Yup. I got the boot – both literally and metaphorically. I’ll explain . . .
Back when I was traveling in Australia I woke up and could barely walk on my right foot. Being the active (and sometimes stubborn) person that I am, I did not let it stop me from walking or exercising. I assumed it was something that would get better and was in complete denial that I could be injured.
Then a week went by. The pain and swelling intensified so much so that it woke me up at 3am! Fortunately, my inner wisdom reminded me that one of my best friends in Australia has a wife who is a podiatrist. She came over the next day and confirmed that I was injured.
Expectation hangover! I had dealt with quite a lot of physical things that year, and to say that I was over feeling uncomfortable and limited in my body is an understatement. So after an X-ray confirmed it was indeed a stress fracture (caused by walking too much in flip-flops and running barefoot on uneven sand), I will admit I was really sad.
Of course I realize it could be much worse, but as in any moment of an expectation hangover, I have learned (and now teach), that honoring our natural emotions arising in the situation is important. Skipping to the “sliver lining” too soon is a form of emotional suppression, which in the short term may feel good but is not a healthy way of coping.
So I had a good cry and laid around my Airbnb for a day (which just happened to be in Byron Bay one of the most beautiful and walk-able beach cities in Australia) because I had to be off my foot for 24 hours.
Next I had to move into acceptance, which is CRUCIAL when dealing with any expectation hangover.
Acceptance does not mean we like what is happening, rather it just means we stop wishing it were different. We accept what we cannot change and focus on what we can. @ChristinHassler (Click to Tweet!)
The only thing I could change was my attitude and my actions. I decided to rent a car so I could get around. I got an orthopedic shoe until I could get back to Sydney and get my boot. I asked for more help and more help was generously given to me, some without my even asking – like a super cute Aussie fireman carrying me to the beach and into the ocean so I could go for a swim.
However in full transparency, keeping an upbeat attitude has been a bit challenging and here’s why . . .
I love to MOVE. I value exercise so much and not just for keeping me physically fit but also for what it does for my mindset. Not being able to sweat and move around like I usually do really affected my mood. I felt blah and irritable! Also, being in a boot completely threw off my alignment so my tailbone, hips, spine, and neck have been totally off. My whole body was in pain, not just my foot.
I am sharing this with you for two very important reasons! My message today is a bit of a PSA. I am on my soapbox but I only get on my soapbox when I 100% believe that what I am encouraging you to do matters.
Reason #1: If you suffer from any kind of depression, anxiety, lack of motivation, or just overall blah feeling you need to MOVE. We live way too much of a sedentary life and our brains rely on endorphins from movement. Find a form of movement you like and make the time to exercise. Even getting your heart rate up for 20 minutes creates massive benefits! No excuses.
Reason #2: Get your body in alignment. Driving, sitting at a computer, carrying around children, traveling, sleeping in a weird position, and even working out with poor form are just some of the ways we throw our spine and neck out of alignment. When we are out of alignment it also affects our brain as well as other organs in the body. I see people running from doctor to doctor with pain or medical problems that could be solved by seeing a really good chiropractor, osteopath or physical therapist. Now you may say that is too expensive but what will cost you more are health problems down the road.
Out of my top five core values, health is #1 because if I do not have that, the other ones are impossible to live out. I have always known exercise and alignment are important. Now that I have personally experienced the consequences of when those things are not in place, I am even more emphatic about making exercise and alignment a priority!
And even when we do (like I have for nearly 20 years), life happens. Injuries are not possible to avoid completely so when we experience one, we must listen to what our body needs and is attempting to tell us.
The message I got from my foot was that I needed to step forward in certain areas of my life. There had been ways I have been stalling, staying in things that are not for my highest good, and not stepping fully into things that supported me. My body also needed a bit of a break (forgive the pun) from moving around so much.
Message received. Thank you, right foot.
I hope this message motivates you to get moving and take even better care of your body. It’s the only one you’ve got – be kind to it and do not take it for granted.
P.S. I have a new podcast where I coach people LIVE on the air. Head over to Over it and On With It and listen in for inspiration and action steps.
Christine Hassler has broken down the complex and overwhelming experience of recovering from disappointment into a step-by-step treatment plan in her new book Expectation Hangover. This book reveals the formula for how to process disappointment on the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels to immediately ease suffering. Instead of wallowing in regret, self-recrimination, or anger, we can see these experiences as catalysts for profound transformation and doorways that open to possibility. You can find more info on her website, and follow her on Twitter and FB.
Image courtesy of Phi Phi.