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Energy of Desire: How Overproviding Gets in the Way

Guest post by Rosie Vega This week we’ve been focusing on how to integrate all we’ve learned in Mission Ignition. But my mind is still being blown by all I’ve learned so far. Some concepts are deceptively simple: get more sleep, breathe, listen to your body, ask for what you want. But these core directives could be life-changing. They will be for me, I know. I still have a ways to go on getting more sleep, because I have deadlines I can’t escape right now, and the only time to complete the assignments is to work at night between dinner and bedtime. (I’m already sleeping like a baby thanks to the suggested warm water before bed, flaxseed in the morning, mediations and breathing exercises during the day and evening). But I am committed to doing less (love the stop-doing list!), and this week I withdrew from an assignment I had said yes to, a decision made in the interest of decreasing stress and fatigue, even though it’s hard to turn down an assignment when serious financial issues remain a part of my life. I don’t do too much just because I’m an overachiever. I do too much because we need the money and I am not fully employed. I should find out in the next week or so if my job is going to full time with benefits. Once that happens, it will be a big relief and will allow, if not force, me to give up the freelancing rat race. But listening to Jen Louden was really helpful. She encouraged us to knock it off “if you’re a muster” – I must do this, I must do that. That label hit me where I live. She added that to change that pattern is not impossible. “Nothing is impossible,” she reminded us. Perhaps the most profound thing I took from her talk was her concern “that we’re not connected to what we most care about.” This shines a big light on the illogic of our lifestyle patterns. For example if we work so hard for our families, but working so hard causes us to not to be able to spend time with the family, then what have we really gained? Again, feeding the family, providing shelter and healthcare, paying tuitions are necessities, not optional frills. But if I look at my life and apply Jen’s litmus test, I see I need to make changes to stay connected to what I most care about. Jen also talked about how a key factor in women losing their vitality is lack of boundaries. She said she has kept her vitality by “learning to trust my needs and letting myself have strong boundaries, being willing to be fierce and avoid overproviding and doing too much,” adding that over-providing for your children or your clients doesn’t really help them in the end, and it certainly isn’t good for you. She advised us to “listen to the places you can say “I can’t” and to remember: “I get to choose how I use my energy.” And even if you can’t avoid a task or an obligation, “I get to choose how I react to it.” This gets back to banning “overwhelmed” from our vocabulary. I’ve learned it’s draining to go through life feeling overwhelmed. If we switch top being “whelmed” and get a good bead on our capacity, and resist taking on too much or over-providing for others, we will be “whelmed” rather than overwhelmed, and have the vitality to stay connected to what we most care about. Jen told us to learn about and be vigilant about “sovereignty and boundaries,” which is about “finding that truth in my body” and “everything that isn’t mine, out, out, out!” So when you get muscular tension when you’re around certain people or when slipping into over-providing, trust that this symptom is your body is giving you a clue that that’s not what you should be doing. “Put a light on it,” Jen said. The first step is to acknowledge that “this is my energy and I get to use it the way I want.” To do that will be empowering, she assured us. She called it “the energy of desire.” She said, ”We need to allow it to be there and move us. That’s how we gain our vitality.” It doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom or a selfish wife or a slacker in my work. It will actually help us tap into our “well of desire” and give us back more power. Wow. Thanks to Dr. Sara and all her great guest speakers who have shined light on so many ways we can get back to the desire and vitality that were second nature to our younger selves. It is within our power to be that open, sensual, sexual, not-overwhelmed woman again. Onward to the well of desire! For more information on Dr. Sara's  Mission Ignition Metabolism, designed to reboot your metabolism, stress response, food plan and aging, click here.


Sara Gottfried MD replied on Dec 29, 2015

Jen, thank you! You are so damn smart. My favorite flavor of smart. Still digesting your wisdom, integrating, processing, metabolizing. So grateful for your searing insights blended with real-life mom wisdom. xoxo Dr Sara

Jen Louden replied on Dec 29, 2015

Thank you so much for recaping the highlights of my talk and making me sound smart! Do tell me how it all goes!

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