I wanted to talk about my time in prison. No, not actual prison with orange jumpsuits and steel bars. But, a much worse prison. The kind that is accepted by our society. In fact, promoted by our society. The kind of prison I’m talking about is the self-imposed kind.
Where orange jumpsuits are replaced by lululemon sweats and over-sized clothing. Where the bars are made up of numbers: the weight on the scale, the size of your pants, the calories/fat of your food. Where the rules revolve around punishment and the result is a life half-led.
Unfortunately many of us are very familiar with the walls of this prison. At least, that is the consensus amongst the 56 Day Rock Your Body Challenge participants. As we near the end of our 8 weeks together, they are having huge light bulb moments of their own internal prison. They are starting to break-free. Which is exciting and scary.
Many of them are now seeing the 10-50 year sentences they’ve been living, but they aren’t sure what to do now. Their foundation has been rocked to the core. Who am I without allowing the numbers to control my every step? Who am I without punishment?
Who am I outside of this prison?
Such a great question.
So many of us want freedom, but then when we start to get it, we don’t know what to do—which causes us to go back to what’s familiar.
On our group coaching call a few weeks ago I shared an analogy of actual prison. In the movie Shawshank Redemption, many of the prisoners released out into the world either return to prison or commit suicide. This is because the freedom is too much. They don’t know how to handle it. They don’t know who to be.
A very similar experience happens inside of us when we are breaking-free from our own internal prison. The barometers of success are shifting. We are now trusting and relying on ourselves. On our feelings.
It’s like living in a foreign country where you don’t know the language—everything is new, different and can feel incredibly over-whelming. This causes us to hit the panic button and go back to what was comfortable, i.e. the scale, the baggie clothes, the half-lived life.
The key ingredient in truly breaking free is: SUPPORT.
Surviving—NO—Thriving in your adjustment period requires people and places to lean on. A community who has been through what you are going through. Joining a program like the RYBC. Working with a coach. Forming a loving community. These are all powerful ways to hold for yourself as you gracefully go through the phases of freedom, and form your new normal.
FYI: this is why 12-Step Programs are so successful. They offer a community of inspiration and support.
I invite you to get creative in forming your own support structure. Reach out to a friend to talk. Research a Food Addicts in Recovery Meeting and go. Find a coach to work with. Create your own women’s upliftment network.
The opportunities are endless.
It’s important to have people you can honestly share with, who are able to see the real you—not the story you. To surround yourself with others who believe in you, when you don’t believe in yourself.
If you are interested in having a complimentary conversation with me, I am happy to set that up. Just email me and let me know. We’ll get it on the calendar from there.
Wishing you grace as you go through your own phases of freedom. And creativity as you build your own support structure.