Updated: Aug 25, 2021
I haven’t been able to catch up on some good sleep. Sleeping is my favorite thing in the whole world. I love getting a full nights rest, not waking up to an alarm and not feeling rushed in the morning. When I was working in the corporate world, I looked forward to my Friday and Saturday nights because I knew I was going to be able to sleep good. When I met Travis, my husband, he loved sleeping as much as I did. We loved a good afternoon nap. He will be upset for at me for writing this because as an entrepreneur, people tend to look down on sleeping. In the entrepreneur world, it’s all about the hustle and grind. They write countless books, record countless podcasts and publish YouTube videos on the matter, on how if we want success in our lives, we need to sleep less and work more. And to be honest, there is a time and a place for the hustle and grind but our bodies needs sleep.
It's during this time, that you are fully allowing your body to rest and recover. Did you know more automobile accidents are caused by sleepy drivers than drunk drivers? According to an article published on sleepfoundation.org, drowsy driving is responsible for 91,000 car crashes vs 9,949 drunk driving related car crashes in the year 2017. Being awake for more than 18 hours effects your reaction time, your ability to multi-task and your hand-eye coordination. It is equivalent to someone who has a blood alcohol level of 0.05%. It's why new parents, who are awake every 2-3 hours with a newborn, look and feel like walking zombies.
Sleep is imperative, which is why I know it attributed to my severe anxiety attack last week. Now that I am entrepreneur, I get to make my own schedule. I always make my appointments past 11am, giving me enough time to wake up on my own, do my morning mediation, journal and workout. I have a solid hour of “me” time to really set my intention for the day. And when I am consistent with this routine, I am on fire not only for business as a life coach, but for life in general. I am alert, I am the best at getting shit done, I am firing on all cylinders. Picture me in a cowgirl outfit with a name tag that reads “Pistol Packing Paola” - pew pew. But when I don’t get adequate sleep, it really does a number on me.
I am a very weird sleeper, thanks to my 40’s, and my body is changing. I no longer can hit the pillow and knock out. I have too much on my mind at night, I think about all the things I want to do the next day and all the things I didn’t get done the day before. I think about who I need to call, who I need to email and what my next move is in business. As much as I try to slow down my brain, and yes…I have a list by my bed and on my phone to try and let myself let go, but for a type A personality and a recovering people pleaser, its sometimes really frustrating that my subconscious mind can’t let go. It used to be a severe problem when I worked in the Corporate world, my mind would never allow me to sleep. I developed heart palpitations, eye twitches, hives on my skin and massive migraines. When I got married and quit the corporate world, all of that went away.
Maybe it was because I was in love and on the honeymoon effect (see Bruce Lipton’s book) or maybe it was that I finally allowed my body to rest. I was no longer in hunter mode, I was no longer fighting or flying, I was no longer in the hustle and grind. I finally did the Whitney Houston exhale (bonus points if you know the movie) and relaxed.
To be honest, I usually get the best sleep. My husband knows I am weird sleeper. He knows that I have to have it completely dark... I mean completely dark. I can’t do blue lights, even the little ones that shine from a tiny dot on a bathroom toothbrush or a tv or phone charger. Red lights don’t effect me too much but when its a full moon and the light peers into our bathroom causing the whole room to shine bright…woo wee, I hate those nights.
Don’t worry, I am getting to the point, last week I had a major anxiety attack. I mean I had the ugly cry and my husband was perplexed and couldn’t understand why I had lost it over the smallest thing. It all started two weeks prior when our family went on a vacation to Mammoth. My stepsons are 4 years apart, 18 and 14, so we decided that we would allow them to each bring a friend. I wish you can see my face now. As much as I loved creating memories for them and loved having them all together and watching them laugh, I was miserable. I had the worst allergies and bad stomach problems. The kind where I was on the white throne at least 5 times a day and using up all the toilet paper. As Travis would say, “too much information”.
We also stayed at a new place we found off of VRBO and the house we stayed in was awful. The toilet overflowed and I know what you’re thinking but I promise that wasn’t my fault. The couch had a wobbly leg so every time you sat on it, it would fold. My youngest step son got stuck in the bathroom because the handle on the door fell off. Oh! And the worst of it all…was there was no air-conditioning. Normally, that wouldn’t be an issue, but they were having an unusually hot week and we had to open all the windows just for a breeze.
