I heard someone say that once and the statement invited me to sit with the energy behind the words.
Tolerate, you get what you tolerate…
I was walking barefoot through my favourite park with my dog Poseidon.
These walks had become a staple for my sanity after my husbands Lymphoma diagnosis and I used this time alone to process the shock.
While Seidi led, I followed behind listening to inspirational music or podcasts through my earphones.
It was the only time of the day where I wasn’t planning, cooking or strategising the next thing I could do to prepare for this unknown journey into the future.
My body was already challenged with intense menopause symptoms and sleep had been swallowed up in a sea of night sweats, hot flushes and rage spells.
How was I going to be deal with another layer of stress?
The word ‘tolerate’ kept circling my head and it dawned on me.
In tolerating the level of stress in my life by trying to fix everything, I was living in survival mode trying to control the uncontrolables.
As a recovering people pleaser and a teacher of self-care and embodiment practices – I realised that I was stuck in head trying to think my way through things.
But the truth was, the wisdom of my body was trying to get my attention.
So I made a promise to myself, I would no longer tolerate trying so hard nor the feeling of just surviving or ‘keeping it all together’.
I wanted spaciousness and softness and to give my presence to my relationship and I knew it started with giving those things to myself first.
Dear reader, I’m about to share with you the 3 things I became intentional with to create a sense of easefulness in the midst of the emotional chaos around me.
My hope is that you too recognise that you do not need to tolerate living in survival mode.
My hope is that you can feel the spaciousness, the softness and the presence available to you – even in the most stressful experiences in your life.
1. Embrace and honor your emotions
Reconnecting with your body encourages you to embrace and honour your emotions without judgment. Instead of suppressing or avoiding your feelings, allow yourself to fully experience them. Create a safe, nurturing space for yourself to feel and express these emotions, whether it’s through being in nature, journaling, talking to a trusted friend, or engaging in creative outlets like art or dance – heck it might also involve beating a pillow! By acknowledging and accepting your emotions, you can begin the process of letting them go. This is also known as ‘surrender’.
2. Practice self-compassion and self-care
When dealing with intense emotions, it’s crucial to be gentle with yourself. Imagine yourself as your best and dearest friend and treat yourself as such. Make sure you eat well, swap out stimulants in favour of a fresh juice or calming tea and drink plenty of water to support your organs flush any stress toxins from your body. Give yourself permission to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as soaking in a magnesium bath, practicing mindfulness or meditation, or simply resting. By nurturing yourself and practicing self-compassion, you create a supportive environment for emotional healing that will stay with you throughout midlife and beyond.
3. Connect with your intuition
Feminine energy invites deep intuition and inner wisdom. When facing intense emotions, tapping into your intuition to gain insight and guidance is a fierce act of self-enquiry and love. Take time to listen to your inner voice and become familiar with your instincts. This will help you develop a felt sense of safety within your body. Spending time in nature, meditating and journalling your thoughts can help you connect with your intuition. By accessing your inner wisdom, you can better understand the root causes of your emotions and find clarity on how to release and let go of them.
I’m going to add a bonus 4th step: Ask for help.
When it comes to recovering from chronic stress – especially during midlife when we already have so much physical, emotional and psychological changes going on, it’s important to reach out.
Personally I leant into the support of a trusted Naturopath who helped me understand my recent blood tests and provided me with some great supplements to settle my nervousness. This included upping my Magnesium intake, increasing my iron and restoring my gut biome.
I’ve also just started seeing a therapist. I’ve have found that talking with an embodied elder, with her silver crown and lived wisdom in her eyes has been incredible in helping me gain a deeper perspective on life.
There is still so many things that are out of my control and much unknown on this journey, as I’m sure you could imagine.
But I do know how to create spaciousness around my emotions and bring my presence to those that are most important to me. Right now, that is what I do have control of.
In summary dear reader, here are my 3 (+ 1 bonus point) to create ease for yourself during stressful experiences in midlife.
- Create a safe space for yourself to honour and embrace your emotions.
- Nurture yourself and practice self-care and compassion.
- Establish a felt sense of safety within your body by tapping into your intuition for guidance.
- Ask for help. You don’t have to do it alone and we are stronger when we’re together.