soon. I listened to all the information, not really absorbing it. I was in too much shock. Only a few weeks left unless we decided to take extreme measures. Mocha looked at me and I clearly heard, “No. I want to leave on my terms, with dignity.” My heart was breaking. Clue #3.
I was numb. There was little desire to teach in Atlanta that weekend when my heart was in Charlotte. But beautiful students were counting on me and I was excited to be with them. So I shoved down my pain and grief, packed the car, and drove to Atlanta. I chose to ignore my own needs. I chose to care for others before myself. Clue #4.
Earlier that evening, I’d had dinner with a student, enjoyed a pre-class student gathering, set up the room for class, and tried not to think about Mocha. I was in “teacher” mode, the professional doing what was expected of her. Ingrained habits from my years in the corporate world served me well. Compartmentalize the grief – focus on the tasks at hand. Grieve next week. Give my heart a break next week. But wait! Next week I’m seeing 15 clients – there’s no time for a break. How many of us have had this week? How many times have we ignored the little voice screaming at us to just STOP IT! Clue #5.
The Kicker….aka the Results of Not Listening
By now, you’re wondering what all the clues are adding up to. It’s time for the kicker. I laid down Friday evening in the hotel room ready for some much-needed rest. Within seconds, it felt like someone had kicked me square in the chest. I thought I’d pulled a muscle carrying the therapy tables in to the conference room. Twenty minutes later the pain continued, then it went to my right shoulder and down my right arm. What? I grabbed my phone and asked Siri about my symptoms, again ignoring the voice in my head screaming “HEART HEART HEART” over and over. I don’t have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. I don’t have a lot of things. How could it be my heart?
Off I went to Emory St. Joseph Hospital ER. Within seconds, they were taking care of me. Sure enough, every lab value was perfect except for my heart enzyme. My heart wasn’t a happy camper. I fought because I had to teach class at 9am that morning. I didn’t have time for this. I had to go. Finally at 6:30am that morning I realized there would be no teaching. There would be no driving to class to tell the students what happened then driving to Charlotte and checking in to a local hospital. I was admitted to the hospital in Atlanta. Alone. Without my support system. And terrified Mocha wouldn’t be home when I finally got there.
The following four days were a blur. Push the doctors to do something. Call them out when they weren’t disclosing all the information. Listen to my intuition (FINALLY). Honor what my body had been trying to tell me. It had been asking for rest. It wanted time and space to grieve. Time to prepare for saying goodbye. For two days I slept. No computer, no TV, only the phone to keep family informed and ask questions of friends with medical training. I quit worrying about the class. My only focus was doing what I needed to in order to get home.
What’s a SCAD?
After lots of tests, I was diagnosed with SCAD – Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection. The focus here is on Spontaneous. It generally strikes healthy women below age 50. Mayo Clinic is doing a study to learn more about SCAD. For me, SCAD is a testament to what happens when you forget to take care of yourself, when you let stress take over, and when you put others first. The positive is that I didn’t need a stent, only time to let the tears in my artery heal. Time to be gentle with myself. Time for some overdue self-care. The doctors can give me all the reasons they want, but I know in my heart that my SCAD was a combination of the events that week, of the stress, of my poor choices.
Space to Feel..You need it
I returned home February 28th. I managed to get a few more precious days with Mocha before it was time for him to cross Rainbow Bridge. I spent the month of March and much of April with my grief and anger. The events were separate, yet totally connected. Either was hard, but I had no idea how to navigate both at the same time. So I gave myself space. No phone calls, no unnecessary email, no social media. I didn’t care. I bounced between the stages of grief, stuck in my anger and pain. I screamed. I cried. I gave myself the space TO FEEL. I honored my feelings. And slowly, very slowly, I began to heal.
More anger came in the guise of Cardiac Rehab. I used rehab as a way to release the anger of Mocha’s loss from my body. It was also a way to release the anger ay my heart. How dare it betray me? I finally got quiet one afternoon and started breathing deeply. I asked my body the question. WHY? WHY did you do this to us? The answer came quickly. “Because you didn’t listen to my pleas. I needed rest.” The anger left my body in a whoosh. My body felt it needed to resort to something this drastic to get my attention.
