Tell me if you disagree with this statement: we are all a fabulous hot mess of contrasts, not a single one of us has life fully sorted. Right? Life is not an insta story of highlights and filters. It's also about washing up and sitting in traffic and not getting the job. We can easily lose sight of the balance of things, so here's my raw look at my month
This blog is taken directly from a newsletter sent to Magnetic Hub followers in May 2018. It touched a raw nerve with a lot of women and due to the number of replies we received, thanking Michelle for writing about anxiety, we decided to post as a blog.
Tell me if you disagree with this statement: we are all a fabulous hot mess of contrasts, not a single one of us has life fully sorted. Right? Life is not an insta story of highlights and filters. It's also about washing up and sitting in traffic and not getting the job. We can easily lose sight of the balance of things, so here's my raw look at my month.
This month, I spent more time as a worrier than a warrior - and this is my 'dear diary moment'. I want to share some learnings that really drove home for me the beauty of just embracing who I am and letting go of all the expectations and yardsticks I carry around like some kind of excess baggage, serving no purpose and costing me a fortune at the airport ;)
Here's the thing. Anxiety is quite a natural state of mind for me, I'm really good at it! I'm the light sleeper, the deep thinker, the thin-skinned big feeler, the spiralling problem dweller...sometimes it gets too much for me.
I was recommended a book by Sarah Wilson, the woman behind I Quit Sugar. This book, her latest, is called "First, we make the beast beautiful" and it's about her exploration of anxiety and loneliness. I liked it for many reasons:
But this bit really got me. There was a passage about midway through where Sarah re-tells some findings from Dian Fossey, the American primatologist and conservationist known for undertaking an extensive study of mountain gorilla groups in Africa in the 1960's. Dian had observed a troop of chimps for some years and identified some anxious chimps, the ones who seemed agitated or depressed and hung around the outskirts of the troop. Dian decided to remove these chimps to see what would happen. Six months later, the whole community was dead. The suggestion here is that these anxious outsiders had been pivotal to survival. They had been the light sleepers, the ones who made the first noise when danger was sensed. The other chimps needed them and their heightened senses as an early warning system. Hyper-sensitive and vigilant, these worrier chimps had played a part that was misunderstood in the community's dynamic.
Sarah arrives at a similar conclusion about her own quirks and anxieties. Let them be, maybe they are serving a purpose. Yes, manage them and know how to keep them in check when their appearance is wreaking havoc in your life, but also give them some credit.
So my month of worrying led me to some good reading (a lot of it at 3am) and some inner peace. I'm a worrier. It's part of who I am. I do some of my best work in the middle of the night and I've learnt to let that happen.
We are like those chimps. Some of us sleep soundly and cruise along with a natural ease. We need you people. Some of us need to have someone close when a bad dream wakes us at 4am. We need you people too. A community is stronger for its diversity, if we all look at the world through an identical lense, we will miss important details.
And so it is in our Magnetic Hub community; diverse ages, diverse backgrounds - women who just come together they want to have meaningful discussions.
I'm Michelle, based in Hamilton, raising two boys, a ginger cat and many vegetables. I have been involved with the work of Magnetic Hub since March 2015 and consider it 'home' in many ways. Accustomed to leading female-only groups, I continue to be energised by the beautiful wisdom that unfolds from women in a room, talking together. Read my musings and learn about our work - newsletter sign-up below... Enjoy. Michelle x