Let’s just say, I didn’t sleep at all. With the heat, the noise of the cars and people right outside the condo, the lights blaring into the room and my allergies…it was the worst. Then we came home, it was go go go. We had some business meetings, hosted a hockey party and again catching those zzz’s was on the bottom of the list. And even though I really tried to decompress, I couldn’t get my mind to slow down. I had one week to put together my Fearless Female Mastermind Retreat. I had the concept and what I wanted to get done in my head. I mean, I had journaled about it, created an inspiration board, booked my guest speakers and I had my beautiful assistant helping me put together the major and minor details of the event. But still she couldn’t catch my zzz’s for me.
I tried to get massages, I tried meditating, I tried napping, I even chilled on the couch for an entire Saturday before the event but all it did was cause me more anxiety. You know when all you think about is the shit that needs to get done but you also need to take the time to actually rest? It was all building up. The lack of sleep seriously added it to it. I was a volcano waiting to erupt. And erupt I did. All over my husband and step son. I lost my shit one day. And everything came flooding back.
Not just the events of the past couple weeks but everything. Old childhood wounds, old traumas, old shit just came to the surface. I was sleep deprived and it caused me to have a panic attack. I am happy to have a beautiful support network that helped me crawl out of my shame and guilt. Because as a life coach who's slogan is “I help women let go of anxiety and self-doubt” that attack created the burden of feeling like an imposter. And right before I was to host my 3rd Fearless Female Mastermind Retreat. The Universe was really testing me.
Here are just a few of the things that happened to me right before my clients arrived at my home:
A pen exploded ink all over my hand and I didn’t even know it until I almost wiped my ass with it. I came close, I had a few streaks on the side of my thigh. I literally had to leave the bathroom stall with my pants down and ass in the air in order to wash my hands of the ink before I can pull up my underwear and pants. Yes, this is a shared restroom and I was really praying no one caught an eye full of ass.
I came back to find the culprit aka the black pen that leaked everywhere only to not be able to locate it. I seriously re-traced my steps while Travis looked at me like I was going to lose it. Just when I found it and tossed in the trash, I sat down and I spread it all over my white desk.
I spent at least an hour trying to scrub it out, all the while thinking “I don’t have time for this shit” when I finally was done there was just a slight ink blot and I felt some relief, like now I can begin working on my client’s lesson
I leaned over to throw away the napkins I just used to wipe out the last reminisce of water on my desk and bam bada bing, my chair flips over and I am on the floor. Yes, ass down on the floor, I looked at my feet, my sandal had fallen off and I am just trying to hold back my tears and release laughter at this moment.
The next day was arrival day for my clients and Travis went home early to take my step son to hockey practice and he noticed that our A/C in the house was off. He went to thermostat and it was a black screen. I called to schedule a technician and he said rats had chewed through our wires and well I wasn’t going to be able to have A/C that night.
All I could do was laugh and think, just when you want to do good in life, the negative forces really try and stop you. But I wasn’t going to let it stop me, I was going to go back to my own tools I teach. I set my intention for the weekend, I visualized the events and I prayed over my clients and my team. Needless to say, the event went swimmingly. Everything fell into place and all my clients had an amazing time. Glowing reviews from them all. My heart was filled but I was exhausted.
I was depleted and my soul needed some rest. I can tell because my shoulders were tight, my stomach was upset, I felt dizzy and super dehydrated. I know the devastating effects of not taking care of yourself both physically and mentally. I immediately booked an IV infusion, a doctors appointment and consulted with my spiritual mentors. All who told me, "You are suffering from anxiety. There is nothing physically wrong with you, you just need to rest."
And rest I am going to do. This is just a reminder to not feed into the hype of the hustle and grind. Listen to your body, it knows. The mind body connection is real and both need to be in harmony. Take care of yourself, fill your cup. You can’t help anyone if you are walking around in a zombie like state. Sure you are getting stuff done but you are also causing havoc in your body, like I did. The great lesson in this; is that I still have so much work to do on myself. I am forever growing and learning how to be the best version of myself and I know that it comes with lots and lots of sleep and rest. Our bodies crave it and we deserve the restoration.
So if you are feeling this way and need guidance on where to start, reach out to me and let’s chat.