Lessons? Too many to write about here. The big takeaways? Just like they say on the airplane “Put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.” I’ve made time for morning movement now. If I try to get it in later in the day, it may not happen. I don’t care how well intended you are, it’s impossible to care for the other people in your life if you don’t care for yourself first. You are so worth it. Your beautiful body, the only one you get in this life, is also worth it. You’re not being selfish when you tell others you need space. It’s not cowardice to let people know you’re going through something and need their compassion and understanding. It’s courageous. It’s not weak to ask for help, or space, or time. It shows your strength and courage.
Let go of the expectations of others. Become fierce about your self-care. Set yourself free.
Bryce Goebel is the Founder of A Reiki Place and Bryce Goebel Wellness. As a powerful intuitive, she helps clients create Fierce, Fearless lives without shame, guilt or apology. As a speaker and author, she shares stories of living according to the expectations of others, the cost of not living authentically, how to claim our worth in the world, speaking and standing in our truth, and accepting that we are enough. She worked over 20 years as a Software Engineer and Project Manager before dropping out of the corporate world. She is a Licensed Reiki Master Teacher with the International Center for Reiki Training and Certified Warrior Goddess Facilitator.
Connect with Bryce at http://www.BryceGoebel.com
I talk with clients all the time about knowing when it’s time to release a relationship that no longer nourishes your soul. It can be any type of relationship, from friend, to mechanic, to doctor, to spouse. Part of the release is to honor the relationship for what it brought to us, being in full gratitude for what we learn, and creating the spaciousness for new relationships to come into our lives.
Saying goodbye to a long-term relationship is hard. It can be scary. But holding tight to anything that no longer serves us is to deny ourselves. Why don’t we just let go? Sometimes we stay in a “comfortable” space simply because it’s easier to be unhappy in what we know. Or fear of the unknown holds us back. Fear can paralyze us.
My Relationship Story
Recently I had one of those days. I released a 9 year relationship with my hair stylist. It hadn’t been serving me for many months. More like 2 years if I’m truthful. A week before my scheduled appointment, I was chatting with a friend about my frustrations. After listening for a bit, he said “Bryce, you just want to be valued the way you value your clients.” In that moment, something turned in my stomach. He voiced all my anger and frustration in one simple sentence. The words described how I felt but couldn’t articulate. I was too stuck in all the emotions. I was afraid to own how I was being affected. I deserved to be treated with the same respect, compassion and caring that I offer my own clients. Simply put, I was WORTH IT. And from that place, I made the decision that I wouldn’t tolerate it anymore. It was a first step to freeing myself.
The following week, I received a call less than two hours before my appointment. “We just realized why……” Long story short, my appointment wasn’t going to happen. I either had to let someone else cut and color my hair, or reschedule. The fears kicked in. My book was full. I didn’t have time for this. So I did what was comfortable. I ignored the inner voice screaming like a banshee inside my head. I agreed to let someone else do the work. In 20 minutes. I jumped in the car and zipped to the salon.
I showed up at the appointed time full of fear, but resigned to my fate. Ten minutes later, I was still waiting. Inwardly, I was a mess. I was starting to have trouble breathing. My body was saying “ENOUGH!” I went into the parking lot before I went into a full meltdown. I texted a client with a style I loved. And I called a new salon. Where I went into tears and a meltdown on the phone. And where they could see me that day.
The Real Cost
I got off the phone, took a deep breath and let the tears flow. My Inner Voice whispered, “They worked you in today. The nice person on the phone listened to you, tears and all. She heard you. And she understood. And that’s what it feels like to be valued. This is how your clients feel. And you deserve this feeling too.” The weight of the hair world was lifted off my shoulders. I felt a huge shift in energy. No more anger. No more resentment that my time wasn’t valuable too.
I began to look objectively at how the relationship had affected me. Even my business had suffered. On “hair days,” I reworked my client schedule to ensure I wasn’t late. Sometimes, even adding in an extra hour wasn’t enough. I was losing money because I had to allow time for my stylist to be late. I finally shifted my paperwork day to coincide with “hair day.” Clients couldn’t be impacted. But my business was because less work got completed. It was another BIG realization. Each month, my body was also affected by the stress.
