it was friday morning. betsy, my partner here at chaos & tonic, called to update me on some run-of-the mill business stuff. five minutes into the conversation and like a child who just lost her favorite toy, i found myself sobbing. when a meeting about search engine optimization ends in tears, you know it's time to admit something is not quite right.
sure, i've been stressed lately. who hasn't been? every day, multiple times a day, we are bombarded with newscasts of senseless violence, hatred and conflict. and oh ya, i guess i have been working seven days a week at two jobs for over a year, supporting my husband as he undertakes his own business and then there's being a remote caregiver to my elderly and ailing mother who still lives by herself in another country that i can't get to because of aggressive quarantine and travel restrictions due to covid-19. but when you're half of a health and wellness website, offering strategies on how to achieve balance, how to live your best life under any of life's circumstances, stress isn't really an option. at least that's what i told myself. i mean, it would be pretty darn ironic to have a stress related breakdown in the middle of building a wellness company, wouldn't it? well, it turns out life has a sense of humor and the joke was on me.
alarmed by my irrational reaction, betsy immediately put on her coaching hat, her goddess of tonics tiara. just to be clear, nothing betsy said, sent me into a tizzy. betsy did not make me cry. google did not make me cry. not knowing how to optimize our website did not make me cry, although it does make my head spin. that just happened to be the moment my body decided to issue a receipt for a year's worth of energy transactions. and there was no mistaking what was printed on the receipt: "overdrawn."
why didn't i get a heads up that i had been making more withdrawals than deposits to my energy bank? why didn't annoying bells and whistles go off warning me of impending doom the way a smoke alarm issues high pitched beeps when you've forgotten to change the battery? side note, why does that always happen at 2 o'clock in the morning?
ya, ya, sure, i had become increasingly irritable and argumentative. okay, the slightest demand on my time would send me into tantrums and hysterics. and if i think about it, i no longer had a "filter" on my communications; you know, the one that stops a person from saying out loud what is actually going on in one's head? and then of course, there were my tearful reactions to polite inquiries into my well-being by strangers and casual passersby. okay, fair enough. the signs were there.
"girl, it's time to flip the switch and shift out of the stress loop you're caught up in. you're being called to shift on a vibrational level. uplevel your frequency," betsy said to me.
now in the past, if someone were to question my vibration level, i would have thought they were being naughty and a little too personal. but on this day, with my feet firmly planted on the surface of rock bottom, i knew something had to shift and if that something was my vibrator level, then so be it.
"negative dialogue is like a nail in a tire. it leaks energy. what are you telling yourself?" she asked. i rattled off the adjectives of my daily vocabulary as if i had been rehearsing them for years, which of course, i had: "can't," "stuck," "never," "invisible," "alone." betsy stopped me mid-sentence. "a negative self-narrative has a vibrational frequency, which gets imprinted as a stress pattern in the brain. if you want to break your current stress loop, you've got to change the pattern imprinted in that brain of yours and you do that by bringing in higher brainwave frequencies."
"ohhhhh," i thought to myself, "she's talking the vibrational frequency of brainwaves, not vibrators. okay, that actually makes a lot more sense."
betsy went on to explain that anyone can create a vibrational shift by seeing yourself living out your best life. "but it's not just visualization," she added. "you have to take it a step further. how does your ideal life feel? what sensations do you experience in your body when you picture yourself living your dream life?" betsy asked.
i give it a try. i close my eyes. i see chris hemsworth sitting on a walnut detailed, white leather couch. in walks chris pine. their gaze turns to me as i float into the room. a gust of wind blows past the white, sheer drapery framing the room's ceiling to floor windows, causing my long hair to gracefully dance around my face. "oh ya, i like this exercise," i think to myself.
"start every day by picturing and feeling what you want your life to look like," betsy interrupted my dream of two chris's. "then, add in ten high vibrational words into your daily vocabulary. words that are positive, fun and playful like, "love," "create," "joy," "expand," "shift," "flow," "simple," "easy," "free," "connected," "unwind," or "abundance." interject these words into your conversations with others and with yourself. create a mantra for yourself using the high vibrational words of your choice. and repeat. repeat the mantra several times throughout your day. the brain loves repetition. repetition is how to create a new pattern in the brain."
i hung up the phone, ready to resume my dream of two chris's. pandora played in the background. fleetwood mac's "landslide" came on. i've heard this song a thousand times before but on this friday, i stopped and just listened to the lyrics. "well, i've been afraid of changing, cause i've built my life around you. but time makes you bolder, even children get older and i'm getting older too." stevie nicks' voice filled the room as if she was singing directly to me. stevie was right. i have been afraid of changing. i have been afraid of changing because i built my entire life around a narrative that i wasn't good enough. but time, time is making me bolder. bold enough to change my narrative. bold enough that if i see the reflection of this old narrative again, of this narrative that has done nothing but turn me into someone i don't want to be, well then, may a landslide bring it down. and with that realization, my husband walked into the room. his gaze turned to me. and you know what? chris hemsworth and chris pine have nothing on this guy.