Could all this have happened less painfully? Of course. But that’s always not how life plays out. We stay with what we know because it’s easy, we’re comfortable, or we’re afraid to listen to our body or our heart. Sometimes we have to look in the mirror and accept our part in those things we don’t like. We have a choice. When we decide to stay in a relationship with a job we hate, we make a choice. Maybe we chose to put having stuff ahead of having a simple life. Or we chose the fancy car. Or the big house. Or lots of gadgets. And stuff costs money so we have to work in a job that pays a certain salary. Which we hate.
Pull out the Pruning Shears
Letting go takes Courage. We have to let go to create space for new relationships to come in. We need new relationships as we go through life. They bring new perspective. They nourish us in new ways. A gardner prunes dead leaves from plants and trees to help them grow stronger. Just like a gardner, you should prune relationships when they’re draining. When it’s time to say goodbye, honor the relationship you’re ending. Cherish the parts that brought you joy. Learn from the parts that didn’t serve you.
So what happened with my hair? During my consultation and cut with a new stylist, I laughed. I happily paid more. I now feel valued, heard and seen. And the results speak for themselves. I’m rocking a trendy, edgier cut. I look and feel years younger. I’m not having to re-work my schedule or get frustrated. I freed myself from an energetically draining relationship.
If this sounds familiar to you, look deep inside, pull out your pruning shears, and set yourself free.
Bryce Goebel is the Founder of Bryce Transforms and A Reiki Place Wellness. As a powerful intuitive, she helps clients create Fierce, Fearless lives without shame, guilt or apology. As a speaker and author, she shares stories of living according to the expectations of others, the cost of not living authentically, how to claim our worth in the world, speaking and standing in our truth, and accepting that we are enough. She worked over 20 years as a Software Engineer and Project Manager before dropping out of the corporate world. She is a Licensed Reiki Master Teacher with the International Center for Reiki Training and Certified Warrior Goddess Facilitator.
This is a post I never thought I’d write. I thought I’d be dead now. I almost paid the ultimate price for not living according to my heart. I lived as others wanted me to be. I worked hard to live up to their expectations, not my own. I wasn’t living in my own. Please read along to learn why I’ve chosen to help others create Fierce, Fearless lives for themselves.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve talked to animals, seen Spirits, felt the thoughts of others, and had several glimpses of things before they happened. Usually what I saw was a major catastrophic event. Over time, I chose to ignore the “curses” of my childhood gifts. Because I felt like a freak. Because I scared people when I spoke of seeing things before they happened. And because sometimes I was terrified of myself.
I followed the expectations of my family. I graduated at the top of my class in high school, then from a top college with a B.S. in Business Administration. Sometimes I felt that it was short for Bull Shit. Because that’s what my life was – total Bull Shit. On the outside it was perfect. I was the perfect kid, perfect student, perfect friend.
After college, I entered the corporate world. And for the next 20+ years, that’s where I lived. The perfect hard-working employee. My life looked so perfect from the outside. Successful career, strong marriage, beautiful home, and lots of ‘stuff’ we’re expected to collect in life. But this life wasn’t me. I was miserable inside. You see, being an Intuitive with “Clair” senses isn’t encouraged or desirable in the corporate world. Or in the mainstream world I lived in. Talking about these things was asking to be locked in a straightjacket and admitted to the local psych ward. I only knew how to be the person I was “trained” to be, so I shoved my true authentic self deep, deep inside.
In 2013, I awakened. It happened very unexpectedly. I was working 14+ hour days as a IT Project Manager. I was being pushed to lie to clients and withhold information. I tried to speak up from my authentic place. But I was outnumbered. Eventually, I gave up. I silenced my voice. The training from my childhood was too engrained. I didn’t fight for what was right. I’d lose the discussion and run to the ladies room to throw up. I was getting physically sick almost every day. My body had revolted. I ignored all the warnings it gave me. The physical symptoms that my work was so far out of alignment with my very essence.
In April, I suffered what I thought was a heart attack. I even called two nurse friends into a conference room to triage me. I didn’t have time to go to the doctor. There was work to be done! I did go to the doctor, and was diagnosed with an anxiety attack. What????? And meds to get me through the next 30 days of the project. I refused to take them because I knew there had to be a better way. I was not medicating myself, at least not with prescriptions. Food was my medication of choice. Because I didn’t have time to live, only to work for someone else. My inner voice was screaming. And I was ignoring it.
How can I be Dead?
Earlier that year, I had a vision of my Mom, Husband and friends at a graveside service for me. I was livid! They knew I wanted to be cremated and have my ashes scattered in a sacred place. It took me a moment to realize an important truth…. if they were having this service, it meant I had died. The program had my Death Date as May 19th, 2016. I sat stunned as it hit me. I was furious. I was sad. I was lost. The tears began to flow. There was so much I wanted to do and not enough time. I was numb. And I had no plan.
Seeing the date of your own death is a sobering experience. You begin to wonder how you can cheat death. What bargains with God/Source/Spirit can you make? How do you tell your family? Or your friends? And who’s going to believe you? What do you do with the time you have?
Then the practical stuff hit me. I knew they’d all think I was speaking figuratively. Of course, I knew better. I was clueless. And paralyzed. And terrified. I wanted to hide. I thought about running to another country. I wanted to get away from my family and friends. I didn’t want to work. It was easy to spend money on things. But things didn’t buy happiness.
This is where my ‘expectation training’ kicked in. So I kept silent. I went on auto pilot. I put on my corporate Wonder Woman mask. I had to remain in control, at least on the outside. I kept plugging away. I let others take my voice when every instinct was telling me to fight back for the customers. But the little trained voice would say “if you do, they’ll just say you’re being an emotional woman.” I told my Mom “this job will kill me if I keep it up.” I knew she thought I wasn’t really serious. And I had no idea how to change my fate. Finally, I decided it was time for radical changes.
Only I didn’t know how. I’d spent my entire life pleasing others, living up to their expectations. How was I supposed to live a life of pleasing myself? What was going to make me happy? I had absolutely NO idea! I knew it was time to leave the work I’d done for over 20 years. It was time to open my heart to other possibilities. It was time to set myself free. It was time to Be Brave.
My story will continue in the next post. Read about how I learned to be incredibly brave. And through that bravery I began the journey to find my authentic self. And now I’ve unleashed the real me. All of me.
The journey has allowed me to help others in ways I never thought possible. Because when I say I’ve been there, I have. I’m a Transformer, a Healer, an Intuitive, an Earth Goddess. And I’m on a mission to help you realize that you are enough, that you can find your voice, that you are so worthy of all you desire. You can live in alignment with your beliefs. Together we walk the path of discovery and healing. And together we find the authentic you that’s hiding deep inside. Want to learn more? I’d love to connect with you.
Bryce Goebel is the Founder of A Reiki Place and Bryce Transforms. She helps her clients create Fierce, Fearless lives, without shame, guilt or apology.
What are we teaching our children to Empower them? How are we giving them tools needed to create a world of Harmony, Respect and Peace? Children look to adults for boundaries and guidance. They follow our examples, even when we’re not aware they’re paying attention. If we want to break the cycle of text-crazy, uninvolved young people, we have to lead. We have to show our children and teens HOW to be engaged and how to appreciate this Earth we all live on. We have to show our children to Be Brave, to take chances, and to put themselves out there. We have to empower them to be engaged and caring adults. We have to allow them to be independent, to be free thinkers. Teaching children mindfulness allows them to learn to live in the moment. They learn how to be completely at one with the Earth and all inhabitants. They learn to appreciate Nature. They learn to love animals and see them as sentient beings.
(via How To Help A Fearful Dog) Reiki energy is helpful to pets of all species.
Wonderful thoughts and reminders for mindfulness. #meditate #bepresent #authentic
Bryce Goebel of A Reiki Place has been named as a Reiki Research Associate with the Center for Reiki Research. A Reiki Place clients will be participating in a survey with the CRR and Harvard University to document the therapeutic benefits of Reiki. The goal of the survey is to document over 5000 Reiki sessions in the next year. #AReikiPlace #Reiki